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#21 TAHAWK

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:54 AM

So I read you describing how your boys experienced leadership by leading - Cheer Master, Grub Master.  The were, you say, taking responsibility, instead of merely observing other being responsible.  

 

Perhaps the point is to have a Beginner's section of the swimming area instead of only the "deep end."


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#22 blw2

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 09:32 AM

On this side trail of new scouts as patrol leaders...

I think it's much more complex than to just state that it won't work.....

 

I have some recent experience with this.

Our troop formed a NSP when my son's group joined.

Troop rule is that any elected or appointed leader must take the ILST, which the adults put on right after the elections. 

 

well, it was interesting to see my son's excitement.

  you see, his patrol wasn't fully formed yet as they some scouts were trickling in right around election time so even though my son and another scout were joined, their patrol didn't elect a PL till a few weeks after the normal elections.... but my son and this other scout were around for the ILST

    to get a leg up ion getting the job, my son was gung-ho to take the class.  The other scout did not.

 

   a few weeks tick by, and the other scout is elected by the group to be PL.  He was more dynamic and the boys follow him.... so the "untrained" PL appoints my son to be his APL.  So things are pretty much as you might expect for two greenhorns "leading" a bunch of greenhorns.  Well actually the PL really didn't do much of anything and had no energy for it.  My son's energy was squelched by his defeat, then seeing his friend go untrained and skate by doing nothing.... so in the end he didn't do anything either

 

But the interesting part was this

They didn't fail necessarily because they were new, didn't know, didn't try, etc... well the didn't know was a big part of it....  as well as an element of lazyness kicking in when they found out that work was involved....

but I think the bigger part was discouragement.

Typical adult lead stuff squashed that momentum that I saw in my son really quick.  (and it wasn't all from adults, although I think it was mostly adult lead trickle down...)

I'm convinced that if these boys were heard, and really allowed to lead and represent their patrol on the PLC.... encouraged to propose and do what they wanted....then I'm confident that my son's energy would have blossomed.  

Instead they were smothered

 

So, the short of it is that even though this NSP didn't blossom in the perspective of adults anyway, I still do not think that the concept is bad necessarily.  Only bad implementation.


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#23 Stosh

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 10:20 AM

On this side trail of new scouts as patrol leaders...

I think it's much more complex than to just state that it won't work.....

 

I have some recent experience with this.

Our troop formed a NSP when my son's group joined.

Troop rule is that any elected or appointed leader must take the ILST, which the adults put on right after the elections. 

 

well, it was interesting to see my son's excitement.

  you see, his patrol wasn't fully formed yet as they some scouts were trickling in right around election time so even though my son and another scout were joined, their patrol didn't elect a PL till a few weeks after the normal elections.... but my son and this other scout were around for the ILST

    to get a leg up ion getting the job, my son was gung-ho to take the class.  The other scout did not.

 

   a few weeks tick by, and the other scout is elected by the group to be PL.  He was more dynamic and the boys follow him.... so the "untrained" PL appoints my son to be his APL.  So things are pretty much as you might expect for two greenhorns "leading" a bunch of greenhorns.  Well actually the PL really didn't do much of anything and had no energy for it.  My son's energy was squelched by his defeat, then seeing his friend go untrained and skate by doing nothing.... so in the end he didn't do anything either

 

But the interesting part was this

They didn't fail necessarily because they were new, didn't know, didn't try, etc... well the didn't know was a big part of it....  as well as an element of lazyness kicking in when they found out that work was involved....

but I think the bigger part was discouragement.

Typical adult lead stuff squashed that momentum that I saw in my son really quick.  (and it wasn't all from adults, although I think it was mostly adult lead trickle down...)

I'm convinced that if these boys were heard, and really allowed to lead and represent their patrol on the PLC.... encouraged to propose and do what they wanted....then I'm confident that my son's energy would have blossomed.  

Instead they were smothered

 

So, the short of it is that even though this NSP didn't blossom in the perspective of adults anyway, I still do not think that the concept is bad necessarily.  Only bad implementation.

