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  • Troop Training- ILST

    Has anybody used this specific training program? How did it go? Anybody who hasn't, but reads it what are your thoughts?
    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/tr...%20511-016.pdf

    A little background for those who care:

    I was a Scout in my current unit. I aged out and after a short intermission became an ASM.
    Since becoming an ASM it's been my pet project to restore the Patrol Method in my Troop. Been fighting the uphill battle for a while now. Currently our Patrols are mostly administrative, and are just for cooking on camping trips. The PLC used to do annual leadership training that generally involved the Scoutmaster explaining all the Troop positions to the new guys and watching a few cheesy BSA training videos from the 1990s. Good intentions, not particularly helpful.

    I got my hands on the program, and turned it into a weekend at a local council camp for the PLC. I want the PLC to split into patrols with the Patrol leaders in charge, while the SPL and two ASPL's conduct this training program. Our troop is about 80 Scouts and the PLC is about 20 Scouts. (Yes I do understand that a PLC should only be the SPL/Patrol Leaders. I only have a limited number of hills to die on.) Besides this class the patrols are allowed to do whatever they want to do with this trip. As long as it's with the patrol they put together. My hope is that the patrol leaders gain some practical experience being a patrol leader from this trip and can take it back to their real patrols. I also hope that with this experience in the future the PLC will plan trips that are more conductive to the Patrol Method.

    Part of the SOP of my unit is that SPL's, Guides, and Quartermaster do everything. When I bring up the Patrol Method, I'm always told, "our Patrol Leaders don't do anything." I believe this is true because they aren't given the chance to lead their patrols without being under the thumbs of SPL, and ASPL's. I also think the trips we take, which are highly structured like Caving or Rock Climbing, require a high level of adult supervision and don't allow for the Patrol's to make meaningful decisions as to what they are going to do on the trip.

    I've gotten the blessing of the Scoutmaster/Committee to run the program. I'm not performing some sort of crazy end around. I think the troop doesn't use the Patrol method because most of the Scouts and Adults haven't seen it in action. It's not a tangible concept to most of them.

    So in conclusion. I'm wondering if anybody has used this course or anything like it, or has done a similar kind of training with their PLC/Unit. Or has some advice to installing the Patrol Method in a troop that has historically not used it but would like to. If I need to provide more information to make the situation clear, let me know.

    Yours in Scouting,
    Sentinel947

    Last edited by Sentinel947; 04-19-2014, 11:49 PM.

  • #2
    More or less, yes. About 8 or 9 years ago, when I became SM, I set out to hold the first "JLT" the troop had in years. At the time, BSA had phased out all the old, cheesy '90's videos with the promise of a new JLT syllabus. But all they ever produced was a set of wallet-sized job description cards with instructions for the SM and SPL to read them to the individual Scouts. Bleeh.

    So I wrote my own syllabus. It was based on much of the then-new Wood Badge leadership material, but also included stuff I felt our Scouts needed. Like how to organize a meeting. And how to best deliver a given message to your patrol -- phone call? Email? Printed handout?

    Lo and behold, a few years ago, BSA finally got around to producing the above syllabus, It is very close to what I had developed so I feel like I've used it, even though we don't actually go by this document.

    The one thing we do, which I would HIGHLY recommend, is to take this as a starting point and adapt it for what you feel the needs of your troop are. Sounds like your biggest adaptation is creating the ad hoc PLC patrols and sending them off into the woods for the night. That's great. We invite everyone in the troop to attend, First Class and above (or with SM approval), so many of the same guys are taking the class year after year. To keep it fresh, we always have at least one big change. Last year we decided one of our weaknesses was in the Scouts doing advancement sign-offs, so we spent a several hours doing a Scout skills round-robin with the boys evaluating each others' performance and deciding whether or not they "passed." A few years back we felt the quality of camp cooking in the troop was weak, so for dinner the Scouts, individually or in pairs, tried cooking something they had never made before. One guy had never cooked his own steak, so we bought a couple rib eyes and let him try. Another kid wanted to make gazpacho of all things. It was terrific! It worked and all that experimentation and confidence building did trickle down to the patrols.

    So yeah, I like the syllabus, but take the time to make it your troop's own.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
      My hope is that the patrol leaders gain some practical experience being a patrol leader from this trip and can take it back to their real patrols.
      Sentinel,

      You use William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt's term "Real Patrols," which means Patrols in which the Patrol Leader moves his Scouts through Physical Space.

