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Adults At It Again


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#41 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 12:09 PM

Two things I forgot to mention above. Regarding youth signing off on advancement there were two reasons given, both by two adults affected by this apparently.: PLs signing off their buddies for the heck of it and PLs "punishing" Scouts they do not like.  From what I am being told, the Scouts in the troop back in the day signed off on their buddies even if they had not mastered the skill and Pls woudl refuse to sign folks off who had mastered the skill. Also the youth on BORs, this was in the 1972 - 1989 time frame when youth were allowed on BORs, would fail those Scouts who they thought were not ready or out of pettiness. One adult mentioned how he failed 3 youth run Tenderfoot BORs, and only when he went before adults the 4th time did he earn Tenderfoot.

 

 

Second item was the patrol method. Someone asked if I'm such a big proponent of the patrol method, then why am I against national's current set up of NSP, Regular Patrol, Venture Patrol?  had to remind them that A) every unit can adapt elements of BSA's program to meet their needs, i.e. LDS units having 11 years olds in a separate patrol, limited # of campouts, etc; and B) From 1910 to 1989 there was no such thing as a NSP, unless you were in one of the experimental patrols or LDS, and that originally it was only mixed-aged patrols. Needs for older scouts were recognized so Sea Scouts, Explorer patrols, venture crews/patrols had come about over the years. Only since 1989 and Operation First Class has the concept of an NSP with a TG and ASM assigned to them have been around. Adult tried to say I was wrong about the TG and that the NSP worked only with an ASM. I asked can we get the book out to see who is right. Then he backed down.

 

On a personal note, I think the troop is taking a step in the right direction. But I also think the adults restraining the troop from being a full blown Scout run troop won't be leaving anytime soon. But I'm hoping discussion and compromise can occur. The Scouts themselves have so much potential.


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"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt


#42 Sentinel947

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 06:47 PM

@Eagle94-A1 ... You're description says your view is the ASMs and troop is setup to fail.  
 
IMHO, I'd recommend de-scoping expectations and look for smaller successes.  Perhaps, the success was getting the scouts out on the AT, hiking and stretching the limits and capabilities.  As things improve, you can introduce the next thing.  
 
IMHO, knowing the end vision is great.  Knowing how it's to work is great.  ... but when it comes to reality ... troops need to continually re-adjust to the mix of scouts and adults ... and continually look for the next way to improve.   Don't sweat the troop is not perfect.  Just always look for what can we do better.  And, have fun.


This. I've learned that my troop is never going to achieve my Rockwellian ideals. Thats ok. Each meeting and outing should be filled with little victories. I've learned to live with what irks me.
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#43 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:06 AM

Yes, I gotta learn to live with what irks me, and the "negative waves" of some folks. I gotta remember to not let the "negative waves" bring me down.


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#44 SSScout

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:00 AM

"Always wid' da negative waves, Moriarty...."   https://www.youtube....h?v=ncbEucjsNFU


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#45 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:44 AM

Yep we got a Moriarty in the troop ;)


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#46 thrifty

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 02:12 PM

I've been lurking on these forums recently while looking for a better understanding of all things "scout."  I've found a lot of your opinions on various topics informative.  I'm definitely jealous of how well-run your troops seem to be.  I think some of my questions are relating to this topic, I hope I'm not hijacking the thread.  How old are the boys in your leadership positions?

 

I keep reading various comments about adults interfering with boy lead groups and the boys should be running the troop, etc...  Our troop is boy lead but I have concerns about this.  Our SPL recently turned 16.  He's one of the oldest boys in the troop after several aged out in the past 2 years.  Our PL's are 12 or 13 and the APL's have just turned 12.  The SPL is very mature for his age and deserves the position but could use some more experience.  I'm not trying to undermine the contributions these younger boys can make to the troop and they do work with the newest scouts but shouldn't there be more adult involvement when you are working with kids this age?  I keep my opinions to myself but I just don't get it.

 

A few examples - A PL sent out an email asking for his patrol to meet up to go shopping for groceries prior to camping.  It was 3:30 in the afternoon on a weekday.  How are any of the others going to get to the store if their parents are at work?  No arrangements such as sharing a ride were suggested.  The boys at 2016 summer camp voted to have 2017 camp at the same place.  SM paid the deposit while there.  Shouldn't that have required at least some discussion with parents or committee?  Most of the boys don't even know how much it cost.  It was an expensive camp and I know some parents were not happy about this choice made without them. 

 

Our son consistently says that they don't do anything during their weekly meetings.  I recently witnessed a PLC for the first time and most of the boys sat there just staring at the table, waiting to go home.  The SM did a good job of "forcing" some of them to contribute but why wouldn't more adult input be desired? 

 

Long-winded post for a newbie.


