This is a success story. Troop 1207 attended Camp Bowman at Goshen this past summer with three scouts and two adults. This may sound like a pathetic turnout, but was actually an amazing turnout for our brand-new troop.
This story starts with a group of three Cubs in an AOL Den, about to graduate from the same Pack, with a dream of recruiting a few friends from other packs and starting their own Scouts BSA Troop. The plan was to file paperwork immediately after the Blue and Gold, and get their charter in time to go to Goshen that summer.
The Blue & Gold was scheduled for March 15th, 2020. Very bad timing. The national COVID-19 shutdown was declared March 13th. The B&G was canceled. The world went into lockdown. Their dreams seemed as empty as the city streets in the early days of the pandemic.
The Blue & Gold was eventually rescheduled for late May, as a Drive-Up graduation broadcast on Zoom. It gave closure, but the enjoyment was short lived. Goshen canceled summer camp. People were afraid to leave their homes. Going for a hike became impossible if the parking lot was even a little bit crowded.
By Fall, vaccines were on the horizon, and people began to poke their noses outside. The three friends hatched a plan: With or without a Troop, they would start meeting, and doing scout stuff.
For the next 10 months, they met every week after school in a local park, and worked their way through the list of requirements of the Scout and Tenderfoot ranks. Rain or shine, cold or heat, they took the requirements one at a time and checked them off. Best of all (from the would-be scoutmaster’s perspective), they did all this knowing that it didn’t count since they weren’t an official troop, and they would have to do it all over again, if they ever did manage to get a troop.
They recruited their friends. They asked their parents to file the paperwork. They kept meeting. The charter was approved June 21st, 2021.
The following week, three scouts from Troop 1207, Vienna, VA, the newest troop in the council, spent the week at Camp Bowman at Goshen. They earned 10 merit badges between them, did all the cooking and cleaning, and summited Viewing Rock.
All of them are signed up to go back in 2022. I call that a scouting success story!