Jump to content
scotteg83

Linked Troop Mission Statement

Recommended Posts

I would like to start off by saying I am looking for help advice or words of wisdom.

 

I am on the start-up committee for a New Girls Troop.  We have plans to potentially register now as an Explorer Club, and then transition to a Troop come February.  We have the CO and COR on board with the idea.  We have a strong troop that was said they would do what is "required" of them to help.  Our start-up committee plan to is to approach them with a "mission statement" or plan of action to become temporary linked with them.  We would like to use their committee to have our incoming committee (once they are all sourced) "job shadow" until they feel ready to take it on themselves.  We have a Mom that is willing to be SM, and enough support with experienced ASM to assist.

 

I am looking for feedback on what to include in our Mission statement.  Some ideas I can think of:

-Meeting place sharing (Troop uses the fellowship hall at the church, the Girls unit will go into the Chorus room)

-Sharing Opening, Game, and Closing (I feel this is only if the Boys PLC agree to this) - over time, this will be moved to our space and done by our girls

-Sharing equipment.  We are going to recruit and pull from 5 surrounding towns, and plan to approach all 5 troops with an Equipment usage waiver in hopes they will assist as needed.  At least until we start to grow our own.

-Sharing Committee.  We have some ideas on CC, Advancement and Treasurer, but would like them to shadow the troops members.  The troop has been around for 85 years, and the current CC and Advancement Chair are probably the best in the area to model after. 

-Female Troop leadership with sit on Board of Reviews and Scoutmaster conferences to learn first hand experience on how to do their own.  Once the girls are ready for advancement themselves, the Boys Troop SM and CC with assist the new Female leadership to conduct their own.

-Sharing COH.  Until we grow in size, this might be suggested.  Or still to small COH to celebrate separately. 

-We plan to have 2 registered females at all Troop meetings, therefore not pulling any extra requirements from the Boy troop leadership.

-We will not push for jointed camp-outs, however, we would appreciate Older boy support on our first couple shakedown runs.  We will reach out to all 5 troops on this one.

-If both Troop PLCs decided to have a jointed camp-out, that will ok, with the correct YPT rules. 

 

Can't think of anything more at the time, but please leave feedback or suggestions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Mission Statement and Plan of Action are two different things. Typically the Plan of Action is the "how-to" for the Mission Statement. Your appear to have a good plan that is ready to move forward with action items. But I'm not clear why you want a Mission Statement. Are the BSA and Mission and Vision Statements not enough? I'm not suggesting anything, just trying to understand what you are asking for.

Barry

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with @Eagledad.  I've seen a variety of terms used in planning like this.  But, they generally break down into "goals" and "steps you'll take".  When folks add a Mission Statement, it's usually a little more general.  Most of the rest of what you wrote sound like the short term steps you'll take to get going. 

What I feel like is missing here is details about where you want to get to and some times and durations.  The question I normally get with this is - "this seems to formal for a Scout troop - isn't it obvious we want to do these things?  I've found that even in Scouting, having defined dates & goals helps focus all scouts & adults on the team.  When our troop has left these kinds of goals blank, then folks start inserting their own beliefs.  All of a sudden you find out that the SM thinks you'll need to have equipment in 6 months, but the Adult Quartermaster is thinking 3 years.  Next thing you know you spend a Committee meeting discussing it anyways.

Were I writing the same, I might do something like the below.

Mission Statement: Troop 123 will be an independent Scouts BSA troop for girls, led by the Scouts, and following the Aims and Methods of the BSA.  We will serve the five towns of: <insert towns> 

 

Goals: 

- Have a fully filled, independent Troop committee consisting of (CC, Advancement Chair, ???) by <insert date>

- Have a SM and enough trained ASMs to support the program by <insert date>

- Have an independent program planned & run by the PLC by <insert date>.

- Acquire our enough of our own Troop equipment by <insert date>

Actions to achieve goals:

-Meeting place sharing (Troop uses the fellowship hall at the church, the Girls unit will go into the Chorus room)

-Sharing Opening, Game, and Closing (I feel this is only if the Boys PLC agree to this) - over time, this will be moved to our space and done by our girls

-Sharing equipment.  We are going to recruit and pull from 5 surrounding towns, and plan to approach all 5 troops with an Equipment usage waiver in hopes they will assist as needed.  At least until we start to grow our own.

