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The Patrol Method

Lessons and questions of Scout leadership and operating troop program

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • @gpurlee & @Cubmaster Pete, I have absolutely no idea what the increase will be.  Like everyone I hear it is significant. Perhaps going with an estimate of $60 a year for now would be a good estimate.  National may come back with less.  If they come back with more, then you're maybe a little closer?  
    • When outdoor adventure was the cornerstone of the BSA, adults knew what they signed up for.  They'd either be outdoors as a leader, or in a support capacity supporting outdoor adventure. Not so today.  Now you can have a long career in the BSA, as a pro or volunteer, and not have to "deal" with outdoor "stuff."  Sure, you might have to gut out two weekends for WB, but after that the coast is pretty clear.  Clean uniforms, lots of meetings and conferences, etc. Hike 5 miles into camp?  Chop wood with an axe?  Start a fire in the rain?  Cook a meal on the coals with a couple mess kits?  Build pioneering projects?  Sleep in a tent?   These experiences are definitely not stressed or prioritized by most above unit level today.  They are just quaint notions from yesterday, something to keep the scouts amused until they start the fast track to Eagle.  Then it's SUV time, driving scouts to the local university on Saturdays, go through the assembly line, and leave with a hand full of merit badges at the end of the day.  Lunch provided.  The only thing the scout has to do is put on their uniform in the morning.  The adults do everything and there is less risk for Irving TX to worry about. OA is going in the same direction. Sure, we have our high adventure bases, but those are cash cows (some of them).  So Irving is willing to assume the risk there.  So whatever the priorities of the BSA may be, it's safe to say that their best selling product--the great outdoors--has been shoved to the corner of the store, bottom shelf, covered with cob webs.  And if the outdoor adventure is not the top priority of the BSA, it's really not the BSA any more.   
    • And for us, a brand new troop & pack, this could really hurt. We don't have a lot of money to begin with.  I keep thinking it will be alright and everything will  work out in the end. Maybe that is naive, I don't know. I love scouting. My youngest is only a Tiger and already plans to get her Eagle so I have a long way to go with the BSA and don't plan on leaving.  I was quite surprised the other day when a Scouts BSA scout said to me that it really doesn't matter what rank he is because BSA is closing soon anyway. I was shocked. His dad is his SM. I wonder what conversations  they have had, if any.
    • That is why I think the best "how to manual" for scouts is the original Fieldbook. A patrol can start on chapter 1, do the activity (pow-wow I think they were called). Then go to the next activity. If a new scouter needed a "how to", I direct them to this and have them hand it to their PL.
    • Getting the push to be 100% trained in the district, which is an admirable goal, so took the Merit Badge Counselor on-line training.  more just fluff, very little nuts and bolts.  That's the same comment most of our leaders made with the "NEW" YPT, it was more theory and convincing us that endangering children was bad and less about how to be compliant and "DO" YPT.  The old training was really applicable, DO this DON'T do this etc etc.   When we do training for the Troop Leaders our emphasis is on them having the Scouts DO stuff.  When doing fire building we do not need Scouts to understand combustion, ignition points of materials, etc.  Maybe later, but let them strike some matches and see that logs do not in fact make kindling. Focus on DOING, Focus on getting out in the woods and letting the Scouts be Scouts.  
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