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Defining the Patrol Method.

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  • #31
    Eagledad, is there some description, anywhere, of how the program should work?

    Scoutgipper, we also used to be able to send scouts out for left handed, blue metallic, telescoping smoke shifters, and we can't do that anymore because it's considered hazing.

    Underlying allowing scouts to do something on their own is trust. I agree with Eagledad that it can still be developed with the current system. The problem isn't the rules so much as society and the change in adult perception. Maybe the methods of scouting were obvious when we were kids because kids and adults stayed away from each other. The kids were outside and the adults were inside. Kids just played on their own.

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    • #32
      I recently agreed to trade a Scout some extra butter from the Adult larder in exchange for some firewood and....a shrubbery!

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      • #33
        Originally posted by MattR View Post
        Eagledad, is there some description, anywhere, of how the program should work?

        Scoutgipper, we also used to be able to send scouts out for left handed, blue metallic, telescoping smoke shifters, and we can't do that anymore because it's considered hazing.

        Underlying allowing scouts to do something on their own is trust. I agree with Eagledad that it can still be developed with the current system. The problem isn't the rules so much as society and the change in adult perception. Maybe the methods of scouting were obvious when we were kids because kids and adults stayed away from each other. The kids were outside and the adults were inside. Kids just played on their own.
        You know Matt, when three of us took over a dead troop, we basically started over by building the troops of our youth with simple goals of developing character and leadership. THEN we started going to training and reading the handbooks.

        Move forward a few years to where I was given the responsibility for training of troop leaders. It was much easier for me to start a successful troop program off the basic knowledge of my youth scouting experience than it was teaching adults how to run the same type of program using documentation provided by National.

        I have since come to a personal conclusion that introduction of women as troop leaders has led to a slow change of program simply because the number of adults who had a scouting youth background was cut in half.

        I think your question is rhetorical, but I don’t have a good answer.

        Barry

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        • #34
          The Patrol Method is "Our Gang" or " The Little Rascals" with structure and values, engaging in activities with a purpose. The adult (SM, or his delegate) sets the framework for activities, and ensures the required skills and tools are made available, while developing youth leadership through coaching (this should mostly flow from through the SPL).

          The ASPL is perhaps the most misunderstood, and misused position in BSA. I blame the name, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader ... which is exactly what he isn't.

          The SPL is responsible for leading, coaching, and mentoring his Patrol Leaders and Guides (we used to call them command positions). Additionally he's responsible to set the direction of the troop by converting his vision to a plan, communicating it to make it a shared vision, and leading his officers in making this vision a reality.

          The ASPL is responsible for the remaining officers (those not directly responsible for people): QM, Scribe, Historian, ect. When I say responsible I mean the ASPL is answerable for the success or failure, and as such is responsible for mentoring, coaching, and supervising these officers. Yes, in the event of the SPL absence the ASPL is on charge, but this is the least of his responsibility.
          Last edited by Old_OX_Eagle83; 06-06-2014, 01:11 PM.

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          • #35
            This is a very interesting and informative thread, and I really appreciate all the thoughts.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Eagledad View Post
              I think your question is rhetorical, but I don’t have a good answer.

              Barry
              Unfortunately, it's not rhetorical. I think it would be really useful. It sounds easy but character and leadership are about how people interact with each other and that's about as big a topic as you can get. Maybe that's why it's so hard.

              Slightly off topic but there are some common problems that keep coming up on these forums. It just seems that someone should be able to write down some guidelines on how to solve them. How to work with a selfish boy with parents that enable it is a current thread. The line between adult and scout decisions. Developing trust. The two dozen most common issues a SM comes up with and how to solve them would help a lot of scouters that want to do the right thing but don't know how.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by MattR View Post
                Unfortunately, it's not rhetorical. I think it would be really useful. It sounds easy but character and leadership are about how people interact with each other and that's about as big a topic as you can get. Maybe that's why it's so hard.

                Slightly off topic but there are some common problems that keep coming up on these forums. It just seems that someone should be able to write down some guidelines on how to solve them. How to work with a selfish boy with parents that enable it is a current thread. The line between adult and scout decisions. Developing trust. The two dozen most common issues a SM comes up with and how to solve them would help a lot of scouters that want to do the right thing but don't know how.
                LOL, well I’m going to have to put on my trainer and mentoring hats to respond to your post. You are sending me back a few years, but in just about every adult troop leader class I taught, the questions of dealing with behavior always came up when I asked for questions the course didn’t answer. I tried to give a direct answer as much as I could, but here is the basis of what I feel is the answer.

