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  • Patrol Leaders Handbook

    Due to copyrights I doubt there are any but wanted to check anyhow.

    Does anyone know where I can find a copy of soft copy or any reprints of a 1940's or 1950's Hillcourt Patrol Leaders Handbook.

    I am looking to provide copies for my Patrol Leaders on an ongoing basis so I am looking for options that they can abuse as opposed to obtaining versions that are 60 years old for them to use.

  • #2
    http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/scouts.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, I have seen that list but was looking for Hillcourt's material specifically. I've been building some of our training around his books and wanted them to have a copy for later reference.

      Comment


      • #4
        The real thing may be cheaper than you think. Always check AddAll.Com for old Scout books. Currently they have 15 copies available for under $5.

        The search function is not exact, so check the description before you buy:

        http://preview.tinyurl.com/lg4j2py

        Are you using Hillcourt's Patrol Leader specific "Intensive Training in the Green Bar Patrol" course?


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

        Some of us have experience in using the course with "21st century Patrol Leaders" if you would like feedback.

        Yours at 300 feet,

        Kudu
        http://kudu.net


        Comment


        • #5
          I wasn’t specifically using that approach but reading it closer I see the approach I was taking was still too close to the modern style and except for the campout was not a hands on situational training. i.e.

          Rethinking it a bit…I will likely do an initial training session where we meet and do a high level overview/discussion from the older Patrol Leader Handbook (i.e. job descriptions, handling different types of boys, planning a meeting, hike/campout). Then do the monthly "Intensive Training's" at what is currently our second PLC planning meeting of the month. We have a young troop of about 20 Scouts all 13 or under and planning the full month in one sitting has been tough for them to do (Lack of training is part of the problem).

          For the training described would each of them take on multiple 'roles' as needed in the training ( I have a SPL, 2 PL's) or would the APLs be included as well? (our quartermaster, scribes are just at the Patrol level)

          What modifications have you made for today’s Scouts? Also what about Training for the Patrol positions (Grubmaster, Treasurer, Cheermaster, etc) is that all on the PL, I was looking at having our committee Treasurer or ASMs training those positions.

          Comment


          • #6
            One of the thing I like about BH's approach to the patrol method is: everyone has a job to do. That approach to teamwork is what is necessary to keep people from just coming along for the ride. Patrols of 10+ people must have a ton of baggage floating around with their activities. As far as training is concerned, let the boys figure out what THEY THINK each person needs to be doing to make the patrol work. If there's money involved, the Treasurer works with the various team members. Surely the Treasurer and Grubmaster are going to have a few conversations along the way and so with the Quartermaster. Then the Quartermaster is going to be talking to the Treasurer when equipment breaks down or disappears. This "separation" of duties is no separation at all, it is the definition of how each patrol member interacts with each other. PL is the go-to guy. The one that has the responsibility to make everything work as smoothly as possible and the liaison to other patrols. APL is the PL's right-hand man that insures that the PL doesn't have to be in two places at the same time. Treasurer handles all finances and keeps track of the pennies. Reports back to the PL the status of the treasury on a regular basis, Works with Quartermaster, Grubmaster, and anyone in the patrol that has $$ concerns.

            So is it positional training or relationship training that is necessary?

            Too often we focus on roles and one ends up with the less-than-stellar team building comment of: "Hey, that isn't my job! It's not listed on my job description!"

            I started with BH's information but developed it beyond to include how each basic premise of each position is interrelated to each other.

            The only training my PL ever got from me was: "Take care of your boys!" The training for Grubmaster: "Make sure the boys get fed well." etc. They figured it out very quickly, do what it takes to make the whole team/patrol work together, and that is relationship specific not role definitions.

            If you don't have a training handbook, start with the boys. The sports guys know teamwork, as do the music people, etc. They rely on each other to make the whole thing work. So it should be for the patrols.

