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Basementdweller

Numbers of Scouts in the troop

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Well Monday night our unit hit my magic number of 38. 4 patrols of 8 and a green bar patrol of the SPL, 2 ASPL and the troop quartermaster. At this point We are closing the unit and not accepting new members and beginning the attendance policy enforcement.

 

I honestly have no interest in a mega troop. The CC made a statement that he would love to see a troop of 100. I have the support of the rest of the committee to keep the number at 38 and they like my thought and reasoning.

 

So getting past the gear and transportation issues

 

Am I missing a hidden benefit to a mega Troop?????

 

I think we are better off with two units of 30 boys each vs one unit of 60......

 

We have a couple of younger brothers in the pipe which will bump us slightly over 38, but I expect us to remain between 30 and 45 from this point forward.

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I get what you mean. I think though that troops naturally find their level. At the moment I have 36 but think it's actually a few too many. I've found that when we run at 32-33 the only ones we have quit are those that move onto explorers at 14. As soon as we go over that number we tend to lose a few. And hey presto, I've had 2 scouts tell me just this week "thanks for the time but we won't be back after Christmas". What the limiting factor is in our case I don't know but I have a theory that every troop has a limit, probably based on space and number of adults available, above which it starts to struggle a bit.

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The physical setting determines troop size. I was once told that the seating in a church holds a maximum amount, half of which will be filled on average. So a church with seating for 200 people will have 100 average attendance each service. I'm surprised how accurate that is.

 

One of my former troops always had 20 boys for the size of the facility. Even if Web 2 crossovers doubled that number, by the time the next group of Webs came along, we'd be back to 20 boys in attendance each week.

 

Stosh

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I'm impressed, well done. Size is the function of the SM's skills of running the program. You seem to have drawn the line. The much much harder question is how to split a troop. The odds are roughly 5 to 1 that the second troop will fail and eventually go back to the other troop. Given a choice, not accepting new members is the better choice for all the scouts because scouts going with the second troop are more likely to quit for life if it fails. It would be better to send new scouts to another successful troop. Are you missing a hidden benefit of the Mega troop? Not if that isn't your cup of tea. Scoutmasters of mega troops have to get used to using trailers and need to work well with other adults, which may include rich businessmen, pilots, gun owners, and even home schoolers. And ironically the more scouts usually means less one on one time with them.

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Your first few paragraphs basement, made me think you were firm at 38. Absolutely closed. No more.

I was thinking that this might be a bit too rigid.

 

Seems to me that you'll always have ebbs and flows...... boys may leave. Boys may slow down for a bit.

If attendance requirements are too strict, it seems you may drive off a few after a while.

Meanwhile, other boys, maybe good ones, will be closed out and either not get into scouting at all and join a gang instead, or go elsewhere.

.... then you would have nobody to fill in the gaps of the boys that leave or take a break.

 

Then your last paragraph indicates that you might be open on a select basis.

 

But to your question - My opinion is that bigger will perhaps open possibilities to do more. Might bring more talent in youth and adults to make the overall program better.

But I can see that bigger means more logistical headaches.

Still, I like the idea of more ASM's that could lead more and varied trips, projects, and adventures than one SM could ever manage on his own. This would give the lads more choice in picking the direction they want to go.

Also gives more opportunities for a boy to find a fit. If he's not getting along with the patrol he's in, maybe that 5th or 6th patrol might work better.

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I'm impressed, well done. Size is the function of the SM's skills of running the program. You seem to have drawn the line. The much much harder question is how to split a troop. The odds are roughly 5 to 1 that the second troop will fail and eventually go back to the other troop. Given a choice, not accepting new members is the better choice for all the scouts because scouts going with the second troop are more likely to quit for life if it fails. It would be better to send new scouts to another successful troop. Are you missing a hidden benefit of the Mega troop? Not if that isn't your cup of tea. Scoutmasters of mega troops have to get used to using trailers and need to work well with other adults, which may include rich businessmen, pilots, gun owners, and even home schoolers. And ironically the more scouts usually means less one on one time with them.
No interest in splitting the troop. But I would like to encourage the formation of another unit.

 

Seems like we have a lot of troops start then sputter out after a single year. Sad. or we have seen a lot of troops merging.

 

I enjoy knowing each of the lads in my unit. I enjoy my smc's with them and learning who they are even if it makes my stomach turn at times.

 

I just feel something is lost when you have a giant troop. So how does a fellow make a difference in a lads life when he barely knows his name.

 

It was a lot of hard work, growing the troop like we did. When I took over a year ago we were at 12 boys, now we are at 38 and that is with only 6 webelos crossing over.

 

No idea why the success. new boys keep showing up week after week. the next TLT will have 12 lads in attendance.....my first one a year ago had 4.

 

Makes me smile.

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Your first few paragraphs basement, made me think you were firm at 38. Absolutely closed. No more.

I was thinking that this might be a bit too rigid.

 

Seems to me that you'll always have ebbs and flows...... boys may leave. Boys may slow down for a bit.

