Re: Attendance Part 2
Alan Houser (troop24@EMF.NET)
Wed, 10 Jun 1998 10:58:27 -0700
Terry Slade wrote:
> My troop's committee voted in a rule this year that a Scout
>MUST go to 5 camp outs and attend 25 meetings to be able to go
>to wilderness summer camp with them.....
To which Anthony J. Mako" <ajmako@NLS.NET> replied (in part):
>This is also yet another example of the "Corporate Scouting" attitude. This
>is the attitude that believes that a Scout troop should be run like a
>corporation. It should be managed from the top by setting down rules and
>regulations and passing corporate policies down the chain of command. In
>corporate Scouting, the committee views itself as a sort of board of
>directors. It goes about the business of identifying the attitudes and
>practices it would like all of its members to have and follow. Then it
>designs rules and regulations intended to "level the playing field" so that
>everyone does the same things and acts the same way. The SM and his
>assistants end up acting more like managing supervisors whose job it is to
>implement the policies of the committee rather than building character in
>the youth they serve.
>In this sort of atmosphere, the program suffers because there is little or
>no input from the youth. There may be the illusion of youth leadership, but
>the corporate rules stifle creativity and make it unlikely the troop will do
>anything it hasn't done before.
When we started Venture Crew, the Scouts were told that it was to be a
reward for the work they did in leading the troop and teaching the younger
Scouts. One should not expect to participate in the Venture Crew program
if he was not "active" in the regular troop program. It was not to be
a high adventure post with no relation to the troop program.
Define active? In practice, we have allowed any Scout with any reasonable
attendance and participation to join in the Venture Crew activities. And
a few times, we have even bent that minimal standard -- all three times
we regretted it.
The Patrol Leaders' Council has created its own standard of what is
considered active: 67% attendance, 50% of outings, 50% of service hours.
It tinkers with the numbers from year to year, but for the last four years,
that has been the standard. [BTW, the PLC's intent for this standard was
to evaluate itself as much as to create the expectation for the Scouts --
I love watching them work!]
Again, I have not enforced this as a strict rule for advancement or
Venture Crew. But it is helpful when I counsel Scouts. Some have
sports or other competing activities that prevent them from meeting
the PLC's standard, and we recognize that. But it allows us to find
a common ground in talking about being active.
Next year, we are sending 3 crews to Florida Sea Base and a fourth crew
to Sommers Canoe Base. Beyond the monies raised and paid by the Scouts,
the Troop Committee has offered to pay the travel portion for the adults
who will be accompanying the crews. For their money, they have again
asked that the Scouts be "active." Once again, I have been able to
have the committee back off from a strict rule, so long as the Scout
is active in spirit in all portions of the program.
I have one Scout whose parent has indicated that he wants to go, but
I have not heard from him, nor has he paid any deposits. During the
past year, he has come to a couple of meetings and two campouts (of
more than a dozen). He will be with us at summer camp again, but he
tends to go off by himself rather than hang out with the other members
of the troop. A few years ago, he held a troop leadership position,
but did nothing with it. Last year, I sponsored him for the council's
high adventure training course for youth because that was the one place
that could hold him in Scouting. For his part, he was to become active
again as the Venture Crew Chief. He didn't finish the course (illness),
and we saw him once after that. No Venture Crew activities happened
last year because there was no one to take charge of planning them.
I plan to invoke the "active" rule for this Scout, not because I don't
think he should go, but because he has not considered himself a member
of the troop.
Alan R. Houser ** email@example.com
** Scoutmaster, Troop 24, Berkeley, California **
** WWW page ** http://www.emf.net/~troop24/t24.html **
Scoutmaster, Mt. Diablo Silverado Council Jamboree Troop #637
** http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/9637/ **
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City