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Piggy Backing with another troop (need advice)

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This may be a little long winded. (or typed)


My troop is facing problems with getting 2 deep leadership to be present at every meeting and whats worse is that I am not fully qualified to be the scoutmaster. I have the love, but not all the knowledge.


So the idea is to start meeting with another well established troop until I am better trained and until I can get some quality and quantity of help we need. Is this a terrible idea? Is involing our troop with another just a terrible thing? Arent we supposed to be helpful? I just dont know.



To give a history, my other leader is the former scout with all the know how and he has been less than reliable when it comes to showing up. I was supposed to the the ASM but have taken the reins as SM to keep the troop active. Its been hard to find interested help much less trained interested help.


So if you guys were in this situation what would you do?


I have thought about being less active with meetings and schedluing them for every other week, but my boys would rather want to meet twice a week the way it is. Unfortunately, that wont happen and cant without more than the help I have.


I had thought about disbanding, but I care too much and the boys seem to like it where they are. Its a plus to have happy boys but they arent getting the quality scout education they deserve with out more help.


I have kids that are very open to this idea and some very reluctant and I understand both arguements. But with out the 2 adults, we would be force to send boys elsewhere anyway.


I am scared that some of our boys will stay with the other troop, but at least we can keep boys in scouting which is the ultimate goal anyway.


I just sucks when boys are looking for older boys to feed off of and being a new troop our oldest boy is 12.



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First, "two deep leadership" is not required for meetings, the only rule is "no one on one" with a Scout. So as long as two Scouts are there, you're within the rules.


Two deep is required for outings. One adult needs to be a registered Scouter and the other a parent or guardian of one of the boys.


What about committee members? Do they show up for meetings? How many committee members do you have? Maybe one would be willing to become an ASM.


It often seems to be feast or famine when it comes to help. Either nearly everyone is involved or everyone hides.


Can your charter organization provide some extra bodies who are willing to help?



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Gotta agree with Gold Winger.


I'd also have a cup of coffee with the Committee Chair, the Chartered Org Rep and your UC. Explain your challenges. Share how you want to get well. See what advice, support, or resources can be brought to bear while your unit is in the "get well" phase. One possible resource is a 1/1 session of Scoutmaster specific, or perhaps there are others in your district who need training off the annual cycle as much as you do.


If you've not taken Boy Scout Fast Start and YP online, now is the time to do so.


The most important thing, to me, is to keep the youth Scouting. If you can do that during this rough patch, all will eventually come out OK in the wash.

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If yeh were to ask a troop to meet jointly with them, I think a good troop would say "no." That's not really helpful to you, and it impacts their program too much.


They might send a few experienced boys or an adult to some of your meetings if yeh have a clear notion of what you need and they can assist.


They might let you come along on a campout or two to help yeh learn da ropes.


But at the point when you're comin' to most of their meetings, they'd rightly say "either join our unit or stop imposing on us."


In theory, this is one yeh kick up the chain to your CC and chartered organization.


In practice, yeh might grab a couple of parents and form a scouter recruitment committee and make that your first priority, ahead of everything else.


In da meantime, yeh scale back until you're safe. Yeh keep outings within your skill level as an adult, yeh cut back on meetings, and you be completely up front and honest with da parents about the reasons. Sometimes folks are reluctant to step forward until they're faced with a real need, eh?




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I took over our troop last year as SM, and have some challenges like having enough adults along. We have had to cancel a campout due to lack of adults able to go. You do have to recruit people to be registered scouters. One suggestion, call a nearby college and see if they have an office that sends volunteers to the community to do public service. Ask for former scouts to be registered leaders. Especially Eagle scouts, and pitch the idea of giving back to scouting. If you get a few, then they don't all have to go on every trip, just as they can.


As for training, you should get training, but the most important thing is that you love doing scouting. If you love doing it, the boys will see that and follow you. It may be a good thing that the better trained but more undependable scouter did not become SM. Do you love it, and are the boys wellfare your primary focus? You may make a thousand little mistakes, but the boys will come away with this thought, "He likes us, he is a great leader."


I would not depend on another troop. You may ask for assistance and ask for one of their leaders to come to your meetings for a month, but work your troop. And I bet you have or can get the manuals and planning guides and such. If truth be told, formal training is ok, but you will get more out of reading the books and putting them into practice yourself. You can see what works for your troop and your scouts. No one can tell you that kind of stuff.


I have also found that the district directors can be a resource. They do not always want to get out of the office, but if you bug them enough, they will respond. As it is said, the squeeky wheel gets the oil.


Good luck, and be confident, Mr. Scoutmaster.



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Years ago, when we were a small troop we had a problem with adult attendance at troop meetings. What we did was set up a schedule for the year, assigning each family in the troop a certain number of troop meetings to attend. It was up to them to either be there or arrange a substitute if they could not make it. It gave parents a chance to see what goes on at a troop meeting, lend a hand, and help keep order. Some of them became very involved after this. We still do this today, even though we now have 42 scouts. Keep plugging along. Things will change for you!


We have a canoe campout this weekend with 30 scouts and 21 adults going! We sometimes kid, "Wasn't it nicer with 10 kids?" Nah. Maybe a little less hectic, but the more the merrier!



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Having been in a similar position long ago when I was trying to keep my troop alive I want to share a little story.


I didn't even have a son in scouting at the time, I just didn't want to see my old troop fold. After I got my Eagle I stayed involved in many ways. At some point there was a leadership crisis and the troop was on the verge of collapse. I was under 21 and so had to recruit other adults to join and contribute. First route was just as Beavah suggested, scale back and implore the parents to participate. That helped, but didn't fully solve the problem. We had the bodies present to make everything legal, but I was working myself to death along with being a full time college student. We didn't have a UC, but I took the problem my old scoutmaster (he had turned the troop over to someone capable several years earlier who then turned it over to someone not so capable who quit..thus the problem) and he suggested talking to the DE and explain the problem...he also let me know that he had heard that another local troop was also having trouble. Talked to the DE and he put me in touch with the other trouble troop. Ultimately we came to an agreement to merge. Those boys and their leaders moved into our troop and I handed over the official SM title to the leader of the other troop...that was fine with me since I wasn't really allowed to be SM anyway.


Troop did fine for many years after that. I have since moved from the area and am now watching my son progress in scouting. Good luck to you. You have the will, I have no doubt you will find a way to succeed.(This message has been edited by sylvar)

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