                First my training hat; I use to teach Scoutmaster Specific and a class called Boy Run during the same time period and I gave the same basic point in both classes. I learned to give short lists to scouts and adults so that they could remember what was important. Here is the number one short list I think ALL Troop Scout Leaders need to learn and understand.

                There are three points that Troop Leaders need to understand to run a successful boy run program.

                One - The main objective or mission of the adults is the BSA Mission statement: “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

                Two - The way the adults achieve that goal or mission is with the Three Aims and Eight Methods.

                Three - The adults are responsible for the Aims, and the boys are responsible for the Methods. The Eight Methods are what make the troop program boy run.

                OK, that is the short list that every adult needs to carry around until they understand how it all fits together.

                Now I will put on my mentoring hat to get to your quote. Adults tend to struggle the most with boy behavior when they ignore the most important point of the list, which is point one; the Boy Scout Mission to prepare scouts to make ethical and moral choices using the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Apply point one first, and the other two points will fall into place.

                OK, that was my mentoring hat. Now I’ve taken off both hats and will summarize. The main objective for adults is for scouts to learn to make ethical and moral choices. Stop, that’s it, plain and simple. We do that through the scouts doing activities where they practice character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The adults are responsible to insure that every scouting activity is practicing one or more of those objectives. And the best way adults insure that is by guiding the scouts to do those activities within the boundaries of the Eight Methods: Ideals, Patrols, Outdoors, Advancement, Association with Adults, Personal Growth, Leadership, and Uniform.

                As I said, the boy run part of the program is the Eight Methods. I’ve also said I have never met a SM who didn’t have a boy run troop. BUT, the degree to which a troop is boy run depends on how much the adults shift their responsibility of the Three Aims to the Eight Methods. AND, taking responsibility of the Scouts methods also means taking responsibility away from the first priority of developing moral and ethical decision makers. Methods equate to “making choices” and choices are how the scouts develop into ethical decision makers. When adults get into the methods, they take away the opportunity for scouts to make choices. I hope that makes sense, I will give an example in a moment.

                As you pointed out Matt, character is how we deal with people, which is basically scout behavior. I try over and over to get adults to understand that dealing with behavior is what we scout leaders do. Don’t be afraid of it, embrace it and learn how to use behavior to get a boy closer to the BSA Mission. When adults get hung up on scout’s bad behavior, they are forgetting that all the scout is doing is making bad choices. Oh I know it sounds obvious, but what adults are doing is letting their emotions of the bad behavior drive them into an emotional over responses.

                I have observed that the adults in the better boy run troops approach the scouts choices pragmatically. They are less judgmental and more systematic in how the program applies to the scouts’ choices. They are focused on scout growth. There are no good or bad choices so much as how the choices effect those around the scout (character). Negative choices effects are good opportunities for growth BECAUSE growth in making moral choices is the GOAL.

                Where adults go wrong is they take their eyes off the ball of growth to emotional drive of forcing change or punishment. When a scouts behavior gets bad enough that the adults want to force their own change instead of letting the Aims and Methods help the scout to grow, then the game is over. It is no longer a scout program, much less boy run.

                So what are adults supposed to do with negative behavior? Well first, what is negative behavior? Negative behaviors are choices that fall outside of the scout law and oath. Who judges those choices? Usually the judges are the victims of the bad choices, which should be scouts. So the scouts deal with bad choices by teaching and encouraging each other to make good choices. But we all know that boys are limited on their skills and need help from the adults. That is adult association. But then sometimes even the adults struggle in helping a boy to understand their choices. So they need to seek help from other adults, typically the parents.

                Where the adults get lost in how to deal with behavior is loosing sight of the first point on the list, the BSA Mission Statement. Adults lose sight because some don’t really believe it. Others think it corny while others just don’t get it. But, when we confront the behavior, we need to remind everyone involved at that time that growth is changing bad choices into good choices because that IS our goal and our job. How many scout leaders reading this have told the parents of the scouts that their goals is to help their son grow to be a better moral and ethical decision maker? How many have told their scouts that while they, the scouts, or responsible for the Methods part of the program, the adults are responsible for growth in decisions making? If you haven’t, and most have not, why?

