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92_SPL

need help suggestions welcomed

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Hello,

I am 13 years old and am the SPL of our VERY small troop. I am a first class scout and VERY enthusiastic about scouting. My troop has mabye 3 or 4 ACTIVE members. There are a few more who never show up. Anyway when I first joined the troop there were only 2 members and they were about 16 years old. Then I came and reqruited some friends and the two 16 year olds left. Then some webloes bridged to our troop and the kids I reqruited left (they are starting to come back now). Anyway I had been reading the boy scout handbook and learned aobut SPL, PL and so on so I asked my scoutmaster about them and so we held elections and because I am as enthusiastic as I am I got the job of SPL (not to mention I am the oldest scout aged boy in my Troop). What I need is suggestions for what to do with such a small troop and how to get more people, and let the ones that are already in have fun, while continueing to advance myself. By the way I read the forum about being a young eagle. I am very anxious to get mine and have a great respect for people that already have theirs. When I first joined scouts I wanted to be an eagle right away, but after time I have decided to take my time and do it right so it is more meaningful when I get it. I am still working hard towards it, but I am trying to get more expeirience first. Like I said earlier I am a first class scout. Next month I will take my star board of review. Any suggestions for me or suggestions about my troop are greatly appreciated.

 

Thank You,

David

 

P.S. I recently got my amateur radio liceanse so if anyone reading this is a ham hope to talk to you some day. I have my tech and passed by general written so I am going to take the code next month. Hope to hear you on air.

 

73,

David

KD7TIK

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Welcome,

 

Ask your Scoutmaster about Junior Leader Training Conference (JLTC)and if its done in your District/Council.

 

You have the unique opportunity to set the traditions of your troop that could last for a very long time. Seize the challenge, try to assure everything is as much as possible boy lead. You do that, the recruiting will be easy. Remember, Scouting is fun with a purpose, keep in the fun and dont forget our purpose

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Advertise a lot of camping and adventure. Then do it and brag about it. Also, do a lot of volunteering. Get your troop involved in the community. More will come b/c they see what you guys do.

 

 

"If you build it, they will come"

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Ask your Scoutmaster and Troop Committee to take a look at the Build A Troop material. It is on the National Site.

Good Luck,with your upcoming board of review and it is great to have you and all the younger members joining in the forums. Welcome.

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Advertise a lot of camping and adventure. Then do it and brag about it. Also, do a lot of volunteering

 

Boy thats great advice! I think your enthusiasm, combined with good planning is going to create a fantastic troop.

 

Hardest thing to keep in mind - setbacks shouldn't get you down, they are not failures, just new opportunities(think of Winston Churchill).

 

Above all have fun and don't be afraid to show it.

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92 SPL,

 

Congratulations to you on your position, and to your Troop for having an ethusiatic SPL. They will be lucky to have you.

 

Our boys have been the best advertisement we have. Particularly after a rank advancement, and here's why:

 

At every Board of Review we do, we ask the following questions -

1) What activities have you done in Scouting?

2) What of those were fun?

3) Which one of those activities have any of your non - Scout friends done?

 

The normal answers are rapelling, rock climbing, rifle shooting, kayaking, hiking the Appalacian Trail, Iron Man competition at summer camp, cooking their own meals, etc. Almost everyone says that almost every activity was fun. And lastly, very few guys know anyone at school who has done any of these things, and we haven't come across a guy yet who knows someone who has done any two of the things they have had a chance to do.

 

When these Boards of Review happen around the time of Webelo visitations and crossing, these guys are out front "selling" our Troop to the potential new members. We've even had a couple of new guys join who never were in Cubs because the guy went back to school and bragged about what he has done. When our guys do one thing a month or so, it doesn't seem all that impressive to them. When they put it all together, all of a sudden, being a Boy Scout seems like something of which they can be proud, instead of something to hide.

 

Your job then, is to make the cool things happen. If your Scoutmaster is doing his job, you and the rest of the Troop will decide what you want to do. Could be some of the things our Troop does, but maybe not. Either way (and this is an important point), when you decide you want to do something, make it happen. Plan it. Learn the skills. Figure out how to pay for it yourselfs. Many of the things I listed cost money to do. A small Troop probably doesn't have kayaks or rapelling gear at their ready, and often don't have adults trained to do these activities safely. But equipment can be rented (or borrowed sometimes - our Troop lends its equipment to nearby Troops somewhat regularly). But take the initiate to not only come up with the idea, but a plan to make it happen and how you'll pay for it.

 

You can do this, I am positive! And as was already mentioned, you have a unique oppurtunity to establish the direction and traditions your Troop will have. It's an awesome responsiblity, but you can do it!

 

And lastly, another poster mentioned Junior Leader Training. Don't miss it. Especially if it is well done in your council, it will be the best time you ever invest.

 

Best of luck to you. Please keep us posted on how it is going.

 

Mark

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Eamonn, I did a search for "Build A Troop" at scouting.org and came up empty handed. I'm on my son's committee and am looking for this kind of information. Can you provide a web address or link?

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Hi!

 

sounds like you have some good ideas going - the only thing i would add is to take advantage of any events and activities offered by your district or council - as their larger size might be able to offer you activities, training and resources that are tough to do with just a handfull of boys and their familes.

 

Network with other troops - especially other small troops at summer camp and at camporees, etc. often if you both want to do something like a caving trip, or canoe trip, BOTH troops can get a better deal if they combine to get more guys on the trip.

 

We had a small troop for awhile, too. When ever we have an activity that has a minimum number requirement to participate, we fill the spot with troop members FIRST - but then pass the word around and invite younger brothers, cub packs, another troop or friends to go along and fill out the spaces. It builds friendships with other troops and recruits cubs and non-scouts into our troop.

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