Older Scouts mentoring program
Steven Myers (myers@UAKRON.EDU)
Sun, 12 Oct 1997 15:23:07 -0400
This is somewhat long, but for those who read through to the end and offer
advice I will be grateful.
We are thinking of a program where each older scout is assigned a younger
scout to mentor. This is over and above the troop guide function we
already use. The purpose is to help bring the older boys back into the
main troop. The idea comes from the advancement chairman directly from
accumulated comments from the BORs. Young boys sense a gulf between the
younger (11-13) and the older (14-17) scouts. Older boys feel put upon and
an easy target when things don't go well.
A little background: Troop One has 60 boys, 51 of whom are active. A 17
year old boy is the SPL with a 13 year old ASPL. Most positions are held by
the 13 year olds. We have tried naming all non-elected/appointed older
boys as troop guides and instructors, but that did not work. We tried to
pick troop guides (by one and by twos) and assign them directly to a single
patrol, but that did not work well either. BTW, we have an active venture
Some background stats:
Boys who receive first class do not leave Troop ONE. Only one boy out of
29 has ever attained the rank of first class and ever left the troop
without reaching age 18 (3 all eagles) or moving away (1 first class).
66% of the 51 active scouts are first class or better.
41% of the 51 scouts are 14-17 years old.
90% of the 14-17 group are first class or better.
6 elected patrol leaders include only one not first class and all but one
are 13 or less. The average age on the PLC is 13.8 years old.
5 of our older scouts transfered in, already first class, because we have
the best program for older boys.
The troop is highly regarded as having an excellent program.
The older boys are bored and have nothing to do, in addition, in high
school they are so very busy they can't always get to meetings, so they
don't stand for office. Before you think them slacking off: of these older
boys, 10 served on summer camp staff this past summer and one is a vice
chief of the OA lodge, two when to Philmont, one served on staff of the
Jamboree and 5 have attended NOAC. They are very much into scouting. Then
they show up and the adults and the SPL think that they ought to do
whatever is needed on a moments notice -- not a warm welcome :-) and they
get the blame when anything goes wrong.
Each older boy will be given the name of one or two young/new boys. They
will not necessarily be in charge of them as PL or Troop Guide, but as a
mentor and troop friend. For those in fraternities, their big brother.
Sure this sounds like a Troop Guide, but is it? The older boy will be
responsible for one boy, not a patrol of new boys. (Two Troop Guides have
been appointed for the < first class boys). The responsiblility is not for
advancement, but for all the methods of scouting including being
responsible for keeping them active. (Of the 40 scouts that have left
Troop One, 26 never attained the Scout Badge and 11 never completed
registration.) We know a few of the boys left because of a conflict with
What do you think about this as a solution for large troops with a dominate
number of first class scouts?
Thanks for reading. I look forward to your responses. I do not read much
of the SCOUTS-L traffic, please don't change the subject heading when
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Steve Myers (Eagle '68) (330) 972-7421 (Univ. of Akron)
Scoutmaster Troop One, Akron, OH Vigil Advisor, Marnoc Lodge #151
Great Trail Council firstname.lastname@example.org
http://home.neo.lrun.com/georgesjungle/troop1 very new, not much there
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City