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Eagledad

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Posts posted by Eagledad

  1. 11 hours ago, Calion said:

    Here’s my question: Is that really a problem? Acknowledging your other concerns and focusing on this one, what’s wrong with their first year in Scouting being an AOL 2, with the Patrol Advisor continually whispering in the PL’s ear, while the new Scouts get used to Scouting? That’s basically how new troops work in my experience; why not new patrols? Heck, even in established troops it can work that way if the older Scouts have gone inactive or aged out and younger Scouts are leading the troop. 

    Been there done that. In fact, we tried almost 10 different approaches to getting first year scouts up to speed, and comfortable enough to want to stay. The BSA looses more scouts in their first year of a troop than any other age in the BSA. Our Troop certainly saw that problem. The quick reason for the drop out rate is that sudden culture change from being hand held through life by adults to instant independence of relying on the boy leader not much older than the new scout and themselves for surviving in the woods. It's terrifying for many new scouts.

    Now, you would think that the new scout patrol would make that easier, but the problem with the new scout patrol is that hand holding is still there and the independence isn't reinforced enough for the scout to trust the culture of the troop. The new scout will learn to trust the TG, but not the other older scouts. And, the only independence the scouts learn is what the TG teaches them, which really isn't the confidence that comes from experience. 

    I do believe there is a way to mix Webelos with the troop program to get the scouts more up to speed, but not to the degree mentioned by Calion. I had great success with Webelos Dens doing their program with the troop, but independent of the troop program. The Webelos would stand in formation at opening and closing cermony. Sometimes the participated in games. We would sometimes ask the SPL to send us a scout to teach a few basic 1st class skills. But, we didn't treat the Webelos as Troop Scouts. We wanted them to look forward to change. We wanted the experience of having meetings at the same time with the troop to give them confidence of joining so that the sudden independence didn't overwhelm them. The Webelos got to learn the faces of scouts, and maybe even their names. The adults became familiar, and the scouts got somewhat close to the Scoutmaster who would visit the Webelos activities now and then. And it worked.

    But, Eagle94 is right. A big part of the problem is the adults who don't want to stop hand holding. They don't really see that is what they are doing, but they can't seem to let go of the idea that these young men are still children who need protection from the pain of growing up. Our troop ask all parents who think they want to take positioning the troop to go through about a year of training. In that training, the SM will personally guide them through the troop activities and explain why the adult aren't around. The SM will take them to a PLC meeting with a warning that they are only observers. Do not speak (because it happens). We explain they must attend at least 3 campouts as an observer to learn how scout run really works, and sometimes doesn't work. The trainees will earn their TotenChit, from a scout at the same time the new scouts earn theirs. 

    Getting the adults out-of-the-way is the key to getting the new scouts up to speed. We do have an ASM for new scouts, but that person is trained to work with the Patrol Leaders and Troop Guides. We use the ASM show both the parents of the new scouts and the new scouts how the youth leaders and adults work together as a team. The ASM will always be the support and resource for the scouts to show that the adults trust the scouts to lead. If the new scout and parents need to talk to the leaders for any concerns, they will always be direct to start with the PL or TG. The ASM is support is the scouts ask. The new scouts will likely not even see the ASM after their first three months as they learn to trust the youth leader. The ASM is that adult who hand holding fades away as the confidence of youth leaders builds. It's a process, but we went from 40 first year drops to 5%. 

    The thing about scouting is seeking ways to improve without giving up on the principles of the program. In this case, we wanted the scout to experience scout run patrol method, but we needed them to build confidence that they were safe without adults next to them. Or even 100 yards away. So, we tried different ideas until we found ones that worked. And we reaped the rewards of do that scouting stuff.

    Barry

    • Like 2
  2. 55 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

    If you think parents of potential youth members are unlikely to serve or are otherwise inappropriate to be a Venturing crew Advisor or Committee member, then where are these people going to come from to reboot an entire program?  I might prefer others, but of the many units like this I formed over the years, there were always at least a few parents among the most effective Advisors.  That is my observation and experience, not necessarily my experience.

