We created the parents guide because we got so many calls about troop meeting times, campouts, annual dues, summer camps and other common questions. But maybe Web Sites are the go-to guides for that information now.
A word of warning from our experience with troop strong "chairs" in a boy run troop. Their natural adult efficiency will tend to push more bureaucracy into the program than a boy run program requires, which tends to take away the scouts practice of initiating the actions and contacts for their needs in the patrol method program. We countered the problem by recruiting a scout to assist each position. Except for the treasure, the older scouts enjoyed the roles as well as the adults enjoying assisting the scouts. Watch out for the advancement chair in the Spring, they have some pretty cleaver ideas toward streamlining the Summer Camp MB signup process.
We have a new parents guide - but to be honest, it's not terribly useful. Many parents, and most leaders, simply don't bother to read it.
Two things we've done that seem to help:
1) We've worked to create strong "chairs" for the different areas of troop life. i.e.: advancement chair, activities chair, treasurer, fundraising chair, membership chair, etc. These are the people we turn to for interpretation of the BSA rules. For example, it gives the advancement chair a reason to become an "expert" on the guide to advancement.
2) we hold a new parents meeting each spring. At that meeting, the chair for that area walks through the basic procedures we follow in the troop. It's more of a discussion on "here's what we do". It helps to create continuity in the program to have to explain what we do to a new group of parents each year. It also helps that these folks have to field questions each year from new parents.
I can understand the frustration some folks are having, depending on how their District or Council has approached the whole YPT thing.
I know that we started discussing this is our monthly Commissioner meetings back in February, when the new YPT was first available. I took it right away, and while there were network issues, I was able to complete it within a few days.
I have been reminding leaders in my units for the past 8 months that Sunday's deadline was coming. I have spoken to people face to face, sent e-mails, texts, we have made numerous announcements at every Roundtable starting in February. We have offered live classes and I offered a couple of units the opportunity to use our school computer lab for better internet access.
At this late date, it is up to those who have yet to complete YPT to do so in the next 5 days. Our District shows 232 set to expire on 9/30. I know that a large number of those are people whose sons moved from a pack to a troop this year, and are no longer active leaders. A good number of them are merit badge counselors who are also no longer active. I am realistic enough, however, to realize that we will have a lot of current leaders who will lapse, simply due to procrastination. I cannot feel sorry for them, they have had every opportunity to get it done.