Today an Anonymous reader of the Scoutmaster minute left a comment on the post “Troop Shopping“.
Now I really do not want to get into the habit of squabbling with readers, and by and large, the readers of the Scoutmaster minute leave some good comments. I do not shy away from the negative comments, and read them all, but sometimes will not accept them to be posted if they really do not offer to the program. That and leave a name or an email so I can shoot you an note back and explain, other wise, it ends up on the cutting room floor and you did not get a chance to get your comment noted.
Anyway- this comment I debated with myself about… I love that the reader takes the time to read the blog, on this subject though perhaps I did not open the curtain wide enough. I did not (intentionally) go into great details.. so the reader does not get the full picture, that not withstanding, should not have an effect on the message.
Not really sure if you follow the AIMS of Scouting. You thought the troops you visited lacked some of the things you valued so rather than help those troops better themselves you chose to start your own. We see the same thing in our area with divisive parents. If you’re not part of the solution…
Yes Anon.. you are correct. Rather than help those Troops, we started our own. And at the time it was the best choice. You see, we, my wife and I and a group of other parents had a vision of what we wanted Scouting to be for our sons. Mine came from my Childhood experience as a Scout and through training etc, I had developed a checklist of what I needed to see.
We also took into consideration how comfortable our Sons felt in the group.
Keep in mind this process lasted over a year, it was not a decision that we made after a one night visit and an outing.
We visited multiple Troops and went on many outings. At the time is was not my place to “Change things”. I did have conversations with the Scoutmasters of the units, it is fair to note that 3 of the 5 Scoutmasters are great friends of mine. Our conversations discussed the reasons why we were not going to come to their unit. If they choose to make changes it was up to them, but I assured them, do not make them on my count.
So we were faced with a decision to make. Go with an existing unit.. or create a new one. Now the District is always encouraging new units, so we received a lot of support in that regard.
So part of the solution or part of the problem? I am going with solution. The problem was not mine to solve. The units that we visited are still very active and good Troops, just not our flavor.
We now have another unit (mine) that offers more options for the boys of our community. So is that bad?
Did I want to help? Sure. Was I willing? Maybe. Was I able? Yes, but starting a new unit made for a lot more fun and if you take the opportunity to ask the 33 guys in our 5 year old troop… I am sure they would tell you they are not to upset that we started it.
I encourage leaders to look around. I have even suggested to parents that our Troop may not be the place they want to be. I give them the phone number and meeting place of other troops all the time. Troops have a flavor. We are blessed in our Community to have many Troops, with many flavors. Why buy something you don’t want. Shop till you find the right flavor for you.
We are not limited. So take the time and find what you and your Scout want in Scouting.
I hope that clears up my position there.
And next time, leave an email.
Have a Great Scouting Day!