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Troop Guide in Mixed Age Patrols Without New Scout Patrol


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#41 Stosh

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 09:49 PM

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

Because people use the two terms interchangeably without regards to the situation it is very confusing as to how it all operates.   Are we talking WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE as a task to accomplish (management) or does it not sound like people in the process are of no consequence other than to help get IT done?  The prime objective is to do what needs to be done.  That's management.  How it (the task) is to be done is a judgment call of a manager.  If he doesn't care about the people, it makes no never mind WHO does it as long as the prime objective of the task is done,  and finally the most important thing here is "getting it done".   So what does any of that have to do with taking care of other people when the #1 priority is doing the job, not taking care of the people? 

 

What I have is a boy who wants to lead by helping others progress in ranks because he sees a need in the Troop.  

 

And the troop is in need.  What does that have to do with caring for the boy who needs help progressing in the ranks?  Two different attitudes in approaching the situation.  Boy needs to progress so it will look good for the troop to have everyone at FC.  How is that helping the boy?  It may or it may not.  A leader will first ask if the BOY wants to advance.  If not, THERE IS NO TASK NEEDING TO BE DONE.  :)

 

How will he do it?  I don't know.  

 

Neither do I, it all depends on the management style of the boy doing the work (task).

 

Can he work with the PLC in organizing the outdoor program and the monthly themes to hit some hard to accomplish requirements?  

 

All tasks again, we're still talking management.

 

Can he talk to the PLs and APLs to have them pay attention to a couple of scouts who need requirements?

 

Giving directives to collect data to justify the tasks?

 

Can he reach out to the shy guys and offer them help and encouragement?  

 

Okay, now we shift a bit.  This is the first time a person is brought into the picture.  NOW WE HAVE A REAL LIVE PERSON TO LEAD!  :)  We aren't talking tasks here, it's taken on a personal relationship dynamic of one person leading another! 

 

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?

 

Or maybe he just takes the young scout aside and says, "What can I do to help." and wait for the boy to identify his needs.  This is how he takes care of the boy.  He doesn't organize tasks, lesson plans, activities.... he just takes an interest in the boy and offers to help him with his concerns.

 

 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.

 

No, it's up to the young scout to decide what help he needs and this scout needs to be prepared to roll up his sleeves and do what it takes to take care of the boy!  THIS IS LEADERSHIP.

 

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?"

 

If he was a really good manager, I would give him a chance, but it would be a lot easier if he were a leader.  A servant leader doesn't need to be "in charge" of anything, that's a management dynamic/directive.  

 

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? 

 

If the APL (or the PL) aren't really interested in taking care of the patrol members, then it doesn't make one bit of difference how many hoop opportunities they create for the boys, if the boys aren't going to follow they are wasting their time.  The boys will follow those who are interested in helping them with their needs, whatever that might be.

 

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

 

But does he even know what that word means?  :)

 

PL: Next Saturday we will be doing the 5 mile hike for advancement.  Be there.  (That's the task)

Johnny: My family is going to be out of town this weekend.

PL: That's too bad because we won't be doing this 5 mile hike for advancement again until next year. (management)

PL: Don't worry about it, between the the APL and I we can figure something out for you (taking care of his boys).

 

Is the #1 priority, the advancement (management) or is it the boy (leadership)?

 

One doesn't need to be in charge of anything, all they have to do is care about helping the people around them.  "Help other people at all times!"  What to do to help is not as important as stepping up and being there for someone who needs help.


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#42 Beavah

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 10:03 PM

Yah, hmmmm...

 

@Hedgehog, it seems like da troop is runnin' fine, eh?  The boys have real patrols they identify with.  Your retention numbers are very good (way better than @Stosh's this year ;)).  From what yeh say, the lads are learning things.

 

I'm still wonderin' what da problem is?  

 

Let's face it, Advancement is often exactly what your lads describe, eh?  An "adult agenda" item that they're not interested in, especially when it doesn't relate to their fun and adventure, or involves a lot of paperwork.  Rather than create a bunch of adult-assigned PORs to try to get reluctant boys to adopt the adult agenda, why don't yeh take a Saturday BBQ with your youth leaders and talk about what they think.   It might be enlightening.

