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Calion

How to start a new BSA unit (draft—please comment!)

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4 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

I would not get overly concerned about your order, because many steps blend into each other.

Would you suggest any changes then?

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5 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

many steps blend into each other.

Absolutely.   We did what we could, when we could.   Some things we had to wait on that were beyond our control  - for example, one potential CO was not be able to consider the idea of taking on a new troop until after they had completed a change of institutional head.     So we did what we could, when we could,  while hoping that the other things would eventually work out.   For much of 2018  we did not know whether we would really get a troop up and running.

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Hi @Calion,

This is a great list!  I really like all the details at each step.

Like others, I think that there will be a lot of fluidity in the ordering of the steps.  Yes - there is a basic order to this, but depending on the strengths of the group and your particular situation, you may choose to do things in a difference sequence.

One way I think about this is in the terms of basic goals a unit's team needs to accomplish.  If I think of the goals I'd use then map your steps into it, I get:

Make your plans

1.            Decide what kind of unit you want to start

Find a CO

2.            Find a chartering organization.

3.            Appoint a Chartered Organization Representative.

Build your adult core team

4.            Appoint a Committee Chair.

5.            Get trained.

6.            Recruit a Troop Committee.

7.            Train the Troop Committee.

8.            Select and recruit adult leaders.

9.            Train the adult leaders.

10.          Complete Youth Protection Training.

11.          Get uniformed.

Setup the unit’s infrastructure

12.          Establish an online presence.

13.          File the paperwork.

14.          Present the Charter

17.          Raise money.

Recruit youth & get going

15.          Recruit Scouts.

16.          Have your first troop meeting.

18.          Get the Scouts trained.

19.          Set the Scouts loose.

Continue to improve

20.          Keep learning.

21.          Have fun!

 

While I think things will generally go in this order, I do believe that if you've got more than one or two adults, you might break this up into some parallel efforts.  For example - a couple of folks could be working on adult recruiting while some others are getting the website & paperwork started.

Edited by ParkMan
expanded the thought
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I like this.

But some nitpicking:

Get the scouts trained & Set the scouts loose: Maybe not if you're starting a pack?

I'd add: get some expertise to look over your shoulder. In a perfect world this would be a commissioner. This is not a perfect world. It should be someone you respect. The training can't cover everything. Also, for troops, make sure the adults are all on the same page as to what scout led means. There are lots of different opinions. All the people you're recruiting for adult leadership have to be interested in this job and willing to learn.

 

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I have no idea if this will help you or waste your time, but I've come up with the idea of "who's on first" goals. That is, when I list a group's goals, the first line of each goal is who we're helping.

So, for example, for the "what kind of unit" step. The who is, broadly, "Youth". So that goal looks like:

Who: youth

  • What: a BSA, Pack Troop Crew, and Post.
  • When: one evening a week and a weekend a month for the forsee-able future.
  • How: Committee Members and Leaders and Willing Parents
  • Why: They all need it.

Well, obviously that's a terrible goal, because it's so nebulous. But it it changes perspective a little. @ParkMan's step #1 becomes 1. "Determine who you want to serve." Then when you list the type of youth who could be served through one of BSA's programs, readers can quickly decide if they really need to start just one unit, or more.

Note that in subsequent goals, the "how" becomes the "who". E.g. parents who need to be recruited, committee who need training, etc ...

Like I said, I am not sure how helpful this will be. But often, when we get eye-rolls when we say "we need another fundraiser" but when we say "These scouts want to hike and camp independently" or "these cubs would love a pinewood derby", we will get people rallying behind those goals.

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On 10/15/2019 at 2:28 PM, MattR said:

Get the scouts trained & Set the scouts loose: Maybe not if you're starting a pack?

Yeah, I've been really torn as to whether to keep this Scouts BSA–specific, or to have it more agnostic. What do you think? I don't really want to make a specific guide for each unit type (nevermind that I know almost nothing about Venturing or Exploring), but I felt that to leave out some of the Troop specific stuff would be to make it less useful to those who are probably the most likely to be using it—those trying to start girl Troops.

On 10/15/2019 at 2:28 PM, MattR said:

I'd add: get some expertise to look over your shoulder. In a perfect world this would be a commissioner. This is not a perfect world. It should be someone you respect.

Excellent idea.

On 10/15/2019 at 2:28 PM, MattR said:

Also, for troops, make sure the adults are all on the same page as to what scout led means

I'm not sure what this would look like.

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