Re: Saving a dying troop
G. John Marmet (GMarmet@AOL.COM)
Tue, 9 Jun 1998 15:31:36 EDT
I have been there. We were sponsored by a church whose parishoners were old.
No new boys from the church. We were down to 6 boys registered, two or three
on campouts. Because we were the smallest troop in town we were not the most
exciting. Our youth members were some high achievers, but also some low
achievers. High achieving boys tended to avoid our troop. Parents could see
nothing we had to offer except individual attention to their boy. So we
attracted the boys who needed individual attention. Same basic story (the
troop was 35 years old not 70)
I went to Wood Badge to get ideas to save the troop. My ticket consisted
soley of things to help my troop.
I finally came to realize that as a leader, my job was to help, not the troop,
but the Scouts. My job was to give the boys the best program they could get.
It wasn't with our troop. You cannot teach leadership with 2 boys on a
campout. You cannot teach patrol method if 3 boys show up to a troop meeting.
Or at the very least, you cannot teach the best kind of Scouting.
We sat down with all the parents, gave them some option, 1. stay small and
hope for the best, 2. affiliate with a cooperative troop for a few years,
sharing their meetings, campouts, etc, but retaining, theoretically, the old
troop, then split apart again when our newly formed Cub Pack brought in some
new members (3 years away), and 3 close the troop and move the boys as a
patrol to the best troop in town.
So we decided (we all decided) to give the boys the best program they could
have. We closed the troop and joined another.
Remember who you are doing Scouting for- the boys, not the troop or the
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City