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Mommascout

Lousy Scoutmaster

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I have been involved in Scouting since my son was a Tiger Cub in 1994. He just acquired Star rank. My husband and I have been registered Adult Leaders since 1996 and our experience includes: Den Leadership, Daycamp, Resident camp, Summer Camp, Troop Committee, Quartermaster, Popcorn Chair, and we each counsel 5 Merit Badges, PR Newsletter, among other things. We've gone to all the trainings that come along. During Cub Scouting we had a CM who did not enforce discipline. The kids were out of bounds especially his son. By Webelos 1 we'd had enough and transferred to another pack for Webelos 2. We crossed over into the brother troop because we really liked the SM. He moved on and was replaced by current SM who we have had problems with. He refuses to allow the boys to go on campouts as patrols without the troop. He puts conditions on going to campouts, for example, a scout may not go on the ski trip if he did not attend a hike. He does not count all campouts a Scout attends if he didn't go with the troop, eg Jamboree. My son has 19 nights of camping that the SM won't put on his record. (Jamboree, Pre-Jambo, OA weekends,and 2 Beach Jams.) He is very serious and unapproachable. The troop does not incorporate skits, songs, campfire rituals and the kind of fun memorable things that boys will never forget. The scouts are intimidated by this man who demands structure and is not flexible. The leadership in the troop is stiff and unfriendly. The number of scouts in one year has dropped from 33 to 14. We debated transferring for a year and we finally did to a much friendlier troop? How common is this in Scoutmasters? Are we being too fussy about the personalities of leaders? Shouldn't the high standards of scouting always come first? I feel guilty for leaving but at the same time see how much happier my son is. Has anyone experienced this and how did you handle it?

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This guy sounds like a stiff board who forgot that kids will be kids.

 

Personally, I agree with not letting patrols go on campouts without the Troop. I also agree if a Scout would miss a required Troop event, then he shouldn't be allowed to attend a "fun" event.

 

Troops are to function as a single unit. The patrols in a Troop are not to function as separate units, but to helps build a stronger Troop. If patrols start camping on their own, then why even belong to a Troop?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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To Ed Mori/Troop 1:We would quit your troop, too. The patrol method was established to create independence and age-appropriate experiences within a troop. The 15-18 year olds need the opportunity to occasionally- not consistently without the troop - to go on outings themselves (with adult leadership of course). The 11-13 year olds need to be able to learn some skills independently. There is a training course for SM's who don't understand this method - it's called Ages & Stages. There is a wide gap between a new 11 year old scout and an experienced 15 year old scout and that needs to be acknowledged by allowing patrols to be a bit more independent from the troop. Yes, I agree older scouts have the responsibility of helping to teach younger scouts - that is a given. Does anyone out there agree that patrols need to do independent activities???

On the other subject of putting conditions on attending trips... if your troop is falling apart because of this policy shouldn't the scoutmaster allow the scouts to choose which trips they want to attend? At least the attendance would increase and the SM could take the opportunity to try to convince the reluctant scouts what a great time they have on EVERY trip and if that were true then the scout would go on more trips. Anyone agree with that theory?

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Ages & Stages? What is this? Is this specific to your ares. In my 13 years in this program, I have been through numerous training programs as well as been a trainer. I have never heard of patrols running outside the Troop. Where in your BSA manuals does it state this is OK?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I know of many troops that encourage patrol campouts - usually for advancement in larger troops. They often require a few older scouts to attend as instructors so that they can be signed off for leadership. Most of the older scouts only want to go on high adventure outings. If you have made your best effort to work with your unit and it is still not good, by all means move.

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Where do we get patrols opersting individually??

 

How about page 20 of the Official Boy Scout Handbook.

 

How about page 22 of the Scoutmaster Handbook

 

How about at training. "Troops are not divided into patrols, Patrols come together to form a troop.

 

"Ages and stages has been a part of scout leader training for over 10 years."

 

Without the patrol method you are not scouting, you are just doing stuff in a scout uniform.

 

Evmori, not only are your scouts not having a real scout experience, you are missing out as well. I hope you will consider taking one day of your time and relearning what the program is all about. Attend Scoutmaster/Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Training.

 

Bob

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Dear Ed:

13 years! That's great.In the Scoutmaster Handbook, Chapter 3, "About Patrols" under the subheading "Patrol Activities" I quote: "A good patrol should carry out hikes, camping trips, and other activities of its own, and not just sit around waiting for the next troop event. After all, a patrol is not just one of several units into which a troop is conveniently divided, but one of several units that make up a troop.A patrol has every right to enlarge its share of Scouting adventure by planning activities of its own. A caution though: No patrol activity should conflict with or bypass a troop activity. And any patrol hike or overnight must have the Scoutmaster's approval. Sometimes a Scoutmaster may ask a Scout's parent and another adult leader to accompany a patrol on an outdoor experience. Safe fun is a lot better than the other kind."

