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  2. Hedgehog

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    Our rule is if they want to do it, we find the adults necessary. Kids are so over scheduled these days that nothing is spontaneous and everything is planned in advance, so it isn't difficult to get the adult leaders if it is going to be a Scouting event. The difference is that is an individual activity not a team sanctioned activity. Do my son and his buddy's who are Scouts take bike rides together or go hang out at the nearby lake or go into town to get pizza together? Of course. Does that need adult supervision? Of course not. Could a whole team meet on school grounds, use the school equipment and have a practice without adults? I highly doubt it. If it is a patrol, Troop, OA Chapter or other activity, does it require adult supervision? Of course it does. As @NJCubScouter said in another post -- it is the darn lawyers. As one of those darn lawyers, I understand that no organization can undertake any activities with youth in the absence of appropriate adult supervision. A kid falls and breaks his arm while on a patrol activity, the boys were encouraged to undertake the activity by the adults in charge of the Troop. However, there are no adults there. The boys that are there try their best to help the boy up so they can walk out of the woods, but in doing so causes permanent nerve damage. Can you tell me there won't be a lawsuit based on negligence for failure to provide adult supervision? In a perfect world, patrols would be able to do those sorts of activities without adult supervision. Unfortunately, the world isn't perfect. So we have two options - bemoan the rules and declare the death of the patrol method or figure out a way to keep the patrol method alive and kicking in our Troops. I chose the latter.
  3. Each of me sent a bill to the other, so we decided to call it even and let the accountant figure it out at the end of the year.
  4. The Latin Scot

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    What a FABULOUS idea!!! Our Pack and Troop turned 55 this year, and we haven't really done anything to commemorate that yet - I hadn't even considered putting the Scouting Heritage merit badge forward as a way to recognize our units' longevity, which is all the more embarrassing since I am the merit badge counselor for Scouting Heritage. I am so glad you posted this, haha!
  5. Eagle94-A1

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    Does your patrols do their own hikes whenever they want, or they do they have to wait for adults to get off work? Do they do their own patrol meetings, outside of troop meetings, whenever they want, or do they have to schedule them around around adults? Regarding your baseball analogy, have players gotten together to practice on their own, without any adults around? Heck have they ever played a pick up game without adults around? Having a patrol do things on their own is the same thing.
  6. qwazse

    All Scouting is Local

    @Hedgehog, I was dying to ask, but you just answered! Happy Father's Day. Glad to see you're enjoying a wild ride.
  7. Hedgehog

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    You need two registered leaders. That could be the SM, an ASM, a Committee Member or a Chartered Organization Representative. Is the problem with not having adults or not having them registered? If it is the second, have them registered as Committee Members -- the training isn't as extensive as for a SM or ASM. The G2SS rule is here: At most, that is two adults per patrol. At the least, it is too adults for the troop. My sense is it would depend on the scope of the activities -- if the Troop is meeting in a park with each patrol in a different area, I could see two adults for the Troop being enough if they are centrally located and can see what the groups are doing. However, if patrols are hiking in different directions in the woods, you would need two adults with each patrol. Our CO requires two adults (not necessarily registered) in any room where there are youth. This is really a protection for the adults. That way, there is another adult in the room in case any scout falsely accuses an adult of doing something wrong. That exact situation happened in a neighboring Troop. But for the other adult being there, the child's accusations would have permanently damaged this adult's reputation. Your comment about trust is hyperbole. It is more about best practices in youth protection. Would your school allow a 7th and 8th grade baseball team to meet at night at your school without any adults present? Would it allow a team practice with a single coach? How about just a parent instead of someone who the school has run a background check on? I suspect any school or church's youth protection policies are very much in line with the new G2SS rules. As for the more registration fees, you are required to have a Committee Chair, two Committee Members and a Scoutmaster. Assuming you have a small Troop (less than 10 boys), you need half of your registered adults at any given meeting. Even for a Troop that size, I would want at least one Assistant Scoutmaster. Our Crew which is 12 Scouts has six registered adults. It is not hard to get two adults. We've had the two adults with each patrol rule imposed by our CO for years and it hasn't hampered our use of the Patrol Method or the concept of boy leadership. The key is to make sure your registered adult leaders buy-in to the concept. Like your signature says, we train our Scouts, we trust them and we let them lead. An adult sitting in the quietly sitting back of the room and giving the leaders some feedback and suggestions after the meeting doesn't change it.
  8. Yesterday
  9. David CO

