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The Senior Patrol Leader is in charge.


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#21 qwazse

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:12 AM

This discussion might have more value if the Scoutmasters preaching about real leadership weren't also bragging in other discussions of coaching their same scouts through EBORs. They trust their scouts to lead through the chaos of patrol method, but they don't trust them enough to review their scouting experience to a board of strangers.

I know, I know, I'm a cranky old man. But shesh, our discussions are really getting bizarre. We are making scouting way too hard for the average adult volunteer.

Barry

How does the discussion about patrol method have less value because someone disagrees with you on advancement?

 

Before my ice cream cone analogy, should I have posted a disclaimer that readers might disagree with me on troop-crew associations, the use of generic but uncommon terms for the opposing sexual ethics of the day, or my general belief in forced marches in bear country as a tonic for self-absorbed teens?

 

You're allowed your soap-box. But I'm not seeing the relevance. Most SPLs who I know are Star or Life scouts. Their EBoR is a ways off. And if an SM (or ASMs or even a district) thinks they should or shouldn't be prepped for it has little to do with what it means to be "in charge" of a troop. Except maybe that's one more to tell a boy to prepare for:

 

BoR member: "What did it mean for you to be in charge of your troop?"

Scout: "Well sir, I read on scouter.com that it meant ..."


Edited by qwazse, 29 July 2016 - 09:14 AM.

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#22 fred johnson

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:30 AM

... our discussions are really getting bizarre. We are making scouting way too hard for the average adult volunteer.

 

I fully agree.  Bizarre.  Simple concepts are over analyzed and misappropriated to push agendas.  The most negative and abused concept now is "boy led".  It's negative and abused because it's used to inject agendas and to usurp key roles.  IMHO, I'd like to not hear boy led again for five to ten years.  It's just too abused.  

 

Scouting is a simple program that gets way way too over engineered ... by the adults.  


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#23 Stosh

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:35 AM

On an open forum, who determines when enough is enough?


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#24 Eagledad

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 10:03 AM

How does the discussion about patrol method have less value because someone disagrees with you on advancement?
 .."


Disagree? Hmmm, do I disagree?

My point all along in the other discussion has been the program is quite capable of getting a scout prepared for the EBOR. Ok fine, some units have to deal with hostile boards, I understand that. Still, the message for scouters watching the forum for ideas needs to be that the program works and dealing with the un ordinary situation requires an unusual approach. To often we are driving topics to solutions that aren't necessarily practical in normal situations.

But there are some adults who in one discussion brag about their personal hands on approach with scouts, and preach complete hands off in a another discussion. When the tone of the forum goes that direction, it looses integrity and those adults needing help move on.

I love the ice cream analogy. It's clear and to the point and I'm sure it will be used long into the future by the few who read this forum. But it risk getting lost in the tall grass when the discussion gets in the details of defining responsibility and the adults role in the process. I would love a discussion of contributions that leads to simple applications that clarify how to use the ice cream cone analogy. But we never seem to get there anymore because we run into the wall of "my way or the highway" responses. And another great discussion dies off into another confusing gray area.

I am asking for patience and respect of others contributions. Consider each suggestion as one of many to chose from, not only one.

There are so many good ideas here. We should feel encouraged to contribute, not intimidated.

Barry
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#25 TAHAWK

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 11:52 AM

I think we are all more concerned with the actual behavior than what label is put on it.  

 

The only label issue I have is calling adults the "leaders" of the troop, and only then because it misleads as to the adult role.  So if the behavior is correct . . .

 

The best leader of youth I ever saw was Don Farmer, the ranger/camp director/program director of Camp Clendening.  He was called "Boss" by his loving staff - because he wasn't.   No dining hall.  No heated showers.  No shelters at campsites. Waterfront a mile up and down a rocky trail at the lake. Viewed with suspicion by the SEs who could not understand why people preferred his camp to the "facilities" of the closer, built-up camp.   And year after year the Scouts came to experience the program Don's staff presented.  That staff was his greatest creation - men from boys.  People came from four continents to the surprise party celebrating twenty-five years of his leadership.  


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#26 Beavah

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 01:33 PM

The key to the whole patrol thingy is trusting the scouts and this is the sticking point for adults. Trusting boys amidst the chaos is something many can't handle. Enforcing management over enabling leadership is an adult solution and it takes far more energy than letting the boys take ownership of the program on their own.

 

Yah, hmmmm...

 

Is this Patrol Method or youth leadership?   Seems like trustin' boys to be capable and to run things through happy chaos is youth leadership.

 

Patrol Method is about breakin' up bigger troops into smaller independent functional groups, eh?  That can increase opportunities for leadership and such, but it does lots of other things like leveraging identity and competitive spirit, increasin' opportunities for followership and smaller contributions to da group, allow for a degree of specialization, etc.

