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Bloop

Restructuring Patrols

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There's a lot of background and frustration behind my questions, but I'll keep it uncluttered for now. How often are patrols restructured? If Scouts in a Troop are also in a Venturing Crew, should those Crew members be a patrol when they're in Troop meetings? How boy led is the assigning of patrols?

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I have no experience with venturing crews. However I'd like to move this topic to either the Patrol Method Section or the Venturing Section. It's a little specific for Open Discussion. Anybody have a preference?

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Sentinel, Venturers have boundary issues! :rolleyes: But I think this one fits under "patrol method."

 

The problem predates Venturing. Back when we were "Leadership Corps" we asked ourselves if we should be members of respective patrols or set ourselves apart. I don't think there's one pat answer. If your PL's are resenting the venturers going off and leaving them in the lurch, then maybe it's time to give them their own patrol. On the other hand, if they are coming back from crew outings with new skills and a better vision of scouting, maybe you'd rather have each patrol "salted" with a couple venturers.

 

Bloop, I think if the boys have strong opinions about how they should be organized, stand by them. But, don't let them get away without consequences. If they are under-performing, figure out a way to get them to evaluate and reflect on how to improve. Encourage them to consider if how they're organized is contributing to the problem.

 

If the boys don't seem to care, maybe you could draft a roster, then ask the PLC to review and revise it. Give it six months. Have them evaluate if everything is okay, then support them if they think change is needed.

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Our Scouts "officially" reform the Patrols annually in the Fall when we have new Scout Leadership. Most of the Crew members in our Troop are in the same Patrol, but not all of them (because some want to be PL's, etc). It's important that the Scouts decide who is in what Patrol and who will lead them and live with the consequences of those decisions.

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My patrols are decided upon by the boys themselves, the only "rule" is 6-8 members. Other than that, I don't spend any time worrying about it. If the NSP wants to stay together until they all age out, that's fine with me. If two small older aged boys want to recruit from the younger boys, okay. If two small patrols want to merge, okay. They seem to do well without any adult intervention. Patrols can recruit from other patrols, from Webelos cross-overs, and from outside scouting. If a boy wants to be a PL, he can campaign in any and all patrols. One holds PL office for as long as the patrol wants them to be. Someone could be a PL for the entire time they are in Boy Scouts either in one patrol or in multiple patrols over time.

 

Stosh

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The answer to this one varies from troop to troop. Some will say patrols should be constant for the life span of a troop, others will say the experience gained in forming a patrol is essential for scouts to understand the patrol method. For my part, I think both sides are correct; my answer is as follows:

 

1. First year scouts go in a first year scout patrol, where they go through the experience of forming a patrol, and all else that leads up to performing as a team.

2. Venture patrols (patrols for scouts first class and up) continue unbroken

3. All patrols may make a name change once a year (new scouts must do so following crossover)

4. All patrols use patrol jobs

5. Patrols are kept balanced by assigning scouts graduating from the new scout patrol (upon attainment of first class). Scout assignment is based on not only numbers of scouts in each patrol, but also the number of active scouts, and the scout's personality.

6. Although traditional patrols consist of eight scouts, recognizing scouts participate in other activities and may not always be available, I suggest 10-12 members per patrol.

 

As far as the crew members question, this isn't the crew, split them up.

 

 

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Varies troop to troop.

 

IMHO ... and for the experience I want my sons to have ... the best answer is NEVER. But they can move around as they want. IMHO, we can't tell a person who their friends are and who to hang around with. IMHO, Patrol is a fancy word for an organized set of friends who want to do things together. Nothing more. Nothing less.

 

My oldest was in his patrol from 11 years old through turning 18. Went from 7 members and ended with three members. I'm 100% fine with that.

 

The worst answer is where scouts are told what patrol they are in because "most" scouts will ditch their own patrol to be with their friends. Hard to get work done and achieve objectives when that happens.

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My patrols are decided upon by the boys themselves' date=' the only "rule" is 6-8 members. [/quote']

 

I agree. Adult Leader's should keep their hands off the Patrols. I would even recommend using 6-8 as more of a guideline than a rule.

 

The worst answer is where scouts are told what patrol they are in because "most" scouts will ditch their own patrol to be with their friends. Hard to get work done and achieve objectives when that happens.

 

Absolutely!

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Fred Johnson had the second quote Meschen.... but I could easily have said it, because it flows naturally from my first quote. Let the boys do their own thing, there are a lot of more important battles to be fought than who's in what patrol.

 

Stosh

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While, as in many things, B.S.A. is not always consistent, B.S.A. does say that a patrol is a group of "friends." That statementy is in the grand tradition of BP and Bill.

 

Who decides who your "friends" are?

 

End of discussion.

 

Stosh, meschen, and fred have it absolutely right.

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