Re: Limiting Troop Size
Neil Lupton (NeilLup@AOL.COM)
Tue, 3 Feb 1998 12:41:23 -0500
In a message dated 2/3/98 10:53:07 AM, MurphyP@RND3.INDY.TCE.COM wrote:
<<The proper solution is to start a new troop at another charter
organization. The hard part will be recruiting members when everyone
wants to join the popular growing troop. But if the older troop supports
the idea, both troops should be able to thrive.
Peter M. Murphy :: firstname.lastname@example.org>>
I was reading this thread and mentally drafting a response when I came upon
Peter's excellent response. And he's right on the mark.
By and large, each unit leader has a size unit with which he or she is
comfortable. It may be 8 or it may be more than 100. If a 10 person leader
takes over a 40 person troop, before long, the Troop will be 10 persons. It
just seems to work that way.
So the first question for the unit to ask is "As adults, how large a troop do
we want to have? How much effort do we want to put in? At what point does it
stop being fun FOR US ADULTS?" If your unit is much larger than 40-50, the
logistics become much more complicated. This is not to say that it can't be
done. As a number of post have pointed out, it can be done. But that has to
be a situation where running a huge troop is something that the adults really
want to do and where being huge is really important to them.
This is NOT a decision for the PLC until the adults have decided what they
want to do. It's not a matter of organizational structure. It rather is a
matter of personal preference, desire and time commitment on the part of the
So what to do if you do not want to get larger. Again, exactly as Peter has
said, the correct action is to start another troop, either at another
chartering organization or even at your organization. (I once was an SM in a
troop whose chartering organization sponsored 4 troops with total membership
about 150.) The problem, exactly as Peter has said, is that people do not
want to belong to A Troop, they want to belong to YOUR troop. You are not
necessarily denying Scouting to people by putting a size limit on your troop,
you are just denying them Scouting in your troop.
Exactly how to handle things should take some planning and strategy. Involve
your Commissioner and your DE in the process. Arguably the best way would be
to turn the existing troop over to some of the current adults and have the
current SM start the new troop. But that could be ugly. I think the worst
way is one that I once saw where the troop members VOTED on who would get into
their troop and and who would not. The result was that the other troop got
the halt, the lame, the blind and the weird. You need a careful plan to see
that both troops end up strong and it may require some mid course corrections.
It will likely be desirable that some boys from your current troop go into the
new troop and that will, in the short term, weaken your current troop
It is great to be successful and it certainly sounds as if you are. Please
don't let your success push you out of your comfort range. Scouting is a big
organization. Don't let your troop become the only show in town. That can be
tough for everybody.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City