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    There's no question about it. BSA doesn't trust us. Any of us. I also think there is a financial motive. BSA wants to force more of us to register and pay registration fees.
  10. Eagle94-A1

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    The problem is that it appears that National no longer trusts our Scouts, and wants to make BSA to mean Baby Sitters of America IMHO. From 1910 to 2012, National trusted Scout patrols to do ANY activity, including patrol over night camping with the SM's permission. And from 1910 to October 1, 2018, Patrols could, and continue to do until October 1, 2018, have patrol day activities without adults present. Some of the things I have done as a Scout, or have seen done, that will be forbidden after October 1, 2018 are the following: Patrol day hikes without adults Patrol meetings without adults Patrol service projects without adults Patrol shopping trips without adults Patrol practices for camporee without adults Patrol fishing trips without adults. Seems like BSA doesn't trust Scouts, nor us Scouters as far as I am concerned.
  11. MattR

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    It seems there are a few assumptions here about what it means for two adults to be at an activity. If the activity is cooking a meal then does that mean there needs to be 2 adults in each camp site? That's ridiculous. So there needs to be 2 adults on the camp property? That makes more sense. What if the property is a national forest? My point is until someone starts describing in some detail what this means you may as well not read too much into it. It really gets down to trust, as it always has been.
  12. FireStone

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    Love this idea. Definitely going on my list of suggestions. I know the town has a pretty rich scouting history, some names on the original charter are family names that are still around town. Probably could find a good number of people in the area with past affiliations with the unit, alumni, etc.
  13. Hedgehog

