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Troop Guide in Mixed Age Patrols Without New Scout Patrol


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#21 Lurking...

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 07:42 PM

Every new group (as well as the older groups) are a box of chocolates.  As soon as one thinks they have it all figured out, everything changes. 

 

The first session I hold with the boys after crossing over is all adult driven.  They get the bullying speech, the 3 rules of the troop, etc orientation things.

 

The second session the SM sits back and listens to what the boys want out of the deal and unless it is against BSA policy, event rules, or breaks one of the three rules of the troop, then the answer is always "Yes, I can help you with that."  At the end of the session of listening I turn to the new PL, whether he be a new scout or an older scout come down to be with the NSP, and ask, "What do we do first and when do we begin."

 

After two meetings, we have 2 patrols and directions to the older boys on what advancement issues they need to address first to get them ready for camping.  Menu planning, is usually the big first step along with proper packing and equipment for the outing.  First Aid kits are put together, etc. all so they can get out and do something. 

 

Both patrols want to do a easy river canoe/kayak float with sand bar camping.  So that's what we're gonna do.  Did they bite off more than they can chew?  Probably, but that's an important lesson to learn too.  :)


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#22 qwazse

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 08:42 PM

There's no doubt in my mind that in mixed patrols, advancement can take a back seat. They need to work on skills acquisition. What you need to prepare your patrol for the next adventure may not mesh with what a boy needs to do for his next rank.

Our troop has not had as many land navigation opportunities as I would like, so I have a 16 year old (3rd year) who is has that requirement for 2nd class and orienteering for 1st. SM would like him to complete one rank before camp next week, and I think the boy really wants to move along. So, I instructed him on a plan to find a buddy and come to me with a plan and a map and I would add some landmarks that he would reach some day this week.

I could just as easily see this being handed off to a troop guide. The standing order: find the lowest rank or slowest advancing boy in each patrol, and help them plan their next move.
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#23 Lurking...

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 08:56 PM

There's no doubt in my mind that in mixed patrols, advancement can take a back seat. They need to work on skills acquisition. What you need to prepare your patrol for the next adventure may not mesh with what a boy needs to do for his next rank.

Our troop has not had as many land navigation opportunities as I would like, so I have a 16 year old (3rd year) who is has that requirement for 2nd class and orienteering for 1st. SM would like him to complete one rank before camp next week, and I think the boy really wants to move along. So, I instructed him on a plan to find a buddy and come to me with a plan and a map and I would add some landmarks that he would reach some day this week.

I could just as easily see this being handed off to a troop guide. The standing order: find the lowest rank or slowest advancing boy in each patrol, and help them plan their next move.

 

I guess my first reaction to this is why isn't his PL keeping an eye on this?  Boys shouldn't be slipping through the cracks.  If this is an issue, then why isn't the APL watching, too?  Patrol Scribe should have a updated listing of advancement for all the boys in the patrol.

 

Let's face it, if everyone is doing their job and functioning in their POR, the TG for a mixed patrol is a wasted POR.  Yes, a NSP doesn't have the maturity to handle this sophisticated level of patrol team work right from the beginning, that's what the TG helps them develop!  He's there to work with each patrol member and orient them in their functionality.  Within the first month the PL, APL, Scribe and QM should have a basic understanding of their patrol responsibilities along with working on their advancement and getting ready for their first few outings. 

 

I hear a lot about NSP's falling apart and causing more work, and everything else under the sun.  But I would bet dollars to donuts that the real reason is a TG that doesn't do his job and just lets the NSP flounder.  Like I commented before my best TG was an Eagle Scout.  He served the troop far better as a true TG than a sit-back-and-wait-for-something-to-happen JASM.  It was pretty much a microcosm troop with the TG as a fledgling "SM" and the PL and patrol the "troop". 

 

Don't waste a boys time as TG if there is no NSP and I'll guarantee a mess if one tries a NSP without a qualified TG.  The two are dependent on one another.


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#24 desertrat77

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 09:23 PM

If the scouts don't want NSPs, then any attempt to nudge them towards the NSP concept will no doubt cause friction.   And it will disrupt the natural cohesion of the current patrols.

