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Bob White

Let's play Unit Commissioner

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"Sorry but if families are moving out then families are moving in."

 

Let's assume this is true. In all likelyhood, the families that are moving in have younger children & won't be ready for Boy Scouts for 2-4 years! And what if the famlies that move in have all girls?

 

Ed Mori

A blessed Christmas to all!

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed, your hanging onto illegitimate excuses and avoiding the problem. People moving in or out does not cause an absence of advancement. Nor does moving explain why the other troops have not beem affected.

 

The fact is all this troop does is camp. If it weren't for summer camp they would likely not even have the merit badges they have. It's not that the leaders don't know what to do, they just choose not to do it.

 

This is a soon to be dead troop. It's unfortunate anytime a unit folds but its more unfortunate when it didn't have to happen but the leaders allowed it.

 

Ed, what do you think it would take for this troop to survive?

 

Bob White

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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"Ed, your hanging onto illegitimate excuses and avoiding the problem. People moving in or out does not cause an absence of advancement. Nor does moving explain why the other troops have not beem affected."

 

People moving in & out can cause fluctuations in Troop size & this could affect advancement. No one ever said this was the only cause, just one of the causes.

 

"The fact is all this troop does is camp. If it weren't for summer camp they would likely not even have the merit badges they have. It's not that the leaders don't know what to do, they just choose not to do it."

 

I thought this Troop A was a conglomeration of like Troops? Hmmmm. You seem to know alot about this Troop. Must be one in your district!

 

"This is a soon to be dead troop. It's unfortunate anytime a unit folds but its more unfortunate when it didn't have to happen but the leaders allowed it."

 

Nice to see you know so much since the cause has yet to be determined. Oh I forgot, Bob, you know all!

 

Ed Mori

A blessed Christmas to all!

1 Peter 4:10

 

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Mike, in answering how this happened I can only allege that the troop started out as Cubs with little Scout leadership. Crafts, field trips, a lot of fun. This is a church sponsored troop and so when they all matriculated to Boy Scouts they did so as a group. Now, if a Cub wants to join this troop they must wait for 1 year to join as the church has another program for the boys around 11 years old. This means that any Cub, crossing over will not join out troop. They'll join another troop so that they'll hit the road running and why switch after a year and start over? "A natural gang of boys..." BP said. Switching doesn't happen without cause.

We don't collect dues, i.e. there is no personnel investment into the troop. The reason is the church tithes and the the church programs will not allow to further charge for a church youth program.

Everything revolves around the Eagle. When I mention I understand the BSA policy is 'every Scout a 1st Class' I'm reminded how many Eagles the troop has produced in the past. I understand Eagle is a Scout generated goal, not a parent goal, and would ordenarily follow a sucessful leadership plan the Scout has participated in. Last meeting we had a Scout we havent seen in over a year announce his Eagle project. He doesn't participate in the meetings at all, and when he was present was unruly. I told the SM I would not support this. The project was a quick, a no brainer, and this child being very smart should have come up with something more meaningful and present somewhat of a challenge to acomplish. Because his parents are goal oriented and with position in the church, The Scout may get, not earn, his Eagle with no real effort on his part.

What has kept us together is the fact we do stress positive character growth, the Law, the Oath, and the Scouting is a church activity under church leadership. This last is a good thing for the boys and made a big difference in the development of my son.

What can I do to change it. Not a whole lot. as a non-member of this donimation I have little say when it comes to the conflict between the pure Scouting and church requirments. 1. Camping and campoorees are limited to only friday night. That 11 year old Scout cannot join out troop. Last year we only met once per month and that hastened out demise. We're starting this fall with 3 meetings per week, however all of out Scouts from the past, all those Eagles are now 18! We're starting over with 3 new scouts each of which had sporratic attendance. The SM is not to prompt either. I've made overtures to another troop, but My son isn't interested in moving to an unknown arena at this point being 17 soon to be 18. I think this troop has to fail totally, having a meeting and no Scouts showing to make a change. I'm slow to let go having invested so much in training, time and the fact that Scouting really is in my blood. Scouting is, I believe, forever. Dave J, ASM

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It sounds like Dave's troop would look good--on paper-if the church could provide enough boys to fill it up. But because it needs to go outside the church to recruit, its built-in limitations are choking the troop. While FCFY might help, it's not going to solve the problem of not being able to recruit Webelos when they are ready to cross over, and of a limited camping program. If you were the Unit Commissioner for this troop, there's not much you could do to rectify the situation, because you can't ask the church to change its rules.

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Ed,

One of the things you learn in commissioning is how to recognize harmful trends. After you see enough scout units you see reoccurring characteristics shared by healthy units as well as recccurring characteristics that are shared by units in trouble.

 

Troop A shows almost every sign of a troop in very bad shape.

 

Quickly diminishing membership

Poor new scout retention

Assistants outnumbering youth

Little to no advancement in over a year

No noticeable action to reverse current coarse

Failure of leader to recognize problem

 

What has caused these characteristics is unimportant. What matters is that the characteristics exist, and unless they change will result in the collapse of the unit.

 

I have never written that the unit does not exist. If you really feel you need it I will private message their web site to you, you can even post it if you want to.

 

I am not the only experienced scouter who, based on the documented characteristics, ave tagged this unit as In Danger.

 

Go back and read the number of posters with real concerns about this troop's health.

 

Bob White

 

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While you can't change the Church's rules, you can point out to the COR that the rules are inhibiting the Troop's abilitiy to grow and sustain itself and then ask if the Church would consider changing the rules.

 

It never hurts to ask. If the Church is shown that it's choices may come down to not having a troop associated with the Church under it's current rules versus having a sustainable troop with a different set of rules it can live with, it may consider a change.

 

Just a thought.

