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Seeding a new troop?

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  • Seeding a new troop?

    Has anyone had a successful and amicable seeding of a new troop from a larger troop? Or maybe not so amicable? What would you do differently and why?

    Backstory - large troop, getting larger. Exploring options. One option is to seed another troop. Need to determine if it can be done amicably.

  • #2
    My Unit split into two units a few years before I joined in 2005. Probably split in like 1999 or so. Split was amicable. How large is the unit you are considering splitting?

    Comment


    • #3
      Sentinel - almost 90 Scouts currently. Project cross overs of 20-40.

      Comment


      • Sentinel947
        Sentinel947 commented
        Editing a comment
        I would assume this is something the committee needs to sit down and discuss. The PLC should also discuss this. As far as whom should go where, I'd say that's up to individual members, but it'd be important t make sure there are committed adult volunteers with each unit.

    • #4
      While not 100% amicable, some leaders were ticked off by it occurring, but one of our DLs took approx. 1/2 of the CS pack with him when he restarted his church's pack and troop. Long story short, his pastor wanted to restart the units after a 3-5 year hiatus, and how can you tell your pastor "No." Anyway, he left quietly, only telling a few people what was going on. But when word got around, and my pack started having some issues, about 1/2 left.

      Ironic thing is this. One of the leaders who was ticked off with the split, is now upset with the troop's SM, who was the CM causing issues, at our CO, and has asked the leader she was TO'd at about the troop he helped restart.

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      • #5
        In the 1970's and 1980's we had a very large troop in a growing suburb. It split three times, twice amicably and once not amicably. In the amicable cases, the men had already formed a basis for leadership in the new troop, gotten a sponsor and came to the Scoutmaster with their plan. It was strictly up to the boys and parents as to which unit they chose. In the third case, two leaders left the troop, found a sponsor and meeting place and started recruiting. No boys from the old troop were allowed to join for two months, then it was up to them and the parents. Some boys chose the new troop while others remained where they were. It was done in an adult way with no open hostility and strictly for reasons that had to do with program, not personalities. In that case, one of the leaders who started the new troop was a former professional and knew the ropes for a start-up. Not everyone could easily do it without the help of their DE.

        Comment


        • #6
          While I know you can have more than one type of unit with one sponsor, would they allow more than one specific type of unit, such as a pack or troop, with the same sponsor, but different numbers and leadership? Just wonder, as I have never actually seen it. Our troop was a break out from another in 1921; and researching the history, they apparently met for over 6 months as a separate group, but without an actual sponsor. Caused a bit of confusion in regard to the council history, as the council chartered while the break off was sort of in limbo, and our unit was listed as a charter unit initially, until the original charter application was found that showed otherwise. Good luck with the efforts here.

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          • #7
            So how is that gonna work??

            Who gets the gear or where does the other unit get gear from?

            How about the Charter org. Who are they gonna sponsor???

            How about Friends of the troop?? Who gets to work the local fundraising oppurtunities?


            I get smaller troops, it sounds like you need to spin 2 troops.

            Comment


            • KenDavis500
              KenDavis500 commented
              Editing a comment
              So how is that gonna work??
              - that's what we're exploring now

              Who gets the gear or where does the other unit get gear from?
              -undetermined at this point. But probably the new troop gets the older, unused gear.

              How about the Charter org. Who are they gonna sponsor???
              -a new Chart Org. would be found for the new troop.

              How about Friends of the troop?? Who gets to work the local fundraising opportunities?
              -in this area, there are ample local fund raising opportunities.

          • #8
            My troop spawned off an offshoot troop when I was in high school. We were pushing about 140-150 kids in a meeting space that could barely contain 125, and spun off a troop of about 50 or 60 with a different CO. There was another troop in town, too, a smaller group (~15-20 at most) who always kept to themselves, and they were pretty much uninterested in being a part of it. So we had to form a new troop. We gave them a bunch of scouts, some leaders (including our former longtime scoutmaster to get them started), a pile of equipment, the whole nine yards, and they supplemented from there. We then capped our membership and encouraged new boys to join the other troop. The problem was there wasn't a cohesive group of people who clearly wanted to go, so it was basically a group of forced refugees and just a handful of families that were open to doing it and passionate about the whole idea. There were problems with families whose sons were sent to the other troop whose younger sons wanted to join ours, there was all sorts of drama when we tried to come up with some metric to decide who would end up where (always a great idea to turn people into math equations)... It ended up being a pretty big headache.

