In our situation, we have 3 girls in a new troop. The girls have been meeting regularly. One lives 15 min away, one lived 45 min away, and the final one lives locally. Each have boys troops that their respective brothers attends closer to their homes. Meeting time and day had been moved to accommodate all schedules allowing regular attendance. The one 15 min away, who is also the SPL, asked council to be a lone scout to have the freedom of not having to perform activities with the group. I suspect it is to circumvent the system and allow faster awards and advancement. (There is clear evidence and a criminal conviction of similar cheating/stealing activity from her parent.) Council told the troop leader that lone scout status would be approved and that she should be welcomed to meetings, but once lone scout idea gets out, all will decide to take that route and attend meetings with boys in coed fashion - directly against written guidance by national. Many documents clearly specify who can participate as a lone scout.
“The Lone Scout plan provide a Scouting opportunity for boys who cannot readily join a unit or attend meetings.” (Scouting in Rural Communities,p53)
“Who can be a Lone Scout? Boys who cannot attend regular meetings of packs and troops are eligible to become Lone Cub Scouts or Lone Boy Scouts.” (Commissioner Administration of Unit Service, p43)
“Because regular interaction between youth and leaders in the BSA’s traditional programs has many advantages, we must keep in mind that Lone Scouting is not intended for youth who are able to safely attend meetings of traditional Cub Scout packs or Scout troops.” (511-420.pdf)
“Youth who are able to attend regular meetings of packs and troops are not eligible for Lone Cub Scout or Lone Scouts BSA member status.” (The Lone Scout Plan)
I want to be clear. There are 3 in the troop. If one gets this status, even though she is able to attend regular meetings, then the other who lives 45 min away will do it too. And then, with only one left, there will be no more regular meetings and all will be lone scouts. From the information above, this is not the intent of the BSA Lone Scout Program. Did council get it wrong? Shouldn’t Council be following BSA policies? What can be done to save the troop?