    All Scouting is Local

    I haven't been around the forums for about a year. I was too busy with the Troop, the Crew, raising a son and working a paying job in between all of that. I also figured there would be a lot of drama with all of the changes in the BSA program. I came back yesterday only to realize that, according to most of the threads and posts on the forum, THE SKY IS FALLING, SCOUTING IS DOOMED and everyone is RUNNING, not walking, FOR THE EXITS. Just WOW. Former House Speaker Tip O'Neal would say that all politics are local, I would say all Scouting is local. Scouting is thriving where I am. The Troop had six Eagles this year - many of which started Cub Scouts together in the pack (and unfortunately, all of whom are graduating). We had eight Webelos crossover into the Troop. Net of incoming and outgoing, we are around 45. The three other Troops in the area reported a increase in the number of crossovers. The Crew is doing great and expanding its membership and having a lot of youth-planned and youth-led adventures. In the Troop, we continue to be extremely boy-led and the patrol method has taken hold. Ask any Scout who is the most important leader in the troop... four years ago it would be the SM, two years ago the SPL and now it is the PL. We picked up 4 ASMs this year, all of whom really get and are excited about boy-led (part of the reason is that my NYLT trained son functioned as a ad hoc Den Chief for the last couple of months of their time as Webelos and the adults were more than glad to have him teach them the skills they were learning). The new crossover Scouts accompanied the Troop on a Wilderness Survival campout in the Pine Barrens in May. It dropped down to 20 degrees that night. The next campout featured a bear wandering into our campsite as they cooked pizzas in Dutch Ovens and a 10 mile hike that was advertised as being "just over five miles" (my bad... I went from memory rather than checking the map. They keep coming back and seem more excited as a result of their adventures. As one Scout said, "this is what it means to be a Boy Scout." As I did their Scoutmaster Conferences for the Scout rank, one Scout told me he loves Scouts and that it the only reason he looks forward to Tuesday nights (and confessed that he had piano lessons in the afternoon). We have a Scout with Downs Syndrome and a Scout confined to a wheel chair. Every Tuesday they are among true friends and it is amazing to see the Scout Oath and Scout Law at work among the boys. I already have two boys who have challenged me to chess matches during Summer Camp. My son finished up his POR as ASPL and is looking forward to being on staff at summer camp (he was a counselor in training last summer). When he gets back, he is looking to do his Eagle project as a 10th grader. I've told him once he gets his Eagle, he will be a JASM. He is also finishing his stint as the Crew's President and is bummed he is missing some trips over the summer while he is at camp. Every time I see the Crew together, I'm just astonished at the bonds of friendship. It really has become a place where a bunch of goofballs can relax and be themselves and feel truly accepted. Fixating on what National comes out with and then looking at the worst possible implications doesn't help the Scouts. One of my favorite sayings (stolen from Richard Bach) is "says can't when means won't." That is what my reaction is to a lot of the posts of gloom and doom. Whatever the decision, rule or guidance, we decide how to implement it so that we deliver the program we know the Scouts deserve. Allowing girls to form Troops by National is neutral. How it works is dependent on how may of the folks here on the forums who know the right way to run a program step up. It is only a nightmare if implemented poorly. We need to convince people that the only way to do this is to do it right. It is up to us to build the groundwork necessary to have youth-led, patrol-based Scouting that focuses on being a game with a purpose played by youth in the outdoors. We are the coaches and it is up to us to help the Youth learn to play the game correctly. Our CO is implementing it right -- separate girl Troop, separate meeting night and letting the youth lead by deciding how much interaction they want to have between the two Troops and the Crew. We have had an amazing response of youth and adults to the idea. Build it and they will come. Whether we agree or disagree with the decision to allow girls, we should do everything in our power to make it succeed - not for the sake of National, but for the good of the Scouts we have promised to serve. The new G2SS guidelines are only an issue if you make it one. Our CO's youth protection policy for many years required two-deep adult leadership in patrol meetings. We work to have adults that are trained in what boy-led actually means (you observe and then talk to the leader after the meeting as a coach) and what the patrol method is (they are the cornerstone of the Troop). We have Patrol Leaders who are trained (by the older youth leaders in the Troop) in the leadership concepts of boy-led, patrol method and servant leadership. That prevents a leadership vacuum that adults instinctively find the need to fill. We let parents know that Scouting is a safe place to fail - and we let Scouts know it is better to try and fail then not to try at all. The adults and youth practice the Scout Oath and Scout Law -- it is all there and it works. On outings, we have enough adults to accompany the Scouts. We train the adults to be observers. The adults are last in line on the trail. The youth are in front, with a newer Scout leading and an older Scout guiding him. That is the way it is supposed to be. The last question I ask at Scoutmaster conferences is "are you having fun?" My answer is a resounding yes. I'm excited to see the boys take responsibility and lead the Troop. I'm excited to see the Crew grow into proactive leadership and form amazing bonds. I loved going to SeaBase with the Troop, I've loved sleeping in Adirondack shelters in 15 degrees as it snowed; I loved doing the Wilderness Survival campout; I've loved having guys over my house to starts fires using magnifying glasses, fire pistons, potassium permanganate and glycerin, batteries and steel wool and a bow drill; I loved going whitewater rafting with the Crew and I'm looking forward to a week at summer camp and a long weekend kayaking trip in Upstate New York. Best of all, I love the responses I get from Scouts when I ask them if they are having fun. I've learned so much about the right way to do things on this forum from @Stosh @qwazse @TAHAWK and others. Every time I become frustrated with adults -- be them in our Troop, District, Council or National - I remember why I"m doing what I'm doing. It is for the Scouts... my Scouts.
  14. I forget which requirement it was for, but when I was a Tiger Cub leader, I had a Cub Scout from 1941 visit the meeting. He wasn't from the same pack, but it was still a big hit with the kids. And later, when chatting with someone at Roundtable, I learned that he had been a member of the pack, and I'm sure he would have been happy to come back and tell about what it was like back in the day. For a Boy Scout troop, I would encourage one or more of the scouts to work on Scouting Heritage Merit Badge. One of the requirements is to prepare a history of the unit, and this would be a good time to do it.
  15. Sentinel947

    Welcome new moderators!

    I'll still be here. I just won't have the consistent time being a moderator requires. I don't hold titles if I can't do the job.
  16. Eagledad

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    Another thought is Ask another Troop if you can camp next to them. Separate programs, but additional adults in the area. Barry
  17. MattR

    Welcome new moderators!

    @Sentinel947, you can run but you can't hide. Anyway, good luck and thanks for your help.
  18. @jjlash, I had the same experience. The people I met were very enthusiastic and that rubbed off. The rest was just okay. I wish I had had a better mentor for picking my ticket. I was just guessing. BTW, I deleted your duplicate post.
  19. Eagle94-A1

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    FYI, According to the current online version, which is more uptodate than the pdf version, the patrols can still do day activities on their own without adults until 10-1-18. So the Patrol Method is its terminal stages. ūüė™
  20. Lots of good info about the course and its delivery. I'll add another perspective - I enjoyed my WB experience but (with much hindsight and additional perspective) I can say that I did not get much from WB in the way of real, tangible skills. What I did get is a "spark" - one of my ticket goals was to join the district training team. This led to lots more involvement at the district and council level, attending PTC, staffing WB / NYLT / PTC. In short Ive met a boatload of amazing people, and helped them become better leaders so they can in turn help more youth become better people.
  21. qwazse

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    Do you have a location (building, park) where they adults can sit centrally, but the patrols can meet in individual rooms/pavillions.
  22. qwazse

    What's your best Scouting memory?

