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New Troop - Minimum # of Scouts/Leaders: Organizational Question

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So I've read through three threads on optimum Troop size and the Patrol method. I am a brand new SM and my Troop is brand new as well. I still have to finish my SM training and recognize that fact.


We have 5 boys registered but for the last month have had only 4 showing up to meetings as the fifth is involved in the local community theatre and busy with that, but still wants to be a Scout.


We are currently organized as one patrol with a PL, APL, Scribe, Quartermaster and Grubmaster all chosen by the boys. The PL is a Life Scout (may fit Stosh's description of Eagle w/o skills), the APL is FC, the Grubmaster is FC, the Scribe (been a Boy Scout almost a year) and Quartermaster (brand new Scout) are almost TF and Scout respectively.


At the end of December (12/21) I expect to have 3-4 Webelos from my Pack (different Chartered Org and different brother Troop) cross over including my son. I expect another group to show up at the more traditional crossover time in Feb/Mar.


My question to the forum is this, given the discussion about NSP's, "mixed" patrols and the like and desiring to truly have a boy led/run Troop, what are your suggestions for organizing the Troop as these new boys come in? I'm not sure I want to break up the exisiting Patrol as they've just started to go through the forming process and are making some progress there. I don't have enough experienced boys to create a "book solution" staff but feel the APL would make a good Troop Guide.


I know that about 6 of the boys from the dozen or so in my Pack's Web II three dens (we've had some attrition from the 18 that started out as Webelos) plus at least one more from another Pack would really like to be their own patrol, have even created a name, buddy nicknames, yell, etc. Again my son is involved in that. Do I allow that normal association to happen as long as it doesn't become more than 8 Scouts? What about the other boys that cross who wouldn't be a part of that patrol? One of my gut feelings is that brothers should not be in the same patrol for what I consider obvious sibling reasons and we'll have over the next few years about 3 sets of brothers, 2 this year.


So lots of questions. All suggestions will be carefully considered and of course as we go forward I'll share our experiences with the group. Thanks in advance for your help.





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#2 A great little read if you can find it is the 3rd ed. SM handbook, in 2 volumes. While scouting has changed since it was written, it is a definite foundation for any troop.


#3 Scouting is local and there are literally 100s of ways to solve this. Which is right, well that's up to you to decide.


Me personally I like the mixed age patrols as when my troop did a NSP, it didn't work too well. BUT it seem s that you already have a patrol formed. I would talk to your APL and see if he would want to work with the NSP. I hate appointing positions, but maybe appoint him PL and charge him with having his patrol up to speed so that they could take over in a few months. And then he can rejoin his patrol, if he and the NSP wants him to return.


One thing my troop did was every six months, basically when it was time for elections, we allowed scouts to switch patrols. Thsoe that wanted to move could, those that wanted to stay could. For the most part, PLs remained the same, unless they moved up to the Leadership Corps, roghly a venture Patrol today.


Good luck

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I can only speak from my own personal experience. But as far as I know, I had the best Patrol Leader in the history of the BSA.


I really don't remember if he was elected by the Patrol, or appointed. Even if he was elected, the Scoutmaster was very sneaky and ensured his election.


When I joined, I was in 5th grade. The patrol had about 4 or 5 members who were in 6th grade, and one member who was in 7th grade. I joined an existing patrol, but I think the 6th graders had only been around a couple of months. The 7th grader was probably First Class or Star, and he had excellent scouting skills, and he learned excellent leadership skills. He was obviously enthusiastic and excited to take on the leadership role.


I think that was an excellent method--plant an experienced scout who wants to take on the challenge, and let him run with it. I never got the impression that we were the "new scout patrol" even though that's what we were in reality.


A couple of years later, the patrol leader had moved on to the "Leadership Corps", the patrol had some new scouts, and I went on to become the second best Patrol Leader in the history of the BSA. :)

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1st off - boy led troop - what do the boys want to do?


2nd - if you do a NSP and stay boy-led than you do need an older boy or two that are good at the T21 skills, good leaders, and good at teaching those skills.


I personally prefer mixed patrols. My son's troop has always go by age, but is adjusting that a little this year with having 2 high school patrols, 2 middle school patrols, and the 1 NSP... at summer the boys going into HS can join a HS patrol and the NSP boys join a MS patrol... this fills in the patrols when boys graduate/age out.


but again - biggest question is what do the boys want?

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