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Stosh

Fight or Flight?

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Again, working from the National Standards of Recharter experience...

 

Have a plan either to..

- work with your DE and the Council Registrar if internet recharter will not let you recharter the unit for "below minimum youth membership."

- or to migrate your boys if your Council refuses to recharter an understrength unit.

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First of all @@Stosh, major props to you for keeping your energy up while running a troop that is down to 2.  Good luck with your open house tomorrow.  I don't know that I would be as energized at this point.

 

As far as fight or flight, I have never personally been in a position to have to make that choice.  There are a lot of posts on this forum that would make me want to "take flight."  I agree with one of the previous posters on here, everyone has their own breaking point.  I have been lucky and have never been close to that point in any scout group I have been involved with.

 

However, there was a point where I was getting somewhat burned out and I felt that was impacting the program for the boys, which was why I stepped down as a SM a couple of years ago.  However, when the troop needed someone to step up and nobody with kids currently in the troop volunteered, I decided that I felt refreshed enough that I would step back in and am really enjoying myself now.

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After 35+ years of Scouter leadership, I've ridden this cycle many times.  I just hate it when the boys bail after a year when there are those out there that persevere for many years in order to get results.  In our society of instant gratification, that flight trigger is getting more and more pronounced in the younger generation.  It's pretty difficult to teach leadership to boys that will bail at the first sign of a struggle of any sort.

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I think boys see their parents quit when things get tough so they don't value or see the satisfaction of sticking it out and making things better.

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@@Mom2a

 

Making things better has a lot to do with what it takes to help others, not just oneself.  It's really easy to quit when it doesn't suit oneself.  In general, I believe today's society is too narcissistic to hang in there and make things better.  We see it in the general trend of the Scouting program.  Are rank advancements designed for oneself and getting the Paper Eagle for self promotion, or is one's participation to develop oneself to actually be able to do one's duty to God and country and help other people at all times and be a Real Eagle?

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Hmm, so it's all on the boys. I don't know stosh, there are a lot of successful boy run troops around. Sometimes failure is the result of adult leaders just doing it wrong. Not all adults have what it takes to run a troop. Obviously nobody here can know how you really run your program, but even the best of us change and tune our programs to meet the boys needs. 

 

Barry

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From the boys' perspective, if there's this guy/gal who's teaching them cool things and they get away from the hubbub of daily life and their parents are proud of them for it, why not stick around -- even if it's just two of you? Not every boy wants to be part of a crowd. And for some boys, 8 is a crowd. (Heck, in Dolly Sods this summer, it began to feel like 3 and me was a crowd!)

 

The question really isn't about quitting. It is about are these boys motivated enough to lead by recruiting? Are they willing to look beyond their buddies to some boys who might not have found their niche in school, sports, or whatever? If they are, then you should coach them accordingly. At the least, they should visit a Webelos den or two, talk about what they've done in the past year while you shuffle the parents off to another room and explain to them how your troop operates and what you think of your boys as potential leaders of their kids.

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Hmm, so it's all on the boys. I don't know stosh, there are a lot of successful boy run troops around. Sometimes failure is the result of adult leaders just doing it wrong. Not all adults have what it takes to run a troop. Obviously nobody here can know how you really run your program, but even the best of us change and tune our programs to meet the boys needs. 

 

Barry

 

Good point. And those of us who can run a good larger program might not have the skills to build and grow a smaller program. I know I can run a medium to large program and keep it thriving. I don't know that I have the skills/patience to do the same for a smaller one.

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Good point. And those of us who can run a good larger program might not have the skills to build and grow a smaller program. I know I can run a medium to large program and keep it thriving. I don't know that I have the skills/patience to do the same for a smaller one.

 

:)  I would suggest not starting a new unit then.  One doesn't get the choice on having the numbers for a while.  There's a lot to be said about coasting along on other people's program building and building one of one's own.  Whole different skill set to consider. 

 

Yes, it would be nice to have the numbers.  Yes it would be nice to have the older boys to teach.  Yes it would be nice to have some track record of what works for the group and what doesn't.  Yes it would be nice to have an over abundant reserve in the treasury. Yes it would be nice to have all the equipment to do a nice campout.  Yes it would be nice to have a lot of what others simply take for granted because their programs have been entrenched and operational for many years.

 

One cannot take position specific training and expect to pull off starting a Boy Scout troop with 3-4 Webelos cross-overs.  But then unless one has even tried it, they will probably never understand the different dynamics involved.

