Frequently Asked Questions for New Troops

Planning Troop Meetings  Basic Resources  Program Features New Troops 

WHAT MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT DO WE NEED? 

DURING THE TROOP MEETINGS, SCOUTS SHOULD HAVE A UNIFORM AND HANDBOOK. WHERE CAN WE GET THESE?

WHAT CAN WE DO IF WE CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY UNIFORMS?

WHAT IS THE PATROL LEADERS’ COUNCIL AND WHAT IS ITS ROLE IN PLANNING TROOP MEETINGS? 

THE SCOUTS ARE SUPPOSED TO RUN THE TROOP MEETINGS. WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS ROLES OF THE YOUTH LEADERS?

WHAT DO ADULT TROOP LEADERS DO DURING TROOP MEETINGS, WHILE THE SCOUTS ARE DIRECTING THE TROOP?

ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO THE “FOUR INITIAL MEETINGS” PROVIDED FOR NEW TROOPS?  

WHO CAN I TURN TO FOR ADDITIONAL HELP?

IS THERE A PRIMARY, PRINTED RESOURCE FOR ALL MY QUESTIONS?


WHAT MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT DO WE NEED? 

These basic needs of the troop fall into two main categories: meeting materials, and equipment for outings. The procurement guideline is simple: obtain the troop’s materials and equipment on a timely basis, based on what your meeting and outing plans require.

Meeting Materials – Acquire meeting materials that  meet the needs of each meeting’s’ particular agenda. Store these materials for future use as the need arises. Meeting materials primarily consist of whatever will be needed to present and participate in periods of instruction and activities, all depending on what’s been planned. Materials are listed for each of the four initial troop meeting plans for new troops, underneath each planning form.

Outings – Procure equipment for camping and outdoor programs in the same manner as the meeting materials. Get what you need as you need it. For example, in all likelihood, you’ll need some form of camping stove(s) for your first campout, so this can be considered an early acquisition. On the other hand, you might not need dutch ovens for that first camping trip, so they’re probably not an initial priority, (though they might be mighty nice to have in the future, and once you have them, they can become part of your expanding stock of equipment.) An overview of basic camping equipment can be found HERE.

Your chartered organization may be in the position to help with obtaining initial supplies. In this regard, you should coordinate with your Chartered Organization Representative. (For your convenience, here’s a  link for purchasing a troop flag.)


DURING THE TROOP MEETINGS, SCOUTS SHOULD HAVE A UNIFORM AND HANDBOOK. WHERE CAN WE GET THESE?

Your go-to source for publications, uniforms, badges, etc., as well as general information is your local council Scout shop. Use this link to locate the Scout shop nearest you.


WHAT CAN WE DO IF WE CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY UNIFORMS?

Contact your District Executive and inquire about assistance getting started. Your District Executive might know where there are uniform exchanges containing a supply of “experienced” uniforms. They also might know where you can obtain supplies. (If you don’t know who your District Executive is, inquire at the council service center. Council Service Center Locator)


WHAT IS THE PATROL LEADERS’ COUNCIL AND WHAT IS ITS ROLE IN PLANNING TROOP MEETINGS? 

Learn about the Patrol Leaders’ Council HERE.


THE SCOUTS ARE SUPPOSED TO RUN THE TROOP MEETINGS. WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS ROLES OF THE YOUTH LEADERS?

View troop position orientation videos and position descriptions HERE.

Leadership Development is one of Scouting’s Eight Methods, and assuming positions of responsibility within the troop provides repeated opportunities for Scouts to gain leadership skills. In a new troop, where Scouts are just starting out, their abilities may be limited. In accordance with their level of enthusiasm and skill, work with them and give them support as they develop the qualities of good leadership.

No matter how large or small your troop is, as soon a possible, plan to participate in a presentation of Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops.


WHAT DO ADULT TROOP LEADERS DO DURING TROOP MEETINGS, WHILE THE SCOUTS ARE DIRECTING THE PROCEEDINGS?  

Adults serve the troop in a variety of advisory and supporting capacities. Generally speaking, as the Scouts implement the plans for their meeting, adults carry out their roles in the background. The Scoutmaster is responsible for training and guiding youth leaders in the operation of the troop and for managing, training and supporting assistant Scoutmasters in their various roles.

Unless the new unit has a trained Senior Patrol Leader who is ready to run things, initially the troop’s adults will be presenting the troop meeting’s agenda. Once the patrol leaders’ council is established, the process of equipping these new youth leaders with the tools and skills they need to lead the troop can begin. The time it takes to achieve this can vary from troop to troop. For new troops with fledgling patrol leaders’ councils, there can be a period of on-the-job training during which time, the Scoutmaster can help run things, always providing guidance and support.

Once the patrol leaders’ council has been provided with the basic tools and skills needed to conduct their troop’s meetings, it’s time for the adults to stand back and let them lead.


ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO THE “FOUR INITIAL MEETINGS” PROVIDED FOR NEW TROOPS?  

Though troops are encouraged to present a meeting agenda that reflects the layout of the troop meeting planning form, the content of your meetings are up to you and your troop.

By way of explanation, a focus of these four initial meetings provided for new troops follows a path of skills instruction culminating in the ability of the Scouts to erect a basic patrol dining fly. The useful skills presented are reinforced with activities that are engaging and illustrate how each skill is used. Though this is a purposeful example of sequential programming leading to accomplishing a basic Scouting task requiring using these skills while working together, new troops are free to plan whatever they like.

There are alternative meetings plans corresponding to 48 different program themes HERE.


WHO CAN I TURN TO FOR ADDITIONAL HELP?

Additional help is always available. Your unit commissioner serves as your immediate source for aid and assistance. Your questions can also be answered by your district commissioner or assistant district commissioner. If you don’t know how to get in touch with these Scouters, your District Executive can provide the contact information. You can reach your District Executive at your council service center. (Council Service Center Locator)

Inquire when and where your district holds its monthly roundtables. There’s no better way to come in contact with other troop leaders who can give you valuable advise and who might even be in the same boat as you. Networking with your fellow troop leaders can be invaluable and can serve as a wonderful source of useful information and  additional insight.


IS THERE A PRIMARY, PRINTED RESOURCE FOR ALL MY QUESTIONS?

The comprehensive source of information for new troop leaders is the Troop Leader Guidebook, Volume 1.  You can get a copy from your local Scout shop or directly from the Supply Division HERE.

For Adult and Youth Boy Scout Leaders