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ParkMan

Dillema in selecting a Boy Scout Troop

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I hear some of these concerns from even our current parents and scouts from time to time, and sometimes it points to areas to improve sometimes not. Not every meeting is going to be "fun" in the sense that it will be entertaining. Our main focus is our monthly campout, 80% of scouting is outing. And at least part of every meeting involves work related to those outings, planning for them, preparing equipment, restoring and repairing equipment afterwards, and repeating the cycle.

 

I'm not a great fan of sports analogy but one might be appropriate here. If you think of the weekend outing as the game, the meetings are the practices, and practices can be fun but they also involve drills and repetitiveness to get ready for what's most important which is the game or in our case the outing.

 

One of the big challenges and changes for a scout that crosses over is that in Cubs the adults do most of the work and the scouts get to benefit from that and do most of the fun. In scouts you only get the fun if you put in the work.

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Thanks all for the continued advice and coaching.

 

We'll be going back to visit again. Perhaps it was a great meeting, but my son & I didn't realize it. Perhaps it was a bad week, not indicative of a regular meeting. Or perhaps they are not the Troop that will excite my son. I just don't think we saw enough to know.

 

To add a little more background. We have camped with the CO's Troop many times. They usually invite the Webelos to join a camping trip once or twice a year. As a cub leader, I usually attended these. My son has joined me several times. When we do camp with them, we interact with the Boy Scouts - but generally camp with the Troop adults or in an area set aside for the Cubs. The trips have been fun and we've enjoyed going. These trips are generally organized by the Troop adults, so we don't see much of the Boy Scouts in any sort of capacity other than participants - really just as older peers to the Webelos.

 

I'm fine with chaos and a lack or order. I think I was just hoping to see more "activity". Scouts breaking off into groups, working as patrols, etc. Again, perhaps we just hit the meeting at the wrong time.

 

One strength of the CO's Troop is some pretty neat trips - in fact in the parents meeting, we heard all about the trips. Yet, it makes me worry that the Troop is all about the trips, but they don't focus as much on developing the Troop as a unit. But maybe that's OK?

 

Deep down, I'd like him to find a Troop that will help him grow and challenge him. I think a Boy led troop would be better for that (as opposed to Webelos III) . To be honest though, I'd just like him to find a Troop that excites him - at least a little. I worry that he joins, does it for a year, then is bored. If he'd jumped in the car after that meeting and said "I want to join this one". Given that we have experience with that Troop, I'd have been happy with that. I'd also have been happy to let my own concerns go to the side. If it meant I needed to help out with the Troop at some point, I'd do that too - though it is not what I'm neccessarily planning to do. I was so involved in the pack and his den that I'd like him to be able to have some space from always having Dad involved. If I do tag along, grabbing a cup of coffee and a chair sounds like a great idea :)

 

Needless to say, all this has reinforced that we need to see more and to see some other options. I'll also be sure to take Eagle92's suggestion of looking over some older posts to see what to look for.

 

Thank you all

My recent posts have been on " what to avoid."

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Had you talked with troop leadership about what day to visit?

 

I ask because I know for our troop and how the PLC plans things out there are certain meetings that are better to visit than others. I honestly don't think you can understand a troop without visiting for a couple of months straight.

 

For our troop we have committee meeting once every even month and on that night the boys have fun/game night in the main room or outside with our junior leaders (18-20 year olds) watching over and often joining in. Once a month (always meeting before campout) we have patrol meetings where meal planning and final activity planning is done by the patrols. Then the other meetings are planned out by the PLC taking into account what future campouts are from their bi-annual planning meeting. Like if they are doing a canoe outing we will have a meeting going over safety-afloat, Basics of how to canoe, and the like. The Patrol leaders keep track of what members of their patrol are working on for rank and will also put in some of those activities into the monthly meeting plan.

 

So basically if you can to a patrol meeting/meal planning meeting but were not coming on that campout or a member of the troop yet you'd probably find it loud and boring. If you came on the committee meeting and boys game night the boy would have a blast but not really get any scouting skills out of it, but it's what are boys like. Now if you come on any of the other nights it'd be great. And once we know cross-overs are started the PLC takes that into account and starts planning out some beginning skills for all to go over.

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Why are WE visiting the Troop.

 

 

May you should stay in the car and let your son go and evaluate the meeting.

 

 

After all it is his scouting experience not yours.......Regardless of his decision you should support him

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and for crying out loud.....

 

 

Don't rush to follow your son to the troop, let him have a year or so of no dad hanging around.

 

As pointed out in many many thread....The absolute worst Boy Scout leaders are the newly crossed over Cub Scout leaders.

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and for crying out loud.....

 

 

Don't rush to follow your son to the troop, let him have a year or so of no dad hanging around.

 

As pointed out in many many thread....The absolute worst Boy Scout leaders are the newly crossed over Cub Scout leaders.

Absolutely. I'm so glad taht the SM at the time convinced this WDL to be the Advancement Coordinator. It gave me the chance to transition from Cub Scout Leader to Boy Scout leader while still helping the troop.

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As both BD and Peri pointed out, the hardest thing is transitioning from CS leader to Boy Scout leader, even for those of us who know better. One reason why I am glad I am only able to help out occasionally with the troop, usually when they go camping or when the pack is not meeting.

 

My personal expereince: One meeting I took over from the SPL, getting the older scouts together to organize how I wanted them to teach first aid skills to the new guys, i.e. handing out them the latest first aid info, aksing them who wanted to teach which skills, basically acting how a SPL would when organizing his instructors.

 

Luckily I was able to talk with the SPL when it was pointed out I stepped over the line (THANKS BD!). I apologized for taking over, but also talked to him about the process I used and how it can be used with the troop.

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Why are WE visiting the Troop.

 

 

May you should stay in the car and let your son go and evaluate the meeting.

 

 

After all it is his scouting experience not yours.......Regardless of his decision you should support him

I've told this story before about my first year as a CM, just before I was about to send our Webelos across the bridge to the troop they choose, I asked them why they picked this troop. They all said this troop had the best game at the troop meeting. All eight of those boys quit the BSA inside of one year. While I agree that the boys need to have input in their selection, I also think it's naive to assume they always know better than the adults. As a SM, I asked parents attend with their son so that their family made an educated choice based on all the information. Barry

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Why are WE visiting the Troop.

 

 

May you should stay in the car and let your son go and evaluate the meeting.

 

 

After all it is his scouting experience not yours.......Regardless of his decision you should support him

Thanks for the comments.

 

"We" were visiting the Troop because the Troop invited the scout and parents to attend.

 

As dad, I'm here to help him weigh and discuss the choices. But at the end of the day, yes, it's his choice.

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and for crying out loud.....

 

 

Don't rush to follow your son to the troop, let him have a year or so of no dad hanging around.

 

As pointed out in many many thread....The absolute worst Boy Scout leaders are the newly crossed over Cub Scout leaders.

Thanks for the advice. Yep - my plan is to retire from scouting once he crosses over. 5 years wearing all kinds of Cub Scouting hats is enough. Maybe it's a year - maybe for good.

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It will be interesting to see how the CS -> BS leader transitions work out in the CO's Troop this year. That particular troop is pretty large (100+ scouts) and openly welcomes CS leaders to join as BS leaders. While I'm planning to bow out of whichever troop my son joins, I know of a couple at least that will make the den leader to BS leader transition. That troop will generally will find them some specific role - such as being a MB counselor or serving on the Troop committee.

 

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