-Sharing Committee.  We have some ideas on CC, Advancement and Treasurer, but would like them to shadow the troops members.  The troop has been around for 85 years, and the current CC and Advancement Chair are probably the best in the area to model after. 

-Female Troop leadership with sit on Board of Reviews and Scoutmaster conferences to learn first hand experience on how to do their own.  Once the girls are ready for advancement themselves, the Boys Troop SM and CC with assist the new Female leadership to conduct their own.

-Sharing COH.  Until we grow in size, this might be suggested.  Or still to small COH to celebrate separately. 

-We plan to have 2 registered females at all Troop meetings, therefore not pulling any extra requirements from the Boy troop leadership.

-We will not push for jointed camp-outs, however, we would appreciate Older boy support on our first couple shakedown runs.  We will reach out to all 5 troops on this one.

-If both Troop PLCs decided to have a jointed camp-out, that will ok, with the correct YPT rules. 

 

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto Barry. Your mission statement is already written for you .

What you are talking about are 1/2 by-laws and 1/2 transition plan.

Fiddling with your outline just a little you have:

  • Separate resources
    • Meeting rooms
    • Female Adults (SMs and Committee?)
      • Training
    • Female Youth
      • Training
    • Schedule of Events
  • Shared resources
    • Building
    • Meeting time
    • Meeting elements (to be determined)
    • Courts of Honor
      • SPLs share the script?
    • Equipment (The 5 troop waiver thing sounds really confusing. If I were a COR, I would tell you to use our gear and add to it.)
    • Trainers
      • Senior MCs and ASMs
      • Senior PLs/JASMs/TGs?
      • Explorers/Venturers?
    • Events - at invitation of the host PLC

As you discuss with our people, items may move up and down. My only thought is two committees could be an undo burden on the CO/COR. Either you are asking the COR to devote time to two committees, or asking the CO to cough up another COR, and then those two CORs would have to compare notes.

If I were you, I would only treat this as a plan for the first half of 2019 and schedule an evaluation after summer camps (include MC's, SPL's, and SM's).

I don't get what good an Explorer Club does for 6 months. But maybe if you explain it may help some other stranger on the internet.

  •  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I don't get what good an Explorer Club does for 6 months. But maybe if you explain it may help some other stranger on the internet.

  •  

 

Yes, mission statement was the wrong word choice, great call!

 

Explorer club means we can meet starting today, and have insurance coverage from our local council.  We still cannot earn advancement, but we can have organized meetings and start learning Scout Skills.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a request for the moderators:

How about a subforum on "Practical advice for launching a girls Scouts BSA troop" under the "Open Discussion - Program" forum.

We've currently got a couple of good discussions going: this one ("Linked Troop Mission Statement") and also "New Scout Troop" that would fit there already.  And I imagine there will be more in the upcoming months.  And it would help people looking for advice be able to find this good advice more easily.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

I've got a request for the moderators:

How about a subforum on "Practical advice for launching a girls Scouts BSA troop" under the "Open Discussion - Program" forum.

We've currently got a couple of good discussions going: this one ("Linked Troop Mission Statement") and also "New Scout Troop" that would fit there already.  And I imagine there will be more in the upcoming months.  And it would help people looking for advice be able to find this good advice more easily.

You could easily use the forum titled "Girl Scouting"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, MattR said:

You could easily use the forum titled "Girl Scouting"

Except that’s an entirely different program.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What strikes me is that you're assuming both an extreme lack of knowledge on the part of the parents and an extreme level of complexity for youth running a program.

How would you be doing this if you were starting a new troop for boys --- as has been going on for 100+ years?  There could be some value in the girls observing how the boys run their troop for a few weeks, but mostly I think what you need to do is get the girls to jump in and start putting together THEIR program.  

Get your troop together, see who wants to be the leaders, have them work with the their fellow scouts to plan a campout --- where do they want to go, what do they want to do, how are they going to feed themselves.  You can help them find equipment, but see what they think they know already and what they think they'll need.  Skip the joint opening, closing, and game; Troop 123 isn't a subset of Troop 456, it's Troop 123, they know how to say the Pledge, they'll learn how to say the Oath and Law, they're as capable of deciding how to organize and enjoy themselves as any other troop.

Once they get back from the first campout, great, what did we do well, what do we want to do differently.  Now plan a couple more trips and start thinking about other things like advancement, if they're interested in that they'll read the handbook and start planning how to knock out requirememts.  But what they probably want to do most is what all youth want to do: get together, get outside, and have some fun.

