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Patrol leader election questions


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#21 Stosh

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 09:38 PM

Gotta agree with Stosh's comment about boys never making decisions. I see it all the time, even with the college age, and in a few cases graduate school age, kids.

 

IF you do decide to use New Scout Patrols, NSPs, make sure you do not have a "dictator" as a Troop Guide. I think ne of the reasons why the NSP in my troop is so far behind  is that they had a "dictator" first as TG, then as PL when they elected him. Instead of building consensus, working as a team, etc he arbitarily came up with menus, duty rosters, assigned shopping, etc. He never let them work it out. The when my son becomes their NSP, they are OK initially when he "suggests" things, but when he put responsibility on the PL, total failure.

 

Since when is being a dictator the way to take care of your boys?  The first suggestion I would have for the NSP would be dump the TG.  NO TG is better than a bad one.  When the TG came for his SMC there would be no check off for POR or for Scout Spirit on my watch.

 

In all seriousness, I don't think any of my boys would dare to be dictator around their patrol members.  Not with getting voted out in a heart beat being held over their head.  :)


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#22 qwazse

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 09:47 PM

... British Bulldog every Monday ... (Probably not an issue today as tackle football without officials or safety gear [except for stretchers and first aid kits] is doubtless frowned upon.)

No football was ever harmed in a game of British Bulldog!
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#23 Eagledad

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 10:04 PM

Adult election cycles are adult driven.


What, new crossovers join the troop thinking that they are going to try something completely new? All election cycles are adult driven because the adults give the scouts a structure to start from. That's what what Beavah was trying to say about Stoshes first troop he Scoutmastered. Not giving a 10 year old enough structure to feel safe, much less confident in the program scares them.

The problem with using obscure far fetched analogies to justify personal theories is that they distract the discussion from real ideas. There is nothing wrong with letting patrols makes the choices for selecting their leaders, but suggesting that that new ideas come natural to boys without any experience to base their choices doesn't make sense. I know of several troops where the patrols pick their leaders on their time (like Stosh suggested), but it took a lot of coaching from the SM to develop that style because it is not natural to American boys. It requires a whole different way of thinking. A lot more coaching than a SM just saying "do it by the book or every six months". Which is fine if the SM supports the style, but let's not suggest that patrols picking their leaders when ever they want is less intrusive than 6 month election cycles because once the scouts get used to a style (any style), they use it without adult interference.

blw2, if the patrols picking their leaders on their time is what you want, you (the adult) will have to give them the idea, teach them how to do it, and then coach them as they try it. Then once they get it, you can sit back and relax as the perpetual machine takes over.

The discussion should be more about what kind of structure gives the young scouts the most advantage for making independent choices. What can adults do to give scouts the confidence and the will to be creative and make independent choices. Face it, adults are part of the program structure. Lets not demonize them, but instead put forward experiences and ideas that give the scouts the best program.

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#24 TAHAWK

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 10:51 PM

" When the TG came for his SMC there would be no check off for POR or for Scout Spirit on my watch."  

 

Seriously?  Being appointed TG means he is IPOs facto not meeting the expectations for that post ?  Then why did you appoint him TG?  And what does being TG have to do with Scout Spirit?  Stosh, get some sleep.  You are obviously not an Owl.

 

"No football was ever harmed in a game of British Bulldog!"

 

Well, yes.   :D 

 

"All election cycles are adult driven because the adults give the scouts a structure to start from."

 

All "alls" are never correct.  :rolleyes: 

I was with one troop for 25 years where the PLC decided the election cycles and position qualifications.  Sometimes they liked six months.  Mostly, they liked a year on the theory that six months barely have a new PL time to get settled in.

 

​Having noted those facts, the leader is whoever is leading, regardless of titles.  The SPL and SM have to watch for that factor and try to shape a rational result.  Always.  :laugh: 


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#25 MattR

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 11:20 PM

@Adamcp, I can attest to everything everyone here is saying. It's not just the scouts that get stuck in a rut. A few years ago my plc was based on a 6 month rotation, I decided who was in what patrol, scouts essentially played nose-goes to figure out who the next PL was, and you know, they just didn't really act like patrols. That's the troop I got and I figured it was the way was. But I did realize I wanted change. I had and still have no grand plan but I see the goal. I make small changes. The first was to get the best scouts as PL. Rather than me deciding who would be PL I did something similar to an OA election. The only scouts that could be PL were those nominated by the troop with at least half the votes. It was then up to the scout on whether he wanted to run. All this did was convince the scouts that this is an important job. We haven't had to do that since because now everyone realizes the PL is important. Soon after that, at the next cycle of new webelos I told the PLC to figure out the new patrols as I knew I sure can't do it. I did ask them to look out for the young scouts. The patrols broke out by personality. That was great for the well behaved personalities but there was some rough parts with the, shall we say, biker gang/mean girls patrol (loud scouts with drama included). Summer camp was a bitch with this patrol, I had a meeting with all the scouts and the parents and we talked about the Oath and Law, some scouts were crying, parents were incensed that I wasn't going to break up the patrol and spread them out among the "good" patrols, one parent took his kid away in a huff (my son would never take a dump in the woods!). Anyway, we went and collected garbage for a few hours one day just to develop some teamwork, and you know, it all worked out. They are a tight group now. I believed in these kids and a lot of parents didn't. The last thing any of my patrols want now is to split up their patrols.

