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Happy New Year, and what changes might you make?

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Happy New Year, all.

We had a great year in my troop. Positive growth, again, four years in a row. New high for membership.

Had a OA member reach Vigil. Three Eagle scouts. Have six scouts attending the Jamboree.

On a personal note, I was awarded the Silver Beaver.

We have a huge New Scout Patrol. In fact, too big to be one patrol.


We have run a new scout patrol for the past few years. We had one patrol crash two years ago, and only had four scouts remain. We discussed what to do, and these scouts decided to go into the oldest patrol, which needed additional members. I did hear one comment from a parent of concern about possible hazing. I remember telling her that each of those boys were all fine people, so much so that I'd let any of them date my daughter.


Fast forward to the end of the year. Opportunities for advancement in the NSP were handicapped because of their numbers. The patrol with the four sophomore scouts did very well. Based on all of these inputs, I am getting to the point where I want to propose that we dispense with the NSP, and let the new scouts determine which patrol, and with whom they want to go.


This will break up the stratified age groups, which I think have become an impediment to success. It will give each patrol a group of scouts to mentor and train. The older scouts success in their patrol will in part be based on how well they train their new members. I hope it will breath new life into two nearly dead patrols.


I'll let you know Jan 1 2014 how it went.

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And a Happy 2013 to everyone as well...


I'll jump in here. Had a couple of adult leaders and two senior Scouts over yesterday to talk about planning for a Seabase 2014 trip. After they left, the SM stuck around and we talked about other future plans. We're in the third year of a four-year high adventure plan, so we're going to extend it out and put it on a rotating cycle of some sort -- and I've resolved myself to start working on my next great plan. When I was a Scout, two of my most favorite summers were summers where we did summer camp on our own. With some ideas generated in another thread, I've come to the conclusion this is something we can do. And I think it will turn out well.


I'm not going to turn it into a "summer camp", though. Last year, we went to our regular camp and to a camp in Quebec. There were a few too many families that turned it into an either/or situation, I think. For example, we saw a few Scouts interested in the Canada trip even though they'd never been to summer camp with us before.


So, "summer camp on our own" will have a different name. Perhaps "long-term camp" or "high adventure camp" (depending on the activities we line up.


I also have another task -- I've briefly mentioned this before, but about 18 months ago, we had a family originally from Puerto Rico transfer into our troop. Last summer, they told me about an "interchange" idea that I think would be really great. Next step, for me, is to try and get a group of Scouts from their old troop to come up to our summer camp. I think we can easily get the airfare part figured out, and also "host families" when they arrive here. The hard(er) part will be to talk to the council about summer camp pricing. Their camp, in Puerto Rico, runs about $185/week. Ours is $200 more, per week. I'm going to work the channels with the council and the council camping committee, to see if we can get them an abatement. We all know that the marginal cost of adding a Scout to camp is nowhere near $385 per week, so I'm hoping we can work things out.



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