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result1

Troop meetings

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I just have a few questions.

What would someone expect at the weekly troop meeting.

What do they do at the meeting what do they ware? Troop Shirt?

Who runs the weekly troop meeting?

I understand that the boy scouts is for the boys and run by the boys. But what and how is the guidance projected into the meeting?

 

Does the scoutmaster have time to work with the boys or is his time limited to 3 to 5 min at the end of the meeting.

 

Any info you can provide will be helpful,

 

 

 

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This is a pretty open-ended set of questions, but I'll try to give you a by-the-book answer. Much of this is covered in Boy Scout Fast Start training, which is offered now online.

 

The troop meeting is broken into seven sections:

- Pre-opening activity (gathering game)

- Opening (Flag ceremony, scout oath/law, announcements, etc.)

- Instruction/Learning

- Patrol Time

- Inter-patrol competition / activity

- Closing

- Wrap-up

 

 

We wear the regular Boy Scout uniform to all troop meetings. Occasionally, due to the theme or activity, activity uniforms may be worn. We usually wear activity uniforms in July and August as well.

 

The troop meeting is run by the Senior Patrol Leader. In his absence, the Assistant SPL would run the meeting. Parts of the meeting may be run by other scouts or even assisted by leaders, depending upon the subject and the topic being discussed.

 

As the SM, I try to roam around and keep a pulse on what is going. I usually spend some time talking with parents. Especially those that feel the need to discuss every detail with me. No matter how much I try, some will still bring things to me that their boys should be bringing into other scouts.

 

But I digress. I'll talk some with the SPL, and he has what he needs to do his job. Currently, coaching/mentoring the SPL is a full-time job for me. If scouts need it, I'll conduct Scoutmaster's Conferences with them. Usually the scouts are broken out into manageable size groups (by patrol, by rank, etc.). I'll linger around and see if the leader needs any help. If so I'll chime in. The ASMs do the same.

 

When we close, I usually make a few announcements. I'll clarify what the SPL says if it is needed. And, I'll try to do a Scoutmaster's minute. I sometimes don't do it if I've already been talking to much.

 

An ideal troop meeting is where I've spent lots of times talking to boys one-on-one, a moderate amount of time talking to adults, and the only talking I'm doing to the whole group is in the opening and the Scoutmaster's minute.

 

So, result1, what is your interest/role in scouting?

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The best advice I can give you is to read the offical Scoutmaster's Handbook, specifically the chapters pertainig to boy-led meetings and meeting planning.

 

And, a good source of unoffical information is The Scoutmaster's Other Handbook by Mark Rey. It has similar chapters concerning troop meetings and youth leadership.

 

Working with your youth leadership to plan out, prepare for and run weekly troop meetings can be the most challenging and yet rewarding experience for an adult leader. Boys might expect to have some active hands-on fun, meet as a patrol, plan for a future activity, learn something new, meet and talk to a visiting adult (or youth), get the latest information as to what is going on with the Troop and hear some words of wisdom from their Scoutmaster.

 

Don't expect things to always run like clockwork and always keep a positive attitude.

 

 

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Sorry for the open-ended set of questions, and want to thank EagleInKY & AvidSM for the Quick reply.

(by-the-book answer) What is written and what is practiced in most cases is two different things.

The - Instruction/Learning is what I been looking at. I do not see much of that. Other then working on going to camp and working on Skits Yells etc.

They mostly wear the troop T-shirt

Im told Occasionally They will wear the regular Boy Scout uniform. Last Sat BBQ and the Cross over event many of them had the Boy Scout shirt, but not the pants.

My son is a new scout and will not be going to camp as he is in school this year. He has been having fun working on Skits Yells etc and now that they have new boys (Cross Over) they may make more time for the scout handbook. I have been working with my son like the sq knot the badge act. But no one at the troop has asked him about it or anything else.

 

Maybe Im looking to deep into what is going on, this is the first Troop we (My son and I) seen I have not checked out other troops in the area. More years then I care to count since I was in the scouts.

Guess, my biggest question I had came from Monday Night meeting; The Scoutmaster was out of town and did not make it back in time for the meeting. I was handed a copy of the Committee meeting min. And one of the things on there was the scoutmaster has 3 to 5 mins to talk to the troop at the END of their meeting.

