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Troop partnering versus shopping ?

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  • #16
    >>""Individual scouts" have an absolute right to shop around and that's what BSA promotes. But the "pack" does not shop around."

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    • #17
      >>There are two troops that have extremely geared up their recruiting to the point that I swear they teach their boys a script to say. I've heard it from multiple scouts at different ocasions

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      • #18
        ScoutNut - You are correct. I'm talking about the pack, not individual scouts.

        How exactly does your Pack "support", and/or "promote", Troops OTHER than their CO's Troop? By the pack (not dens) scheduling multiple events with other troops. By accepting den chiefs from the another troop without any inquiries into whether we had any interested den chiefs. The other troop pushes den chiefs strongly as part of their recruitment plan. We've lost den chief opportunities because of that. Generally, I'll support any scout independent of the troop. It just gets frustrating when it's more about recruitment then the POR or the scout.

        Eagle92 - why? Out of loyalty to the charter org that has been providing you space, facilities and support for years. Parents and individual scouts are welcome to go anywhere. But the pack has a structural tie to the troop thru the charter agreement, thru the charter org and thru the charter org rep. The single COR is the top officer of both the pack and troop.

        If the relationship is not good, help fix it. If the troop is not good, bring it up with the COR. Promote change. Communicate.
        For your individual scout, go to the best opportunity. But the pack is married to the troop.

        Eagle92 wrote: "Why would Cub leaders promote a troop that doesn't want anything to do with them, have leaders who are condescending to them, and are not supportive of Cub Scout program, when the neighboring troop welcomes them, helps them whenever asked, and are supprotive of the cub scout program? " ... If the troop doesn't care, then take it up with the COR or charter org. If they don't care, then send your scouts to other troops. Benefit from them. But you still need to communicate with your own troop even if it's a one way communication.

        ************************************************** *******************

        dkurtenbach wrote:

        Bottom line, I think it is a lot easier, cleaner, and safer for the pack to strongly encourage Webelos Scouts and families to do their research, shop around, and cross over to troops that appeal to them

        Fine. I don't know about "strongly", but encourage fine.

        ----------------

        "I've heard lots of Scout leaders tout the "shop around" method, but have never seen it in BSA literature.

        It's essentially the Webelos requirement to have multiple troop visits interpretted as multiple troops.

        ----------------

        "I think that also has the salutary effect of requiring a troop to improve or die, rather than a poor or average troop being artificially propped up by a regular infusion of new Scouts from a partner pack"

        I have trouble with this statement.

        It's a true statement but inconsistent with other things. If anything, there's always more stability and quality issues with dens and packs then troops. But you never see multiple packs actively recruiting the same school. So elementary schools are rutinely propping up poor packs. Many kids miss the opportunity to be scouts because of a poor pack. So why don't we have multiple packs recruiting from the same school as the norm. I can imagine the conversation ... "Hey, we only get eight Tigers scouts each year. Let's start recruiting from XXXX elementary too." ... "But pack 123 recruits from that school." ... "We have a right to put fliers in that school. There's no law. They'll just need to gear up their recruitment if they want the scouts." I guarantee that people will be alientated from each other if you had multiple packs recruiting from the same school ... ESPECIALLY if you put blame that they should have geared up their recruitment better. But it's okay for multiple troops from one pack. Hmmm....

        The biggest protest I see is that troops don't do enough for recruitment and they don't have a right to a special relationship. It's the pot calling the kettle black. In the ten years I've seen recruitment, I've seen way way more invested for recruiting by troops than by packs.

        Packs ... They print fliers and have a join scouting night. That's about it for recruitment. Planning starts maybe a month in advance by printing fliers and getting them sent out. Maybe at best a 2nd flier inviting kids to the next pack meeting.

        Troops ... Most have multiple special events scheduled six months to a year in advance. They open up multiple meetings with special events for pack visitors. Most troops have special camp-outs just for Webelos and/or invite them to camp with them during a district camporee. Troops commonly jumped hoops to recruit Webelos. Only later to hear that they don't do enough for recruitment. The reality is it was more either a personality preference or a should-have-done-yet-more issue.

        But what if you did let the troop die? Often, the troop re-starts sooner then later. Does the pack now support that restarted troop or continue with a special relationships with another troop? Wouldn't you support your charter org by supporting it's troop?

