scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Troop rating checklist
Jonathan Dixon (dixonj@COLORADO.EDU
Mon Nov 15 1999 - 12:21:19 CST
On Fri, 12 Nov 1999, Marcia Trudeau wrote:
> 9. Troop adds at least ten Scouts each year.
Actually, this is more than I would want to take in, as with a good
program you wind up with too many boys in the troop. For example, my
troop's meeting place would start having problems if the troop was much
larger than about 25 boys actively attending. Even if I just keep the
boys until they can become Venturers (about 3 years), I would need a 20%
attrition rate to be able to afford to add 10 scouts a year. If boys were
staying around 4 years, the needed attrition rate would be about 40%.
So in my situation, it makes more sense to aim at 6-7 a year, give them a
program that keeps the boys around, and stay within troop resources.
> 11. Troop attends a council long-term camp.
There are some troops which run their own, excellent long-term summer
experiences. The big concern would be not having any long-term camping
> 12. Leaders are proficient in outdoor skills.
Actually there are a lot of different proficiencies needed. Really what
should be important is how proficient the boys become in outdoor skills,
since they should be passing along that proficiency to the new boys.
> 13. Troop has at least twenty-one Scouts.
Yes, as a SM for a small troop I will admit that there are some economies
of scale that do help somewhat larger troops, especially with providing
2-deep leadership for events.
However, this number isn't the panacea that the "Delivering the Promise"
literature would suggest -- it will depend much more on local variables,
especially the available meeting room size. As I said above, my own
meeting facilities would make it difficult for me to comfortably have more
than about 25 in my troop (and I'm not even sure about that number).
Realistically, there aren't that many other places in town which would
>From my experience, a troop that is at or over capacity on their
facilities is much less likely to be able to give a good scouting program
to all the boys (and remember that capacity is not just how many chairs
can be set up, but giving the scouts room to "be boys").
> 14. Troop has a program for older Scouts.
Or has a good tie with a local Venture Crew.
Something that I feel is important to look at is how well the troop
retains the boys it has gotten in the past. Look at how many crossovers
they have gotten each of the last 2 years compared with how many of those
boys are still around. If the boys are having a good time, and getting
what they want/need out of the troop, then the number should be quite
high. If the number is 50% or below, then it is probably worth taking a
hard look at whether the troop will really meet the needs of your own