Dealing with policy issues

RuleBook_200A reader writes:

Our Scoutmaster wants to make changes to the troop uniform policy, but when I said I should have been in on the discussion he told me that uniforming wasn’t something that was at the committee chair level, since it deals directly with the Scouts. I said that changes of that nature need to be incorporated into the troop handbook, and should still be discussed by the committee. Should I have a say in the matter?

Let’s look a little deeper into what you’re asking and see if we can figure out what the real issues are. Continue reading “Dealing with policy issues”

How often should a troop camp?

tentsA troop committee chair writes:

Our Scoutmaster wants to change our campout schedule so that instead of having monthly campouts, the troop would camp every other month, and do a service project in the months when there isn’t a campout. This doesn’t seem right to me – shouldn’t the Scouts be camping every month?

To start to answer your question, let’s go to the Methods of Boy Scouting and look at the Outdoor Programs method: Continue reading “How often should a troop camp?”

Making the most of meeting time

meetings_250Meetings are one of the constant truths about serving Scouting as an adult volunteer. We enjoy serving the Scouts and helping them succeed, but it seems like we are constantly being called to meetings for one reason or another. Just last week I attended three meetings and there are a couple more this week.

The responsibility for making sure a meeting is productive – or even necessary in the first place – falls on the person calling and organizing the meeting. Continue reading “Making the most of meeting time”

Protect your popcorn sales – and your customers

popcorn+cards_250It’s that time of year again – popcorn season! And soon, our Scouts will be knocking on doors, standing on street corners and in front of grocery stores offering the tasty treats of popcorn and other goodies as a thank-you gift to our friends and neighbors for their financial support of Scouting in our communities, making it possible for our young people to enjoy fun and adventure while the values of Scouting are instilled.. (And you thought they were just selling popcorn!)

And just as much as our Scouts struggle to make the sale, we struggle with the finances. We guesstimate how much of each product to order, find some place to store it when it arrives, allocate it by den or patrol, and take back the unsold inventory. We also have to deal with the money, which could be the most daunting aspect of all.

In the past, most people paid cash or wrote a check, but it has become more of a cashless world, and Scouting needs to keep up with the times. Continue reading “Protect your popcorn sales – and your customers”

Seven ways to improve your committee meetings

meeting_f_250The unit committee is where the business of the pack or troop takes place. While the Scouts are busy doing the things Scouts do, the adults are taking care of things like finance, logistics, equipment and recordkeeping. And just like any other committee, meetings are unavoidable. In fact, we’re expected to meet monthly to help ensure that the business is taken care of.

Committee meetings can be a real drag if they’re not conducted efficiently. They can go on and on with little focus, not getting much accomplished other than frustrating the participants. So to keep your committee meeting from keeping the minutes and throwing away the hours*, try the following: Continue reading “Seven ways to improve your committee meetings”