      The quickest route to such Patrol Awareness is to physically separate your ad hoc Training Patrols by Baden-Powell's 300 feet, as was once the common custom in American Wood Badge.

      Make sure you call their attention to that Physical Space. It seems obvious, but it is not.

      Also from American Wood Badge is the Patrol Hike and Patrol Overnight, which you could do Saturday night. The idea being that "Real" Patrols can conduct Patrol Hikes and Patrol Overnights at monthly Troop campouts, to conform with the Physical Distance (in a Boy Scout camp), with which the adults are comfortable.

      Again, make sure you call their attention to that Physical Space. It seems obvious, but it is not.

      Green Bar Bill's "Patrol Leader Training" course on how to teach Patrol Leaders how to conduct Patrol Hikes and Patrol Overnights can be found at:

      http://inquiry.net/patrol/green_bar/index.htm

      The best Hillcourt-based Patrol Leader Training in the 21st century is being done by Bob Geier's "Troop 8." I will try to post more information.

      Yours at 300 feet,

      Kudu
      http://kudu.net

      Comment


      • #4
        One of the biggest hurdles I have faced in the program is vividly described by Kudu. The SPL and QM, and other troop offices "run" the program and the PL's have nothing to do. This is because of the "top-down" structuring of the troop by BSA. Along with this the program gives lip service to servant leadership, but has no concept of how that works in a "top-down" structure. My contention is that it doesn't. As I have mentioned before, there is a difference between leadership and management and management is more conducive to the "top-down" approach. There are tasks that need to be done and the upper level managers delegate those tasks down to the patrols leaving the PL's as nothing more than echoes at the middle management level. There is little or no leadership necessary for this to happen. A task is identified and the structure is designed to accomplish the task. The best one could do to identify leadership is simply recognizing the task that needs to be done. Most of the time, the task is nothing more than the same-old, same-old routine so that leadership is minimal at best as well.

        On the other hand if the troop was structured under a real patrol-method, the PL's would be the ranking leadership of the unit. They would be the ones that would identify the needs and wishes of their patrol and then lead the boys in accomplishing that task. If the task requires more expertise than what he has to offer, then he has the QM, SPL, etc. to SUPPORT him as servant leaders to assist him with his patrol on an as-needed basis.

        I like to see the troop organized as a mini-council district. Each patrol is its own autonomous "troop" guided by a boy leader. They plan and carry out patrol activities related to their interests and needs. What other patrols are doing is not part of their operation. However, if they wish to carry out activities that may require more resources than what they have in the patrol they have the PLC to turn to for support. Suppose out of the 6 patrols in the troop, 3 are older boy patrols and 3 are younger boy patrols. The older boys want to do high adventure this summer while the younger patrols want to go to summer camp. The PLC then focuses its attention on how to get the support needed to get them to the goals they have set. The QM sorts equipment so as to have the older boys get the backpacking equipment up and ready and doesn't worry too much about the summer camp boys who at the most may need tents for the week. The QM makes sure each "group" gets what it needs. SPL coordinates the adults to see who can give rides, attend summer camp with the younger boys and finds adults wanting/willing to take on the high adventure patrols. He coordinates the schedules to make sure the troop is able to meet the needs of both groups. They are not running anything, they are helping the patrols accomplish that which they have decided they want to do instead.

        This PL level structure requires a ton of leadership to identify the needs of the patrol and then work to develop a plan to accomplish it. There is no same-old, same-old requirements. They have to be able to think on their feet and also outside the box, solving problems unique to their patrols. GBB's training allows for a PL, APL, patrol QM, patrol Scribe, patrol GrubMaster, patrol HikeMaster, etc. Everyone has something to do, no one sits around waiting for something to follow. They all have to develop some level of leadership that involves problem solving, planning and execution.

        I had gone through JLT, and ISLT with the boys and I was sitting in on the third session of GBB training when the parents of some of the boys who were not wanting that much leadership responsibility came forward and had me removed from the position of SM. They flat out told me that I was expecting too much leadership out of the boys, their words, not mine.