    Our Scuba post was manage by the scuba teacher and equipment store owner. The Police Post, was manage by volunteer police, and so on. We have a rappelling Venture crew around here that is led by the rappelling teachers at the Air Force Base. Find the adults who live and have passion for the skills that the scouts want for their adventure. Send them to training and have the DE visit them once in a while. I'm sure the effort is a lot more challenging, but it just one idea to bat around for ideas.

    Barry

  3. 41 minutes ago, Calion said:

    So what failed about it?

    My own experience is that scout growth is dramatically slower without older scouts modeling the skills the new scouts need to learn. Troop Guides are OK, but they have to teach most of the skills in more of a classroom setting, while new scouts in a mixed age patrol just have to watch the skills being used in normal activities. The scouts in new scouts patrols tend to get bored because they don't stay busy enough when the troop guide isn't around. There is no resource of experience other than the troop guide. Then usually means the adults have to fill in to make sure the new scouts have a continued program.  

    Another problem I observed is most troops put their less experienced younger scouts in the troop Guide position when the minimum age should be 15 or older. The worst Troops Guides I saw or worked with were 14 and younger. The best ones where 15 and older. In fact, our very best troop guides were past SPLs. They said that Troop Guide just seem like a natural progression for them.

    A totally scout run patrol is almost impossible with new scout patrols.

    Barry

    • Like 3
    • Upvote 1
  4. 16 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

     

    4. While I love the concept of Venturing, heck I would have loved an active HA Exploring Post back in the day, the biggest challenge is adult volunteers. Sadly you a need number of dedicated, adventurous adults willing to work with the young adults.

     

    This is the main driving problem. A successful  Venture, Venturing, Sea Scout, Explorers, or whatever you  want to call program must have passionate adults and sponsors. My Scuba Post was sponsored by a very passionate Scuba Outfitter that pushed the program until he died.  Sea Scouts has it's own following, but I remember one member here years back saying his program struggled from lack of adults. The most successful older scout units have good sponsors or passionate adults. If it were me leading a charge to increase membership, I would start with a recruiting program to find the right adults. Scouts go where the fun is at, so find the adults and then market the fun.

    Barry

  5. 19 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    On the trips I lead, I put in the remarks, "Must be 14 by the start date, or with adult leader approval."  I have made a few errors in judgment over the years in opening trips to all ages, only to wind up dealing with problems caused by immaturity or lack of physical ability to do the trip.  (not my own immaturity or inability...for those of you who want to swing at that softball... 😜 )

    Determining mental and physical Maturity can be tough. My older son weighed 105 lbs at age 16. Yet, he had more backpacking experience than most of our troop. In fact, he once carried his backpack and the backpack of a member of their exhausted crewmate a couple miles on a Philmont trek. On the other hand, I had some tough athletes who fell apart mentally. And that usually happens at the beginning of the trek, so we're stuck with them the whole trek. They are a challenge because everyone, including themselves, assumes they can do the trek based from their physical ability. I was lucky on one such trip that the scout's dad was one of our adults. We let him deal with his son. The constant physical effort of paddling for miles or carrying a 40lb pack up a mountain is as much mental as it is physical. Some folks just aren't conditioned for it. 

    Barry

    • Like 1
  6. 5 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    Yep.  Adventure does not have to be expensive.  It can be, but does not have to be.

    The problem is that ,many adults are stuck on the imaginary age 14 restriction. Our only restriction was physical fitness maturity to make sure the scouts could physically do the adventure task safely. Except for Philmont. Could not get past that restriction. But, we usually did at least two or our own high adventure pack packing treks anyways. So, everyone that wanted to go backpacking could go. That doesn't include our backpacking weekend campout.

    Barry

    • Like 2
    • Upvote 1
  7. 5 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    First I hard of this. Didn't National try this in the 1950s, and it flopped? I've heard stories that folks were automatically enrolled as Explorers, but still remained with the troop.