 

Rule #1 about getting the patrol method working: it takes time and patience. You gotta believe in these scouts and give them the support they need, whatever that might look like. One PL begged for help with some scouts that just wouldn't help clean. I put together a teamwork training session that lasted an hour. This may sound insane, but at the end a couple of the scouts in that patrol said "huh, I guess we do have to help out. It makes things better." Hello! You're absolutely right that they have no experience and haven't seen it before. They have to learn, slowly. You can't just dump everything on them at once.

 

The next issue I have is getting them to want to do something without the adults around. You'd think they'd want to but they don't trust themselves. I trust them, but they've never done it. A hundred yards is fine, they've done that, five miles is not. So, I created a challenge for them. The next campout involves a hike and each patrol will go on the route they want, and there will be no adults around. They would not have chosen this on their own. I have tried but no luck. It's time to take the binky away. One PL is really hesitant about this. He's worried about a couple of immature scouts in his patrol. Another scout said he has to review his map skills. The really cool thing is the scouts are taking this seriously.

 

Rule #2, they need some prodding and a whole lot of support. I regularly call scouts and ask what they need help with. I know, the SPL should be doing this but we just aren't there yet.

 

Rule #3, trust is huge. There needs to be mutual respect and it takes time to develop. The adults and scouts need to trust each other, and it has to be earned. If the scouts trust you then they will listen to you. The same goes the other way.

 

You can help them make decisions by limiting their number of choices. As they grow they'll need less of this.

 

Rule #4, I don't think there's a goal line. It's not like one day I'll say we made it, we're boy led, this is it and there's nothing more to do. We talk about growth for boys but I'm starting to think troops grow as well. Troops that have been doing this for a long time are way ahead of my troop. I'm hoping that once my PLs get good at leadership one of them will make a fine SPL. But we are miles ahead of where we were back when it was "I don't want to be PL, it's your turn."


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#26 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:58 AM

Since when is being a dictator the way to take care of your boys?  The first suggestion I would have for the NSP would be dump the TG.  NO TG is better than a bad one.  When the TG came for his SMC there would be no check off for POR or for Scout Spirit on my watch.

 

In all seriousness, I don't think any of my boys would dare to be dictator around their patrol members.  Not with getting voted out in a heart beat being held over their head.  :)

 

That's the funny thing. The TG was essentially appointed by adults, and had a good performance in front of us. Since the new Scouts have always been dictated to by parents, teachers, coaches, den leaders, ad nauseum, when the TG started telling them what to do, they did it unquestionably. And when it came time for elections, they voted him PL without opposition. THE KIDS THESE DAYS HAVE NOT BEEN TRAINED TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES! (Caps for emphasis, OK maybe a little bit of raising my hands and screaming in frustration at today's youth. ;) )

 

Problems were not discovered until NSP members started having BORs. When I started talking to the older Scouts about the situation, they elaborated some of the challenges they had with him. They were not happy to have him rejoin their patrol, but they "can handle him, no problem."

 

And agree no TG is better than a bad TG. My son's NSP had an absentee TG, and they learned fast. The bad TG caused problems even after his term as TG and PL with the NSP.

 

All,

 

Regarding believing in the Scouts, this is very important. You got to have faith in them to do things. Will they mess up on occasion? Yes because for some this is their first time taking charge. Will they come up with different ways to do things? Yep you can learn a thing or two as well. But most importantly IF YOU TRUST THEM AND GIVE THEM A HIGH LEVEL OF EXPECTATION, THEY WILL PERFORM!


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#27 Stosh

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 06:31 AM

" When the TG came for his SMC there would be no check off for POR or for Scout Spirit on my watch."  

 

Seriously?  Being appointed TG means he is IPOs facto not meeting the expectations for that post ?  

 

Seriously? With everything I have said about boy-led, one concludes that the TG is appointed?  By whom?  Only for a brief time did either of my troops have an SPL to appoint, so I'm assuming that others are assuming the SM appoints?  Nope, not gonna take the fall for someone else's decision. 

