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Scouts definitely need consistency, otherwise it will be a challenge, especially for the older ones. Having the right person as SM is must because the SM is the one that leads the troop culture. And a radical shift in culture will cause major problems.

I have seen units with smooth transitions. One unit's transition was so smooth, the Scouts did not realize the SM had stepped down for family and health reasons. Wasn't discovered until planning for a court of honor which would have the formal announcement.

But I have also seen very rough transitions because the new SM changed the culture. In the worst case the troop folded within 2 years because the old SM was the troop, and it was very much led by him. In another case the new SM turned the troop into Webelos 3, and the older Scouts either transferred to other troops, earned Eagle and quit, or quit.

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You forgot the "...per Scout."

As for why they quit, some if the reasons i have seen include: Their health failing Family members' health failing New job/job responsibilities  Take on new volunteer role at distr

There are good days and bad days. For instance today was a good day.  I have a scout working on his Quartermaster project and eager beaver adults that kept presuring this young man to get started

There are good days and bad days.

For instance today was a good day.  I have a scout working on his Quartermaster project and eager beaver adults that kept presuring this young man to get started even before he was there.  I had to tell them to stand down, even though these adults have many years of scouting.  One is even in on the national committee.  Grumbling happenned but the scout showed up when he said he would and directed them to work on what he wanted them to do.  

Afterwards, the three previous Skippers in our unit and the scouter on the National committee, thanked me profusely for doing everything I do for the kids.  That felt nice.  Much better than any other the silly knots on my uniform I have been given.

My advice is have bad days, learn from them.  And realize that is you work with the kids first, you will have great days.  Even SMs that have been there forever need a reminder about the purpose every once in a while.

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n my experience most SMs around here hold the position for around 5 years, 3 to 7 is the  main range. Of course there are some that are there for decades, but is less common. Most seem to step down within a year or two of their oldest child aging out for leaving Scouts. They may remain for a number or many more years has Assistance or in other positions sometimes at District or Council level. Longevity is a double edged sword has it can brake system see but can also bring stagnation. A scoutmaster who has held the position for 10 years or more is often viewed as Irreplaceable by others and he often feels no one can do the job as well as he can so he remains. This also leads to Kim not training new people to take over his job so when he does leave for whatever reason often health-related, The Troop May struggle or even full.


Another issue is physical ability, and ability to relate to the youth for a scoutmaster in their 60s, 70s, or 80s.

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In my experience as a Scout, we changed SMs pretty regularly, probably due to overwork although it was invisible to the Scouts.  We just kept on keeping on.

The SM who formed the first troop I hooked up with as an adult Scouter only left because of a job in another state.  Another father stepped in for him for a little over a year but had to resign because he was working an hour north and it was just too rough on him to get back down in time for meetings, much less everything else a SM has to do.  The third SM lasted about 4 or 5 months -- he took it personally when members of the committee criticized an outing he "led", quit quite loudly and stormed out of the meeting.  In desperation, the TCC turned to me to take over.  Being just 26 at the time, I told him I'd do it so someone could sign the paperwork but only until they found someone more suitable.  2.5 years later, I told the committee that I was serious, they needed to find a new SM because I had military orders to be elsewhere in 3 months.

In my second troop as an adult, the SM was there for a couple decades.  He only left (was forced out of) the position due to a debilitating injury.  IMO, he did a great job with training -- both Scouts and adults.

I do think it's helpful to get graduated Scouts who still want to be involved and use them as JASMs or ASMs.  They are a very useful bridge between age groups.

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