                The thing is that when a scout continually chooses to make bad choices, he can effect the growth of the scouts around him. When a scouts choices get that bad, he needs restrictions to prevent his choices hurting others. This is where adults struggle because restrictions aren't typical and are extreme for developing growth. It is extremely important that everyone involved, especially the parents understand that the troop programs goal of developing eithical and moral decision makers so that the restrictions are not only applied without prejudice, but also accepted by everyone for the purpose of scout growth.

                The reason the better boy run programs perform better is because everyone understands that the main goals of the program are not leadership, advancement, camping or fishing, the main objective is growth for making better decisions based on the scout oath and law. And if anyone wants to know how the scouts are supposed to judge those choices, refer them to the Oath and Law. Further more, the adults of those troops also understand that so long as the scouts stays within the boundaries of the Eight Methods, the adults aren’t going to interfere with their activities unless asked. The adults job is to stand back and evaluate how the scouts are doing in Fitness, Citizenship and Character, not camping, advancement, uniform, leadership and so on. Oh of course the adults are supposed to help scouts when they struggle so much that they aren’t growing. The adults do that through teaching skills and mentoring the principles of their choices. They don’t tell them what to do because that takes away opportunities for the scouts to grow from making choices.

                As I said, generally the more the adults guide the scouts in their eight methods, the less the adults understand the goals of the program and the less boy run the troop is running. Let me give to quick examples of where adults really really struggle with this whole concept and where you can judge your troop. Uniform and advancement are the two methods that adults struggle the most to leaving the scouts responsible. There are plenty of guidelines in the Scout Handbooks to guide the scouts on their uniform and advancement, but the adults have an emotional perspective with these two methods and feel a need give the scouts additional guidance in their choices. Lets face it, we are insecure about how the scouts will choose and let our pride drive the performance of these methods. Once we adults let our emotions get into play, we lose sight of our number one goal and crossover into the scouts responsibilities. Less boy run and less growth are the results.

                OK sorry, my teaching and mentoring guidelines are much shorter, my summarizing tends to get way too long. I hope it made some kind of sense. We had some lively discussions in my courses.

                Barry

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                • #38
                  Barry, thanks for the "summary." Now I understand what you've been talking about. I have never seen it written anywhere that adults own the aims and the scouts own the methods. It's not that I disagree, it's just not out there. I'm not sure what it means that the boys own the methods. If the boys "own" uniform and decide it's now optional, then what happens? If they own advancement and say first aid is nothing more than call 911, where do adults fit in? Is it that the adults say we will implement the methods but it's up to the scouts to decide how?

                  ​Working with the scouts to deal with troublesome scouts is usually not a problem in my troop. The problem is obvious and the scouts want it solved. But what do you do when the problem isn't obvious? Dealing with a troublesome scout has ethics written all over it but what about dealing with a boring calendar? We'll do thorns and roses and the scouts will never bring up a problem that could be solved. They'll mention the weather or someone snoring, but never the fact that the PL wanted to play cards all day. They are boys, they don't talk about problems.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by MattR View Post
                    I'm not sure what it means that the boys own the methods. If the boys "own" uniform and decide it's now optional, then what happens? If they own advancement and say first aid is nothing more than call 911, where do adults fit in? Is it that the adults say we will implement the methods but it's up to the scouts to decide how?
                    The adults are responsible for growth toward the BSA Mission of becoming Moral and Ethical decision makers. The Scout Handbook CLEARLY states how and when to wear the uniform. The Scout Handbook CLEARLY gives the requirements for first-aid. Don’t get distracted away from the overall objective. The adults have the RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to guide the scouts in their decisions.

                    Making a bad decision can become a habit. If the scout knowingly chooses to not wear the uniform correctly, that isn’t really a big deal in the world of bad decisions. But, if there is no accountability for that bad choice, then what about choosing to show up to the meeting late, and not calling other scouts when he was supposed to delegate buying food for the campout. One bad choice can lead into other bad choices which can lead into a bad habit. I’ve watch this for several years. If the scouts start seeing that making bad choices relates to bad character, they start to focus on making good choices.