        Top-down management by adults seems to be the acceptable way to go in scouting today. If one wishes to spin their wheels a bit they can try JLT or ISLT as a token lip service to the program, but to actually allow the boys to lead is a major threat to an adult led/controlled well managed program. I can assure you that today's leadership with 40 years behind it have long forgotten the patrol-method of running a troop. I saw the changes start back in the mid-1970's and what we have today in the program are pretty good managers, but very few actual leaders.

        So, I'll ask the question flat out... How does one manage a troop that has it's patrols 300' apart? It simply can't. And that's the rub.

        Stosh

        Comment


        • #5

          Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
          So, I'll ask the question flat out... How does one manage a troop that has it's patrols 300' apart? It simply can't. And that's the rub.

          Stosh

          Yes, that's what the oft-quoted Troop Method rules are for: To keep the six-month Patrol Leaders weak, so that "Real" Patrols are viewed as an irresponsible pipe dream.


          As for Sentinel's question:

          Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
          Has anybody used this specific training program? Anybody who hasn't, but reads it what are your thoughts?
          As the title "Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops" (ILST) implies, this is Troop Method Training.

          It appears to be written by the same Wood Badge committee that produced the Program-Neutered 25 minute "Patrol Method" presentation in Scoutmaster Specific Training.

          To Program Neuter is to surgically remove the Patrol Leader and any description of a working Patrol from the "Patrol Method," presumably so as not to offend Den Leaders and Venturing Advisors. :-)

          Note that in ILST, the term "Patrol Leader" appears only in references to three outside materials:

          1) Materials Needed (Patrol Leader Handbook).

          2) The job descriptions from those cheesy wallet-sized cards.

          3) And the Wood Badge holiest of holies: Troop Method Organizational Charts!

          In the ILST course, the term "Patrol Leader" has been replaced by such euphuisms as:

          "Scouts"

          "Scout leaders"

          "Scouts in leadership positions"

          "Scouts in charge of each team,"

          And (in the right context) my new personal favorite:

          "Less-senior Scout leaders."

          Likewise in ILST, as in most Troop Method Training courses, in place of working Patrols, the usual reference is to "teams" and "team building":

          "Introduction to Leadership and Teamwork Session

          "What do we mean by “team”? The word “team” applies to any group working together on a
          common goal. It can be a temporary group that meets once to solve a particular problem, or it
          can be a permanent group. In Scouting, the team could be the patrol leaders’ council, a group of
          backpackers, or an entire troop."

          http://www.scouting.org/filestore/tr...%20511-016.pdf

          Presumably "The Cook and Dish-Wash Artist Formally Known as Patrol" does not qualify as a team in "Scouting."

          When Troop Method Training refers to Patrols at all, it is usually in the team-theory form of "troop or patrol" to show that all teams are the same.

          So, is it hopeless?

          Only if you look to the content of BSA Training for "Real" Patrols.

          Marshal McLuhan once said "The Medium is the Message." If you camp your ad hoc training Patrols 300 feet apart, send them on a Patrol Overnight, and always call attention to Physical Distance, then the Message will live on long after the corporate team-building exercises have been forgotten.

          Yours at 300 feet,

          Kudu

          http://kudu.net




          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the responses! I'd love to see more! Kudu. I'm playing for a longer game. I'm not the Scoutmaster. It's not my troop. I'm a former Scout, turned ASM. I can't flip the troop to the patrol method overnight in one big ole bite. I may never get it with this troop, but it'll give me the experience to try in the future. The troop isn't hostile to the patrol method, they've just never seen it. It'll be a slow process, bit by bit, introducing elements of the patrol method slowly. That's the most I can do. If I get serious pushback from parents, other adult volunteers or the Scouts, then I'm not going to keep pushing it. Yours in Scouting, Sentinel947

            Comment


            • #7
              If you push it, you'll be asked to leave.

              First of all, it requires a strong leadership commitment from the PL's, even if it is only the first experimental patrol.

              Secondly it requires support from the SM, SPL and other "traditional higher-ups" who are skilled in organizational management and don't want their system disrupted.

              If you don't have dynamic natural leaders attempting the try, the traditional system will quickly announce the attempt's failure to the world. After all they will be watching for any and all slip-ups along the way.

              If in a "million-to-one" chance you are successful, you will be a major threat to the adult controlled BSA system that will quickly jerk back the reins and you'll be back at square one. For example, one patrol is successful, the "powers that be" will quickly step in and destroy the patrol by reassigning everyone in that patrol to "teach the other boys".

