Re: Fw: Breaking up a large(esque) troop
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Mon, 4 Aug 1997 20:34:38 -0500
>> My troop just registered its 22nd boy last Wednesday. 16 of my boys
>>are nonmembers (yes, our latest newsletter had a big story entitled
>>"What's Different About a Mormon Troop?)
>> The boys range in age from 11 to 17. All but 5 are "new" scouts
>>(including several over the age of 14).
>> I'm a bit uncomfortable with them all being together. I feel as though
>> some of them would benefit from either a post, a team, or a crew.
>> Advancement isn't really a concern for being in one of these other
>>orgs.; we can get a boy to First Class pretty quickly.
>> I would like anyone who has had a similar situation to give thoughts
>>and suggestions as to what might be most useful.
First, Scouting is *supposed* to have a mixture of older, younger and
middle-aged boys all together. It has worked that way for years without
anything but success. As boys got older, they became the leaders and
mentors for the younger ones. They worked together as Senior Scouts (a
title only, given to Boy Scouts that turned 14 and something I would
personally would like to see returned; they wore a strip above the Boy
Scouts of America strip with the word "Senior" on it)!! or when they turned
15 or entered high school, became members of Explorer Crews within the Troop.
But EVERYONE stayed within the Troop and everyone contributed to the success
of the Troop.
Looking at "today's options", here's what I feel:
A Venture crew would keep them in the Troop but allow them to conduct
separate programming (with or without girls) but still within the Troop
context; that is, the Crew Chief is a member of the Patrol Leaders' Council
and can therefore, influncing Troop programming. Venture is today's
"Explorer Crew" and functions in the same manner.
An Explorer Post or a Varsity Team are external options; the leadership of
the Post or Team would have NO influnce whatsoever on the Troop operation
and you would lose that leadership potential that you would otherwise have
with the Venture Crew. These options require support from the chartered
partner organization to organize a new unit. There's going to be a downside
In addition, the Explorer Post is limiting in several other respects to
Troop operation and support. Because it is an Explorer Post, and not part
of the Boy Scout program, members of the Post would have problems with the
traditional Boy Scout programming. The Varsity Team, part of the Boy Scout
program division, uses the traditional Boy Scout advancement.
Exploring offers a different set of support than Varsity. Of the two, I
would go first with Varsity and then Exploring.
So, if you're looking for:
*leadership opportunities within the Troop, keeping them in the unit --
go with the Venture Crew
*leadership opportunities outside the Troop setting, which also means losing
their membership as Troop members, go with the Varsity Team (if most of the
youth members are LDS members, this would be the Church's
recommendation as well, as programming support is already available for
them) or with the Explorer Post (which allows for more adult-like
programming and support will come in the non-traditional method than it
would be if it was Varsity or Scouting)
*interaction with female youth -- go with the Varsity or Exploring units.
While the Venture crew will allow you to do this as well, it's awkward to do
with the Troop setting.
*other factors -- if you're looking for a "storage place", then none of
these options will work and your unit has to create enough programming for
those older boys as well as the younger ones. After all, that's the way
that Scouting SHOULD work!
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 firstname.lastname@example.org
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