                    "side note"By the way I need to add, I have never seen a perfectly uniformed mature boy run troop. If the troop is perfectly uniformed, I know that the adults have their hands in on those choices. I know that sounds a bit hypocritical, but boys go through phases in their life of trying to find themselves and typically scout 13 to 15 years old experiement with how they appear to their piers. You can tell when adults get their hands in the boys business because they work on the group. But in a boy run program, the SM works with each scout's growth individually. "end of the side note"

                    The hard part about this is that the adult doesn’t want to come off as the disciplinary or the behavior police. They need to be understood as mentors of wisdom trying to show a better road in life. Don’t come off as judgmental, but instead the disappointed big brother. Figure out how to be accountible without being judgemental. It takes awhile and work with a good SPL helps a lot.

                    What you want is to develop an environment where the scouts hold each other accountable because the adults are 300 feet away. You want the boys to want to be moral and ethical decision makers. You don’t want them waiting for the adults to leave so they can get away with bad choices.

                    I don't like giving a lot of "There I was" stories, but I remember walking down to watch the scouts play Capture the Flag. I was still in the woods hidden from the scouts as I was walking down the trail, but close enough I could here them. We had a new 13 year old transfer who started cussing and a couple of scouts in passing told him that cussing wasn't cool. Of course we all have a bad day and let loose of a few words now and then, but cussing is a bad choice in the troop culture.

                    This takes a long time to develop, but adults have to be consistent so that the scouts see the objective. I know a lot of folks think it is just talk, but role modeling is real. The boys’ side of the program emulates the adult side. If the adults are loud boisterous cussing dictators, the patrols will eventually duplicate that behavior. If the adults consistently try to live the scout law and oath the best they can, and are openly humble when they make bad choices, the boys’ behavior will follow. It is really up to the adults.


                    Originally posted by MattR View Post
                    Dealing with a troublesome scout has ethics written all over it but what about dealing with a boring calendar? We'll do thorns and roses and the scouts will never bring up a problem that could be solved. They'll mention the weather or someone snoring, but never the fact that the PL wanted to play cards all day. They are boys, they don't talk about problems.
                    One of the things that drive me crazy about this forum are the constant lectures by idealist that boy run means hands off for the adults. Our troop averages four high adventure activities a year. We got that way when the troop was small because some adults who knew how to go back packing and canoeing push the troop toward higher adventures. Adults want to have fun too and sometimes they have the best ideas for fun. Scouts are just boys limited by their experiences. Adults have a lot more experiences. Adults can be a great source of spicing up the program. Our Troop does six month planning twice a year. The six months that is being planned starts six months from that PLC election. I’m not going to get into detail of how we plan except to say that each patrol is expected to present some new ideas. The adults are considered a patrol during planning, so they get to present their ideas as well. That is how we can control some of the calendar. All the ideas have to be voted, but we adults can sell fun. Of course the scouts have a lot of tradition and experiences under their belts now, so adults don’t have to be creative unless a new idea pops up. I understand the troop went on a scuba diving trip to Mexico a couple years ago. That was a scout's idea that took two years in the making.

                    Always keep the boys challenged, both personally and as a group. Boys like challenges because it forces them to see themselves at a higher level. They may whine a little at getter there, but they are bragging six months later. Push your troop. You can see where it needs it. Learn how to inject little ideas. Don’t let the program get stale and don’t be apologetic about pointing out the PLCs boring program. Learn how to interject fun challenging activities. And just because the scouts are boring doesn’t mean the adults have to be boring. Sing, tell jokes, laugh and eat well. The Patrols will emulate the adults, even when they are 300 feet away. LOL

                    Barry

                    Last edited by Eagledad; 06-10-2014, 09:01 AM.

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                    • #40
                      Sometimes we get caught up in our definitions that we forget the practical application of making the program work. I am a boy-led, patrol-method champion and yet there are times when adults must step in.

                      I have 3 rules for the boys.

                      #1 Safety First
                      #2 Look and act like a scout.
                      #3 Have fun

                      If any adult sees any of these rules being broken they can step in and correct the situation.

                      I took my new troop out on their first campout this weekend. It was "boring" according to the boys. I reminded them that they in fact broke rule #3. They need to do better planning for the next campout. Yes an adult stepped in, but the onus still remained with the boys and their program.

                      Breaking camp on Sunday morning was a free-for-all. At 7:00 am, I announced that if we weren't packed up by 10:00 am, we would be changing into an adult-led, troop-method troop for the duration of the campout. (We were planning on leaving at 12:00 noon and I figured the Mrs. and I would need 2 hours to pack up the boys and get them home if we needed to do it all ourselves.)