    Yes, it was a rumor by someone who knew someone. The New Scout Patrol was part of the plan, so it wasn't far fetched to me. Until the creation of the New Scout Patrol and Troop guides. Webelos joined when they reached a certain age. They didn't crossover as a whole den. Patrols stayed mixed because they only got 2 or 3 new scouts a year. The New Scout Patrol started the aged base format.

    Barry

  8. The rumor, never found anyone to admit it's truth, was that National was going to change the program to aged base and the Venture Patrols was the shoehorn for it. But, I think it wasn't a popular as National expected.

    Nationals self interest for aged based patrols is holding on to membership. When the scouts get bored with Troop scouting, they can jump into Venture Patrols or Venturing for high adventure.  The problem with that theory is if the adult leaders can't run and interesting program for 10 to 13 year olds, what make's them think they can for 14 and older scouts. Venturing crews in our district last between 3 to five years. And most of them struggle while they are active. My question to troop leaders that want a Venturing program to keep their older scouts is "why not do adventure for all ages and then maybe you older scouts won't get bored". 

    Barry

     

    • Like 1
  9. 42 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Fixed that for you. Let's face it, National is the one setting the tone on this. National is producing training material that promotes advancement above all things, and positions of responsibility is part of that. 

    Quite right. The leaders are only running the program National is pushing. Thanks for the correction.

    Barry

  10. On 4/24/2022 at 11:33 AM, ramanous said:

    Certainly a mature patrol can get away with less planning and delegation. Younger scouts, however, don't know where to start and look to the older scouts for guidance. The older patrols aren't providing the guidance, because they are mature/experience enough not to need the formality. This, I think, was the key failure of the Leadership Corp concept.

     

    The leadership Corp is where the senior scouts who have done it all go to be a source for the younger leadership. But, that shouldn't take away from the patrols. In fact, if a Patrol Needed a new patrol leader for some reason, they would likely come from the leadership Corp.

    One of the flaws of todays leaders is they push leadership on scouts too fast and too early. True leadership requires a lot of skills to coordinate a team toward success. Developing those skills takes time and duty roster is one of the best tools for teaching coordinated team work. I found that patrols without duty rosters struggled to get all the responsibilities performed because someone the PL had to constantly ask a scout to do it, after the job should have been done. A duty roster reminds all the scouts or their responsibilities before the assume the responsibilities. A duty roster teaches discipline and work ethic. 

    A duty roster also encourages calm leadership. I use to teach our youth leadership that if you have to yell to get something done, then you are do your job wrong. 

    The skills that a simple duty roster teach will last the scout forever. I know because I use those skills everyday.

    Barry

    • Upvote 1
  11. 14 minutes ago, yknot said:

    No, but as Moderator you are defending the comments of someone who essentially did. You tell me how else to read that comment and now some of yours. Maybe show some of the things that have been posted here to some random women, maybe even outside your immediate orbit, and see what their reactions are. I'd be curious to hear. Personally, I've got a houseful of livid people here. Maybe tell some of your girl scouts that the reason they can't be in mixed gender troops is because they like to menu plan too much. See how your Twitter feed blows up. 

    When I taught adult leadership, I explained that the actions of others around me are motivated by my actions., or misunderstood opinions.

    I also must say that of the hundreds of times I have brought my opinion to this discussion, it is the first time I seen someone offended that the girls had the better skills than the boys. Most adults just smile. This is a strange discussion at some many levels.

    Barry

    • Upvote 1
  12. 13 minutes ago, yknot said:

    You're talking about making assessments about what is optimal for boys vs. girls based on views that are  discriminatory and offensive. Differences in behaviors is one thing; claiming differences in skills and/or character development to justify excluding girls is another thing entirely. Believing that girls are neurotypically prewired to plan menus is akin to saying a woman's place is in the kitchen and she likes it there. If you don't see the problem with that then I am here to say -- you need to see the problem with that. 
     

    Wow, that's quite a leap from what was really stated. Girls are wired differently than boys and and difference makes growth more challenging for boys when they are mixed with girls in a patrol method environment. 