If attendance requirements are too strict, it seems you may drive off a few after a while.

Meanwhile, other boys, maybe good ones, will be closed out and either not get into scouting at all and join a gang instead, or go elsewhere.

.... then you would have nobody to fill in the gaps of the boys that leave or take a break.

 

Then your last paragraph indicates that you might be open on a select basis.

 

But to your question - My opinion is that bigger will perhaps open possibilities to do more. Might bring more talent in youth and adults to make the overall program better.

But I can see that bigger means more logistical headaches.

Still, I like the idea of more ASM's that could lead more and varied trips, projects, and adventures than one SM could ever manage on his own. This would give the lads more choice in picking the direction they want to go.

Also gives more opportunities for a boy to find a fit. If he's not getting along with the patrol he's in, maybe that 5th or 6th patrol might work better.

Our attendance policy is a firm 75% activity level. With exception of illness, family issues and school activities, band or sports.

 

We have attendance of 100% at meetings and 90% or better on outings.

 

Generally if a lad misses the PL calls and checks on him.

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I to find that units tend to find a correct level naturally, but your unit is clearly quite healthy as it is ran. Are there other near by units for scouts to join? How will you deal with age balance if new scouts aren't crossing to your unit, no new scouts can be a very bad thing over time.

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Well Monday night our unit hit my magic number of 38. 4 patrols of 8 and a green bar patrol of the SPL, 2 ASPL and the troop quartermaster. At this point We are closing the unit and not accepting new members and beginning the attendance policy enforcement.

 

I honestly have no interest in a mega troop. The CC made a statement that he would love to see a troop of 100. I have the support of the rest of the committee to keep the number at 38 and they like my thought and reasoning.

 

Good thing the rest of the committee is with you on that. I've never seen a troop over 50 that is properly boy-led and not rampant with adult-centric "fixes" to make that size sustainable. 8 troop scribes to give everyone their PoR, and silliness like that. It's simply an ego thing, and most of the time it's a racket from one mega fundraiser to the next for that troop RV with satellite TV and 6-burner range :p

 

If the CC won't let it go, sock him with Baden-Powell: "The numbers in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many I could deal with - in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two." (Aids to Scoutmastership)

 

Maybe the CC thinks he is 6x better at this than BP, in which case he can make a 100-member troop; or maybe he thinks you're 6x better, in which case he ought to accept your judgement that 38 is enough.

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Our Troop runs higher - around 60 Scouts (more on the rolls right now though). We cut off new Scouts every year at a number based on what we can handle due to size, etc. I like 5 Patrols of 15 each, so that each has close to 8 on any given campout. Yes - 50% participation is our goal for campouts. We ebb and flow with soccer, football, basketball and swim seasons. Some boys take a POR in the Fall, because they play baseball. My football and soccer players step up in the Spring and summer, during THEIR off season.

 

I HATE drawing a line, but it has to be done. I would split the Troop, but I don't know where the line would be and who would go where. One thing that IS happening is that our Crew is truly separating this year from the Troop, and a lot of older boys and parents are choosing NOT to re-Charter with the Troop. This is serving to be a type of split, and it is already causing some pain at the unit level (the adults leaving have been very important to the Troop, but they are done).

 

Good job with keeping a strong Troop of a given size, and I hope you have a list of Troops to pass people onto when you don't have room. That is what we are doing now.

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Well Monday night our unit hit my magic number of 38. 4 patrols of 8 and a green bar patrol of the SPL, 2 ASPL and the troop quartermaster. At this point We are closing the unit and not accepting new members and beginning the attendance policy enforcement.

 

I honestly have no interest in a mega troop. The CC made a statement that he would love to see a troop of 100. I have the support of the rest of the committee to keep the number at 38 and they like my thought and reasoning.

 

Good thing the rest of the committee is with you on that. I've never seen a troop over 50 that is properly boy-led and not rampant with adult-centric "fixes" to make that size sustainable. 8 troop scribes to give everyone their PoR, and silliness like that. It's simply an ego thing, and most of the time it's a racket from one mega fundraiser to the next for that troop RV with satellite TV and 6-burner range :p

 

If the CC won't let it go, sock him with Baden-Powell: "The numbers in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many I could deal with - in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two." (Aids to Scoutmastership)

 

Maybe the CC thinks he is 6x better at this than BP, in which case he can make a 100-member troop; or maybe he thinks you're 6x better, in which case he ought to accept your judgement that 38 is enough.

I think it is an Ego thing with the CC. 4 years ago the troop was dead, 2 boys and 4 ghosts on the charter.

 

I don't care about adult politics and crap......Even at thirty lads I was having a hard time keeping names, parents, home situations, experience straight. How does one actually know his scouts and make a difference. How does one make a SMC meaningful to a lad you don't actually know?

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Well Monday night our unit hit my magic number of 38. 4 patrols of 8 and a green bar patrol of the SPL, 2 ASPL and the troop quartermaster. At this point We are closing the unit and not accepting new members and beginning the attendance policy enforcement.