 

A lot of this has to do with expectations from both the group and the individual.  It is pointed out that the APL didn't get the job even when he was qualified and an unqualified scout got PL.  The individual's reaction was to pull back himself rather than stepping up and functioning as expected.  Yes, morale can be devastating, but then that's the challenge.  As APL, his job is not to merely be there when the PL is gone, he is expected to be the PL's "right hand man".  Is the APL doing his job of making sure the PL is successful or is his disappointment his way of sabotaging the PL? 

 

It was interesting that when my troop got large enough to have enough patrols for an SPL, the SPL was not selected from the existing PL's who all wanted to stay PL's.  Instead they picked the best supportive APL to be SPL and support them from the other side of the equation.  As APL he supported the PL in relation to his patrol, as SPL he supported all the PL's in relation to the adults.  It worked out just fine.

 

NSP's are unique and require different dynamics.  All the boys generally are in a long and tedious learning curve and unless the TG is ready and able to effectively help them be successful they won't be.  A PL of a NSP if an older boy needs to address his responsibility differently than if he were a PL of a regular or venture patrol as well.  I have seen venture patrols collapse as readily as NSP's because of this inability to adapt to the differing needs of the patrol. 

 

I teach all my boys to lead from the "back seat".  It works.

 

When I was the administrative assistant to the general manager of a large corporation I had certain responsibilities, most of them were underlying one basic principle.  When a new general manager came in and took over he "interviewed" me as to what I saw my responsibilities as.  I flat out told him, it was my job to make sure he was successful with his job.  We got along just fine after that.  It is the same for every APL.  I believe one of the reasons the APL is not listed as a valid POR is because no one ever takes this position as seriously as it needs to be.  The APL if he is going to "take over" for the PL in his absence needs to know as much about being a PL as the PL himself.  If he's just going to sit around waiting for the PL to be absent (which is what is normally expected) he's going to be a total waste of time to the PL and the patrol both.  I have seen some APL's function at a level where they are sought after by other patrols to be their PL simply because of the job they do as APL in other patrols.  A good APL makes a fantastic TG for a NSP.


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#24 TAHAWK

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 10:31 AM

"To what standard?  Why, to a boy's standard."

 

Bill Hillcourt


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#25 Eagledad

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 10:59 AM

So I read you describing how your boys experienced leadership by leading - Cheer Master, Grub Master.  The were, you say, taking responsibility, instead of merely observing other being responsible.  

 

Perhaps the point is to have a Beginner's section of the swimming area instead of only the "deep end."

Sure, but your analogy fits better for skills used for enhancing the processes like managing and organization. Observation really is more about behavior in the process of making decisions. So in your analogy I would describe the scouts learning the different swimming strokes in the shallow end while observing to learn how and what strokes to use in the deep end. The skills are as much about giving the confidence to use the skills in new situations that require decisions as they are an aid in the process after the decision. 

 

Our troop works from the philosophy of passive learning, as apposed to instructional school type learning. I guess we are being purist or fanatical, but we worked toward a program of scouts learning everything by observation and material guidance (handbooks). Our objective for the program was that if the adults didn't show up, the program continued normally. We wanted the scouts to have total independence from adults guidance in managing the program.

 

So the skills we encouraged were intended to be tools used when the scouts reached a maturity and confidence for making complicated decisions. Even the smallest of responsibilities encouraged the scouts to perform some authoritative communication with other scouts, planning a process, starting the process and completing the process. So in the case of the Grub Master, the scout has to use authoritative communication to plan a menu with the patrol and start the process of acquiring the groceries for the menu and get those groceries to the campout. In most cases the scouts don't even know they are practicing skills. They are just kind of following through a system to get eat on a campout. But when you compare the scout's skills and confidence from his first day to his last day, you see a completely different person. A person who is ready for a more advanced level of growing. Quartmaster, ASP, who knows? It depends on the scout and his ambition in the program.