    The question isn't whether boys and girls can mix in scouting activities, of course they can. The question is whether benefit of girls and boys scouting together is worth the less growth for the boys. 

    Barry

    • Upvote 4
  13. 1 hour ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Seems mostly differences based on environment. Boys and girls are wired different from each other and are again wired different after puberty. Environment may force habits against the natural instinct, but the instinct is still there. Example is that our cultural expect behavioral habits of not indulging to our sex drive at inappropriate times. That is called character. 

    Strange discussion here. Seems either everyone wants to make the genders equal, or they believe the genders are already equal. That is not how to solve issues created by gender behavior differences. And, the genders should be proud to be different from the other gender. It's OK.

    And, why is this so much the girls. I've read several recent articles about boys struggling mentally because the culture is trying to redefine them to be less masculine. while at the same time push girls to be more equal by acting more masculine. Even on this forum  someone reported adults cheating on skills scores at Camporees so the girls would wine. Others here bragged about a focus on accelerating the advancement part of their program so girls could get rank faster. Why? That is not the Scouting program.

    I will throw one more behavior I have observed over the years and is a real problem for the BSA. That vast majority of Wolf and  Bear leaders are female. But, most do not want to be Webelos leaders for one simple reason, outdoors activates. What ever the reason, it is a gender situation with the result of a huge drop in youth membership.

    This recent discussion started because are offended when I said genders learn better in scouting when they are mixed. So what? Girls can join now. Boy growth is less important than being culturally progressive. The choice has been made. 

    Barry

     

  14. 18 hours ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    I disagree with the idea the idea that "only boys are interested in action and adventure" and "girls are interested in planning menus".

    I think the "action and adventure" available through Scouting appeals to boys and girls equally.  I also disagree with the assessment that logistical planning is not in the boys' "wheelhouse".

    I can't think of a single Scouting activity that wouldn't appeal to outdoor-oriented girls the same way it appeals to outdoor-oriented boys.

    I do not think this is an issue in mixed-gender Scouting.

    Ah good. We can agree to disagree. 

    Have a great scouting week.

    Barry

    • Upvote 2
    • Downvote 2
  15. 20 hours ago, skeptic said:

    Being wired differently is not an answer, simply an excuse.  If the youth can function in school groups or church groups and so on, then they should be able to do so in Scouting.  As noted more than once from my own experience as a sub teacher, which meant many variants in students, groups became balanced pretty much once stabilized.  While middle school girls often took over a group initially, in many case the boy(s) came forward to challenge.  And in many of those, the group output became far more viable and reflected both sides, so to speak.  Sorry, the psychologists that claim the males are intimidated by females in that age group are not working with complete data.  Too often, they construct their own slanted surveys and so on to arrive at their predetermined position.  Again, I spent many years in a half dozen middle schools and below, and what I noted was almost universal.  

    We might also note the best of the Ships and Crews in our own programs that are universally mixed in gender, yet function very well with the various points of view, based on gender perception, seeming to lead to a better balance and more success.  

     

    It’s not about functioning together, it’s about maximum growth opportunity . Scouting is not about enduring each other to eventually get along. As you said, boys and girls are mixed to all the time. The scouting program puts the youth in situations where they makes decisions that expose their character.

    Boys aren’t intimidated by the girls natural instinct of management and details, they welcome it. But many adults confuse the boys stepping back as a result being intimidated. It is instead the logical action of giving space for letting the girls do what they do best, and the boys find boring. Boys by nature want action and adventure. That other stuff like meeting, planning, and planning menus is not in their wheelhouse. Taking the girls out of the equation forces the boys to step to the mundane responsibilities of getting to to the actions and adventure.

    This reminds of when I asked a den of Webelos why they chose the troop they where about to cross over to, they said that troop had the best game at the end of the meeting. Action and adventure.