        ...

        Ya know, there is no perfect troop. And I don't think parents and Webelos don't really know enough until after they've been in a troop for six months. Perhaps that's why I'm fond of the one-unit concept. Let people switch if they are not happy. Otherwise, promote a single scouting experience that does not include such large transitions as shopping for troops and crews.(This message has been edited by fred8033)

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        • #19
          Fred,

          In the situation I described, I did try to fix it. I saw one of the units dying, and as a DE you don't want dying units

          Problem was the attitude of the Scout leaders IMHO. Very negative towards the Cubs and their program. It got so bad between the two groups, that they were not on speaking terms.

          As far a CORs are concerened, sometimes they are active, but most are not in my experience.

          But in regards to the units I described above, the COR actually was active, but only on the Boy Scout side of things. The COR really didn't care about Cubs, but did want the troop to grow and expected the Webelos to automatically join them.

          Forgot to mention the COR was the former SM of the troop.

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          • #20
            >>But you never see multiple packs actively recruiting the same school.

            Comment


            • #21
              Actually, the requirement is for the Webelos den to visit one (not multiple) Boy Scout troop meeting and one Boy Scout-oriented outdoor activity (which can be with the same troop) (AoL Req. 4) and then for the Webelos Scout to visit a meeting of a Boy Scout troop he thinks he might like to join (AoL Req. 6) -- which, again, can be the same troop visited previously.

              Personally, I'd prefer a system like our suburban youth sports leagues use: The youth registers with the league, and gets to express a preference to be on the same team with a named friend, but the league assigns youth (and coaches) to teams, with limited transfer options. That results in equal-sized teams with (presumably) relatively equal chances of success. And if it doesn't work out this year, well, you may get a better team next season.

              The real problem is that we _have_ a transition out of one unit into another unit. Totally unnecessary, and executed in such a way that it practically invites Scouts and their families to drop out rather than do the work necessary to make the transition. But that is what we are stuck with for now.

              I believe in the BSA "partner" model under the same conditions that BSA propounds it: all the moving parts work perfectly and there are sufficient resources to do everything. The problem, as I noted before, is that it is far too easy for the relationship to fall apart if even one thing goes wrong. We aren't talking about a relationship between a pack and a troop, really. We're talking about multiple overlapping relationships among perhaps dozens of people who are always changing as Scouts age out and new Scouts and their parents come in. Even the strongest pack-troop relationship can fall apart if the wrong Jenga block is pulled. For the relationship to continue to work, (nearly) everyone has to be on board, most especially the Webelos Den Leader and the parents of the Webelos Scouts -- every year. If any significant percentage of the 5th grade Webelos in any year go to a different troop, you've got trouble. Not just from the breaking of the "social contract" between pack and troop, but from the new relationships being formed between pack families and the other troop. If the boys who went to the other troop have brothers in the pack, the "partner" troop can really be screwed, and they have to start looking to partner with other packs in order to sustain their membership. Chartered Organization be damned.

              But in most cases the Chartered Organization doesn't care anyway, as long as its units stay out of trouble.

              Yes, I think we would be better off if there were competition among Cub Scout packs. The biggest membership problem BSA has, in my opinion, are Cub Scouts and families who have a poor experience and drop out rather than switch.

              Dan Kurtenbach
              Fairfax, VA

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              • #22
                But you never see multiple packs actively recruiting the same school.

                Actually that IS the norm in my district. With the exception of 2 public schools way out in the county and one private school, because of the busing situation the "neighborhood school" is no more. So it is not uincommon to have 2 or 3 packs at one school. Again the exceptions being the 3 schools.

                It's been like that in my district since before I was a DE. And trust me, it a challenge to organize and do by all parties involved.

                Comment


                • #23
                  dkurtenbach wrote: "For the relationship to continue to work, (nearly) everyone has to be on board, most especially the Webelos Den Leader and the parents of the Webelos Scouts -- every year. If any significant percentage of the 5th grade Webelos in any year go to a different troop, you've got trouble. Not just from the breaking of the "social contract" between pack and troop, but from the new relationships being formed between pack families and the other troop. If the boys who went to the other troop have brothers in the pack, the "partner" troop can really be screwed, and they have to start looking to partner with other packs in order to sustain their membership. Chartered Organization be damned.

