I am looking for some resources or a template to create an operating handbook for my troop that includes best practices as well as BSA guidelines. My intention is to write an operation handbook which includes both the committee and the uniform side. We’ve seen a lot of parents and ASMs leave through the years as their scout stops participation or age out. A lot of knowledge about troop operation leaves with them. Would love to take a peek at some examples if you are willing to share. I think it’s good to see what other troops are doing from time to time. Thanks in advance.
An internet search for Troop handbooks will yield several examples.
My advice after seeing many unit handbooks over the years:
- While it’s OK to include key points of the scout handbook and other publications, refer to them, and provide internet links, but don’t do a lot of copy and paste. (E.g., no need to reproduce the scout oath or law or outdoor code in your handbook; encourage readers to use their scout handbooks in addition to their unit handbooks.)
- Beware of making it too long (e.g. by too much copy and paste). I’ve seen unit handbooks over 100 pages - almost a guarantee that they won’t be read. A good handbook should be expected to be read in its entirety by every scout/parent. Use appendices for things to be read “as necessary” for particular events or activities.
That’s good advice, @JeffTowne. Avoid too much detail, and don’t re-write stuff that’s already been documented.
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