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hmscouting

Impact on the troop from Varsity Scouting?

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So, I guess we found out that they're going to start "Varsity Scouting" programs in our district, and  apparently planning to recruit from currently existing troops.  I'm pretty new at the SM game, our second year began this past August, and most of the Scouts in our troop are younger.

But what I'm worried about is that as we develop as a troop, if our older Scouts disappear off to these Varsity programs, how are we going to develop?  And what experiences are the older boys going to miss out on?

 

-CL

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Contrary to popular belief, the real building period in your scouts is between ages 11-13. You really want one in eight boys aiming at PL by their third year in scouting. If your older boys pull together and form a venture patrol, that's gravy.  That really only leaves room "at the top" for maybe four or five boys (SPL, ASPL, QM, JASM, TG). The rest will be drawn to other activities anyway.

 

Our district does not have Varsity Teams, but that's because western PA sports is an efficient machine that draws our boys (and girls, speaking as a crew advisor) away from the best camping seasons.

 

So, if a boy or two moves on, encourage him to not be a stranger. You still would like to know how he's doing. Ask him to send an invite to anything cool that he thinks the troop would like.

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I perceive Varsity Scouting as a separate program often focused on sports.  The way to keep your Troop intact is to make if fun for the younger boys and the older boys.  That doesn't necessarily mean the same things.  Develop an outdoor program that is both a learning experience for the younger guys and includes challenges for the older guys but make it fun for both.  Nobody abandons something fun and exciting for the unknown.

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Varsity scouting will have no more impact on your troop than any other random extra curricular activity.  We don't have any Varsity scouts in our area, but if you look at the numbers nationwide they are a small, small, component of scouting.  

 

What area of the country do you live in?  Do you have any idea why someone there thinks this is a good idea, or viable program, or what unmet need it will serve?

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Unless you are in LDS country and an LDS unit, it should not affect you. While Varsity Scouting is a national program,  LDS church are the ones who pushed fro the program's creation in the early to mid 1980s, and all of the Varsity Scouts I've seen are LDS Scouts, although i've been told there are some non-LDS Varsity Scouts out there.

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