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Eagle1993

Scouts from other Troops

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How do you handle a situation where a scout is a member of another Troop and reaches out to ask to attend your Troop meeting as they may like to switch?  I’m definitely welcoming to the youth, but do you let the other SM know?  

My concern is that I continue to see Troops in my area collapse.  Many have SMs who would like to step down (at least to ASM) but they cannot find parents willing to serve.  We have scouts that would have attended several other Troops in the area, which is accelerating their demise. I would never push away a scout, but it would make the Troop he leaves even weaker.  Would it make sense to reach out to SM to see if he has ideas on why the scout would leave?

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Great that a scout is taking interest in your troop.  As for your question about letting the other SM know, I think it is up to the scout to decide that.  As the scout may be looking at other troops, not just yours, their decision to shop is theirs.  If the scouts' current unit is not "delivering the promise", than I can see the reason for shopping for a new unit.  If the scout decides to change units, I would encourage the scout to let the old SM and CC know why.  It may be for a really good reason like competing night activities, family is in the other unit, closer to home, or just likes the new unit's program better.  The scout should be "brave" enough to leave without burning a bridge. 

 

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10 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

Would it make sense to reach out to SM to see if he has ideas on why the scout would leave?

It's a fair question to ask, but I would ask the scout.  If the scout is truthful, he will give you a straight answer.

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If I was the other SM I would appreciate getting such a call.  I wouldn't need to know the scout's name but would appreciate any feedback the scout didn't share in confidence.

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I've had several scouts from other troops join ours.  I 'll ask why they're looking for a new troop.  Most are variations on a theme of personality clash.  I'm more interested in finding out what they're looking for in a troop and being sure they understand ours before they join.  I leave it up to the scout and family to let the other troop know they're leaving.  There's never been anything that I heard that I thought I needed to convey to the other troop.  What am I going to tell them: that the scout and parents didn't like how they run advancement, or campouts, or planning, or whatever ?  

I've also had scouts come visit and not join.  I really wouldn't contact another troop to tell them their scout is looking, that could make a precarious situation much much worse.

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We do not advise the other troop on a visit to meeting or outing.  If they decide to join our troop, then we may reach out for transfer.  

We seem to get a couple per year from other troops.  

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This falls under "too early to tell". Let the scout visit. Maybe he knows some of your scouts. Maybe he likes your activities. Maybe his troop is linked to a troop for girls, and he's uncomfortable with that. There could be a thousand reasons. And only a half dozen might be ones that the other SM can fix. After you meet the scout, and maybe you compare notes with the SPL or whoever talked to him, you can decide if the SM needs a heads-up.

FWIW - I talk a lot to other SMs and we have a good feel for what our boys are doing and why they might want to switch troops, or not. We might not name names, but at a campfire or roundtable we might even say, "Gee, one of my scouts might like your troop/crew." And, we follow-up on who has switched and make sure they are doing okay.

The best way, IMHO, to handle this is to have the scout try and plan an activity with the other troop.

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15 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

How do you handle a situation where a scout is a member of another Troop and reaches out to ask to attend your Troop meeting as they may like to switch?  I’m definitely welcoming to the youth, but do you let the other SM know?  

My concern is that I continue to see Troops in my area collapse.  Many have SMs who would like to step down (at least to ASM) but they cannot find parents willing to serve.  We have scouts that would have attended several other Troops in the area, which is accelerating their demise. I would never push away a scout, but it would make the Troop he leaves even weaker.  Would it make sense to reach out to SM to see if he has ideas on why the scout would leave?

I think I would discuss it with his ScoutMaster, but would mainly do it to make sure the boy isn't being punished by the old troop, and he's reaching out to a new troop as the easy way out (we've had that happen in my boy's troop--a boy was being punished for an incident involving a knife, and he quit our troop and joined another.).  

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It's just a visit. Don't make it anymore than that. To call the SM is to suggest the scout is doing something concerning.

Our scouts oftened introduced me to their visiting friends who wanted to see what our scouts were bragging about. But, those visiting friends have a long relationship with their patrol mates, adult leaders, and program, of their troop that isn't worth giving up just for a few differences in the programs. Let the scout control whatever process he may or may not have started and remember you will likely never see him again. And if you get a call from the SM, tell him you treated his scout with the respect you treat all guest. 

Barry

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Our main goal is to ensure scouts can continue scouting.  Many reasons scouts will want to switch.  I would only contact them if he decides to switch.  I have had scouts where the other troop wasn't happy with the scout and the scout did very well in a new circumstance.  

Every troop is different just like every scout.

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For the scouts that join my troop it makes me feel like we're doing the right thing. For scouts that join another troop it gives me pause to wonder why, but I'm sure glad they stay in scouts. 

Usually, scouts join our troop because we do more than their old troop. The scouts that join other troops from ours go because they want a smaller troop or they have friends there. A few transfered because they wanted to do less (!)

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Thanks for the feedback.  The scout will be visiting to check out our Troop.  I don't  plan to contact the other SM at this time; however, I may soon.  His feeder pack AOL den is also reaching out to possibly join our Troop.  Single scouts moving between Troops happens from time to time.  Entire dens, while that occurs, could flag that he needs to reach out and determine what the concern is.  For now, I'll let the single scout decision play out.

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1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

...  His feeder pack AOL den is also reaching out to possibly join our Troop. ...

For the AoL den, you might have to help them disentangle a rumor about the other troop. When Son #1 was a Webelos, we were fed a line from a disgruntled parent (that evidently stemmed from an O/A election result) of our CO's troop. Our DL actually reached to the SM for an explanation and it turned out that everything was proper and actually quite good about that troop. But you're right to wait until they you are in your sights to take any action. Although the only action might be to ask the WDL, "Have you talked to Mr. SM-of-your-CO's-troop in person about your concerns?"

Edited by qwazse

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