Re: Fw: Breaking up a large(esque) troop (Explorer Post Option)
Amick Robert (amick@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Tue, 19 Aug 1997 18:08:19 -0600
(I realize this topic is a little old, however, I returned from Jamboree
and left immediately for our Explorer High Adventure canoe trip, so am
justing getting caught up on e-mail)
On Mon, 4 Aug 1997, settummanque, or
blackeagle (Mike Walton) wrote
> 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...
> 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.
I would have to respectfully disagree with Mike's comments suggesting that
Exploring is not the best way to help keep older Scouts involved in
We have had an Explorer Post associated with our Scout Troop for 17 years
and it has been highly successful in keeping older Scouts involved. I
have previously posted a copy of our combined troop and post bylaws on
Explorer-net and would be willing to forward a copy to anyone interested
in setting up an Explorer Post associated with an existing troop. High
Adventure/Outdoor Exploring comprises the largest component of Exploring
Membership, followed by Health/Medical and then Law Enforcement. The high
adventure/outdoor Explorer posts are probably most similar to the
traditional Scouting troops and often have many Eagle Scouts as members.
I know that other Troop/Post combinations operate and are
highly sucessful in other councils as well.
I have also previously posted a discussion of how the Explorers serve as
youth leaders and guides in the Troop, and the fact that they are highly
respected as role models for the younger Scouts. Nearly all of our male
Explorers attain the Eagle Rank, and many, both male and female, have
earned the Explorer Gold Award.
Varsity/Venture units cannot have female members, only guests. Explorer
posts can actually register female members, which tends to be a more
unifying approach for teenagers.
Exploring offers many possibilities for activities and events that varsity
and venture groups are not eligible for. Among these are participation in
District and Council Explorer Events, the National Explorer Leadership
Conferences, and networking with other posts and ships for joint activity
In Exploring, Explorers can belong to more than one post if they choose.
In traditional Scout troops they may only join one unit.
Those Scouts who have reached the age of 14 can become an Explorer, and if
they are First Class can continue working on ranks and merit badges toward
their Eagle Scout award through their Post without remaining as a troop
member, although we concurrently register our Explorers in the Troop as
Exploring also answers the difficult problem for the 18-21 year olds who
can no longer be youth members in troops or teams, at age 18, but can
remain as Explorers until they turn 21. Venture and Varsity cannot meet
We also have 18-21 year old University students who are Eagle Scouts join
our Post and serve as Assistant Scoutmasters for the Troop. They enjoy
both the high adventure/outdoor activities of the post and the leadership
opportunities for the younger Scouts in the Troop. As I have previously
noted, the younger Scouts think the Explorers are "ten feet tall" and can
hardly wait to be old enough to join the post and go on the "cool" trips
the Explorers do; so still another incentive to keep the younger Scouts
involved and enthusiastic about Scouting.
Exploring also offers its own advancement program in the form of the
Explorer Gold Award which venture and varsity scouts are not eligible for.
Recently the creation of the Explorer "Ranger" Award and the Explorer
Silver Award were announced for implementation in 1998. Preliminary
information indicates that the Explorer Gold Award and the Ranger Award
will be prerequisite to earning the Silver Award. The requirements are
suitably challenging and rigorous for Explorers.
Still another possibility is the formation of a Sea Explorer Ship, which
offers the possibility of earning the Quartermaster Award. Many Sea
Explorer Ships center around SCUBA diving, and many are located "inland"
away from the oceans, so you can still operate a Sea Explorer Program. We
are in the process of organizing a Sea Explorer Ship, which can also have
younger Scouts (13 and under) as "cabin boys" who participate in
the program as guests until they turn 14. This too, would be a creative
approach to stimulating interest.
Many Scout leaders seem to have a preconceived notion that if their older
Scouts join a post they will be "lost" to the troop. This unfortunately
is a serious misconception. Our experience has been that Exploring keeps
the teenage youth in Scouting, and in particular, in an active support
role for our Troop. Otherwise, we know that many of our older Scouts
would have left the troop for other non-scouting pursuits, due to a lack
of program which attracts their interests with others of their age group.
The main goal is keep the older Scouts involved in Scouting. Our
approach has been proven to be highly sucessful in preventing this loss.
It is important to realize that if you cannot provide a challenging and
interesting program for teenagers, you will lose them to other highly
competitive non-Scouting venues, so the time and effort involved in
supporting a Post will pay off in far more ways than you can imagine.
Because we operate the troop and post jointly with one troop/post
committee, administration is very easy and shared resources and leadership
are highly complementary.
Thus, Exploring can be a highly productive symbiotic relationship for a
troop. I would be pleased to discuss this in more detail with anyone
interested, and also to provide copies of my previous posts concerning the
Bob Amick, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72, Boulder, CO
Longs Peak Council Exploring Training Chair
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City