Hi everyone, here's the situation. Our town has 4 troops. One troop is somewhat large, and the vast majority of new Scouts go there. The other three troops are very small, each with around 5 or 6 Scouts, and when crossover time comes it's considered fortunate if one or two Scouts sign on with one of the smaller troops and not with the larger one. There have been years recently when no Scouts have gone to a smaller troop. It's getting to the point where we're concerned about the larger troop finally cannibalizing the others and being the only game in town. The quality of each troop's program doesn't seem to be a factor here, best as we can figure. A couple of the smaller troops have been around for 50-plus years. They've each said that merging is not an issue, as they all want to keep their troop numbers.
So here's the idea I wanted to throw out there; I can't find anything suggesting this has been done or can/can't be done, so please forgive me if it's been brought up before.
My suggestion is that the 3 smaller troops combine our efforts in such a way that we're not merged, but we're all at the same unit meetings together, we all do activities and events together, we recruit together, we fundraise together, we share each other's leaders and other resources, so that we can better compete with the larger troop. This would be a temporary set-up, where each troop gets to keep their numbers and the bank accounts and Scout shop accounts are still kept separately. Then when the group has grown to the point that each troop has a self-sustaining level of membership again, where they can compete with the larger troop on their own, everyone goes back to their separate ways (unless it's decided they want to continue being combined, if not merge).
Apologies if I've not worded this very well. I'm hoping this will help keep the smaller troops alive and give the Scouts in our town a choice. Thanks in advance.