Mediocre program vs no program?

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Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby MT's Mom » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:43 pm

Here is my 'a ha" moment:

I'll just come out and admit it: My troop is mediocre. It is neither hot or cold, it is lukewarm. I know what is causing it. I know what the cure is. My question is:

Is a lukewarm program better than not having a program at all? I know that boys deserve the best that Scouting has to offer, but if there are not the resources (i.e. adult leadership) to make it happen, is second rate better than none?
Ours is the only troop in town.


Thanks for listening

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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby kwildman » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:40 am

yes mediocre is better than nothing.

However, if you know what the problem is then you should try to fix it. If it is adult leadership you need to work to get better leaders or work with the existing leaders. Have the TC suggest additional training. Dont be afraid of breaking what doesnt work. I think most people want to have a good program just dont know how to get there. That is why the TC is so important.
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby Billiken » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:47 pm

MT's Mom wrote:I'll just come out and admit it: My troop is mediocre. It is neither hot or cold, it is lukewarm. I know what is causing it. I know what the cure is. My question is:

Is a lukewarm program better than not having a program at all? I know that boys deserve the best that Scouting has to offer, but if there are not the resources (i.e. adult leadership) to make it happen, is second rate better than none?
Ours is the only troop in town.


I was once told that almost every other troop seems better run/organized than your own.
"The only problem with Boy Scouts is, there aren't enough of them." Will Rogers
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby WVBeaver05 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:55 pm

I don't think that is the right question. I think the question should always be "... what can be done to improve the program..."

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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby MT's Mom » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:30 pm

Sadly, I've asked the question. :cry: It would mean a total change in adult leadership and there isn't anyone who will step up to the plate.

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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby FrankJ » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:24 pm

I can only say what has worked for our troop. We are always recruiting new leadership with the concept of many hands make light work. With this needs to be a willingness to share the leadership. Also recognize that there is opportunity for growth & fellowship for the adults as well as the youth. (Without losing sight of the fact that Boy Scout is about the youth.)

Realize you are not going to change the troop over night. Pick one thing that is doable & work on that. Get the leadership to go to Wood Badge. It is all about breaking vision down to details.

Ultimately you or your son has to decide if the program is worth the time.
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby Cowboy » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:44 pm

In short: YES. The long answer:
Every Troop that I have come in contact with has gone through periods of mediocraty. Mainly for the reason that you state, Adult Leaders. You can help, but it will nto change overnight. Forget Woodbadge for right now. It is great (from what I hear) but before that, get everyone else trained in and active in another way. The easiest way to get parents and non parents involved is through Merit Badges. First ask them to assist with a MB that you feel they have knowledge of. Then ask them to register as a counselor since they know the topic and have experience with the MB. Then get them to do the online training with the completely legit explaination that it will make counseling easier. Finally, talk them into position specifi training (even outdoor skills for SM &ASM). Now they are hooked. Thsi may take a year or more, but it is a growth process that has worked for us many times. Unfortunately, we are currently at the top of the process with our Troop right now.
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby Bill Pitcher » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:23 am

Get more parents involved. Every September we have a scout/parent ( or guardian) canoe trip. The parent/guardian requirement is posted on the permission slips, but if the parent can't swim, we have enough ccommittee members who are willing to fill in, whose sons have gone on to college. The point of this is, the parents learn the troop gear, they see the experienced scouts run the camp and they all enjoy the friendships and the evening campfires. This ONE activity GETs THEM INVOLVED EARLY. We ask all of the new parents to cook Saturday's dinner! Then we set the hook and reel them in. It's easy. Try something like this. IT WORKS and we get new energetic help every time and some great Saturday night meals after a long day on the water!
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby alex gregory » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:30 pm

Mediocre is actually pretty easy to fix if you have a core of dedicated scouts and parents. Every organization has it's ups and downs, just make sure you get your troop on the upward track.

Did you go to summer camp? That's an easy place to start. Troop and adults will see how better troops operate, and you'll also see that you're probably not the worst. The boys will have a lot of fun, and look forward to doing it again next year.

Make sure you go to District Camporee. Again, you'll be with other troops and get ideas.

Go to Roundtable. Get ideas from other troops, and learn what resources are at hand.

Outings - outings - outings - and did I mention outings. If the troop is not getting out there, then help your son's patrol get out and about. If the patrol can't get out there, then you and other concerend parents should get Youth Protection Trained and organize something yourselves for those scouts who actually want to show up for an outing, and GO! Once the other guys see scouts doing fun stuff they will want to join in, and you will develop a cadre of dedicated Scouts that will lead the troop to better days. You will also shame the so-called leaders into doing their job or moving over. It's August, perfect days for camping and fishing. Plan a "hike and bike" for September. Make sure the boys are doing something outside every month.