 

To bring it back to more of a kid game, yeh need to get off the field and stop directing the game, eh?  Yeh just need to set up da rules to incentivize what yeh want from the lads.  Put up a poster so they can see advancement in each patrol and (naturally) compare.  Give 'em patrol points for advancement or whatnot.  The boys' strategies should be up to them, eh?  Maybe the Beaver PL takes it on himself; maybe da Bobwhite PL assigns advancement to a Patrol Signer-offer, maybe da Eagle PL decides to hold separate patrol advancement nights or day trips.   Whatever!   Advancement is part of the youth game, it isn't an adult goal.

 

Maybe after yeh talk to the boys, yeh discover all yeh need to do is find a way to streamline the bloody paperwork. :p

 

If your boys are growing in character, fitness, and citizenship, then things are fine.  They're enjoying things, the young lads are staying, the old boys are staying around, they're all learning.   You're doin' great.

 

Beavah


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#43 Hedgehog

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 05:30 AM

@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.

 

That is another "adult goal" that I have - asking the boys in all positions to set goals for their positions and to think about (and maybe plan) how to accomplish them.

 

@Stosh, I think our definitions are more similar than different.  When I talk about "what needs to be done", I'm talking about goal setting.  Leadership can be an individual setting a goal ("I'm going to organize the troop gear") or a group goal ("Our patrol is going to teach lashing skills").  Management is "We have to arrange the troop gear  because the ASM told us to."  Deciding "How to do it" can be leadership by an individual (asking others to help him because they agree the task is important) or a group (deciding who will teach which lashing based on knowledge, who will get the rope and sticks, who will come up with ideas of what to make using lashings).  Management is "the ASM told me to get you to help with the gear and gave me the diagram of how it should be arranged" or "the SPL said to build tripods using the lashings described in the book because that is easy."  Getting it done can be management in telling people what to do or it can be leadership in inspiring people to do the task.

 

Management is telling people what to do to get the job done, but leadership is teaching, mentoring, inspiring, encouraging, reassuring, pushing, praising, helping and cajoling people as they get the job done.  The same task can be management or leadership.

 

 

 Boy needs to progress so it will look good for the troop to have everyone at FC.  How is that helping the boy?  It may or it may not.  A leader will first ask if the BOY wants to advance.  If not, THERE IS NO TASK NEEDING TO BE DONE.   :)

 

 

I guess I wasn't clear on the "need."  I think that some boys who want to advance are falling through the cracks because nobody is paying attention to them.  This isn't about numbers, this is about the boys feeling like they are part of the program.  In a word, they need a little guidance,

 

All tasks again, we're still talking management.

 

 

I see taking initiative and coming up with ideas and working with others to implement those ideas as leadership.

 

 

A servant leader doesn't need to be "in charge" of anything, that's a management dynamic/directive.  

 

 

True.  But giving someone a position of responsibility based on what they are doing is an encouragement to keep doing that.  Especially when there are others who have patches but do not take responsibility (another issue, but not for this thread).

 

But does he even know what that word means?   :)

 

 

 
If he has a goal and that is the only instruction I give him, he will figure it out if he doesn't know already.
 

 

To bring it back to more of a kid game, yeh need to get off the field and stop directing the game, eh?  Yeh just need to set up da rules to incentivize what yeh want from the lads.  Put up a poster so they can see advancement in each patrol and (naturally) compare.  Give 'em patrol points for advancement or whatnot.  The boys' strategies should be up to them, eh?  Maybe the Beaver PL takes it on himself; maybe da Bobwhite PL assigns advancement to a Patrol Signer-offer, maybe da Eagle PL decides to hold separate patrol advancement nights or day trips.   Whatever!   Advancement is part of the youth game, it isn't an adult goal.

 

 

 

As I mentioned above, it isn't a sense of advancment metrics but of people who want to advance not receiving the assistance and encouragement they need.  

 

I tend to stay away from any "rules" if I can avoid it.  We could easily put in adult dictates that the PL's provide a list of requirements signed off on over the past month at the PLC meeting (ugh more paperwork).  We've tried gently encouraging the PLs to pay attention -- which was ineffective and brought @Stosh's wrath as being top down adult management. 