 

The Fight or Flight thread was intended for the dynamics observed from the boys.  The two adults are totally on-board with how things are shaking out both positive and negative.  The boys we have left are the hardcore scouts that are willing to roll up their sleeves and make the troop work.  Those who have other ideas have gone off in search of those other issues.

 

The interesting thing is that even though the one boy went to another troop, his dad and grandmother who have been working with the troop aren't going anywhere.  They are just as determined as I am to make this work.  One of the things that keeps one from burning out is not the pressure, but the monotony at times.  Going from a long standing troop of 50+ boys down to a brand new troop with just a handful makes life interesting.  By the way my Venturing crew that was started 15 years ago and still running strong started out with 2 boys as well.  It's the oldest crew in the council .  Go figure, eh? :)   

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:)  I would suggest not starting a new unit then.  One doesn't get the choice on having the numbers for a while.  There's a lot to be said about coasting along on other people's program building and building one of one's own.  Whole different skill set to consider. 

 

Yes, it would be nice to have the numbers.  Yes it would be nice to have the older boys to teach.  Yes it would be nice to have some track record of what works for the group and what doesn't.  Yes it would be nice to have an over abundant reserve in the treasury. Yes it would be nice to have all the equipment to do a nice campout.  Yes it would be nice to have a lot of what others simply take for granted because their programs have been entrenched and operational for many years.

 

 

I've done the new Crew start-up. That was less pressure to succeed because in my area many crews fail in the first year and few have more than 5-10 scouts. We have 20 and run it essentially like the old Leadership Corps. It's is more a Venture Patrol than a Crew. Format worked for us and allowed the guys to give back to the main unit.

 

Starting a whole new troop is well beyond my patience level. I take my hat off to all who try.

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I can see where a partner Venture Crew might be a good idea, but one already has a dual registered set of adults and older scouts.  It just opens the door to expanding co-ed, program, etc. as well.  The basic core of ready volunteers is there to start and one has the luxury of falling back on troop resources if the Crew needs it.  My Crew was Civil War reenactors and like the new troop I"m building now, there is no safety net to fall back on.  Try explaining to the new Crew members, it's going to cost $1500 for personal equipment to get started and see how fast your ranks fill up.  :)  

 

I'd love to have a Venturing Crew of older boys that did a lot of HA, but that's a luxury I've never had in my Scouting career.  Maybe next year.  :)

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Hi Stosh,

 

Welcome to Lone Scouting.

 

Naw, we'll do fine, just need more time.  It is kinda nice to be able to give the more personal touch to each scout when the numbers are down like this.  We've already adopted a leaner financial approach and are making plans to do some fund raising, but not to the point where it becomes a burden.  The summer "camp" next year is going the route of a 5 day canoe trek with sandbar camping.  The menu is in it's initial stages.  It'll make a good shake-out trip for eventual BWCA trek.  One of the boys said that summer camp can wait because they are too young for the good things like climbing towers, zip-lines, and HA at camp anyway.  This way they can determine the minimum age at 11 and not worry about it.  :)  Canoeing? Kayaking? Fishing? Swimming? Camping? DO cooking? And it'll cost about 1/3rd the price of a summer camp program in a mess hall.  The adults can sign on as MBC's and it'll be a blast.  

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Naw, we'll do fine, just need more time.  It is kinda nice to be able to give the more personal touch to each scout when the numbers are down like this.  We've already adopted a leaner financial approach and are making plans to do some fund raising, but not to the point where it becomes a burden.  The summer "camp" next year is going the route of a 5 day canoe trek with sandbar camping.  The menu is in it's initial stages.  It'll make a good shake-out trip for eventual BWCA trek.  One of the boys said that summer camp can wait because they are too young for the good things like climbing towers, zip-lines, and HA at camp anyway.  This way they can determine the minimum age at 11 and not worry about it.   :)  Canoeing? Kayaking? Fishing? Swimming? Camping? DO cooking? And it'll cost about 1/3rd the price of a summer camp program in a mess hall.  The adults can sign on as MBC's and it'll be a blast.  

i actually think that summer camp program sounds like a blast.  It would have been much more to my liking.... a fun long camping trip with my buds!  Hopefully you'll have a couple more than 2 by then!

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We'll train up the two boys I have now in the basics of canoeing and when the new Webelos boys come on-board, we'll have ballast for the front of each canoe to keep it out of the wind.  :)

 

In all seriousness the boys that are really into Scouting prefer the homemade trips over the summer camps.  Those that are seeking to get themselves quickly to Eagle like the MB Summer Camps.  it's a bit more work, but I like the homemade trips myself.

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