Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MattR

Patrols for the Millennials

Recommended Posts

Based on the millennial thread ....

 

Many scouts are over scheduled and everyone seems to be time poor. Patrols get hurt by this when only half, or less, of a patrol shows up for a campout. This results in ad-hoc patrols formed the week before the campout, or huge patrols being formed to preempt the loss. Neither is good. Here's another idea and I'm not saying it's good, but what do you think?

 

The idea is that patrols are only created for a month before a campout. The scouts commit to that patrol and that campout for the entire month. After the campout the patrol disbands. Scouts that are busy with other activities for three months don't form into patrols (or form into pink pony patrols that don't camp :) ). A patrol leader needs to lead on 4 or 6 such campouts to get signed off.

 

Pros: Adapts to schedules and reduces stress of having to go. Teaches scouts to look ahead, if only for a month. Fluidity more closely matches current organizations. Patrols have more time together then ad-hoc patrols and can work together. Assuming that friends tend to stick together, scouts can still make long term relationships. It's easier for patrols to go do their own thing. It's easier for all the kids that are going to the soccer tournament to pick another week to camp.

 

Cons: Who is leading the troop if the patrols are constantly changing? It doesn't handle the case where schedules change at the last minute -- homework or illness. How are patrol leaders elected? Or are they elected every month? Are quiet kids, or younger kids, going to get dropped between the cracks? This would have no impact on a small troop. Some of the adults in my troop would have a fit because they say you should join a patrol when you're 11 and not leave until you're 18.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont agree with part of the original premise, that patrols get hurt when only half show up for a campout. I think the majority of hurt is caused bymerging patrols for said campout. I have no objection to a patrol of two boys on a camping trip. The fun they have encourages their patrol mates to really want to attend the next one. I think a better solution is to prmote more patrol events instead of troop events. This allows more flexibility in scheduling at the patrol level. "What weekend is everyone free next month"? Then plan the patrol activity around the patrol members availability. I dont see the issue as overscheduled kids as much as I see it as lack of authority allowed to the patrols. Instead of the patrols dictating their schedule and activities it isdone at the troop level.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with DuctTape on this one. Too much "fixing" by adults is quite disruptive to the Patrol Method.

 

I'm thinking that BSA and it's members is over-thinking this process and making wild and incorrect assumptions as to what is really going on.

 

Let's say, it's Saturday and the Little League team is going to have a big game, just like it does every Saturday and maybe a few other days during the week as well. You're on the A-team. Gonna miss? Nope.

 

Or Let's say all the buddies decide to take in a matinee this coming Saturday. Gonna miss? Nope.

 

Or Let's say the gang down the street has been dissed by another gang from across town. There's been a rumble called. Gonna Miss? Nope.

 

Or let's say there's a camporee planned for this weekend. You've been in scouting for 5 years now and this is going to be camporee #11. It'll be just like any other campout and the patrol members have all been bummed out about not being able to do what they want to do and going to camporee isn't even on the list. Gonna miss? Yep.

 

If it's important to them, they'll be there. If they're not there, then real answers need to be dug out and dealt with, not the excuses, the real answers. Excuses are nothing more than smoke screens for not wanting to discuss it any further.

 

Find out what your boys want and then put your servant leadership hat on and help them get there. If one is not out in the front leading the boys, then there's a strong possibility that they're following someone else.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt, you've just defined a venturing crew. Skiers led by the ski czar (a.k.a., activity chair for winter sport), rafters for the raft czar, college students by the spring-break czar, etc ... Participants team up with whoever's schedule they can synch with.

 

Upside: flexibility.

Downside: plenty of failure due to lack of unit cohesion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Based on the millennial thread ....

 

Many scouts are over scheduled and everyone seems to be time poor. Patrols get hurt by this when only half, or less, of a patrol shows up for a campout. This results in ad-hoc patrols formed the week before the campout, or huge patrols being formed to preempt the loss. Neither is good. Here's another idea and I'm not saying it's good, but what do you think?

 

The idea is that patrols are only created for a month before a campout. The scouts commit to that patrol and that campout for the entire month. After the campout the patrol disbands. Scouts that are busy with other activities for three months don't form into patrols (or form into pink pony patrols that don't camp :) ). A patrol leader needs to lead on 4 or 6 such campouts to get signed off.

 

Pros: Adapts to schedules and reduces stress of having to go. Teaches scouts to look ahead, if only for a month. Fluidity more closely matches current organizations. Patrols have more time together then ad-hoc patrols and can work together. Assuming that friends tend to stick together, scouts can still make long term relationships. It's easier for patrols to go do their own thing. It's easier for all the kids that are going to the soccer tournament to pick another week to camp.

 

Cons: Who is leading the troop if the patrols are constantly changing? It doesn't handle the case where schedules change at the last minute -- homework or illness. How are patrol leaders elected? Or are they elected every month? Are quiet kids, or younger kids, going to get dropped between the cracks? This would have no impact on a small troop. Some of the adults in my troop would have a fit because they say you should join a patrol when you're 11 and not leave until you're 18.