Maybe its the way it was typed out, made me to think there is some trouble (Problems) in the troop.

Granted the boy scouts is for boys and run by the boys, I was just wondering when and where they get the guidance and instruction.

I dont expect things to always run like clockwork, nothing in life runs like clockwork

Thank you for the quick reply

 

My interest in scouting, is my son

My role in scouting is anything I can do help. They have no web site - I made an unofficial site

So the Photos I take can be shared with everyone www.troop50.result1.net

(This message has been edited by result1)

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What is written and what is practiced in most cases is two different things.

 

Not necessarily. Our troop meetings closely model what I described. Our "instruction" period varies. But for new scouts, it's almost always focused around basic scouting skills (i.e. early rank requirements).

 

Im told Occasionally They will wear the regular Boy Scout uniform.

 

This is certainly a sign of a poorly uniformed troop. We wear uniforms to every meeting unless there's a good reason.

 

Maybe Im looking to deep into what is going on, this is the first Troop we (My son and I) seen

 

Perhaps. Don't judge a troop one the basis of one meeting. We all have some "dogs" every now and then. You said the SM was out of town. I know I always worry when I can't be there. I usually miss 2 or 3 troop meetings a year. They sometimes have issues when I'm not there, but it's getting better. Still, the comment about uniforming makes me thing this is a pretty unorganized troop.

 

I have not checked out other troops in the area.

 

It's always a good idea to compare. I'd suggest visiting some other troops just to provide a measure. But as I suggested, don't judge on one meeting or event.

 

But no one at the troop has asked him about it or anything else.

 

In Boy Scouts, responsibility for advancement lies in the lap of the boy. It's not the parent's responsibility. Some troops force this issue too soon. We try to ramp them into this mindset over the course of the first year.

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(Dont judge on one meeting or event) Im looking back on the past Month and a half.

 

Question a new boy joins your troop, how long does it take to finish the basic Joining requirements.

 

(DONE) Meet Age Requirements. Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or the Arrow of light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old

 

(DONE) Complete a Boy Scout application and health history signed by your parents or guardian

 

(DONE) Find a Scout Troop near your home

 

(He knows this Troop Never asked)

Repeat the pledge of allegiance

 

(He knows this Troop Never asked)

Demonstrate the Scout Sign, Salute, and Handshake

 

(He knows this Troop Never asked)

He can do this blind folded. Demonstrate the tying the square knot

 

(He knows this Troop Never asked)

Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath or promise, Law, Motto, and Slogan, and the outdoor code

 

(He knows most of this Troop Never asked)

Describe the Scout Badge

 

(Done) - Complete the pamphlet exercises

 

(Dont have a clue when) Participate in a Scoutmaster Conference

 

I dont expect it to be like a military unit did expect it to be a bit more organized

 

As far as the Scoutmaster missing the meeting and being out of town.

That was nothing no real concern to me. Things come up and things happen. Most everyone knows he was going out of town on Sunday.

 

From some of the talk and what came out of the committee min. It sounded like that 3 ~5 min at the END of the meeting is the only time the Scoutmaster can address the boys.

 

You said - In Boy Scouts, responsibility for advancement lies in the lap of the boy. It's not the parent's responsibility. Some troops force this issue too soon. We try to ramp them into this mindset over the course of the first year.

 

I understand that and Im as a parent is not forcing anything on him he comes to me and shows me he can tie a knot and the scout oath etc. Guess he wants a feeling of belonging to the group.

 

He likes the boys that he meet at this troop

 

I will look at and visit some of the other troops in the area.

Thank you all for your help

 

I also completed the Online Quick Start very interesting information. And like you described it.

 

 

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I concur with EagleInKY, it's a good idea to visit more than one Troop. Go with the one that your son feels most comfortable with, but try to steer him in the right direction.

 

I guess the thing to really watch out for is extreamism. Avoid troops that do nothing but advancmenet, are very strict with their uniforming or that have the boys doing drilling exercises. The youth leaders should be running the meeting, not the Scoutmaster or any other adult. The fact that the Scoutmaster had only 3-4 minutes at the end of the meeting for his scoutmaster's minute is a good thing.

