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bugle344

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About bugle344

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  1. bugle344

    Hlep me find BSA website policy

    Correction: HELP me...sorry!
  2. Please help me! I have searched the net for hours to locate what I believe to be an official BSA website policy for Troops. No luck so far. We have a new webmaster who wants to take our website and kick it up a notch - BAM! I have heard there is a set of "rules" to protect the boys - something to do with not showing face closeups and of course, no full names/phone numbers. Can any of you "webbies" link me up?
  3. This is one of my favorite topics! I REALLY like all your great posts! My 2 cents: 1. I draw the line when "the public" is affected. Example: A guest speaker has been invited. I want the boy leader to make the contact and act as host, but an follows up, working hand in hand with the boy. Example: Our Scouts were ushers for a recent community wide veterans' service. The officers still had responsibilty to organize their Scouts, but s were right there to guide the PL, every step of the way. 2. I use the words "mess up", not "fail". It's OK for the PL to mess up, but we don't stop there. What can he do to correct the error or do better next time? 3. I like the bicycle analogy. I learned to ride my bike with my Dad guiding the bike from the side and later from the back. He would run alongside to get it started, then I had to take control. I didn't do very well the first few times, but with his patience and my practice, I needed him less and less. After a few more trys, I could do it all by myself. What a thrill! 4. I don't remember how many times a fell from my bike. I DO remember how Dad was right there, ready to let me try one more time.
  4. bugle344

    Patrol Leader Council

    Thanks Eagledad! Good points! I'm in Indiana - but I do like the song "OOOOOOO-kla-ho-ma where the wind......"!!
  5. bugle344

    Names for Patrol

    We desparately need a good name for the (blah!)Adult Patrol. I've challenged the boys to come up with cool or inpsiring names for their patrol, now we need to get with it! Talk to me. Any suggestions? I'm sure there are some clever names out there!
  6. bugle344

    Patrol Leader Council

    (Preface: we're heavy into outdoor and camp every month) I believe it is very difficult for a 13 year old to see into the future (or even think past the next meal:). I believe the Scouts need specific, concrete items to present or discuss in the PLC. We recently made a nice change that I offer here: We now schedule our PLC meetings to correspond with the next outing. The PLC is the Monday prior to the outing. The Troop Meeting is on a Thursday, then the outing starts Friday. Now the PLC spends most of it's time REVIEWING and POLISHING their plans for the outing happening just a few days away. They have a few days to make adjustments or corrections. Changes can be implemented during the Thursday Troop Meeting, making the Friday departure a result of their own planning. During each Troop Meeting's Patrol Meeting, the PL is supposed to work with his Scouts to get them registered for the outing, plan menus, duty rosters, equip., etc. for the upcoming outing. The PL then brings this written plan for his patrol and presents it to the PLC. (they also discuss the "Next next outing" and Troop Meetings) This keeps the PL on his toes and leading. This makes the SPL responsible to review the PL's planning. This brings up lots of discussion as the other officers critique his plan. The older Scouts can offer advice. This keeps the PLC accountable for the performance of the Troop. This (helps) keep s from complaining or butting in. This helps ME relax and let them lead because I know they are working on the right things. Does this work every time? NO WAY! My boys are just like yours! Does it help? Usually. Most importantly, they boys tell me they like it because it helps them do a better job. They feel more confident about their abilities. They LIKE to be re-elected or move up. Suggestion: We have found "cyber PLC" to be beneficial. Good Scouts are ususally also heavily involved in other activites. We find it VERY difficult to get full attendance at meetings. All our officers are online, so the PLC voted that each officer had to check his email every day. Now, much of the PLC "housekeeping" or regular business can be handled with emails to each other. The SPL can check with each officer and review/discuss/follow up items without a sit down meeting. Agendas, schedules, lists can all be distributed to the PLC online. They send me a copy of each email so I can watch their progress. Our rule: nothing is broadcast to the entire group without SM's review. Keep the faith!
  7. bugle344

    The Patrol Method Poll!

