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Sentinel947

Becoming a Patrol Method Troop

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An update for those who are interested, if somebody doesn't know the back story, I can explain in greater detail.

 

Basically, I've been with this troop for 10 years as either an adult or a Scout. Realized when I became an ASM three years ago that our Troop doesn't do things as well as I thought they did. The search for information is what led me to Scouter.com. Out of everything, I picked the Patrol Method as the ultimate thing that was worth fighting for. Yesterday at the Troop Meeting the Scoutmaster of the Troop agreed to getting the boys to a patrol method Troop. I've got the other Assistant Scoutmasters on board and the CC. The challenge is that very few of the other Adult volunteers have the training or experience to let the boys run the Patrol Method. So much of the training and mentoring of the Scouts is going to fall onto me. (Which since it's my big idea, I'd expect it to.)

 

So my plan of action is really simple. The decisions that need to be made I believe can be solved by our current patrol leaders council. Our (A)SPL's are NYLT trained. All they've ever been waiting for is adults to let them do what they've been trained for. I need to educate the other Scoutmasters and Parents about the patrol method, and why its valuable.

 

I have really high hopes, and I wanted to update everybody and thank tons of members here for the help and guidance they've given me the past two years.

 

Yours in Scouting,

Sentinel947

 

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That's great news! Shows, again, that persistence can pay off big-time. Get ready for the speed bumps and complaints from the parents the first few times things go wrong. Remember that things going wrong means it's working the way it's supposed to. Only in Adult-led Troops are things ever perfect. "Train 'em, Trust 'em, Let 'em Lead!"

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Ya know, S947, one of my WB buddies had what you're doing as a ticket item. I went to one of his troop's CoH's and was truly impressed at what he accomplished in a year with willing adults.

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"So my plan of action is really simple. The decisions that need to be made I believe can be solved by our current patrol leaders council. Our (A)SPL's are NYLT trained. All they've ever been waiting for is adults to let them do what they've been trained for. I need to educate the other Scoutmasters and Parents about the patrol method, and why its valuable."

 

What a sad commentary for any unit... Sentenel947 hits it spot on. Why does this take a an epic amount of energy just to do what we're supposed to be doing in the first place?

 

People have asked me in the past why I'm so against NYLT. Well for one thing, it's useless training for boys in an adult-led program for a start. Wasted time, wasted finances and wasted energy. All it does is put yet another disappointment out there for the boys to deal with.

 

Stosh

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To continue the Star Wars paraphrasing, Give in to the patrol method.

 

On a positive note, I know using the patrol method keeps the older ones involved. BUT you also have to give them some extra challenges that are just for them on occasion. HA trips, involvement with the OA, Jambo, etc.

 

On a different note. I hate to sound negative, but what Stosh has posted is 110% true.I seen this several times, while a JLTC staffer and under NYLT. One troop sent 3 Scouts to NYLT and when they came back they were pumped and ready to take over the troop from the adults. Unfortunately the SM and other leaders refused to let them implement the changes they wanted and would make the troop patrol method oriented again. As of right now 1 NYLT scout switched troops to one that is a PM troop, 1 is waiting to finish his Eagle before quitting (yes, both he and his mom told me that). However the skills he learned at NYLT ARE (emphasis) being utilized in another youth program he is involved in (my son is in it with him). And the last one I don't know for sure what is going on. I believe, stressing BELIEVE, he made Eagle and is waiting for the paperwork to come back for his COH before he too quits.

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I came back from NYLT and had huge cognitive dissonance from what I learned there and how my Troop actually functioned. But at the age of 16 I wasn't willing to upset the apple cart and wouldn't challenge the adults in that way. Looking back on things over 5 years later, I realized that NYLT is only useful if the adults are trained and are willing to let the Scouts lead.

 

I need a star wars line.... uh.... May the Patrol Method be with you!

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To continue the Star Wars paraphrasing, Give in to the patrol method.

 

On a positive note, I know using the patrol method keeps the older ones involved. BUT you also have to give them some extra challenges that are just for them on occasion. HA trips, involvement with the OA, Jambo, etc.