 

My "structure" that everyone raves needs to be established by adult directive is not necessary.  I simply go back to the basic patrol-method concept and the patrols and their structure are automatically established by the boys.  6 to 8 boys one of them the "leader" i.e. PL.  From there they expand as needed and as training suggests might be helpful in the operation of the patrol, leadership expands as does teamwork.

 

Little overwhelming being alone as PL, maybe working with an APL would help?  Got too much paperwork?  Maybe a Scribe would help.  Don't know where to find things easily?  Maybe a QM would help. 

 

Don't know what those POR's are?, maybe some TLT or GBB leadership training would help, let me know if you're interested"  The structure builds itself by the needs identified by the boys.

 

There's a lot of talk about troop elections, my troops have never had a "troop" election.  Everything is decided on at the patrol level.  Lots of talk about PLC's. Briefly at the time of the SPL, the boys started one, do the PL's gather to share notes.  Up until then, the  "PLC" issues are handled with a phone call or quick  discussion among the PL's.  That happened only after there were 4 PL's  and  they felt the need to have any structure to their meeting and tried an SPL.

 

So lets look and see where the TG comes from.  He volunteers.  He isn't appointed, elected, or selected.  He just starts doing the job.  As long as he does his job of taking care of the new boys he's fulfilling his POR requirement.  If he is being a "dictator" as the conversation was referring to earlier then he may think he's taking care of his boys, but do the boys think that?

 

Whereas the PL signs off on patrol member's advancement, who signs off on the PL's?  :)  The other PL's do.  How about the TG?, QM?, Scribe?, etc.?  Generally those receiving the leadership of those people have their opportunity for input.  Generally the PL's defer the Scout Spirit and POR fulfillment to the SM.  They have never felt comfortable with that and at their directive, I as SM support their decision.    In the case of a dictatorial TG, the first person(s) I would inquire information from would be the people he is leading.  I'm not going to not do what the PL's have asked me to do. 

 

At a patrol gathering:

 

SM:  Boys, your PL has asked me to talk to you about Johnny, your TG.  How's he been doing?

 

Boys: He's bossy and demanding.

 

SM:  Mr. PL is that true?

 

PL:  Yes, I'm supposed to be leading the patrol but he kept making decisions without me and running the show.

 

SM:  Why didn't anyone say something to me?

 

Boys:  We were afraid.

 

SM:  Mr. PL, why didn't you say something?

 

PL:  I was afraid, too.

 

SM:  But you're the PL.  A Scout is Brave, and as a leader maybe it would be necessary to do brave thinks in order to take care of your boys.  If the boys want you as PL, maybe some thinking about those things in that area might be helpful.

 

Then at the SMC:

 

SM:  I visited with the patrol you were helping and they weren't all that happy.

 

TG:  They wouldn't listen to me.

 

SM:  Why would they, they're supposed to be listening to their PL.

 

TG:  But I outrank him.

 

SM:  Really?  We all know that in this troop the PL's are the highest rank.  The TG is there to help the new PL's, not run the show.  Did you help or did you take over?

 

TG: I guess I took over.

 

SM:   Well,  then, do you think you did the job of TG for these guys?

 

TG:  I guess not.

 

SM:  And how about this part of the Scout Oath where it says "help other people at all times?"  How's that working with you and the patrol?

 

TG:  That's not good either.

 

SM:  So, how are we going to sign off on these requirements then?  Maybe more time to try it differently?  Maybe try something other than TG? What do you think?.....

 

One either wins or they learn.

 

Not only is the PL under the spotlight for not speaking up earlier, but also the TG for not taking care of the boys and to a certain extent the members of the patrol for not speaking up.  They had a problem, no one took leadership in dealing with it.  It's not just the TG's fault, but the PL had a part in the problem as did all the boys.

 

So, is not signing off at this point on the Scout Spirit and POR for the TG a punishment or a learning opportunity?

 

In reality, as SM I would have noticed the demanding TG long before this and would have worked with him at his directive.  If he didn't think he needed help or wouldn't pick up on the suggestions offered, then he's on his own.  He's made a decision and I'll let him run with it.  We're talking 12-15 year olds here.  They have plenty of time to make Eagle.  A little slip in timing to learn is not a big deal.

 

Then why did you appoint him TG?  And what does being TG have to do with Scout Spirit?  Stosh, get some sleep.  You are obviously not an Owl.

 

No, I'm a Beaver, and I do what it takes to get the dam job done.

 

"All election cycles are adult driven because the adults give the scouts a structure to start from."

 

All "alls" are never correct.  :rolleyes: 

I was with one troop for 25 years where the PLC decided the election cycles and position qualifications.  Sometimes they liked six months.  Mostly, they liked a year on the theory that six months barely have a new PL time to get settled in.

