RECENT NEWS ONLY FOR NOW. ARCHIVED TROOP NEWSLETTERS WILL BE POSTED LATER ON.
AUGUST 2013 - Troop 4's Future
As stated elsewhere, this is not a BSA-approved website. It's an unofficial troop 4 website run by me, Matthew L. Hornbostel.
Troop 4 has not changed all that much in the past year. Most of the 'new' boys who joined around 2011, are still there and have made modest progress. There are about half a dozen boys in the troop right now and the group is not really growing or shrinking much. Basic Scout and Tenderfoot are common ranks in Troop 4 at this time, but there are two boys at First Class and one at Second Class.
Oscar Jr, our most advanced scout, has acheived the rank of Life Scout (which he was awarded at the most recent Court of Honor) and is in the final rush to reach Eagle before turning 18 around the end of 2013. He's in good shape as far as merit badges, but he's barely started planning his Eagle project at this time. It will be a challenge for him to make Eagle but he could pull it off because he's the only scout in the troop who is actually trying.
Unfortunately, Oscar Jr. is not planning to stick around after turning 18. He will leave Troop 4 and go on to something better.
Scott Hornbostel will be leaving the troop within the next few years. Oscar Sr. is suffering from a long-term illness. Ed Cedillo looks like he's wearing out and may make an exit 5-10 years from now. Scott and Ed are key to the troop's continued existence. Scott handles almost all the organizational efforts and paperwork. Ed is the only scout leader who attends every single meeting; the others (Oscar Sr, Francisco Cornejo, and Scott) rotate in and out as the requisite second adult needed for the program's two-deep leadership requirement. At present time I'm in Plano and can rarely attend. Scott and Ed also are the de facto financial backbone of Troop 4 as well as Cub scout Pack 1.
They supply (directly or indirectly through corporate volunteering policies) probably 95% of the Troop 4 budget, and at least half of the budget for Pack 1. So here's how I see the future of Troop 4:
2013-2015: The critical period during which Troop 4 must actively pull in boys, and also their parents - the more reliable and trustworthy ones - as volunteers. Troop 4 must also be fiscally responsible and ideally try to save up a few thousand dollars' reserve in anticipation of lean times ahead.
2015-2020: Scott phases out during this span but Ed is still around. Troop income drops by about half; Scott is retired and no longer props up the troop in that way. The group must fundraise periodically to compensate. Parents will have to fill in sometimes during meetings where Scott would normally have been the second adult leader.
The troop runs the risk of collapsing dramatically once Ed is gone if there are not a sufficient number of other leaders to fill in for him. The troop by its nature cannot ask much of its scouts in the way of dues (these boys are mostly from low-income families) which means the troop absolutely MUST find other ways to cover costs.
That means fundraising of some sort; mainly from people the troop has connections to. I am likely to be one of those people; I value the group and want it to endure.
If I end up with a job position in the Houston area after my time in Plano, I'll volunteer with Troop 4, and even if not, I will try to support it a bit in other ways.