            Stosh

            Comment


            • Eagledad
              Eagledad commented
              Editing a comment
              Back when our troop was young, we kind of hit a plateue with the patrols. We were trying some ideas to help them in their responsibilties and it wasn't until we adults performed a skit of the ideal Patrol Corners that I saw a light bulb turn on with a scout and a big "OHH!, I SEE NOW!. The problem with Stoshe's suggestion and with ours at the time is that we weren't in cluding enough training in the "Train Them, Trust Them, Let Them Go" process. We learned that there is a huge difference between shoving a scout into a dark cave without any tools and giving them a big enough flashlight (confidence) to move deeper into the unknown. Now, I really don't believe Stosh send his guys out in the woods without any training, but I think he doesn't recognize what he does give then so that they have the confidence to move forward. We found that training gets both scouts and adults past stalling performance. But it is difficult to know how much training is too much or too little. I teach to give enough training to give the confidence to do the job, but not so much that they are only mimicking what they learned. Mimicking can be a problem. One of the reasons National created a new Wood Badge course in 2000 was because adults in the old course went back to their units and mimicked what they experienced in their course. Well that doesn't work so when boys are added in the mix and it was causing a lot of problems. The first lesson I give a new SPL is writting a simple meeting agenda. Thats all really. You would be surprised how much better a PLC meeting goes with just a simple four or five item agenda. It gives just enough confidence to help the scout get through the meeting without any help from an impatient adult. I'm also a little surprised at Stoshes discovery of everyone having a job, that has been encourage from the begining of scouting. Barry

            • jblake47
              jblake47 commented
              Editing a comment
              When one gets wrapped up in the details, they strip the potential out of the whole process.

              If I tell my PL to, "Take care of your boys." Is it not up to him to do it according to his own strengths and abilities? I have had dynamic PL's and quiet serious PL's. Both have done VERY well. I'm not about to go out there and sell them a one size fits none type of training. One of the greatest dynamics in the boys' leadership development is that there is no one good way to do it. Do it the best you know how to do it. If it doesn't work, try something else.

              Now, if along the way one were to consider coaching on the part of the adults "training" then I'm guilty of that, but I cannot train a boy unless I first spend time watching to see what he is doing right and not-so right. Then I can assist him in moving forward. How does one put that into a program/handbook/or curriculum?

              As far as everyone having a job to do? Yeah right, look at the wasted time boys involve themselves in because they really don't have anything to do except find ways to get into trouble. Or maybe the ASPL who sits on his hands 95% of the time and messing where he doesn't belong the other 5%. Or the SPL of a one patrol troop. Who's really running the show here the SPL or the PL? I just cringe every time I see this formula drawn up for the failure of the boys. It's kinda like a train wreck in slow motion. You know it's going to turn out bad, but one justifies it by telling themselves it's a good learning opportunity for the boy.

              Patrols of 15 boys? Heck there aren't 15 different things for the boys to do. 8 focused boys can do the all the necessary work just fine. The only thing the bigger a waste of time in a troop than an SPL with less than 3-4 patrols, is the ASPL in a troop with less than 3-4 patrols. It's a gimmie Position of Responsibility with no responsibility.

              Shared duties and teamwork have been a hallmark of the BSA from the beginning. My concern is that it is no longer. One does not learn esprit-de-corps and teamwork from a book.

              One can define leadership as what one does all day long, but in the long run leadership is what one is. I can follow the leadership training book to a T, but if no one is following, I'm not a leader. Period.

              Stosh
              Last edited by jblake47; 09-19-2013, 12:56 PM.

            • Eagledad
              Eagledad commented
              Editing a comment
              I understand what you are saying about training, but one adult's training is another adult's coaching. Can you imagine the chaos a new SM with a brand new troop is going to deal with if all he said on their first campout was just "Take Care of Your Boys"? You kind left out the "and then" part. Train them, Trust them, Let them go. Pretty simple really. As for all that other stuff you said to justify your every scout having a job comment: What Troop Are You Talking About? Those are visions of your fears, not tyical real life situations. Quit making stuff up. I know you have been trained, but it wouldn't hurt for even the smartest SM in the room to review PL, SPL or SM Handbook once in a while. Barry

          • #7
            Sorry if my experience seems made up to you. You can be assured that I really don't care what others do or think, this forum is for providing a variety of different things that others have tried so that still others might get some ideas of what they might do in their troops to improve it. I really don't have the creativity or time to make stuff up. I do visualize the potential of others and assist them with at least working towards them. Some have been successful, others haven't. I don't think it very helpful, unless specifically requested, to reiterate the failures. We all have them and commiserating them isn't very helpful. However, where things have worked, and dynamics to which I have assisted my boys with that pan out are worth sharing.

