Monthly Archives: March 2012

Troop Committee Challenges

Help WantedIn our small unit, we have a limited number of parents.  This is starting to cause a problem because some of them are just ‘too busy’ to volunteer and help the Troop out.  I’m not asking any of them to run the show (and I know, as Scoutmaster I shouldn’t be asking anyone to be on the Troop Committee – but that’s another post all together).

Recently, a few parents have decided that they no longer want to serve on the Troop Committee.  I suppose that’s OK since they’ve at least served in some capacity at one point.  There are many that have never lifted a finger, and I honestly can say I don’t expect them to any time soon.

So my ‘challenge’ (I know, I know – it shouldn’t be MY challenge – but if I don’t make it mine, it just won’t happen) is this:  how to properly fill the Troop Committee with people who WANT to be there.  We have 9 new Webelos crossing over in less than a week.  I’m hoping some of them will want to help serve the Troop in one fashion or another.  I’ve already heard that one will not, however – and I’m worried that this trend will continue with the other parents.  I hope not, but I’m nervous that’s how it’s going to play out.  I can play hard-nosed or the guilt card – but I’m not very good at either.

I’m wondering if asking non-parents from our Charted Organization if they’d want to be part of the Troop Committee?  Is that something that happens a lot?  Is it a good idea?  I’d hate to open another can of worms if I do.

Anyone have any advice on this?  Comments are more than welcome here on this one.

Thank you all in advance, and keep on Scouting!


New Scouts = New Patrol?

With another season of Webelos Crossover upon us, I’m again faced with the lingering question of what to do with them once they’re in the Troop.  Ok, to be honest this year wasn’t very hard – but it did bring up the questions I have each and every year we bring new Scouts on board en mass:  have them be their own patrol (the ‘new Scout’ patrol), or mix them among the other Scouts in the Troop.

I can see it both ways.

If you keep them together, there may be a better chance of them sticking around longer.  Thus, you have retention and they will all get more out of the program that way.  They are familiar with each other, so there’s a level of comfort as well.  It also keeps the current patrols intact and hopefully allows them to be a better performing group by not introducing new members.

If you split them up, they have the advantage of having older Scouts in their patrol to mentor them from the beginning.  Yes, there are Troop Guides for that, but our unit isn’t very big and we haven’t had any luck with Troop Guides up to this point.  It also gives the older Scouts who need leadership the opportunity to actually exercise some of those skills within a patrol setting.

This year, I asked the incoming parents what they felt would be the best.  They all agreed that for at least a while, having them start as a new Scout patrol was the best route.  I’m OK with that.

I’m always interested in what others think about this one.  I’ve heard good arguments for both.  For our Troop this year we’re going with the New Scout patrol.  Let me know how your unit does it, or how you feel it ought to go.

Happy Scouting!