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dreid

committee member

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My son has just joined a troop in our area, I've joined as committee member. At my first mtg I asked several question and got what I thought were unsat answers. My last one was what did the troop/committee use to govern the way it operated. Needless to say the agenda went out the window and after an hour the answer was still the same.....nothing. I believe this to be the wrong answer. I've taken on the task of finding answers. DOes anybody have good example/reference. That I can use to help get use on track. Thanks

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The first thing I would do is get yourself a copy of "The Troop Committee Guidebook"this will give you the infomation you need on how a troop should operate, the second reference book you may want to get is "The Scoutmaster's Handbook", also very valuable in knowing what the program is about, these can be found at your local council service center.

 

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The Books mentioned previously are great starting points for new Scouters at the Boy Scout Level. Also, your son's Scouting Book may have the answers to your questions.

 

Our Troop Committee gives each new family a set of paperwork to review. The first page is a letter outlining the rules that will govern their son's behavioir and how the Scout leaders will determine if their son is having problems or causing problems regarding his behavior. The guides that are offered are: the Scout Oath, the twelve points of the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout Promise. Then we remind the parents that the Troop does not allow: alcohol, smoking, fowl or inappropriate language, behavior that is deemed to be antagonizing to other Scouts, and pronographic material in any form. We also suggest the parents compare their son's actions and attitudes to these guides and NOT to the other Scouts when trying to determine for themselves if their son might be at fault in a given situation.

 

We believe that this letter works to eliminate friction between parents and the Committee or individual Scout leaders and helps set all adults off in the same direction in helping the Scouts find the desired citizen and character development, as well as physical, mental and spiritual growth.

 

By the way, the other items included are the parent resource survey, a letter outlining our method of funding the Scouting experience in our troop, and a copy of a parent's permission slip used on certain campouts.

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I have a few thoughts. Our Troop operates in two ways. One, there's programming which is the Troop Leadership. Working with the boys, activity planning and all the rest. The other is the Troop Committee which is really the parent's group 'behind the scenes'. They do the fund-raising planning, approval on how money is spent and other issues but they are governed by their own set of by-laws which they strictly enforce. You may do well to suggest an idea like this so that the committee has a stronger direction and more of an identity in what it is they do for your Troop.

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Being new to the Troop, you may feel like things are quite akward in the way they are done. When a Troop Comittee has been working together for a long time they get use to each other, and to doing things a certain way. I would say to you to not try too hard to change them right away, that is not until you have been to a "Troop Committee Training". With this training you will have not only the answers you are looking for, but you will have experienced Scouters to ask specific questions about the Committee and other needs you may have. Also, remember these "Committee Members" in the troop are all volunteers just like you. Look for a patch under their position patch that says "TRAINED". This will signify that this committee member has completed training for the office they hold. It may be that no one on the committee has been trained. The key person in the committee is the Committee Chairman. This is the individual responsible for the agenda. Contact your Council Office for a list of training schedules in your area. Please don't give up. Volunteers like you are so hard to find. The Troop needs you, the boys need you and Scouting needs you. I know if you didn't care you would not be trying so hard to find the answers.

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