Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: Chartering new units vs old units
Re: Chartering new units vs old units
Thu, 3 Jun 1999 13:10:19 -0400
> From: jjp3@PO.CWRU.EDU <jjp3@PO.CWRU.EDU>
> Date: Tuesday, June 01, 1999 4:58 PM
>I am having a problem with what I assume must be National policy
>establishment of new Troops. Does it make any sense to establish a new
>Troop in an area where another Troop, located less than 2 miles away,
>struggling to barely stay in existence?
Since professionals tend not to respond to the list, for arguably good
reasons, I'll take a stab at this one. This is only my understanding,
I don't remotely speak for BSA or any of its professionals.
Part of your District Executive's (DE) job is supporting existing units,
in an effort to make sure the Scouts we have receive a quality Scouting
experience. He should be receiving help in this area from your
Another *big* part of his job is making sure Scouting is being delivered
to the greatest possible number of youth. He can fairly easily
determine the total available youth (TAY) in your community from the
schools. Then, by seeing how many youth are receiving Scouting, he
can determine what percentage of TAY are enrolled. In the case of
troops, I believe this figure averages around 20%. Of course, some
communities will be much lower and some will be much higher, but he can
pretty accurately predict what sort of density your community should be
able to support.
There are many reasons for a troop to be small or struggling. Some
troops simply prefer to remain small, some prefer to limit membership
to the Chartered Organization, some leaders can't handle a large troop,
and of course the program may need help, to name only a few. Whatever
the reason, if the existing units aren't giving your community the kind
of density it can support, the DE will be out trying to organize new
ones, because that's his job. He won't advance very far in a Scouting
career with lousy numbers in this area.
Of course, the merits of BSA's position here are debatable, but I choose
to think that their motives are fairly altruistic; they want to deliver
Scouting to the greatest possible number of youth. This is tempered by
the fact that some of their funding sources, such as United Way, want
to see that large numbers are being served with their dollars.
As others have pointed out, it's important to determine why the existing
troop is struggling. Your local Commissioners should be able to help
you with that problem more than "National".
John Conley <email@example.com>
Ganeodiyo Lodge Adviser
Finger Lakes Council (NY)
*Better to build boys than mend men*