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  • Inter Patrol Competition

    I don't know how it works your side of the Atlantic but here in the UK it's quite common for troops to run with some kind of inter patrol competition running either termly or annually. This is something my troop have finally got round to formalising with the kids themselves coming up with the points scoring system, which is below. It was quite interesting talking to them about what they thought were worthy of points and how many points and what they thought of what we do. I won't put that now, I'll wait and see what others think of the system first, so here goes;

    Present at Flagbreak (ie on time) 1 point
    Present at Flabreak in correct uniform 2 points
    Night away (adults present) 2 points
    Night away (No adults present) 4 points
    Hike (adult present) 1 point
    Hike away (no adult present) 2 points
    Activity badge during scout activity 3 point
    Activity badge outside of scouts 5 points
    Challenge badge 10 points
    Chief Scouts Gold 50 points
    Random acts of kindness/helpfulness 5 points
    Winning team game 3 points
    Winning individual game 3 points
    Good team work 4 points

    Points may be deducted for poor behaviour at the discretion of any adult or YL or by the SPL.

    It's worth bearing in mind that our age range for scouts is different to yours, ie 10-14.

    Badge requirements here

    Any thoughts?
    The Scout Association in the UK. Information about beavers, cubs, scouts, explorer and network scouts. Information for parents.

  • #2
    Sounds like fun. Who maintains the tally? I know your troop is co-ed, are your patrols as well? Or, do they segregate by sex?


    • Cambridgeskip
      Cambridgeskip commented
      Editing a comment
      We keep the tally on a white board during a given scout evening which is marked up as we go along. We then transfer it to a system called Online Scout Manager via smart phone app at the end of the evening. For things away from the HQ the leader in charge keeps a note and again marks up OSM via their phone.

      And yes the patrols are coed and we try to keep roughly the same boy:girl ratio in each one although that's not always possible. We are currently running with 5 patrols of 7 plus an SPL. Currently 3 patrols have 3 girls and 2 have 2 girls.

      Some troops do have single sex patrols but it's increasingly rare.

    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      So, how does the unsupervised night away work? I'm not thinking about the kids so much, because I figure your patrol has to be the kind of group that's proven your trust before they can go.

      I'm more thinking about the comfort level of your parents. Ours would spit nails at the slightest suggestion of that sort of thing.

    • Cambridgeskip
      Cambridgeskip commented
      Editing a comment
      Unsupervised nights away are done through what's called a Nights Away Passport. Essentially as SL I sign a bit of paper that says the group are good to go and know what they are doing and basically accept responsibility for their actions. It's most commonly used for the Explorer Scout age range (14-18) but scouts (10-14) do use it as well.

      In terms of comfort level for parents I have not had much of a problem. We sometimes have the parents of 10 year olds say that they would prefer them to wait till they are a bit older. I think in that respect the reason is that here most scout campsites are relatively small compared to yours (100 acres is considered big!) with a full time warden who they could ultimately get help from if something went very wrong and parents know that (and indeed I emphasise it if they are worried!) I have also refused to sign off the passport for some groups who just aren't ready and I insist that the PL or other scout in charge has at least passed their First Aid Stage 3 award (which covers up to and including mouth to mouth/CPR, major bleeds, hyperthermia). Again all emphasised to parents,

  • #3
    When I was in high school they ran a very unique program that would apply here. The different classes would "compete" against each other throughout the school year and at the end of the year the classes were judged and a major banquet was held to announce the winner. The classes all had their own band and float for the homecoming parade. Each class got credits for # of students making the honor roll for academics, # of students involved in extra curriculum activities, # of students in sports, music, art, etc. At the annual Loyalty Banquet, the classes all had a song, decorated their tables, etc. for the last minute points if they thought themselves behind.

    Sure, a lot of times the senior class won, but there was one class that won for three years, making sure there were a couple of classes that never won Loyalty. When I was in school back in the 1960's the program had been going strong for 40 years, I now wonder if it's still going on, it was kinda fun and about 95% of the students took it very seriously.

    I'm thinking inter-patrol competitions would be kinda fun, too.

    Just make sure the playing field is level. # of scouts in full uniform, necker on and shirt tucked in. Even the NSP can compete with the venture patrol on an even playing field. If it's just all skills, then the NSP may end up with a defeatist attitude right from the beginning when it's important to get them on board with the program.



    • Cambridgeskip
      Cambridgeskip commented
      Editing a comment
      School competitions like you describe used to be much more common in the UK then they are now, which is a shame because I had it at primary (5-11 year olds) school and quite liked it. At secondary school (11-18) we only had it for school sport.

      Absolutely we're going for an even playing field. For a normal scout evening we usually only ask for top half uniform, ie shirt and necker. We don't enforce uniform trousers because, annoyingly, they only come in one leg length for a given waist size. When you are tall it looks ridiculous. Which is frustrating because the uniform trousers are genuinely quite practical, lots of pockets, hydrophobic, fire retardant. For more formal nights like remembrance night we ask for any dark blue or black trousers or skirt.

      By NSP do you mean New Scout Patrol? That's actually very rare in the UK. A few troops use it but generally new scouts are placed into a "normal" patrol straight away with typically the APL asked to buddy them as part of his or her duties.