Some of the other things you mention could be helpful, like having the parents of the new scouts observe how a current troop operates, however, maybe I'm wrong, but I would guess that many of the parents of girls joining the program are going to be the parents of sons already in the program.

The essence of scouting is a group of youth being empowered to develop their own outdoor program.  Focus on that and the rest of the stuff will follow.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

What strikes me is that you're assuming both an extreme lack of knowledge on the part of the parents

 

5 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

I would guess that many of the parents of girls joining the program are going to be the parents of sons already in the program.

I've seen plenty of complaints that parents of boys moving up from cubs just don't understand Scouting and how it is different from cubbing.  So even if the new girls have younger brothers in cubs, it wont mean that their parents are familiar with how a Scout Troop works.    And parents of only girls, who are coming in from Girl Scouts, are going to understand even less about BSA.

Family sizes tend to be small.  A lot of prospective members will not have an older brother at all, much less one who is active in Scouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

What strikes me is that you're assuming both an extreme lack of knowledge on the part of the parents and an extreme level of complexity for youth running a program.

How would you be doing this if you were starting a new troop for boys --- as has been going on for 100+ years?  There could be some value in the girls observing how the boys run their troop for a few weeks, but mostly I think what you need to do is get the girls to jump in and start putting together THEIR program.  

Get your troop together, see who wants to be the leaders, have them work with the their fellow scouts to plan a campout --- where do they want to go, what do they want to do, how are they going to feed themselves.  You can help them find equipment, but see what they think they know already and what they think they'll need.  Skip the joint opening, closing, and game; Troop 123 isn't a subset of Troop 456, it's Troop 123, they know how to say the Pledge, they'll learn how to say the Oath and Law, they're as capable of deciding how to organize and enjoy themselves as any other troop.

Once they get back from the first campout, great, what did we do well, what do we want to do differently.  Now plan a couple more trips and start thinking about other things like advancement, if they're interested in that they'll read the handbook and start planning how to knock out requirememts.  But what they probably want to do most is what all youth want to do: get together, get outside, and have some fun.

Some of the other things you mention could be helpful, like having the parents of the new scouts observe how a current troop operates, however, maybe I'm wrong, but I would guess that many of the parents of girls joining the program are going to be the parents of sons already in the program.

The essence of scouting is a group of youth being empowered to develop their own outdoor program.  Focus on that and the rest of the stuff will follow.

Some very great points.

 

The only thing on the committee shadowing the troop's.  Our 2 females that have already agreed to step up, have no clue on how to run a troop (Positional training will happen soon), nor how to hold a SM conference and Board of Review.  They are both Mom's of boys in Scouting, but haven't volunteered for anything on the troop level.  The soon to be Scoutmaster has been a popcorn kernel for the pack and nothing else.  The potential Committee Chair has been a Assistant den leader for two months now and has no clue on what a Committee Chair does, or how to hold Board of Reviews, etc

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

The only thing on the committee shadowing the troop's.  Our 2 females that have already agreed to step up, have no clue on how to run a troop (Positional training will happen soon), nor how to hold a SM conference and Board of Review.  They are both Mom's of boys in Scouting, but haven't volunteered for anything on the troop level.  The soon to be Scoutmaster has been a popcorn kernel for the pack and nothing else.  The potential Committee Chair has been a Assistant den leader for two months now and has no clue on what a Committee Chair does, or how to hold Board of Reviews, etc

You bring up the major reason new troops struggle with a boy run program. Adults by their nature feel the need to constantly measure success, so when they don't know what success looks like, they grab the books. In most cases, the advancement check list. Then they start driving the program toward building a program of knocking off requirements on checklist because that's an easy measure of success. Problem with that is the goal of scouting is develop ethical and more decision makers, not rank patch collectors. 

I would suggest that your future leaders visit a few different troops to get a basic understanding of the program. VERY BASIC understanding. I once picked five troops to observe typical PLC meetings. All five had a completely different style. I took a few ideas and then developed our own style. Scoutmaster minutes and BORs are the same. Just a few visits to get an understanding. 

Then I would basically follow T2Eagle's suggestions while adding the purchase of the SPL and PL Handbooks to use those as your guide to running the program. They are very basic, but have just about everything a troop needs to function as a youth run program. Actually, give them to the scouts and let them use them to run the program, with you in the background throwing out a couple of suggestions, based from the handbooks. 

