With scouts who homeschool and those in public school or who take classes online, this group of scouts proves the mixture can be successful. The parents of Troop 333 (based in Huntersville, NC) have crafted their by-laws so their troop is inclusive, not only of varying kinds of school choices, but also of different religious beliefs. The troop believes none of us can know the future so it is better to be prepared for changes.
According to one of the scouts, “Some troops expect everyone to be the same, to have the same schooling, or down to what church they attend. Our troop is different.”
The scoutmaster of Troop 333 realized that troops tended to segregate along predetermined lines and he wanted to change that. “In our advanced Boy Scout training at the Woodbadge practical course, they tried to engrain in us the importance of doing everything ‘for the boys’, yet what I’ve personally witnessed is some scoutmasters who form their troop concept without input, make troop decisions, and act like they are the troop, when the opposite is true.”
“We wanted to purge the new troop of that kind of thinking. By allowing families that are respectful of homeschooling or who homeschooled prior, but may not homeschool now themselves, we allow these scouts to come together to learn from each other. No scout has to fear losing his troop at any moment because of an economic downtown, military deployment, school status change or other temporary situation where a stricter troop would remove them.”
“We believe these friendships, in many cases, are for life, and in life families have to make choices and decisions based on their needs. We would hate for any scout to gain several ranks and put in years of work only to be told they have a few days to leave due to some made up unofficial regulation.”
“In the past, one local homeschool troop told parents casually not to worry about leaving if they had to place their child in a private or public school or take special education classes outside the home. When these events occurred there were serious ramifications for all the boys. Those who left lost their troop and those who stayed had to watch helplessly while parents divorced their friends from them. Worse, several of the boys quit scouting entirely. This is not going to happen with Troop 333.”
The scoutmaster has some basic advice for any family considering joining scouting -
“Boy Scouts of America® policy allows chartered organizations (those groups that form the actual troops) to write their own individual by-laws. Before joining a troop it is important to get in writing what their by-laws are and how they are enforced. Troops are supposed to tell you their policies up front, but if they forget, get it in writing.”
“The boy scouts is a wonderful program to accelerate leadership potential for the scouts. We feel by removing this noticeable downside we improve the troop concept for all families.”
To learn more about the flexible homeschool troop visit http://www.thefamilytroop.org.
Serving the counties of North Mecklenburg, South Iredell and West Cabarrus, all families in Charlotte, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville, Kannapolis and surrounding areas are invited to make inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
# # #
Boy Scout Troop 333 is in the Hornet's Nest District, Mecklenburg Council based in the Charlotte, NC metropolitan region serving Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, Mooresville, Kannapolis, South Iredell County, West Cabarrus and North Mecklenburg county.