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Coming back to Scouting


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Hello everyone!

I was a youth scouter (aged out at Life) and active in OA in the early '90s.  My son and daughter are currently Life and Tenderfoot Scouts. I steadfastly avoided adult participation in my children's units, because both of them struggled to interact with other youth and adults without constant reassurance and validation from myself or my wife. I felt that by not being there, I was actually giving them the gift of learning how to forge those relationships with peers and adults.

My daughter had a great Cubs pack and bridged to a great troop that, unfortunately, disbanded the following year.  Her current troop was not a good fit (it was more of a military-style troop, and she needs something a little less formal) so she has decided not to re-up with them. Which brings us to...

The CO for the troop my son is in doesn't currently have a girl's troop - though they have expressed interest in doing so, if one could get off the ground.

  • My daughter needs a troop
  • The CO for my son's troop would love to have a G-troop
  • Nature abhors a vacuum, therefore
  • I volunteered to lead the charge (and SM, if they'll have me) a G-troop for the CO
  • I further suggested/volunteered to serve as an ASM in my son's troop as "practice" for SMing the G-troop when it goes live.

I'm attending the committee meeting this week to sync up with the rest of the adults managing operations for the current troop.  I don't worry much about my son - he's matured a lot and I'm confident in his capabilities. (Quick Dad brag - he'll be starting his term as SPL effective the COH next week!) I do worry that my involvement may stunt my daughter's acquisition of the life skills that Scouting is so good at teaching - we'll walk that tightrope and see what happens.

Anyway, I'm a voracious reader and life-long learner, so I've been going through a ton of the posts here over the last few weeks.  I've always figured knowledge is the ultimate embodiment of "Be Prepared," so I've been doing a ton of researching and reading. I tend to jump in to things with both feet, so I'll probably be posting more once I'm "official."

Good to meet you all!

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7 hours ago, livitup said:

Hello everyone!

I was a youth scouter (aged out at Life) and active in OA in the early '90s.  My son and daughter are currently Life and Tenderfoot Scouts. I steadfastly avoided adult participation in my children's units, because both of them struggled to interact with other youth and adults without constant reassurance and validation from myself or my wife. I felt that by not being there, I was actually giving them the gift of learning how to forge those relationships with peers and adults.

My daughter had a great Cubs pack and bridged to a great troop that, unfortunately, disbanded the following year.  Her current troop was not a good fit (it was more of a military-style troop, and she needs something a little less formal) so she has decided not to re-up with them. Which brings us to...

The CO for the troop my son is in doesn't currently have a girl's troop - though they have expressed interest in doing so, if one could get off the ground.

  • My daughter needs a troop
  • The CO for my son's troop would love to have a G-troop
  • Nature abhors a vacuum, therefore
  • I volunteered to lead the charge (and SM, if they'll have me) a G-troop for the CO
  • I further suggested/volunteered to serve as an ASM in my son's troop as "practice" for SMing the G-troop when it goes live.

I'm attending the committee meeting this week to sync up with the rest of the adults managing operations for the current troop.  I don't worry much about my son - he's matured a lot and I'm confident in his capabilities. (Quick Dad brag - he'll be starting his term as SPL effective the COH next week!) I do worry that my involvement may stunt my daughter's acquisition of the life skills that Scouting is so good at teaching - we'll walk that tightrope and see what happens.

Anyway, I'm a voracious reader and life-long learner, so I've been going through a ton of the posts here over the last few weeks.  I've always figured knowledge is the ultimate embodiment of "Be Prepared," so I've been doing a ton of researching and reading. I tend to jump in to things with both feet, so I'll probably be posting more once I'm "official."

Good to meet you all!

Welcome!

Is there a female over 21 who is willing to sign up with the G-troop??

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Thank you!

There is one female adult willing to volunteer, but my current understanding is that she wasn't willing to commit to being SM.  I think we are going to press hard to get two female volunteers registered, so we can maintain 2-deep and 1-female in the event one adult can't participate in an activity.

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Awesome! 

Do you have 4 other girls ages 11-17?
 

My 2 cents after being a girl troop SM for 2 years and now CC. 
 

Don’t make them a patrol of the boy troop. Let them be their own troop. Please. 

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22 hours ago, livitup said:

Thank you!