    Dan, Here's our understanding and implementation of the Patrol Method: We function as a Troop made up of 4 patrols - 3 youth patrols and 1 adult patrol. We don't frequent the O-rees and events organized and controlled by adults. We're heavy into backpacking, canoe, high adventure, etc. The PLC plans the outings as a Troop, but once we arrive, we separate by patrol. Each PL picks a campsite/cooksite, preferably out of sight from each other, and is responsible to manage his patrol. Each PL is responsible to get his Scouts to the troop activity at an appointed time. i.e. Compass Training at 9am, Compass Course Competition at 11am. If we have only 2 boys from a patrol on an outing, they still function independently as a patrol. Summer camp - things get stirred up during class times, but when we get back to our campsite, the tents and chores are arranged by patrol. Skits and songs for campfires are by patrol. Waiters and cleanup in the dining hall is by patrol. We all sit around the evening campfire as a troop, but the PL is still responsible to keep his guys in line. I am not against the organized council events, but "the woods is where it's at!" The PLC sets the schedule and runs the outing, not the adults or a guy in a golf cart with a megaphone. The patrols have space to spread out; it's quiet; the young Scouts must follow their PL to survive; there are no Scouts doing things out of our control/discipline and setting a bad example; the trapping of civilization are gone - Scouts must rely on their preparation and each other; Does this answer your question?
  8. bugle344

    Looking for reasons not to

    ....sorry, I thought it didn't take....my bad!
  9. bugle344

    Looking for reasons not to

    We elect ALL offices, every 6 months. I have worked to make it "cool" to be an officer (special privileges, special food, call the SPL "Mister", JLT is a super fun overnight...) The guys scratch and claw to be elected. I don't like the idea of automatic promotion. The boys change a lot in 6 months. They can go from "Eager Scout" to "Mr. I'm Too Cool For You Little Kids" in a flash. Nothing should be a "given". That's welfare. A boy should have to work to be elected each time. The Troop should not have to suffer any longer than one term with a poor leader or a guy who loses interest. The Peter Principle "People rise to their level of incompetence". Our current ASPL wants to go back to PL -he says "it's more fun and less work". I have also seen many Scouts who made great ASPLs but refused to be SPL - and I was glad they refused! Our ASPL is a helper, filling in where needed - occasionally as SPL, but usually when the QM or PL is missing. Being a good first mate is VERY different from being a good captain! I constantly remind the PLC that their Scouts are watching and thinking about whom to re-elect. We make our elections serious business. We have been talking about them for weeks. 6 Scouts hustled to reach First Class last week so they could be in this week's elections. My 15 second speech before elections is to remind the boys that they will have to do whatever the elected officer orders. "Who will you respect and obey when he gives you latrine duty? Who do you think will help you? Who will make the Troop fair and fun? If I suspect silly voting, we will do a re-vote." The current SPL leads the election. They ALWAYS remind the Scouts that this is not a popularity contest! We review the written requirements for rank and attendance and review the specific duties for our Troop. Each Scout can nominate himself and make a short speech. Elections are by secret ballot and no tallies are posted - only the name of the winner. One time, we were reorganizing by adding a new patrol, so we voted for the top 5 Scouts: SPL, ASPL, and 3 PL from the entire Troop. That new PLC then assigned the 3 PLs to a patrol. The Patrols then elected their APL. Don't be afraid to raise the bar. Each time I raise the standards, the Scouts try harder. My Scouter Mentor always asks "What does the football team require? Should we require any less?"
  10. bugle344