  • #4
    This will be fun to watch. We've done simular things like this but not all added together. We did kind of a random acts of kindness competition and the scouts at first go out of their way to do acts of kindness to the point of being silly. But it was interesting to see that once the newness wore off, it actually did influence behavior. I can see judging and keeping track of points could be challenging, but they will figure it out. I look forward to reading your post. Barry


    • #5
      I really hope it works because my PLC and I have just come up with something similar. Major differences are there are points for service projects, a lot more points for outings compared to meetings, and points based on challenge (cold weather, miles hiked or biked) and competition. Also, there are no points for rank advancement. Points are collected by patrol. Points are used for bragging rights and ribbons but we also want a way for points to have value so even the last place patrol can gain from trying. (adults cook for the patrol? money for pizza?...)

      -1pt/scout at a meeting (1/2 pt if not in full uniform, points are truncated)
      -2pts/patrol for doing a cheer or song
      -2pts/patrol per place in any competition (3rd:2pts, 2nd:4pts, 1st:6pts)
      -points for organizing a game, main event, or flags (up to the SPL, based on how well it was done)

      -5pts/scout/service hour
      -A good deed recognized by the PLC or an ASM (amount is up to the SPL to decide). This can be anything from helping a younger scout, to just bringing good cheer around a campfire.
      -fundraising for the troop or council.
      -participating in OA activities

      50pts/scout/high adventure trip
      1/2 pt/scout/frost point
      3pts/mile/scout (hiking and backpacking)
      1pt/bike mile/scout
      ??swimming open water
      10pts/patrol/place in any competition on campouts (3rd-10pts, 2nd-20pts, 1st-30pts)


      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        When do you tally? Quarterly? Annually? Before SPL elections?

        One thing our district did at a klondike derby was have an auction on items from the scout shop (district bought a variety of items that they thought a unit might need). Patrols could bid the number of nuggets that they won. Obviously patrols with more nuggets could place higher bids, but they had to be strategic because patrols with fewer nuggets could run up the bid on the first item on the block, leaving them more spending power for items later in the auction.

        Regardless of the point system, after every go-around, the boys need to evaluate it's usefulness and decide if they would like to re-weight something.

      • Cambridgeskip
        Cambridgeskip commented
        Editing a comment
        I quite like the idea of points for service. I'll put it to the scouts and see what they think.

        We normally try to do some kind of project as part of summer camp. This summer we'll be visiting a birds of prey rescue center during the camp and are planning on doing some work for them. We also have something call scout communities week in June. There is a nursing home round the corner from us which has been built on a site that the troop used to meet at so we are looking at doing something for them, maybe some kind of gardening project

      • MattR
        MattR commented
        Editing a comment
        JBlake, patrols are roughly the same size, but we could easily normalize the numbers. The points are given to the patrols, but I see what you mean. Competitions are all patrol based. One of the things we talked about is to encourage scouts to challenge themselves at an age where not rocking the boat is so important. That's why there are points for miles, frost, etc. I'm hoping the leaders will come out and say "Let's go backpacking and make a bunch of points. We can teach the younger scouts." I agree that team based points are preferable to individual points. I don't know, maybe there's a bonus based on the percentage of your patrol that shows up. For high adventure trips the points are given to the patrol based on individual participation, so that's one case where individual points work well.

        Qwaze, the natural year for us starts with the August COH. We're thinking ribbons by quarter and something bigger for the year. This is independent of the SPL elections and PL elections are not a fixed date (rather, do it when the PL is ready). We do the same thing at Klondike. It's a ton of fun and a chance to get the scouts out of the cold for an hour or two.

        CambridgeSkip, this all came about to encourage Scout Spirit. Challenging oneself to do the right thing. Service, adventure, and teamwork. No points for rank advancement but points for helping someone else advance.

    • #6
      So anyway, comments from the scouts....

      The big surprise from me was about the nights away. I suggested to them that maybe that should get more points. They said "no, too easy". When I asked why they explained that it's all very well turning up to a camp, but if you don't pull you weight and make the most of what is happening there then why should you rack up loads of points? Better to weight it more towards things like team work and helpfulness so that someone that works hard at a couple of camps scores more than someone who goes to everything and twiddles their thumbs.

      I did suggest that the different challenge badges get different weightings. The fact is that creative is very easy to get where as Expedition is actually very difficult. They reckoned it was too complicated. And besides the harder challenge badges like Expedition and Outdoor Plus give more opportunity to rack up points on things like team work.

      It was really interesting listening to what they had to say.


      • boomerscout
        boomerscout commented
        Editing a comment
        I take it that nights away is overnight camping or hiking? Without an adult? That would be a major sin over here. Might even get you drummed out of the troop after all your patches are ripped from your shirt.

      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Right you are, boomer. And that's one more reason why youth don't need the BSA to do scouting.

      • Cambridgeskip
        Cambridgeskip commented
        Editing a comment
        boomerscout - yes, basically camping (although nights spent on boats, occasional bunk houses etc also count)

        Unsupervised nights are most commonly done by Explorer Scouts (14-18 year olds) although scouts (10-14 year olds) also do it.