There is one female adult willing to volunteer, but my current understanding is that she wasn't willing to commit to being SM.  I think we are going to press hard to get two female volunteers registered, so we can maintain 2-deep and 1-female in the event one adult can't participate in an activity.

That's when you just register a few moms as merit badge councilors, and when a backup is needed just say "Hey, either a mom comes along or we can't go".

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17 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

Awesome! 

Do you have 4 other girls ages 11-17?
 

My 2 cents after being a girl troop SM for 2 years and now CC. 
 

Don’t make them a patrol of the boy troop. Let them be their own troop. Please. 

 

1 hour ago, jcousino said:

They can not  be a patrol of a boys troop, they must be their own troop

 

21 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Correct, on paper and in theory, but that is not how it is playing out in reality in many cases.  I think that is what @mrjohns2was referring to.

Esse quam videri

I think we have at least 3, maybe 4, but we haven't marketed or recruited at all. There's 30+ boys in the Boy's Troop - and I imagine at least a couple of them have sisters that would be interested...

My intention, if granted permission to make such decisions, is to have the G-Troop do opening and closing ceremonies with the Boy's Troop, but otherwise run completely independently. I absolutely want them to elect a full slate of leaders, plan their own program, etc. I think that early on their outdoor activities are going to be too "easy" for the Boy's Troop, but after a little while I can imagine a mix of joint and separate outdoor activities.

One of the other adults currently active in the Boy's Troop mentioned the "run the girls as a patrol in the boy's troop" idea and I am 100% against that.  I didn't drop a flat-out 'no' in that conversation, as I'm learning who's who in the leadership of the Boy's Troop, but I'll push back hard if that idea gains legs.

17 minutes ago, elitts said:

That's when you just register a few moms as merit badge councilors, and when a backup is needed just say "Hey, either a mom comes along or we can't go".

Brilliant!

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If the girls are not registered as members of a charter troop/crew or lone scouts, they would I believe they would be unable to process any awards. If the boy troop is processing their awards for them, then it is committing fraud. Yes, coed troops are the future, but not now. Somewhere in the scout and law, obeying the rules is part of the system.
Work to change the rules if you feel improper, but you do not have the right to change things to fit what you want.

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3 hours ago, jcousino said:

If the girls are not registered as members of a charter troop/crew or lone scouts, they would I believe they would be unable to process any awards. If the boy troop is processing their awards for them, then it is committing fraud. Yes, coed troops are the future, but not now. Somewhere in the scout and law, obeying the rules is part of the system.
Work to change the rules if you feel improper, but you do not have the right to change things to fit what you want.

I assume you are referring to the comments that some G-Troops operate as patrols in Boy Troops.  In the cases I've heard of this happening, the G-Troop is chartered, they just operate as if they are not.  That's not how I plan on running things.

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Update: The Boy's Troop Committee met tonight and invited me as a guest to speak.  Long story short, the committee voted unanimously to move forward with forming a Girl's Troop and welcomed me as the founding Scoutmaster.  I'm going to be joining the Boy's Troop as an ASM as soon as my application is approved.  The Committee feels confident they can get 5+ girls at bridging in March, but they are going to start marketing, and if they can get 5 girls sooner, we'll go ahead.  The CO is already on board; in fact they've wanted this to happen for quite a while. Our Troop's Chaplain is also the District Training Chair, so he's getting me lined up for IOLS, Scouting Academy, and whatever else he can throw at me.

I'm nervous, excited, and happy!

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13 hours ago, livitup said:

…. committee voted unanimously to move forward with forming a Girl's Troop and welcomed me as the founding Scoutmaster.  … lined up for IOLS, Scouting Academy, and whatever else he can throw at me.

Well, you’re in for it now!  (Welcome to the forums BTW.)
Seriously, there was precious little more rewarding than advising Daughter’s crew. (It was also Son #1 and #2’s crew as well, but having spent 13 years on the outside looking in, I think it meant a lot more for her.)

Identify your troop’s female ASM’s immediately and get them on the same training page. If the CO can recommend someone from their ranks — all the better. If you’re claiming to stand apart, you need a couple of adults with that frame of reference.

FWIW - most of us on this forum push patrols to operate independently. So, what you envision isn’t much different than if you said your son and 8 friends were joining an existing troop. Also, brace yourself for younger scouts who want to kick it into high gear while those older boys want to camp so hey can kick back and relax. It’s a global phenomenon.

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