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What is the best time of the year to start a Boy Scout troop?

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  • #16
    Thank you for all of the great ideas. This has been extremlly helpful. Here is a summary of what I have planned.

    1) Talk to the DE
    2) With the assistance of the DE find a chartered organization. I have six in mind. I have no doubt that three would say yes.
    3) Talk to the chartered organization and get them on board.
    4) Communicate to the local packs about their cub scout crossing over can stay in town.
    5) Talk to closest troops to my town just in case they may have some scouts or adults that would prefer to be in their own town. And to let them know I will not be recruiting from their troops.
    6) Offer a cub scout weekend and do the Outdoorsman for Webelos II from both packs.
    7) Attempt to get current troop to allow this new troop to be a patrol in their troop until the first of the year. If we can get some scouts now they could advance prior to the begining of the year.
    8) Prior to the first of the year work with potential adults and scouts to set direction for the troop.
    9) Gather equipment that troop can use for one patrol.
    10) Run fundraising in local town for Christmas tree recyling to get funds. Include some recruitment in flyers.
    11) Work with the city to get word out about troop and fundraising.
    12) Rent booth at local celebration in August and team up with both packs for recruiting cub scouts and boy scouts.

    I have communicated to today's Webelos II scouts. All have chosen troops. I have asked that they keep out town in mind if their troop is not what they want it to be.

    I am sure that I have additional steps that I will be taking to move forward.

    Thanks again for all of the great suggestions.

    Dennis

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    • #17
      Hi,
      Sounds like you are a man with a plan.
      Do take care not to allow the District to push you into anything that your not ready for.
      The DE and maybe even the other members of the Key 3 might have a different agenda than you have.
      Were I in your position, I think that I'd be looking to putting together an adult leadership team that works.
      A team that is able to get along well and share a common goal.
      While it seems like a no brainer!! It's worth remembering that the Lads you get to start are young and very new.
      With this in mind there is a good chance that some of the stuff that's written in the good books might not work from the get go and might need to be something that's seen as a goal.
      It might be a good idea to gather the adults together and sit and talk about goals.
      Long term goals and short term goals.
      This isn't something that is easy.
      Bear in mind that you are only going to recruit half the number of Scouts that you think you will and that half of them will quit within 18 months.

      It's a good idea from the get go to set high standards.
      Parents will pay for what they see as being a quality program.
      Buy the best quality equipment you can from the start.
      If possible borrow stuff from other Troops or ask the Council to allow you to use the stuff they have packed away.

      As for the best time?
      Look at it from the Lads point of view.
      My first camp (A very long time ago!!) Was Easter Camp back in the UK.
      I remember being very cold at night and thinking that this wasn't very much fun.
      The truth is that I didn't have the right equipment.

      I think that I'd start sending out feelers now and try and get an feel for how much real interest there was.
      Try and grab a friendly Webelos Den Leader who would be willing to come on board.
      Start small with day hikes and doing activities on Saturday afternoons. - Things like lighting fires and cooking hot dogs, putting up tents. How to pack for a weekend camp or hike.
      Sell Summer camp.
      When the weather warms up a bit start with weekend camps and trips.
      When it comes to numbers? Don't get disheartened!
      If you only have six Scouts and three show up. You still have a fifty percent turnout!

      Take the time to visit the Scout parents at their home, get to know them and allow them to get to know you. -Take my word for it, this pays off big time down the road.
      If a Lad misses a meeting, don't let it go. Call him the next day and check that everything is good.

      Done right these new Lads have seven years to do everything that is on offer.
      Don't try and do it all in the first year.
      Take your time. Build each activity on the last one.
      These little fellows will grow, they will be looking for new challenges and new adventures. The skills that they master now will ensure that they are ready and able for these.

      Making sure that the adult leadership team are all on the same page and are people who like to have fun and can laugh at themselves while supporting each other is vital.
      Kids join Scouts to have fun, when what's on offer isn't fun, they quit.
      I wish you the very best of luck.
      Maybe if I was twenty years younger? I might be willing to take on the great challenge that your about to.
      Eamonn.

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