 

The observing part is really more about the behavior process of reacting to decisions. Our adults purposely never yell or take initial directive actions in the presents of the scouts. We stand back and wait for the scouts to initiate what ever actions are expected at the time. Even to the point that adults never put the sign up to get attention. If an adult has the floor and needs to get the attention of the group, they ask a senior scout near them to get the groups attention. 

 

It was pointed out by another Scoutmaster at summer camp that our senior scout leaders where quiet in their leadership. I hadn't noticed until he said that. The scoutmaster said that our scouts quiet nature stood out among all the other troops that seem to yell or bark out commands at their scouts. 

 

Learned skills help a scout performance in the activities and processes (leadership) of the program. Practice of those skills guides a scouts to make decisions, but the behaviors learned by observing others guides the scout to how he reacts to decisions. If the role models tend to speak loudly to motivate action, then those who observe that behavior will likely duplicate that style of behavior. If on the other hand the role models react with a more quiet voice or by delegation or what ever, those who observe will likely duplicate the same actions.

 

Barry


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#26 TAHAWK

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 11:09 AM

OK, Barry.  Forget the allegedly inapt analogy,  

 

They are all learning to lead by leading, some with more potential responsibility than others.  If that is not going on, you are not using the Patrol Method.

 

That does not preclude other learning from example.  That is the rationale for the "Adult Association" method.


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#27 blw2

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 11:29 AM

A lot of this has to do with expectations from both the group and the individual.  It is pointed out that the APL didn't get the job even when he was qualified and an unqualified scout got PL.  The individual's reaction was to pull back himself rather than stepping up and functioning as expected.  Yes, morale can be devastating, but then that's the challenge.  As APL, his job is not to merely be there when the PL is gone, he is expected to be the PL's "right hand man".  Is the APL doing his job of making sure the PL is successful or is his disappointment his way of sabotaging the PL? 

 

well, yes.... and actually I tried to hint and advise him on several occasions to do just that....

     that his job is to support his scouts.... to make his PL look good...... constructively show his PL how to do it... etc....

 

He was disappointed, but also understood that the other guy was....well more charismatic, for the lack of a better word....  & so that wasn't really the show stopper.  

     And he certainly wasn't trying to sabotage in any way shape or form.... it was more about being lazy....and "if he doesn't have to do it then why should I?"

 

But right out of the gate, he hears the adults say in a very direct fashion..... "you can't hold the job if you don't attend the training."    period

    and then they with the very next breath let a scout take and hold the job without the training.  

         He's 11 but he aint stupid.  He see what it is.

then, add to that scribes that do not much of anything, librarians that do not much, webmaster that does what exactly.... and he's being taught by troop guides and instructors who are just reading out of the book like they would at school because the "have to"...and not inspiring or leading in anyway.

and apparently even as PL, he tried to make a few suggestions at PLC and was shot down or treated like an underling rather than an equal at the PLC table.

 

All I was trying to get at with all of this was an example of how the idea of new scouts hanging together isn't what kills it and makes the "NSP" underperform.  I think that it could be more form lack of encouragement and instruction...and lack motivation.

 

   I liked in Clarke Green's book how once the scouts realized that they really do have permission to make decisions, that their confidence and excitement soared.... and yeah I know that's a work of fiction, but I saw the opposite approach in action and so I believe it's possible.


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#28 Eagledad

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 11:43 AM

OK, Barry.  Forget the allegedly inapt analogy,  

 

They are all learning to lead by leading, some with more potential responsibility than others.  If that is not going on, you are not using the Patrol Method.

 

That does not preclude other learning from example.  That is the rationale for the "Adult Association" method.

I think it is a good analogy.

 

I agree with your whole post. All I was saying is that how a scout reacts to decisions is based on how they observe their role models reacting to decisions. 

 

That is one reason why I say the performance of the whole troop can be judged by the performance of just the older scouts.

 

Barry


Edited by Eagledad, 31 March 2017 - 11:51 AM.

