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Lisabob

would you camp with another troop?

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Besides my son's troop, there are two other troops in our town. One is about the same size as my son's troop (35-50 boys at any given time) and is our main "competition" so to speak. The other is a very small troop (10-12 boys registered, fewer active). They also have a rock-solid SM and a nice program, but they struggle for being so small. They have a harder time recruiting new webelos, which is something their SM has mentioned several times over the years bothers him. I know this SM from Wood Badge - he's a great guy who knows his stuff and I'd trust him with my kid in a minute (actually I kind of wanted my son to join this troop when he crossed over, but he liked the larger troop better and he's happy where he is now).

 

Anyway - recently I've heard from some boys in the smaller troop that they like the troop, but that they haven't been camping much this year. It seems that they are having a problem getting 2 deep leadership for camp outs and have had to cancel several times in the last few months. Meanwhile, our troop has, if possible, too many adults on some camp outs. Our last camp out had 38 boys and 16 adults. We rarely go anywhere with fewer than 8 adults. It's great that we have so many active, supportive parents and other adults. But one reason I seldom camp with my son's troop is because they really do not need me there.

 

I'm thinking about contacting the SM of the smaller troop and letting him know that I'd be willing to go along as their 2nd adult from time to time so that they could do more camping and, hopefully, keep more boys involved with their troop as a result. What do you think? I know we have the SMs of some smaller troops hanging around the boards - would you be offended by such an offer? I don't pretend that I have a huge amount of experience and I'm not registered as an ASM. But if all they need is an occasional 2nd adult for simple, local camping, hey I could do that. Is this a good idea, or should I keep out of it?

 

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Lisa,

 

If my Troop was having to cancel outings for transport and 2-deep leadership, and I got your offer to assist, I'd thank you with open arms and the flowers of your choice!!!

 

It's about the youth. You may not be an ASM, but you are a WoodBadger. Let the kids teach you a little about things outdoors :) (even if you know them).

 

I would, as a matter of courtesy, inform both your SM and your CC. You're wanting to help a friend out with his Scouting charges, not bail out on your own unit.

 

BTW, after your son completes his time in the program, you're much more free to find a unit that needs an extra pair of hands as well :)

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My troop has done high adventure activities with other troops that haven't and needed some help getting it going.

 

My troop has "shared" leadership with another troop that was short leadership at summer camp.

 

I have personally helped out with other units that needed that second person.

 

I would think that a scout is a friend/brother to all other scouts and that wouldn't end once someone sewed a numeral on your shirt sleeve.

 

John's right, if your troop as 8 adults going and this other troop can't go because they lack a second person, I'd excuse myself for the weekend and help out the boys who need it the most. I would probably enjoy the activity with the extra work that 2 leaders would face than the boredom and sitting around that would occur if there were 8 other adults hanging around, but that's my personal opinion.

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I am currently the Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner in my district. I have been through all training offered for scout leaders other than Woodbadge (long story-short, job is such that I can't take two Fridays off in the fall when local council(s) offer it and have been in scouting continuously since joining as a Cub Scout some 28 or so years ago) and I am an Eagle Scout. Prior to RTC, I was a Scoutmaster for 5 years. I once had to cancel a trip due to no second leader. My scouting resume (for those who care):

 

http://home.gwi.net/~moxieman/scoutresume.pdf

 

 

Since moving onto the district level, I have made it known throughout the district that I am a trained leader who is available to your unit if needed for outings, provided I have some advance warning (if possible--I'm not going to drop my commitment to someone else at the last minute) so as to not double-book.

 

Usually, my offer is taken up at camporees and there are a couple of units (especially our troop in the town up on the Canadian border) who invite me regularly on their trips whether or not they need me as the 2nd leader. I tried to rescheduled a vacation this summer as a unit was having trouble finding a 2nd leader for summer camp. They have since found one, fortunately, as I couldn't reschedule.

 

Some smaller troops in our district team up on joint outings to share resources/leadership/friendship. That troop I mentioned up on the border? They're an hour-and-a-half to two hours away from most of the rest of the district. But they have become fast friends with a troop near the state capital. They are planning a joint trip late next month up there on the border (and I'm invited up).

 

Back when I was in college, my college town troop and my home troop did a joint canoe trip to meet each other as they shared a leader (me) in common.

 

There's nothing wrong with a joint trip if you know what you're getting into.

 

So, though I'm a bit long winded in my response, Lisabob, as others have said. Go for it.

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The other option is to invite that troop to attend some events with your larger troop. In our former troop we were invited along and went camping with several other units it does the boys good to see how other troops handle things. It can be a valuable learning experience for all concerned and allows troops to share human resources as well. The only caution is to make sure that everyone is on the same page as far as strict adherence to BSA youth protection guidelines. Sometimes lack of leaders is an excuse by an unscrupulous person to get one on one situations created.

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Lisabob,

 

I would let the SM of my troop know and then go for it. I know there are times with our small troop we have had to cancel due to lack of adults. Just last week, I was sticken by a virus the day we were to leave and we had to cancel, because we didn't have enough adults to go. We work with another small troop from about 30 miles away on several campouts to ensure we provide the variety for older and younger boys with limited adults. We are also planning to share a campsite at summer camp for the same reason. Technically they are going as provisional, but not paying the extra charge, since their SM is going on council high adventure trip later in the summer.

 

 

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Lisabob,

 

I would let the SM of my troop know and then go for it. I know there are times with our small troop we have had to cancel due to lack of adults. Just last week, I was sticken by a virus the day we were to leave and we had to cancel, because we didn't have enough adults to go. We work with another small troop from about 30 miles away on several campouts to ensure we provide the variety for older and younger boys with limited adults. We are also planning to share a campsite at summer camp for the same reason. Technically they are going as provisional, but not paying the extra charge, since their SM is going on council high adventure trip later in the summer.

 

 

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As others have said, go for it.

 

We just got home from summer camp and we shared the campsite with another troop that we had never met before. It was a great experience and we made some new friends.

 

We are now talking about going to another summer camp together next year.

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Wingnut, if you're asking me - not at this point I haven't. Most troops in our area don't do a lot of camping in the summer, other than a week at summer camp. But I have talked it over with a couple of people and I will do it (if they ask me to) in the fall when things get back into gear.

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It isnt unusual here in England to invite other troops along to camp, we also have a district camp every year.

Here we have network scouters, many will if asked go on camps to help out, and it isnt unusual for one troop to ask someone from another troop to help out with a camp if they are short on leaders.

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