    Excerpt from a recent reminisce with my siblings: "... when I was in high school, my neighbor (the best scout I ever knew - who aged out Second class rank) overheard an argument at the local sporting goods store over the location of the Board Tree tunnel. He asked our scoutmaster, who told him to find a buddy, and he'd take us to explore each entrance. So my buddy gave me a call, and the following Saturday we went over to the SM's house, studied his USGS maps (which showed it went under the state line) and drove off southwest. We found the PA entrance, but didn't dare the tunnel, which was flooded in parts. So we followed the old telegraph lines overland, which made for a rugged but rewarding climb to the WV side. It was an astounding fall day. I vividly remember walking down the road back to the car and reaching out to see if I was merely in front of a painted canvas. (I wasn't. It was real.) Before heading back home, our SM asked if we wanted to see the comer of the state. Of course we said yes, so we pulled over by a field, traipsed across some farmland into a stand of trees (maples and sassafras, I think), and found a cornerstone in the shape of an obelisk with WV carved on two adjacent sides, WV|PA on one side, and PA|WV on the last side. There was a smaller stone some yards off, which we assumed was the previous marker, but we couldn't make out any markings, as it was badly weathered. ..."
  23. Hedgehog

    Challenging Scout and his dad

    I'm not sure what your position in the Troop is and that has an effect on how you should deal with this. My advice is to focus on what makes Scouting great. "Friendly" and "Helpful" are good starting points. Call up the dad and arrange to grab a cup of coffee or a beer. Make a friend out of him by explaining you are both on the same team. "Servant Leadership" is the next step. Explain to him that you are willing to work WITH him and his son to help his son succeed. Then hit "Trustworthy." Be honest about your exasparation and you observations of how the his son is affecting the other Scouts. Acknowledge that you "lost it" at the last meeting and that it wasn't your best moment but put it into context. See if he can trust you enough to confide in you any issues, frustrations, difficulties he sees with his son and his thoughts about how to work with it. Ask him if he has any ideas or strategies that you and the youth leadership can put into play to help his son succeed. If that doesn't work, then you can walk away from the problem knowing you've tried your best. One strategy I've employed with distracted / distracting Scouts is to give them authority. Sometimes is it just explaining that at 15, I need them to be a good example for the other Scouts. In this case, why not have this Scout make the announcements at meeting of upcoming events and the times? One of my favorite quotes from Richard Bach is that "we teach best what we need to learn most." How about having him work with you or another adult on the personal management merit badge. One of the best way's I've seen to make a Scout attentive and responsive is to put them in charge of an event... once they experience a lack of response to their e-mails or people not doing what they are told, they tend to realize the value of being responsive and responsible. We have a Scout in our unit who is on the autism spectrum. What I have found to work best is to build trust with that Scout and his parents. I've learned how to listen to what is bothering him and to sympathize. Rather than trying to tell him "don't worry about it" or "now isn't a good time to focus on that" or "stop complaining", I listen, ask questions and then ask him to think of solutions we can do. If there are no solutions (e.g. we are 2 hours from home and he really wants to be home), I sympathize with him by explaining that I really want to be home so I can relax and take a good nap but that we both have to wait two hours to get there. "Courteous" means to listen with concern when you really don't have to. "Cheerful" means being patient and caring and working with kids with a smile inside even when you want to beat them with a stick. Another strategy I employ is having Scouts talk back to me. No, not what you think... but when I tell them several things, I ask them to repeat them back to me. I will then repeat it for them saying, "that's correct, the plan is .... " For children on the autism spectrum, repetition is provides focus, understanding and structure. For other kids, it provides a focus and a responsibility to remember what they are told. Follow up with praise... "you've got it." With problems like this, I always go back to "boy-led." Ask the PLC to think of ways to get greater Scout engagement and responsiveness. Make it their problem. YOU are not running the event THEY are. Let them fail. Scouting is a safe place to fail. Once they fail, they will figure out a way to make it work the next time. Maybe is its having a sign up sheet. Maybe it is having people raise their hands if they are coming. Maybe it is asking people at the end of a meeting - "What time are we supposed to be there for the pancake breakfast?" and having the Troop answer. Younger kids will then pay attention because they will get to yell out the correct answer. Older kids will pay attention because they don't want to look bad in front of the younger kids. Also, push it down a level to "patrol based" -- have the patrol leaders coordinate who is going to be there from their patrol. If the patrol is cohesive and is used to functioning as a unit, then they should have each others backs and should show up. Finally, ask if this is something the Boys CHOOSE to do or the adults chose for them. In the corporate world, people use the word "buy-in." It applies to Scouting. I've found that we get the worst results when the boys go along with something an adult suggests. The boys don't own it and it shows.