 

As I've read through all the responses here, the solution that makes the most sense to me is to tell the boy who wants to do this to just do it.  It isn't an adult dictate requiring metrics and analytics.  The boy will figure out what he has to do to take care of the younger scouts.  I won't tell him what he has to do, but I'll just tell him that it is up to him to firgure out what is best and to work with the boys and others in the troop to accomplish it.  

 

 

One doesn't need to be in charge of anything, all they have to do is care about helping the people around them. 

 

But it is amazing the sense of responsibility and purpose some boys get when they are told they are truly in charge.  I think B-P and GBB knew that.  

 

Whether we have an NSP or not next spring, my decision is to give this boy the TG patch now and tell him to take care of the newer guys.  

 

We often talk about giving someone the credit for the position they are doing despite the patch.  Last night this boy was going through Scout requirements with a new scout.  He was talking about the troop leadership.  When he explained the TG role as "helps the new guys get used to being Boy Scouts and helps them with working toward First Class" the new scout looked at him and said, "that's you, right?"  The scout looked at me and I nodded.


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#44 Stosh

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 09:41 AM

@Hedgehog

 

Excellent discussion!

 

@Stosh, I think our definitions are more similar than different.  When I talk about "what needs to be done", I'm talking about goal setting.  And that's where I define it squarely in a management position.   Leadership can be an individual setting a goal ("I'm going to organize the troop gear") I'm going to do something and I don't need anyone to follow?  How is that leadership?  Organizing a task is not people driven, it is task/goal driven.  or a group goal ("Our patrol is going to teach lashing skills") Whether anyone shows up or not?  Maybe no one shows up because the boys don't need another task, all they need is someone to help them directly, person to person,   Management is "We have to arrange the troop gear  because the ASM told us to."  Correct!  Deciding "How to do it" can be leadership How to do a task is simply management style.  It can be done by an individual (asking others to help him because they agree the task is important) Leaders don't ask people to follow, people follow leaders because they are leading.  :)  or a group (deciding who will teach which lashing based on knowledge, who will get the rope and sticks, who will come up with ideas of what to make using lashings).  Management is "the ASM told me to get you to help with the gear and gave me the diagram of how it should be arranged" or "the SPL said to build tripods using the lashings described in the book because that is easy."  Getting it done can be management in telling people what to do or it can be leadership in inspiring people to do the task.  I think you're confusing motivational management with leadership.  Motivational management ranges from telling someone what to do down to coercing someone to do it or carrot and stick, threats, punishment or any one of a number of other motivational management techniques.  How many people are there because they like the leader and will do it whether they are asked or not?  That's not motivational management, that's leadership.

 

Management is telling people what to do to get the job done, but leadership is teaching, mentoring, inspiring, encouraging, reassuring, pushing, praising, helping and cajoling people as they get the job done.  Nope, that's motivational management. The same task can be management or leadership.  Leaders don't do tasks, they lead people.  Managers do tasks.

 

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 Boy needs to progress so it will look good for the troop to have everyone at FC.  How is that helping the boy?  It may or it may not.  A leader will first ask if the BOY wants to advance.  If not, THERE IS NO TASK NEEDING TO BE DONE.   :)

 

I guess I wasn't clear on the "need."  I think that some boys who want to advance are falling through the cracks because nobody is paying attention to them.  That's because they aren't being lead.  No leader is taking care of them.  There is no leader paying attention.  This isn't about numbers, this is about the boys feeling like they are part of the program.  In a word, they need a little guidance,  No, they need a leader that cares about them, genuinely wants them to be a part of the leader's group, and makes the boy feel he's part of the group of other followers.   They don't need guidance, they need to feel cared for.

 

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All tasks again, we're still talking management.

 

I see taking initiative and coming up with ideas and working with others to implement those ideas as leadership.

 

I see helping others with THEIR ideas and working to see to it THEY are successful with their ideas, supporting them, keeping them focused and feeling part of the greater whole is leadership.  The TASKS ARE NOT AS IMPORTANT AS THE PEOPLE to a leader.

 

Quote

 


 

A servant leader doesn't need to be "in charge" of anything, that's a management dynamic/directive.  

 

True.  But giving someone a position of responsibility based on what they are doing is an encouragement to keep doing that.  Especially when there are others who have patches but do not take responsibility (another issue, but not for this thread).  Position of RESPONSIBILITY is not a leadership goal.  Doing the task of Patrol Leader does not make them a leader.  All they need do is satisfy a list of tasks and they get credit for having the ABILITY to RESPOND to the task at hand.  RESPONSE-ABILITY is the original Latin root words to our modern day word.  They don't need to lead to respond.

