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LeCastor last won the day on November 19

LeCastor had the most liked content!

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About LeCastor

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    District Commissioner
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    Nature Study, Conservation, Scouting (obviously)

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  1. LeCastor

    Green Bar Leadership Experience

    Completely agree! I wouldn't want to hammer these Patrol Leaders with a list. I think Green Bar Bill's 4-part list, though, sums it up as you and I have done so here. from Handbook for Patrol Leaders, 1929
  2. LeCastor

    Green Bar Leadership Experience

    Thanks, @MattR. Here are ten things that popped into my head as I sat down to type, in no particular order: 1. Every member of the Patrol needs to be, consistently, given responsibility/responsibilities--at Patrol meetings, on Patrol hikes, in Patrol camps, etc. 2. Remember the Golden Rule--treat each Patrol member as you would like to be treated. 3. When dealing with conflicts, take a moment to see what you've been doing and then come up with a different approach. 4. As a Patrol Leader, you should be constantly striving to improve yourself and encouraging others around you to do the same--advancement, continuing training 5. Contact your Patrol members frequently to check in and thank them for their hard work--showing you care is important as a leader. 6. Make sure you listen to each member of the Patrol--truly listen so that you can help each member succeed. 7. Be Prepared at each Patrol Leader's Council meeting--taking good notes and always having ideas to share each time shows the SPL/SM you are serious. 8. When a project needs to be done, a Patrol Leader gets his/her hands dirty, rolls up his/her sleeves, and participates as much as each Patrol member. 9. Encourage each Patrol member to participate in every camping trip, hike, and activity as much as he/she is able. 10. When in doubt always remember the Ideals: Scout Oath and Law, Motto and Slogan, Outdoor Code, etc. There are no doubt many, many more take-aways I'd like each Patrol Leader to glean from this experience. But those listed above have been helpful for me as a Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, Den Chief, Junior/Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner, and Wood Badge course director.
  3. LeCastor

    Each Patrol Member Needs a Job

    I think we need to try to wrap our minds around giving the Patrols more life and meaning and resist the urge to fill a chart from the Scoutmaster's Handbook where the Troop has QMs, Scribes, etc. In Wood Badge, for example, there is a Troop Scribe and then there are 8 Patrol Scribes who submit the goings-on from each of the 8 Patrols. The Troop Scribe shows the rest of the Troop what each Patrol has been up to through the writing of 8 Patrol Scribes.
  4. LeCastor

    Each Patrol Member Needs a Job

    The patch isn't the point. The "job" is the idea here. How many times have we seen a Troop campout where 2-3 Scouts from six different Patrols showed up, causing the Scoutmaster to make the decision to create an ad hoc weekend-long Patrol? Might the fact that each Patrol member has a job create a sense of ownership where each member is compelled to show up consistently for each outing?
  5. LeCastor

    Each Patrol Member Needs a Job

    @DuctTape and @fred8033, you see my point now. How many times have Scouts gotten bored and quit because they had nothing to do? A Patrol Leader should be working with each member of the Patrol to make sure responsibility and accountability is shared. I don't think Green Bar Bill ever said anything like this. Instead he quoted the Three Musketeers: "All for one, and one for all!"
  6. LeCastor

    Each Patrol Member Needs a Job

    I hear what you're saying, Q. Now, I would ask why the Troop needs a QM if each Patrol has its own set of gear in the closet/trailer/corner. I don't want to get hung up on QMs or any particular role here. My point is giving a Troop position takes away from a Patrol position. If we give greater responsibility to more Scouts are we not giving more accountability to more youth?
  7. LeCastor

    Each Patrol Member Needs a Job

    I think the pushback, and some shown here so far, is that adults want to make everything "formal" and "official". The Patrol Leader is the one who makes the decision about who does what, based on each Patrol members strengths. The Patrol Leader is the only "formal" and/or "official" role as far as the Scoutmaster should be concerned. Now, I don't think there's anything wrong with a Troop of 8 Patrols to have 8 Scouts with QM patches on their sleeves. See what I mean?
  8. LeCastor

