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First Year Programing Question

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Hi All,


Our Troop has 2 NSP with a total of 18 new scouts. We have 2 existing patrols beyond the NSP.


As the new scouts move through Tenderfoot and into 2nd and 1st Class requirements, there has been a divergence of who needs to work on what for advancement. I realize that this would occur, since those that attend regularly will have greater opportunity to learn and apply their new skills.


My question is: How does the PLC and Troop Guides plan for instruction with the new scouts if you have 18 boys that are in so many different areas?


The new scouts have almost doubled the active Troop size. There aren't enough Troop Guides to do instruction for all the different levels. Does the Troop aim for the middle? What happens to the guys that are advancing quicker or slower?


I hope this post makes sense. Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks in advance.

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Sounds like it's time to develop a plan at the next PLC to deal with this. Bob's question about the future of these patrols should be addressed as well as the SM & Advancement Chair taking a look at all the advancement records for these patrols. That way, a viable plan could be developed by the PLC.


Hope this helps.


Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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This might be reading too much into the situation, but it is very important to realize this isn't a Webelos den any more. These are young scouts who are to be responsible for their own advancement. They need to make arrangements to be signed off as requirements are stepped through (learned, tested, reviewed).


Also, as a side note, all requirements T through 1C can be worked on at any time. For example, maybe the patrol or the troop holds some kind of First Aid activity that covers all levels...a single scout could work on them all at the same event.


I suppose every troop is different, but our troop has a PL sign-off, and an SPL review, of rank requirements before the final SM conference. It is my son's responsibility to make sure he meets with the PL and then the SPL before the SPL recommends him for going forward. (there's no new scout patrol in this troop because my son is the one new scout this year; so, no troop guides; he learns skills from a variety of sources -- here's an example -- it was a cold and rainy week at summer camp this year, so my son didn't go swimming during the week; while back at home, he went to the local Y for swimming lessons, which coincidentally were taught by a kid who is an Eagle from the same troop. The instructor stepped him through both 2C, 1C and swimmer's test requirements a few times as part of his normal lessons, and then sent in a note to the scoutmaster that my son had completed everything.).

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In our unit, the PL is responsible for instructing/advancement in the NSP. He should be aware of each of his boy's progress and make arrangments to accommodate the variance of advancement speeds. Of course the PL can request assistance from the troop Instructors and/or TG as necessary.


We find little or no need for the PLC to be involved in the advancement process which confines itself to inter-patrol activity planning. Those things which involve leadership/focus within the patrol is the responsibility of the PL.


The patrols do not realign at the end of the first year and so any incomplete advancement continues on in the patrol. If the patrol wishes they can take on new Webelos boys coming into the program and start the process all over. The patrol then becomes the medium by which the new boys and catch-up boys are taught together.


Extra new boys who are not picked up by existing patrols, will be assigned an experienced scout (FC+) as a PL and start the whole process once again from scratch.



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The NSP gives you two options. The p[atrol can stay together as an experienced patrol, or they can be placed into already existing experienced patrols upon reaching First Class.


If you are doing the former then The patrol leader now becomes responsible for seeing that the the scouts in his patrol are advanceing.


If you use the latter then the scouts remian in the NSP until they get to First Class, at which time they can move to an experienced Patrol.

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Thanks for your responses. We have had 2 Scoutmasters in the past 2 years so how things have been run, may not be how things will be run. Previously, the NSP stayed together and moved on together. Then the Troop had a year or so of mixed age patrols. Now we are sitting with 2 NSP patrols, and I am not sure what will happen. My guess is that they will move forward together, otherwise by numbers they would overwhelm the existing patrols. And I am not sure that the older guys want to be split out with a lot of younger guys.


I realize that you can do the Tenderfoot, 2nd and 1st class requirements together. The problem arises due to sheer numbers.

I don't know if our Troop Instructors could do a knot session for example, where 3 guys need lashings, 4 need bowline and 2 others need taut line.


I like the idea of having the Patrol Leaders decide what their patrol needs in terms of instruction and refer that to the Troop Instructors.


I guess I was curious if anyone else had had a large influx of new scouts and if you handled things any differently?


Actually it is a nice problem to have...

I appreciate your input!


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Our unit was almost defunct and I was asked to take over. I had 4 thrusty older scouts and nothing more. We took on 18 new Webelos using the method described above. This year the older boys are hanging together and we are basically supplementing and adding a new NSP with a last year scout as PL. We took many of the last year Webelos and moved them to troop officer positions and refilled their ranks with new Webelos boys with an experienced PL and maybe one or two other boys to assist them.


No one is really more than 12 years old for the most part in my unit except for the 3 older originals.


We have the possibility of taking on 15-30 new Webelos depending on how the recruiting goes with competition from the other troop in town.


Forgot to mention that we broke our original 18 new scouts into 3 patrols with one PL each. That was maximum amount of boys the experienced PL's could handle along with reorganizing the unit. We will not add more than 6 new scouts to any patrol at one time.


Stosh(This message has been edited by jblake47)

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