 

Okay, here's the real magic in the process. IF one were to couple BOY-LED with the PATROL-METHOD they would get a double benefit for the troop. "But you also have to give them some extra.... " HEY ADULTS!! Why are you holding the boys back in the first place? "Hey, boys! We're gonna give you the chance to got to Philmont. Isn't that just wonderful?" No it's not! It's wonderful when the boys come to you and say they are going to Philmont next year, they got their name in and have a trek accepted. The week is________. Find us two-adults or we'll find our own." Yes!!! When the boys get to that level, you have a wonderful troop. The next step, notifying my employer that I need the week of ______ off, I'll be out of town! :)

 

Promise them adventure and deliver a Webelos III program. Sorry, that just doesn't cut it.

 

Never give them extra challenges that are just for them. Let them know up-front that you EXPECT them to get out there and find their own extra challenges and that 2 or 3 a year might not be enough.

 

Stosh

 

On a different note. I hate to sound negative, but what Stosh has posted is 110% true.I seen this several times, while a JLTC staffer and under NYLT. One troop sent 3 Scouts to NYLT and when they came back they were pumped and ready to take over the troop from the adults. Unfortunately the SM and other leaders refused to let them implement the changes they wanted and would make the troop patrol method oriented again. As of right now 1 NYLT scout switched troops to one that is a PM troop, 1 is waiting to finish his Eagle before quitting (yes, both he and his mom told me that). However the skills he learned at NYLT ARE (emphasis) being utilized in another youth program he is involved in (my son is in it with him). And the last one I don't know for sure what is going on. I believe, stressing BELIEVE, he made Eagle and is waiting for the paperwork to come back for his COH before he too quits.

 

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Stosh,

 

I hear ya, and agree with mostly. They need to come up with it, and they need, for lack of a better term, ownership. When the Leadership Corps found out there was a harder cross country trail available, they took ownership of it. I just happened to "go along for the hike" since I did the standard trail a year before with my first troop, and the LC was gracious enough to let me tag along.

 

As to 2-3 special events a year, as you well know every troop is different, and for some that might not be enough. It worked well for my troop because we did a lot of servant leadership, peer mentoring, instruction, whatever you want to call it. Basically the older scouts were teaching and working with the younger Scouts, and we tried to "get away" when we could. So it worked well with my situation. Sometimes we came up with stuff on our own, sometimes the adults would ask, "you know this is available to do" and let us do the rest.

 

So sometimes I do think it is good for adults to anounce opportunies that are available to the older Scouts. Best example was the Canadian trek I took. ASM announced it a meeting, and gave those interested information about the first contingent meeting. With the exception of that ASM, who was the contingent leader, troop really had nothing to do with that trip. But they provided us the info to pursue that trip. My troop did the same for other HA programs; provide us the information from council on jambo, provided info troops that are going to Philmont that have open spaces,etc.

 

Now one thing that really promoted different activities is "Word of Mouth." One of the "high adventure" programs offered by my old camp was done by member of my troop, and when they came back, they pumped us up with their exploits. I did the program as soon as I could. Good friend, one who went to Philmont with another troop, came back and pumped folks up. He not only got others to go, but also served on staff one year.

 

I am really hoping the above situation, word of mouth, pumps HA interest in my son's troop. One of the ASMs has been to Philmont several times, and his stories have sparked the older guys imaginations. We are a reletively young troop, and he suggested to the older Scouts (12-14 year olds) that they may want to consider putting in for the upcoming lottery for 2016. He also suggested that if we don't win the lottery, we come up with a "Plan B" to go to another HA base. But I'm hoping that trip will motivate and pump up the troop.

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That's cool Sentinel. Good luck. I wish you were in my troop.

 

I'm in the middle of this transition and there seems to be a lot of issues that a user's manual would help with. Let's share notes. There are some parents that are angry with me and some confused scouts. There are also some scouts that are really jumping into this. I'm not sure about whether any parents are happy with me but I think I'm getting there.

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Sentinel, MattR has a point, with this transition you will polarize people rather quickly so a lot of smoothing of feathers is going to be needed. No middle ground on this stuff. Remember some of these boys did not originally sign on to this troop because it was boy-led, patrol-method.

 

As far as adults recommending treks? That's what campfires are for! Tell the stories! It's the best advertising out there!

 

Stosh

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