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RookieScouter

Small Space and 35 Scouts

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We started off with 5 scouts in August and now have 35 after round up at events and schools. What is the best way to go about asking new parents to help with leadership? We have asked everyone but being they are new to scouting you can tell they dont want to at the moment. 

Our meeting place is also very small for the number of scouts we now have. We meet in a community building they hold parties that isnt very big and only has one room. So during meetings it is hard to hear what the other one is saying. Outside is an option but being gnats in our area are bad at the moment we opted out of that at last meeting. Then meeting at different nights is out because they have other things going on other nights at building. What would you suggest to make meetings a little bit better?

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47 minutes ago, RookieScouter said:

We started off with 5 scouts in August and now have 35 after round up at events and schools. What is the best way to go about asking new parents to help with leadership? We have asked everyone but being they are new to scouting you can tell they dont want to at the moment. 

That is a good problem to have.

I would gather the parents for a "welcome meeting" or something of the sort and let them know, straight up, that the troop only works if everybody works. It is EXPECTED that every parent volunteer in some capacity. Those who like working with the boys and being outdoors should be ASMs. Those who aren't comfortable with that should be committee members. Every parent should sign up to be a merit badge counselor. Tell parents that you will help point them to training classes if they have no experience in these roles. Tell them that there is also online training for many of the positions. Tell them they will be supported in their roles, but the troop does need them to support the boys.

47 minutes ago, RookieScouter said:

Our meeting place is also very small for the number of scouts we now have. We meet in a community building they hold parties that isnt very big and only has one room. So during meetings it is hard to hear what the other one is saying. Outside is an option but being gnats in our area are bad at the moment we opted out of that at last meeting. Then meeting at different nights is out because they have other things going on other nights at building. What would you suggest to make meetings a little bit better?

Well, you're already thinking of ideas.  I like outdoor meetings, and maybe a can of Yard Guard shortly before the meeting will help with those gnats.  Otherwise, you might want to ask around and see if there is another building you could use that has more space --- outdoor meetings are great some of the time, but some of the time it's raining or too cold for that to be a viable option.

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You mention space. But that's only three dimensions. Sounds like you need to work the fourth dimension: times.

The way our pack worked it was dens had the center (a small church basement) twice a month. Each den would have a different time slot. (E.g., Tigers 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, Wolfes 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, Bears 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, etc ...). Our Webelos met at parents; homes because by then they had built friendships, plus they needed backyards for practicing campsite set up, launching rockets, relays, etc ...

Then the pack would meet on one evening a month for awards and announcements. There might be just a couple of evenings or Saturdays year where the pack would gather for special activities (e.g., holiday game night, pinewood derby, Blue & Gold banquet).

So ... talk to your community center, find out how many time slots they can give you.

The bottom line for parents: either they step up or promise weekly flowers and chocolate to the folks who do. Frankly, it may be that unregistered parents have to kick in a little extra in dues for the parents who do register.

P.S. - The pack has continued to grow, so now they use the new primary center down the road for meetings.

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First of all, great job on the growth! I think @qwazse has it right for your immediate needs.  A year from now, with plenty of time to plan, you may have it figured out on a larger space that works to have everyone together, but for now spit nights.  That also might help with getting some parents to step in as den leaders, if they don't have to do it every week.

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Re: adult volunteers. start with a specific ask instead of title. For example, ask mom#1 if she can bring snacks to the next committee meeting (remind her she will be reimbursed, but give her a $limit). Ask dad#2 if he can drive scouts to the day hike location next month. etc... Folks rarely say yes to "titles" but are willing to help in some capacity. Build up from that. Be sure to thank them 3 times. First privately as soon as possible, second, publically at the "event", and lastly another private thank you when you say goodbye and have another "ask".

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