 

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But does he even know what that word means?   :)

 

 
If he has a goal (Task) and that is the only instruction I give him, he will figure it out if he doesn't know already.  And that is the mark/trait of a good manager! 
 
Hedge, you've got a great handle on management for your boys.  I have no doubt that there are great things happening in your troop and patrols, but are there boys that stand out that are always there when needed?  Always cheerful and willing to volunteer to help others?  Who will work with another boy because he needs help and for no other reason?  That's a dynamic that is VERY difficult to teach a boy.  They have to want to care in order to be an effective servant leader.  For me people who serve others, regardless of what the "task" may be is what leadership is all about.  If I set a goal for myself, what makes anyone automatically want to follow me?  No one.  If I have a task assigned to me, what makes anyone automatically want to help me?  No one.  But if I have been there for someone when they needed help with a goal or task (management) and I was always there with sleeves rolled up ready to go, I was there to sit with the homesick buddy, who helped him find his necker slide when he lost it, who will buddy up with him even if I didn't need to go to the latrine.... will he be there fore me when I have a task I need having done?  More likely than if I have a task and I have to ask, demand, coerce, bribe someone to help out because no one is following me because I haven't paid my dues as a true leader.

 

Whenever I get a boy that comes and says, "The other boys won't listen to me."  I always tell them that it's because no one is following.  What did YOU do to help them want to follow?  They have a task and they can't get it done with the help of others it's because they have a management task to do and no leadership built up so that others want to help.  So they have to resort to threats, rosters, coercion, delegation, (all management techniques) to get the task done.  I can always tell when a boy cares more about the task than the people.  It's what separates him from a manager/director and a true leader.


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Stosh

 

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#45 Beavah

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 10:41 AM

 

I tend to stay away from any "rules" if I can avoid it.  We could easily put in adult dictates that the PL's provide a list of requirements signed off on over the past month at the PLC meeting (ugh more paperwork).  We've tried gently encouraging the PLs to pay attention -- which was ineffective and brought @Stosh's wrath as being top down adult management. 

 

Yah, sorry.  Often my furry accent makes me hard to understand.   Either that or my silly word choice.  :o

 

I didn't really mean "rules" the way yeh took it here.  I was thinkin' more in terms of "rules for the game", like how yeh score.    Perhaps a better way would be to say "set up the environment".   

 

Scoutin' is all about settin' up the environment for kids to play in, so that they learn from playin'.   We're like video game designers, eh?  We don't get involved in the play, but we try to tweak the game to make it addictive and make the lads learn something.

 

Right now what you're sayin' is that in the game your kids are playin', they aren't valuing gettin' the cloth patches (or helpin' their mates get the cloth patches).   Yeh could try to encourage 'em as an adult to do that, and a few might try for a bit because of their relationship with you.  But after a bit they're goin' to go back to playin' the game and "forget".   Yeh could try to make a micromanagin' "rule" like what yeh suggest.  Then you'll get grudging compliance with da rule without any real advancement, and the boys will go back to playin' the game.

 

I'm suggestin' that yeh just up the value of cloth patches in the game somehow.   Then the boys will pay attention because it's part of their game, and they'll work out how to get 'em.  

 

First, consider makin' 'em harder.   Levels are only worth blastin' away at if it takes yeh real effort to overcome them so you can brag to your mates.   Lots of troops have taken "no adding" well into "actively subtracting" land.     If yeh just breeze through a level with no setbacks, yeh can't brag about it.   If your character gets eaten by giant spiders a dozen times, and then it takes yeh a month to get past the flaming lizards, then yeh have braggin' rights.  Same with advancement, eh?  Boys will value it more if it's more challengin'.

 

Second, find ways of incentivizing patrolmates to help each other, eh?  Advancement is an individual game in a lot of ways, which is why too much focus on advancement at camp breaks da Patrol Method.   So yeh have to find a way to give a whole patrol "credit" in the game for when one of 'em advances. 