    Looking for reasons not to

    We elect ALL offices, every 6 months. I have worked to make it "cool" to be an officer (special privledges, special food, call the SPL "Mister", JLT is a fun overnight...) The guys scratch and claw to be elected. I don't like the idea of automatic promotion. The boys change a lot in 6 months. They can go from "Eager Scout" to "Mr. I'm Too Cool For You Little Kids" in a flash. Nothing should be a "given". A boy should have to work to be elected each time. The Troop should not have to suffer any longer than one term with a poor leader or a guy who loses interest. Our current ASPL wants to go back to PL -he said "it's more fun and less work". I constantly remind the PLC that their Scouts are watching and thinking about who to re-elect. I have also seen many Scouts who made great ASPLs but refused to be SPL - and I was glad they refused! Our ASPL is a helper, filling in where needed - occaisionally as SPL, but usually when the QM or PL is missing. Being a good first mate is VERY different from being a good captain! We make our elections serious business. We have been talking about them for weeks. My speech before elctions is to remind the boys that they will have to do whatever the elected officer orders. "Who will you respect and obey when he gives you latrine duty and who do you think will help you and make the Troop fair and fun?" (end of my 15 second speech) The current SPL leads the election. They ALWAYS remind the Scouts that this is not a popularity contest! We review the written requirements for rank and attendance and review the specific duties for our Troop. Each Scout can nominate himself and make a short speech. Elections are by secret ballot and no tallies are posted - only the name of the winner. If I suspect silly voting, I ask for a revote. This has only happened once in several years. One time, we were reorganizing by adding a new patrol, so we voted for the top 5 Scouts: SPL, ASPL, and 3 PL from the entire Troop. That new PLC then assigned the 3 PLs to a patrol. Don't be afraid to raise the bar. Each time is raise the standards, the Scouts try harder. My Scout mentor always asks "What does the football team require? Should we require any less?"
  11. Mom, I feel your pain! I cringed as I read your post! But let's get away from the adult problems back to your son... Ask "are the boys having fun?" Our Troop goes by the book - as we interpret it - but sometimes we have to interpret it based on what adults are there and getting the program to the boys. I just left a Troop that was destroyed by adult "rule book vigilantes" who were over-educated and happy to criticize, but wouldn't attend a campout. I understand your frustration - I would be, too. Try "counting the blessings" - do these rag-tag leaders love the boys and help them? Do they set a good personal example?
  12. bugle344

    Patrol boxes

    We use the Rubbermaid Action Packer (24"W x 18"L x 18"H, I don't remember the gallon size). They are tough, waterproof, and have latches to keep out the critters and hold the lids tight as we breeze down the highway. One small Scout can carry each Packer. Each patrol gets 2 packers - one for hardware (stove, pans, spatulas, wash tubs...) and the other for "software" (food, syrup, soap, rainfly...stuff) They also get a cooler. They can use any of these "boxes" as a cooking table or bench. This makes for quick loading - each patrol quartermaster grabs 2 packers and a cooler, slides them onto the open trailer, and we're off! This also helps control those strange things that appear and fill up the stroage shelves. The PL's know that everything they own has to fit in the packer. Keeps life MUCH simpler! We recently started a new Troop, so we just did this... The Troop bought packers for $27 each at Kmart, 2 2-burner stoves were donated, the boys did a fundraiser and earned $125 per patrol - spent it on $49 stainless steel MSR backpacker pot set, $59 whiperlite backpacker stove, $7 square blue water jug, and $5 tarp/rainfly. The fry pan, and utensils were scrounged by the guys. Have you ever seen boys get excited when one Scout walks in and says "Look at the great spatula my Grandma gave us!! The coolers were donated. The boys carry their own mess kits or they can buy paper plates with their grub budget. (they'd rather have more goodies than paper plates!) We do all cooking by patrol. Adult patrol cooks separately. When we return from an outing, the Troop Quartermaster checks that the packers and utensils are clean (by the Patrol QM) before they go back on the storage shelf. If the Patrol loses or breaks an item, they must chip in and buy a new one. It is AMAZING how creative they will get to save a buck - fry pan with pliers for a handle, spatula with a corner broken off...The boys are proud of their ingenuity and we haven't spent a penny of Troop money on Patrol equipment since that first shopping spree. EVERYTHING is marked or engraved with the patrol name. If an item is laying on the ground, we all know who owns it. Also, no more pilfering the other patrol when your spatula melts. We have 2 other Troop packers for lashing ropes and one longer packer as an ax box. It also carries general Troop equipment - first aid box, flags. All this explanation refers to car or council camping. Backpacking is SOOOO much simpler. The Scouts pull the items they need from the packers and replace them upon our return.
  13. bugle344

    JLT ideas

    Great suggestions!!! I really appreciate all your ideas! I have passed these on to our ASM's! Keep 'em comin'!!
  14. bugle344

    Patrol Flags & Yells

    When the SPL calls "Troop, Fall-in!", he knows which patrol is present and ready when he hears their yell. This is great competition and motivation for the PL to get his Scouts going. Oh...and it's boy-led motivation! (PS the parents LOVE it!)
  15. bugle344

    JLT ideas

    I'm looking for your input. We're doing Junior Leader Training soon. My challenge is to make it interesting and valuable to the older Scouts. Some have already been through this 3-4 times. I'm looking for some meat - things that will apply to their lives, even as adults and future Scoutmasters. I've picked a theme: "Servant Leadership" and am very interested in using the Bible as the main resource. Talk to me!
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