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Talked to an adult involved in another troop nearby. I have known this person for a few years. Here is what they said about the troop and troop meetings:

"The ultimate goal of course are for the

scouts to work on obtaining as many merit badges as they can and work on their rank advancements."


Also, I happen to have met and talked with Eagle Foot. He is one of the few scouters around here who is interested in following safety rules, letting boys learn to lead, and having adults take training. He's not interested in running Eagle mills and merit badge factories.


I don't think I can be an effective Webelos Leader next year for the Bear den I have now. I can't be excited about the troops in the area. Also, the district and council are so disappointing.


So frustrating!!!!!



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Don't give up on the Webelos. I certainly understand your concern about the Boy Scout units in your area, but another two years in a good Cub program is better than nothing. And, you've got a great oppurtunity. You know of the shortcomings, and you have boys who are impressionable. Maybe you can use your influence to direct the boys to see and understand the real program, and then you can get involved with the best Troop you can find. With some effort from an adult, and some boys who are willing to work at it because you taught them the value of the real program, and with some patience, who knows? Maybe you can be the pioneer in your area for quality Scouting.


Keep up the effort. Nothing good ever gets done without some sweat and blood and tears. It ain't easy, but someone's got to do it.


Good luck!



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Our cubmaster has one foot in the pack and one in the troop I'm speaking of. I don't want to make waves right now about that. Hopefully the person I got that quote from is misinformed, but I feel confident they have more control of the troop than appears on the surface. The scoutmaster just took over the troop less than a year ago. Maybe things will continue to change over the next year. I guess I'll cross that bridge later. Right now I'm trying to focus on breathing some life into the pack. Maybe if our pack gets stronger, that will carry over to the troop level one day.



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I am not going to say start your own unit because I don't like it when I suggest a need for something better and they blow me off by telling me to go out and do it. But that is what we did. We also couldn't find a Troop where the Three Aims were the adult goals and the Eight Methods were the tools to reach those goals. There wasn't a unit where individual growth was the primary objective.


When the word went out that we were looking to start a troop, a worn out SM of a worn out troop asked us to take over. He had six older scouts left and some worn out equipment. We took the risk, brought in 12 Webelos and set out on the most rewarding path of our lives. Three years later, we grew to 80 scouts and a reputation of a fun boy run troop. We didn't dare advertise or go looking for new scout because we were bigger than we wanted to be. We also have a reputation of working with scouts with learning disabilities. We have had retarded scouts, Autistic scouts, lots of ADD, ADHD, and Ds I have not even heard of. The Scout with a bad heart defect was our first Eagle. Our Deaf scout was next.


So it can be done. It requires adults who want to build Eagles from the inside out, who want boys to have fun on their terms not yours, who have compassion for their struggles, but the courage and the strength to hold them accountable to the oath and law. It can be done.


I am not suggesting you go out and do it, you have Webelos right now who need your wisdom and experience. But you can be an alarm for something better. If there is a black hole out there for a new kind of program, someone will listen and eventually get sucked into the hole.


As for your Webelos, while I was helping develop our new troop, I was also the leader of 17 Webelos. One of the parents of that group enjoyed our Den program so much he started a troop in his church and took most my Webelos. A challenging experience for me to say the least. Eight of those Webelos have earned Eagles and invited me to their COHs. Each one stood up and said that their path to Eagle started in my den. Each one asked me to stand with his troop leaders to be recognized as someone who made a difference in his life. I'm at a loss how to ease your pain of the troop, but I dont believe in luck or coincidences anymore because too many of them seem to come together with purpose. While right now it doesnt seem so, I think God has a plan and has honored you to be where you are at right now. Your Webelos are lucky because they have you as a den leader. For them, growing into leaders of integrity starts now with you, not later in some troop. They have a leader and mentor who gets it and knows what to do. They have a jumpstart, and possibly the only start in scouting toward growing into the man mothers want their sons to be.


I am glad Eagle Foot is close so you have someone to talk with in person.


I love this scouting stuff.




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Talked to my son some more about scouts and what he wishes it was. Basically he wants boy-run, boy's decide what activities to do, do the cool cooking and building stuff, community service, helping Cub Scouts, and NO pressure about merit badges and rank advancement. He asked, once again, if I would start a troop.


I told him you must have 5 boys and 5 adults. If he finds the 5 boys, I'll find a way to start a new troop. He has started asking friends!


I told him there are certain guidelines but the boys will decide what direction the troop heads in. I feel that a few suggestions in the right areas will keep them in the scouting framework. When I mentioned some pioneering type projects I've heard of, he became excited and told me about the ones he saw at summer camp last year (that I had never heard of before). I keep telling him that many things he does on his own with friends IS scouting stuff --- ropes from trees, homemade clubhouses, sports, etc.


We will see what happens.

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You may want to look into the Lone Scout program. Usually it is set up for geographically isolated families; one who do not live close to any established troops. However, if you find no troop that you are comfortable with in your area ...


Personally, I would not go that route. I would join the best fitting troop I could in the area, become involved, and make changes from within.(This message has been edited by acco40)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dear Sctmom:


I'm a big proponent of the advancement (read rank and merit badge) programs of the Boy Scouts of America. I'm a product of them. When I was a kid, I "chowed" on advancement stuff and made Eagle at 13.


Now that you're probably thinking I'm about to disagree with you . . . let me now agree with you.


Advancement is but one of the methods the BSA uses to accomplish it's base mission. Our mission statement -- which is mostly unchanged since our original charter -- reads:




The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."


The advancement plan is one method used to achieve the mission, uniform, adult association, youth leadership, etc. are some of the others. For a more detailed listing, you can refer to the Scoutmaster Handbook or just about any BSA training syllabus.


As for starting a new troop -- if your son doesn't like the other options in the area, you should go for it. It isn't easy, but it's rewarding. I've helped to start over 30 troops in my career.


Every troop has a different character and boys deserve a choice. McDonald's figured it out a long time ago. If you want to sell more hamburgers, build more restaurants. If we want more Scouts . . .


Best of luck to you.


An old (meaning tenure) professional scouter.



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sctmom, you might be surprised when you join a troop with a history of being a advancement mill. Use those efforts with yours and turn them to the light. It will be slow and can be frustrating but it can be done. My own troop is going into a change of adult leadership that is into the 'ticket punch' part of scouting. We have had some of the old guard leaders leave the troop because of it. I have not because the scouts are important, not the aspirations of the new 'leaders'. I won't let them win if I can help it.


'nough about my rock to roll. Work from within and then sit back and watch the neat things that will happen. Keep the faith of what we are here for and that is the scouts.



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Hey DS,

I love the quote from the Mission Statement is it part of the current charter? I noticed your revference to its similarity to the original. I've already cut & pasted and would like to acknowledge it accurately.


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The quoted mission statement came from the latest edition of the District Operations Manual for Professionals. As far as I know, it's the most current edition.


Any district executive that has completed PDL-I should have a copy. I'm also sure there are several kicking around your Scout Office. If you ask to see it, and no one seems to know what you're talking about, ask for the "red book," and you'll probably get farther.



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