    Each Patrol Member Needs a Job

    Thanks, all, for the discussion thus far! This is the point I'm trying to make. Did you roll your eyes at me? Quite simply, my answer is because it's the Patrol Method. Not everything one does has to be for advancement. If you are doing something strictly for advancement, then I don't think you are doing it for the right reason(s). How is the disagreeing with me? Let's have a moment of Green Bar Bill wisdom: "You will never get anywhere with a one-man system. The farthest if can bring your Patrol is into the ditch and one might assume that that is exactly the place of all places where you don't want to see it. "If you want it to succeed you will have to build up a system of organization in which every one of the boys is a part with special duties and special work to perform for the good of the Patrol. "As you work along you will soon find that the leading of a Patrol is much more than a one-man job, and you will soon find that you need the help of every one of your boys to take care of special details." (page 67, Handbook for Patrol Leaders, 1929 1st edition)
  9. As a Commissioner and trainer of Scoutmasters, I often suggest (strongly) that every Scout in a Patrol needs a job to do. That means every Patrol should have a PL, APL, scribe, quartermaster, historian, webmaster, etc. I don't know how many times I've heard the pushback that, "our Troop already has a quartermaster". Patrols should have gear, a blog, meetings (requiring a scribe to take minutes), etc. Troops don't need a quartermaster as much as a Patrol does, provided the Patrol has its own gear (which it should). I think a Troop quartermaster who works with Patrol quartermasters is a good idea, though. In essence, the more responsibility given to the Scouts the better!
  10. LeCastor

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    Sorry to mis-lead you two. I joined as a Bear Cub in 1987. The uniform shirt I shared belongs to a recently-retired Scoutmaster from our area. Yes, @desertrat77, our Scout Executive shared that with us a few days before we all learned of this lawsuit. I think BSA was trying to pave the way for merger in the 1970s and "Scout BSA" was a way to make it easier?
  11. I agree, DuctTape. So why don't we have that same level of depth anymore? Why is the Patrol Method only touched on for two pages in the 13th edition? Do you think this is why neither Scoutmasters nor Scouts know how to effectively implement and use the Patrol Method? I guess we could buy all remaining copies of GBB's books and distribute to our Scouts. Or maybe we could petition the BSA to reprint them in bulk for today's Scouts to use??!!
  12. LeCastor

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    I know what you mean but here is a photo of a uniform from the mid-1970s.
  13. We might be able to solve two problems at one time here. By encouraging our Scouts to invite their non-Scout friends to visit, and then join, the Troop, we could 1) grow Scouting and 2) show Scouts they are leading their own buddies and doing fun things with the people the know they already like and mesh with. Encouraging Scouts of the sports ball team/band to join the same Patrol might just get them out on Friday night after the game. Peer-to-peer encouragement is a powerful incentive: eg. If Travis is going then I should go, too!
  14. I think this is the problem. We tend to spend too much time trying to divide and sub-divide the Scouts into convenient categories--new Scouts, old Scouts, intermediate Scouts--and don't encourage friends to form a group they want to spend time with. You know, I still camp and hike with members of my childhood Patrol.
  15. As I plan ways to encourage more effective use of the Patrol Method on a local level, I have been thinking a lot about how Scouts are introduced to the idea of a Patrol. Naturally, new Scouts learn quite a bit from other Scouts and the Scouters in their Troop, but the Boy Scout Handbook is also a handy go-to resource. Scouts and Scouters, both, should read the Handbook to learn as much as they can about the program and the game of Scouting. Though, the depth with which the newest Handbook, the 13th edition, dives into the Patrol concept is very shallow when compared to, say, the 9th edition from 1979. Green Bar Bill, not surprisingly, commits seven pages to the Patrol structure with the following sub-topics: Patrol Name Patrol Flag and Emblem Patrol Call Patrol Leader Patrol Doings Patrol Meetings Patrol Hikes and Camps Reading the text is tantalizing: "A patrol is a team. All the members play the game of Scouting. All of you work toward the same goal. All of you have a wonderful time. In the patrol, you learn what fun it is to plan exciting things to do with some of your best friends...to hike and camp together...to sing and laugh together homeward bound from a strenuous hike or around a flickering campfire...to work together to meet the tests that will carry all of you onward and upward in Scouting." (pg. 12) Now, the 13th edition commits a mere two pages and spends a significant portion discussing the different breakdowns of the "kinds of Patrols." Whereas the Patrol to Green Bar Bill is a group of "best friends," the newest description is about segregating by classification. In essence, Bill makes you feel like you're already on the camp or hike around a fire with your buddies. The 13th edition simply ticks off a box about the Parol and moves on. Is this the effect of the short attention span culture we are cultivating? Boys' Life and Scouting skimp on much depth these days, too.