First Class, First year, Venture, etc.
Bob McGwier (n4hy@CCR-P.IDA.ORG)
Wed, 17 Nov 1993 17:41:21 EST
I have a different opinion based on a completely different outcome. My
kid decided to one of three troops in my town. The reasons for deciding
were that his friends went there. I became involved immediately as an
ASM. Within a year the old scoutmaster was forced out by the committee
and a friend of mine who came in with me as ASM was made scoutmaster.
We decided to try BSA's recommendation to have a New Scout Patrol and
work out a program for first class in the first year. But every outdoor
activity we do (now every other weekend) reinforces some skill that they are
taught unless we are going to pro baseball game or basketball game or
something where this is not appropriate. For example, we have one night for
knots and lashings in which one of the older patrol's teaches or reviews knots
and lashings for the entire troop. The patrols then lash together a chariot
(one per patrol) using the lashings and then the patrols have a race using
their chariot. We have first aid marathons, games, etc. For the older boys we
go to COPE courses, rock climbing, Philmont, Adirondacks, skiing weekends and
they are Venture. Without all the pieces of the BSA recommended puzzle, I do
not see how it can work. Since we have put together this program and followed
it up with year long planned outings, high adventure, etc., we have not lost a
SINGLE boy after the first year we put all this into effect. We are now
getting feelers for transfers from the other troops in town. My experience is
that you get them through the skills, you reinforce them over and over through
skills, games, competitions, etc. and it really pays. I can tell you boy
scouting is more fun for me the adult scouter than I ever dreamed it could be.
I am having a blast and feel that I am doing some good. Try getting a really
active program like this going with getting the young kids into your troop in
March (local Cubs graduate in March), off to summer camp with you, and First
class by the summer of the next year, and then into Venture. I promise it
will work IF the parents are involved, supportive, and are real believers in
the troop. They are in our case and I am very grateful.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City