 

If there is no NSP, there is no need for a TG.   Especially four TGs!

 

I'd give them instructor patches and assign them a variety of duties.    But I'd keep them out of the PLs' lane.

 

The BSA operated for nearly 8 decades without NSPs nor TGs.   The PLs can handle advancement if a) they know it is part of their job description and b) if they are trained.


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#25 DuctTape

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:43 AM

I wanted to weigh in on the comment about advancement and requirements not meshing with the patrol adventures. Most t-fc requirements can be part of the regular adventures, and in many cases necessary to complete the adventure. Done "right", the requirements are met just by participating in scouting adventures, unless the troop/patrol uses pre-purchased doodads, drive-up only, etc... "camping", and not real adventures. Sure there are a few which require an additional focus, but if all boys need them, then an instructor can help, in a mixed level patrol those who already know can help. Scouting adventures and most of the advancement requirements go hand in hand, they are not mutually ezclusive (or shouldnt be).
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#26 qwazse

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 05:35 AM

I wanted to weigh in on the comment about advancement and requirements not meshing with the patrol adventures. Most t-fc requirements can be part of the regular adventures, and in many cases necessary to complete the adventure. Done "right", the requirements are met just by participating in scouting adventures, unless the troop/patrol uses pre-purchased doodads, drive-up only, etc... "camping", and not real adventures. Sure there are a few which require an additional focus, but if all boys need them, then an instructor can help, in a mixed level patrol those who already know can help. Scouting adventures and most of the advancement requirements go hand in hand, they are not mutually ezclusive (or shouldnt be).

DT - if a PL puts 5 miles of hiking and 10 miles of cycling on their agenda for the year, then that's two boys a year who can master those skills. Add to that most boys in our community being involved in such diverse activities that it's very easy for a number of them to miss out on the one patrol event (and related meetings) that helps them advance.
Compound that by the boy falling into the troop that spun off from ours because adults didn't like how we organized boy-led, then two years later spun off from that troop for who-knows-what beef with the selected SM, then after a change in guard, re-merges with our boys ... We routinely get boys who take 4 years to advance to 1st class. We don't consider it to be a problem. That is, our old troop doesn't, but the troop that we merged back with goes to a camp that strongly encourages scouts to advance a rank a year, and holds a special ceremony for scouters who meet that target with every returning camper ... the new SM wants to make that happen (yes, I tease him mercilessly about it), this boy wants to make it happen, his PL should make it happen, and given a year probably would. We have a week, no troop guide, no JASM,
... So, at the request of the SM, I had a conversation that sounded more like a hiking MB counselor type of discussion. The boy has four days to present a plan, which even if his PL or TG had stepped up, he'd have to do anyway.

But, here's this (for anyone who expects their patrol schema to facilitate advancement): at what point is a 16 year-old the responsibility of a TG or PL? The boy can read his book. He can say, "Hey guys, let's take a hike?"

Edited by qwazse, 14 June 2016 - 05:36 AM.

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#27 Eagledad

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 07:49 AM

Well there is a lot of darts being thrown in the dark here. Not bad advice, but it's different strokes for different programs.

 

I'm still not sure what falling through the cracks means, but I'm curious, shouldn't the SM be catching any of this stuff with conferences? Shouldn't he have a clue when he looks through the scout's handbook? This is where the SM can learn about scouts who are shy and too immature to ask for guidance. 

 

Looking at your list hedgehog, I don't see how going to NSPs helps your Problem. It only justifies you trying to fix the problem by your assigning PORs. Not the NSPs wouldn't help, but your justification doesn't make sense to me. Scouts are responsible for the balancing the Eight Methods, not the adults.

 

I think the trainers idea is a good approach. We sort of do the same thing, but we don't always have designated trainers. More often we have older scouts asked by the SPL to teach a skills when other scouts make a request. Sometimes the SPL will ask for a skills teaching saturday where any scout can request training for a skill. And our troop usually has a couple hours of free time on camp outs where the scouts are encouraged to ask the SPL for some skills training. Some skills like orienteering require a few hour advance notice. 

