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  • LATEST POSTS

    • We keep talking about the lack of clear adult training about patrol method but I wonder if it would help if we focused on the kids more before they get to Troop. I've mentioned before, youth seem to be coming to scouting today with fewer interpersonal and conflict resolution skills. All the adults see is the confusion. I know people are sick of messing with program but maybe there is more need for direct curriculum starting in Cubs about youth leadership and what youth led is. I don't think the kids understand it themselves, so it's hard for them to push back on other kids or adults. The youth leadership message is inherent in the program to some degree, but it's not spelled out in a way that I think is clear for young kids. Certainly not the way we do with Cyber Chip (although I have huge issues with the content of that but that's another topic). As I've also mentioned elsewhere, this is not unique to scouting. Schools are doing fewer group projects because of issues with kids having trouble working in groups.  When BSA redid the program a few years ago, I was thinking of this and was hopeful the revisions would find some way to address it. The only thing I saw was a new Bear requirement  to manage up and down and run a carnival for the Pack. It didn't think it would work well and when I saw it in action it did not work well. There was nothing that I recall in the requirement that talked about why they were doing it, how to do it, and what they might learn about working with other kids. It also seemed that such activities would be more natural for Webelos and AOLs to help prepare them for the patrol method. The other problem was that Webelos and AOLs are already antsy and looking to differentiate themselves from younger scouts and there is no way they wanted to be directed by Bears. There must have been problems elsewhere because it was taken out the next year, unfortunately along with some good stuff that had added more outdoors related requirements like camping. We do ISLT with older kids, but they are often already in situations long before that where they need some training, like patrols. If not exactly leadership training, maybe they could at least use some basics on how to function in a group like a patrol. It is going to be messy but I think if the kids actually understood what they were supposed to be doing and could explain it to the adults, there might be more patience and understanding. Right now I just see parents frustrated because they are scheduled in three places at once with four different kids and when Johnny the scout in charge of the weekend camp out sends out an email that they need to be at the camp site two hours earlier than expected, they blow up and jump in.  And after a couple experiences like that what a kid might "learn" is that he doesn't want to volunteer to run anything anymore.     
    • Again unless I missed it, the Court has not ruled on the Debtor position that local councils are "protective parties" not liable  for claims against the organization...they are distinct and financially independent entities... So the TCC  motion seems, to paraphrase, whatever, lets see what local councils got and go from there. Shouldn't the Court  have ruled on that point as a prerequisite to considering TCC's motion?
    • Or to add the insurance companies and their policy limits to this suit.
    • @Eagle94-A1 is a the Scoutmaster I would have killed for (metaphorically) when I was a Scout. Just gets it.  @ParkMan you've described the problem really well, many adults don't understand it, and they either waffle between two extremes, stepping in and "fixing" things just so the Scouts have something to do and then never stop "fixing" and start developing or teaching the youth how to do it themselves. Or they take a hands off approach and it's Lord of the Flies, 21st century addition. Ideally the patrol method allows the Scouts to "make their own fun." This fufills both the purpose of teaching leadership and good citizenship, while also being fun.  In theory, the BSA Scoutmaster training and Wood Badge is supposed to teach this balance, but it fails to. My own experience with implementing the "fun" patrol method is mostly from my experiences as a Scout, my involvement in this forum, and devouring as many books and blogs that I could get my hands on. I often thing of EDGE/Stages of Team development from NYLT/ Wood Badge. The Scouts won't just start operating the patrol method when we say, "You're in patrols, now decide what you want to do!" They need it to demonstrated and guided for them either by senior youth or the adults. NYLT is an OK start, but NYLT does not teach a Scout how to implement the patrol method in their own troops. It assumes that their troop already has the structure in place. If it's in place already NYLT can be powerful in sustaining it, but my own experience tells me that Scouts cannot build the patrol method without the willing guidance and permission of the adults. If left to their own devices outside of Scouting, youth naturally form gangs or patrols.  The biggest oversight of BSA training as a whole: It does not allow for imperfect structure or conditions, nor does it help a Troop get to the ideal. Having a few older Scouts or Patrol leaders NYLT trained is a big help for actually operating patrols once your unit has them. When I went to NYLT, I came back to my Troop, and my troop adults were clueless in helping me apply what I had learned and what my vision was. When I stayed on with the Troop as an ASM, that launched my patrol method/youth leadership crusade, which is well documented on this forum.  I'm going to do my best to elaborate, but it will never be perfect:  Senior Scouts or Scoutmasters have to help the Scouts see what is possible, expand their horizons and assist them putting together plans. This where I think EDGE/Stages of Team development is appropriate. As the patrol goes from being a new group to an experienced patrol, what they need from the SPL or the Adults will diminish over time. It's very cool to see patrols with self sustaining cultures, but it takes time and effort to get there.  Scouts should pick their own patrols. New Scouts can be in new Scout patrols, but I think its better to seed them into established patrols as appropriate. I'd leave that up to your Scouts to decide.  Scouts will typically form patrols around mutual friends and mutual interests. That's ok.  The role of Troop level officers like Guides, Instructors, Quartermasters and SPL's are to facilitate the needs of patrols. Ideally a SPL or ASPL will help a new patrol leader get started with putting together patrol activities and outings. The patrol leader will also solicit ideas from the patrol about Troop outings and take them to the PLC.  It's ok to have the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster available as a resource when the patrol leader or (A)SPL calls for it.  Part of how we built the patrol method in my troop was with the weekly meetings. The PLC would select weekly/monthly meeting themes, sometimes outing themes, and the meetings would be tailored around that. For example, pioneering might have been the theme, and the patrol activity/ game would be a lashing relay or a stretcher run. This gives the patrol leader a target on what to work with his patrol on during patrol corners, and the competition builds patrol spirit. We'd typically hand out ribbons or dollar store trinkets as rewards for patrol winners of competitions, and they'd display that nonsense on their patrol flags.  For added responsibility, patrols can rotate responsibility for creating and running the patrol challenge activities.  On Outings, it's important for there to be time for patrols to do their own thing. We had an outing where some of the younger Scouts wanted to work on their totin chit, while the older Scout patrol wanted to go hike in the State park. It's perfectly fine for the patrols to do their own thing, but many Troops won't allow that.  Happy to answer questions, elaborate further, or get my opinion torn to shreds. This is possibly one of my favorite topics. I could probably write a book. 
    • Reading between the lines, TCC believes National and the Local Councils are holding out on them. My reading 1) TCC thinks there's more assets than what National and the Councils are admitting to 2) TCC thinks the "restricted assets" are not actually restricted 3) TCC thinks there's a lot more possible claimants and the rosters will indicate (AND THEIR COs) 4) TCC thinks that the rosters will reveal additional units (AND THEIR COs) 5) TCC thinks there are a lot more insurance companies potentially on the hook. I keep coming back to that $1.5 billion number that they (or other attorneys for claimants) tossed around. There's no way, even if you liquidate national, you get there. And even councils combined and liquidated get you there. Troop rosters get you COs. COs get you new sources of assets and insurance claims.
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