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5thGenTexan

First New Troop Adult Meeting

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This coming Thursday I along with a leader from a nearby Pack are meeting with parents of prospective girls to create a new Girl Troop.  I am hopeful we have 5 girls, but that will be part of the meeting.  What else should we try to cover?  I have a New Unit Application for the CO to fill out (although it will be a couple of weeks because the Church is in the process of changing ministers), we have a COR, if its ok with everyone I am willing to be CC, we have at least one committee member from the Boy Troop that has said they will be on our committee.  I know we will need to discuss who will be SM.  I also picked up a handful of Adult and Youth Applications.  Additionally I have been in contact with the DE, so he knows what is going on.

 

What else do we need to address in this first meeting?

 

Also, I have been thinking a lot about how the Troop will operate. (I know thats the SM job, but you know...)  We will be starting from scratch so there are no Scouts that understand how it works well enough to Youth Lead at this point.  Do we in the first 6 months to a year operate as Webelos 3 while at the same time slowly giving them enough rope to take over and lead as the program is designed next year?

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We just had our initial adult meeting for a Ladies Troop last week! We already had the CO paperwork signed, but there wouldn't have been any reason NOT to meet before the paperwork was signed. We just didn't, other than informal chats during Pack meetings or at Roundtable.

We selected a CC. Everyone else signed up as either a MBC or a Committee Member with future roles to decide later. I am "acting" Secretary; my husband is COR so I wasn't willing to be CC unless nobody else would step up. So we came into the meeting with a COR and a SM; CC was the only thing left that had to be decided right then. We figured we'd get the Troop moving, kind of get a feel for our talents and how we work together, and then assign formal committee roles later. 

We agreed on a Troop number. Since we are the only unit chartered by our CO, we had to think of one from scratch. We agreed on a time and day of the week for meetings. We will temporarily be meeting at the Scout office as our CO's property is a rifle range and not suitable for meeting. ;) We discussed how to deal with initial dues since we don't yet have a bank account or a treasurer. We gathered adult and youth applications (we have 3 youth so far and hopefully 1 more by the time we turn in; our Council will allow 3 to start although 5+ is obviously preferred; our SM has a 2nd year Webelos Scout who can be Scout #5 in about 6 months even in the unlikely even that we can't recruit any more before then). We talked about camping for this summer but didn't make any decisions; the youth will need to decide whether to attend a summer camp (having had no opportunity to fundraise) or whether to plan a Troop campout toward the end of Summer where we will work on Trail to First Class stuff. We discussed and agreed to join Scouts for Equality and have our Troop listed on their website. 

We met at a park. I handed a youth application to a 12 year old girl at the park, with my phone number on it and told her to talk it over with her parents and have them call me if they want to sign up. ;) Haven't heard from anybody yet, but I'm crossing fingers. She was having fun playing with the daughters of the adult leaders so maybe? :D I'm shameless. 

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We have our own Scout Hut here, the Troop meets there, the Pack meets there, and the GS Troop meets there, so we are good on a meeting place.  We will discuss it, but I believe we can meet at the same time and place as the Boy Troop and do opening and then go off and do our own thing separate from them.  We will be using the same Troop number as the Boy Troop, it will just be designated by "GT" on paperwork.  

We too "aint got no money"  :)  Camp Cards are pretty successful here, so I imagine we will do that next year and as much as I hate it I guess we will probably give Popcorn a try.

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21 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

.. Do we in the first 6 months to a year operate as Webelos 3 while at the same time slowly giving them enough rope to take over and lead as the program is designed next year? 

Answering your last question first. Encourage your SM to never operate as Webelos 3. They are scouts from day 1. If they don't understand what that means, they learn it. (That's why Scout is now considered a rank.)

That does not mean the girls are ready to solo in a wilderness recreation area on day 1. That does mean they get into habits of thinking for themselves. Electing a PL. Coming up with a name, yell, flag, etc ... on their own and within a month of starting. Map out camp sites commensurate with their skills. Have them think about what they'd like to do when. They plan their own menus, track their own fitness, etc ... As a CC, those are the benchmarks that what you'll want to hear from the SM. You want your committee to be meeting these girls in boards of review and hearing how they feel about their progress and their troop. Leadership development starts now. Do not squander it by letting an overprotective adult take the reigns. But listen to what the youth are telling your committee. If they hate camp cards, drop them and tell them you'll do your best to support them in whatever fundraiser they want to try. If one of them has an idea for something cool, encourage them to speak up in their patrol. Encourage the youth to listen to one another.

For ASMs, you will need to recruit women of the utmost integrity. That's the best thing you can do as CC. It is the hardest thing to do because you want to encourage adults, but you also want to be selective at the same time. The other thing you will want to do is find out who has property in their family that may be suitable for camping. Do those two things right and your job as CC will be fun and rewarding.

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34 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

What else do we need to address in this first meeting?

First scout meeting?  or first adult / parent meeting ? 

  • Infrastructure early and continually ... You need to collect and share infrastructure information early and continually.   Get contact information of new members (youth, both parents, etc).  Give contact information of existing leaders.  Communicate initial dates.  
  • Build excitement and vision ... for both scouts and parents ... you need to build excitement.  convince them to come back and keep coming back.
  • Build friendships and fellowship ... continually
  • Lock down a first moderate sized event.  

