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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/25/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    IMO, youth naturally form groups or gangs for good or bad. In Scouting, we take those groups further by teaching and guiding scouts into responsible, cooperative, disciplined, self-lead patrols - the Patrol Method. From @Kudu website http://www.inquiry.net/patrol/system/3_patrol_organization.htm
  2. 2 points
    Advisers ... There is a BSA concept of a unit commissioner, but then again you can't guarantee unit commissioners really know what they are talking about. IMHO, the best advice is to talk to as many scouters as possible. "The ideal" ...We often talk in "ideals" and much of our advice is such that "the ideal troop would ...". Units can absolutely still provide a great, meaningful program even if they aren't the Norman Rockwell troop. IMHO, are the scouts benefiting? Growing? Learning lessons? ... My first ideal is focus on program. Get the scouts out doing things and doing things they have never done before. Within that structure, you can then slowly introduce Norman Rockwell images until years down the road you are closer to the ideal troop. Example ... Our troop has done better and worse with patrol method. Often it's because SM changed and has the SM has a different emphasis. The current SM emphasizes getting the scouts out doing things. Less emphasis on patrols and PLC. It can be frustrating, but the scouts have an absolutely great program. Camping. Adventures. Canoeing. Going someplace new every month. Scouts setup their tents, cook and the adult are pretty relaxed. ... So the patrol method is less than it was under our previous SM. And, the PLC could improve. ... but those scouts have had an absolutely great scouting journey. Is it the perfect troop? Absolutely not. But those scouts have great memories and have definitely grown. I'd put their leadership and character against any troop. .... To improve patrol method and PLC, I suspect we'll need a new SM how has a vision on how to emphasize those again. BSA Methods ... BSA has eight methods ... (or did ... not sure current list ...) ... Patrol Method. Ideals. Outdoor Program. Advancement. Adult Association. Personal Growth. Leadership Development. Uniform. ... I think you can grade any troop by how well they do in each category. And, I'm sure every troop has weak areas. Don't get so caught up on patrol method that it overshadows the others. I view the methods as near equals where each can help improve a scout's experience. Some scouts over emphasize patrol method to the damage of other aspects. I probably over emphasize the personal growth and outdoor program. IMHO ... Use the "ideal troop" as an image to work toward, but absolutely enjoy the troop you have. ... Also recognize, often to create the perfect troop you need to start over with new scouts who don't know what to expect. That sacrifices the current scouts. IMHO, enjoy your troop and focus on getting the guys ... scouts ... out and having adventures. ... And don't forget to laugh and have fun.
  3. 2 points
    I'm not sure I agree with some of this, but I will say that most administrators of the patrol method would consider camaraderie an indicator of growth and success. In the four stages (forming, storming, norming and performing) of team development, performing is the stage of a highly functional team. I would say camaraderie is a requirement of that stage. Getting to the performing stage is where most adults find the challenge. As we were talking about yesterday, Ad hoc patrols works against team building, but seem to be the natural reaction to low number troops. That is just one example, but it points out the challenge of leaders understanding patrol method and the struggles of working toward norming and performing. Doing it is challenging enough when the adults do have a good grasp of patrol method. The goal seems imaginary for those who have not experienced it in youth or adult leadership. That is why I think the influence of the culture (pop culture) will push future objectives. Barry
  4. 2 points
    As a kid, a GSUSA Girl Scout in Europe, the scouts in my troop made completely unofficial neckerchiefs to wear for activities for which our uniform was inappropriate. When wearing our neckerchiefs we were immediately recognizable as some variety of guide/scout. (There were multiple scouting/guiding organizations in that country.) Ironically, when wearing our GSUSA uniforms we were not recognized as guides/scouts but were (at least once) mistaken for flight attendants.
  5. 2 points
  6. 1 point
    @fred8033 is absolutely right: Focus on giving your youth great experiences. Most troops do better on some of the Eight Methods than on others, and there are a lot of troops where circumstances largely prevent the successful execution of one or more Methods. We haven't found what I think would be a good answer to the problem of variable attendance. That's why I started this thread. Some troops have tried to adapt by creating extra-large patrols so that there will be at least a few patrol members of each patrol at the activity. Some troops find out who is planning to go on a campout and form ad hoc patrols for that activity (or just wait to see who shows up). Some troops organize patrols of "regulars" who consistently attend, and patrols of frequent "no-shows." Some troops just leave it to the Scouts who are going on the campout to figure out food and gear and tenting arrangements for themselves. Some troops ignore any patrol organization and have a combination of Scouts in Positions of Responsibility and adult leaders and parents carry out the planning, preparation, and execution of activities for the whole troop. Some troops don't have the problem because they have attendance and participation requirements for all youth members, like some sports teams do. Until we find a good answer, work on the Methods within your troop's capabilities, be proud of your successes in those areas, and don't sweat what you can't control.