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#47 qwazse

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 04:52 AM

Good questions, @thrifty.

Where adults can help boys in situations like this is after action review. (I.e., asking what went well, what didn't go so well, what should we do differently?)

It's not just a matter of sitting in a room waiting for someone to come up with the next big thing. It's enabling each scout to evaluate what their decisions and come up with better strategies over time.

If there's a health and safety reason to decide about summer camp, then sure, involve the committee. If not, then what's he harm of letting the boys live with their decision? Worst case scenario, they change their minds and lose their camp deposit.
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#48 SSScout

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 07:42 AM

Welcome to our eCrackerbarrel, Thrifty.   No time like the present, huh?

 

Back in my day, and in some present days,  the Scouts plan their camping trips  before hand, "notify the parents" (need for transportation, registration, gear check, pack up, etc.) , and on the day of departure, it goes something like this: Meet at the "church" at 7am (6am??), load up, disperse scouts to their rides,  head out.  Stop at the Safeway and do the Patrol shopping, pack up , divide the load  amongst the Scouts, and head on out to the camp ground/trail head.  The money has already been collected by the Patrol Treasurer or Grubmaster, and THAT is the budget. Need more ?  put something back, buy something cheaper.  No big coolers, just stuff you can carry. Powdered milk, powdered "Tang" etc.  Eggs will keep, meat is wrapped up. Fresh veggies (carrots, onions, potatoes) are roots that need no refrigeration ever, Lots of freeze dried stuff available in the ordinary big grocery store, just look for it.

It works.

 

As for the PLC,  your Scouts have to be convinced BY THE ADULT'S ACTIONS AND WORDS (emphasis intended) that they really CAN make those decisions and plans.  Every time the adults "insist" and then "impose", they are showing their hypocrisy in their dealings with the Scouts. How will the Scouts react?  By "sitting around, waiting for the meeting to end."   This can be avoided  by:

(1) giving the Scouts  the training they deserve. The In-Troop Leadership Training known as http://www.scouting....ber 511-016.pdf   can help.  Read thru this and imagine what the Scouts will come to expect as a result.  The adult leaders need to read and buy into this, too.   And or....

 

2)  Send some of the Scouts (any Scout can attend)to the NAYLE in your area. Some Councils do this annually, some more often, check with your Council. Or go to one of the National courses, like at the Summit, or Philmont.  see http://www.scouting....rces/NAYLE.aspx  No Scout ewho attends a well run NAYLE will ever be satisfied with a  "Webelos 3" Troop .

And... 3)  By the Adults, (SM, ASMs,  CCh, ,,,,)  all consistently and constantly asking, "well, what do YOU want to do?"  and "Go ask your Patrol Leader",  and "did you ask the SPL?" 

 

4)  Insist, when questions come up, "is this consistent  with your Scout Law?  Your Scout Promise"?   Note I said YOUR  not THE, there is a difference in that reference.  The one is PERSONAL, the other is not.  Make it personal to the Scout.  

 

'Course now, this is only my personal observation and suggestion.  You won't find it in any BSA offishul stuff.   But does it make sense?  Does it help with your situation?

 

See  you on the trail....


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#49 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 05:39 PM

@thrifty

 

1) WELCOME TO DA FORUMS!

 

 

I've been lurking on these forums recently while looking for a better understanding of all things "scout."  I've found a lot of your opinions on various topics informative.  I'm definitely jealous of how well-run your troops seem to be.  I think some of my questions are relating to this topic, I hope I'm not hijacking the thread.  How old are the boys in your leadership positions?

 

Current troop is not well organized, but has so much potential 15 y.o. First Class SPL, 15 year old Star PL, 13yo Tenderfoot PL who needs to do a 5 mile hike and can go fro Second Class and First Class, and a 12 y.o. Tenderfoot PL

 

I keep reading various comments about adults interfering with boy lead groups and the boys should be running the troop, etc...  Our troop is boy lead but I have concerns about this.  Our SPL recently turned 16.  He's one of the oldest boys in the troop after several aged out in the past 2 years.  Our PL's are 12 or 13 and the APL's have just turned 12.  The SPL is very mature for his age and deserves the position but could use some more experience.  I'm not trying to undermine the contributions these younger boys can make to the troop and they do work with the newest scouts but shouldn't there be more adult involvement when you are working with kids this age?  I keep my opinions to myself but I just don't get it.

 

NO (emphasis), more adult involvement is not needed UNLESS A) Health and Safety, i.e Scout gets caught in a riptide, or B) It's skills the Scouts, don't know, i.e. we had no Scouts save 1 with any backpackign expereince. So he and dad taught backpacking skills. My question is this : How can the scouts get leadership expereince if we do not give them the opportunity to lead? Our job as adults is to guide and mentor. I usually use the Socratic Method of asking questions about their performance, how they did, how they can improve etc.  Wise man who came out of retirement to save the BSA said ti best when refering to the Scouts and leadership: "Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!"

