Getting Root Beer at a Scout Unit is pretty easy. Go to a Unit during their Court of Honor and talk to people. Soon, someone will ask if you would like one. It is that easy. Yes it was.
Ok I did actually go to a unit to help with the District Friends of Scouting during the Court of Honor. It was the first presentation of the season and I had never been to this unit before. I had heard about it and since I am the FOS Chair for our District, I went. I also went to another FOS presentation for another Troop during their Court of Honor. While I did not get Root Beer they had CAKE! Again, a great time. This is not a FOS based blog post, but one about how a unit operates.
I used these two presentations to help see how the units are fairing in the District. Our District and Council is far below Bronze for Journey to Excellence. Being the Ast Council Commissoner for Commissioner Tools I can see the numbers. I was not there to spy or make suggestions. I was there to see what was going on and to help as needed.
At the first Troop, which is very small, I saw several good signs. The Scoutmaster and Committee Chair are engaged. There are parents who are Ast Scoutmasters, Committee Memebers and Merit Badge Counselors. This unit is re-building from a tough few years. The scouts are young, but there and having fun. I heard a lot about their upcoming year, past outings and how they are going to use the Troop Guides 1,2 & 3 to create plans for each Troop Meeting. Excellent. They have resources and are using them. There were only two merit badges handed out because they were small. Also, it looks like a lot of partials were almost done. Hence, the big planning session and using the books.
The second Troop has a lot of Scouts and parents. Quite large. During the Court of Honor the Scoutmaster and other Adults handed out awards to the Registered Adults. 9 ASMs and 9 Committee Members all got trained for their positions this last go around. Two Scouters are going through Wood Badge and the SM just completed.
What struck me is all the little traditions this unit had. Rope on a carabiner, Woggles, Camo Scarves for moms. The Rope/carabiner was for a Scout showing 12 knots that he tied in front of the troop successfully. The different colored Woggles signified Rank. Finally the Camo Scarves are for the moms who went on the Mom campout. However, during this campout the Scouts cooked for the moms, pitched the tent and showed them all the basics of what they were learning. Fantastic.
This unit had a lot of Merit Badges and Ranks to hand out. Plus a lot of 25, 50 and 75 nights camping badges. All the Scouts were proud of their achievements.
Two different units at different ends of spectrum. Both are winners. Because both understand the program, both are working with the resources and keeping the Scouts first. During my chat after the Court of Honor with the first unit, I actually recruited a Unit Commissioner and answered several questions about merit badge counselor training and paperwork.
Going to unit meetings, one can not only help that unit, but also pick up ideas to help your own unit and the next one you see.