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shemgren

Old Patrols to New Patrols

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Last night at the troop meeting, the Scouts reorganized themselves into 2 patrols. The troop hasn't used the patrol method well under the previous SM for the last 3-5 years, having patrols in name only, and there was at least 6 different parts of former patrols represented by the 11 Scouts present.

 

One patrol fairily easily came up with a name, the other patrol debated most of the time over things that were degoratory, inapporiate, and just plain crude. After some guidiance, they came up with a name that was acceptable. This patrol is mostly the older Scouts (they chose their own patrol makeup) 15-16 year olds. Also, these Scouts have spent their time as Scouts under the old SM.

 

My concern is how to guide this patrol in keeping in line with the Scouting ethics, while at the same time not alienating from the Troop in whole. We will gain 5 new Scouts on Saturday at the Pack's Blue and Gold.

 

Any suggestions will be welcomed.

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How about having your older scout patrol mentor the new scout patrol? Have them start by participating in some way at the Blue and Gold crossover then take some ownership in helping the new scouts learn their skills? Or conversely, make their patrol a Venture Patrol and let them plan a super-activity for just their Venture patrol?

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Shemgren-

My guess is that you are trying to do things differently than the previous SM, who probably ran things on the fly, didn't really use the patrol method, and didn't emphasize uniforming or have a system for the kids to learn. If so, that is the exact same thing I am going through with my troop.

 

My suggestion is to just focus on the younger Scouts. You will be fighting a losing battle to try to get those older Scouts to change so much when most of their Scouting careers, things were done differently (especially if they thought things were fine before). My troop has two older Scouts that grew up in the "loosey goosey" environment of our previous SM. Since I took over last year, they have adapted some, but still don't see the need of having a duty roster on campouts or a written plan for meetings. Our oldest Scout turns 18 this week (just finished his Eagle), so he is pretty much gone. The other one works well with the younger kids and is definitely a plus, but as soon as one of the younger kids (now 13) is ready, I'll encourage him to "retire" as PL and work more in a consultant role such as Troop Guide or JASM (it won't be hard to do). The kids we've had cross over the past two years have seen more of a system (we are developing it around them) and are willing have more structure for their Scouting. That will be the standard over the next few years. Once our current PL turns 18 or turns his attention to his Venture Crew (he talks about just doing the Venture Crew after he gets his Eagle, no matter what his age), then all of our Scouts will have been brought up under a system and used to wearing correct uniforms, using meeting plans and duty rosters, etc.

 

Don't give up on the older Scouts, but you may need to run two separate programs for a while to make sure the younger Scouts are doing things the right way. It is a battle you may not wish to fight with the older Scouts. Let them do their thing and age out in due time (no need to burn bridges), but the future of your troop is with the younger Scouts. Focus on building around them.

 

As far as the patrol name goes, my troop had a similar problem for years. The kids would pick (at best) some really goofy patrol name and not take it seriously. Of course, when we went to events, they were ashamed to be publicly acknowledged by that name. After a year or so, they'd pick a new name and start the process all over again. Now, I just give the kids a picture of all the patrol patches and tell them to pick from there. They have over forty choices, so its not like they have no options. They can come up with some pretty good stuff. Also, we know they will have a patch and can take pride in the name.

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I agree with Chippewa about the patrol name. Give them the pictures of patrol badges available and let them choose one. That will help keep them focused.

 

I saw my son's troop this weekend in action. The Patrol Leader's used the patrol's name to call for assembly. The kids and adults referred to groups by their patrol name. They did everything by patrol -- set up, tent, cook, eat, clean up, suffer the punishment for NOT cleaning up. I think this will help them form together as a team.

 

 

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Good idea, having the pictures is a good idea, in color is even better.

 

My son was in a patrol that selected the name Beavers, they loved the name until they saw the patch, its royal blue and they thought hideous. Well, as the troop pays for the patrol medallions, we wouldnt let them change the name.

 

When my son became a patrol leader, he asked if I would take him to the scout store and he looked over the patrol medallions there. He picked out 5 he said he could "live" with and we bought them. At the next scout meeting, he laid the medallions out on the table and said pick one and a name. They picked out the Scorpion patch and the name the "Thunder Scorps" except during Klondike when they were the "Snow Scorps". The kids got to pick their name and we were able to return the medallions for full refunds the next day.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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