              Unless BSA has a complete change of heart, I don't see it happening except in brand new troops with experienced leaders who are 100% dedicated to the "old fashioned" boy-led, patrol-method, style of organization and are willing to buck the system.

              I've tried what Sentinel947 is trying to do and it was a 15 year battle with the SM and committee. Even when one patrol was able to get up and running effectively, it was quickly broken up and assigned to "help" the other patrols.

              I tried to convert an existing troop over to boy-led, patrol-method as SM and encountered parental and committee dismissal.

              I'm trying to start from scratch with a brand new troop (no traditional management structure) as SM, maybe third time will be a charm.

              I wish you well and hope for your success. Maybe you will succeed in your area of the world. Maybe if enough real leaders step up and give it a try, they can set a precedent for others to follow that may someday get incorporated into the adult training of BSA as it once was.

              Stosh

              Comment


              • #8
                Even if it's only partially successful, I'll take it. I'm not going to get a patrol system like Kudus or Jblakes, because it's not my troop.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                  Even if it's only partially successful, I'll take it. I'm not going to get a patrol system like Kudus or Jblakes

                  Um, you mean "a Patrol System like Baden-Powell's or Green Bar Bill's," which is to say Scouting in the rest of the world.

                  In my retirement, I am in a similar situation as our young Sentinel: The only local Troop was adult-led and focused like a laser beam on Eagle. I didn't want to be a Scoutmaster again, so it has taken years to change Troop culture.

                  In other posts I have detailed how I chose to work on a High Adventure program first. It is easier to start ad hoc Patrol Hikes and space those Patrols 300 feet apart on backpack trips, because the indoor adults and indoor Scouts stay away


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kudu View Post
                    Um, you mean "a Patrol System like Baden-Powell's or Green Bar Bill's," which is to say Scouting in the rest of the world
                    Yep. Kudu, don't you have a blog someplace? Can you link me to it?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                      ...I got my hands on the program, and turned it into a weekend at a local council camp for the PLC. I want the PLC to split into patrols with the Patrol leaders in charge, while the SPL and two ASPL's conduct this training program. Our troop is about 80 Scouts and the PLC is about 20 Scouts. (Yes I do understand that a PLC should only be the SPL/Patrol Leaders. I only have a limited number of hills to die on.) ....

                      Part of the SOP of my unit is that SPL's, Guides, and Quartermaster do everything. When I bring up the Patrol Method, I'm always told, "our Patrol Leaders don't do anything." I...
                      (Buyer beware: the following comes from limited experience advising ILSC, but I have a suspicion that what works for venturers also applies here.)

                      On the plus: twenty boys! That's an awesome number. Like has been noted above, ILST is not patrol leader training. So don't make it that. If all these boys signed up for leadership training, you want their learning experience to reflect what you'd like to see in their leadership experience over the next year -- regardless of the patch on their sleeve.

                      Look at what I've clipped from your OP. In one paragraph, you set the SPL's to conduct the training and the ad-hoc patrols do their thing. In the next paragraph, you don't like your SPL's doing all of the heavy lifting. If you don't approve of a management model, DO NOT CONDUCT TRAINING VIA THAT MODEL!

                      Your course has three modules. Split the boys into 3 patrols. Hand each patrol a module, and tell them they are responsible to present the material of that course. You may assign an SPL/ASPL to each patrol, but make clear in no uncertain terms that during their turn presenting their course, a patrol is not to give their senior leader a speaking role. Talk to your seniors, and ask them to do their best to support their respective patrol as a "servant leader." You might encourage them to help one or two boys who they've seen taking a "back seat" to step up their game just a little.

                      What will that actually look like? I dunno, it's your troop and you know these boys. But, leadership skills starts by practicing leading. Not by being lectured.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by qwazse View Post
                        Your course has three modules. Split the boys into 3 patrols. Hand each patrol a module, and tell them they are responsible to present the material of that course. You may assign an SPL/ASPL to each patrol, but make clear in no uncertain terms that during their turn presenting their course, a patrol is not to give their senior leader a speaking role. Talk to your seniors, and ask them to do their best to support their respective patrol as a "servant leader." You might encourage them to help one or two boys who they've seen taking a "back seat" to step up their game just a little.
                        Some of my best servant leaders have chosen to take the back seat in the troop to lead from. Instead of "doing it for them", they have taken on the role of helping/supporting them and have done far better at leadership than those wearing the POR patches.