 

​Having noted those facts, the leader is whoever is leading, regardless of titles. or ages  The SPL and SM have to watch for that factor and try to shape a rational result.  Always.  :laugh: 

 

In my troops the SPL and SM are both in the supporting role to the PL who's directing the patrol-method in the troop.  They don't shape anything, they take their cues from the PL's.


Edited by Stosh, 28 April 2016 - 06:40 AM.

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#28 TAHAWK

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 06:35 AM

"Rule #2, they need some prodding and a whole lot of support. I regularly call scouts and ask what they need help with. I know, the SPL should be doing this but we just aren't there yet."

 

They sure do.  But under the Patrol Method is this not primarily a responsibility of the PLs? PLs, in turn, might delegate this duty, in some aspects, to the Patrol Scribe or ASPL.

 

If the PL discovers some need that he wants help with, he can communicate with the SPL  who can go to the SM as needed.  Maybe a training session on a particular problem is required, Mr. Head Trainer.

 

A regular part of PLCs I have seen is the SPL going around the table asking each PL how "things are going" in his respective patrol.

 

The SPL, in turn, should be watching for signs of problems in the patrols and identifying situations where a PL needs support..

 

If we are talking about advancement, that activity is primarily to be going on in the patrols.  

 

"[Patrols are] ... small groups of Scouts who camp together, cook together, play together, and learn together."    B.S.A. , Orientation for New Scout Parents (2016).

 

"[The patrol members] interact in a small group outside the larger troop context, working  together as a team and sharing the responsibility of making their patrol a success."   B.S.A., Scouting.org (2016)

[emphasis added]

 

"[The patrol is] the place where boys learn skills together, take on leadership responsibilities, perhaps for the first time."  B.S.A., Scouting.org (2014)

 

"Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements. [emphasis added] . . . At other times they will compete against those same patrols in Scout skills and athletic competitions.  B.S.A., Scouting.org (2016)

 

 

Helpful adults do not instinctively do things this way.  When they see the pancake burning, their instinct is to be "helpful."


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#29 TAHAWK

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 06:44 AM

"With everything I have said about boy-led,"

 

Stosh, I have tremendous respect for you as a Scouter, but none of us is the final arbiter of what is, or is not, Boy Scouting, though many seem to think so.

 

No one abandons BSA Boy Scouting without thinking their personal way is better,   


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#30 Stosh

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 06:49 AM

@TAHAWK

 

The only difference I see between what have said and what you are saying is the flow of leadership.  In your model the leadership flow is from the SM to the SPL to the PL's.  In my troops the flow is the opposite.  The PL give directive to the SPL as to where he can support the work of interpatrol activities.  The SPL never has sway over the autonomy of the patrol.  Two patrols want to go to the same summer camp, the SPL helps with the logistics of getting them there.  Two other patrols want to go to a different camp, the SPL works to make that happen for them.  Never does the SPL tell the 4 patrols they all have to go to the same camp.  If he does, he runs the risk of having half his boys "find other things to do" at camp time and one is immediately dealing with an attendance issue, and the SPL instead of being helpful has thrown into jeopardy the advancement of boys in half the troop.  But because they didn't go to camp it's their own fault, but it's based on a decision of the SPL.

 

I see this all the time in troops.


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#31 Stosh

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 06:59 AM

"With everything I have said about boy-led,"

 

Stosh, I have tremendous respect for you as a Scouter, but none of us is the final arbiter of what is, or is not, Boy Scouting, though many seem to think so.

 

No one abandons BSA Boy Scouting without thinking their personal way is better,   

 

Everyone of the quote you provided in the previous posting fits very well into the model I use.

 

 

"Rule #2, they need some prodding and a whole lot of support. I regularly call scouts and ask what they need help with. I know, the SPL should be doing this but we just aren't there yet."

 

They sure do.  But under the Patrol Method is this not primarily a responsibility of the PLs? PLs, in turn, might delegate this duty, in some aspects, to the Patrol Scribe or ASPL.

 

Everything is the responsibility of the PL's in the Patrol Method.  That's how he takes care of his people.

 

If the PL discovers some need that he wants help with, he can communicate with the SPL  who can go to the SM as needed.  Maybe a training session on a particular problem is required, Mr. Head Trainer.

 

Sounds like a PL directive with a flow from PL to SPL to SM if needed.  That's exactly what I promote.

 

A regular part of PLCs I have seen is the SPL going around the table asking each PL how "things are going" in his respective patrol.

 

That's fine, but if there is a problem the PL should go to the SPL for support immediately, not wait for the PLC and what is of concern to the one patrol probably has nothing to do with the other patrols.

 

The SPL, in turn, should be watching for signs of problems in the patrols and identifying situations where a PL needs support..

