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Defining the Patrol Method.

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  • #46
    It surprises me a little that you offered only a single specific solution like that. I usually use open-ended questions like "Well, what's another way you could get breakfast?" (although to be honest I would be very unlikely to be involved in a situation such as you describe, because I'm very, very rarely in a Patrol campsite and during the breakfast hour would be enjoying some coffee or orange juice in the Adult campsite).

    AAR's are very effective learning tools. We try to always have the Scouts do them immediately after an activity (particularly campouts) as even waiting until the next Troop or PLC meeting leads to loss of clarity in the Scouts' memory.

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    • #47
      Not everything is amenable to a Socratic solution ... Especially if you are facing down 5 hungry boys!

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      • #48
        It's amazing how a disaster can focus things. I saw a Shakespearean tragedy of a scout meeting last night. Everything that could go wrong did. I just took notes and asked other adults to let it happen. It would be fun to tell you the details but I won't. The thing that really stuck out was that a lot of scouts, leaders or not, knew there was a problem and didn't do or say anything. The troop guides already had plans for their patrol and "had" to change them. Even at the end of the meeting when I asked how it went I got a collective shrug. Nobody said it was fun. Nobody said anything. Nobody wanted to say it was a disaster and nobody knew how to say that in a constructive way.

        Patrol Method, boy led, and leadership are all the same thing. My take on what needs to be defined, getting back to the original post, is what everyone's job is. The job of the scout leaders is to help the scouts below them achieve their goals. Call it support, or servant leadership, or tough love. At the same time, their job is also to move their group together, as a team. Handling the contradictions of the team vs the individual is just part of the fun. Those scouts that aren't leaders also have a responsibility to participate and speak up in a constructive way when things don't go right. They need to help their team and help solve problems. Finally, the adults need to facilitate good decisions from the scouts. It's not about making decisions when things go wrong so much as getting the scouts to make decisions and following through. The adults also have to enforce boundaries on decisions, whether it be ethical or staying within the boundaries of the methods of scouting.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by scoutergipper View Post
          It surprises me a little that you offered only a single specific solution like that. I usually use open-ended questions like "Well, what's another way you could get breakfast?" (although to be honest I would be very unlikely to be involved in a situation such as you describe, because I'm very, very rarely in a Patrol campsite and during the breakfast hour would be enjoying some coffee or orange juice in the Adult campsite).

          AAR's are very effective learning tools. We try to always have the Scouts do them immediately after an activity (particularly campouts) as even waiting until the next Troop or PLC meeting leads to loss of clarity in the Scouts' memory.
          We were at a state park and they would not allow unattended minors to be separated from their supervision. The boys had most of the site, the Mrs. and I were off to one side. We did our own thing. We were not involved in the meals, programs or operations of the patrol. The only reason I got involved was I was done with breakfast, decamped and packed up. The Mrs. and I had our two lawn chairs and coffee and we were watching the boys. The commotion the boys were making was really something I'm sure other campers in the area wanted to hear early on a Sunday morning.

          As far as alternative solutions other than my one? I'm thinking that dragging the GrubMaster out by his feet and wailing on him with a wooden spoon would be the consensus of the open-ended question. I didn't want to go there.

          We did a 30 minute AAR in the site and a 1 hour AAR the following evening at the troop meeting. Waiting a week would indeed lose a lot of valuable information.

          Stosh

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          • #50
            The BSA teaches reflection, or was teaching it. Have they changed reflection to AAR in the last couple years, or is it just Army lingo some folks like to use?

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Eagledad View Post
              The BSA teaches reflection, or was teaching it. Have they changed reflection to AAR in the last couple years, or is it just Army lingo some folks like to use?
              I thought they taught Thorns and Roses!

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Eagledad View Post
                The BSA teaches reflection, or was teaching it. Have they changed reflection to AAR in the last couple years, or is it just Army lingo some folks like to use?
                Never was in the Army because I was unable to serve. I use it because it describes what I'm doing.

                Stosh
                Last edited by jblake47; 06-12-2014, 09:45 AM.

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                • #53
                  We also use "Start, Stop, Continue." In my mind, it's all "reflection" which is the word I use during Court of Honor or when I'm describing the program to Adults. Whatever term you choose, the important thing is that the Scouts understand the purpose.

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                  • #54
                    Please don't derail the thread to argue about SSC vs AAR. Different words, same general concept.

                    To reiterate my OP question.

                    "I'd like anybody interested to answer a few questions. First, define the patrol method. What are the key characteristics of the patrol method? What is the role of the Adult Scouters in a troop run by the patrol method? What does the SPL/ASPL do on a trip with the patrol method? Has your troop always used the patrol method? Please describe your troops use of the patrol method."

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                      First, define the patrol method.
                      For me it is the process by which the troop is organized. It is broken down into smaller groupings so that more boys will have an opportunity to function as leaders and have a group small enough that their emerging leadership isn't overwhelmed by numbers.

                      Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                      What are the key characteristics of the patrol method?
                      Autonomy
                      Commraderie
                      Self-contained

                      Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                      What is the role of the Adult Scouters in a troop run by the patrol method?
                      SUPPORT non-patrol member leaders when assistance is requested.
                      EVALUATE the development of the patrol functionality.

                      Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                      What does the SPL/ASPL do on a trip with the patrol method?
                      They are the first line of support for the PL's. The troop youth leadership may in fact have a de facto patrol of their own under the leadership of the ASPL. In larger troops, there may be multiple ASPL's if there are more than 6-7 troop officers. There is really no need for these troop offices unless there be 3 - 4 patrols.

                      Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                      Has your troop always used the patrol method?
                      My current troop is only a week old, but yes, it was organized over the past year as a boy-led, patrol-method troop. My former troop was a boy-led, patrol-method troop until I was removed and then it went back to adult-led, troop-method. Before that the troop I was associated with had always been an adult-led, troop-method program where patrols existed in name only and to sort out groupings for the camporee competitions.

                      Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                      Please describe your troops use of the patrol method."
                      With only 6 new boys, none of which are TF, we are just starting, but the boys sink or swim on the results of their decisions. They selected their PL by consensus. Adults do not participate in patrol meeting unless invited. If the boys leave the meeting room, TF physical fitness run, it is expected they notify an adult as a courtesy of their intentions.

                      If we take on new Webelos boys next year, it will be interesting to see what the boys decide to do once they go above 8 boys. Whatever it is, it should be interesting.

                      Stosh

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