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DrBeado

New Troop and Boy Led

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Eveyone else said it so i'll me a "me too": Get Trained. Its the first, best step.

 

You have young boys. So IMHO it would be best to help them learn to lead by showing/helping them. Also tell them that you want them to lead. Good place to start is to plan an overnighter. It involves all the leadership positions so everyone will get a chance to start doing their job. I would first meet with the adults and get them to buy into a mentoring role. Meaning they will help the boy so all goes well. But eventually the boys will be able to "do it all" themselves.

 

Being a new troop be careful not to judge yourselves too hard. There are a lot of troops out there that have been in existance for 50+ years, are rich in tradition and really "get the job done." In many ways you have a wonderful opportunity with a new troop. Your boys get to be "founding members", you get to make all your own traditions and you get to sow the seed that will grow into a healthy, active unit.

 

Whatever you do, don't give up. Its OK to get discouraged. I have quit scouting hundreds of times. The fact is we all need a break and its OK to take one. A day or two later I am always back at it. Planning the next outing, attending to advancement records or whatever.

 

Good luck! Hang in there.

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Update and further clarification:

 

First, the meeting went great. We had 8 boys, about as many parents, and 3 college students (and former Eagle Scouts) that are going to help us out. We had to prop our flag between two chairs because we don't have a stand yet, but the boys ran the opening ceremony well. The theme was cooking as we have a campout in a little over a week. We lit charcoal on a trashcan lid in the parking lot and the SM directed the boys to make a dump cake in a dutch oven (it was delicious).

 

After the opening ceremonies, the adults held our first committee meeting while the SM helped the boys. We planned our menu and the boys planned theirs.

 

Our one older boy even proposed a service project on his own, which we readily agreed to.

 

Everyone had a good time. A few bugs like picking up pancake bits from our pancake flipping relay by hand (just where DOES the Church store their broom, anyway), but a roaring success.

 

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By the way, if I gave the impression that we were panicked over the start (several replies seem to assume that), I am sorry. We have lots of ideas; we just wanted to hear some ideas from others experience in order to catch potential problems early.

 

Our present plan (similar to what some of you suggested): We plan to assist a bit more early on, especially this first month. We plan to wait til after the campout for troop elections, so that scouts will get time to see how each other function. Right now we only have one patrol, but hope in the not to distant future to have enough for a new scout patrol. We are not sure how long to wait to elect a SPL (we differ on this, but will resolve it soon).

 

Adults will be forming their own patrol, as a means to either demonstrate how we would like it to be done, or give the adults something to do to keep them away from the kids.

 

So we are off and running. Training as soon as we can (next 2 months there is lots of training opportunities in our council), but for now we are winging it.

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I recommend an early plan for a medium range goal. ie In six months we will... Have the Scouts choose an achievable hike, paddle, camp, journey, service project. Get something for them to aim for and that might help them get off and running.

 

Link with other Troops after yours has developed some unity and learned a few skills. The boys might be pleasently surprised about how they compare. Mine did and they learned a lot too.

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