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Parents support Troop???

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usedtobeafox said, "How about the parents who hang at the Scout meeting and gather all the info for their Scout on Troop activities and wonder why the other Scouts don't get the info home about activities. I talked about a mailing home the Troop calandar each month to keep the parents informed (not every Scout get the info home) and they shot that down. Also on the Troop calandar they want the school activities on the calandar so our Scout activities don't interfere with school activities---the school doesn't put Scout activities on their calandar. Does the SM have any say in what goes on the calandar or how it is delivered?"


I'm not sure I fully understand how parents getting information at a Troop meeting prevents other parents from getting the information but I do understand that communication can be a challenge for a Troop. There's no single way of getting the message received that's 100% perfect.


We have a calendar with our annual program plan on it. It works fine for long term planning. It may take a month but eventually all of the parents do get a copy.


You can make verbal announcements at Troop meetings and boys will forget to tell their parents. You can provide handouts at Troop meetings and boys will leave them behind. Neither are effective for boys who miss a meeting. You can send an email or post something on your Troop web site but you can't guarantee your membership will read them. You might as well be shouting your announcements in the wilderness. These are all examples of one-way communication.


Two-way communication is more effective and our Troop has found that the telephone provides the most convenient means of two-way communication.


Messages start with the SM. He calls the SPL and talks to him, no voice-mail messages except call me back, and makes sure the message is understood. The SPL does the same with the PLs and the PLs with their patrols. When the PLs have talked to all their patrol members, they verify with the SPL that the message has been delivered and the SPL passes this on to the SM.


Hopefully, the combo of an annual calendar, Troop meeting announcements, emails, web site, and phone calls, gets the message received. Getting the message out is easy. Getting it received is the hard part.


Certainly, the SM should be keeping track of school activities could interfere with the plans of his Troop and provide guidance when the PLC plans activities to avoid conflicts. It's not practical to expect the school to plan around the Troop though. There are many other extracurricular activities and if the school planned around all of them, there would be no time for school activities. About all the SM can do is go or send someone to the PTA meetings and try to steer their schedule when the opportunity presents itself.(This message has been edited by MarkS)

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Phone trees for everything? That's pretty rough on PL's in a troop of any size. Round here, anyway, it can take multiple phonecalls over multiple nights before yeh make contact with each individual. Blech.


Not sure why your troop isn't doin' Patrol Meetings. Seems like an easier forum for 2-way communication, eh?


As far as school calendars goes, seems like that's the PLC's issue, not the SM's, dontcha think? One of the problems around here is that a good troop/PLC is often farther ahead in their plannin' than the local school is, especially during a contract year. Conflicts happen. Kids should decide which are important enough to mess with their plans.



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We use the phone calls as follow-up to the Patrol meetings and reminders preceeding the next Troop meeting. Messages are usually just a couple minutes. Boys easily spend 20 minutes talking to their buddies about nothing, I don't see another 20 minutes calling his patrol as overly burdensome. The most important thing is that it works for us. Our Troop meeting attendance goes up when the phone calls are made.


Yep... the PLC should know their school calendar but so should the SM. He can't provide advice on things he doesn't know about.

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