 

Sounds chaotic. We used to do ad hoc patrols on campouts. We are now going to try the patrol will be a patrol if there are at least two patrol members present on a campout.

 

We do think that patrols need to be changed up on occasion.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Form patrols. Have them meet and have other activities. Have the troop in which the patrols are registered meet once a month.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Troop posts a calendar a year in advance. These months the campout is the third weekend, these months, the second weekend etc. Calendar says campout. Not where, just reserves the date. Then all the scout families add the dates to the family calendar up to a year in advance. They know that Scout is going camping and all other activities get moved around that weekend instead of the other way round.

 

We tended to pencil in basic ideas like canoe trip, backpacking, etc. when sending out the calendar. 3 months prior to the trip, start firming up the details. We also tried to alternate between lower cost "basic camping trip" and higher cost "Event/activity with camping" so that costs would cycle. Canoeing could be a higher cost trip due to travel to water, equipment rental, etc. Hike would be a lower cost trip because no additional expenses just to hike.

 

Fluid patrols defeat the purpose of being a patrol. Only two scouts, one tent. Just the right size. Each scout has more personal responsibility at meal time but with only two, they have the flexibility to do some real fun stuff that an entire patrol may balk at because someone doesn't like mushrooms, and another doesn't like tomatoes, etc.

 

If the activities are fun and viewed as worthwhile, the scouts will forego the non-scout activity/event. It scouts events are not fun, then the program needs help. Plan better events and then participation will fix itself.

 

My social butterfly son skipped some hoopla event at school to attend a camporee because they were offering an E. Prep MB class that weekend. Neither his patrol or troop participated in the camporee but he did. He did not join scouts until age 15. He had to sacrifice a number of non-scout events to complete everything by 18. He also played sports and somehow was able to play all this games and attend scout events. Tough but he wanted to Eagle. If you build it (the program), they will come.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought that's how crews were made up. Qwazse, why the cohesion problems? Or how long does it take for cohesion to take place?

 

I chucked ad-hoc patrols years ago. The issue is the scouts are the ones that want to create them. They like mixing it up. They don't like cliques in school. Everyone said people these days don't want to commit to a group like Rotary or Elks, so why would scouts commit to a patrol for years?

 

One point nobody said anything about was getting scouts to commit a month out. I think that would help a lot if the meetings were important preparation for a campout.

 

Anyway, I just let the scouts decide what patrols they want to be in and it divided almost perfectly into older patrols and younger patrols with the split around 13 to 14 years old. The younger scouts have already picked patrol leaders while the older scouts are vegetating. I think it's going to be a lot easier for the two different ages to come up with their own ideas. And if they want to swap scouts around to help them work around schedules, I'll let them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I chucked ad-hoc patrols years ago. The issue is the scouts are the ones that want to create them. They like mixing it up. They don't like cliques in school. Everyone said people these days don't want to commit to a group like Rotary or Elks' date=' so why would scouts commit to a patrol for years?.[/quote']

 

Your millennials need to get with the times: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/your-money/service-clubs-get-gen-x-boost

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought that's how crews were made up. Qwazse' date=' why the cohesion problems? Or how long does it take for cohesion to take place? I chucked ad-hoc patrols years ago. The issue is the scouts are the ones that want to create them. They like mixing it up. They don't like cliques in school. ....[/quote']Just had this conversation between ski runs with some of my older venturers. Cohesion comes when everyone shares one another's vision. If the skiers never want to climb, and the climbers never want to backpack, etc ...things begin to fray at the edges. It also comes with strong leaders who follow through when one member butts up against failure. People need physical presence, a handshake, and some hugs to motivate them to push on through. That doesn't come with organizational charts. That comes with spending real time, whole weekends even, learning and understanding one another. I think your boys have their heart in the right place. They just need to learn that there is a right way to be a gang, and the can be one of the nicest cliques the world has ever known.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good observation. Maybe the crux is getting the scouts to care about each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good observation. Maybe the crux is getting the scouts to care about each other.

 

I thought that WAS the purpose of the patrols! :) PL's take care of your boys. Boys take care of your PL! SPL's take care of your PL's. TG's take care of the new guys. QM take care of your equipment needs, etc. Servant leadership is the key.

 

If everyone is only worried about themselves, the patrol method and scouting will never succeed.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... If everyone is only worried about themselves' date=' the patrol method and scouting will never succeed. ...[/quote']

 

Had almost this exact discussion last night on a 1st class BoR last night. (It was first that I sat on in many years since I am registered as an ASM, but the committee were short one member. And, I had my venturing shirt on at the time. ;) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought that WAS the purpose of the patrols!

 

That's why I suggested it was the crux.

 

Qwazse, you bring up another point. With "only worried about themselves" is it that the scout can't even share, or is it that he needs to actively try to make things better for his patrol? I have a troop full of scouts that can share, but actively try and help each other? That's a foreign concept. I now have patrols that are on their own without a dictating SPL so I hope this idea takes hold.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember reading somewhere... "help other people at all times...." I think this might apply to the patrol method and if it is a foreign concept, that needs to change if the boys are ever going to get beyond TF in my book.

 

Stosh

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×