                      Yes, we had to step in and help out with the decamping, LNT, and packing into vehicles at 10:00 am. At 11:30 we sat down and did an AAR. The boys decided they didn't like adult-led, troop-method. (I'd have done a drill sergeant proud!)

                      As part of the learning curve for these boys, they have to know the choices that face them. Maybe for some adult-led was what they were preferring, but it doesn't seem to case for these boys.

                      The boys have responsibility for the programming. They have the ownership of its success AND they have the authority to decide what is to be done. I see troops going with the responsibility part all the time. If they are convincing enough and find good programs, they may get the boys into ownership of the activity, but seldom do I see the boys have full autonomy with authority to fulfill the programming on their own terms. The test for this process is: If every patrol in your troop wanted to go to a different summer camp, as adults can one handle this? Or for expedience sake of the adults, the boys are told they can't do that? One patrol is happy, but 4 patrols aren't. Then the adults stand around scratching their heads as to why the boys' attendance is down for summer camp! They comfort themselves in blaming the boys for girls, cars and jobs. If the only ones in the troop who have the authority to make decisions are over 18 years of age, one has an adult-led troop which will probably end up troop-method by default eventually. PL's who have no authority to take care of their boys will eventually sit back and let the adults do it because they are in control anyway. Sure, they'll complain about the PL's being lazy and not doing their job, but they'll wear the patch for 6 months and get credit for it anyway.

                      Stosh

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
                        Sometimes we get caught up in our definitions that we forget the practical application of making the program work. I am a boy-led, patrol-method champion and yet there are times when adults must step in.

                        I have 3 rules for the boys.

                        #1 Safety First
                        #2 Look and act like a scout.
                        #3 Have fun

                        If any adult sees any of these rules being broken they can step in and correct the situation.
                        Well I’m not sure what you are trying to say because it kind of sounds like the adults made up the rules for when they can turn off boy run and tell the scouts what to do. All troops do it to some degree, but you can understand why one adult’s boy run on this forum can be another adult’s not so boy run.

                        That is why it is important to use the BSA structure for the program. A troop that uses the Methods to define the scouts roles and the Aims to define the adults role makes it easier for each group to hold each other accountable and explain the program to outsiders. A visiting Webelos parent may ask how the SM gets the boys to earn their eagle. The SM responds by explaining the roles of the adults and the scouts while showing them the Aims and Methods in the SM Handbook. Then the SM master finishes by saying, “that is why the Scout is responsible for earn the Eagle, not the SM or anyone else”. And it is not a mystery, anyone can look up these things on the internet. The SM isn't working in a vacuum, they are following a published format. And that doesn't mean the SM has to use the SPL, there is room for some personal perspective as well. Still, the farther a program wanders from the basic structure, the more dangerous it becomes for the boys.

                        Of course it’s not always clear cut either, how can a SM influence a scout to think about living the scout law without intimidating the scout to live the scout law just to keep the adults off their back. We adults need to develop the skill of explaining the virtues of the Eight Methods so that we can justify why they are important for a positive scouting experience. How many here can explain the virtues of the uniform so that a scout believes it will enhance his personal scouting experience and character. That is mentoring and it is a skill that takes lots of practice. But, the more the adults can support their program with BSA documentation that defines the responsibilities of everyone, the better the program can maintain integrity with accountability from the outside.

                        I think even the SPL Handbook explains Aims and Methods. Every time and issue comes up where the adult feels the need to intrude on the scout side of the program, have the SM sit down with the SPL and open the handbook to discuss together where to go. In that way the scout and scouters become equal partners in coming up with solutions. That is all boys of all ages want, to be an equal with the adult leaders in working the program.

                        I do agree that your scouts failed to follow their agenda. I love to use time to hold scouts accountable because they can’t blame anyone but themselves. Your scouts hopefully learned something from their choices.
                        Barry

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by scoutergipper View Post
                          I wonder how many Adults end up not volunteering in Scouts because they're afraid it's "too much work?"
                          Too many and often it is too much work, e.g., becoming a merit badge counselor.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            "Well I’m not sure what you are trying to say because it kind of sounds like the adults made up the rules for when they can turn off boy run and tell the scouts what to do. All troops do it to some degree, but you can understand why one adult’s boy run on this forum can be another adult’s not so boy run."

