Scoutmaster Musings - When do we Cancel?

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Scoutmaster Musings

When do we Cancel?
Running with a troop of around 45 scouts, there are some interesting logistic problems that crop up. Things such as having enough cars, enough parking, enough seats in McDonalds, and ceremony lengths in courts of honor all become larger puzzles to solve. After becoming used to the larger numbers of participants, it can be a shock to have an event scheduled that gets little participation. And, then the question of cancelling or going ahead with the event comes up.

This past weekend, the scouts had scheduled an indoor climbing day trip across town. With Christmas break and a few other promotional challenges, the event did not receive as much exposure as normal and only 7 scouts signed up. The patrol leader in charge of organizing the event figured that was not enough and said at the Patrol Leader Council that we should probably cancel it. With 45 scouts, we're used to at least 20 or more on most outings.

As the Scoutmaster, I listened to the discussion, but then when the next agenda item began, I interrupted the SPL. I said I hadn't actually heard a resolution as to the climbing being held or cancelled and I needed to know in order to inform drivers. This started another round of discussion with the disappointment that only a few signed up being the main reason to cancel.

When the SPL asked me what I thought, I said that my mini-van can hold another adult and 5 scouts so that's all I need to go. We have two drivers signed up so we can take 10 scouts that want to go. The PLC decided to go ahead with it.

When the SPL gave me my minute to talk at the end of the meeting, I said that I felt the number of scouts going on an adventure should never be a reason to cancel. Whether we're a troop of 5 or 50 or 500, as long as the scouts schedule an event and there are any scouts that want to do that event, then it should happen. I suggested we might cancel due to dangerous weather, national emergency, fewer than 2 adults available, or fewer than 2 scouts signed up. I also mentioned that before our next planning session in March all the patrols might want to get ideas together that they would actually participate in and get those scheduled.

As it turned out, the patrols rangled another 3 scouts to go and the 10 of them had a great 3.5 hours of climbing. They went to Vertical Endeavors and had a blast!

Scout On

Posted: 12:11 01-21-2008 298
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