 

Yep, with a close eye on the new boys' patrol.  (with the help of a TG who's doing that as well)

 

If we are talking about advancement, that activity is primarily to be going on in the patrols.  

 

Yes, fit's "my" model no problem.

 

"[Patrols are] ... small groups of Scouts who camp together, cook together, play together, and learn together."    B.S.A. , Orientation for New Scout Parents (2016).

 

Yep, totally independent and autonomous from the "troop".

 

"[The patrol members] interact in a small group outside the larger troop context, working  together as a team and sharing the responsibility of making their patrol a success."   B.S.A., Scouting.org (2016)

[emphasis added]

 

Yep, see above.

 

"[The patrol is] the place where boys learn skills together, take on leadership responsibilities, perhaps for the first time."  B.S.A., Scouting.org (2014)

 

Yep, the #1 goal of the new scouts patrol.

 

"Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements. [emphasis added] . . . At other times they will compete against those same patrols in Scout skills and athletic competitions.  B.S.A., Scouting.org (2016)

 

Yep, optional PLC if they sometimes need it.

 

Helpful adults do not instinctively do things this way.  When they see the pancake burning, their instinct is to be "helpful."

 

Thanks for making my point.  No where do I see where the SPL, the PLC or the SM take the reins of leadership from the PL's.  In the Patrol Method the PL's are in charge, everyone else supports their efforts of maintaining the Patrol Method.


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#32 TAHAWK

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 07:15 AM

As I personally believe that patrols ought to meet several times before the troop ever meets and that the Scout is to primarily experience Scouting in the patrol (which I see as the sum of BSA's official pronouncements), I am  not sure how that flowy thing works in my "model."    Of course, I am "not sure" about a number of issues.  I go back and forth about the NSP, for example.

 

Also, because it seems clear that under the Patrol Method - BSA's official "model,"  the leaders (Scouts) are elected and the SM is not supposed to directly lead at all, I not sure how that flowy thing works there either..  

 

Read what I posted with an open heart about PLs going to the SPL when they think they need help.  Cannot one be a coach and resource without being "in charge"?  I hope so, as that is the adult role as BSA defines it (and Bill defined it) is supposed to be part of the Patrol Method.  Of course, the PL is to lead his patrol.  Hence "Patrol Method."  And in the PLC, the patrols control the troop program, having more votes than the SPL's one vote.

 

How a minor, the SPL, signs up any Scouts for summer camp escapes my limited experience and imagination -- unless the "summer camp" is not a council camp and does not require formal paperwork. One year my old troop did "summer camp" on private property in the mountains, and the owner didn't require any formalities.  Otherwise, as BP found, adults will have a role.  As always, the PLC had decided where the troop went to camp, for those troops that use the Patrol Method - that is Boy Scout troops.

 

You also seem to have dumped Bill's entire chapter on how the patrol is loyal to the troop in which its Scouts are registered.  Pretty smart guy, Bill.  Probably BSA was right is calling him the most influential Scouter ever. I would be reluctant to ignore his teachings based solely on dedication to my personal version of Scouting, but everyone has to direct their own feet.


Edited by TAHAWK, 28 April 2016 - 07:20 AM.

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#33 Stosh

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 08:20 AM

Personally, TAHAWK, I don't think we are all that far apart in our thinking.

 

 

As I personally believe that patrols ought to meet several times before the troop ever meets and that the Scout is to primarily experience Scouting in the patrol (which I see as the sum of BSA's official pronouncements),

 

Same for me.  Total agreement here.

 

I am  not sure how that flowy thing works in my "model."    

 

Think of it this way.  If the Patrol Method (PM) is primary to the program, then the PL is primary in directive of the patrol's operation.  The SM doesn't dictate patrol operations, nor does the SPL.  Just the PL directs.  The SPL and SM only support the PL and help him be successful as he directs them to be helpful.

 

Of course, I am "not sure" about a number of issues.  I go back and forth about the NSP, for example.

 

To me the NSP is nothing more than a patrol of new guys coming into the program.  They're going to need some special attention/support in their organization and orientation to the troop.  An SPL has a fair amount of support duties with the regular patrols and the venture patrols so a TG is assigned to focus his support solely on the new guys.  What's it gonna take to HELP the new PL get his patrol up and running in the troop.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It's not a big deal, or at least not as big a deal as everyone seems to make it out to be.

 

Also, because it seems clear that under the Patrol Method - BSA's official "model,"  the leaders (Scouts) are elected and the SM is not supposed to directly lead at all, I not sure how that flowy thing works there either..  

