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Well, our troop's previous leader has moved on to Cadettes with her daughter. I'm starting out with a half dozen sixth graders (and their very involved parents) and a flier inviting younger girls to join us. First meeting is in two weeks. While I've been assistant leader for two years, the previous leader handled all the nuts and bolts and I was cheerleader. Now I've got to do the forms, manage the money, keep things focused, etc.


Any words of wisdom from the (probably not) older and wiser leaders out there who have been here before?

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Be happy that you're "very involved parents" are, and put 'em to work!!!!!! You don't like numbers and paperwork?? Find one who does! Use your resources; let others share their talents.


Keep reading handbooks, manuals and help books, and keep asking questions!!!!


Be patient with the learning curve -- theirs and yours. Chances are, you'll have higher expectations for yourself than others will have for you, or than you will have for others. Don't stress yourself out, worrying about the spots where you are less than you want to be, most of the time others doesn't notice anyway! Celebrate the small victories and all the good things you are doing with and for the girls. Sure, a few minor disasters will occur along the way, but they're just to add scenery and interest along the journey -- Smooth Sailing is Boring!!!


Keep it simple -- Keep it Fun . . .


for the girls, for the parents, but mostly for YOU!!! Everything else will fall into place.


Good Luck and Enjoy the Journey!!!


jd(This message has been edited by johndaigler)

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I agree with jd, use those "involved" parents everywhere you can and don't sweat the small stuff. As a new leader (Scoutmaster) myself I've learned quickly to use my available resources. When I need things done I either ask a specific leader/parent directly or simply request a volunteer. I've been fortunate to have willing participants and their talents allow me to focus on the Scouts.


Best wishes!!!

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Take advantage...


Take advantage of any training your council offers for new leaders, especially program-level-specific sessions. (Our council even posts a list of canned meeting plans that can help get you started.) Your Service Unit should also have consultants who can answer questions or offer advice.


Take advantage of your parents set up an active troop committee and encourage interested parents to take some of the training required before your troop can camp, travel or do the fun things they enjoy so much (Outdoor Modules, First Aid, CPR, Small Craft Safety, Challenge Course facilitation, etc.).


Take advantage of your sixth graders and begin the natural progression of letting girls take on more responsibility for their troop divide the troop into mixed-age-group patrols and let the older girls begin the year in patrol and troop-level leadership roles. You can have patrol notebooks so girls can assist with planning and recordkeeping (we got the notebooks with slide-in covers so the patrol scribes could design the covers identity is very important for them). Make sure the older girls don't take over the patrols teach them to guide and help the younger girls instead of "ruling" them. Their first task could be planning an investiture for the new girls, coupled with a rededication for themselves. Mix the patrols mid-year and see if the younger girls are ready for leadership roles.


Take advantage of forums like this and get all the advice you can for great new ideas, trips, crafts, problem-solving whatever you need, there's someone here who's been there, done, that, got the T-shirt and either made an emergency sling out of it or tie-dyed it with boiled bark and berries. (Yahoo groups has a great leader discussion site.)


Have fun!






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Yeah, there are about 850 scouting-related groups...? I just started looking through the list, checking for promising list names, then seeing how many members a list had if it looked active, I'd check out the home page. I actually found the group I'm most active in because it came up on a keyword search I did for a problem I had.


This Cadette-Senior group is very active: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cad-senleaders/messages

and there are several promising Junior leader sites here's one:



There are other groups in the list that specifically target Junior leaders just go browsing (in all that free time all of us volunteers have, right?).


Wishboat(This message has been edited by Wishboat)

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