On the other topic of "Ages & Stages",

during my Fundamentals of Scouting training, we had an entire segment devoted to the topic 'One Size Does Not Fit All'. Chapter 10 of the Scoutmaster Handbook is about basic child development. Assign appropriate tasks; Beware of size differences; Give clear precise instructions; A 13 year old may be clear and fair-minded where a 16 year old may be confused and unclear-minded. My point: boys occasionally need to do activities with boys of similar age and that is where the patrol activities outside the troop can come in. There are several other references to Patrol Activities in the handbook that are in a similar vein. These are simply guidelines of Scouting to be interpreted as you wish.

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Ages and Stages is part two of New Leader Essentials. If your council is not including this in training, they are conducting training correctly.

 

The Patrol method can be traced back to BP at Brownsea Island in 1909.

 

To quote BP from the Aids to Scoutmastership: "The patrol is the unit of Scouting always." "The object of the patrol system is mainly to give real responsibility to as many of the boys as possible with a view to developing their character."

 

Scott Hemgren

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Dear Bob White:

Thank you for your support. I was going to leave the forum because I didn't wish to deal with ignorance and arrogance. But I'm glad I came back. The patrol method is the core of scouting and those of us who listened at training know that!! Thanks again.

Mommascout

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Nice to meet you you mommascout. I really don't mean to come on as strong as I do sometimes on these posts. I have unlimited patience with scouts of all ages, and with new leaders looking to provide a scouting experience in service of youth. I have great fun with scouters who let the program methods guide them rather than their opinions.

But I find I have limited tolerance for "veteran scouters" who believe their mathods are superior to the BSA but they refuse to acknoweldge the the information in BSA resources and training that are the scouting program.

Bob

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I wish the edit funcution worked.

 

I ment to say: If your council is not including Ages and Stages in the New Leader Essentials, they are not conducting training correctly.

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Mommascout

What training did you hear about the patrol activities. I have been through Scoutmaster Fundalmentals, and I do not remember anything being said about it.

Very litte was even said about the patrol method.

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While we wait fo mommascout to respond I'll mention that I first took training when it was Cornerstone, Then I took and taught Scout Leader Basic Training, then took and taught Woodbadge, then took and taught Scoutmaster Fundamentals, not to mention Outdoor Experience and have now taken and taught the new Scoutmaster/Asst, Scoutmaster Job Specific Leader Training and Introduction to Outdoor Skills. All these in 4 different councils. In every one of them the Patrol Method and Patrol Activities were a central part of the instruction.

Bob

 

 

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Just getting into the Troop part of BSA, let me add my observation.

 

The troop my son is going to has a lot of new scouts crossing over (enough for 2 maybe 3 patrols). The troop currently consists of a lot of boys who are 13 to 15 years old. The boys planned out a great year for themselves. But, here are a bunch of new scouts who need basic camping under their belt this first year. Most of the camping trips are leaning toward high adventure (whitewater rafting, caving, etc.)

 

The older boys have other options of what to do with their weekends, so if the camping trip is something they have done numerous times before, they aren't going to be that interested. Soon that lack of interest leads to them leaving altogether. I think they need the high adventure, without the younger scouts. My young scout has NO interest in whitewater rafting, absolutely none (that is not just Mom talking). Yet he needs the camping experience. If all the trips are more high adventure type, the younger scouts will get frustrated.

 

I'm glad to read this thread about the options BSA has to address this problem and create balance in the troop.

 

This troop already has an attitude of getting Eagle and leaving. I hope that changes before my son gets to Eagle. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to suggest the older scouts go on their high adventure trips while the younger ones just go camping to work on basic skills. Are there enough adults to cover both at different locations? Can they do that at the same location with problems? Are there enough adults to cover campouts 2 weekends in a row?

 

 

 

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Sorry, my eyes were bugged after reading the 10 pages on the homosexuality issue on another board and I had to get some shuteye. Those guys are intense in their debate.

 

About the Patrol method and where I heard of it? It is just basic to Scouting. I learned it in Scoutmaster Fundamentals as well as from speaking to different leaders at campouts, camporees and the National Jamboree. Because my former troop (scoutmaster) refused to consider it, I was always curious about how other troops handle the issue. There are a lot of troops who do NOT use the method properly. I've asked Scoutmasters if and how they incorporate it into their troop and those that use patrol method have sufficient, long-term experienced leadership and wouldn't have it any other way. Then there are those Scoutmasters that don't seem to have the basic knowledge or lack enough adult leadership within their troop to help implement it. As a former Cub Den Leader I know that working with the boys in a small group is extremely successful and much more conducive to learning. Every troop should learn more about the Patrol Method and we who know about it should spread the word.

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