 

Here is where the servant leadership of the SM and SPL come into play with the duly (s)elected PL's.  They are there to help, support, cheer on, give options and advice, but just not interfere with the PL's operation of the patrol.   PL: We've never gone to summer camp before, we don't know what we're doing.  TG: well, I can tell you what the other PL's are doing and maybe that will help you with what you need to be doing.  I know the venture patrol is heading out of council for their summer camp, but maybe you would like to consider doing something close to home this first time to kinda get your feet wet and learn about how summer camp works.  What do you think?  PL:  I think that's probably a good idea, let me check with my boys and see what they think.  .... PL:  The boys want to do the council camp like you suggested.  Can you give me some help on what my next step should be?  TG: Sure....

 

Never once does the TG take over, he just helps the PL be successful in his duties as PL.

 

Read what I posted with an open heart about PLs going to the SPL when they think they need help.  Cannot one be a coach and resource without being "in charge"?  I hope so, as that is the adult role as BSA defines it (and Bill defined it) is supposed to be part of the Patrol Method.  

 

Of course an SPL, TG (in the NSP situation), SM and ASM's can help... as long as it is just help!   PL: Mr. SM, I need a tour permit for summer camp, what do I do, or is that something you need to do as an adult?

 

Of course, the PL is to lead his patrol.  Hence "Patrol Method."  And in the PLC, the patrols control the troop program, having more votes than the SPL's one vote.

 

If one is teaching proper protocol in the PLC, one could naturally use the Robert's Rules of Order to facilitate the PLC from deteriorating into a free-for-all, which most PLC seem to do.

 

SPL chairs the meeting, he does not have a vote.  The PL's are the voting members  One vote per patrol with the elected representative (PL) in attendance.  The PLC votes only on troop issues, never on issues of patrol operations.  For example the PLC with 1 NSP, 2 Regular, and 1 Venture patrols cannot vote that everyone HAS to go to COUNCIL CAMP this summer when the venture patrol wants to try something new in a camp they found on line that sounds really great.  PLC cannot dictate to the patrols.  If the SPL and SM are dedicated to supporting the PM, they must be prepared to support the PATROLS first which means 3 patrols are going to council camp and the venture patrol is going someplace else.  SPL and SM?  Make it happen!  This is what the PATROL Method is all about in my book.

 

Now if the PLC decides that out of all the patrol QM's Little Johnny needs a POR and would like to take on being the Troop QM for 6 months, should he be given a chance?  Let's vote.  That is a troop organizational decision and has nothing to do with patrol operations.  It does help the patrols by having troop support of the patrol QM's.

 

If the number of patrols is only 3 or 4, the 3 or 4 PL's can generally work these things out by themselves, but once one gets 4-5+ patrols, the PLC becomes an organizational and communication facilitator and can support the work of the PL's in their patrols.  How many patrols going to council camp this summer?  Okay 3, those 3 PL's can work together.  Where's the others going?  One ot camp A,? 2 to Camp B?  You three sure on that?  what's the difference between Camp A and B?  Maybe the three of you can come together on this, if not, we'll need adults for 3 different camps this summer.  As SPL I'll start working on that right away.

 

How a minor, the SPL, signs up any Scouts for summer camp escapes my limited experience and imagination -- unless the "summer camp" is not a council camp and does not require formal paperwork. One year my old troop did "summer camp" on private property in the mountains, and the owner didn't require any formalities.  Otherwise, as BP found, adults will have a role.  As always, the PLC had decided where the troop went to camp, for those troops that use the Patrol Method - that is Boy Scout troops.

 

And yet there's nothing major about trying to accommodate as many boys as possible for THEIR scouting experience.  If the PLC decides ALL patrols MUST go to council camp, have they not taken away the autonomy of the patrol method and now are operating as Troop Method?  Is it really SUPPORT being provided when it is designed around the easiest solution for the "helpers" and not the wishes of the patrols?  It is here that I can see the PM dynamics beginning to fall apart due to such things as simplification of adult efforts warrants troop operations if they are going to support the boys.  The whole becomes more influential than the individual parts and the move from PM to Troop control begins.  Because it's easier for adults to run a troop than it is for them to support the individual patrols.  This is the #1 problem in troops thinking they are using the PM when they really aren't.

 

 

You also seem to have dumped Bill's entire chapter on how the patrol is loyal to the troop in which its Scouts are registered.  Pretty smart guy, Bill.  Probably BSA was right is calling him the most influential Scouter ever. I would be reluctant to ignore his teachings based solely on dedication to my personal version of Scouting, but everyone has to direct their own feet.