 

As for your son's advancment, the goal should be to reach first class in one year. The troop's program should be supporting that goal. But advancement is only one of the seven methods of scouting, so a troop that is focused on only advancement does it at the cost of some of the other methods.

 

As for your involvement in scouting, I would suggest you join the troop committee and start to volunteer yourself. That's how I got started!

 

 

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It sounds like you are doing the right things. Sorry, I misunderstood you to say you had only visited one meeting. My mistake.

 

I try to stay pretty buttoned up with the new guys, but depending upon how chaotic it is, sometimes these things slip through. For example, we typically have most of our guys cross over at the same time from the same pack. This year was quite different. Six boys from four different sources crossed over during a period of 2 1/2 months. So, every couple of weeks it was a new meeting for these scouts. I was caught spending a lot of time with these new parents explaining scouts to them. The Troop Guide - who is my most mature and dependable scout - was doing his best to keep things moving. But, as it turned out, we realized a couple of weeks ago that we had never signed off on these simple requirements. (One reason was the new boys didn't have handbooks at first). Once we realized it, we addressed the situation pretty quickly. If a parent had of mentioned it, I would have responded the same way. So, the moral of that story is, maybe it's an honest mistake. It does happen with us.

 

Since your son seems to be outgoing about showing he can do the work, have him do that with the troop leaders. Is there a Troop Guide assigned to his group? If not, is there an ASM assigned to new scouts? The SPL??? Have him say, "hey, I've done all these things, what do I need to do to get my scout badge?". Those would be beautiful words to my ears coming from a new scout to a Scoutmaster.

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AvidSM

 

Your right I guess the thing to really watch out for is extremism. Avoid troops that do nothing but advancement, are very strict with their uniforming or that have the boys doing drilling exercises.

 

I guess thats part of the problem I dont know or seen the troops programs

 

Your Right As for your involvement in scouting, I would suggest you join the troop committee and start to volunteer yourself.

 

Learn and understand a lot more that way then sitting back and watching. I will check into that.

 

EagleInKY

 

I sorry it wasnt the first meeting it was the only troop.

Im sure there are more in my area

 

I understand what your saying, My boy joined, a month and a half ago Last Sat. they had some boys cross over maybe will work on things together.

 

Is there a Troop Guide assigned to his group Dont know

ASM assigned to new scouts? No

The SPL??? Now that may work one lives next door

 

I will tell my son you have shown me now go and show your Scoutmaster

 

Thank you all

 

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Result, I like your attitude. You are asking fair questions and wanting complete answers. My crystal ball sees a possible candidate for an ASM... :-)

 

With the boys, you'll find some chaoticness ( ok, maybe I made that word up ), but I agree with the other posters in that if the SM only had a few minutes at the end of the meeting, then they are trying their best to be a boy-run troop.

 

We struggle with the boy-run troop. Lots of hand-holding and guidance. Try to be patient and work with the current leadership. Looks like the communication is a bit lacking, but hey, is that much different from real life anyway? "-)

 

IMHO - Don't get all caught up in the uniforming and procedure. Make your judgements based on this question: Are the Scouts learning and having fun? If you get a postive answer there, then all the rest will work itself out.

 

That's my $.02...

 

 

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Thank you all for the replies You all have made good points of view.

I will chill out and go with the flow for now. There is a lot I dont understand, I guess that will take time.

 

I thought I might have been looking too deep into what was going on. Then your Question showed me I needed to look deeper.

 

To answer your question.

Are the Scouts learning and having fun? Judging from my son, I would have to say yes.

How much he is learning? Should not be a factor at this point.

 

Learning at the Boy scouts or motivating him to learn on his own and asking me for help from time to time (Is a good thing).

 

More then once he has thanked me for getting him into the Boy Scouts.

I would have to say he is enjoying it.

 

Guidance - Instruction/Learning part of the Troop meeting may get better after the Summer Camp

Everything same to focused on the summer camp right now. And some of the basic things that was overlooked like finish the basic Joining requirements can be corrected. But I sure my son will be looking for the scoutmaster at the next meeting so he can show him what he knows.

 

Thank you all

 

 

(This message has been edited by result1)

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