Finding a Troop

I know that this blog is read by a few Troops within the district.  Please do not read anything into this post.

It has been about fours years since Elliot started Cubscouts with Pack 221.  He is now a Webelos II.  I have been the Tiger Den Leader and now am entering my last year as Cubmaster.  It is that time to really start looking for a Troop.

While, I have been on that search since my second year as Cubmaster, Elliot has not.  Nor should he have.  Traditionally since we started with Pack 221, the Scouts have gone to one Troop.  Fine.   This last year, the Webelos II went to two different Troops.  The traditional and then one that took me by surprise.  I thought that another Troop had the lock on a few.  Nope, they all minus one went to one where our family buys the Christmas Trees from.  No worries. It’s a great Troop and my Webelos II Den Leader was made ASM.

Here is my worry.  Elliot might go to a Troop that is way more into High Adventure than he really wants.  He is not into a 50 Miler.  Unless it’s on a horse or maybe a kayak, canoe or a bike.  He’s not into HIKING!  He is much more at ease with car camping with some light hiking.

I need and want him to get into Boy Scouts so, those Older Scouts can help mentor him and have them teach him what he needs to know.  I am becoming a bore, burden and not fun in Scouting.  I know this.  He likes Scouting when it’s on his terms and it’s fun.  He has to go because he is the Cubmaster’s son.  It was good when he was a Tiger and Wolf.  But towards the end of Bear and in Webelos I I have seen the tide changing.

I get and understand that.  I have had to learn to pull myself back.  Only in the past two weeks, did I talk about Summer Camp.  I barely touched upon what he’s interested in as it relates to going to Boy Scouts.  He’s first thing he said, is that he would go if his buddies went.

I asked, which one he would like to go with.  Got the name.  Made perfect sense.

Now, with all my conversations with Scoutmasters, ASMs and others in the Internet Virtual Roundtable, I have listened to what they have said.  I have asked questions.  I think that I understand what makes for a good transition.   Hence, my ask of Elliot of who he wanted.  I briefly talked to that Scout’s parents.

A note about that Scout.  He’s good.  He’s one of those that you know will go all the way to Eagle.  I know this because as a Bear, he told me on the way to Summer Camp that year, that he cannot wait until he gets his Arrow of Light.  His Dad also told me that on a vacation through an airport once, they ran into a Troop flying through the Airport.  This Scout went and talked to them.  Asked a lot of questions.  That Troop took him in and answered them all.  I will be an Eagle Court of Honor.

All that being said, I ran into a ASM of a Troop today at the Scoutshop that I had not seen for a while.  Swapped stories about where we were going to Summer Camp.  Then I asked what Troop he was with again.  I asked what they were all about and what they did.  Got the location of the Troop Meeting.  Ok, not too far away.  Same area as we are, but closer than the Troop the Webelos II crossed over too this year.

So, tonight I started the process of reaching out to three different Troops.  One that the last Webelos II went to, and two others.  I have no real understanding of one of the Troops.  But, I know two of them.  Elliot will have a choice of about five Troops all together.  I really do not think that he will go to the two traditional ones.  Which is fine.  Both are good Troops.

Overall, I am trying to stay out of making the choice for him.  It needs to be his choice.  I know that once he moves on to any Troop, that at some point I will become a part of the Troop.  I have no real wish to be an ASM.  I would rather be a Committee Member at this time.  I will become a Merit Badge Counselor and continue on District Training Chair.  I will start the process on becoming more involved with the Troop for Board of Reviews as well as on the District level.  As District Trainer, I will focus more on the Cubscout Training as I see a huge gap there.

For me, it’s an exciting time for Elliot.  It’s a transition and turning point.  While he has had several choices put before him, this is the first of what HE wants to do.  It’s not, hey do you want to play soccer this year?  NO.  What about La Crosse. NO.  Piano? No.  Wii? YES.

Also, this year at Camp, I am letting him choose what he wants to do for electives.  Then, I will let him go and follow as needed.  Camp starts on this Sunday @ Noon.

See you on the flip side of Summer camp.

About Adam R. Cox

Current Skyloo District Commissioner Current Skyloo District & Council Trainer Current Council Member at Large (Cascade Pacific Council) Former Tiger DL & CM of P221 in Pioneer District Former Skyloo District CS Roundtable Commissioner. Former Ast Council Commissioner for Commissioner Tools and Communication Former Pioneer District Training Chair WE1-492-09 Beaver W1-492-11 Bobwhite TG ASM Logistic W1-492-17-2
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6 Responses to Finding a Troop

  1. I am in this now. My oldest has visited 1 troop for a meeting and we went on an outdoor event with another troop also. We have about 3 more troop visits including 1 meeting with the troop that we went on the outdoor event with. A lot to take in and they have their good and bad points.


  2. Matt Lackner says:

    Thanks for reposting. You are where I’ll be a year from now. We did a Troop visit last month. I know the Webelos transition guy and Aaron and I didn’t have anything going on and he wanted to go. He had fun. I think it was a good punch in the arm for him. He’s starting to get the itch to move on. I think the visit whetted his whistle a little. Gave him that promise of what is to come. I know it’s going to be difficult for me to restrain my opinion of where he should go. I know where I’d prefer he go. But I’ll only give him my opinion if he asks. And he’ll only get the troop number. He’ll have to visit and make up his own mind.

    Good luck with the future!


  3. otabi says:

    Our council is pushing for Webelos to choose a Troop by December. This seems way too early to me. I like that it encourages the Webelos to start meeting with Troops earlier, but most Webelos 2 have just finished the Arrow of Light requirements and all of the Scouts have been out selling popcorn.

    I understand that they want to get invitations out to the Troops for bridging at Blue & Gold, but an early January timeframe seems better as it gives the boy some downtime over break to weigh his decision.


    • Adam Cox says:

      I have heard that there are Units that push this as well as having all ranks attained/awarded at Blue & Gold. It’s a nice thing to have happen. However, B&G is a Birthday Party for the BSA. It is also the time to recognize the Adult Scouters in the unit for their service since WE recognize the Scouts the rest of the year.

      I think that if a Council is doing it, they are focusing more on retention (always a good thing..) but they are going about it the wrong way. Hopefully the Troops are out there being proactive in inviting Packs/Dens to their meetings/outings. Also that there is a Den Chief program active within the District.

      Besides, the Cubscout Program is just ramping back up in the fall and the Scouts need to work through the requirements. You can always have a newcomer that needs 6 months of being active and also earn the Webelos Badge before earning the AOL. That cannot happen if they join in Sept. (The 6 months active.)


  4. Adam Cox says:

    Reblogged this on Scouter Adam's Blog and commented:

    I re-read this again tonight. I needed it. I need to stay on the path and let my son be the one who guides in this endevour. Will get back out visiting Troops after Christmas break.


  5. Kevin says:

    Excellent choice in my opinion… you’re at the same point I was a year ago — each of your interests in scouting have to take on their own identity and have to become a little more distanced than in years prior. Your boy is getting to the age where this truly has to be his interest and desire and we, as parents, begin to take a back seat in those endeavors. To get our scouting fix, we take on other roles that are a little more distanced from the boy. That’s not always the case, but in most of the instances where I’ve seen that done, it allows the boy to grow more on their own.


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