Combining committees

One of the most persistent problems in keeping a troop or pack going is obtaining sufficient adult leadership to get all the various jobs covered without causing burnout of the small group of people who usually get stuck with everything.

It’s often advised to make sure each committee role is covered, and in a Cub Scout pack, to ensure that den leaders (and the Cubmaster) aren’t doing committee-type things.

Troops are usually better off, because parents are more familiar with Scouting after going through it as their sons grew, and they see the value in the program and the need to get things accomplished. Or perhaps it finally dawns on them that nobody else is going to do the work, and the pack or troop can only go when supported by enough volunteers.

One solution, as suggested by a reader, is to combine the pack and troop committees for units that are chartered by the same organization. Continue reading “Combining committees”

Dealing with health forms

Along with welcoming new members into our packs and troops and starting the program year, fall is the time when many units collect updated health forms from their youth and adult members.

The Boy Scouts of America recommends that each member have on file with his or her unit a completed copy of the General Information and Health History form (Part B) so unit leaders can provide essential health information to medical personnel in the event someone needs assistance or treatment. Part B, along with Part C, Pre-Participation Physical, is required by most camps for long-term camping, such as summer camp or resident camps.

Maintaining these records can be a confusing process. Continue reading “Dealing with health forms”

Fees going up soon, and other changes

You may have already received word from your council, but in case you haven’t heard – be prepared to shell out a few more dollars soon.

The National Council has announced that effective December 1, 2017, the registration fee for all members of the Boy Scouts of America, from Cub Scout to adult, will increase to $33 annually from the current $24.

While this won’t impact those who join this fall, pretty much everyone will be affected at recharter time. And since many units, particularly Cub Scout packs, collect registration fees for next year in the fall, the nine dollar increase may throw off pack budgets that have already been established, along with fees that packs are charging.

The usual reasons – higher costs – are given for the increase, Continue reading “Fees going up soon, and other changes”

Adults on troop outings

A reader wrote to me a few weeks back asking for advice on how to select adults to go along on troop campouts, particularly those featuring above-the-norm, interesting activities. This reader felt that certain adults were given first crack repeatedly, that most of the adults were being bypassed when it came to offering the chance to participate, and he asked if some sort of a lottery or rotation system should be put in place.

I responded by saying that first and foremost, Scouting is for the Scouts. It’s not something that the adults plan and do because they like it or find it interesting, and include the youth in the process. Adults are there to make it possible for the Scouts to do Scout stuff. Continue reading “Adults on troop outings”