Do you have regular troop committee meetings? Do you have regular patrol leader councils? That's the time and place for quality control.

You say nobody wants to step up. You're stepping up, and that's a start.
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:49 am

MT's Mom wrote:Sadly, I've asked the question. :cry: It would mean a total change in adult leadership and there isn't anyone who will step up to the plate.

MT's Mom

Normally, I tend to think that to change a "bad" or incorrect program needs a change of most, if not all, of the leadership.

Improving from mediocre should take less. Maybe suggest an activity. Usually, if you suggest it you need to be willing to run the adult part of it, too. Or, volunteer to teach an exciting MB (or to find someone who will).

I think most importantly - get involved. Sounds like you see opportunities and you could be the catalyst that make the change. If you aren't registered, go ahead and register in some position. Then get trained. You don't have to limit yourself to the training for the position, take everything that is offered.

Be the "nudge" that lets the "Boy run" aspect take over. ( If the current leaders won't let the Boys run it, then it isn't just mediocre, it's wrong and that may take more work to fix.)

YiS
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby MT's Mom » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:00 pm

I'm the CC. I'm trained. I had signed up for Woodbadge last June and it got cancelled. I have good parental involvement. My problem is the SM. It was like pulling teeth to get him trained. It was even worse to get him to wear a class A shirt! This is what I am up against: The boys left for camp last Sunday. The SM told the boys that they did not have to travel in their Class A shirts. When I mentioned it to the SM that is was BSA policy to travel in class A's, I was told: "Well, I know my son's won't wear their shirts, so I'm not going to make anyone else wear class A's."
The SM's sons are in the "older boy" patrol. The "older Boy" patrol is disrespectful, impatient with the younger boys, disruptive and, well, downright mean and rude. I'm the "witch" at the meetings that gets after the boys to tuck in their shirts (when the do wear them!). It's me that gets after them when the "horseplay" (NOT o.k.) gets out of hand. The "middle guy patrol" boys have been scouts for 2 years and none of them are First Class. I have talked with the SM about me stepping up to be an ASM for the "middle guy" patrol (my son's). But I see that I would be constantly at odds with the SM and the boys would be in the middle ("Well SM said that we didn't have to ...) It would be an uphill battle. Me vs the SM.
I guess now that I've had some training, go to roundtable, been to camp and made observations about different troops, I'm getting more frustrated with the lack of scout spirit in my own troop.

Sorry about the rant, thanks for listening.

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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:35 pm

Unfortunately, that sounds a little worse than just a mediocre program.

Council could help by starting a requirement that the top leader of each unit must be fully trained for the position before the unit could re-charter. Our Council did that a few years ago. National could do even better with an overall policy of mandatory training. ( In case you get the idea that I'm supportive of training, you would be correct! )

I wish I had some magic ideas that would take care of your unit, but I don't. I would point out that the SM is responsible to the Troop Committee, if that helps. The Institutional Head can replace the SM (or anyone else). But I'm more in favor of "fixing" the leaders that need it rather than kicking them out.

There are some things that you can try to help. Set a good example. Always wear your uniform. It helps. Always act in accordance with the Scout Oath and Law. Use your influence to get you son to do the same (uniform, too). Try to get your Troop in the presence of other (good) Troops. See if you can get a few of the Youth to attend NYLT (then they will learn how the program is supposed to be run) - maybe even have the Troop pay half or more of the fee. Encourage the other involved parents to register and attend training.

Keep going to training. You can take the SM training even though you are CC. Keep going to Round Tables, but try to take some others with you (even the SM). Don't give up on Wood Badge, if it was canceled this year it will probably be held next year ( if not, look into courses by other Councils that are close ).

Your Troop really needs to help those 2 year Scouts get to First Class. Take the national recommendation of First Class First Year to the Committee Meeting and see if they can agree to do some things to help in this.

Every little bit helps.

I can "hear" your frustration in your posts. I hope that the folks here can provide info that helps you - and your Troop.

YiS
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:36 pm

P.S. You really should include your Council in your profile :-)
Wayne

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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby MT's Mom » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:01 pm

Thanks WV for the encouragement. I would post my council if I could figure out how to so it :lol: . On the other hand, I am ashamed to have everyone know which council I am from! :oops:

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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby wagionvigil » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:15 pm

send me and email and I will put it in for you this needs to be done
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby alex gregory » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:16 pm

I suspected the problem was a less-then-great SM. If you are the CC then it's time for you to be the CC. Get your committee behind you and if SM is not willing to shape up after an honest conversation then it's time for a new SM.
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Re: Mediocre program vs no program?

Postby kwildman » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:53 pm

talk with the charter org. This is something that will only get worse.
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