From a drawing by Baden-Powell

Adult Leadership

Let’s say you have a troop of eight Scouts, three adult members on the committee, an assistant Scoutmaster, and a Scoutmaster. First of all, some bad news: In a recent study, 72 percent of troops that dropped had five or fewer adults. We certainly don’t want you adding to the statistics. so how do YOU get more adults?

The best troops have a high ratio of active adults to Scouts. It is not unusual to see, for every two Scouts, one adult working with the troop committee or serving as an assistant Scoutmaster. The primary reason most adults are involved is because they enjoy the fellowship with the other adults in the troop. They all have responsibilities in the troop which gives them a purpose—a lofty one—of helping young men grow That’s great, you say, but I have this troop with kids from single-parent households, or from two-parent households where both parents are wage-earners, and these parents just don’t have the time. In many cases the parents of the Scouts in the best troops don’t have any more time to devote to Scouting than other parents. They make the time because it’s important, it has a purpose, and being with the other adults is fun. Maybe that’s where you should start. Why not have a fun activity just for parents? Give them an opportunity to get to know each other and find out what they have in common—Scouting, maybe? Strive for their help in planning some fun activity for them and their son, or for the entire family You may have to put more effort into recruiting Mom and Dad than you did into recruiting their son.


Adapted from Delivering the Promise, No. 18-251, Boy Scouts of America, 1993

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Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 1996
Last Modified: 10:18 PM on December 14, 1996