Re: When is a new pack/troop needed?
Marc Solomon (msolomon@TEK1.TEKNIQ.COM)
Wed, 9 Aug 1995 09:32:56 -0500
At 10:44 AM 8/8/95 -0400, Jim Miller Sr. wrote:
>A new pack/troop/post is needed whenever one youth is not served by the
Served? You mean as a meal? ;) Could it be that the youth does not wish to
>A new pack/troop/post is needed whenever less than 100% of the total
>available youth is not involved in scouting.
By available youth, do you mean those youths not in Scouting who want to be
or all youths whether they want to be or not?
>A new pack/troop/post is needed whenever one youth finds the attitudes,
>policies, or pracitices of the existing units exclusionary.
Yes, Here I will agree with you. If a youth wants to be in Scouting and
cannot find a Scouting program that fits his desires, a new unit should be
created. As individual as youths are, I find that if one is looking for
something from the Scouting program, there are probably others looking for
the same thing. Therefore starting a unit to fill that need is valid.
More often, though I find that it is not the youth that finds the attitudes,
policies, or practices as exclusionary. It is their parents that do. I
dislike seeing a new unit started for the sole reason that some parents can
not get along with the Scouters in their area. These parents need to be
reminded that Scouting is for the youths, not for them.
>A new pack/troop/post is needed whenever more youth can be served.
Again, do you mean as in a meal? Remember not all youths want to be served
>Yes, it is about numbers! The scouting program should reach the greatest
>number of youth that it can. If we are satisfied to serve only the youth we
>have now, WE ARE NOT DOING OUR JOB.
I'll agree that our goal should be to have a program available that will
appeal to the greatest number of youths and still instill the values the
Scouting program has always been based upon. BUT, not all youths want to be
involved in such a program and modifying the program such that all youths
will want to be in it can severley hamper the purpose of the program.
I have witnessed new units started in areas where there were an abundance of
troops and instead of increasing the number of youths served, this reduced
the number of youths served! Instead of having 6 units going well, there
were 5 units going well, one on the border between going well and not going
well, and 2 units on the verge of collapsing. Most of the Scouts who drop
from the last three units mentioned do not join another unit. They have
received an poor image of what Scouting is or can be, and no longer have an
interest in being in Scouting. I see this as a loss!
I have seen new units started where a unit already exists that could still
grow. Both units have suffered and both provide a weaker program due to the
reduced numbers (of both Scouts and Scouters) that both experience. Again
Scouts drop because neither unit is offering an interesting enough program
even though together the program could have flourished. Once again we
experience a loss.
Don't get me wrong. When a need to create a new unit exists, one should be
created. When a unit has outgrown its sponsors meeting place and can find
no other, then the unit should be split (as diplomatically as possible).
When no unit exist in an area where youths would like to see one exist, a
unit should be created. There are many valid reasons for creating a new unit.
Unfortunately, there are some invalid ones too. For example, I have seen
units created just because some parent wants to become instant Scoutmaster
or Cubmaster (read Dictator). (Note: I have never experienced this with
Explorer posts, so I purposely left out Adviser) And other units started
because adults could not get along. Frequently (not always), units started
for these reasons hurt Scouting in the area.
This is why many Scouters do not like to see new units started helter
skelter. Starting a unit for a valid reason makes sense. Starting one for
an invalid reason, although a valid reason might exist, could be dangerous
to the Scouting program.
Yes, its about numbers. Not number of units, but number of youths. More
units does not always mean more youths. Occassionally, it means less. I
hate to see any unit fold, but occassionally for the good of Scouting within
an area, it might be the best thing to happen. I like to see new units
started but only if there is a strong need to have that unit.
Yours in Scouting,
| Marc W. Solomon | Unit Commissioner |
| email@example.com | Sycamore District |
| firstname.lastname@example.org | Blackhawk Council, IL |
I use to be a wise old owl . . . Now I am just old
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City