  7. 1 point
  8. 1 point
    It would be great if we could work out an adviser program. One where the experienced scouters here come and visit the troops wishing to improve or struggling with a certain aspect of scouting. The in-person view would certainly help in understanding the actual problems being experienced by the struggling Scouters. I appreciate the feedback from Barry, HelpfulTracks and Fred, but I don't think it helps address what's needed. Every troop meeting about 25% of the scouts are missing from the patrols. The missing scouts change every week. Trying to work with the patrols to plan meals doesn't work since sometimes there is only one scout at the meeting who is attending the upcoming campout, other patrol members will be attending the campout but aren't at the meeting. Most scouts are already stretched thin on time due to sports etc, so they are not able (willing?) to meet with their patrols outside of a troop meeting. Further, the parents are generally very busy with their other kids or work and can't just drop everything to take Timmy to another meeting somewhere. Additionally, the troop I took over had been troop-centric for so long that they don't understand what patrols truly are supposed to be. In order for it to be something with purpose, something more than just social hour I have been trying to work towards more patrol-centric. Maybe I am just not understanding what it's supposed to be... hence where a visiting adviser comes in. Mike
  9. 1 point
    Shouldn't the title of this post be "Can you deliver the patrol method to your Scouts?" What is in the way of doing that? Do you need something more? If so what do you think that is? I'm really interested in what resources (BSA Handbook, troop training, etc.) you are using now, and what else you feel is needed from the leaders perspective.
  10. 1 point
    @ParkMan The striped ties may be in process of going away or being replaced. Only the ladies shows in stock online. There is also a fleur-de-lis tie availble in red.
  11. 1 point
    Girls are different from boys, so I think naturally forming groups changes with the new girl membership changes. Natural human instinct is being replace by program policy, so more adult participation will be required to subtly influence some kind of positive outcome. My humble opinion is that expectations of patrol method will change to fit cultural trends. Maybe that is what's been going on since National started New Scout Patrols, but the traditional members resisted. Since traditionalist are dwindling and their influence is fading, global scouting can step up and bring changes to the program. Barry
  12. 1 point
    I'm heading over on Saturday! Very excited!
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    We have Field - Class A, Activity - Class B, Necker only, and I have one more....(very old photo links - scoutstuff.org only has the the pieces)
  15. 1 point
    Hang in there. My son is working in SE MA and dealing with. He's assigned to a cabin with no electricity, so he and most of his mates are sleeping in their hammocks under the stars.
  16. 1 point
    Thanks for fighting the good fight this summer! Glad you and your fellow staff are hanging in there!
  17. 1 point
    Last week was extremely brutal for staff. It was very hot and it was easily to get dehydrated. I believe the heat index was over 110 at one point. Staff still sleeps in the green canvas tents, but at least we have a electricity. I was glad I decided to bring a fan this year. We had some nasty storms throughout the week which also made a impact on us. Outpost was harder than usual due to storms, but we still made do. This week is beautiful and perfect temperature, so I guess it’s a plus for this week. Only places in camp with AC is trading post, camp office, and health lodge. It doesn’t even really get cold, just a lower temp.
  18. 1 point
    Yep. A result of turning the neckerchiefs into little hankies to decorate the uniform and then making them optional in troops. But using them as Scouting identity items when not otherwise in uniform has some merit. I am seeing more Scouters wearing neckerchiefs over the collar and tied at the ends with a friendship knot, in the fashion of many of our international Scouting cousins, often when not in the official uniform.
  19. 1 point
    There seems to be something wrong with the Scout Shop links. If you go to your favorite search engine you can use these search terms to go to the product pages directly: "protect yourself" site:scoutshop.org Try these links: Protect Yourself Rules preview adventure loop (for Lion, Tiger, Wolf, and Bear dens) Protect Yourself Rules preview adventure pin (for Webelos dens) You might want to contact the Scout Shop online to let them know that their links are not working and the URLs of the broken links or searches.
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    I suppose anyone with authority can define a "uniform" as consisting of this or that. What does BSA - not the many unofficial sites or a council or unit - but BSA itself say? The BSA usually refers to the uniform as "the uniform" - no adjectives. See, e.g., https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33066/33066_Official_Policy_WEB.pdf ; http://www.trcscouting.org/files/d/usr/65/Scout uniform.pdf The final Boy Scout Handbook (13th Ed.) referred to the Scout uniform as "the Scout uniform" - no adjectives and as "BSA's official Boy Scout Uniform (sometimes called the 'field uniform')." it is also often called the "Class A uniform" or the "dress uniform". The last Boy Scout Handbook also says: "When you're headed outdoors to do something more active, you can [sic] pull on a T-shirt with Scout pants or shorts, or wear other clothing that is appropriate for the events of the day. This is sometimes called an 'activity uniform.'" BSA says it has a site that answers all questions about uniforming, but it answers almost no questions on that topic. The current offerings from BSA Clothing include six visually different button-up shirts for male Scouts alone, not mentioning all prior button-up BSA "uniform" shirts. Typical BSA "clarity." BSA at least suggests that it official "methods" have some importance. Reality shows otherwise, in uniforming as in outdoor program, thriftiness, patrol method, and leadership development.
  22. 1 point
    National also says the uniform is not required, yet the Scout Handbook states how and when to wear the uniform properly (or it did when I was SM). Talk about contradictions. I don't believe using different names for uniform is corrupting the program. These names have been around since at least the 60s. Now, if someone was to say using Class B to describe a uniform is the cause of the fall of Patrol Method, my ears would perk up. But there needs a convincing argument. And donuts, good arguments and donuts would have some sway. Barry
  23. 1 point
    That is what we have to do on most campouts, due to the lack of scouts. I am trying to figure out how to build patrol spirit when every campout is another ad-hoc patrol here and there. Mike
  24. 1 point
  25. 1 point
    There must be something more important than stamping out "Class B" - like having a uniform instead of merely a brand of heterogeneous clothing.