 

Now I say SPL, those are typically requested when several patrols need the same skills or the patrol doesn't have the resources.  Most skills teaching eventually is done at the patrol level. The adults don't even know when it happens. Taking care of your scouts is developed in the patrol, but the habit continues at all levels. 

 

By the way, you mention the PLs being too busy to deal with advancement. From my experience, the two hardest skills to teach youth leaders are patience and delegation

 

I feel like your trying hard to fix one problem by hand selecting PORs. But at some point the "taking care of the scouts" has to kick in and the job gets done because someone just steps up. I kind of feel that in the big picture, your patrols haven't really bonded to the habit of taking care of each other yet. Maybe they haven't really bonded as a patrol either. If I were to guess (and it really is purely a guess on the limited information), the adults are still a little too intrusive on the patrol method. Not that some intrusion isn't necessary because boys have to be reminded now and then to take care of each other using the scout law. But eventually that practice should go into autopilot and the needs of a scout will be filled by the will of their brother scout taking care of his boys. Just as Beavera hinted, it does work that way. The scouts just need a few nudges towards the beginging to keep them on course.

 

My first suggestion would be to give the adults and the scouts 300 feet separation during their activities and see what happens. That doesn't really require any policy or program changes and it gives the scouts a more breathing room. Then hopefully any interaction by the SM is reactionary instead of proactive. AS they say, you don't really know what you don't know. 300 feet will help both the scouts and adults learn what they don't know. Then you, the adult, can guide the scouts in how they initiate fixing their problem instead of you handing them your fixes to their problems. Of course habits take time and experience requires some tuning, but maybe it's time to let the scouts fail on their own instead of failing with the adults. As a result, the patrols may bond closer and that is a good start.

 

Barry


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


#28 DuctTape

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 07:50 AM

Q,

I don't disagree. Scouting done well, with participation fullfilling most requirements will happen. Either TG, nor PL are responsible for others advancement any more than encouragement and help. Patrols can have on their meeting agenda a question about what fellows need to do what, and plan adventures which include those items. Of course if a scout does other things instead, he will miss out on both adventure and advancement. That is his choice.
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#29 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 09:45 AM

IMHO a Troop Guide is a very special cat who enjoys being around the young guys or at least can maintain a sense of humor. The Den Chief analogy is perfect. As for Instructors we have had some success for instructor-specialists (a guy for knots, a guy for fire making, etc)


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#30 Hedgehog

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 10:44 AM

Every new group (as well as the older groups) are a box of chocolates.  As soon as one thinks they have it all figured out, everything changes. 

 

 Agreed.  That is why I won't rule out a NSP if we get 10 crossovers and won't automatically form one if we get 4.

  

@Stosh and @DuctTape, our issue isn't the lack of opportunity or coordinaton with the outdoor program.  We have at least one campout per year where the boys can do orienteering, a hike on half the campouts, two backpacking treks a year, etc.  The issue is like @qwazse said, for the PLs advancement of other scouts is low on their list.  Nobody is paying attention to the fact that the guys HAVE completed the requirements and that is with TG's inserted in each patrol, presumably coordinating with the patrol leader and lots of encouragement from the Adults (i.e. suggesting one meeting a month to focus on advancement).  

 

I'd give them instructor patches and assign them a variety of duties.    But I'd keep them out of the PLs' lane.

 

My sense is that the we give the other folks who would be TGs within a patrol the Instructor patches and leave them within the patrol and develop clear responsibilities.  Part of problem solved.

 

I'm still not sure what falling through the cracks means, but I'm curious, shouldn't the SM be catching any of this stuff with conferences? Shouldn't he have a clue when he looks through the scout's handbook? This is where the SM can learn about scouts who are shy and too immature to ask for guidance. 

 

Right now, that is being done by the ASMs.  My sense is that should be done by a boy.  That really is what I see as the problem, ASMs intervening to make sure the boys pay attention to advancement.  You pinpoint the exact scouts that I'm worried about -- the ones that won't ask for help.  

 

I feel like your trying hard to fix one problem by hand selecting PORs. But at some point the "taking care of the scouts" has to kick in and the job gets done because someone just steps up. 