 

Third, try to limit da paperwork chase.   Kids hate that.   I always say the best way for a lad to earn Canoeing MB is just to go canoeing, eh?  With a counselor or friend around to give a few pointers or issue a few challenges here and there.   No need for blue cards or worksheets or books.  When the lad demonstrates all da skills and knowledge, he's done.    Maybe yeh can even steal a march from da martial arts programs and just have a "belt test" every quarter or so.   Havin' to prepare for an upcomin' Tenderfoot "belt test" gives both a lad and his patrol leader somethin' to focus on.  

 

Personally, I think patrol competitions work best and are da most traditional way in scouting.   If a lad can demonstrate a skill under fire in a competition, I reckon he's got it down, eh?  Plus his friends get to see he has the skill and he gets to feel confident, which is what we want in Advancement.  For a patrol to win, its older boys have to teach the younger ones.  

 

What yeh choose depends on your troop, eh?  But yeh have to figure out how to get the adult agenda off of Advancement and make it a part of the kids' game again.  No managers or leaders or job descriptions, eh?  Just playin' the game.

 

Beavah


Edited by Beavah, 15 June 2016 - 10:42 AM.

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#46 Hedgehog

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 11:40 AM

Hedge, you've got a great handle on management for your boys.  I have no doubt that there are great things happening in your troop and patrols, but are there boys that stand out that are always there when needed?  Always cheerful and willing to volunteer to help others?  Who will work with another boy because he needs help and for no other reason?  That's a dynamic that is VERY difficult to teach a boy.  They have to want to care in order to be an effective servant leader.  For me people who serve others, regardless of what the "task" may be is what leadership is all about.  

 

@Stosh.  I recognize that our troop has a long way to go to teach true servant leadership.  i've mentioned before that I'm working on the materials for a weekend training program for the leaders. All of your thoughts are helping me think about how to teach servant leadership.

 

In this situation, I have a boy who does care and wants to lead by helping others achieve what he has.  I think it is true servant leadership to spend your time making sure someone else enjoys and benefits from scouting.  Really, he is leading one boy at a time and being a mentor.  Maybe his example will inspire others.

 

What yeh choose depends on your troop, eh?  But yeh have to figure out how to get the adult agenda off of Advancement and make it a part of the kids' game again.  No managers or leaders or job descriptions, eh?  Just playin' the game.

 

 

@Beavah, I understand where you are coming from.  I think my adult agenda wasn't the need for people to advance but it was a sense that some boys were not being taken care of -- or a Stosh put it, a lack of servant leadership.  So I have someone who stepped up and asked "can I help?"  My answer is "of course."  I'll share you ideas with him.  It is a different perspective about making it fun or part of the game.  A good start to thinking outside the box.  Whatever ideas he comes up with, he can take it to the PLC and see if they like those ideas too.  Great opportunity to learn and use skills in problem solving, creativity and working with others.  Aren't those opportunities what we are here to provide to the boys?


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#47 Stosh

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 02:36 PM

@Stosh.  I recognize that our troop has a long way to go to teach true servant leadership.  i've mentioned before that I'm working on the materials for a weekend training program for the leaders. All of your thoughts are helping me think about how to teach servant leadership.

 

In this situation, I have a boy who does care and wants to lead by helping others achieve what he has.  I think it is true servant leadership to spend your time making sure someone else enjoys and benefits from scouting.  Really, he is leading one boy at a time and being a mentor.  Maybe his example will inspire others.

 

BINGO!  This is the boy you want helping you teach your leadership classes!!!!! 

 

Hedge, I don't think you have all that far to go to developing a culture of servant leadership.  One just needs to be aware of it and capitalize on it every time one sees it in action.  Caring (serving) is a trait that can't be taught, but it can be nurtured.  This boy is leading, all one has to do is encourage it every time one sees it.  I saw one of my Webelos boys helping another in his "patrol" who was sing his buddy next to him who was struggling.  I walked over to him, looked him in the eyes and said, "Well done Scout!"  He knew what I was talking about.  No further discussion necessary.  As I see him doing more and more of that, the same comment is spoken.  It's just my way of letting the boy know I am impressed with what he is doing.  How could I have ever taught that?  No way will that ever be put into a curriculum.  Management can be taught.  There's a lot of techniques that can be applied, but when it comes to the people relationships in a group (leadership dynamics) that can't be taught.  It can be recognized, but not taught. 

 

 

 


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Stosh

 

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