 

But by going to the Patrol Method does not automatically mean one is disloyal to the troop.  Patrols work and play together all the time.  Just because they form individual autonomous patrols doesn't mean they don't see themselves as part of a greater whole.  I'm in high school as a freshman (NSP) .  Does that mean all the seniors (Venture Patrol) have to do the same thing as me?  No.  Does that mean because we do things differently that we're not all part of the same school?  This model for PM reflects the real world all the time.  Does the Engineering Department at work do the same things and have the same needs as the Accounting Department?  Are they all part of the same company?

 

For the life of me I can't figure out how there are those here on the forum think I'm running a renegade BSA operation when nothing I'm doing is any different than what BSA promotes and what is reflected in the every day lives of the scouts AND their parents/scouters.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#34 MattR

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 09:43 AM

"Rule #2, they need some prodding and a whole lot of support. I regularly call scouts and ask what they need help with. I know, the SPL should be doing this but we just aren't there yet."

 

They sure do.  But under the Patrol Method is this not primarily a responsibility of the PLs? PLs, in turn, might delegate this duty, in some aspects, to the Patrol Scribe or ASPL.

 

Sure, that's the goal but I'm not there yet because it's the PL that needs the prodding.

 

What I was trying to get across is that boy led is not binary. It's not that one day a troop goes from adult led to boy led. I tried that a couple times and it fell flat. Rather, it's evolving.

 

What I see is scouts learn from scouts, not adults. But scouts that haven't seen it done right before won't suddenly start doing it. That leaves a chicken and egg situation. My approach to solve that is to make small changes, and that might include prodding the scouts.

 

Paraphrasing what @Eagledad said, you don't just come up to a new 13 year old patrol leader that's never seen it done right and tell him he needs to motivate his scouts. I tried, no luck.


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#35 Beavah

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 10:51 AM


But scouts that haven't seen it done right before won't suddenly start doing it.

 

More than just that, eh?

 

Troops run downhill over time.   Older boys move on, adults turn over, da focus becomes just gettin' the next thing done rather than embracin' a vision.   The tree of Patrol Method and Youth Leadership and Values must be periodically refreshed by da blood, sweat, and tears of Scoutmasters. :p    And sometimes of great PLs and SPLs.

 

If yeh go back and read ol' Green Bar Bill's stuff, there's a lot about how Patrol Leader Training is an ongoing thing, eh?  More along da lines of a special campout yeh do every month with da PLs than it is about an indoor session where yeh read canned job descriptions and talk leadership theory once a year.  That sort of ongoin' PL trainin' changes over time, eh?  Sometimes it might be about cookin' and meal planning for da young PLs who are strugglin' with that or learnin' how to teach it to their patrol.   Sometimes it's about how yeh work with difficult younger boys.  Sometimes other things. 

 

Da SPL and JASMs and such can be a great help with that, but Patrol Leader trainin' and coachin' in the BSA has always been an adult role, eh?   Yeh identifity da reality of where your current troop is at, rather than imaginin' that every troop must instantly fit da BSA ideal model.  Yeh pick the few things that will be the most useful to get your boys to the next step on the journey, and yeh work at those.  

 

Down the road a bit da conditions will change, kids' skills (and interests) will change, and what yeh do to coach and support 'em will change as well.   But yeh don't disappear, eh?  Adults, parents, etc. are part of the system of support and growth for kids.

 

Beavah


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#36 Eagledad

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 11:25 AM

I'm trying to wrap my head around stoshs leadership flow structure and I realize that, at least for me, it's not a leadership flow structure as much as it is an experience structure. Older more experienced scouts are naturally ambitious to move into positions where they can effectively "take care of their boys" from a perspective of working with Patrol Leaders. Too often rank and leadership are confused as positions of stature or authority instead of positions knowledge and maturity. When the 12 year old Patrol Leader needs advice, will he instinctively go to the 11 year old Patrol Leader, or the 16 year old SPL? And scouts don't stop "taking care of their boys" just because they aren't patrol leaders.

Barry
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"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#37 TAHAWK

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 12:47 PM

OK.  Right.  There is nothing inconsistent with the Patrol Method for a PL needing advice to ask whomever he wishes to ask.  The SM is the head leadership teacher, but nowhere is it written that a perplexed leader (Scout) cannot ask for input from a another leader (Scout), regardless of title and on any subject .Indeed, channeling Scout's questions from adults to leaders (Scouts) is a traditional tool to encourage the Patrol method.:  "Have you asked your Patrol Leader?"

 

Let's say I overhear a teacher in a practice teaching situation telling his "class" of fellow education majors that North Vietnam "won" the campaign labeled the "Tet Offensive."  Let's say further that I have a more nuanced understanding of the history of the Vietnam War. Do I simply take over the classroom?  How does that help the teacher grow?  How does such behavior by me impact that teacher's "rep" with the "class"?

 

 

 

In Boy Scouting, the head Scoutcraft/advancement "teacher" for his patrol is the PL.  BSA says that occasionally, such instruction may be on the troop level.  

