scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: 21 Scouts??
Michael A. Poretsky (MPoretsky@AOL.COM
Thu Nov 18 1999 - 09:30:48 CST
I presented this session a couple of years back at Wood Badge. Before I did, I did some research.
The "21" number was never presented by BSA (at the time I did the research) as the optimal number of boys to have in a Unit. BSA's research showed that when a Troop had 21 boys, they had the number of boys, parents and other assistance to make the Troop effective. It means that with *at least* 21 youth in a unit you have enough boys to have active meetings even when some boys are absent; you are likely to have enough parents to drive Scouts to camping trips and to enable the Unit to have other activities.
My own experience is that a Troop of four to six patrols (of at least 6 Scouts each) has given the best program to boys. I have been part of Units as large as 110 boys (at an Army base with a SM who had a photographic memory) and as small as five Scouts. The best Units (boy-led, lots of activity, quality advancement) I have seen over the years have generally been in the 30 - 40 boy range. I have also seen small, Units which are well led and provide a great Scouting program to their boys.
I used to be a Woodpecker and a good ol' Buffalo too.