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Breaney

OA Chapters Chartered as a Crew or Troop

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Short Change the ages, change the uniform colors, and you've got the basic description of a patrol and a troop: Local youngsters banding together around a common interest. Yet you say troops don't also have to network?

 

Not really. Sure it's nice for SPL's to get to know other SPL's in their district, but there's nothing in the manual that says that's their responsibility. It's a pleasant surprise when a troop hosts some activity for other troops, but we're not expecting it to be the routine.

 

Now, patrols DO have to operate within a troop -- ideally with a little bit of independence from one another. But I wouldn't exactly call that networking because they're meeting every week or so, and camping within 101 yards of one another every month.

 

On the other hand, part of the stated responsibility of crew leadership is making those connections with other crews (and troops and packs, if the activity fits) who they probably don't see on a weekly basis.

 

So, if our SPL thinks he's got an activity that the troop could share with our (or any one else's) crew, but he doesn't convey an invitation to our officers in a timely fashion ... No problem, not his job, the troop goes solo. But, if our crew has an activity that could be shared with the troop, it's on the officers (not the adults) to think seriously about opening it up and make the calls and extend an invite. If they don't, it's something we bring up at evaluation time.

 

Like BP said, there might be plenty of reasons why this might not work as per the manual. But, that's the target I'm shooting for with my posse.

 

Emb -- aggreed: "agents of council" is not the right term, just the first one off my fingers. Anyway "bottom up" is the bottom line.

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"Sure it's nice for SPL's to get to know other SPL's in their district, but there's nothing in the manual that says that's their responsibility."

 

True. But keep in mind you're speaking apples & oranges. the Boy Scout program is not the venturing program.

 

By and large, troops rarely come together except at district/council events, which are all run by adults. For Boy Scouts, the only time they come together to plan and run stuff is in the OA.

 

Venturing is different. Because Venturing, more so then in Boy Scouts, is youth run, the district/council venturing events should also be youth planned, organized, and run. And this is done thru VOAs (or whatever you want to call them).

 

This is something that Venturing inherited from Exploring. Since the 1950s, council/district (and higher) Exploring events were youth planned & run. This started slowly in the 50s, really started going in the 60s with the establishment of district/council Explorer Cabinets (when ALL Posts were expected to send 2 reps to), and on into the 70s and beyond with district/council EPA/EOAs and the National Explorer Cabinet.

 

 

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And yet we still come back to my initial point. There's nothing requiring crews to network, or be active in the VOA, or attend councilwide programs - just as there's no such requirement for Varsity teams, Boy Scout troops or Cub packs. It's a nice goal, yes. But if the CO and the unit's leadership want to operate the unit as an independent, stand-alone, self-sufficient entity, they're welcome to.

 

I rather think it's silly to say that a fully functioning crew isn't "real" unless it sends a representative to one VOA meeting once a year. That accomplishes nothing.

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I'm happy with "silly". My ideas have been called worse! Keep in mind that I did not write the Venturing Leader's manual. I'm just trying to do what it says.

 

True, with these older youth, we talk about what they "should do" more than what they "must do". But there are consequences for omitting certain "should do's".

 

One very simple consequence is when I am talking to an advisor and/or president of a new crew, I'll tell them, "... And you have these other advisors/crews near you who are awesome. You should give them a call." Guess which crews are going to get the reference? The one's who's symbol's show up on the "be a scout map", or the ones that have made themselves "real" to the rest of us.

 

And I am amazed at how a handful of diverse youth representatives gathering in one place light up a room (or a coffee shop, or a pool, or a shooting range) with tales of what their respective crews got into. To say that a crew can skate by without being part of that is, IMHO, pure delusion.

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