Re: Large Troop Organization
Bob Condon (rec@EPOCH.COM)
Fri, 10 Mar 1995 09:28:58 -0500
> This year we just re-registered 31 Scouts, and 2 weeks ago crossed over 20
> Webelos from our associated Pack - plus in 2 more weeks we will probable
> get another 12-15 Webelos from a Pack in a neighboring town. So it looks
> like in about a month we will have 60-65 boys in the troop, half of them
First and foremost, do the boys and the leadership want a troop this large?
YOU can control your own destiny.
Is there adult leadership that will be coming with these boys?
It is VERY different to be a SM of a 65 boy troop versus 35 boys
and are you willing to take on the extra work. If you or your team
are not ready for this, then you will automatically reduce to your
capability level leaving boys leaving unhappy.
> My son Greg (Eagle '94, OA Brotherhood '94) is the ASM for planning and
> development, and is seeking to provide some suggestions to the troop
> committee at our meeting next month on how to reorganiza the troop to
> handle this large influx without compromising our programs.
Recognize that you WILL compromise the programs with such a large growth
> troop has 4 patrols - 1 older scout patrol (10-12 boys), 1 patrol of 2nd
> Class to Star, and 2 patrols of mostly new scouts with a 1st Class or Star
> for PL.
I like the concept of a mixture of patrols that have the older boys that are
first class and above. They are looking at the LEADERSHIP phase of scouting.
I would take YOUR VERY STRONGEST LEADERS and put them at the PL and APL
position with 3 new boy patrols. This allows the use of mass training
because these boys are in the LEARNING phase of scouting.
I would connect an adult per patrol to assist the PL. The PL may not need
it but there should be back up just in case.
I would recommend a couple of campouts for the new scouts alone from the
older kids. SOME of the older kids can come along to present material, work with
the boys on knots, camping skill, cooking. This provides a dedicated session
with the younger guys and they will feel immediately wanted.
Reward the older boys by doing a special campout for them such as a High Adventure
campout or canoe trip weekend. the younger boys can not go on them due
to age (13 min) and will be only for those older boys that invest their time.
> The suggestion has been made that an all new scouts patrol isn't working
> well because the new scouts don't get the training they need. Consequently
> we are thinking about creating integrated patrols with a mix of ranks and
> experience. I have 2 questions:
> 1. Should we create 8 integrated patrols of 8 boys each, and merge
> the patrols as they shrink due to attrition - assuming that we will
> probably drop to about 40 boys? Or should we start with the number of
> patrols we think we will end up with, and have some VERY large patrols to
> start with? Both of these approaches assume that we will have high
> adventure activities for the older scouts, but not a high adventure patrol.
You can make LARGE patrols with the older boys but keep the younger patrols
to 6 people (to be maanagiable). If done well, you may not see the
attrition that you predict.
> 2. In structuring the troop leadership, do we need more leadership
> positions? For example, 2 ASPL's - one to coordinate the 8-10 PL's and
> another to coordinate the troop leadership ( Guides, Instructors,
> Quartermaster, etc); Assistant QM, etc. There are concerns within the troop
> committee about span of control for the boys, and the need for adequate
> leadership opportunities as we have 5 potential Eagle candidates, and 6-7
> Life scout who need leadership positions within the next 6-8 months.
We have 1 SPL and 1 ASPL.
With this size, I would assume that :
2 Eagles: SPL ASPL
QM, Scribe (THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR NEWS LETTER!), 6-8 PL
That gives you the numbers you are looking at.
Another question: Do you have enough EQUIPMENT or the financial
resources to uplift to a 60 person troop level? We found that
we had a $1K investment to make to replace and upgrade equipment.
This could be a very rewarding time for you!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City