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The Patrol Method

Lessons and questions of Scout leadership and operating troop program

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  1. patrol size

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  2. SPL in Hot Water

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Objective is to develop Scouts as leaders and have Scouts experience democracy.  We also do not have school teachers take the tests with the students. So not at all "odd."  Sadly, BSA fails to train the adults properly, for example omitting explanation of Patrol Method even as they abandon it de facto for the adult-led troop method.
    • I've found that the best way to provide feedback is to understand the receiver and what they're trying to accomplish.  If you're providing feedback to a Scoutmaster, get to know him first before you start telling him what to do. A good CC plays a role here too.  A unit CC ought to be creating a volunteer culture where the group strives for teamwork & program quality mixed in with a dash of humility.  I've been blessed to be part of units that for the most part always tried to do better.  Self reflection and feedback was part of our culture.  So, when a parent or Scouter shows up and says "I've got some feedback it was welcomed and acknowledged.  Did we always do it - no.  But, we listened because we wanted their feedback.  
    • Voting seems to be a common feedback method whether by feet or ballot.  Odd that scouts elect their leaders in a troop but adults do not.      
    • An effective manager, or leader, in scouting or elsewhere will strive to guide their subordinates rather than dictate to them. Hopefully the subordinate will then be able to realize the impact of their decisions while retaining their autonomy and without feeling as though they are being undermined by their manager; e.g. Instead of a manager saying to his employee: "You're doing that wrong You need to do it this way." The manager could say to the employee: "Why do you think that things aren't working in the way that you would ideally like them to? Are there things that could be done differently? What changes do you think might achieve different results?  All of that said, this problem of bad scoutmasters and scout leaders is just far too epidemic, and I have personally encountered more than one scout leader who is completely driven and motivated by ego, power and maintaining control and who are completely unfazed or deterred by knowing that they are violating the GTA or GTSS.  My older sons' scoutmaster went as far as to lie - yes, actually lie - with the malicious intent of derailing and undermining my son's advancement towards Eagle. My son was able to prove that the SM had lied and while the SM did a little back pedaling when he got caught, it really didn't change anything. This guy is still a scoutmaster today and still working with the same troop. I also know, personally, of a number of other similar scoutmasters who have operated this way and between this board and Ask Andy, I've read far too many stories of scoutmaster or scout leaders who do what they want to do regardless of BSA policies. The advice in these situations is always the same. "Find a new troop, vote with your feet" but that doesn't address the root of the problem.  The BSA needs to maintain greater due diligence in ensuring that BSA programs are being administered properly. Good scouts are suffering and bad scout leaders are continuing to be bad scout leaders.
    • Poorly worded on my part....it should have read "in HIS MIND, he is not being malicious or obstructive." Thank you for your thoughts!!
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