Take Your Troop Parents to School

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Veteran Scouters often get upset when parents who are new to Boy Scouting don’t understand how the program works. They pack their son’s backpacks, they sign off advancement requirements at will, and they complain when the Scout-led program isn’t firing on all cylinders. It’s almost like nobody ever told them how Boy Scouting works.

And maybe nobody did.

When you welcome new families into your troop, do you take the time to explain the program to them? If they come to you from Cub Scouting, do you explain how Boy Scouting is different? Perhaps not. Often, we’re so busy explaining the details of registration fees and summer-camp signups that we forget to talk about more important things.

A great starting point for educating new troop parents is the BSA’s Orientation for New Boy Scout Parents training module. Designed to last 48 minutes–don’t ask me why–the training module does the following:

  • Introduce parents to the Boy Scouting program and how it differs from Cub Scouting.
  • Show parents how Boy Scouting gives boys what they want and gives parents what they need from a program for their children.
  • Introduce parents to how the troop works.
  • Show parents how their participation in the troop can help their sons succeed and be personally rewarding for them as well.
  • Introduce parents to some of the troop leaders they and their sons will be involved with.

You probably won’t use this training module exactly as written. That’s okay, as long as you use it to build something that works for your troop.

So how do you educate your new troop parents? The comments section is open.

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