How to pick a Troop


Norman-Rockwell-Poster-Card-C10231128.jpeg  It has been that time for a while for my son, Elliot to figure out what Troop he wants to go to.  Quite frankly, he is the only Webelos II to really get started, from what I can tell.  He has only started, along with one fellow buddy, because I behind it.  While I want to say that  I am not pushing him, I am.  It’s been a goal of mine to look at other Troops than the one the Pack has historically gone to since Elliot joined the Pack in 2008.  I got that vision/goal when I went to Roundtable and met the District Chair.  He welcomed me, asked name, rank and Unit that I was from.  He then went on to tell me about visiting at least three Troops.   I took that to heart.

I wrote another posting about this topic in July 2012.  Not much has changed since that posting or my feelings on the subject.   However, now Crossover is April 6, 2013.    And here is my frustration.  It could be just District related or maybe it’s the same within any Pack and Troop.

Because the Pack has historically gone to two Troops, we do not get asked, invited, offered or even considered for Webelos Recruitment.  I get notices from a fellow Cubmaster who I would have only have met because of the Cubscout Roundtable and Roundtable.  He has turned into a great friend.  (Note: GO TO ROUNDTABLE! It helps with everything!)  While I am the Training Chair for the District, I recently gathered a lot of contact info from all the Packs, Troops, Teams, Crews and presented it at a Roundtable that only One Troop and One other Pack came.  The one that came I had not seen before.  I withheld the info from the District until after Roundtable because I wanted them to show up.  Our District does not have a Membership Chair let along a Webelos to Scout Transition Chair, hence my taking this on.  I highly suspect that in my next role within the District, that I will be in the Membership role of Webelos to Scouts Transition.

If you’re looking for a Troop and your son is NOT in Cubscouts, using BeaScout.org is a good thing.  More than likely a call to the Council will happen.  Hopefully somehow you get connected to a Troop.  Many District websites has a page with a list of all the Scout Units.  Our District does not.  However, that is another reason I put this information together.   However, if you’re a Webelos Den Leader and/or parent, beascout.org is not really want you want.  You need to have communications between Packs & Troops.   Yes, that means even if a Scoutmaster needs to “Cold Call” a Cubmaster or Webelos Den Leader to get info, that should happen.  It is part of the job of the Cubmaster to also find this information and give it to Webelos Den Leaders and Parents.

Knowing about a Troop is essential to make sure your son and his friends get to the right Troop.  Also, they need to know if the Troop isn’t right after they join that they can transfer.  It’s $1 and a Transfer form.  Not another Application!

So, how do you pick a Troop?  In order to not reinvent the wheel, I Googled “How to pick a Troop” and got these good websites.

My last piece of advice is to start early and start looking for a Troop.  Ask your son what he wants and likes.  Do not assume.  There are many fine Troops right in our area and I would have no problem sending my son to them.  However, their program might not be the one for him.  The goal of this is to have the Webelos II crossover into Boy Scouts and continue their Journey in Scouting.  It is then up to the Scout to continue on.

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4 Comments

Filed under Arrow of Light, BoyScouts, change, postaday

4 responses to “How to pick a Troop

  1. otabi

    Even though our charter organization chartered a troop last year, our Webelos 2 den leader made sure that all of the boys visited at least 3 troops before Christmas.

    Personally I went out looking at local troops as well. But I think the biggest thing that got my son moving was when I told him to go through Boys’ Life and see what activities he wanted to try. It got him focused on what he wanted out of Boy Scouts and able to ask good questions.

    I go to round table regularly, but what really helped was talking to the units when they were out camping. It is my experience that some of the best performing units may not be good at recruiting because they don’t need to be. So at Webelos Woods I took off to gossip with the troop scouters about every unit and then worked from that to get a list for my son to contact.

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  2. Bryan: Yes, every District should have one. Ours does not.

    Jerry: Yes, so very true. I have gotten to one already that way. I don’t want the spit and polish. I want the ugly and normal. It’s the one thing that I have learned from you and your podcasts. I just want to show-up and let him go. I have that planned.

    As for him picking. Yup..that’s my intention. He will decide.

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  3. I’m with you on the lack of recruiting by local Troops, the “Improved Webelos Transition” should have taken care of this, but I fully believe no one knows of this great resource. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/ImprovedWebelosTransition.aspx
    As well, each District should have a District Webelos Transition Chair, who would ideally, help with connecting Troops and Packs. I attend Roundtable and am a new Unit Commissioner, but at neither of these events is much said about connecting Webelos with prospective Troops.
    For 2013 our District is making a concerted effort to retain more Webelos into Troops and Venturing but it sure seems like we have to come from the Packs and train Troop adult leadership about how things are designed to work for their own benefit.
    As we move into Troops it should be our desire to recruit from Webelos Dens.

    YIS,
    Bryan

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  4. Every Troop has it’s own flavor.. your son (and you) need to find that Troop that best fits you and your needs. I think it is a great idea to take a look at least 3 Troops and see for yourself the different flavors. There will always be things that you like and dislike. At the end of the day it is what best fits.
    There are clues that will help. If your son feels welcome and fits right in.. that’s a good thing. The opposite is also true but in a bad way. If you don’t feel welcome and don’t fit in.. leave.
    Don’t visit a unit on the Join night. You will see the spit and polish… visit on a night that they are planning a camp out or doing some other activity… this will give you a better snap shot of the Troop.
    Let your son make the decision. If it is his choice.. he will want to stay in longer.
    Great post Adam!
    YIS
    Jerry

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