            Feel free to offer up your suggestions, I welcome them even if I don't agree with them. Hopefully they assist others in their tasks, but running down others who have found success with differing ideas/dynamics really isn't very helpful.

            I'm sure others would turn out differently, but the first boy who I told "Take care of your boys," did exactly that. He was dynamic and enthusiastic and as it turns out was very successful both in Scouting (Eagled) and in his military career. The second boy I said that to was shy, quiet, and reserved but the boys in his patrol really liked him and kept reelecting him PL until he screwed up and I took PL from him. His boys were really ticked, but instead of leading the patrol, he spent 6 months as an ad hoc TG unofficially and trained his PL replacement until he Eagled, did a stint as SPL and aged out of the troop. So my advise stands.

            Stosh
            Last edited by jblake47; 09-19-2013, 02:06 PM.

            Comment


            • #8
              When you start inferring that other BSA program styles are the basic causes of problems, you are going to get resistance, especially when the examples are not typical of the BSA scouting program. Lets use your suggestion from the other thread to assume other posters here don't have enough experience to know different. Instead of suggesting that scouts don' t need training, a better discussion would be how to get scouts prepared enough to have a positive experience without "over training" them. That is actually a pretty difficult task for the new SM of a new troop. I'm confident that you and I have two different styles to achieving that gaol, but I'm also confident our two different styles are equally successful. Actually I think we are probably very much the same, but we let the clutter get in the way. As you said, lets everyone here give an example of their successful experience and go from there. Barry

              Comment


              • jblake47
                jblake47 commented
                Editing a comment
                One of the major problems of written communication is that tone, inflection, and body language are not present. With that being said, with what one person says is read as inferring may or may not be true. Inferences are often assumptions I often "read into" that simply aren't there. Forums are a tremendously beneficial tool, but because of it's nature is riddled with opportunities for misreads. That is unfortunate indeed. I always come back to the true definition of assume

                So often we are limited with space (no one likes a long thread) so we try to be as precise as possible, and much of the meaning often gets left out. Typos, make it hard to read at times.

                You are correct on many times we run parallel in our thinking, sometimes not. It's no big deal, it's important that it be said so others get a chance to learn. After all, where's the learning when everyone is on the same page?

                From where I stand you run a very good traditional type boy-led emphasis program. I guess I'm a bit more push the envelop type of person. I don't know if it's a curse or a blessing, but I see so much potential in these young boys, I can't resist on helping them get as much as possible out of that potential before they move on to adulthood. I see the BSA program as a tool to help there, not a goal in and of itself. Maybe if I had a large troop it would be different, but having dealt with small troops, it gives me the opportunity to know these boys individually. I have had experience with 40+ troops, but they tended to be adult-led and that really wasn't my gig.

                Right now I have a "troop" of 2 boys. We've started meeting regularly and rather than being disappointed with such a slow start, I am 100% psyched to be able to pursue this because I see so much potential in it, it makes it all worthwhile. The two Webelos crossovers are already talking about whitewater canoeing and I have to teach them to set up tents first.

