Re: Troop Raiders
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 12:50:11 -0400
> From: LINDA K CLOSSEN <ZXRA59A@PRODIGY.COM>
> Date: Friday, June 27, 1997 10:20 AM
> Is there a written Scouting word that states the policy for procuring
> Scouts from other Troops to meet your minimum quota for starting a
> Troop? (i.e. Troop Raiding?) It is happening before my eyes and I
> need to know my rights!!!
Is it "legal?" I believe so.
Is it ethical? Probably not, but that depends, IMO, on exactly HOW the
raiding is done.
This type of thing, unfortunately, happens all the time. I have watched a
SM have an argument with his committee, leave for another troop, and then
call ALL of the Scouts of the old troop and try to persuade them to
<soapbox> Now, in theory at least, if you are running a strong program it
will be difficult for another troop to entice your Scouts. Too often I
listen to the leaders of small troops complain about new troops in their
neighborhoods. They contend that the council would be better served by
helping them, rather than starting new units. To some extent this might
be true. But what is also true is that if the existing troop was offering
a program that was exciting to the Scout aged youth in their community
they would not have a recruiting problem and would not feel threatened by
We are a troop of 50+ without a Cub Pack to feed us. Two blocks away is a
troop of 15 or so which is, theoretically, supported by a pack of over 50.
They complained when we moved into the neighborhood after losing our
former meeting place, and have a canary any time we even hint at
approaching the Webelos from "their" pack, so we don't and most of them
don't continue in Scouting. Obviously, IMO, this other troop is very
insecure and that is a result of their apparent inability to attract or
retain members. Also, obviously, there is something in the two troops'
programs that sustains this differential.
Since none of us are serving 100% of the available youth in our community
there is always room for someone else to come along and offer a different
program (and no two troops offer the same program) which might attract
some of those unserved youth who have not been attracted to the existing
All of the above having been said, I don't believe it is Scoutlike to
aggressively and affirmatively approach Scouts in existing units for the
purpose of enticing them to switch troops. If, on the other hand, the new
troop starts up and makes its presence known in the community, and some of
your Scouts decide that they would rather be part of the new troop, I do
not believe the new troop is under any obligation to refuse to take them
because they are "yours." We do, however, when we see multiple inquiries
from another unit, try to find out what is going on in that unit before we
decide to accept the transfers, because we really don't want to be part of
the cause of the demise of the unit. But, my experience tells me that we
are probably in the minority in this regard.
This might not have been what you wanted to hear, but I hope it helps.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City