scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Ghost Units/Scouts
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG
Mon May 22 2000 - 09:10:33 CDT
A variant on the theme of keeping poorly run units on life support
infinitely just to pump up numbers is thinking that you have to start more
units because of some arbitrary determination that based on demographics,
there aren't as many units as there should be in a given city/region. I
went through this exercise several years ago when our district wanted to
increase the number of cub units in one of the cities in the district
because there weren't enough of them, according to stats (presumably
obtained from national) indicating that for every "X" number of residents
in a given region, you should be able to support "Y" number of cub packs.
This resulted in several new units being created, none of which lasted more
than a year or so.
The effort was well-meaning and intended to try to increase cub scouting
among minority populations in the city. Nevertheless, there has to be some
desire for a chartering organization and the parents to take ownership of a
scout unit for it to succeed; you can't just have it run by the unit
commissioner! A new unit has to be created by organic demand, not because
someone from district says, "we need a new unit, and you parents are going
to start one!" It is a small percentage of parents who are willing to take
the time and trouble necessary to get a new unit off the ground,
particularly if they've never had any experience with scouting before.
Sadder but wiser...