                Stosh

              • Eagledad
                Eagledad commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, I agree on the written communication issue. Most here will agree that I struggle with my application of words. So much so that I've been called a lier and intentionally using bad grammer to make a point between the lines. LOL I can't seem to make a point directly, much less between the lines. Another example is your whole 4th paragraph describes me word for word "I guess I'm a bit more push the envelop type person....", and I question why you don't see that. Oh well, we move on. Something I've come to understand through many rather humbling experiences is that adults set their program style, not the program structure. It is said that SMs determine the size of their troop by their personalities, not by what they ideally desire. Don't you think a successful truly boy run program would be desired by most boys and the program would naturally grow? Then how could one assume a troop of 50 scouts is less boy run? Using a Kuduism: 300 ft is 300 ft no matter the size of the troop. I believe that in most cases a SM will have about the same level of success with any program structure because their vision and personality are the main drivers of a program performance, not the structure. Certainly a SM with a direct coaching style is going to drive a different style program, but not nessessarily better or worse. If the SPL doesn't fit well in the SM's plan, then it behooves the SM to not use one. But we shouldn't assume all SMs use the SPL the same way. In its simplicity, scouts' responsiblities along with all the Methods are only tools for the Scoutmaster to use for the greater vision. Since we each have different visions and personalities, we each use our tools differently. I like this forum because of it's unlimited resources for ideas to help make our job easier. All of us have our opinions as to why some ideas and experiences are better than others. But I'm not so sure any suggestion is bad. I'm going way to long. Sorry folks. Barry

              • Kudu
                Kudu commented
                Editing a comment
                "Using a Kuduism: 300 ft is 300 ft no matter the size of the troop."

                So are you saying that the football teams of large, centralized school districts should have more than 300 feet between their end zones, or less?

            • #9
              Originally posted by Kudu View Post
              Moved to Hillcourt-Specific Training



              Last edited by Kudu; 09-20-2013, 04:18 PM.

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              • #10
                Thanks - I will try it as listed.

                When our troop started I did use the 3rd edition SM handbook for the first 4 weeks pretty much as it suggested, and quickly took a hold of the camping at a distance, despite all the fears I heard from parents that first weekend. I feel both of those items worked very well.

                That said I did fail to train the Scouts on how to lead, I was too afraid of becoming Webelos III and relied only on "Coach 'em, Trust 'em, Let 'em Lead." As a new leader it was difficult to recognize the differences between Training and doing for them as training was often thought of as training the whole group of boys and not just their leaders since they were all essentially starting from the same spot.

                Putting the distance between adults and Scouts from the first campout was very helpful. As much to train the adults as to get the Scouts to realize this was theirs and they had to make things work. As we have grown the distance between patrols hasn't and the past couple of outings have shown that they need more space between them to not just become a blob of Scouts not doing much of anything.

                Comment


                • Kudu
                  Kudu commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Please tell us about your Patrol Leaders and SPL. In a Troop of twenty, you would be lucky to have two natural leaders.

                • Thelopais
                  Thelopais commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I wouldn't consider any of them to be, except for a recent older Scout how transferred in who clearly understands the leadership roles and specifically joined us as he thought he could provide us the most help of the units he was looking at.

                  We are 16 months old.
                  1-16 year old. 3-13 year olds the rest under 13; I'm most proud of the fact we have had 100% retention so far with really only 1 Scout that lacks regular participation.

                  The 16 year old and a 12 year old are brand new transfers (within the last month). They also come from troops on the opposite end of the boy/adult led spectrums. Both are Star Scouts. All the rest are Tenderfoot or Second Class, I have a couple Scouts who have set goals to complete first class by the end of November. One PL and the SPL should be first class by the end of the year.

                  Currently, we have no ASPL. The 16 year old I have made a JASM tasked with mentoring the PLC and is essentially acting as an ASPL. He has been a PL several times and SPL in his previous troop. I am very glad he joined us.

                  The PL’s (11 & 12) and SPL (12) I would say all fall into the category of caring leaders. The SPL is very much a peace maker and the type nobody dislikes, but not what I’d call a natural leader. They aren't self-focused (that is for 12 year olds), no ADD. They have the ingredients I can easily work with. They have been willing to speak of issues and how to address them. The last PL’s were more self-centered so I was pleased with the choices this time. Though I did speak to all the scouts beforehand to address what they should be looking for when electing a PL.