            In the end, the troops have always gotten along, but the cooperation and camaraderie between the two groups never really got to what we thought it would be. The hope was we could have two troops of about the same size, but what ended up happening is they ended up ballooning at first, then dwindling down to about 30 or 40. And then we were right back to the same huge number within a few years (though with a new, much larger meeting space, as our CO expanded their building). Last I heard, there's pretty much no interest in doing it again, both because there isn't another church or organization willing to be a CO, and no one really wants to go through all of it again, even fifteen years after the first try. Luckily both troops have great leadership and energy, good COs, support from the District, etc., so it didn't end up impacting the program at all in the long run.

            I would suggest only doing it if you have people who are willing to take a chance, a CO that is flexible or a new CO willing to come on board, a group of adults and youth leadership who can work well together, and if the old troop is willing to do a lot of legwork to make sure the new unit gets off the ground. Work hard on Cub crossovers and give the new troop a bit more whizz-bang promotion than the older unit to build up numbers. Use your Unit Commissioner and DE to help you through the process. Be prepared for friction and drama, too.

            Comment


            • chrisking0997
              chrisking0997 commented
              Editing a comment
              our troop surged to almost 50 2 years ago. I cant even fathom a 150 boy troop

            • Eagledad
              Eagledad commented
              Editing a comment
              Troop size is usually a result of the Scoutmaster's agenda and managing skills. We had a troop of 200 scouts a few years ago with a SM who was a retired Navy sea captain. He was one of those strong Type A people that knew how to work with large numbers. If a Troop has a large membership surge and the SM can't handle the numbers, it will fall back to managable numbers in less than three years. I think somewhere 25 is the average troop size nationally. That is more a refection on the SMs' skills than their desires. Not that many adults can manage large groups. Barry

            • Bando
              Bando commented
              Editing a comment
              Well, there were a variety of reasons for that happening. Our town had about five or six troops through the fifties, but was down to three through the mid-80s. Mine was the oldest and biggest of the three, but the second largest folded and we ended up with the bulk of it. And then suburbanization happened and our town population exploded, so we had one small troop who never wanted to be anything bigger than a couple patrols, and us. And we had a lot of really energized volunteers, great kids, and a really strong tradition to build off of. There were never any other COs willing to step up to the plate, and we were always able to accommodate the lot. Ergo, huge troop.

              It's hard to run a boy-led program out of that, and for a long time we simply didn't try too hard and just went with what worked (basically an adult/youth hybrid, but with the adults almost always deferring to the kids), but now I understand they're trying a lot harder to make it boy-led. And it's working.

              As long as the unit functions, and ours always did, troop size is what it is. Was our troop too big? Maybe it was. But thankfully it was never a real detriment to the program, other than the fact that it sometimes hamstrung where we could go camping. After a while, when you have a system that works, with numbers like that, I found it just kind of ran itself.

          • #9
            We seeded reasonably amicably. The Catholic troop does not allow non-Catholics to join, so when they learned that some of their members weren't Catholic we were shown the door. Some of the Catholic families left too. Of the 5 families that left, three of us joined a Methodist troop that was down to two boys (there was a mass exodus when they hired a woman pastor.) When the catholic troop realized that they just lost all of their active members, they approached us about being a "sister troop" and we do fundraisers, etc. jointly and split the profits.

            Comment


            • Sentinel947
              Sentinel947 commented
              Editing a comment
              As a Catholic, it always drives me nuts to see Catholic only units. One benefit to the Church in sponsoring Scouting is that it helps our Church build positive relationships with the people who join the unit, that's valuable regardless of whether they are Catholic or not.

            • perdidochas
              perdidochas commented
              Editing a comment
              Sentinel, I agree totally, as a Catholic. That, and if our Catholic church sponsored troop just had Catholic boys, we'd only have 4 or 5 out of 30.
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