 

 

So I see a guy working with guys in his patrol and others with teaching skills and signing off on requirements, being a friend to the new scouts and working as a Den Chief.  This is the guy that goes over to the scout sitting by himself on a campout and asks if he is OK, that goes into his tent to get a sweatshirt for the scout who's jacket got wet because he left it outside his tent.  He is doing the job and I want him to continue doing the job and be recognized as a leader.  

 

I kind of feel that in the big picture, your patrols haven't really bonded to the habit of taking care of each other yet. Maybe they haven't really bonded as a patrol either. If I were to guess (and it really is purely a guess on the limited information), the adults are still a little too intrusive on the patrol method. Not that some intrusion isn't necessary because boys have to be reminded now and then to take care of each other using the scout law. But eventually that practice should go into autopilot and the needs of a scout will be filled by the will of their brother scout taking care of his boys. Just as Beavera hinted, it does work that way. The scouts just need a few nudges towards the beginging to keep them on course.

 

My first suggestion would be to give the adults and the scouts 300 feet separation during their activities and see what happens. That doesn't really require any policy or program changes and it gives the scouts a more breathing room. Then hopefully any interaction by the SM is reactionary instead of proactive. AS they say, you don't really know what you don't know. 300 feet will help both the scouts and adults learn what they don't know. Then you, the adult, can guide the scouts in how they initiate fixing their problem instead of you handing them your fixes to their problems. Of course habits take time and experience requires some tuning, but maybe it's time to let the scouts fail on their own instead of failing with the adults. As a result, the patrols may bond closer and that is a good start.

 

The patrols seem to be functionally oriented toward deciding what to do for the one week a month they are in charge of the Troop activity portion of the meeting.  The adults do keep their distance and the SMs and ASMs are reacting to the boy leaders not taking care of their boys related to advancement.  For most of the PLs the concept of advancement seems to be treated as an adult agenda item ("does anyone need help with advancement... no?  OK, let's do something fun now").  

 

 

IMHO a Troop Guide is a very special cat who enjoys being around the young guys or at least can maintain a sense of humor. The Den Chief analogy is perfect. As for Instructors we have had some success for instructor-specialists (a guy for knots, a guy for fire making, etc)

 

 

My sense is to give the boy the TG patch, tell him that his job through next March is to do the things that are bolded in the description below and that if we have enough scouts to have a NSP, we will have one (from crossover through summer camp or sooner if the boys in the patrol want to integrate into the troop).  Most likely the majority of scouts crossing over would be from the Den he is the Den Chief for, so that role would seem natural. 

  1. Troop Guide

    • Introduce new Scouts to troop operations.

    • Guide new Scouts through early Scouting activities.

    • Help set and enforce the tone for good Scout behavior within the troop.

    • Ensure older Scouts never harass or bully new Scouts.

    • Help new Scouts earn the First Class rank in their first year.

    • Coach the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol on his duties.

    • Work with the patrol leader at patrol leaders’ council meetings.

    • Attend patrol leaders’ council meetings with the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol.

    • Assist the assistant Scoutmaster with training.

    • Coach individual Scouts on Scouting challenges. 


Edited by Hedgehog, 14 June 2016 - 10:46 AM.

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#31 Lurking...

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 11:51 AM

Q,

I don't disagree. Scouting done well, with participation fullfilling most requirements will happen. Either TG, nor PL are responsible for others advancement any more than encouragement and help. Patrols can have on their meeting agenda a question about what fellows need to do what, and plan adventures which include those items. Of course if a scout does other things instead, he will miss out on both adventure and advancement. That is his choice.

 

Apply that concept to parenting, teaching, and a half dozen other child development people and that sounds kinda "dumb".  Of course we don't just say, here's your training pants, let me know when you need help toilet training, I can come and cheer you on.  :p   I know what you are trying to say, but we are dealing with the newbies of the troop, not the guys 1-2 years into the program were if they haven't gotten beyond TF after 3 years, they probably aren't interested in Eagle.  Nagging isn't going to work, but maybe a concerned budge here or there might move the lad along and not miss out on the fun stuff down the road as you point out.

