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RememberSchiff

Maybe temporarily suspend the 5 scout minimum to recharter ?

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How about a little Christmas present for our post-sudden-fee-increased, membership-stressed units?

Not uncommon these days. A troop is below the 5 scout recharter minimum. Current options:

  1. recruit more  scouts. Yeah, like they have not been trying? An extension would be helpful.
  2. disband, leave town, and join another troop 5, 10, 20 miles down the road. I would sooner stay in my town with another youth group,  likely parents would prefer less shuttle-duty. Why not keep your Smallville troop and occasionally join the Metropolis troop down the road on outings?
  3. become Lone Scouts in your community
  4. leave BSA

From our Tulsa,Oklahoma office:

https://www.tulsaworld.com/communities/wagoner/news/coweta-boy-scout-troop-needs-members-to-keep-charter/article_6a1372c7-5340-5aaa-b4d2-71fd831b53d3.html

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff

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I know at least a few years ago a council SE could wave the 5 Scout minimum to recharter. If I remember right you had to have at least 3. This was done on a case by case basis and is up to each individual SE to allow it or not.

 

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I know of new girl units that were allowed to start up with less than 5, so it can be done.  Just a matter of pushing the issue with the local council.

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Sad truth is that troops of less than 5 are not really a troop, they are not really a patrol.  It is really tough to have an engaging outdoor program with so few Scouts to interact with.  

I wish them well, but there may be more to the story.

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

Sad truth is that troops of less than 5 are not really a troop, they are not really a patrol.  It is really tough to have an engaging outdoor program with so few Scouts to interact with.  

I wish them well, but there may be more to the story.

 

Quote

“It use to be we would get boys moving up from the Cub Scout Pack to the Boy Scouts, but we haven’t gotten that for several years,” Elliott noted. “They moved to the Broken Arrow Elks Lodge as a sponsoring organization, who also sponsors Broken Arrow Troop 999. A group of Webelos went to Troop 10 in Tulsa.

I'm going to guess this is part of the problem.  The pack at their CO doesn't cross Scouts over to them anymore.  I suspect you're right @Jameson76.

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I kind of agree with Jameson, there may be more to the story. I don't agree that 5 scouts can't have a good outdoor program, they just need to find the right adult. If I were 2 hours closer, I might even look into it. I've hunted in that part of the state and Coweta sits in the middle of some of Oklahoma's most beautiful country and lakes (Green County). And it's only a few minutes from city. Ideal really. The DE, or even the SE, need to start searching for that one adult. The program that the adults gets going will bring in the scouts. 

Barry

 

  • Upvote 2

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More to the story? We can bet there is. The SM is quoted about "legacy", "Eagle rank", "19 year charter", etc ... But what is not said speaks volumes.

How many times do the boys hike and camp each month? What happened on the last campout?  How friendly are these three remaining scouts to others? Are they good mentors? What skills do they have? Are they first class scouts? What was the last notable good turn of one of these scouts? Have they won at camporees or camp-wide uniform inspections?

Folks, if you're going to the press about your unit, stop talking about how good you wereTell the reporter about how you are fulfilling the promise of scouting by inculcating a vision of hiking and camping independently with your mates. And tell them how your scouts will help their kid make that happen this weekend if he drops by tonight!

Otherwise, find your scouts a new home, where they stand a chance of becoming "all that."

Edited by qwazse
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10 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

Going by the Registration Guidebook of the BSA, Scout Executives may waive the 5 Scout minimum.  This would be an exception to the standard requirements.  "Units may register with as few as two paid youth members with the permission of the Scout executive."

Cue the "We Need the Dues" gif from Animal House.....

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

I kind of agree with Jameson, there may be more to the story. I don't agree that 5 scouts can't have a good outdoor program, they just need to find the right adult. If I were 2 hours closer, I might even look into it. I've hunted in that part of the state and Coweta sits in the middle of some of Oklahoma's most beautiful country and lakes (Green County). And it's only a few minutes from city. Ideal really. The DE, or even the SE, need to start searching for that one adult. The program that the adults gets going will bring in the scouts. 

Barry

 

This.

Yes there can be various reasons for this situation,  Council should be doing all it can to save scouting in that community. If not Coweta then where's the line? Broken Arrow, or Tulsa  ?

IMO, merging whether it is units or councils does not grow membership. Scouting is local. 

Another $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
clarity
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How on earth is a town with that population struggling to support a Troop and already lost a Pack. Feels like there is a lot more going on....

Edited by carebear3895

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I live in a bigger community with multiple packs & troops - but we face the same issue.

What can a district or council realistically do to help a pack or troop with 5-10 kids?  You can't make them recruit, you can't make them have a good program, you can't make them change their leaders.  Sure - you can put commissioners on the case, you can setup trainings, etc.  But - at some point - what do you really do?

This is a real question that we face here in our district too.

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2 hours ago, carebear3895 said:

Feels like there is a lot more going on....

There's definitely more going on.  Here's the money quote from the article:

Quote

Elliott said at the council level in Tulsa, Boy Scouts have lost about half of their membership in the last five years.

 

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While there might be a quick temporary fix to the immediate challenge (created by needing the extra youth protection form and the national fee increase), there is no easy fix when a geography has an abundance of under-sized units and scant unit leadership.  If this is common in your locale it means that there is likely a district volunteer leadership fail going on.  The councils in good shape that I admire began re-emphasizing the importance, function and volunteer "prestige" of the district chair, commissioner and other district leadership and committee positions a few years back.  It really is that simple.  When I was a Council President I looked around and saw an abundance of under-utilized volunteer talent at the council level and reallocated those resources to the key district positions.  At the same time I increased the expectations, resources and visibility of those positions.  That council was a large metropolitan council, so some of these districts effectively became "mini-councils"   A District well-stocked with volunteers just does not allow this situation to develop to this extent.  Take urgent action now to preserve those units by having another round of recruiting in January.  Then turn immediately to figuring out what is happening at the district level.  So this by having a quiet and businesslike meeting with your council membership chair and council commissioner.  Suggest solutions appropriate to your community.  Be a class act and bring along at least one experienced Scouter who is willing to work as a new district volunteer.   

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