Re: Rapid Growth's Problems
Michael A. Golrick (mgolrick@SCLC.ORG)
Thu, 28 Mar 1996 11:12:39 -0500
I don't often get to give input to someone like Peter Farnham
<pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG>, so I jump at an opportunity like this
I am Advancement Chairman for Troop 68 in Trumbull CT. When my elsdest
joined the troop there were 30+/- boys in the troop. As of last week, we
are up to 57 (I think). BTW, son Greg is the new SPL.
This troop does not have the tradition of using the "New boy patrol"
method. Every six months, with the election of new troop leadership, the
patrols are reformed. Besides being "this is the way we've always done it"
it also gives an opportunity to rectify past mistakes. In fact the week
after troop elections, the PLC meets with the SM and CC to reassign
patrols. The number of patrols varies, with there usually being fewer
patrols in the fall due to BAND. As Mike Bowman and I have emailed
(privately) Band, which is taken for an academic subject in the two high
schools involved, claims 10 - 12 members of the troop for the fall season.
Because we "redesign" the patrols each time, we are always sure to have a
mix of new and old scouts, and the 'newbies' don't feel singled out.
We have also wrestled with the size issue. Last fall we had patrols which
were generally too big (after having had patrols too small last spring).
The size is an issue, for us, primarily when camping. BTW, the camping
"track record" of a scout is also part of patrol assignments...which means
we try to distribute them evenly as well. Camping is a very big part of our
program and most of the scout leaders have multiple years of year round
camper (my son Greg just completed #4).
Another problem is one of ethics and neighborliness. A church several
blocks up the street from us has a scout troop and a pack (we only
have a troop; the pack died years ago). The boys from this pack
almost always feed into the "sister" troop. However, I got a call
from a dad of a boy in that pack, who asked to bring his son by to
visit as he needed to visit another troop for one of his AoL
requirements and had been unable to work anything out with another
troop. I said sure, and the kid came by. I knew I was unlikely to
get this kid, as his dad told me that most of his friends were going
into the other troop at the pack's same church.
Well, they left after the meeting, no hard feelings, etc. I wished
the dad and the kid good luck, and that was it. Well, the next night,
the kid's den leader called me up, and he announced he wanted to bring
his whole den of 7 boys by to visit!
You see the problem--if some (or all?) of these boys decide to join my
troop, might this annoy/irritate the SM of the other troop, who is a
very decent guy also trying to resurrect his troop? Our troops
conduct joint service projects, etc., and have helped each other out
over the years in a variety of ways. I'd love to have more boys, of
course, but I'm not sure the possible bad feelings that might develop
between me and the other SM would be worth it in this case. OTOH, I'm
not about to turn away any kid!!!
I would suggest having a heart to heart with the other SM. In Trumbul,
there are 3 troops all of which have "traditional feeder packs." But I see
us having a problem like yours soon as well. We took in 13 new scouts this
fall followed by a couple of transfers/stragglers. Our main feeder pack
is talking about sending 8 this year, plu 30 (that's right THIRTY) in the
spring of 97. Oy vay!
Good luck and let us know what you wind up doing.
Michael A. Golrick email@example.com
Southern Connecticut Library Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City