Every once in a while you need to check your compass and determine whether or not you are heading in the right direction, you need to detour a bit, or just confirm that all is well and you keep on hiking.
Periodically a unit should sit down with their plan and review it, check the compass if you will.
The Patrol leaders Council should determine whether or not goals are being met, benchmarks made, and if the unit seems to be heading in the direction they outlined in their annual planning session.
The Troop Committee should do the same. Taking a look at their goals and measure them up. Is the committee functioning as a team to provide support for the unit? Where are the holes, and how do we do better? Asking those questions will get the committee focused and back on track if they have strayed a bit.
The Scoutmaster and his Assistants also need to evaluate their performance. Are they teaching and coaching and allowing the unit to function as a boy led troop. What additional training do they need to provide to the youth leadership? Do we have enough adult leadership? Are we too hands on or are we heading down the right path? Again, questions that keep the leaders focused on providing the very best Scouting experience for the Scouts of the unit.
Recently, our unit has conducted such an evaluation. We established our plan back in October, but thought that with the new year and finishing up the last quarter of the year, it was a great time to use Start, Stop, and Continue and look at our unit with a critical eye.
The PLC began the process and found that they wanted to actually do more. They want to focus on retention of the “older” Scouts and focus on meaningful boy led meetings.
The Committee has decided that more parental involvement on the committee was needed and that they should spread the work out a lot more. The committee is also concerned about retention and marketing the unit better. All great points. Not that the Troop is not healthy, but looking down the road, we do not want to get caught like other units that start to feel that everything is great and then find themselves dwindling and not gaining Scouts annually.
The Scoutmasters have decided that the PLC and working with Patrol leaders is the answer to everything. Developing strong Patrol leaders and training leadership within the youth leadership ranks will place the unit in a position to grow and have more fun.
So the focus did not change to much, we still maintain our program, add additional training for leaders and upcoming leaders, and allow the Scouts to run their troop.
Coaching and mentoring along the way.
It is good to go through this process, you confirm those thoughts that maybe something needs to be tweaked, and we confirmed that we are in fact heading down the right trail.
I sat down with our Committee Chair the other night and we determined that the Adult leadership is on the same sheet of music and with some adjustments, the unit is making wonderful sounds.
Take some time and evaluate your unit. If things are running great.. keep on moving.. if they are not, well make the adjustments and get back on the right trail. Scouting has so much to offer, make the very best of it.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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