 

I think we get confused sometimes.   I know this thread is confusin' me!  :blink:    Sometimes real-world examples work better than abstract stuff.

 

Beavah

 

Spun Thread: Patrol Method Made Simple (for the Real World)


Edited by Beavah, 29 July 2016 - 01:43 PM.

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#27 TAHAWK

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 02:05 PM

Beav,  your observation has great value in an environment where some think elected youth leaders constitute the "method" and overlook "smaller independent functional groups."  We keep reading "troop," "troop," "troop."    

 

The Patrol Method provides that planning is by Scouts in patrols and their leader in that planning and in carrying out the planned activities is the PL they elect.

 

"The elected Patrol Leader leads his patrol in planning the patrol’s  separate activities and then leads those activities with the help of the rest of the patrol."

 

"[The patrol members] interact in a small group outside the larger troop context, working together as a team and sharing the responsibility of making their patrol a success."

 

"Scouting happens in the context of a patrol.”

 

"The patrol is] the place where boys learn skills together, take on leadership responsibilities, perhaps for the first time . . . ."

 

(To anticipate, these words in 2016 do not come from God, but simply from those at B.S.A. trying to get things back to the way Bill envisioned them.)


Edited by TAHAWK, 29 July 2016 - 02:05 PM.

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#28 Stosh

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 02:06 PM

Youth leadership is facilitated with the small group setting of the patrol method.  Expecting a boy to handle more than 6-8 buddies at one time effectively is asking way to much for this age level.  Just as you said, the opportunity to lead is lessened without the patrol method and the actual small group dynamic facilitates the opportunity.

 

I have never wanted to be part of a unit that has 50+ scouts in it.  I would not be able to keep track of everyone.  Same for a PL, he focuses in on 6-8 boys and doesn't worry about the other 42-44 scouts.  The SPL focuses in on his 6-8 PL's and lets the PL's worry about the rest.  That much fragmentation wouldn't allow me to get to know my boys, but if the unit grows that large, The patrol method will still work, but I'll just have to adjust.


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Stosh

 

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#29 David CO

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 01:37 PM

Youth leadership is facilitated with the small group setting of the patrol method.  Expecting a boy to handle more than 6-8 buddies at one time effectively is asking way to much for this age level.  Just as you said, the opportunity to lead is lessened without the patrol method and the actual small group dynamic facilitates the opportunity.

 

I have never wanted to be part of a unit that has 50+ scouts in it.  I would not be able to keep track of everyone.  Same for a PL, he focuses in on 6-8 boys and doesn't worry about the other 42-44 scouts.  The SPL focuses in on his 6-8 PL's and lets the PL's worry about the rest.  That much fragmentation wouldn't allow me to get to know my boys, but if the unit grows that large, The patrol method will still work, but I'll just have to adjust.

 

Try being a teacher, and getting 150 students each day.


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#30 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 02:09 PM

The problem IMHO is that adults either A) having never experienced Boy Scouts take the Cub Scout leader model and apply it to working with Boy Scouts and B) Adults who have Boy Scout experience either forget what it's suppose to be about, or need "deprogramming" from Cub Scout leader mode.

 

As stated earlier, some adults do not have the patience to handle the organized chaos of Patrol Method.


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


#31 Stosh

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 02:14 PM

Try being a teacher, and getting 150 students each day.

 

That's the stuff that nightmares are made of.  High school would be a bedlam, kindergarten.... well I wouldn't' want to even try and imagine.  Herding cats does come to mind, though.  :)


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Stosh

 

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


#32 Stosh

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 02:19 PM

The problem IMHO is that adults either A) having never experienced Boy Scouts take the Cub Scout leader model and apply it to working with Boy Scouts and B) Adults who have Boy Scout experience either forget what it's suppose to be about, or need "deprogramming" from Cub Scout leader mode.

 

As stated earlier, some adults do not have the patience to handle the organized chaos of Patrol Method.

 

I'm thinking it might be more of a public relations image issue.  Here we have all these parents checking out the troop and it's chaotic and unorganized.  Who's fault do they figure it is?  Yep, the SM.  Kids miss a couple of outings because they don't get themselves organized?  Yep, SM's fault.  Little Johnny didn't get his TF badge along with the others?  SM's fault.  As long as the parents and other outsiders do not understand the concept of youth leadership development, they will always be critical of the non-adult run programs and blame the adults.

 

I'm thinking a lot of the adult driven dynamics are a self-preservation issue.  After all, I was removed from the SM position because I expected the boys to do too much of the leadership - their words, not mine.  This is what adults may have to look forward to if they develop the boy-led, patrol method dynamic too far and actually let the boys run the show.


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Stosh

 

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#33 TAHAWK

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 05:34 PM

The only issue I have with the "Webelos III" comparison is that at least the Webelos primarily operate as a den, not a pack.  The classic adult run/troop method operation doss not even have that aspect.

