I know for the most part that troops will meet on a designated night like every Tuesday or which ever day it may be. Are there any that meet on alternating nights like 1st & 3rd Tuesday and 2nd & 4th Wednesday ? My reason for asking is that we are occasionally hit with school programs that meet on the same night as the troop and those scouts are essentially bound to the school group due to grade impact.
We meet weekly but know that Scouts will miss meetings for various reasons including school related functions. Fall is particularly difficult as we meet on Monday nights and the high school has marching band practice during football season.
My boy’s troop and my Girl’s troop both do the same. While it would be nice to be able to get those kids with fall semester Monday obligations to be able to attend some alternative meeting nights, I think it would just confuse everyone else and make it difficult to find meeting sites that can accommodate.
We meet every Tuesday, but as @edavignon says, sometimes Scouts miss meetings for reasons.
We lose our marching band kids every year from August to November, since they’re practicing or performing every evening until the competition season ends around Thanksgiving.
The biggest thing we do to manage the chaos is using a dummy patrol calendar for the non-Troop activities. The schools’ calendars, along with the Council and OA calendars, are loaded here. Nobody subscribes to it, and there are no invitees to the events, so the only time anyone can see it is if they login to Scoutbook and look for it. This way, the PLC and Committee members can see a “big picture” of what’s going on outside the Troop when planning.
Our pack meets every Tuesday evening (except for when we don’t).
Our troop meets every Monday evening.
Our Ship meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month.
The Troop meets on Mondays. But we reserve two Mondays a month for PLC and Patrol Meetings.
My memory wants to say that I have spoken to leaders of a large troop in the Dallas area that meets on a schedule like you mention. Most of their scouts go to the same school and the school is related to their sponsoring church. (But I may be wrong about this. Age does nasty things to my memory.)
If you can shape your program to miss some of those type of pain points I say go for it. In my case, nothing like that seems to work because our schools don’t seem to coordinate that they will try to have activities on such a schedule. I think it would be great if schools would consider such. I think they don’t want to give up the power over our lives.
In the 1960’s my troop was an after-school activity that was split into two groups of patrols that met on separate afternoons (e.g. Wednesday or Friday afternoon) due to limited meeting facilities, (with the same senor patrol). I was Quartermaster for both halves of the troop,
that is a good idea about a dummy patrol!
I’m working on the 2020 calendar right now. Our annual PLC planning workshop is coming up this Saturday. I want to have them start with a calendar that has all of the school dates, all of the Council/OA dates, and the hard-and-fast Troop dates already filled in for them to work with.
We have a pretty young PLC right now, and they need all the help they can get.
Our troop meets every other Monday night, for exactly the reason you’ve cited. We find that between these meetings plus one or two weekend activities per month there is ample time to have all the experiences needed for rank advancement and fun. And, actually, I think some busy families choose our troop over others because of this manageable schedule. That being said, outside of sports or marching band seasonal conflicts, we do set strong expectations that the scout attends EVERY meeting to the extent they can.
My pack had issues with meeting on weeknights because so many of our kids went to different schools that any given night would be hit or miss on attendance, so we moved the meeting to late Sunday afternoons and that seemed to work for most families. When we started the troop we kept the time and dates the same because we noticed that as the scouts got older they became more and more involved with school activities and that took up a lot of their weeknights. It works because we have some scouts in the pack and their siblings in the troop so parents are only coming one day a week for two meetings.
Our Troop and Packs dens all meet the 1st/3rd or 2nd/4th Sundays. My troop meets for 2-2.5 hours each meeting. We do a long meeting about every other month 1pm-8pm Sunday as a meeting and activity. the long meeting may be an escape room, hike, cookout, service project, ect. It has been plenty of time to move through the ranks, doesn’t wear everyone out as bad. Many of our families (including mine) have scouts in multiple dens ect so it spreads it out. It has been great for us so far!
Sundays are intersting and I have never thought of that. What do you do on weekends you camp? No meeting? We meet Mondays, and PLC is usually the monday after a camp
That would be my concern. We normally meet Tuesdays, and the Tuesday before a campout is usually tied up with last minute details for the campout, and the Tuesday after is PLC, so they can act on any lessons they learned while they’re still pretty fresh in mind.
I’m trying to get them looking further forward than a week at a time at the PLC meetings – like I’ve said elsewhere, we have a pretty young Troop with a pretty green PLC.
We have suggested to our SPL that he at the Feb PLC he plan Feb & Mar then in March, plan April and confirm the March plan. This will allow everyone to know what is going to happen at each meeting, even if they are not part of the PLC.
I realize this is wandering off topic a bit, but on this specific issue, one thing that has helped both me and the PLC members that I am advising as an ASM has been to meet with them outside of PLC time (at troop meeting or outside troop meeting as leader + scout + parent) to talk through the idea of setting goals for their time in their PoR, and what we as the adult leadership will need to do in order to facilitate achieving those goals (e.g. funding, bringing things from the unit storage locker, staffing, etc).
I sent each scout I advise (& his parent) an email that told them about this idea, explained the SMART system for goal setting (not great, but easy to understand), and gave some examples of goals in the general vein of their PoR. The scouts have really taken off with the idea, and arrived at their first PLC with a bunch of ideas each. none of which looked like what I had sent over. It kinda looked like they overwhelmed our SPL, unfortunately, because I think he wasn’t expecting that level of feedback any more than I had. They came up with some great ideas, and it looks like several have already been adopted by the PLC as meeting plans in preparation for Camporee.
It’s still early days, but I’m really excited about how the scouts are taking over the idea. It let the scouts create a set of goals that they can work towards, as opposed to just giving them a completely open-ended description of the PoR and letting them know “we’re here to help”. It seems to have given them a sense of ownership in the position. I even heard one of them explaining it to another member of the PLC at the last troop meeting. I also think that it will make the SM’s job a lot easier come the end of their tenure to evaluate whether or not they were active, based not on whether they explicitly achieved every (or even any) goal, but rather on how they approached their goals and how they were able to “own” the job.
Some background info… our middle school and high school have music programs on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Beyond that the high school robotics team meets on you guessed it t and t. My concern is that there is feedback from the scouts that they are torn.
@CharleyHamilton - heck let the conversation wander as it may be great feedback for others
There will never be the ultimate solution to all of this unless that massive black hole by alpha centuri cuts loose…but wait the crew from lost in space wanted to go there
That’s a great approach. I may steal it for the first part of our PLC planning workshop this weekend.
One thing that’s helped them so far is using a PLC meeting template to keep them focused on what they want to accomplish, and help them keep the annual plan in front of them.
PLC Agenda.pdf (96.8 KB)