 

I honestly have no interest in a mega troop. The CC made a statement that he would love to see a troop of 100. I have the support of the rest of the committee to keep the number at 38 and they like my thought and reasoning.

 

Good thing the rest of the committee is with you on that. I've never seen a troop over 50 that is properly boy-led and not rampant with adult-centric "fixes" to make that size sustainable. 8 troop scribes to give everyone their PoR, and silliness like that. It's simply an ego thing, and most of the time it's a racket from one mega fundraiser to the next for that troop RV with satellite TV and 6-burner range :p

 

If the CC won't let it go, sock him with Baden-Powell: "The numbers in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many I could deal with - in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two." (Aids to Scoutmastership)

 

Maybe the CC thinks he is 6x better at this than BP, in which case he can make a 100-member troop; or maybe he thinks you're 6x better, in which case he ought to accept your judgement that 38 is enough.

That's what PL's are for. They keep track of that and make appropriate information passed on to SPL and SM. SMC's are your direct contact on the boys. A folder on each boy will give you an opportunity to update information to be reviewed before each SMC.

 

The General of the Army doesn't know each Private personally, but he does know what his boys can do.

 

BTW, during the Civil War each company of men counted 100 on the line. The First Sergeant (PL) knew each man by name and would do roll call from memory. It was his job to take care of the men. The Captain took care of the company.

 

It's not out of the realm of possibilities to know your boys if one were to work at it a bit. I found that I could always find a solution if it were important enough to me.

 

I guess I would find it difficult to "turn boys away", but with saying that, assimilation of new boys is vital to the Web->Scouting transition. Then keeping them to 18 is yet another issue that I focus on constantly.

 

When my boy was in Cubs, the pack numbered 110 scouts. I'm sure the CM didn't know all the boys, but relied on his DL's to keep the program going. The SM that relies on his PL's will be afforded a larger troop than the SM that has to have his fingers in every issue.

 

Stosh

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I'm impressed, well done. Size is the function of the SM's skills of running the program. You seem to have drawn the line. The much much harder question is how to split a troop. The odds are roughly 5 to 1 that the second troop will fail and eventually go back to the other troop. Given a choice, not accepting new members is the better choice for all the scouts because scouts going with the second troop are more likely to quit for life if it fails. It would be better to send new scouts to another successful troop. Are you missing a hidden benefit of the Mega troop? Not if that isn't your cup of tea. Scoutmasters of mega troops have to get used to using trailers and need to work well with other adults, which may include rich businessmen, pilots, gun owners, and even home schoolers. And ironically the more scouts usually means less one on one time with them.
Nice shots

 

Musta been tired yesterday and missed them.

 

Transporting gear to a campout is a problem and we may end up with a trailer.

 

Far as the rest of your list. Not sure why we would ever need a rich businessman, pilot, gun owner or a home schooler.

 

My boys will fund raise if we decide to buy a trailer. We will not ask for donations.

We will fly commercial if we need to fly anywhere.

We will go to the gun range and pay an instructor if we need to.

 

Home schoolers, mercifully most of them are in the burbs and not in my area. enough said.

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Bottom line here folks

 

We will take the Web crossovers from Little Brother Pack regardless of troop size, they average 3-6 per year. I will plan the troop looking at the webelo numbers coming up.

 

We will enforce attendance, good riddance to the casual scouts, the ones that cherry pick events or camp only.

 

I have spoken to neighboring SM's to let them know what I am doing and ask permission to refer boys to them. They agree that more units are better than a single mega troop in the area. One expressed concerns about receiving our cast offs the other was glad to have them. I assured both that any contacts would be referred to them without ever meeting or judging the lad, We would not cherry pick boys.

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Well Monday night our unit hit my magic number of 38. 4 patrols of 8 and a green bar patrol of the SPL, 2 ASPL and the troop quartermaster. At this point We are closing the unit and not accepting new members and beginning the attendance policy enforcement.

 

I honestly have no interest in a mega troop. The CC made a statement that he would love to see a troop of 100. I have the support of the rest of the committee to keep the number at 38 and they like my thought and reasoning.

 

Good thing the rest of the committee is with you on that. I've never seen a troop over 50 that is properly boy-led and not rampant with adult-centric "fixes" to make that size sustainable. 8 troop scribes to give everyone their PoR, and silliness like that. It's simply an ego thing, and most of the time it's a racket from one mega fundraiser to the next for that troop RV with satellite TV and 6-burner range :p

 

If the CC won't let it go, sock him with Baden-Powell: "The numbers in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many I could deal with - in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two." (Aids to Scoutmastership)

 

Maybe the CC thinks he is 6x better at this than BP, in which case he can make a 100-member troop; or maybe he thinks you're 6x better, in which case he ought to accept your judgement that 38 is enough.

If I lived with the lads 24 x 7 I would expect to learn 100 lads names and info.

 

I am not turning away a lad, but sending him to another unit. I believe a lad is better served by a smaller unit.

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