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National / council push for new troops

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For the last 12 years We have been suppling our small counity with a active Boy Scout program. Last year the cub master and his son crossed over. The son did not like our troop or any of the neighboring troops. I beleive the boy had no intrest in scouting. But the parents did. I tried to get input from the parents on what we could change to keep him in. The reply that I received from the parents was he won't say anything besides he doesn't like it. So in responce they deceided to start their own troop in our town. This was the only their son would stay in. Our troop was up to 18 boys at best. (The school has only 900 students K-12) Council did nothing to stop or consider the impact on our troop. Their goal was to add a troop number. No one from distric or council contacted our troop untill I heard from the grapevine and then they said nothing could be done to stop them. Now our troop is in danger of folding in three to four years. Due to the drop in leadership down the road. It was hard enough to get 6 adults involved with 18 boys. Now that we will be splitting the webelows or one troop will get the webelow den and other troop will get none. the adults will follow. At present time our troop has 4 trained leaders in basic leader trainning and one Wood Badge trained soutmaster.

My questions are,

1 Is it more important to national to see new troop numbers at the cost of losing troops down the road? (our area has lost 3 troops under the lets start a new troop banner)


2 Is the scouting movement lowering its standards? This new troop leader ignored 5 points of the scout law and council was aware of it.


3 Where is scouting going to be for our community when his son deceides he had enough and his parents quit with him? Our troop may or may not make it.

Thanks for your responces.

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We are getting the same thing here. I contacted council because I am a Sea Scouting advisor in a neighboring council. The two councils are quite near one another, and do many joint fund-raising programs, etc. We intended to offer this specialized program to all the older scouts in the area. Instead of simply taking the information of when we meet, etc. the council New Troop staffer immediately tried to recruit me to start a parallel program for them, simply because I was trained. I pointed out that Sea Scouting generally required some equipment, somewhat special equipment,like a Body of Water, Boats, and a Charter Organization, all of which we already had in place,and none of which he could supply (particularly the body of water, that's a tough one). He was extremely indignant when I told him that I couldn't handle running/advising a second unit, especially one without any of the above, water, boats, organization or members. Initially he told me that they would put something in the monthly newletter regarding our Ship. But he later called me back, told me he'd talked to his boss and that they felt scouts wouldn't be interested in going to another council's program, so forget the newsletter article. He further informed me that his role was to establish new units so he would try to see if he could find a group interested in starting a ship for their council. Period, end of story. It was definitely numbers, not servicing needs of youth that was the primary consideration.


We've also had a new troop established because one dad wanted to be Scoutmaster but wasn't selected so went out and formed his own troop, to the general detriment of the existing troops. And council recently approved a new Venturing unit being started by a mom who told me she wants to have this unit so "selfishly, I want my daughter to go camping with the rest of the family" and so her 19 yr old son can go back to Philmont one more time as a youth. They have no intention of working on advancements or venturing awards. But the council has another new unit.



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We too had our troop split by someone who wanted to be Scout Master. (our k-12 enrollment is about 800) It has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Our district exec at that time also did nothing to stop the slpit and actually suggested that the split occur. it was like a divorce. Our troop was set back terribly, as most of the kids of the new Scout Master's son's age also left for the new troop. The boys that stayed were literally harassed at school and out in public. There was little we could do. BUT our Scout master did model scout behavior. When rumers flew about what happened...he simply said it was beacuse of differences in programming ideas. When boys would talk about being treated badly...he spoke about how you can't control other people, you can only control how you react to them. to make a long story short...Four years later we have three woodbadge trained leaders and two SMF trained leaders. Our numbers are back up to where they were four years ago. We don't have to talk about how good our program has become...the boys talk about how much fun they're having and how they are progressing. The other troop still attracks boys, but they are the boys who don't want to work very hard. Bottom line...competition is good, live your life and run your troop with integrity...the rest will work itself out. Chris

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