Was: Rangers explained
Mauro Cicognini (gin001@CDC835.CDC.POLIMI.IT)
Wed, 28 Jul 1993 10:29:22 METDST
> The Outpost corresponds closely with the Scout Group in the UK: a sort
> of family grouping of the different age-levels in a given locality.
> The equivalent of Senior Commander is normally called the
> Group Scout Leader (GSL). This is also similar to the situation in
> Germany, with the 'Stamm' (roughly translated as tribe, clan, or family)
> as the primary organization.
> BSA keeps the different age levels in different "Troops". A Cub Pack,
> Boy Scout Troop and Explorer Post are three separate organizations,
> even if they meet in the same building and share some leaders.
> In normal life, the Boy Scout and Cub Scout leaders don't meet, and
> the Boy Scout and Explorer Leaders regard the other as competition.
> In a British Group, the main monthly meeting is the Group Scouters
> Meeting, for all the adult leaders in the Group, with open talk on
> cooperation within the Group (or rather how to achieve open talk...).
> (One of my 'failed' ticket items was due to a misunderstanding of just
> how unrelated Troop 1 and Pack 1 are. A solution to the problem is
> due in the next month or so - I'll explain in another posting.)
> I know that I prefer the Group structure, even though most conflicts
> are between the leaders 'at the sharp end' and the GSL. However, the
> streamlining of the committee structure, only hitting parents once for
> subscriptions and help fundraising, one building to be looked after,
> etc., probably outweigh the minor problems of not having a key to the
> QM store.
> In both the UK and Germany, a Group or Stamm could have two or more
> Troops, Packs, etc., in it. In the Royal Rangers, is it possible to
> have three groups of Pioneers in one Outpost if the numbers dictate?
> Or is a Pioneer group fixed at 6 boys, and multiple Groups are the
> only way to go? (UK Cub Packs are limited to 36 Cubs, anything more
> and two smaller packs have to be formed instead.) And if so, what
> steps are taken to do 'age-level activities' so that all the Pioneers
> feel they belong to a single Outpost? (Each of the five Girl Scout
> age levels in Heidelberg has had a major inter-Troop activity in the
> past year, with Juniors and Cadettes both going on international
> Also of interest is how you encourage members to transfer from one
> age level to another. This is quite a problem in the UK, and also
> of immediate interest to us here in BSA in Heidelberg. (We've just
> seen six boys graduate out of a Cub Pack, but only one has landed in
> a Boy Scout Troop.) Is the transfer done one at a time, or does
> an entire Pioneer group suddenly become a Trailblazers group?
> (The German Scouts here keep the group together at all times, even
> though some may still be Cubs and others Scouts during the transition
> David D. Miller
> Scouting in Europe - A Unique Experience
In Italy we do have the same Group system - and a very strong Group Leaders
Community, as we call it (well, kindof). I agree that the advantages usually
do outweigh the disadvantages - although this means that one has to learn
to live with all the Leaders of all the age levels, and this can be very hard
at times. This puts a big strain on the GSL, which usually gets all the blame
and not much of the merit. It is a key role, and we are more and more thinking
about it, so that the national association can do more to support GSLs.
In fact, a Group is not going to work unless it has a good GSL... usually it
ends up closing down or splitting up or worse.
The subject of people passing from one age level to the next is quite
interesting. For us it has never been a problem, since the boys and girls
do know from the start that the scout program starts at age 8 and ends at
age 21. They know that the "normal" ending of their stay in, say, a Cub Pack,
is to go on and become a member of the Scout Troop, and, afterwards, a Rover
in the Rover Clan (the names may be funny, but these they are). In fact, the
basic local scout unit isn't the Troop nor the Pack or whatever, but the
Group, and the National Association is not going to recognize a local
organization unless it has some committed (and trained) Leaders that agree
to form a Group and intend to make all three age levels, or at least try to.
So it is quite normal to always have more or less Cubs, Scouts and Rovers
meeting in the same place under the same name, and wearing, by the way,
the same colors around the neck. BSA calls it a neckerchief, the British
a scarf; anyways, for us it is very important and distinctive.
We try to make it unique (nationwide, if possible - but there is no national
coordination on this, so it usually is unique in the local area only)
and boys, girls and leaders always wear it at meetings.
Well, I must now make clear that the above applies srictly only to the
association called AGESCI. It may be true also for the other organizations,
of course at a different degree; there are at least five of them (to my
best knowledge), although only the ones called AGESCI and CNGEI are
recognized by the World Bureau.
Buona caccia e buona strada!
Mauro Cicognini (Talpa Rampante)
Cubmaster, Pack Orzinuovi 1 AGESCI, Italy
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City