 

 

 

 Agreed.  That is why I won't rule out a NSP if we get 10 crossovers and won't automatically form one if we get 4.

  

@Stosh and @DuctTape, our issue isn't the lack of opportunity or coordinaton with the outdoor program.  We have at least one campout per year where the boys can do orienteering, a hike on half the campouts, two backpacking treks a year, etc.  The issue is like @qwazse said, for the PLs advancement of other scouts is low on their list.  Nobody is paying attention to the fact that the guys HAVE completed the requirements and that is with TG's inserted in each patrol, presumably coordinating with the patrol leader and lots of encouragement from the Adults (i.e. suggesting one meeting a month to focus on advancement).  

 

Why is it so important to have a TG in the patrol?  Yes, the PL is ultimately responsible for the advancement and welfare of the boys in his patrol, but at the same time he has a APL who's sitting around on his hands doing nothing and so we toss in a TG to cover for the APL?  Sounds like a work around that I would be accused to to get POR credit for the APL position.   :rolleyes:    I would say, get the APL up and running on the advancement of the boys, he's the #1 right hand man for the PL to be assisting with the patrol members anyway, why not just make him functional and earn his stripe.

 

 

My sense is that the we give the other folks who would be TGs within a patrol the Instructor patches and leave them within the patrol and develop clear responsibilities.  Part of problem solved. 

 

Riddle me Joker, why can't the APL be doing this?  Or is he too busy waiting around for the PL to miss a meeting?  Have functional patrol officers and one doesn't need a half-dozen troop officers and adults to meddle in the affairs of the patrols!

 

Right now, that is being done by the ASMs.  My sense is that should be done by a boy.  That really is what I see as the problem, ASMs intervening to make sure the boys pay attention to advancement.  You pinpoint the exact scouts that I'm worried about -- the ones that won't ask for help.  

 

Of course, if the boys don't function in their responsibilities the adults will and DO take over!

 

So I see a guy (APL) working with guys in his patrol and others with teaching skills ()coordinated by the APL) and signing off on requirements (by the PL having been reported by the APL),, being a friend to the new scouts and working as a Den Chief.  This is the guy (APL) that goes over to the scout sitting by himself on a campout and asks if he is OK, that goes into his tent to get a sweatshirt for the scout who's jacket got wet because he left it outside his tent.  He is doing the job and I want him to continue doing the job and be recognized as a leader  (That's why they call him the Assistant Patrol LEADER).  :huh: .  

 

 

The patrols seem to be functionally oriented toward deciding what to do for the one week a month they are in charge of the Troop activity portion of the meeting.  The adults do keep their distance and the SMs and ASMs are reacting to the boy leaders not taking care of their boys related to advancement (That's because they aren't doing their job in the first place)..  For most of the PLs the concept of advancement seems to be treated as an adult agenda item (Maybe someone ought to clue them in that it's THEIR job and the PL has an APL that can help him with it!!) ("does anyone need help with advancement... no?  OK, let's do something fun now").  If one has the PL's looking to the adults to tell them anything, then it is obvious that the PL/SPL boys are NOT in the lead position in the troop.

 

 

 

My sense is to give the boy the TG patch, tell him that his job through next March is to do the things that are bolded in the description below and that if we have enough scouts to have a NSP, we will have one (from crossover through summer camp or sooner if the boys in the patrol want to integrate into the troop).  Most likely the majority of scouts crossing over would be from the Den he is the Den Chief for, so that role would seem natural. 

  1. Troop Guide

    • Introduce new Scouts to troop operations.

    • Guide new Scouts through early Scouting activities.

    • Help set and enforce the tone for good Scout behavior within the troop.

    • Ensure older Scouts never harass or bully new Scouts.

    • Help new Scouts earn the First Class rank in their first year.

    • Coach the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol on his duties.

    • Work with the patrol leader at patrol leaders’ council meetings.

    • Attend patrol leaders’ council meetings with the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol.

    • Assist the assistant Scoutmaster with training.

    • Coach individual Scouts on Scouting challenges. 

If you happen to have a true NSP then YES, go with a TG that will fulfill the role of teaching the PL/APL/Scribe/QM their roles in the patrol, but also function as the supporting APL of the NSP on the important issue of advancement.  That shouldn't be left to the newbie APL.

