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Experience with Urban Scouting?

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HI Chippewa29


I wish you only success with working with this troop. The next few years may be the most difficult (unless you are the father of infant triplets) that you face. Sometimes you will want to just throw in the towel and give up. The only think that may keep you going is that every boy who walks through that door into your Troop is a wonderful young man in the making. There may or may not be any Eagle Scouts in the troop, one or two of them may make poor choices in their lives, but each boy is very important.


If you can locate a Scout book from the 70s, it is written more for city Scouts, and has many good ideas inside. Try to focus on developing patrol spirit in the group. Take a look on the Internet for some team building exercises. Does your District or Council have a COPE Course the boys could attend, or is there a COPE trainer that could come by your meeting one night or on a sleep-in at the COR and do some team building exercises? The patrol is the basis of Scouting, and it should benefit your Troop if you can develop this cohesive small group bond.


If you have not already, identify the natural leaders of the Troop first, either by election, or observation. If it is possible, train these boys with the troop/patrol leader training materials available from your Council. Then utilize the boy leaders. Make them accountable for their patrol.


Try to have a meeting a month away from the COR, if possible; the city park, bowling alley, retirement home, hospital, print plant of the local newspaper, the airport or local military installation, or just the DQ and hang out. Plan a day hike on a Saturday or a school holiday around the neighborhood. Talk with the boys and learn about their aspirations. Use the advancement program to teach them that goals can be achieved.


If you are in need of camping equipment, take some time and visit with your local National Guard or Reserve Armory and ask them if they have any camping equipment that they can loan. The worst they can say is NO. They may be able to offer an alternative though. For experts in other areas, contact your armed forces recruiters. They will most likely be very pleased to talk to young men.


For community service, picking up trash is a great project, but it really turns the boys off. If possible, contact the city to see if there is a minor construction project the boys can do; build erosion berms for a flood plane, plant trees or perennials for the park. Check out the Volunteers of America website to see if there are any opportunities in their neighborhood. Try to instill that they are an important part of their community. They are young citizens, and they do matter.


If you want moral support, you have it in droves. If it means anything, you may e-mail me anytime. Click on "Send Private Message" next to this posting. I'll usually respond within 24 hours. I may not have an answer, but I'll be here to offer what little I know, or to say "wow, that's great!," or "I'm sorry, maybe next time."


Good luck, and God bless.


Keep on Scoutin' ora

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