Re: Limiting Troop Size
John Conley (ITI@FRONTIERNET.NET)
Tue, 3 Feb 1998 12:20:14 -0800
>The troop has grown rapidly and the committee
> is proposing capping the size of the membership. My husband is
> uncomfortable with the idea of denying the opportunity of scouting to any
> We need the wisdom of all you Scouters out there concerning proposed rule
> changes to our troop's bylaws limiting the membership. Listed below are the
> proposed changes:
Debby, this isn't a flame, but I disagree with virtually every "bylaw"
your committee has outlined.
> 1) A maximum of 34 active boy scouts is allowed in the troop. This
> provides 5 patrols of 6 scouts each and 4 leadership scouts.
Who says 6 is the ideal patrol size? In many folks' opinion 8 or so is
better. You can allow for 10 more boys right there.
> 2) A minimum of 4 new graduating webelos scouts is permitted per year
> regardless of Troop size. This allows the infusion of "new blood"
> regardless of troop size.
If you have the potential to grow to a 50 boy troop soon, I assume this
means you are turning away a lot of Webelos. Most Troops wax and wane,
at least a little. If you're turning away Webelos now, don't expect
that Pack to be feeding you Webelos five years from now when you want
<SNIP a bunch of stuff about exceptions and levels of activity required
to stay in the troop> I wish I could respond to each of these points,
but I know most of you don't have all day to devote to this list,
Don't limit membership to the available leadership, grow the
leadership to fit the membership. I know this is easier said than done.
But yours is (believe it or not) a fairly common problem with successful
new troops. New Scouts bring new parents with them. Recruit them and
get them (and your existing leadership) TRAINED. In particular, get
your committee trained. Often a committee is afraid of large numbers
because they don't really understand the concept of boy leadership.
The committee provides support, and the more Scouts you have, the more
potential drivers, committee members, etc. you have in the form of
Most adult leaders have some practical limit to the number of youth they
can successfully work with. It might be 6 for one leader and 60 for
another. If you honestly think you have reached a certain leader's
limit, it's time to find a way to split the work and add another leader.
There may be a limit to how many Scouts your Troop can really handle,
but I'll bet it's way more than 34.
Get some help with recruiting and training from your Commissioner and
your District's training team. That's what they're there for.
Yes, a small Troop is easier in some ways. But if you believe in this
movement, shouldn't you offer Scouting to as many boys as possible?
Many successful troops have many more Scouts than your committee fears.
And before anybody reminds me, I KNOW this isn't what B-P said ;^)
Did I mention TRAINING?
Good luck, and let us know what happens.
Arrowhead District Commissioner
Finger Lakes Council (NY)
*Better to build boys than mend men*
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City