New troops have an opportunity to build a team relationship that established program struggle to develop, because the adults and scouts are starting on the same level of experience. That allows an opportunity for the adults and scouts to work together as a team. That is a big advantage because the scouts will feel they are part of the leadership from the beginning. That can sometimes take months or years with some units. 

finally, don't be afraid of change. A lot of troops develop habits that don't accomplish anything to scout growth. I once visited a troop with a tradition of breaking camp 9:00am Sunday morning so they could get the equipment unloaded at the CO church before the parking lot filled up for church service. The scouts ate Poptarts while folding up their tents and loading the trailer. Now where is the fun in that kind of program? I asked the leader, why don't you get back to your church at 1:00pm and do program all morning. Nobody had ever thought of that. Making that change shifted the program back to the scouts.

Lots of good advice from a lot of good scouters here, so don't be afraid to ask questions. I know it's a burden talking about scouting stuff, but we seem to find the will.:cool:

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@scotteg83, you have an opportunity to start fresh and not fight old baggage and old/wrong perceptions. This has nothing to do with girls. So first of all, this could be a lot of fun. I think the challenge is coming up with a small, tight, easily understood list of guidelines that everyone, scouts and adults, will respect. That will make the communication and training of all these new scouts and adults much simpler. Ideas these guidelines might cover, in no particular order:

The separation of what the adults and scouts are responsible for. What the adults should and should not do. Same for scouts.

How problems are solved.

The process for defining/changing the calendar. Types and rough amounts of events? Challenging, fun, silly, advancement, service, fundraising ...

The process for handling failure, both for the adults and scouts. (and what failure is, how to identify, review in general)

The aim of scouting, in much clearer words than the BSA's (it better include fun)

How you handle the situation where adults want to step in and scouts want to step back.

How you handle the situation where the older scouts just don't want to do anything challenging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, scotteg83 said:

... Explorer club means we can meet starting today, and have insurance coverage from our local council.  We still cannot earn advancement, but we can have organized meetings and start learning Scout Skills. ...

Got it! So, what age range are you actually dealing with? The full 10-14? Or is it more like 11-12 year olds?

I ask because if you have a few interested 13-14 year olds, or you this lot of youngsters seem like a bunch of natural born leaders, you may want to put Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops ILST on the agenda for a December or January activity. That might be a good complement to those SPL/PL handbooks.

The other way that I think linked troops could use ILST is for the two PLC's to do it together. (I say "do" rather than "take" because it's actually designed to be run by youth with your SMs/ASMs in the back of the room.) Over the long run I think this is a good way for the boys to compare notes with the girls and make sure they are each doing their part to deliver on the promise of scouting. I don't know, however, if it's a good idea for a joint ILST in the beginning of year 1 -- especially if the boys have been doing it yearly already. The only reason is from my experience with Venturing, is HS girls don't like to step up when they think there's a boy who's had experience with the task in question. At the end of that first year, one or two of the girls who've taken the course will be ready to team up with their male counterparts in delivering it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, qwazse said:

Got it! So, what age range are you actually dealing with? The full 10-14? Or is it more like 11-12 year olds?

I ask because if you have a few interested 13-14 year olds, or you this lot of youngsters seem like a bunch of natural born leaders, you may want to put Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops ILST on the agenda for a December or January activity. That might be a good complement to those SPL/PL handbooks.

The other way that I think linked troops could use ILST is for the two PLC's to do it together. (I say "do" rather than "take" because it's actually designed to be run by youth with your SMs/ASMs in the back of the room.) Over the long run I think this is a good way for the boys to compare notes with the girls and make sure they are each doing their part to deliver on the promise of scouting. I don't know, however, if it's a good idea for a joint ILST in the beginning of year 1 -- especially if the boys have been doing it yearly already. The only reason is from my experience with Venturing, is HS girls don't like to step up when they think there's a boy who's had experience with the task in question. At the end of that first year, one or two of the girls who've taken the course will be ready to team up with their male counterparts in delivering it.

 

 

This is probably going to be more 11-12 year old.  At least the core 5 we have lined up are.  And we plan to start recruitment focusing on 6th grade and middle school. 

 

I would have to look into ILST more.  I've heard the term, but I've never seen it happen before.  Our currently scoutmaster has done "leadership training" for newer PL's, but I doubt its ILST standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×