Re: First Year Program
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Thu, 1 Dec 1994 00:05:55 -0500
You may want to consider how you are evaluating the success of your Troop.
I would suggest that while advancements can give you some feeling about
how well you are doing, its not the end all. A better way of looking at
would be to ask whether your Troop is meeting the goals of Scouting in a
broad sense. If the Scouts are having fun learning, growing, learning
leadership skills, learning how to give service, becoming more
responsible, and showing integration of the Scout Oath and Law in their
behavior, for example, then you are probably accomplishing the goals of
Scouting. Sometime we tend to fall into the trap of wanting to see
advancement as a measure of success. It only measures part of what the
Scouts are doing. The greater part, as in life, is often the part that is
outside of formal programs.
All of that aside, most Troops with good retention, high energy, a lot of
fun, and good advancement are usually boy-run using the patrol method.
Its easy for an adult to impose structure, but in the end its not all that
successful. Although its more difficult, giving the PLC and its boy
leaders responsibility is much more productive. They know what is fun
almost instinctively and with a little help here and there usually are
able to come up with a pretty good year long program in a PLC
planning/strategy meeting. Most of the time they'll also be able to
work-in sufficient Scoutcraft and advancement opportunities for Scouts to
get through the ranks. However, realize that each Scout is going to
progress at his own speed (sometimes agonizingly slow). If the boys plan
and carry out a program, chances are the new fellows will stay and
eventually work through the ranks.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F Bowman
Used to be a Beaver, National Capital Area Council, B.S.A.
mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG after 12/13/94)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City