 

Dave, I sincerely with you and your son the best of luck.

 

 

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I have no doubt such a troop exists--perhaps many such troops--and I'm not sure anybody disagrees that this troop is in trouble. I think the resistance you are seeing is to the idea that the failure to use FCFY emphasis is the only problem, or even the main problem. This troop has seven boys and ten ASMs--who are all these ASMs? Are they dads whose sons have aged out? Does this mean the troop was once much larger? If so, was the severe shrinkage in the troop due to attrition, or failure to recruit? In my son's troop, for example, recruiting is the big problem. It's not that visiting Webelos are getting a bad impression, either--it's that they aren't visiting, despite recruiting efforts that worked in the past. Personally, I think the problem is an external one--that boys in this suburban area are less willing to try Scouting than they were in the past.

Don't get me wrong--I think FCFY is a good idea, because it provides a blueprint for a fun, active program that is likely to retain scouts. I just think there are many reasons that a troop can be in trouble, and some of them are external.

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Fat Old Guy,

Bob does that all the time. I never quit!

 

"Troop A shows almost every sign of a troop in very bad shape.

 

Quickly diminishing membership

Poor new scout retention

Assistants outnumbering youth

Little to no advancement in over a year

No noticeable action to reverse current coarse

Failure of leader to recognize problem

 

What has caused these characteristics is unimportant. What matters is that the characteristics exist, and unless they change will result in the collapse of the unit."

 

 

What caused these charastictics is unimportant? History will repeat itself if we don't learn from it! What caused this is very important! Let's say that of the 10 Scouts who are no longer in the Troop - 3 were in a family that moved away, 2 - turned 18 years old, 2 - from another family opted for sports over Scouting. And let's say that only 3 Scouts joined the Troop in the last 18 months so the retention would be 100%. This puts a whole different look on things. I know Bob won't agree because he knows all & this could never happen in his world.

 

Ed Mori

A blessed Christmas to all

1 Peter 4:10(This message has been edited by evmori)

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Bob,

 

I want to believe you made an unfortunate, unintentional mistatement when you said that the reason was unimportant.

 

I cannot recall one instance in my experience when knowing the cause of a problem wasn't the easiest and best way to solve the problem and keep it from recurring. It's possible to correct a problem without knowing its origin, but the best, and usually the easiest, road to repair includes an evaluation of the root cause of the problem.

 

To all:

 

Again, parts of this discussion have deteriorated, and a major reason for this is the inability or unwillingness of some posters to try to understand what another poster is saying, then picking on one small phrase and showing how it could mean something different. The discussion about whether this Troop really exists is the most recent example of this. Bob was asked if the Troop existed. It may have been easier to just say "Yes, it does", but instead he used a phrase that I understood to mean that it not only does exist in his experience, but it most likely exists in every Council. Could it be that this language was used to trick the reader into thinking the Troop existed when it did not? OK, I guess it could. But I think it is obvious what Bob meant. Those who called him out on the point, in my opinion, did so just to pick a fight. Where does this serve anyone?

 

If you want to criticize his manner for making his point, have at it, but I'd personally appreciate it if it was advertized as such.

 

Before some of you jump on me for being one of Bob's puppets, I think you should know that I've criticized Bob in the past, too. Sometimes his ability to make his position known without sounding like a know - it - all is lacking. And I've told him so. But some of you guys attack him for sport, it seems, and I find that unScoutlike.

 

Mark

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Dave J,

 

Wow - there's a lot in here.

 

First - what changed to stop the influx of new Scouts? Was the change to only accept boys at age 12 a recent thing? Did there used to be a Pack associated with your troop which shut down? (Presumably they would be bound by same restrictions posed by Church.)

 

Second - Since your troop has a reputation for positive character growth, you might be able to make your point by getting into the meaning of "do your best" and the damaging signals it sends to the guys when they know their best isn't really expected or required. Character growth isn't about blocks to fill out on a college application - it's about what's in your heart.

 

My sincere best wishes for you and your son. Hang in there!

 

-mike

 

For the professionals out there: Can a CO really have a requirement that you must be at least 12 years old to join our troop? I have never seen an option to limit troop membership like this. What other limits on troop membership might be imposed as an option?

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I'm sorry, in reviewing my post I see that I did not express myself very well. What I am trying to say is that at this point in time what brought Troop A to this brink is not as important as the fact that they are now here and about to fold. What's needed is for the Leaders of the troop to realize their situation rather than make excuses for being in it. They need to focus more on change than cause.

 

If this was a leader or group of leaders that paid attention to the past or learned from it thay would have remedied the situation by now.

 

2 left for sports because sports offered more reward, adventure, activity, and fellowsip than the troop did. 9 to 12 new scouts left because they were not getting the promise of scouting fullfilled at the meetings or activities.

 

Ed is it your feeling that this troop is doing fine? Do you see it needing to change anything. Remember if all it does is recruit new scouts without changing it's program the exodus will continue.

 

So do they stay the same of change?

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Its kinda like realizing you took a wrong turn on a path.

 

First figure out where you are now. If havent gone too far down the wrong track, fastest/easiest way to get on the right path is just to back up to the turn you missed. If youve gone a long ways, it might be best to find an intersecting path that takes you back to intended trail without backtracking as much.

In the case of UCs helping the Troop A's out there, its probably more like bushwhacking back in the general direction of the right path Terrain is different in each case - complete with land mines and hidden cliffs.

 

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"2 left for sports because sports offered more reward, adventure, activity, and fellowsip than the troop did. 9 to 12 new scouts left because they were not getting the promise of scouting fullfilled at the meetings or activities."

 

There you go again. Making up reasons. You must really know this Troop well! Is it in your district?

 

Ed Mori

A blessed Christmas to all!

1 Peter 4:10

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