 

If one doesn't have a NSP and blends the boys into other patrols, then I would get the APL's functioning ASAP.   Why have TG's doing the APL's job for him while he sits on his hands?


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#32 DuctTape

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 01:03 PM

Hedge, I apologize. I thought I was being clear my response was specific to just one comment earlier.

As to your specific issue, the PLs or TGs need only encourage, but not babysit. Advancement is the individual scout's responsibility, not the PL, TG, nor mommy. These others should encourage, and help provide the opportunities, but getting a book signed, or setting up a sm conference or bor is the scout's own responsibility. Definitely not an adults job. Do not do for rhe scout, what they can do for themselves. Some may not care about getting things signed off.
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#33 DuctTape

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 01:05 PM

Stosh, we are on the same page. What you call concerned budge is what I call encourage.
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#34 Lurking...

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 01:35 PM

Hedge, I apologize. I thought I was being clear my response was specific to just one comment earlier.

As to your specific issue, the PLs or TGs need only encourage, but not babysit. Advancement is the individual scout's responsibility, not the PL, TG, nor mommy. These others should encourage, and help provide the opportunities, but getting a book signed, or setting up a sm conference or bor is the scout's own responsibility. Definitely not an adults job. Do not do for rhe scout, what they can do for themselves. Some may not care about getting things signed off.

 

@DuctTape

 

I want to focus in on the highlighted issue above.  I totally agree it's the boy's responsibility to get his advancement done, but in order for the PL/APL to help him they have to be attuned to his needs and make the appropriate opportunities available.  If little Johnny need to do cooking on an outing, the APL should know this and make sure the PL is aware so he can offer little Johnny a chance to get that requirement done.  I hear way too often, it's not the PL's job to watch things like that, but in my troop/patrols that is a major requirement for "taking care of your boys," to know where they stand with advancement and make sure the opportunities are there for them.  It's not doing the requirement, it's just making sure the boy has the chance to even make a choice for himself.

 

I use the APL interchangeably with the TG depending on whether or not the APL is trained (NSP) and the responsibility would pass to the TG for the new scouts.  Otherwise if it's an older patrol or 2nd year patrol or non-tiered patrol, then I would think the responsibility would fall to the PL/APL team to monitor their members.

 

Stosh, we are on the same page. What you call concerned budge is what I call encourage.


Edited by Stosh, 14 June 2016 - 01:36 PM.

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#35 Hedgehog

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 02:06 PM

@Stosh - I agree that the PLs and APLs should be doing this.  But that has proved harder in practice in part because of our focus on boy-led.  The issue has been discussed at PLC meetings by the SPL based on a mention by the SM.  But, it seems that everyone agrees that they need to do something, but forget when they go to their patrol meetings because of everthing else they are judgling.  So I'll admit that my adult solution is to put a boy who cares in charge of taking care of the new guys.  It beats micromanaging how the PLs operate.  There are a lot of other priorities that I'd like to see the PL's focus on improving and change is gradual.

 

@DuctTape - I was responding to your earlier post about planning adventures that include advancement.  The boys do that naturally.  The problem is there is no encouragement concerned nudging, follow-up or assistance regarding advancement.  I think the idea is to have someone ask, "what do you need to do for the next rank?"  If the answer is I don't know, then the follow up is "bring in your book next week and we can look at it together."  Once the scout who is advancing identifies what he need to do, the question from the scout assisting is "how can I help you?"  Also, there is a benefit to having one person that anyone in the Troop can go to to ask Scout through First Class advancement questions.  The greatest predictor of success in any aspect of life is knowing that someone else cares that you succeed.

 

That behind the scenes, one-on-one encouragement also answers the question how a someone in the position I'm imagining can function without undermining the PL or APL.  They don't interfere with or even attend a patrol meeting, but just looks out for the new guys in every way (see list of duties above).


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#36 qwazse

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 02:55 PM

@Hedgehog, the more I hear about your situation, the more I think "service project."

 

Your boys have shunned the system where a TG would share direct contact with the first-years.