                  That's exactly what I'm seeing. And I see a push to do more with the other troop and less with ours. Now we need to invest for years to come to re-build the social contract. Luckily, our COR is willing to help and attend pack and troop committee meetings.

                  The trouble is that both troops are good. Different styles, but good. But the other troop invests significantly more in recruitment. But we have the COR and can justifiably attend the pack meetings and influence the pack calendar. But we need to do it in a nice friendly way.

                  It's just frustrating. We're all volunteers. We all work very hard. But hard feelings are being developed between groups. I must admit that even though I like everyone involved, I get frustrated with the individuals because of the situation.(This message has been edited by fred8033)

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                  • #24
                    Eagle92 wrote: "With the exception of 2 public schools way out in the county and one private school, because of the busing situation the "neighborhood school" is no more. So it is not uincommon to have 2 or 3 packs at one school."

                    For our whole council, it's almost exactly the opposite. I'd bet there is less then five or ten elementary schools that have multiple packs and our council has 550+ packs. That's got to be an interesting challenge.

                    How do you choose which pack to join? I'd bet a good number of packs fold as one or the other packs gets favored. Only to be recreated later as the other pack grows too big.

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                    • #25
                      >>How do you choose which pack to join? I'd bet a good number of packs fold as one or the other packs gets favored. Only to be recreated later as the other pack grows too big.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        [fred8033 wrote:]
                        "That's exactly what I'm seeing. And I see a push to do more with the other troop and less with ours. Now we need to invest for years to come to re-build the social contract. Luckily, our COR is willing to help and attend pack and troop committee meetings.

                        "The trouble is that both troops are good. Different styles, but good. But the other troop invests significantly more in recruitment. But we have the COR and can justifiably attend the pack meetings and influence the pack calendar. But we need to do it in a nice friendly way.

                        "It's just frustrating. We're all volunteers. We all work very hard. But hard feelings are being developed between groups. I must admit that even though I like everyone involved, I get frustrated with the individuals because of the situation."
                        ----------------------

                        Believe me, I know exactly how you are feeling. I fear that, even if you are successful in re-building the social contract, it will still be as fragile as ever, even after years of investment. But good luck.

                        Dan Kurtenbach
                        Fairfax, VA

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Fred,

                          That's part of the challenge. Usually the unit that gives the best presentation get the bulk of the scouts.

                          One good thing though, if folks are having problems with a unit, they know other units exist and have contact info. We've had scouts leave my pack for another, and vice versa.

                          But as you mentioned, the standard, in fact the way it's taught at PDL-1 if memory serves is 1 pack to one school.

                          But again our school territories are really a mess and you have businf all over the place. At least it isn't Wake County, NC where redistricting occurs almost every year. I've heard stories of kids being in 2 or 3 schools in a 4 year period with a 2+ hour round trip everyday.

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                          • #28
                            So fred who is pushing to do stuff with other troops?????


                            You could just tell the Pack your worried about to take a flying leap????

                            I recruited from an intermediate school on Monday night.....got 6 boys. the following night at a middle school got 4 more...I have one more open house tomorrow night....Hope to get 5....that will nearly double the size of the troop.


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                            • #29
                              Hello Basement,


                              Wow, those are exceptional results in my experience. (That means you do a lot better than I do!)


                              So what are your methods?

                              As a Unit Commissioner I'm working with the Troop to aid them in a fall recruiting campaign, something they haven't done in years.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I was alone.

                                Put up a tent beside my table, had my backpack, Two boards with 8x10's of my boys in action. on the table had my backpack stove with a pot on it and a little dry ice in it...

                                I smiled a lot...asked boys looking at the pictures if they like to shoot rifles or rappel....


                                I had a single page hand out with a summary of our activity plans with a month on them, place, time for meeting...Rough cost and how were gonna have the scout pay for it.


                                My CC and current SM both told me it was a waste of time and they wouldn't participate. handed him the applications and fees from the first two nights last night.....Not a word. Now hopefully the boys will actually show up to the meeting.....

                                I have all their numbers and was considering calling them to remind them of the meeting.....

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