I think this makes a whole lot of sense.
Focus on the patrol, not the troop. Scouts are patrol members first and foremost, so if you can get everyone thinking that way it seems like its a more manageable bite sized snack!
I wonder if it would be good for a larger troop to think of themselves as a collection of smaller troops......
When talking to parents about the patrol method, I use the analogy of the troop being a mini-district where the patrols represent the various troops and the troop is the "district".
I know this is not how things are intended....but running with the thinking
that the total roster is no more than 32 scouts so that each scout can get individual attention form their scoutmaster and from the program
and that no troop really wants to turn away scouts, or really break up and find other CO's to take them
I don't see any need to be restricted to only 32 scouts unless there is a meeting place restriction. When I had 28 boys in my former troop, the meeting place was a huge room at the American Legion. 4 patrols, 4 corners and all worked out well. I currently meet at a church and the Sunday School classrooms, the meeting room, library and fellowship hall are all open to us for expansion. In the first troop I was an ASM for, they had a small meeting room that didn't allow any space between patrols, the patrol method was abandoned and with a heavy corps of ASM's they ran an adult led, troop method program. Very successfully in terms of activities, but the BSA program was not followed very well. They had 30 boys, they took on 20 new boys and by the end of the year they were back to 30. The meeting space was causing the problem because when 50 boys were in there, there weren't even enough chairs for all the boys to sit.
so the SM is over the whole thing of course..... setting the tone for the troop
In my case, the PL's through the PLC set the tone for the troop, the SM drinks coffee and is available when needed.
but what if you subdivide that troop into.... well let's call them platoons for the lack of anything better?
Or one can go with patrols....
each platoon has an ASM, and is made up of 4 or 5 patrols to meet BP's magic "32" number of scouts.
I have found that if one gets over 30 boys, maybe adding another ASM to handle the "crowd". SM, Support ASM #1 for 32 boys, Patrol Support ASM #2 for overflow 32 boys.
and then think of each "platoon" as anyone else would a troop. Platoon A could go to a different summer camp than platoon B, and so on.....
Each platoon does everything a troop would do normally, and about the only thing the platoons share would be the number on the sleeve.
Seems like it works for troops of around 60 or more active scouts, until you start considering a troop trailer for each "platoon", or stuff like that...
One could have 3 ASM's one for the New Scout Patrols, one for the Traditional Patrols, and one for the Venture Patrols. That way the expertise of the ASM's could be focused as they support the patrol groupings. The focus of interest would be similar for each grouping and thus the NSP boys would probably all attend the same summer camp and take the First Year Camper program. The Traditional Patrols would be hit or miss on a common goal and may take a bit of work to get them to where they all want to be. By the time one gets to the Venture Patrols, they may not want any troop trailer and want to focus more on backpacking, hiking, going to high adventure, etc. They, too, would refocus like the NSP on a common goal of getting to Sea Base, BWCA, Philmont, etc. as patrols. It could be worked out between Venture PL's to pick a common goal for all the Venture Patrols for the year.
The SM would be there to work with the ASM's to make sure the groupings of patrols are getting what they are planning for the year. The SPL on the boy side would be doing the same thing for this PL's through the PLC.
hmmm.... I wonder, do any of you with mega troops out there do this sort of thing? Same here, but I suspect they tend to be more adult led until they get sufficient youth leadership they can trust. Which of course is the ultimate goal of any sized troop.