 

Seems we should refer all parents of Webelos crossing over to the on-line training materials for new Scout parents.  Although there are some errors, at least they emphasize youth leadership (as the B.S.A. author thought that the boy-led troop  is one of BSA methods, of which the Patrol Method is a "component" [Should be embarrassing and should have been fixed weeks ago])


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#34 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 08:29 PM

@Stosh

 

True, some parent's don't get it, and don't want to get it. Remember the Scout we had advancement issues with? Only time we really talked to mom was when behavioral issues arose, and then it was our fault for not bringing it to her attention earlier! Um, invited you to parents' meetings to discuss how things operate and how we do things, and you never showed up.

 

The issue I'm discussion is adult Scouters who either been through the program, or have completed training, and still don't act like Cub Scout leaders. Yes, I admit I needed deprogramming, but some folks just are not getting it.

 

@TAHAWK

 

Why I believe in starting the Webelos-to-Scout Transition as soon as possible. Whenever my Cubs had the opportunity to see Boy Scouts in action, I took it. When I begged a troop to invite my old den of Webelos and parents to camp with them, it was because I wanted the Webelos and parents to see what Boy Scouts can do. Starting the process in 5th grade is too late IMHO.


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


#35 Hedgehog

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 05:51 AM

As with most organizational charts, the most functional groups invert them.

 

As part of our leadership training this year, I was going to do something different when we go over the BSA organizational chart.  I was going to set it up as a human organization chart with the people filling in posiitons and having rope between who reported to whom.  I was then going to tell them that it was backwards and that they needed to turn around.  The SPL is responsible to support the PLs and the PLs are responsible to support their patrols.  When you turn around that way, you realize who is supposed to have your back.

 

"In Charge" implies a management issue.  Leading a troop and leading people are two different animals that often get confused as the same thing when in fact they are not.

 

I think your biases might be influencing your reading of that phrase.  If someone is in charge, that can be management or leadership.  I've been in charge of a lot of things in my life, some of them involved leadership and others did not.

 

Is this Patrol Method or youth leadership?   Seems like trustin' boys to be capable and to run things through happy chaos is youth leadership.

 

Patrol Method is about breakin' up bigger troops into smaller independent functional groups, eh?  That can increase opportunities for leadership and such, but it does lots of other things like leveraging identity and competitive spirit, increasin' opportunities for followership and smaller contributions to da group, allow for a degree of specialization, etc.

 

 

I think the patrol method works because a smaller group is easier to lead. 

 

Beav,  your observation has great value in an environment where some think elected youth leaders constitute the "method" and overlook "smaller independent functional groups."  We keep reading "troop," "troop," "troop."    

 

I see this in my Troop.  The first part of our weekly meeting is run by the SPL and ASPL as a Troop, the second part of the meeting is patrol breakouts where the main thing they do is plan for their week of conducting the Troop activity, the third part of the meeting is one of the patrols running a Troop activity and the closing of the meeting is done as a Troop.  Our outdoor program is still planned as a Troop.  We have ad-hoc patrols on outings which typically have done little more than cooking together.  We're slowly moving toward stronger patrols at our meetings and the boys functioning more as patrols during outings.  Still have a long way to go.

 

I'm thinking it might be more of a public relations image issue.  Here we have all these parents checking out the troop and it's chaotic and unorganized.  

 

When parents visit, I tend to emphasize what I call the "beautiful chaos" that is boy-led.  I explain to the parents that it would be a lot more structured if the adults ran thing, but that the boys think it is more fun for them to run things and they learn a lot more.  I thinks that most parents like the idea of a program that encourages their son to become self-sufficient.  It is a PR issue and we have to treat it that way.

 

I see the SPLs role as the coordinator in chief.  They exist because there are multiple patrols.  Some things are done at a Troop level and others at the patrol level.  The SPL is "in charge" of those things done at the Troop Level.  Our Troop does service projects at the Troop level.  Those are announced and coordinated by the SPL.  On a campout we've done orienteering by Patrols.  The SPL coordinates where and when the patrols start (sometimes they start in waves, sometimes they do a staggered start) and the PLs work with their patrols to teach the skills and to navigate the course.  As I"ve mentioned before, our Troop needs to start having more things done as patrols rather than the troop and that will affect the role of the SPL.


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#36 qwazse

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 02:37 PM

As part of our leadership training this year, I was going to do something different when we go over the BSA organizational chart.  I was going to set it up as a human organization chart with the people filling in posiitons and having rope between who reported to whom.  I was then going to tell them that it was backwards and that they needed to turn around.  The SPL is responsible to support the PLs and the PLs are responsible to support their patrols.  When you turn around that way, you realize who is supposed to have your back.
...

Feel free to use my illustration, be sure to preface with "Some stranger on the Internet explained it this way ...

P.S. -- Son #2 warned me to never use it on any scouts ever ... So, you know it's gotta be good!
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