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#29 Eagledad

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 11:48 AM

   I liked in Clarke Green's book how once the scouts realized that they really do have permission to make decisions, that their confidence and excitement soared.... and yeah I know that's a work of fiction, but I saw the opposite approach in action and so I believe it's possible.

Work of fiction?  Over the years, many of us on this forum have stated Clarke's point. It's a big hurdle for both the adults and scouts, but it does change the dynamics of the program when that level is reached.

 

Barry


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#30 blw2

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 12:30 PM

I meant his book is fiction, not the idea


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#31 Stosh

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 02:20 PM

well, yes.... and actually I tried to hint and advise him on several occasions to do just that....

     that his job is to support his scouts.... to make his PL look good...... constructively show his PL how to do it... etc....

 

He was disappointed, but also understood that the other guy was....well more charismatic, for the lack of a better word....  & so that wasn't really the show stopper.  

     And he certainly wasn't trying to sabotage in any way shape or form.... it was more about being lazy....and "if he doesn't have to do it then why should I?"

 

There will always be those who get selected based on popularity and charisma.  Sometimes they step up, sometimes they don't.  But a true leader will hang in there and do what he needs to do regardless of the choices of others.  "If he doesn't have to do it, then why should I?"  Well because if you aren't going to be any better than him, you need to settle for that which you don't like and others around you don't like either.  You're no better than him.  Lousy excuse all the way around.  :)  It's really easy to lead that patrol if he became a functional leader and from what you have descrived, the charismatic and the competition from a lazy PL would be an easy win for him.

 

But right out of the gate, he hears the adults say in a very direct fashion..... "you can't hold the job if you don't attend the training."    period

    and then they with the very next breath let a scout take and hold the job without the training.  

         He's 11 but he aint stupid.  He see what it is.

 

Nope, not stupid, but why is he being swayed by the poor decisions and hypocrisy of others?  And when you say, "He sees what it is." it is his way of settling for the poor decision and hypocrisy.  Maybe he needs to step up and prove by his leadership that 1) the patrol erred in their selection of PL, and 2) the adults erred by compromising their own rules.

 

then, add to that scribes that do not much of anything, librarians that do not much, webmaster that does what exactly.... and he's being taught by troop guides and instructors who are just reading out of the book like they would at school because the "have to"...and not inspiring or leading in anyway.

 

And your son has thus decided to join that group of people he has no interest in following because they are totally dysfunctional in their POR?

 

and apparently even as PL, he tried to make a few suggestions at PLC and was shot down or treated like an underling rather than an equal at the PLC table.

 

If one is taking servant leadership to it's extreme why would it bother him to be treated like an underling, i.e. servant?  The other boys aren't stupid either.  They will soon figure out who's making it work for the troop, especially when all the competition is sitting around doing nothing.  One doesn't need to be charismatic to get the work done.  It's all part of the leadership training I call leading from the back seat.  Take off all the bling and badges, all the POR patches and then show me you are Eagle material.  If you can do that, people will follow!!!

 

All I was trying to get at with all of this was an example of how the idea of new scouts hanging together isn't what kills it and makes the "NSP" underperform.  I think that it could be more form lack of encouragement and instruction...and lack motivation.

 

And with a lousy TG, that's exactly what one is going to get.  If the TG went in with the notion that he was going to guarantee the NSP success, his attitude alone would make it work.  What I find is TG's that wear the patch, get the POR and blame the boys in the NSP for their own problems.  My best TG was an Eagle scout who had earned his POR as an effective  DC for 2 years running and earning the National DC award. 

 

   I liked in Clarke Green's book how once the scouts realized that they really do have permission to make decisions, that their confidence and excitement soared.... and yeah I know that's a work of fiction, but I saw the opposite approach in action and so I believe it's possible.

 

Your son is still young, but if he figures out some of these very basic dynamics of working in a group, he won't need to be charismatic, eventually the boys will always seek out the leaders willing to do the work and function properly in their positions.  Your son has a great opportunity to put that into practice and set the example for others.... in other words - lead!


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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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