  24. The best class I’ve ever been in at University of Scouting was one where the instructor didn’t show up. This is what we wound up doing.
  25. When the Webelos and their parents come over to visit the Troop, the boys are temporarily assigned to patrols and the parents are taken aside. The SPL or ASPLs then talk to the parents to tell them about the program. As SM, I'm in the room but I couldn't get a word in edgewise. The first words out of the SPL/ASPL is "we are a boy -led Troop. That means that the adults are here for just health and safety reasons." The second thought is "We are a patrol-based Troop. The patrol leaders run their patrols and our jobs are to help the patrol leaders succeed and to coordinate the patrols to work together as a Troop." They then talk about how we do camping and about summer camp and advancement. After around 30 minutes, I suggest they go check no how the meeting is going and I get a chance to talk to the adults. By that point, the adults already get it. They see two 15 or 16 year olds comfortably talking to a group of adults and explaining how the Troop works. I explain that he adults are the coaching staff. We work with the kids off the field or on the sidelines, but we let them play the game. I explain that the Scouting program is a safe place to fail and how we will let them fail because they learn best from their mistakes. I explain our Troop's culture, where the older Scouts really adopt and take care of the new guys. The adults then paraphrase Renee Zellweger and say, "You had me at boy-led." When parents come on campouts, I give my 30 second training. "Do you have a chair?" "Yes." "Do you have a coffee cup?" "Yes." "Your job is to sit in your chair and drink coffee. If a youth comes to you and asks you a question you have a decision to make. If it is a matter of safety, you become involved, otherwise, you tell them to ask their patrol leader." That is the major difference between Cubs and Boy Scouts.
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    • Our rule is if they want to do it, we find the adults necessary. ¬†Kids are so over scheduled these days that nothing is spontaneous and everything is planned in advance, so it isn't difficult to get the adult leaders if it is going to be a Scouting event. The difference is that is an individual activity not a team sanctioned activity. ¬†Do my son and his buddy's who are Scouts take bike rides together or go hang out at the nearby lake or go into town to get pizza together? ¬†Of course. ¬†Does that need adult supervision? ¬†Of course not. ¬†Could a whole team meet on school grounds, use the school equipment and have a practice without adults? ¬†I highly doubt it. ¬†If it is a patrol, Troop, OA Chapter or other activity, does it require adult supervision? ¬†Of course it does. As @NJCubScouter¬†said in another post -- it is the darn lawyers. ¬†As one of those darn lawyers, I understand that no organization can undertake any activities with youth in the absence of appropriate adult supervision. ¬†A kid falls and breaks his arm while on a¬†patrol activity, the boys were encouraged to undertake the activity by the adults in charge of the Troop. ¬†However, there are no adults there. The boys that are there try their best to help the boy up so they can walk out of the woods, but in doing so¬†causes permanent nerve damage. ¬†Can you tell me there won't be a lawsuit based on negligence for failure to provide adult supervision? ¬† In a perfect world, patrols would be able to do those sorts of activities without adult supervision. ¬†Unfortunately, the world isn't perfect. ¬†So we have two options - bemoan the rules and declare the death of the patrol method or figure out a way to keep the patrol method alive and kicking in our Troops. ¬†I chose the latter.¬†
    • Each of me sent a bill to the other, so we decided to call it even and let the accountant figure it out at the end of the year.
    • What a FABULOUS idea!!! Our Pack and Troop turned 55 this year, and we haven't really done anything to commemorate that yet - I hadn't even considered putting the Scouting Heritage merit badge forward as a way to recognize our units' longevity, which is all the more embarrassing since I am the merit badge counselor for Scouting Heritage.¬† I am so glad you posted this, haha!
    • Does your patrols do their own hikes whenever they want, or they do they have to wait for adults to get off work? Do they do their own patrol meetings, outside of troop meetings, whenever they want, or do they have to schedule them around around adults?¬†¬† Regarding your baseball analogy,¬†have players gotten together to practice on their own, without any adults around? Heck have they ever played a pick up game without adults around? Having a patrol do things on their own is the same thing. ¬†
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