You want the PL/APL to care, but they have a bunch of other tasks that they find more engaging.

You have a boy who you are trying to fit into a position, to whom you could just as easily fit a project.

A TG pulling the first-years aside from each patrol, might disrupt the PL's agenda. (The PL might not describe it as such. He might not even be bothered by it. But that's immaterial.)

But, patrols being challenged to benchmark skills acquisition of T2FC boys might help them perform to your satisfaction.

 

So, maybe here is how the project plays out:

  • Tell him the troop could use a 2016 trail to 1st class poster ... basically some large-rule graph paper grids.
    • You may have to explain that, once upon a time, spreadsheets in the cloud were hard to come by. ;)
  • He makes a quadrant for each patrol. One row per scout (even the ones in upper ranks), one column per requirement.
  • He finds a central location to post it.
  • Cells get colored in as often as a scout is seen demonstrating a skill this year. (PL's responsibility to report what was done ... honor system.) He might want to use colored tacs to represent if a scout demonstrated it on one, two, or three separate occasions.
  • A rank advancement might get a string of cells blocked in a special base color (e.g. a strip of felt or colored tape),
  • Patrols get points based on color-weight of the cells. The SPL may receive a report on current standings.
  • Maybe, he could take a picture of it every whip-stitch, and that becomes your troop website's home page.
  • Maybe there's another scout who could cobble together weekly pictures of the poster to make a time-lapse of the movie of the poster amassing color!

With things like these, I feel the only award needed is bragging rights. But, I think if you would like to bring the point home, a patch from your collection to the PL with the best colored grid might be in order. :D

 

This keeps your scout, with the help of the SPL, putting the heat on the PL/APL and getting younger scouts to notice how what they do might fit into some bigger plan. It might motivate other scouts to demonstrate those skills just for the silly of it:

"Mr. H, I did a 20 miler last weekend, can I stack 4 pins on my 2nd Class 5 mile hike?"

"Did you navigate?"

"No, the map was too heavy. I let Johnny carry it."

"Well, grab those four pins. AND PUT 'EM ON JOHNNY's SQUARE!"

 

For the scout in question, this gives him measurable goals in developing and implementing a chart. It allows him to interface with other leaders, and provides a concrete service to the troop. Finally, it is amenable to after-action review, which he could do with the PLC or the troop as a whole depending on his maturity. All of those are very useful activities that will prepare him for a future PoR.


Edited by qwazse, 14 June 2016 - 02:56 PM.

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#37 desertrat77

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 05:54 PM

I thought about our discussion as I mowed the lawn this afternoon....

 

At the end of the day, it isn't about the various organizational contrivances that can be made to accommodate a certain outcome.   It's about the scouts.

 

We know two things:  scouts like to be with their pals.   And scouts want to be outdoors.  Anything that takes away from these two things is bound to demotivate the scouts, and we know the results from there.

 

PLs lead the patrol and look after their scouts.   Patrols plan and execute activities that are fun and if possible, also fulfill requirements for advancement (as DuctTape said so well earlier).

 

When a patrol leader teaches, he's really growing as a leader as well.


Edited by desertrat77, 14 June 2016 - 05:55 PM.

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#38 Lurking...

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 06:24 PM

One has to start some place.

 

"

@Stosh - I agree that the PLs and APLs should be doing this.  But that has proved harder in practice in part because of our focus on boy-led.  The issue has been discussed at PLC meetings by the SPL based on a mention by the SM.  But, it seems that everyone agrees that they need to do something, but forget when they go to their patrol meetings because of everthing else they are judgling.  So I'll admit that my adult solution is to put a boy who cares in charge of taking care of the new guys.  It beats micromanaging how the PLs operate.  There are a lot of other priorities that I'd like to see the PL's focus on improving and change is gradual."

 

@Hedgehog  Let me guess at this one.  Your boys have yet to figure out the difference between leadership and management.  Boy led is not just boy managed.  GBB training has management tasks for everyone in the patrol.  If everyone is managing their tasks, then real leadership can take place which doesn't seem to be happening in your situation.  The PL/APL team is overwhelmed with management that they can't do leadership of taking care of the people they are responsible for.  If there's micro-managing going on anywhere in the system, it usually is a major red flag for task overload and the first casualties are the people involved. 

