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Cburkhardt

Scouts BSA Up 1.2% Youth Members, up 7.1% Units

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IMO a SE that would sign off on a 2 person troop is more concerned with numbers of units vs getting these two into a troop with an operating program.   The number of adults on a charter should not be twice as many as the number of scouts.

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Let’s focus on our reality.  We have girls in this country who crave adventure and challenge.  Let’s work on extending our program to them in a way that is a credit to our personal sense of service and our larger hopes for the nation’s future.  Nobody can propose a better place for these young women to discover their futures.  Nobody.

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3 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

 

You can have a troop with only 2 paid youth members, if you get permission from your Scout Executive.  That's what the Registration Guidebook of the BSA says, anyway.

My understanding was that it was allowed for LDS units.

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I'm with @Cburkhardt on this.

The best way to expand Scouting - whether it's for boys or girls - is to provide them solid units with great programs.  Two paid members can be a stepping stone to 30 members, but it should just be that.  If your community doesn't have a troop for girls yet, why not reach out to the other local packs & troops and do something at a community level?

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25 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

... If your community doesn't have a troop for girls yet, why not reach out to the other local packs & troops and do something at a community level?

Because our GS/USA troops are outstanding, and I don't want to jeopardize my cookie supply chain. :sleep:

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Just now, qwazse said:

Because our GS/USA troops are outstanding, and I don't want to jeopardize my cookie supply chain. :sleep:

I'm a simple person - but gotta admit that I'm not following you here..

My daughters as GS/USA members - so if you perceive a slight in my comments, it's not intentional.  What I have come to realize is that the GS/USA programs and structure are largely different from the BSA program.  The GS/USA system is probably more flexible than the BSA model - but many of the GS/USA troops out there are focused differently than BSA troops.

I've also witnessed first hand successful community troops for girls.  It has convinced me that the best way to build up troops for girls is to start focused, community based troops.  As they become successful and reach saturation point, then we can start more.  But, I'd rather see 1 troop of 25-30 girls than 5 troops of 5 girls.

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Our troop has become the preferred destination point for sisters of boy Troop members from across our city.  We will be at 40 by the time of summer camp and will continue to expand until we hit around 70.  I was in a big troop as a Scout and believe that things just work better when you have a bigger operation.  You can do more sophisticated things for youth and can provide more specialized program.  We have 9 on our SM staff and will continue to scale-up.  I have never, ever heard of a 2-Scout troop and until this massive kick-start effort, only once experienced a 5-Scout unit when I was on camp staff.  The point being made really does not contribute much to the discussion.  None of the leaders of small girl units I have met want to stay small — they just need a helping hand to grow more quickly.

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

But, I'd rather see 1 troop of 25-30 girls than 5 troops of 5 girls.

I agree.    Currently we have a little over  a dozen scouts,  drawn from three towns.  And we have reached out to the packs in three more adjacent towns, so that they know that their girl cubs have a troop waiting for them.      Is it great to need to drive 15 minutes to the neighboring town to go to scout meeting?  No, but it sure beats having to start of new troop and then only having 5 girls,   or not being in a troop because you cannot find 5 girls in your town.

Eventually,  if we grow too big,  a group could split off to start a troop in one of these other towns,  but I think that will be a good while yet.    We are not in as densely populated an area as @Cburkhardt

On the other hand,   if I lived way out in the country,  and if the local GS/USA troop was, unfortunately, not as terrific as the ones in @qwazse's town,  I would think that a five-scout troop for girls,   supported by the local boy's troop,  might be a lot better than no scout troop at all.

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One number I would like to see are the total Sea Scouts and Venturers that include the secondary registrations as well.  The numbers that are posted are primary only which make sense because every kid gets counted only once.  But for a kid like mine that is in a Ship, Crew, and Troop is only counted by Sea Scouts because he is primary in the Ship.  50% of our ship are in multiple units and half of them are primary in their troop because that is how the troops have always done it in for all of their scouts.  Parents and leaders have no idea what that one checkbox actually means.   

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@Cburkhardt  you are one of the fortunate ones in your experience with your female troop.  BP would disagree with you that large a troop.  Early documentation says he believed a troop was max 4 patrols of 8 and after that you started a new troop.  This reasoning was inconcert with his military background on the size of effective sizes of units.

