New Troop (sort of)
Nancy Smith S (munss@UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU)
Mon, 13 Mar 1995 11:09:53 -0600
Once again I have what will probably be a long post with many
questions asking for wisdom from the net. To begin...my oldest son
just bridged into one of our local Troops from Webelos. I am the
committee chair for the only Cub Scout Pack in town; we bridged all 9
2nd year Webelos last month. Anyway, this post is regarding the
Troop, not the Pack. My husband was (is?) an Eagle from the same
Troop (class of 73 or 74?) so, of course, our son wants to be an
Eagle from the same Troop as Dad! In the late 1980s a second Troop
was formed in town due to some major conflicts between leaders (I'm
not sure of the whole story, I'll stick to Cubs!) The 1989 Troop is a
well-run organization. I've been very impressed with both the boys
and the leadership. Actually, I would have preferred my son join that
troop. The original troop (I don't want to use the actual number, so
I'll call it Troop 1) which my son joined has had some major problems
of its own. The Scoutmaster was "removed from office by Council" and
the committee has some members who want to run EVERYTHING with no
input from SM or ASM or anyone else. They plan activities and give
the SM 24 hours notice to get boys there and then they themselves
don't show up. The committee recently asked a friend of my husband to
take over as SM. He agreed, but quit after only 2 months because of
the committee members (and his own temper). Now my husband is a new
ASM. The committee is waiting for two Eagles (both age 20) to become
21. One wants to be the SM as soon as he turns 21. My husband said
he'd "be SM on paper" until this Eagle turns 21.
To get on with it...when the SM was "removed" he and his wife
badmouthed the Troop to the current boys and encouraged them to
either quit scouting or transfer to the 1989 formed Troop.
Consequently, there were only about 3 boys left in Troop 1.
Currently, there are about 6 boys in 6th grade who have had no Cub
Scout experience or only a year or two. None have yet earned
Tenderfoot, but a few have earned a few MBs. Now all the 9 Webelos we
just bridged moved into Troop 1. This Troop now has 18 boys, all ages
10-12. There are no older boys.
My husband wants to make this Troop a quality troop again. The two
Eagles who are ASMs are doing a good job, but the Troop really can't
be run with a regular patrol method because there are no older boys
for the younger ones to learn from. Also, my husband is concerned
that the Eagles will be leaving for college in another year. One has
hinted at it and the one who wants to be SM has left himself an
We've got some quality boys in this Troop and I don't want to see
them become discouraged. We also have some great parents who want to
help (I train them right during the Cub years!!). Also, the committee
members who have been "problematic" have announced that they are
burned out and stepping down by June.
I realize I'm rambling, but I'm concerned about all "my boys" who
just bridged as well as my husband's stress level! BTW, Troop 1 and
the newer Troop committees and members don't get along well at all.
The 1989 SM is constantly making snide remarks about Troop 1 and its
boys. I just ignore that and compliment him on his fine program.
Any input from all the Scouters out there? Anyone else have to work
with an inexperienced group of boys? We need all the help we can
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City