                  One PL has decent outdoor skills; the other two are quick studies but need more experience outdoors.

                  From day one the adults have camped separately, I currently ask the SPL where they want the adults to camp and we go camp there. I do come around during certain meals where cooking is a concern, though I will say their cooking is usually a strength in both patrols. The Patrols have always camped closer; I wasn't concerned before when we had 6-8 Scouts showing up, they often shared information or watching each other would remind the other patrol to put bleach in the third tub. On recent outings though we have had 12-14 Scouts show up and the closeness of the patrols is showing to undermine the PL's and Patrol spirit.
                  Last edited by Thelopais; 09-22-2013, 12:09 PM.

                • Kudu
                  Kudu commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yes, a Baden-Powell Troop camp is a wagon wheel. The adults are at the hub with a 300 foot radius to each Patrol, and the Patrols likewise are spaced 300 feet apart from each other along the circumference.

              • #11
                In both Hillcourt's Patrol "Method" and Baden-Powell's Patrol "System," the Scoutmaster takes an active role in guiding each Patrol toward its most mature Scout, and encouraging them to stick with him (for as long as he is the best leader).


                I talk to each natural leader individually and ask him if he would be willing to be a Patrol Leader (rather than SPL or some other office). I tell him the truth: I need someone I can trust to move the Troop in the direction of controlled risk.

                If the natural leaders don't get elected, I keep the Patrols with immature Patrol Leaders on a shorter leash. When I was a Scoutmaster rebuilding a "Troop in trouble," I would take a natural leader along with me on a recruiting presentation and appoint him as "Troop Guide" of the new Scouts I brought into a Troop. After a few weeks it was natural for the new eleven-year-olds to vote for this older boy as Patrol Leader.

                Your SPL sounds perfect for a Troop-level position: "a peace maker and the type nobody dislikes, but not what I’d call a natural leader." Good at keeping joint-Patrol activities (planned by the Patrol Leaders) on track, but as SPL he does he not deprive one of the Patrols of their best Scout as Patrol Leader.

                On the other hand, I'd have my eye on the 16 year-old as a potential Patrol Leader. SPL, ASPL or JASM is a waste of his talent if he proves to be the Scout you would rather have in charge of a Patrol Hike miles from the nearest adult. The other Patrol Leader will tend to both model himself on the older Patrol Leader, and compete with him.

                What it boils down to is, who in each Patrol do you trust to build fires during Hillcourt's "chop" hikes, and otherwise keep the Patrol members from harm's way when adults are not hovering nearby?

                Comment


                • #12
                  Gotta remember that the 300' rule applies to adults as well.

                  Stosh

                  Comment


                  • skeptic
                    skeptic commented
                    Editing a comment
                    With most adults, you need 300 feet just to get some sleep at night.

                • #13
                  So we have held the first two meetings, mostly as written. I only changed out some Skill instruction for areas where we are weak.

                  I've already seen a big difference in our meetings. In a couple of meetings that they over estimated how long things would take they pulled items from our training meeting such as the Buddy Slings.

                  One thing I personally have gained a better respect for is their need to be able to visualize or pull on a previous experience to copy or emulate in order to do it on their own. ​After watching their reaction to the Hand Slap or Indian Leg Wrestling games I'm starting to demo a Scoutcraft or recreational game during our post meeting reviews each week to help give them additional items from. Deer stalking (SPL or JASM acting as the deer) is one they have taken a strong liking to.

                  We did discuss Kudu's comments on it being a waste for our older Scout to be a JASM and he would be better as a Patrol Leader listening to their discussion I think they all understood it. I know took me a couple of discussions regarding having independent patrol meetings to fully appreciate it. We haven't made that change though. He is though helping each patrol leader coordinate their own meetings which we hope to have each patrol hold two stand alone meetings next month. We are also talking of modifying their calendar in December to hold independent patrol outings, he wants to go with each patrol to help guide their PL.

                  I am anxious to see how these impact both the patrol spirit as well as the activities that take place during the meetings.

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