 

A few examples - A PL sent out an email asking for his patrol to meet up to go shopping for groceries prior to camping.  It was 3:30 in the afternoon on a weekday.  How are any of the others going to get to the store if their parents are at work?  No arrangements such as sharing a ride were suggested.  The boys at 2016 summer camp voted to have 2017 camp at the same place.  SM paid the deposit while there.  Shouldn't that have required at least some discussion with parents or committee?  Most of the boys don't even know how much it cost.  It was an expensive camp and I know some parents were not happy about this choice made without them. 

 

Regarding the shopping, that a time for the SPL if possible, or an adult Scouter to sit down, ask questions, and get them to realize they need to think things through. Regarding summer camp, the Scouts are the ones who are suppose to decide where they go. Sure they can get some input and ideas from the adults. BUT THE SCOUTS DECIDE! ( emphasis) As for not knowing how much it costs, why don't they. A scout is suppose to pay his own way. Ok I'm guilty on that, but oldest know what I'm paying. And I'm in the process of trying to get the PLC to get some findraisers going. With middel son become a Boy Scout in Decmeber, I'm in trouble ;)

 

 

Our son consistently says that they don't do anything during their weekly meetings.  I recently witnessed a PLC for the first time and most of the boys sat there just staring at the table, waiting to go home.  The SM did a good job of "forcing" some of them to contribute but why wouldn't more adult input be desired? 

 

Who is leading the meetings adults or Scouts? What are the topiucs they are working on and does it interest the Scouts, or something the adults want them to do? The reason why adult input is not desired UNLESS asked, is that it is EXTREMELY EASY TO TAKE OVER ( emphasis again). Scouts must have ownership, they must come up with the ideas, make the decisions, execute the plans they make etc. if adults do ti for them A) they do not learn B) they do not own the program, become bored and dissilusioned and quit. Or in a current case, are staying in to earn Eagle so they can get their driver's license.

 

Long-winded post for a newbie.  No, it wasn't. Good questions


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"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt


#50 Venividi

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 06:47 AM

Thrifty,

 

Young boys learn best by watching older boys.  When adults do the planning, well, that is just something that they are used to - adults do such things, and they cannot envision themselves doing that.   Young scouts typically look up to the older scouts.  They want to be like them, have the experiences that they have had.   When they see the older boys doing planning, AND the older boys helping them to plan, they can envision themselves doing that.

Without a few older boys in the troop that have the understanding that they are role models, and that they have the responsibility and privilege of assisting and training the younger scouts, you have a challenging task.   It will take time.  As adult leaders, discuss what you would like the boys to be doing by themselves in 1, 3, and 5 years  (i.e., the vision).  You should also discuss with the older boys their ideas of what they think the troop should be like in the future.  Then break each down into tasks, and introduce one or two at a time.  Work through the SPL and other older scouts to train them in the skills, and give them the responsibility, expectation, and guidance to implement.

 

from your example:

A PL sent out an email asking for his patrol to meet up to go shopping for groceries prior to camping.  It was 3:30 in the afternoon on a weekday.  How are any of the others going to get to the store if their parents are at work?  No arrangements such as sharing a ride were suggested.    

this could be something that people might agree would be important to improve over the next several months.  This situation is very typical.   What seems obvious to us is not to a scout, especially if he has not observed or assisted another SPL do this when he was a younger scout.  i.e., if he had never seen an email, text message, or received a phone call from SPL or PL for every monthly campout, he would not know that such detail was expected.   Also, boys typically look to put as little effort as possible into what they may view as a task that is , lets say, l"less than fun".  In this case, one potential action would be for the SM to sit down with the SPL and ask guiding questions:  How did that work out?  Did the scouts do what you requested?   Why do you think that was?  Do you have any ideas for doing something different next time?  What are they?  How would you do them?  How will you remember to do them next time?  etc.

You also need to look at what happened when the shopping didnt get done.  Did adults step in and do it?  (reinforces that there is no downside to the scouts if they do not complete needed chores).  Or did scouts arrive at the meeting place ready to leave for the camp out , but without food, and the troop then have to make a stop for groceries, resulting in less time for fun on the campout?    Does the SPL check with each patrol leader before departure to check that the patrol has the food, tents, and other camping gear that they need?  If not, that is also fodder for a retrospective witht eh SPL.

 

Good Luck - take joy in baby steps.


