New to Leading a Troop? 5 Easy TipsTim Ahern | February 6, 2020
Few things are as rewarding as leading a Scout troop. Not only will you have the reward of shaping young minds, but you’ll also get to go along on adventures like camping outings and field trips. If you’re new to leading a troop, you may be wondering what to expect. Here are a few tips that can help you get started.
Chances are, your troop has at least one parent eager to help out. Make sure you offer opportunities to get involved. Parents will be happy to participate, and their help will take some of the burden off you. Make a list of tasks parents can help with and share that list whenever asking for help. You can have parents help with troop meetings, chaperone on campouts and trips, pitch in with fundraising efforts, and whatever else you need.
Involve Troop Members
Like their parents, your troop members want to be active in the organization. Your young Scouts can be your best resource, as long as you’re willing to delegate to them. Enlist your entire troop’s help in coming up with ideas for activities and outings and ask members to volunteer to take on various tasks. Members will feel much more invested in the troop when they’re helping out with some of the most important activities.
Support, Don’t Lead
As a troop leader, your role is to serve as support. Although you’ll be responsible for controlling the flow of your meetings, it can be freeing to realize that your job is to encourage members to do things for themselves. When you’re camping, provide instruction and stand back while your troop members do the hard work. Instead of setting up tents, for instance, let the troop do this part of it, only providing assistance and guidance when necessary.
A little planning can go a long way toward keeping things flowing smoothly. Maintain a calendar where you track deadlines and upcoming events. If you have a fundraiser, block out milestones and tasks that need to be done on specific dates. You can also find handy checklists that will ensure you don’t forget something when you’re preparing for a big undertaking like a camping weekend. That said, you also need to be flexible enough to roll with things. Even if you have a Plan B to account for surprises, it’s good for both you and your troop if you have the flexibility to laugh off anything that goes wrong.
Know Your Resources
As a leader in an established organization, you have no shortage of resources at your fingertips. Boy Scout leaders can check out the Support page on the Boy Scouts of America website, while Girl Scout leaders can find help through sites like Girl Scouts of Northern California’s The Trailhead.
Evergreen Industries also provides plenty of great tips to help troop leaders. From our Boy Scout-specific posts to our fundraising tips, you’ll find plenty of inspiration on our site. If you’re working on a big fundraiser, the free Fundraising 101 downloadable guidebook can also be a big help.