                        "We need to have the tents checked out for the next campout." Do they go to the new QM who doesn't know anything or do they turn to Joe who will bend over backwards to make sure the tents get checked out?

                        "Is the patrol mess kit ready to go?" The PL and APL checked it out as part of their activity prep.

                        "New scout Johnny can't find his mess kit." No problem, his buddy (Tenderfoot #9) has already broken down his mess kit and is ready to make sure his buddy will have the opportunity to have supper.

                        This is basic problem solving that is core to the servant leader. He sees a problem and is working on a solution long before some management "leader" is evaluating the situation getting ready to delegate responsibilities to fix it.

                        People do not follow managers, they follow manager's directives to take care of a task. People do follow real leaders because they trust that they are the ones "looking out for them in the long run and will get things done."

                        Kids aren't stupid, they know who the real leaders are and more often than not, the last place they look is on the left sleeve of the uniform.

                        Stosh

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I found the old JLT and Leadership Crops manuals online and developed training based on those. Even found the old videos which are more relevant today than ever. The current stuff is fluff and useless. BSA should go back to basics.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sentinel, one other thing to ask yourself: what will you be doing with the adults in attendance? This parallels the 300' thing. I recall in my JLT, the SM was "invisible" to me. They showed up at flags and if there was a first aid issue (of which I had a handful that week). But, for teaching sessions, etc ... they kept that distance, dropping in from time to time to see which other appendage I may have burned, bruised, or cut.

                            When we provide ILSC at the council level, we make sure there's a parallel VLST for the adults -- mainly to give the youth the space they need to interact on their own. There's usually an advisor in the room, and he/she keeps in a corner but may jump in to even out the number of participants in an activity. At the end of the day, we usually bring the youth over to "teach" by serving as panelists to cover any questions the adults may have brought up throughout the day.

                            Oh, and we don't require a youth to have taken ILSC before they can help instruct. If they've been in the program for years and care enough to take on positions of responsibility, they are ready to teach. If one of our officers has taken the course, he/she takes charge of dividing up the materials and communicating with his/her co-instructors.
                            Last edited by qwazse; 04-21-2014, 09:09 AM. Reason: Some folks are natural trainers, so let them learn by training.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have designed several of these courses including a boy run version of the JLTC course before NYLT was introduced. First of all I am excited you are attempting this because you are stepping out of the box to improve your program. That is what you have to do to improve a program. It will be fun to watch your ideas go into action.

                              After reading your original post, my first to thoughts were that you are missing two key things to have a successful course:

                              First, you don’t seem to really know what you are looking for. Yes, your patrol leaders aren’t really leading, but why? As your scouts go through your course, how will you know success from failure, or growth from no change? The risk here is when the scouts do something that is good for growth, but makes the adults uncomfortable, they will be tempted to step in and stop the scouts and prevent any gains. I had a lot of resistance with our council JLTC course because scoutmasters who weren’t use to scouts making mistakes from their independent decisions wanted to step in and change the direction of the scout’s decisions. If I didn’t understand that learning comes from evaluation ones own decisions, there course wouldn’t have done anything.

                              Get an idea of basic ideals you want to accomplish from the course. Give yourself something to measure so that you can defend or redirect to improve performance at the next course. Remember that the Vision for the BSA is to build men who make decisions based from the scout law and oath. The key words are make decisions. However, boys don’t join scouts to become decision makers, they join for adventure. There are lot of words that can define adventure, but after many years of doing this scouting stuff, I think adventure is “challenge”. Boys like games because they like to challenge what they know, they like to hike because they like the physical challenge and they like competition because they like the challenge of bettering the other guy. Make your course FUN and Challenging. Make the syllabus so that when the scout finishes and is going home, they like themselves for what they accomplished and what they mastered. They need a reason to feel good about themselves, help them get that reason through their actions, not your words.

                              Second, you don’t seem to really have an idea of the structure of the course. That’s OK because many of us started that way and learned. Like Twocubdad, I look at what the troop is lacking in skills and develop the syllabus around improving those skills. I have to laugh that we also had a class of how to sign off scout advancement in scout books. Common problem I guess. The trick is keeping each class interesting.

                              There are a thousand ways of doing your course and making it a lot of fun. We used several examples of syllabuses over the years and then modified them to apply more to our needs.

