Re: Combined Explorer/Scouting "Units"
golden cliff (email@example.com)
Thu, 21 Aug 1997 17:38:30 -0500 (CDT)
On Thu, 21 Aug 1997, Terry Lucke wrote:
> Gentlemen (& ladies)
> Let me outline our situation:
> - At present we have appproximately 33 registered scouts although only 19 to 22 seem
> to be active at any given time, and all indications are that this number will at
> best stay even or drop at registration time. This despite the fact that our program
> has significantly improved over the prior couple of year's.
> - Only 1 scout crossed over from the cub pack this spring,
> - Our oldest boy is 17 and going for his Eagle. We have 2 to 3 inactives who are
> likewise in their upper teens and who spend what little time they have elsewhere
> (presumably the post although I am not sure of that)
> - Beyond that most of our boys are between 11 and 14. and at least half are 2nd
> class and above.
I think a Post could get that age average higher. We have 60% high
school age boys.
> While it is true that some of the early advancement type activities have become
> "boring" to some of our boys. I am of the opinion that embracing the Explorer post
> as an option for 14 year-olds will tend to detract from the troop and scouting
> activities especially rank advancement.
It hasn't affected our advancement in a negative way. We've had 3 Eagle
Scouts in the past 12 months. Boys still continue with advancement if
they are First Class or higher when they join Explorers.
It is not a question of either Scouts or Explorers, it is the inclusion
of both the Troop and the Post that make up the components of their
All of our Scout age Explorers are also registered in the troop.
> It would seem from reading the posting of settummanque, orblackeagle (Mike Walton)
> dated Mon, 4 Aug 1997, that he too has reservations on this issue. Moreover I get
> the impression from what I have read that the troop/post combination is really
> targeted for 1) a larger population unit, and 2) for older boys (16-17 and up)
> Are these assumptions correct and what is your input given the circumstances
> described above?
We have a troop of about 55 boys. Our high schoolers are co-registered
in Exploring. Age 14+
> I have read the discussion of the misconception issue, however, as yet with the
> exception of two outdoor "fun" activities, I have not seen any of the explorers
> come to participate in our troop activities, with the exception of my scoutmaster's
> son's at one COH. With the experiences of summer camp most recently in mind, when
> allure of going with the older boys (and girl), in fact left us without our youth
> leaders camp one night, I am very unconvinced that until the issue of
> responsibility is understood and accepted there is no misconception.
I believe summer camp is mainly aimed at 11-12 year olds. although the
BSA istrying to include older boy activities in most camps.
We encourage our boys 13+ to participate in high adventure activities.
We usually sponsor 2-3 big trips each year through the troop & post.
I look at the program by what we can offer boys, not by what boys can
(Ask not what your boys can do for you, ask what you can do for your boys).
Older boys at summer camp is a non issue with me. I would rather see
them grow through a positive high adventure experience. As for youth
leadership at summer camp, that becomes an opportunity for an aspiring
younger Scout who can then gain leadership experience by being the acting
SPL for the week. The older boys are there the remainder of the year
providing an example of leadership. The void they leave at summer camp
has been a great leadership experience for younger Scouts. Don't
underestimate the abilities of your younger Scouts. They can rise to the
occasion and really suprise you with what they can do.
> Unless there is some significantly overriding consideration which we have missed,
> both my charter org rep and I believe have this is not a good course of action at
> the present time, and have indicated that to my scoutmaster.
I would disagree with the wording above. I think an Explorer Post or a
Varsity Team could be a "good course" for your unit. The question is what
would be the "best" course. You are in a better position than I to make
that judgement. The rest of us can only point out the benefits of either
course of action.
Another question I have which may or may not have been addressed: What do
your boys think about this question? I think their imput could be very
beneficial to your decision.
Whatever your decision, good luck to you.
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33, Advisor Post 333; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA