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Scoutmasters, Do your Scout Parents really know....

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Do your Scout Parents really know....everything that is required for their sons to have a program?
About half do and half don't. Those who understand usually have gone through the Scouting program when they were young and/or they are quite active with the Troop.


Is your committee fully staffed?
The committee can never be "fully" staffed because you can always use more help. But we have enough parents to step up.


Are they trained?
We are a firm believer of "Every Scout Deserves a Trained Leader." =) As I have said before, every time you attend a training class, even for those you have taken in the past, you might learn something new.


Do you have enough Assistant Scoutmasters?
All of our ASMs have their sons in the Troop which is pretty much a norm (although it is not required). When the boys leave the Troop, their ASM dads will naturally roll off as well (again, it is not required, but it is a norm). We are losing some ASMs this year. Fortunately, several of the dads of our new boys are Eagle Scouts. They are willing to take on the responsibility as ASMs.


Is there enough parental involvement for outings?
We never have problem getting parents to go campout. And most of them are registered adult volunteers. For example, for our Summer Camp in June, we have already had 25 boys and over 10 adults signed up.


If so, how did you get it to be that way?
We emphasize the importance for our boys to have FUN. The Scouts (not the adults) decide on what they want to do on each month's campout, then the adults will find the campground accordingly. At every BOR, the Scout always tell us he likes the way the Troop is being run and he likes all the campouts because they are FUN.


If not, have you communicated your needs? Do you know what your needs are?
We need a bigger meeting place for our Troop Meeting.


To recap, if the boys are not having FUN, nothing else matters.


Just my $0.02.


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I would say for the most part my parents are aware of what it takes to get the job done as far as program for the boys. When they ask that wonderful question "what can I do to help" it's all over with. ha!


We lay out for them what we believe to be necessary for thier son to have a quality program. Let's face it, most parents want thier sons to earn the rank of Eagle and that's all they know about the program when they start. We explain that if that is thier desire, the only way for that to happen is if they are involved in the operations of the troop committee or it's leadership. I'd say we have at least 80% participation by the parents at some level or another. The other 20% are the boys who don't fully participate, and that directly correlates to the commitment thier parents have made to the unit.


We re-shuffle our troop committee annually and assign new jobs to new parents, more difficult jobs to more seasoned parents, and we try to give the SM a break now and then on outings. I'm the SM, and sometimes I just cannot make the outings, so I need a break. I have some moms that want to help out, so they're attending SM/ASM training next month in order to get the ok from me to attend outings as a leader (same requirement I have for the dads, I'm an equal opportunity abuser).


I've got 3 ASM patrol advisors (1 for each), 1 ASM activities and 1 ASM Physical arrangements. We'll allow an adult to become an ASM if they take the training (leader specific and outing leader basic at a minimum, WB is appreciated) and commit to leading at least one outing during the year (they get to play SM for the weekend). On top of that we require the entire troop (boys and adults) refresh YPT yearly. They all hate it, but they're trained none the less.



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I wonder how many SM's really answered this!


I am not a Scoutmaster. Not sure if I should even answer, but I can guarantee the parents of the Scouts in our Troop don't really have a clue what it takes to put on a good program! Our Committee appears pretty staffed on paper, but we're lucky if we can get even 3 of us to show up at our monthly Committee Meetings. (I came to the Troop in 2006. We didn't even HAVE committee meetings until mid-2007)



We have at least 4 ASM's on paper - we're lucky if we can get even 1 to show up on outings or at meetings.


There is FAR too many parents going on campouts... like this weekend - 4 adults, 5 boys. It's overkill!


No one seems to want to communicate needs. I do, but I am ignored. I am tired of being the one that always "knows what to do" or "knows what we need" - I have slowly had to step back. I am not the SM, I am a lowly committee member, therefor there's not much I can do except resign if I don't like the way things are going.


I know what the needs are - but I can't force other people to do things they aren't willing to.(This message has been edited by Joni4TA)

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Do your Scout Parents really know....everything that is required for their sons to have a program? The troop has provided the parents the information. We require all new parents to attend 4 parent orientation sessions lasting 1.5 hrs each. I don't believe they fully comprehend what they heard but at least the information is provided in both a 3 ring binder and a verbal presentation.


Is your committee fully staffed? Are they trained? I believe all the positions are staffed although the current Training coordinator is changing to an active ASM role so that slot is currently open.


Do you have enough Assistant Scoutmasters? At last Monday's ASM planning meeting we had 1 SM stepping down to become an ASM and 1 ASM taking over the SM role and 12 additional ASM's in attendance. We had the CC and a second committee rep. At least 3 in attendance have completed woodbadge. At least 3 are working their ticket items now. 2 additional ASM's were not in attendance. All ASM's had all their training complete except 2 who were taking IOLS this month. Our goal is two ASM advisors for each patrol. Ideally the advisor does not have a son in the patrol he advises. We were in need of two more ASMs to meet our goal.


Is there enough parental involvement for outings? There is enough trained adult leadership. Typically we have bewteen 4-6 trained leaders at an event. We usually need several parents to drive to and fro the events. The committee usually overbooks drivers and we typically release one or two unneeded drivers once we load the vehicles.


If so, how did you get it to be that way? Heavy training the first 4 meetings after they join the troop. Ongoing flow of information to the parents via the weekly troop newsletter email.


If not, have you communicated your needs? Do you know what your needs are? I believe the adult leadership has a good grasp on the troop's needs. Due to work schedules, not every resource is always available. We have enough depth that the big things get accomplished.


Am I working with what most of you are or is my situation significantly better or worse than the norm?


I believe it is a culture thing. Every troop has its own culture or habital way of doing things. Parents and kids are drawn to troops that fit their own percieved style. I went looking for a troop with an active program and deep leadership. I went looking for a troop of at least 35-45 active boys. I wanted a program that did not revolve around a single person to be successful.


Our troop encourages adults to take training. The troop pays the full cost of all adult training. Training opportunities are posted on the troop newsletter that goes out weekly. When adults agree to taken on a uniformed role in the troop it is explained it is expected they will complete all the necessary training for thier position. We discussed running our own IOLS class just to ensure every adult had the training.


At the ASM meeting this week, we felt understaffed with only 14 active ASMs. We currently have 45 active scouts and are expecting 15-20 Webelos to join in the next week. We know of at least one adult who is expected to join as an active ASM. We are hoping to garner at least 1 but hopefully more like 2 or 3 ASMs from the rising Webelos. We believe it takes a year of being a secondary ASM to become familiar enough with the running of the troop to become a fully contributing ASM. You have to remember that your two or three most experienced will probably leave every year as thier sons age out and so replacements must be put into the system every year. The same is true for the committee.

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