                              The way I started our JLTC boy run course was as soon as all 32 scouts were assembled in a room together with all their gear, the SPL told them to make four patrols, elect a patrol leader and have the patrol leader assign each scout responsibility. That took about 45 mintues. Then they make a copy of their patrol roster and take it to the troop quartermaster for him to type up a troop roster. Once each patrol turned in their roster, the PL’s immediately had a PLC meeting to create a course agenda for the whole week. Yep, these just newly elected PLs who never met each other until an hour ago were creating an agenda for a five day Council JLTC course. There only requirement was to include 16 classes and four troop meetings or campfires, nothing else. They didn’t even have to include meals if they didn’t want to. They could have eight hours of free time a day if that was they wanted just so long as they included 16 hours of classes and four troop meetings were scheduled to be completed by lunch of the fifth day. We were also at our local camp, so they had access to most of the camp equipment and facilities. The patrols had to elect a new patrol leader twice a day followed with a PLC and trust me that the agenda changed from the lessons learned from the previous PLC. Believe it or not, scouts found out that six hours of free time isn’t that much fun when they don’t have any time to sleep OR EAT. LOL! Here is a cue; “time” is the best teacher of management discipline. By the end of the week, I think the scouts were surprised how the syllabus ended up looking basically the same as agendas they saw in their own troops.

                              If I could design a course like that for 32 scouts who came from all over the council, think what you could do with your troop. Our older scouts in our troop once planned and ran a campout where the patrols had to get up and move their campsite. Our troop of 80 scouts is a backpacking troop, so it wasn’t as challenging as it owuld be for plop camping troops, but it was is still a big change in our scouts state of mind. Imagine telling the patrol that they are in a possible fire danger area and have to move to a new location a mile or two away given only by compass coordinates. That kind of unexpected scenario forces out leaders, followers and group control. At first the challenge looks daunting and over bearing, but as the patrol settles down to get the job done, there comes a lot of satisfaction from mastering the challenge. “It was actually a lot of fun”, you hear at the next troop meeting. You can set your three patrols all over camp to where they never see each other but can still be monitored by you and the SPL. You can also set up 30 minute classes or sill sessions along the route so that the scouts get a break and learn a needed skill as well.

                              By the end of our Council JLTC course, all the scouts had written at least a dozen agendas course and activity agendas because each scout was required to write one at least two times a day to redesign the course schedule or for the troop meetings and campfires. The PLC voted on the best and that was the agenda the patrols followed. I say this because 80 percent of troops in the BSA don’t use agendas for some reason of another. Its a pet peeve of mine, but I scratch my head wondering how scouts can run campouts and troop meetings without an agenda? I don' t think they can and that is another reason why patrols aren't as independent as they should be. Remember how six hours of free time turned out not to be much fun?

                              So sit down and write out some clear goals you want the see the scouts gain from your course so that you know where you are going, and so that you can teach and defend the course from skeptical on-lookers. And then be creative and make this a “fun” adventurous course that challenges the scouts. The Green Bar Bill stuff is pretty good.

                              Over the years I started requiring adults attend a few hours of class on the last day of the course to explain boy run, patrol method, Aims, methods and specifically how the course worked to get their scouts to change their thinking about how patrol method works. I concluded scouts don’t really need a week long JLTC course or weekend troop JLT courses because they are really just following a plan laid out by the adults. The adults are the ones who need these courses so they can get a feel for how patrol method really works. Learn why lectures are boring how hiking, boating, biking are better teachers of patrol method. So what I am saying is that just don’t do your course and then go back to things as they were, sit down with the scout and adults together and come up with a few things to change. Call them ticket items if you want, but make sure your program has some reflection of the growth gained from the course.

                              Also, don’t pay too much attention to the nay Sayers here that are telling you to blow up your troop of 80 scouts and start over. Their idealism sounds noble in theory, but rarely does theory reflect reality accept in their own case. 80 scouts requires different ideas. While all of us have some wisdom to pass along, we gain that wisdom under different conditions, so it can’t all be applied. Think of us as a cafeteria of ideas and you get to choose which works best for your particular situation. You are not trying to rewrite your program, you are just smoothing out a few rough edges here and there. If done right, your scouts will go back to their patrols with all kinds of new ideas, and the adults will find themselves having to hustle just to keep up. That is scouting at its best.

                              I love this scouting stuff.

                              Barry

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