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Troop Meeting Concerns

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Our Troop does limit some activities to older Scouts. Long pack hikes (75 - 100 miles over 7 - 10 days) are probably more intense than a boy (or mom sometimes) can handle, and most physically aren't capable of partaking safely. Other activities are limited to older, higher ranking boys for a reason I wish didn't exist, but reality makes it so: We need something to keep the older guys interest in the program, and higher venture stuff, done away from the younger guys, does that for us. We also see that the anticipation the young guys have to get to a certain age and rank helps motivate them. In a perfect world, neither of these would be valid reasons. But our Troop isn't perfect. The first day it is perfect, I'll be on here telling everyone about it, but until then, we'll just keep on doing the things that do work for us.


When the older guys have something going that excludes the rest of the troop, they either plan for it outside of regular meetings, or they make sure a program is available for the rest of the guys. A few years back the SPL realized that while 8 - 12 guys were out hiking for a week, no one else was camping or doing anything else that month. He developed a campout focused on the rank requirements for 1st Aid. He arranged for an EMT to camp with us, we camp outside for this one (despite the trend we've seen for our guys to try to do more cabin campouts, as mentioned in another thread, this one has remained intact), but we rent either a cabin or the dining hall to make sure we can accomplish everything we need to. This campout has taken off well. The EMT, with the assistance of boys working on 1st Aid MB teach and then test the rank requirements. The EMT works with some of the guys on the MB. And where we do this is a great place to hike, easy enough for the newbies, but chanlleging enough to give them a hint what is available, so we do the 2nd class five mile hike here, and start talking about hiking, and what is necesary to be prepared for the pack hike the older guys do. I think this has become a great example of offering an alternative program for the guys who can't partake in another event.


But I'll stick to my guns about one thing: With the right equipment and training, 6th grade boys ARE NOT too young to do winter camping. We find that our Klondike is a watershed event for new Scouts. The chests are a little more puffed out when they get back, and in direct proportion to how cold it was.



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Our Troop (and I mean Our) stages the Winter Igloo/Snow Caves outings. The first year are day trips only with about the same pack checks as the overnighters. We even invite Webelos! Not everyone likes winter camping but can learn the difference.

As for meeting concerns, that will change only with your support. It may be time for some of the questions from the old Safe Haven exercise. If it is not Scout lead you need to talk to your SPL and Scoutmaster!



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Well, last night's troop meeting came and went without my son's attendance. He contacted his PL, who said there would be no alternative activity, so my son chose to stay home. Not exactly the result I hoped for, but at least his PL knows that my son didn't enjoy last week's troop meeting. My son is looking forward to next month and cabin camping, so I'm not worried about his enthusiasm for scouting.


ASM1 suggests that I join the troop committee. Well, ASM1, I have to admit that I'm already on the troop committee. However, the January programming was not reviewed by the committee because we didn't meet in December. Eagledad suggests that I call the SPL directly. I think I'll hold off on that for a little while and give the PL a chance to convey that message.


What I do plan to do is raise the issue of troop planning and the need for alternate activities at the next committee meeting. As always, thank you everyone for your feedback. This forum is a great resource.

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