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Everything posted by Venividi

  1. Divide and conquer. Look at your patrol structure. If there are a lot of young scouts in a single patrol, they feed off each other and the patrol leader has increased difficulty in keeping them focused. If you are able to keep the number of new scouts to 2 per patrol, they can stay more focused, and pay more attention to the older scouts in their patrol, which helps them from acting out.
  2. Age based patrols: Webelos cross over to Boy Scouts expecting fun and adventure. They look up to the older scouts and want to be like them. They select a PL from their midst, but they do not respect or follow him like they would an older scout. Reason: their PL likely has no more experience or knowledge than their own. (Adult equivalent would be if 8 random adults were placed together and told to elect one of their own to lead them in building a chemical plant in India.) Without at least some experience, the PL is thrust into a position that will result in frustration. PL role the
  3. In the district that I used to be involved with, they did an excellent job of keeping MB counselor list up to date. Even with that, I did not receive calls from a scout except for a (rare) call to finish a partial from summer camp. Although the purpose of MB program as stated by BSA includes the benefit of calling an unknown adult, working with a caring adult with a knowledge of a subject area, etc., in reality, opportunities to get MB's at adult planned events (summer camp, MB weekends, in troop MB sessions, etc., there is little incentive for a scout to make a call to a MB counselor to arr
  4. Thrifty, Young boys learn best by watching older boys. When adults do the planning, well, that is just something that they are used to - adults do such things, and they cannot envision themselves doing that. Young scouts typically look up to the older scouts. They want to be like them, have the experiences that they have had. When they see the older boys doing planning, AND the older boys helping them to plan, they can envision themselves doing that. Without a few older boys in the troop that have the understanding that they are role models, and that they have the responsibility and
  5. 1) Patrols need to matter. Avoid combining patrols on camp outs. Combining patrols conveys the message that patrols don't matter. This month a scout is in the liger patrol (combination of lions and tigers because only a few from each patrol attended the campout); next month he is in the leagles (lions and eagles), following month, it is the leagears (combination of lions, eagles and bears). Loyalty (and the resulting spirit) doesnt build with a random, ever changing group. 2) Have meaningful competitions. Interpatrol activities at each meeting and camp out need to be patrol vs patrol
  6. Stosh, To say that it is all due to how the program is run (as to whether FC and Eagle scouts are equivalent in character, citizenship, fitness), discounts the maturity that happens in anyone between 12 and 18. The program should help guide and encourage growth in those ; i.e., character, citizenship and fitness. If it does not, if a Star, Life, and Eagle scout have not developed further, then the program is deficient. I do agree with you that some scouts at FC exhibit more maturity than some Eagles. I love it when I meet scouts that draw their motivation to improve from within themsel
  7. Stosh, I admire your sentiment that a good first class scout is the same as a good Eagle scout (dynamics is the word that you used). However, I just cant imagine that even in your troop an Eagle scout wouldn't have a deeper understanding of the scout oath and law, this impacting beliefs and behavior. BSA stresses first class in 1 year. If a scout progresses no farther in his trail to Eagle than in the year (or so) to First Class, then what is the point of additional years of participation in scouting? We've already helped him as far along as he is able to go.
  8. Don't be patient. If no camping activities are planned in which all scouts can participate, those that cant will soon lose interest and drift away. Is it reasonable to assume that the few new kids are all in one patrol? They can have patrol meetings where they plan and set up patrol camp outs. If the PLC is planning troop level activities that leave out the younger scouts, and older scouts are shooting down all activity suggestions in which younger scouts could participate, they are not living to the scout law. It would be a good topic to raise at troop committee meeting on the di
  9. An Eagle Scout should exhibit the characteristics that make him someone that we would hold up to other scouts as an example. Living and demonstrating the scout oath and law is in my opinion the most important requirement for Eagle, yet many are inclined to ignore it because it is by nature subjective. Eagle is an award that to the public embodies the Scout oath and law. Picking out just the first 3: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful Is a scout that has camped 20 nights in 3 or 4 years trustworthy, loyal or helpful to his patrol? In my opinion he is not, because he let his patrol mates dow
  10. Adding something that hasn't been raised yet: Who is doing the training and setting the expectations for a scout in a new POR? If it is the SM or an ASM, then the boy very well may view it as an unnecessary job only being done because the adult told him to do it. If it is a same age scout (i.e., the PL in a troop with age based patrols), then the scout's view may be that the PL doesn't know any more than he does, so why should he listen to him? Besides, they just want to goof around together. However, if the person doing the training and setting the expectations is another scout tha
  11. I would not object to expulsion, but I don't see the CC going along with that. I don't see where CC should be overriding the SM on decision as to whether a scout with long term bad behavior should be able to continue to participate in scout meetings and activities. I think it would be interesting to listen in on that conversation: SM: CC, you are aware of all of the issues with scout X, from all of our previous discussions, correct? CC: Yes, why do you ask? SM: We have lost scouts and despite repeated conferences with him, he is still bullying younger scouts. I expect t
  12. jblake writes: We had a troop in our district that had a dozen or so really young scouts and just one older boy. Of course they made him the SPL. After a couple of camporees of watching the little guys follow him around as if they were all tied to him, he picked up the nickname "Mother Hen". That is what I like about mixed aged patrols. It puts scouts in a situation where leadership can happen naturally, because young scouts look up to an older, experienced PL. He already has had adventures that they want to have, has skills that they envy. The PL in turn gets a feeling of self worth
