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Boy Scouts - Adult/Parent Involvement

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  • Boy Scouts - Adult/Parent Involvement

    What do parents do at the troop level?

    My husband & I are currently in leadership in our Cub Scout pack. We are looking forward to our son moving up to Boy Scouts. Our Cub Scout pack has been training parents for years to let the leaders do everything. We hope to join a Boy Scout troop that has appropriate involvement of parents. Please share what that would be.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Boy Scouts is completely different than Cub Scouts.

    Here is what the ideal troop would look like.

    The troops is ran though the PLC, patrol leaders council, which includes the senior patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader(s), patrol leaders,and troop guide(s). The PLC makes the plans for the troop, with the Scoutmaster provides direction and coaching. The Scoutmaster submits the plans of the PLC to the Troop Committee. This is not for approval or rejection, unless the plans violate some BSA policy or such, but to make the plans happen. The committee might suggest alternate date because of some conflict, say that the troop will need to have some sort of fund raising activity to fun the activity, ect, but their job is to make sure the PLCs plans happen.


    The troop meeting should be organized into 7 sections

    Preopening- Before the meeting starts, this can be a game or activity to keep the boy active until the meeting starts
    Opening Ceremony

    Skills Instruction- New scouts work with their troop guide on basic scouting skills. Experienced and older scouts work on more advanced skills or work with the new scouts on basic skills.

    Patrol Meetings- Review patrol assignments for upcoming activities and meetings, plan patrol activities, etc.

    Interpatrol Activity- A game played between the patrols.

    Closing- The Scoutmaster gives a Scoutmasters Minute, and the closing ceremony.

    After the Meeting- PLC meets to discuss how the meeting went, next weeks meeting, and upcoming activities.

    The senior patrol leader should be running the meeting, with support and coaching from the scoutmaster. Adults should not have any involvement in the meeting, unless asked to do so by the senior patrol leader, or patrol leader or troop guide in a patrol meeting. The Scoutmaster uses this time to do Scoutmaster Conferences and work with the Senior Patrol Leader make sure meeting runs smooth.

    As you can see for the most part the boys run the meeting, proving one of the methods of Boy Scouts, leadership development. Ideal troops are few and far between, but if you visit a troop that the meeting is entirely ran by adults, they are not giving the boys all that scouts is about and I would recommend looking elsewhere.

    Parents can still be involved. You can talk to the Committee Chair and see if you can be on the committee. You can sign up as a ScoutParent, which means that you are there to help the troop whenever you can, the troop should have a ScoutParents coordinator for this to work though.

    Other than working behind the scenes, parents should not really be that involved with the troop. This program is about letting the boys learn leadership skills and develop into young men.

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    • #3
      Thanks - You are making me look forward to Boy Scouts. We are just starting to burn out on prep and carry out a meeting that only 4 scouts may attend. I would love to assist behind the scenes.

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      • #4
        Click has hit the nail on the head. The "ideal" job to do for adults in units is to provide transportation, and sit around the ADULT campsite enjoying themselves. LITTLE TO NO CONTACT WITH YOUTH ( caps for emphasis.)

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        • #5
          I forgot this on my first post. The BSA has a supplemental training course titled "Orientation for New Boy Scout Parents", you can take a look at it here, http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/TrainingModules/OrientationforNewBoyScoutParents.aspx

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          • #6
            to be involved without being overly involved... I would suggest doing that new parent training online. I would also recommend doing the committee member training that is online. Heck, take all of them that available online - like the youth protection, swimming, boating, and weather.

            I'd also suggest picking up the merit badge book that lists all the merit badges and the requirements for them - and pick out some that you could instruct. For the ones I do with the boys I then got the actual badge books for them.

            Then when you do cross over into boy scouts you already have a good understanding of some of the rules and how things should go.

            The troop my son is in usually has brand new parents become committee members - basically you sit in on Board of Reviews (and we typically put just 1 new parent in with 2 expierenced adults) and then attends a campout or a few as need to meet the number of adults needed for the planned activities. Like we always take 1 extra than normal for a winter campout due to risks of weather and boys being boys and not dressing for the weather every minute of the day.

            Then after the 1st year of sitting on the committee as just a normal member there may be committee positions that open up based on what other parents are doing and needing a break - like outdoor cordinator, treasurer, secretary, fundraiser chair, etc...

            The best setting is to have plenty of adult support for the boys. The boys do the planning, the boys do the leading, the boys do it all... but the boys can't do any of it if there aren't enough adults to make sure their plans can be carried out. And if you have enough adult support then the adults won't get burned out... with plenty of adults you don't HAVE to go on every campout. I'm one that normally goes on a lot, but my schedule has been messed up lately and I haven't been on one since October I think and we do one every month.

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