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New Troop and Boy Led

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We have JUST started a new troop (our first Troop meeting is tomorrow night), and strongly believe in the concept of "Boy-led." We have several questions regarding the logistics of implementing boy led principles.


1. Our only direct experience with boy led are the two other troops in the area, both good examples of how NOT to do it (that is one of the reasons we are a troop now). Indirectly, we have picked up a lot of advice on this forum, but we do not know of a good "how to" source of what is and what is not considered boy led.


2. None of us is really trained (cub training, but that is not the same thing). We KNOW how important training is, but we have only existed for 1 week, our meetings are starting NOW, and what we introduce in this first month (before we can get through training), will influence the traditions and patterns of the troop for a long time.


3. We are also a very young troop in age. Most of the boys are 11-12, with maybe 1-2 13 year olds. Their only experience has likewise been with the other troops mentioned above. I am assuming that the basic idea is for the older, more experienced, boys to train the younger ones and pass on troop traditions, etc. In our case we HAVE no traditions or experience.


I guess my questions/requests are for advice and examples of other troops that started out this way and how they handled the special situation. Also, do any of you know of any sources that we could readily get ahold of (relatively quickly) to help us get our troop going? Web sites would be great. assume that somewhere on this site there are useful threads, but I have not seen any that directly address some of our questions.


Thanks in advance for all the advice I am sure we will get.



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Get a copy of Faststart and watch it with all your leaders. Read the Scoutmasters handbook, the Senior Patrol Leaders handbook, the Patrol Leaders handbook. Use the meeting guides in the Scoutmasters handbook to start the first months meeting plans. Have your youth elect a Senior Patrol Leader, break into patrols and elect their patrol leaders. Make an agenda for the Patrol Leaders Council, go over it with the Senior Patrol Leader. Let him run the meeting, going over the current months meeting plans and have them pick themes for the upcoming months using Troop resourses books. Try to give them mimimal help in planning their next few months meetings and outings. Give guideance, encouragement, and praise. Let them make mistakes, but always give encouragement.

Good luck, you can do it!


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Troop-Wise and the associated purchasable items are nothing more than a ripoff of materials already produced by the BSA.


I am amazed that volunteers complain when profits from BSA merchandise benefit scouting but think nothing of enriching "volunteers" who repackage BSA materials for personal profit.


Bob White



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Two Words HAVE FUN!

A few more words!

Remember that Scouting is a game with a purpose!

Reading the Scoutmaster handbook, I came across this little bit of advice.

You will make mistakes learn from it and go on do not dwell on the mistakes.


Obtain the Guide to Safe Scouting (you can download it off of www.scouting.org, and read it.


Become a good coach, let the boys make mistakes and they will learn from them also.

Check back in and let us now how it is going.

This place is great for advice and finding the correct documents that are needed.

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Your situation is one very similar to ours. Our troop is only three years old. When we first started we had a large group (16) fifth graders and 1 or 2 seventh graders who had little scouting experience. We started off without any senior patrol leaders until the second year when the seventh graders showed a little more maturity. The first year there was more adult direction and then we backed off as they caught on to the program.


It's working great now but the training particularly for the adults was a key.


Good Luck.

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Thanks for all the responses. We got lots of reinforcement that we are on the right track. You got us to go back and read the resources we had better, and some of our worries were addressed there.


But I would like to fine-tune my questions. We are definitely going to try to be boy led, and we all are going to go through training as soon as we can fit it into our schedules. But we start interacting with boys in about 5 1/2 hours.


We are a VERY young troop, both in experience (both leaders and boys) and age (unfortunately, this only applies to the boys). Are there any SPECIFIC hints that will help us in this initial phase, until the boys have some more experience and we have some training. Inertia can be a wonderful or awful thing. Therefore, we want to start off with good policies and "traditions," not ones we will have to try to change later.


Thanks again.






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Never do anything for a boy that a boy can do for himself.


Scouts want to learn how to lead not to be lead by adults.


Teach them how to make and follow an agenda.


Create opportunities for them to use the skills they are learning.




Learn about the individuals rather than the group.


Size does not equal maturity


Even the Presidential election is a popularity contest, so don't let youth elections bother you.


There is no such thing as too many parents helping, there is only poor management.


remember the goal is not camping. The goals are Character, Citizenship and Fitness.


If you don't use the 8 methods of scouting you aren't scouting, you are just doing stuff in a scout uniform.


If you aren't having fun then they aren't having fun.


Bob White


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Training, training, Training. Get it.


Have fun and go with the flow. You will be surprised in what the scouts can do if you let them.


Remember, your purpose is to provide an enviroment that the scouts enjoy and don't burn down the meeting area or the forest. Have fun.

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