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New troop, old questions

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Great points. And, when I became "the first crew advisor I ever met", I wish I had read a couple of them. It's one thing to get it from one manual, but to hear it from a bunch of other folks ...


While your boys are coloring their flag or whatever, you need to start coaching the adults. Explain ...

- your vision for "boy led."

- the troop's need for a pool of locations to practice "minimum impact camping".

- that you will have other needs as the boys reflect on the activities they want to do and how they want to do them.

- that you would eventually like to only explain things to adults once a month, so if thy wouldn't mind organizing their schedule's to form/join the troop committee, you would greatly appreciate it.


In the field, I train my committee on how to "hang back and be available" for youth. This works best if you have only a four adults at a time on each activity.

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  • 3 months later...

I thought I would check in on this thread, since we finally had our first troop meeting last night. We have actually started with 7 boys, and we hear more are on the way. It's just amazing how long it takes to actually get a unit off the ground when you want to be truly ready to go.


While I think we got off on a good start, it's already been an eye-opening experience. You would think after some years of leadership as well as leadership at work I would know better, but it's amazing how much I didn't get to last night. You can tell by all the email I sent tonight. :)


I have to say what made me the happiest was watching the boys interact so well with one another, even the ones that just met that night. And even better, they were very VERY engaged in their patrol meeting working on a patrol name and yell. Maybe next week we will see if they can come up with something appropriate. Oh well, gotta love it.


So the adventure has begun, and we are looking forward to our first camping trip. Funny thing is when I brought up the cooking, you should have heard the disappointment when I said Ramen noodles don't really cut it. So I gave in a little and said as long as they were part of a recipe then go for it. Honestly, I'm just happy they are already showing their true selves.



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Good luck! I am a bit jealous. Starts up can be fun. It would be nice to have a small Troop.


My recommendations: get SM and MBC training and keep it fun.


Be patient: boys work at their own speed. In a couple years you and the boys will take great pride in being "founders".

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Thanks for touching base.

When you get a picture of their flag, put it on line for us. I'll use it to a challenge to our "Tye Dye Platypi" patrol! (Our boys are strong on catch-phrases, weak on artwork.)

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  • 1 month later...

Well, the patrol patches are on order. The emblem they decided on was a monkey riding a sea horse. A manly sea horse, of course. And I know what you are talking about with the flag. They have finally decided on the material, a bright....no, make that BRIGHT yellow duck cloth. Goes with the whole "golden" thing.


I'll post some pictures when the patches come in.


What will be really interesting is the scrambled eggs they will be making at their first breakfast on their first camping trip as a patrol this Saturday.

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It was fantastic! Our spot was beautifully nestled in some tall pines, and the weather was great. The first thing that happened was a zipper breaking on the tent door my PL son and the QM were using for the weekend. They broke out the duct tape and spare bed sheet to make a new door. The best part, no complaints! Just dealing with it. Although they did end up a bit more bitten than the rest of us.


Watching the two of them cook breakfast Saturday morning was one of the best Scouting experiences of my life. Just something about watching an 11 & 12 year-old working camp stoves and just, well, doing what they needed to do to feed the patrol was a feeling I have a real hard time putting into words. The Dad part of me that realizes he loses the little boy more and more each day took a serious hit, but I was also very proud of both of them. I know to some here who have done this a million times may think I'm a little silly gushing about scrambled eggs and bacon, but it was great.


In between our days events, we had a new to Scouting 11 y.o. set up the lunches for the patrol, and he was very eager to pitch in and do his part. The afternoon hit, and my ASM got to experience the first Leader Camp Nap in our history. Don't worry, I got her picture for COH. :)


After one of our 15 y.o. boys made chili for dinner (with some help from a couple of newer boys), we settled around a small campfire for a couple of hours. I was feeling bad for a minute that I didn't have the boys work on some kind of campfire program, but the bad feeling didn't last long. I was there to see our new troop/patrol bond by just being together, laughing at silly things, and by the end of the night giving each other nicknames that have stuck. One of my best campfires ever.


On Sunday morning the older boys took charge of organizing the clean up and pack out, so all I had to do was load my gear and drink a cup of coffee. Oh, and collect some ashes from our first campfire. Almost walked away forgetting that one. I can't wait to give them out at the next meeting.


So how did it go? To me, Scouting has never been better. I can't wait for next month.



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