scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: How to "Shape Up Troop"?
Murphy Peter (MurphyP@TCE.COM
Wed Apr 05 2000 - 10:06:46 CDT
It took several years to turn around my troop and I'm not done yet :-)
I found it impossible to turn around a troop into a boy-led program
when I was a member of the committee. I could not make any progress
until I was given the role of Scoutmaster.
My troop was not as resistant as you describe but my first SPL later
confided that he was elected by the rest of the troop with the sole
mission of overthrowing me and my new ways. It only took a year before
the boys themselves would not want to turn back to the old ways but
it was two or three years before I'd really start calling the troop
boy-led. Now, after more than 4 years, we are just about there.
The biggest obstacle was that the older boys who should have been the
junior leaders had no history or experience of growing up in a program
seeing how things should be. It takes a few years of having the boys
run the PLC meetings and annual planning conference before they accept
it as the way things should be. And then it gets easier for the junior
leaders when they have a few years of watching older junior leaders
before its their turn.
My advice is to hold an planning conference with the PLC and layout
a year long schedule of things the boys want to do. Their imaginations
may be stunted do to the type of program they have had until now. So
the first couple of years it's O.K. for the Scoutmaster to insert a few
nifty ideas of his own. Also start planning some high-adventure trips.
It may take a year or two before your first one happens, but once it does
it really helps the excitement and recruiting. Don't just do camping
each month. Do other stuff even if it doesn't include overnight. Try
backpacking, canoeing, orienteering, visits to museums, caves, etc.
Peter Murphy, Scoutmaster, Troop 125