scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: 21 or ? Scouts
Joseph Alessi (JosephAlessi@COMPUSERVE.COM
Mon Nov 22 1999 - 08:47:25 CST
David Lock wrote:
> Through a monthly section he provided to Boys Life Magazine he became
> known as Green Bar Bill and set the standard for a Green Bar Bill patrol
> (8 members) and the ideals troop size of 36 boys as several of you have
> described. He described this as the best size to remain manageable, but
> also to provide balance for competitive games and patrol competitions.
The way I remember being told the story, Baden-Powell was asked a question
about what the maximum troop size should be.
He stated that he could only give the proper attention to 16 boys at a time.
Since he assumed that the scouters asking the question were twice as good as
he, the maximum should be 32 <g>.
There has been a great deal of discussion on the list about this topic that
I've really enjoyed. As has been pointed out, we are sometimes talking
"apples and oranges".
Jambo troops are based on what is believed to be the MAXIMUM effective size
for a troop. Beyond this size, the PLC starts to become unwieldy, and the
leadership (both boy and adult) start to have a hard time keeping track of
everyone. Of course, since in a "normal" troop, the Scribe and
Quartermaster should be part of a patrol (the "leadership corps" having been
officially disbanded), the maximum recommended should be 34.
As was mentioned, the 21 youth member number came from a survey, where
scouters and professionals were asked to identify what they considered to be
successful units, and those units were examined. There are two things that
could lead to confusion in this method. First, all else being equal,
professionals would tend to look at units who actively recruit and grow as
successful units, since they are helping to meet the district's goals. They
might not know about the program being delivered, or if the troop is boy
led, or if the troop is an advancement mill, but they will recognize the
numbers (this is not meant to be a slam at the pros - after all, its the
unit commissioners who are supposed to monitor these other items).
The second issue is whether this is a cause or an effect. If a unit is
putting on a good program, it should draw new members and keep current
members interested and active. In other words, it isn't the fact that they
have 21 or more youth that makes them a good unit; they have 21 or more
youth because they are a good unit and boys like to stay around.
Vice-Chair, Program Lafayette District
ASM Troop 313, Cradle of Liberty Council
Quartermaster, Jambo 2001 Committee
Adviser to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge One
I used to be an Owl!