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#51 thrifty

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 01:27 PM

Thank you all for your input.  My personal disappointment with the summer camp situation is that I know some boys will not get to go next year.  We have a few boys that did not go this year because of what appears to be financial issues.  Another parent told me that he's not paying for his son to go back next year.  With increases in camp costs and what the troop assesses on top of that, it will be approx. $500.  Then there's the sticker shock for brand new parents that cross over.  Even if enrollment increases as it should, I won't be surprised if there are less boys that go next year.  In our troop, summer camp has a big impact on T21.  So no summer camp means less requirements get done for the lower ranks.

 

I think this troop has the same problems as any other troop or organization.  Not enough time, not enough money and not enough volunteers.  It is against my nature but I will have to be like the three monkeys; see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.  I'll plug my ears, close my  eyes and bite my tongue for the time being.


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#52 SSScout

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 07:26 AM

Money issues are always a concern, but compared to other activities, Scouting can easily be seen as a bargain.   Sports?   Buy the uniform, equipment, traveling teams, injuries,  it can add up.   Music, band?   A good trombone can cost $800.  A Stratocaster?  Hey....

 Zildjian cymbals?  Look'em up.

 

The Troop can ask around for "Campership' help. Your local service clubs (Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, American Legion, etc. )  are often eager to help.  When we were in a low ebb financially, an anonymous donor (!)  decided Scoutson should be the Troops'  Trek Guide to Philmont before he aged out. We (he!) are "paying it forward".

 

As to "boy led"...   People (kids especially) learn by one of three means:  Instruction,  Example, or Practice. 

>>Instruction...History has to be Instruction. Someone who lived that time passes on what happened to those who come later. Books, word of mouth, video...

>> Example... Kids will definitely learn from watching older people. Right from wrong, how to boil water, how one treats others.  Hold the door open for the person behind you?  Pick up that piece of trash?  Your example, or that of the SPL....  Has it worked for them?  It should work for me.   This includes sympathy and concern for others' welfare, not just how to prevent blisters.

>> Practice....Trying things out.  How does one learn to walk except to do it?   When Scoutson was about 13, he came to us and proudly announced to good wife and me "I just did my laundry!"   GW and I looked at each other and smiled. I said, " Wonderful! How much soap did you use?"   Scoutson replied, "Soap?"  

 

He is now a strapping young man of 22.  When he was 16, he got a summer job with a local farmer.  He  is now  the manager of the operation, at 22.   He schedules work, assigns men to duties, plants and harvests, sees to repairs of equipment.  His clothes get filthy, and he gets them clean.  The bruises he got stumbling over obstacles are now callouses that cushion his efforts (how's that for metaphor?).  

 

Your Scouts are no different.  Adults can teach, and some of your Scouts will claim expertise in a skill. Knots and ropes?   Fire safety and building?  Cooking?  Let the new "experts" proudly pass on their knowledge to the younger Scouts.

 

Trust?  Encouragement?   If your adults DEMONSTRATE these , what do you think the result will be in your Scouts?  

 

How do you build a fire?  How do you safely cut firewood?  If that lashing is not done right, tight and neat,  what WILL happen to your Pioneering project?  If the skills are not PRACTICED, how is one to become expert at them?  

If I ever need the help,  if I have the choice,  I would much rather have someone who has PRACTICED his CPR help me than one who only READ about it.   But then, someone who has READ or BEEN LECTURED about CPR might be better than a "OhmygodhelpwhatdoIdohelphelp" type of person....

 

Read the motto  under Eagle 94-A1 entries.   See you on the trail...


Edited by SSScout, 03 September 2016 - 07:27 AM.

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#53 Stosh

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:24 PM

If finances are a concern, one could always by-pass the BSA Resort and Spa camps and take a week and do your own thing for 1/3rd the cost.

 

We've done this on many occasions and it is a nice alternative to the requisite summer camp of most troops.  It does work better with the older boys because they have had more experience and are better able to handle the organization needs of doing in on their own.


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


#54 TAHAWK

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:52 PM

We did two weeks canoeing between Fish Lake and the Ottawa river - eleven actual days on the water, for 1/3 the cost of one "week" at a BSA high-adventure camp.  We saw a human being once in the eleven days other than at the starting point and end point.  Lots of loons, beaver, porkies, eagles and fish (could see the bottom most times) - a real wilderness experience.


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#55 Stosh

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 08:08 PM

We did two weeks canoeing between Fish Lake and the Ottawa river - eleven actual days on the water, for 1/3 the cost of one "week" at a BSA high-adventure camp.  We saw a human being once in the eleven days other than at the starting point and end point.  Lots of loons, beaver, porkies, eagles and fish (could see the bottom most times) - a real wilderness experience.

 

We've done BWCA at 1/3rd the cost of a normal summer camp.  I have no idea how much Northern Tier charges, we've never used them.


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Stosh

 

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





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