Re: Question about the BSA Troop Operations Plan
Wed, 9 Feb 1994 08:32:49 -0500
Our troop faced the question of what to do with the New Scout program. In
the first year of operation, it worked well in achieving the goal of 1st
Class in 1st year. It also succeeded in stratefying the troop into older
and younger boys. With some encouragement from some adults, troop outings
descriminated between younger and older boys, with one outing to Philmont
where participants wore a variation on the troops t-shirt (summer uniform)
that set them apart from the boys who could not attend. The New Scouts
also lost the benefit of being around the older scouts in patrol activities
on hikes and camps. An enormous amount of informal teaching goes on, as
we all know, when the new boys hang around with the older boys.
The bottom line: we abandoned the program after two years. We incorporate
the new boys into patrols with older boys. We conduct junior leadership
programs regularly where the new scouts learn something about leadership--
probably more than when acting as a New Scout PL (some boys really can
handle all the leadership challenge early on, but most can't).
The New Scout program is a good "concept" but it just did not seem to work
out in practice. Mixing ages and experience seemed to achieve more.
Charles Jones, ASM T22, Muncie Indiana
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City