 

After safety, It's the SM's No. 1 job, not to "teach the class,"  but to make the PLs better teachers.  If they are not good "enough" at his/her primary job, the SM may need training in teaching.

 

The language about the leaders being "ready" to lead (or the patrol or troop "ready" for Scouts to lead") is most commonly used to rationalize endless adult-leadership. ("We have been trying for eight years to become boy-led.")  So if the troop is not "humming like a finely tuned machine," the adults take the bats, balls, and gloves from the boys, and the adults play the game of Scouting until they deem the boys ready to play to a satisfactory level.

 

Bill addressed this matter of performance expectations.  My SM told me he had attended a talk by Bill to Scouters involved in military dependent Scouting In Europe.  When Bill delivered his famous, ":Never do for a Scout what he can do for himself," a Scouter got the floor to ask "To what standard?"  My SM told me Bill looked surprised for a split-second and them replied with a smile, "Why to a boy's standard, of course."

 

Again, it would be nice if BSA had a training course with the learning goal of the participants knowing what the Patrol Method is and a syllabus that actually explains the Patrol Method.   It might include:

 

"Let them lead in practically everything. Let them work out their own problems, interfere as little as possible—but be ever ready to give wise guidance—not when you think they need it, but when they seek it. Keep in mind that unwarranted, ill-advised interference discourages leadership and that those boy leaders of yours are "learning by doing."

 

Mistakes, some of them serious, are bound to be made; therefore, be ever ready with a kindly and friendly spirit to urge them to try again.

 

Help them occasionally with constructive criticism. But do your coaching on the sidelines always, never in front of the Patrols. And then, when the Patrol Leader succeeds in his job, praise him for it. Commendation which is justified and not overdone is an absolute necessity. Such statements of approval should be made occasionally before the interested group. They like it, and so does the leader, as long as it is short, free from 'soft soap,' and genuine." 

 

                   Bill

 

"It can be a very messy business, and painful to watch. Meetings where the boy leaders are in charge can be very chaotic.  And it can be very tempting for adults to jump in and sort things out, because that is what adults do.

 

That is how they learn—even from disorganization and failure.

 

The role of the adults is not the destination, but  the journey. 

 

That is, our responsibility as adults is to promote the 'process' of Scouting.

 

Adults understand that their role is to create a safe place where boys can learn and grow and explore and play and take on responsibilities—and fail, and get up and try again.

 

                   B.S.A, Orientation for New Scout Parents (2016


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#38 Krampus

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 12:48 PM

Interesting and timely article.


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#39 Eagledad

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 02:11 PM

That article sure brought back memories. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears. But great memories I will always cherish.

The three of us new adults starting the new troop had no problem with patrol method because we came from Greenbar Bill patrol method experiences. What threw us was New Scout Patrols. Before NSPs new scouts joined troops individually all year, not as groups of dens in January.

Doesn't seem like a big deal until you find that troop schedules become wrapped around January crossovers. Before NSPs, patrols were mostly responsible for getting their new scouts up to speed with scout skills and basic camping skills. There was no set troop agenda because patrols received new scouts any time of the year. Patrols were by default responsible for their scouts growth. But once whole dens crossed over, all the patrols were forced on the same schedule. And the nature of humans naturally shifted new scout growth to the troop level just to be more efficient.

Since we came from boy run troops, we were trying to achieve the same goals for our troop. And of course we tried all the BSAs recommendations along with our own experiences. We found NSPs by their nature are more adult intrusive unless the troop guides are are very mature. I have often said that we never had a TG 14 and younger that was any better than terrible. And we never had one 15 and older that was less than fantastic. But no matter how the troop guide is used, they are not natural to patrol method.

We have a pretty good system now of using TGs when we have to and we mix new scouts in mixed age patrols within six months. But it took several years to figure out.

Barry
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#40 TAHAWK

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 02:45 PM


Joe Smith

"According to Assistant Scoutmaster Joe Smith from Troop 1002 in Richmond, Texas, many Scouters mistakenly think a troop is either Scout-led or it’s not. Instead, he points out that being Scout-led is “a spectrum, not a condition; the level of independence given to the boys is dependent on the maturity and cultural personality of the troop.”"

 

Boy Scouts of America:

 

           

            [T]he Patrol System is not one method in which Scouting for boys can be carried out, but it is the only method.

 

                        B.S.A., The Patrol Method (1930).

 

            "[U]nless the patrol method is in operation, you don’t really have a Boy Scout troop.”

 

                        B.S.A., Scouting.org (citing Baden-Powell) (September, 2015)

 

            (d) The membership of a troop shall be organized on the patrol system.

           

                        Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (2016).

 

I'


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