                            That would be the case but only if one jumps to conclusions and assumes the rules were made up by the the adults. These rules were negotiated with the boys and they are the ones they adopted. It was suggested by the adults to limit the rules to just 3 so that everyone could remember them easier.

                            And yes, the adults can step in and deal with situations that concern individual scouts. Boy-led, patrol-method deals with patrols, not individual scouts. For example, one of my boys (all Webelos crossovers this past winter) showed up this past weekend with a hand-axe. Needless to say, I said something to the individual scout about the rules and had him stowe the axe until after he had finished the Tot'n Chit training. That is not a boy-led, patrol-method issue. Had his PL been handy, he could have handled the situation as well and I would have deferred to him.

                            When we were going to go down to the nature center (boy's planned activity) the Mrs. told the boy to be careful heading down the trail because the woods are loaded with poison ivy (Rule #1). Six paranoid boys thus changed their plans briefly so that she could teach them what the stuff looked like. Had any of the boys been able to recognize it and teach the others she would have deferred. Her responsibility to safety was over. It applied to the Rules but not to the boy-led, patrol-method. The PL took note of the lesson and that evening checked off everyone's advancement for recognizing dangerous plants. THAT is a boy-led, patrol-method issue and the adults have no business messing with that.

                            The 10:00 am deadline for packing up or it changes to an adult-led troop was negotiated with the PL prior to the "lesson" put into place.

                            The surprising thing about that little lesson, the boys did not complain about it at the AAR following the campout, nor at the meeting last night where more AAR activity was dealt with. In reality, that kinda bothers me. It tells me they are willing to sit back and let the adults run the show and tell them what to do. It's always easier to follow than to lead.

                            Stosh

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
                              That would be the case but only if one jumps to conclusions and assumes the rules were made up by the the adults.
                              Hmm, where did you say in your post the scouts and adults negotiated when the adults would take over? It is a lot easier to simply not make up new rules and instead learn to work together.

                              Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
                              The surprising thing about that little lesson, the boys did not complain about it at the AAR following the campout, nor at the meeting last night where more AAR activity was dealt with. In reality, that kinda bothers me. It tells me they are willing to sit back and let the adults run the show and tell them what to do. It's always easier to follow than to lead.

                              Stosh
                              Over the years I learned young scouts tire quickly of personal responsibility and have to develop into it. It is hard on 14 year old SPLs too. It's new for them and it requires a lot of effort. That is why I advice new troops with young scouts start with two or three month leadership periods instead of six. I know you like scouts to switch off when the feel like it, but I teach the BSA recommended policies because that is what most troops use.

                              What is AAR?

                              Barry

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Can not make up new rules as one goes along. There are only three. The three most important ones decided by the boys.

                                Generally the boys don't do much "switching off" when they feel like it. I find that if done right, every boys at certain times steps up and takes the lead when the situation calls for it regardless of the patch on his shirt. The "cook" on Sunday morning slept in. When the five other boys were all standing around his tent shaking it telling him to get up, they were hungry, I went over and stood there and didn't say anything. After a while one of the boys looked at me and asked if I could tell him to get up and make breakfast. I said that wasn't my job, but if I got really hungry, I would have gone over and got the cereal out of the chuck box and made my own breakfast. After about 5 minutes, all the boys, except for the cook, were sitting at the table having breakfast. Problem solving is a necessary skill for any good leader.

                                AAR is After Action Review, After Activity Report, etc. something the boys and adults do to reflect and correct challenges the boys had to face. Eventually this process will be ritualized by the boys and everyone will get a chance to express their feelings about the events they are involved with. What did you like? What did you not like? What about the food? What about the activities? etc. People more readily learn from their mistakes than they do with their successes. Successes entrench quickly. It worked, never change or improve it. If it ain't broken don't fix it. Mistakes are always fluid and developing new and better ways to "fix" what's not right. It's also a great opportunity to sit and listen to what the boys think are important enough to mention during this time. Who's speaking up? Who's not? Who's trying to offer solutions? Who's not? etc. If the boys are running the show here, they had better get it out in the open what the show is. If the boys need to ask the adults something they can address it there in front of everyone, too. If the boys are going to learn something from each activity, they really should be doing AAR's on a regular basis. I've been doing it for years with all my youth groups and this is probably one of the main reasons why I have very few discipline problems, leadership problems, etc. No one wants to get called out at the end of the event as not having held up their end of the deal.

                                Stosh

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