    As for the experts, they can’t all be wrong. Many are good at their job. Is the idea of genders learning better when the aren’t mixed really so hard to believe. Even you admit they are wired differently. I also have years of experience working with boys and girls and I came up with my own conclusions of developmental growth of boys and girls in different environments. Scouting is an area where boys grow better without girls. At least until puberty.

    Barry

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
  16. 7 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

    I recently received an email from the HOA of a rental property that I own.  It was announcing a "learn to swim" program in the HOA pool and the only ones eligible are "children on the free/reduced lunch program at school, OR minorities (whatever that means) of any age."  The program is called the "Really Awesome People Swimming Program".  Being a former Red Cross WSI and BSA Lifeguard Counselor, I wrote to the HOA manager expressing my belief that this is not "equitable", since I pay the same HOA dues as everyone else, and my strong belief that swimming is a valuable life skill that everyone should learn, even white kids of hard-working parents who apparently do not meet the criteria of being "Really Awesome" because of their skin color.  Rest assured that race discrimination is alive and thriving.

    While I agree with your situation, a program that uses the enhanced power of a single gender environment to provide youth with quality character growth is not racist or bigoted. In fact, I believe a youth program that uses servant leadership principles and guidance leads the youth to develop habits away from that self serving perspective.

    Barry

  17. 3 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    Maybe what we did is wrong, I don't really know...

    My kid is signed up for Astronomy and Fishing.  He is also going to take the Second Class uhhh class and First Class class.  He is working through the requirements with the Troop. but I think, based on his personality, he will benefit from experiencing and learning the information from someone else.  He needs things 2, sometime 3 times before it sinks in.  Also going to take instructional swim.    Then I think there is like 4 hours of whatever till lights out.

    That  sounds pretty good to me. Fun.

    Usually camps do the swim test first. How good of a swimmer is he. I had several scouts scared of the idea of a test and it turned out they were good swimmers. I have also had scouts that learned a lot in instructional swim.

    Barry

    • Upvote 1
  18. 13 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

     

    Here are some tenets of an ideal summer camp:

    - separate patrol sites

    - patrols pitch their own tents

    - patrols plan their own menus, do their own shopping, cook their own meals (if possible, over a wood fire!!), do their own dishes, store their own food

    - the PLC chooses the activities they want to do, and the adult leaders help them develop a support plan to make it happen.

    - a swimming hole

    - a place to shoot (if Scouts want to have that activity)

    - a campfire (or three) with songs, skits, cheers, and general silliness

    - map and compass work, with some hikes to distant places

    - exploring the natural world...water, rocks, soil, trees, plants, flowers, insects, fish, mammals, birds...  stalking them to learn about their habits and behavior (I am really good at stalking rocks and trees!)

    - ropework and pioneering, building structures that are actually used around the camp, not just a gateway

    etc, etc, etc... the focus should be on the activities themselves, under the patrol method, rather than individuals going to school-like classes taught (in general) by Scouts who have little to no experience or skill in those things, and only geared toward getting a piece of cloth

    The focus of the summer camp program is not advancement.  Advancement should happen as a result of the program.

    What you get in most council-run summer camps is just a poor shadow of the ideal, and our Scouts' development suffers for it

     

     

    Go ahead and start another subject. I enjoy these discussions and can talk hours about it in person.

    The whole idea of Patrol Method is to put scouts in situations where they have to make difficult decisions from  the interactions with patrol mates. I learned that the preparing meals is the most intense patrol activity that exposes the scouts true character. And usually forces them to learn better habits of  interacting  with other people. We didn't always go to a camp where the patrol prepared the meals, but we made sure the patrols were independent so they would have to rely on each other to get through their day.  I was told many many times by parents that you took our boy to summer camp and brought us back a man. What did you do? Wasn't me. It was him. 

    Barry

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 3
  19. There will be some exercises (Tickets) during and after the course designed to help you understand how to perform you responsibilities better with the intention  of making your scouting experience easier and more enjoyable. Those exercises have the most impact if you know what is expected of you. I would sit down with your adult ream and have a discussion of their expectations for you.  Then you can build your tickets around those expectations.