  13. If it was me, I wouldn't reorganize patrols at the next patrol meeting, because the groundwork hasn't yet been laid. One possible way: Have meeting with SM, CC, AC, key ASM's to dicsuss what you are trying to do. Discuss their ideas and concerns so that all are on same page. Talk to SPL about observations that the troop really isnt using the patrol method, there are no inter-patrol competitions, etc. and that you would like to add this to the agenda at his next PLC meeting. At next PLC meeting, pose the problem to the boys. I would use the inter-patrol competition as the hook, becau
  14. A thought to consider as you work through this with SM: One of the issues/inconsistencies that we recognized that we had as a troop was that awards/recognitions were typically individual based (rank advancement, merit badges), yet one of the aims of scouting is citizenship. In order to move towards the vision that the adults have for properly functioning patrols, patrol based behaviour needs to be rewarded. When all incentives are individual incentives, then patrol cohesiveness isn't fostered. (In my opinion, the advancement method doesn't do much to promote patrol cohesiveness). We n
  15. "But we must work with the cards we're given." if you are not getting the results that you want, (or if you find that some method isn't implemented correctly), it is possible to re-deal the cards. I am a bit confused over the intent of your original post. In it you expressed that you felt things weren't quite right. Once several people validated that your feelings were correct and offered suggestions, it appears that instead you were looking for validation that what your troop is doing is the best that can be expected. If you have the program that you want and are happy with yo
  16. I would be OK with an entire patrol to choose not to go on an outing. It is their patrol.
  17. Brew, Not a dichotomy, false or otherwise. It is a continuum. I didn't say that 100% attendance should be required (I made no mention of any specific attendance requirements, so I can see why you might have assumed that, sorry for the confusion). There is nothing wrong with a scout taking soccer season off, for example. If you are running 50% participation at campouts, (which would appear based on 4 patrols combining into 2), they never gel as patrols because it is constantly a different mix of boys. In my opinion, you are right to question it. You can create an environment whe
  18. yup - you can run a drop in program with a subtle message of "come if you want, but if you're not here it doesn't really matter, we'll combine patrols so you wont be missed", or a program where a patrol feels the effect when patrol members opt out of participation, and apply peer pressure on those that don't come. Or somewhere in between. Youth will gravitate towards and feel loyalty to organizations where the expectations of their participation are high; where they feel they are needed. What are your attendance expectations? Have they been communicated to scouts and parents? Is a
  19. Brewmeister: the solution was easier than expected. We stopped re-registering scouts that we hadn't seen for an extended period of time. Thought we would catch a lot of flack from families, but as a group they were supportive of no longer re-registering non-participating scouts. Discussions at committee meetings revealed that one of the reasons that parents supported their son joining a boy scout troop was that they wanted and expected that their son would be interacting with older scouts.
  20. "disappear for several years then barnstorm the troop asking for help on their Eagle project from kids who've never even seen them, and squeeze Eagle in just in time to age out and be useless to the troop as an Eagle to begin with." How do adults reconcile this with expectations for scouts to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful? Some mental gymnastics need to be done to explain away why such a scout is not loyal to his troop or his patrol? Why his troop and patrol cannot trust him with any task? How has he helped his troop, patrol, fellow scout? We once had a scout that absent for an
  21. 5yearscouter, In scouting, everything is interconnected. When you are having discipline problems, take a step back and look at the bigger picture, and you may find a non-obvious solutions. When do the discipline problems occur? Perhaps the PLC needs to plan more activities or different activities to keep scouts engaged, reducing the likelihood that they have time to fill with discipline inducing activities of their own. How are patrols structured? A patrol of same aged boys is more likely to let actions get out of control without one of the patrol members stepping in than is a mixed ag
  22. I would recommend not paying attention to advancement. Focus on having fun in the outdoors and on developing the skills needed for having fun in the outdoors and the planning skills needed to prepare a patrol for camping. (which is how it should be for all scouts.)
  23. christineka, I advise you to take a few moments and reflect on what you want your son to get out of scouting. Do you want him to learn and practice life skills that he can use, or are you looking to accumulate accolades, pins, awards, trophies...? Why do you think that it would not be beneficial for your son to get up in front of his den, show them his rock collection, tell them about it, show off what he learned? Being comfortable talking in front of a group is a learned and practiced skill. Starting to do this at a young age and continued doing so with every opportunity
  24. Scoutnut, Whether a scout advances or not is dependent on the outcome of the conversation between the SM and the scout. If scout is otherwise a good leader, POR and scout spirit requirements are signed off. If scout continues not to do his job, then in good conscience, the POR and scout spirit requirements should not be signed off until the scout has met the requirements. Your adding " #1 at all times" loads the deck - there has been nothing here that said that a scout must put the troop first at all times; rather the discussion is about fulfilling responsibilities and making choices
  25. cherokee, My recommendation is to ask your cc to invite a district trainer to your next committee meeting and presenting the Troop Committee Challenge to the committee as a whole. The training is much more helpful if the entire committee takes it together. Plus I have found that most committee members will not make the effort to take training on their own, whether instructor led or on-line. For you own reference, stop at the scout shop and pick up a copy of the troop committee guidebook, (along with guide to advancement
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