Do NOT start as a Webelos 3.  Maybe the first meeting is a meet and greet.  Sometime fairly quick, elect your first SPL and build patrols.  Or just a PL if you only have 5 to 10 scouts.  Maybe run a few games ... or go bowling or ... The scouts will quickly learn who the natural youth leaders are.  Then, have the SPL be the SPL to the level of their ability and be careful to not step on their toes as they learn.  

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1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

This coming Thursday I along with a leader from a nearby Pack are meeting with parents of prospective girls to create a new Girl Troop.  I am hopeful we have 5 girls, but that will be part of the meeting.  What else should we try to cover?  I have a New Unit Application for the CO to fill out (although it will be a couple of weeks because the Church is in the process of changing ministers), we have a COR, if its ok with everyone I am willing to be CC, we have at least one committee member from the Boy Troop that has said they will be on our committee.  I know we will need to discuss who will be SM.  I also picked up a handful of Adult and Youth Applications.  Additionally I have been in contact with the DE, so he knows what is going on.

 

What else do we need to address in this first meeting?

 

Also, I have been thinking a lot about how the Troop will operate. (I know thats the SM job, but you know...)  We will be starting from scratch so there are no Scouts that understand how it works well enough to Youth Lead at this point.  Do we in the first 6 months to a year operate as Webelos 3 while at the same time slowly giving them enough rope to take over and lead as the program is designed next year?

I would say no.  I would start training them to work as a patrol from the get go.  

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Agree with others as a big NO to Web3.

A great resource for a patrol just getting started is the Scout Fieldbook 1944 edition. Patrols can start with "PowWow#1" and progress in order, or bounce around as they see fit.

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Oh yeah, another "no" vote on a Webelos 3 type group. Get the girls involved FROM THE START with the planning. This is super important. Adults can take care of the boring stuff like charter paperwork, but the Scouts need to be presented with their books and then "Ok, figure out how you're going to accomplish this and what you want to do first. We'll be over here in the corner to answer questions. Let us know when you have a plan and if there's a problem with the plan you create we'll help you work through it." 

I'm doing my homework to see which camps in the region still have space for the summer and what the cost will be (I think our local council camps are full) but that's only going to come out if the girls say "we think we want to attend a Council camp." I want to anticipate questions and have some answers ready because we're so short on time for the summer; but I still don't want to take the wheel. 

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8 hours ago, Liz said:

We agreed on a Troop number

Why have the adults choose a troop number?  Why not let the girls choose it?  (Assuming the C.O. isn't set on matching numbers to existing units.)

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8 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

We will discuss it, but I believe we can meet at the same time and place as the Boy Troop and do opening and then go off and do our own thing separate from them.

We've been doing this.  It's working well.

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8 hours ago, qwazse said:

Electing a PL. Coming up with a name, yell, flag, etc ... on their own and within a month of starting.

Our small troop elected a PL rather than an SPL. Initial elections were right as the troop formed up and initial length of office was only three months -- which was a good thing.  The girls didn't really know what the jobs were like or what they likely doing.   By three months into the patrol's existance, it was much clearer what needed to be done and who would be a good patrol leader.

I would not force them to quickly settle on the name and flag.     Get them started thinking about it,  even before the troop is chartered.  But you want them to have time to pick a good name,  and name with some meaning to them,  a name that they will want to keep for years.    Once they realize that they cannot reach Scout rank until they have a patrol name, that will motivate them to finish deciding.  

 

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6 hours ago, Liz said:

I'm doing my homework to see which camps in the region still have space for the summer and what the cost will be (I think our local council camps are full) but that's only going to come out if the girls say "we think we want to attend a Council camp."

Do your scouts actually know that summer Council camp is an option?   Sometimes we need to let them know what the possibilities are -- not to force them to do something, but to let them know that they could decide to do something.

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Posted (edited)

I want the scouts to do as much as they can for themselves   But also, with young and inexperienced scouts,  I feel like the adults need to give them enough support that they can actually get out-of-doors and do something.   (Because if scouting is not fun they will not stick with the program and benefit from it.)   It is hard to know exactly how much support is the right amount of support,  not too little, and not too much. 

Edited by Treflienne
clarity

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As in everything Scouty, "it depends"   

Another vote "NO"  as to Web3.  Give them the Scout Hnadbook, tell/encourage them to read it.  Ask the local Boy Troop if they have some Instructors for Scout Skill stuff, willing to visit.  Elect PLs, etc.  SM sits down with the Scouts or PLC if you have one, and talks over "opportunities".  I like the previous idea of a local parent property for initial camping.  Back forty type place.  That is how the Troop of my youth started.  One of my favorite stories involves a PLC I sat in on, with the SM encouraging a new SPL and PLs.  The SPL finally said "You mean I can make that decision"? " to which the SM said "DUHHH . . . ".

Troop numbers.   We were initially told the new girl Troop number could be A) any number at all, not already owned, or B) a "variation " of the number already of the Boy Troop at our CO.  So they chose XYZ2... And the papers were signed and sealed and turned in . Congratulations !  Later, we were told the first instruction was incorrect, that the charters and records would note XYZG(for Girl) and  XYZB ( for boy) Troop.   *sigh*   SO we still are the proud Scouters of Troops  XYZ  and XYZ2  . 

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9 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

What else should we try to cover?

If someone can front the cost for a few Scouts BSA Handbooks for Girls,  then you can have them on hand to hand out to any girl who fills in the application and pays the registration fee.  

Reading the handbook has been very motivational for some of my scouts.

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