 

I think you run your PLC far differently than I do when I had one.  Nothing "came down from the top" so to speak.  The PLC was not a management tool in as much as it was a support system for the PL's.  It's a group that takes care of it's people, i.e. the PL's.  This is one of the concerns I have run into in the past.  Trading the adult mandated management for boy mandated management is not a move towards boy led, only boy managed or boy run.  Boy led is where the leaders lead rather than having managers direct.  I really don't worry about boys not doing the tasks correctly, or on time, or according to any standard as long as the boys are cared for and don't feel alone or on their own.  As long as the PL assures each member they are working together for a common goal for everyone, they will all follow and get the job done.  Far easier to live with those dynamics than some prescribed management routine of operation. 


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#39 Hedgehog

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 08:34 PM

@qwaze - I like your idea, but my sense is to let the boy who wants to do this figure out his own way.

 

At the end of the day, it isn't about the various organizational contrivances that can be made to accommodate a certain outcome.   It's about the scouts.

 

After thinking about this, my sense is that I let the scout that wants to take this role do it.  It works for him as a learning experience, it helps the other scouts with advancement.  What I've realized that I'm tripping over is the organizational contrivances that I'm trying to fit this into.  If the boy wants to help others with advancement, then the most important thing is that he be given that chance.

 

@Hedgehog  Let me guess at this one.  Your boys have yet to figure out the difference between leadership and management.  Boy led is not just boy managed.  GBB training has management tasks for everyone in the patrol.  If everyone is managing their tasks, then real leadership can take place which doesn't seem to be happening in your situation.  The PL/APL team is overwhelmed with management that they can't do leadership of taking care of the people they are responsible for.  If there's micro-managing going on anywhere in the system, it usually is a major red flag for task overload and the first casualties are the people involved. 

 

I think you run your PLC far differently than I do when I had one.  Nothing "came down from the top" so to speak.  The PLC was not a management tool in as much as it was a support system for the PL's.  It's a group that takes care of it's people, i.e. the PL's.  This is one of the concerns I have run into in the past.  Trading the adult mandated management for boy mandated management is not a move towards boy led, only boy managed or boy run.  Boy led is where the leaders lead rather than having managers direct.  I really don't worry about boys not doing the tasks correctly, or on time, or according to any standard as long as the boys are cared for and don't feel alone or on their own.  As long as the PL assures each member they are working together for a common goal for everyone, they will all follow and get the job done.  Far easier to live with those dynamics than some prescribed management routine of operation. 

 

I don't understand your distinction between leadership and management.  To me, leadership is working with others to decide what needs to be done, how it will be done and then getting it done.  Management is checking boxes on someone elses checklist without knowing why you are doing it.

 

What I have is a boy who wants to lead by helping others progress in ranks because he sees a need in the Troop.  How will he do it?  I don't know.  Can he work with the PLC in organizing the outdoor program and the monthly themes to hit some hard to accomplish requirements?  Can he talk to the PLs and APLs to have them pay attention to a couple of scouts who need requirements? Can he reach out to the shy guys and offer them help and encouragement?  Can he invite a guy over his house to teach him lashings or take time on a campout or hike to show someone how to use a map an compass?  Can he pull someone out of the troop portion of a meeting to sign off on requirements?  Of course to all of those.  Is it up to him to decide how he does it?  Of course.

 

I have a boy who wants to take care of the boys in the troop.  What would you do if a scout asked, "can I be in charge of helping all the new guys get settled in the troop and advance?"  

 

Should I tell him that it is up the the Assistant Patrol Leaders in each patrol but because we are a boy led troop I have to wait until the SPL notices the problem and addresses it? 

 

Or should I just give him a one word answer....LEAD.


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#40 qwazse

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 09:25 PM

@Hedgehog, that was just by way of example. What you want to make clear to the boy is that there is no boiler-plate way to get this done. Thus, giving him a POR patch will not help him have reasonable goals. But devising a project with measurable goals will. Obviously, the more that those goals are self-designed, the more likely they are to be implemented.
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