 

JMHO

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11 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I'm a simple person - but gotta admit that I'm not following you here..

My daughters as GS/USA members - so if you perceive a slight in my comments, it's not intentional.  What I have come to realize is that the GS/USA programs and structure are largely different from the BSA program.  The GS/USA system is probably more flexible than the BSA model - but many of the GS/USA troops out there are focused differently than BSA troops.

I've also witnessed first hand successful community troops for girls.  It has convinced me that the best way to build up troops for girls is to start focused, community based troops.  As they become successful and reach saturation point, then we can start more.  But, I'd rather see 1 troop of 25-30 girls than 5 troops of 5 girls. 

No slight. Just saying it's a big country.

I''m observing in my community is a strong preference for GS/USA as the program for their girls to achieve what Boy Scouts achieve. That's a credit to their leaders. No point in starting a troop here among mostly contented girls. So, I'm just buying their cookies. In communities where it is seen as as a (i.e., one of many) program for their girls, Scouts BSA is launching a troop or two -- roughly the size of a patrol. In communities where Scouts BSA is the opportunity for girls to achieve what Boy Scouts achieve, you will have the 5-patrol Scouts BSA girls' troops.

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20 minutes ago, qwazse said:

No slight. Just saying it's a big country.

I''m observing in my community is a strong preference for GS/USA as the program for their girls to achieve what Boy Scouts achieve. That's a credit to their leaders. No point in starting a troop here among mostly contented girls. So, I'm just buying their cookies. In communities where it is seen as as a (i.e., one of many) program for their girls, Scouts BSA is launching a troop or two -- roughly the size of a patrol. In communities where Scouts BSA is the opportunity for girls to achieve what Boy Scouts achieve, you will have the 5-patrol Scouts BSA girls' troops.

Ahh- gotcha!

My area must be in the middle.  We've got a successful troop for girls, but maybe because it's a lager area.

Myself - I've got two daughters who are girl scouts and don't see that changing.  I'll be selling cookies with her Saturday.

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When a Scouts BSA Troop forms in our area, it has not detracted from the local GSUSA units.  In fact, in our city both programs are growing.  There was an initial push-back from some of the GSUSA volunteers who thought we might be trying to strip-away their members, but this has just not occurred and their initial opposition to us has abated (at least among their volunteers).  What has occurred is that girls who join our three Scouts BSA Troops for Girls are looking for something distinctly different from the GSUSA program.  I'd let the girls speak for themselves, but believe a key difference is that we are intensely outdoor oriented in an urban environment (summer camp, seven 2-night weekend campouts, multiple day hikes and the great Scouts BSA outdoor advancement skills).  We are careful to avoid characterizing the GSUSA program, but the local groups do not engaging outdoor programming anywhere approaching what we are doing.  Several of our Scouts belong to both programs and, in their view, do not see much overlap.  So, I encourage those who think the GSUSA units fully-serve the needs of girls in your area to re-assess your views.  The market for youth program is vast and our ability to provide units is limited.  It is always best to provide options for these girls if we have the capability to offer a unit.

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34 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

... intensely outdoor oriented in an urban environment ...

I think that's the difference. It doesn't take much effort in any Western PA town -- even Pittsburgh --- to find a ravine or ridge to claim as your own. Our local GS/USA troops take advantage of that, even though camp closures have made it harder for them. It's a rare girl around here who want's more outdoor experience than her GS troop offers. In terms of unique camping opportunities with Scouts BSA: I know of, for example, a troop who shares a cooking campout with GS/USA and BSA troops. Has been doing that for years. So, most girls get their camping "fix", and folks simply don't see the sense of a steep registration fee just to walk into the woods.

I'll have to compare notes with the leader in my district who started a Scouts BSA troop for girls. They were an enthusiastic lot when I met them in May. They might just be Venturers in a year. But, I'm not sure if that's translated to growing beyond one patrol.

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I don't think I'll trust any numbers for 6 or 7 years. Between all of the variables, the new girls programs, LDS, etc., it's just too volatile a situation to really read anything in to any numbers.

Edited by FireStone

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