    Also, a lot of times the course and the exercises bring to view that to some folks that they may not be the right person for those units expectations. They choose to change positions and build yoeir exercises around the new position. I know of one Cubmaster who was also the Webelos leader and Tiger leader. The course showed her that she would have a lot more impact on the pack and also enjoy scouting more if she gave up Webelos Leader and Leader postions and instead focus on recruiting good adults for those positions. Another leader realized that his skill set would provide more impact at the District level instead of the unit level. Scouting should be as much fun for adults as the scouts. 

    As for the rest of the course, "enjoy".

    Barry

    • Thanks 1
  20. 12 hours ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    Time will tell.  Every DEI I've ever encountered does these things.  It's why they exist.  I just can't believe this woke stuff has penetrated the Boy Scouts of America of all things.

    My hope is National's motivation to appear progressive will be diluted by the common sense of the volunteers.

    Barry

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
  21. 47 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    No, they aren't...the key is the Troop Guide. Wanna really understand the Troop Guide role?  Look at the patch.  He is the Patrol Leader-mentor.  We use Troop Guides to great effect.  Usually, they are past Patrol Leaders for their Patrol.  For six months, they go side by side with the PL of the New Scout Patrols until they "get it".  Six months is about all it takes, depending on program.  We camping trip every month, immediately followed by a PLC, a day trip every month, and have a service project every other month.  Plenty of leadership opportunities.

    Train 'em, Trust 'em, Let them lead!

    Troop Guides are better than nothing, but nothing beats watching and experiencing the dynamics of mixed age group. Troop Guides still do a lot of teaching the skills, where the young scouts in a mixed age patrol learn simply by watching and participating with the experienced patrol mates. 

    The other problem I have observed with same age patrols is they become cliquish and don't mix well at the older ages. The scouts in troops with same age patrols tend to merge into troop leadership with their patrol mates instead of scouts from all the patrols. Almost can't prevent it since the patrol ages up into the responsibilities. 

    Saying all that, I know a troop may not have a choice and have to do the best they can. But, I'm not sure how to do a same age patrol without using older scouts because of abuse risk. It would be like running a new troop without older scouts every year.

    Barry

    • Upvote 1
  22. Yes, we worked with mixed age patrols and same age patrols and same age patrols don't work near as well for developing character growth. Age based patrols are basically setting the scouts up to fail because they don't have a good example for how to succeed. I did not know that mixed age patrols or older scouts are not recommended to prevent abuse. Is that local or national? Honestly, that kind of kills the patrol method objective. I will have to think about this one.

    Barry

  23. 10 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

     

    Which seems to say, "Many want to be considered to be virtuous, but few really want to be virtuous."

    Or in more modern language, "Do as I say, not as I do."

    Or, in my interpretation, "I am what I say."

    Very profound. I’m wonder if the many want to be virtuous, but their genetics is incapable. The foundation of the Christian religion professes that all man fail.

    i used to say that virtue in a troop is defined by the least virtuous adult. But the truth is that for the scouts, virtue is defined by the scoutmaster. The only hope for those scouts is if the Scoutmaster is as humble as he is virtuous.

    Interesting thoughts. Thanks

    Barry

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
  24. 1 hour ago, johnsch322 said:

    In the auto industry it is called the NHTSA safety reports (1 to 5 stars) and in the pharmaceutical industry they are called "Pharmacy Auxiliary Labels" (Drug Warnings). I am sure I can find more examples.

    I'm all for all the other youth scout organizations providing their data so a baseline can be determined for the ranking of the stars. I also believe yearly total numbers are important so parent can compare the groups to measure risks.

    Barry

  25. 2 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

    I feel like I am on a school playground and instead of answering a question I get the question asked back to me. No I do not work with abused kids as a scout leader. Are the kids you work with abused in scouting?

    That's because we have presented our opinion several times and left ourselves to word games to try and get and advantage. I think each of us has made ourselves clear. And balanced.

    Barry

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