New troops; new leaders
Craig Bond (craig00@INU.NET)
Sun, 23 Feb 1997 10:36:48 -0800
Blaine Jackson raised two points:
1. He says he's a leader and "puts up with" 35+ kids because, among
other things, he's having fun and getting something out of it all for
himself. Right on, Blaine! My observation is that, generally, people
get into Scouting for their own sons, and stay in for themselves *and*
for their sons. After their sons have moved on, they stay in for all the
selfish/altruistic reasons that have been cited in recent posts.
(Altruism is selfishness that benefits others). That's why we've seen
that wonderful pearl of wisdom stated here a year or so ago: How long do
I have to stay in Scouting? Until it stops being fun! [Unless you get
into it for the money, of course. ;^(]
His second point, I want to quote:
>2. My biggest objection to leader selection is allowing someone with
>no boy scout experience or training (I am sorry, but cub scouting
>leadership is not the same thing) to "start their own troop". In
>my experience, these leaders are usually dissatisfied with the local
>troop leaders for some reason, and/or have their own agenda to promote.
Blaine, that comment reminds me of the wonderful saying that a
conservative is someone who believes that nothing should ever be done for
the first time. (Don't shoot me, conservatives: I'm just quoting a cute
turn of phrase; I'm a DE and was not issued a personal political
viewpoint -- not on the Charm School TOE).
The only leeway I'll give you is that a leader *should* have training
before starting a new troop. That's the responsibility of the District
Training Committee, Unit Service, Membership Committee, and the DE -- in
that order, BTW.
Otherwise, puhleeeaze! There are many valid reasons for starting your
-- you're dissatisfied with the local troop leaders for some reason
(they should leave Scouting? they should suppress their desire to spread
their wings, to do things a little differently? to have a smaller troop?
a larger troop?)
-- you have your own agenda to promote (Like, I want a troop that camps
every month? that uses the patrol method?)
-- there is no local troop
-- there is no troop serving the youth in your church?
-- there is no troop serving your ethnic group?
-- the local troop says its too big and is not accepting new members?
If we take Blaine's objection to its logical conclusion, there would be
no new troops unless we robbed existing troops of one or more of their
leaders. Not practical, my friends.
Like some 2,000+ other professionals in this country, I start new troops
for a living. I work with their leaders throuogh fast start and when
necessary one-on-one (or three or four) Scoutmastership Fundamentals I &
II, and we sign kids up and get them started in the program. I recruit
unit commissioners to help them, pair them up with existing troops for
their initial camping experiences, encourage the leaders to come to
Roundtables....and Scoutmastership Fundamentals III the next time it's
And the only question I ask about their motives is that they want their
sons to learn that they put God and their country first, others second,
and not forget themselves. It's an extremely rare day when I'm
disappointed in the actual results.
BTW: I do check references, teach my leaders to check references, and
although I only have authority to approve, not to disapprove, have
recommended that a leader be disapproved. She was, by the Scout
Executive, a decision upheld on appeal by the regional office.
Craig Bond, SrDE
"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing?"
-- Steven Covey
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City