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Cambridgeskip

Patrol Leader Style

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Thought I'd type a few observations on scouts tonight.....

 

So tonight we had the scouts planning this term's patrol camps.

 

Now it's worth remembering that UK scouts are 10-14, so a PL is typically 13 or 14, the average age is younger that your side of the pond. So while we camp in patrols when on camp proper patrol camps, with just the patrol camping with no adults with them isn't something we do as often as you. It is quite a big deal and something we might only do once or twice a year,

 

Anyway, once they were settled and planning it was interesting to walk round and observe the different styles of how they did things. It was great fun! We had;

 

Mr Chairman of the board..... things looked very formal! He sat at the head of the table, the patrol members down the sides, he asked questions of others and generally came across as king of all he surveyed. 

 

Miss This Patrol is Not a Democracy - Things looked very informal with various scouts sat on patrol boxes and throwing things at each other but PL made sure that the camp ended up looking the way she decided it was going to look, and got the others to think they'd thought of it themselves. This girl will go far!

 

Miss and Mr Team - PL and APL working as a double act. Planning session looked chaotic and noisy. That's because it was chaotic and noisy! But all members of the patrol got their say and contributed. I was actually really impressed.

 

Mr Accountant - obsessed with the numbers. Couldn't let a change happen without going through the numbers and how much it would cost yet again. Not quite sure what to do with his youngest scouts. Looked at them like they were from Mars.

 

Mr Neurotic - obsessed with timings about where they would be and what time, almost like his life depended upon it. To be fair it was is first night as a patrol leader so perhaps lots to learn.

 

 

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Sounds like a great scout meeting.. I bet the scouts enjoyed themselves.. 

 

Just to note your statement:

 

 with just the patrol camping with no adults with them isn't something we do as often as you

 

 

We have a few people posting here that as a troop they camp with adults a good distance away from the scouts, and about a year or two back it was ok for a patrol to do their own patrol (not troop) campout no adults, but the rule was changed to disallow that, and very few could ever do that..   

 

We are the country of the neurotic parents, and they would probably sue for the moon if something happened, especially without adult supervision.. We still have something set up that a patrol can do a day adventure alone (I think, unless pulled recently).. I believe more troops will do this, at least letting them hike around without adult supervision, while the adults stay in base camp.. Don't know if any would consider a youth only day trip which consisted of meeting at a certain time in the parking lot of the CO, doing the activity and returning home at a certain time.. Say something like a bike trip, or a sailing / fishing trip.. etc..

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That's what I miss about a big troop. Watching how different styles play out.

The good news is that one of our "spin-off" troops has decided to merge back with ours. And they are on the younger side, so we get the "crazy" back. Better yet, I've become one of those adults with no sons of my own to fret about. :D

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Now it's worth remembering that UK scouts are 10-14, so a PL is typically 13 or 14, the average age is younger that your side of the pond. 

Sadly I think this is true. The First Class First Year program (FCFY) started in the early 90's drove scouts to get their leadership requirement out of the way as soon as possible. All my Patrol Leaders when I was a scout had their drivers license and I grew a lot from their maturity. I did strive for older Patrol Leaders while I was SM and succeeded to some degree that we had many 15 year old patrol leaders, but it was tough getting the families to have the patience. 

 

Well done.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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Sadly I think this is true. The First Class First Year program (FCFY) started in the early 90's drove scouts to get their leadership requirement out of the way as soon as possible. All my Patrol Leaders when I was a scout had their drivers license and I grew a lot from their maturity. I did strive for older Patrol Leaders while I was SM and succeeded to some degree that we had many 15 year old patrol leaders, but it was tough getting the families to have the patience. 

 

Well done.

 

Barry

Recently camped with our CO's troop for a WEB/Akela weekend.  I was surprised to see some scouts that have only recently crossed over already in positions such as APL and PL.  I thought it much more the norm for the older boys to be in those roles.

I didn't really discuss with the troop leaders, just assuming it was because they have only recently grown out of a shrunken troop with only a few boys, to now a more healthy head count....

Your post makes me wonder about this as a "new normal"

 

In theory at least, I think it much better for the younger boys to have a significant older boy to follow (assuming of course that older boy is a good scout per the scout law).... AND also good for that older boy too in helping the younger ones which would help him better understand the meaning of some of the points of the scout law....

 

A young boy leading a young boy... not so much..... make me wonder about the program a bit.

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A young boy leading a young boy... not so much..... make me wonder about the program a bit.

The program struggles. It also drives the unit to be less boy run because how can the blind lead the blind? Growth is difficult without role models, so the adults have to step in to fill the gap. 

 

This is just an example of the unforeseen consequences of change. Can we put the Jeannie back in the bottle?

 

Barry

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It depends more on the maturity of the boys than it does their chronological age.  My boys' biggest struggle is keeping the adults from interfering in their boy-led operations.  Well-meaning interference by adults do not make a good boy-led program, it makes a good adult-led program.  The boys are not blind, they see what's going on, and growth is hindered by helicopter adults feeling it is foremost on their agenda to see that the boys do it correctly, i.e. their way.

 

Sometimes the necessity of the situation dictates performance.  Right now I have a PL (only one patrol so he also steps in and is SPL when the need arises) that is 12 years old working on setting up summer camp for his patrol members.  While he's not under any obligation to handle a larger group, it is interesting to note that he's not the oldest boy in the patrol, but he is by far the most mature.  He is at an advantage over others in his patrol because this is the second time around he's done this.  He did it for the first time last year when he was 11.

 

Boys know more than one assumes.  They know that if they sit on their hands long enough some adult will lose patience and step in and take over.  It's just a matter of time and they know it.  Why get all worked up about doing something when all one has to do is sit back and be a wee bit more patient than the most impatient of all the adults in the room.  When they do it isn't mentoring they are doing, it's correcting inappropriate behavior towards the youth, something they as adults/parents have been doing since day one and will continue to do that until their child moves out of the house at age 45, because mom and dad sold the house and retired to Florida.

 

Self-fulfilling prophesy of mentoring and directing only reinforces the assumption that they can't figure it out on their own and have to be told.  That's the model of the school system, and that is not a boy (youth) led situation.

 

If one lets the boys lead, they will.  If one feels they need direction to get them going, the only thing they will learn is how to follow, not lead.

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We are the country of the neurotic parents, and they would probably sue for the moon if something happened, especially without adult supervision.. We still have something set up that a patrol can do a day adventure alone (I think, unless pulled recently).. I believe more troops will do this, at least letting them hike around without adult supervision, while the adults stay in base camp.. Don't know if any would consider a youth only day trip which consisted of meeting at a certain time in the parking lot of the CO, doing the activity and returning home at a certain time.. Say something like a bike trip, or a sailing / fishing trip.. etc..

Moosetracker is right. We are a country driven by fear. Letting your kids walk around without adult supervision can now get you arested in some places ("it's not safe!").

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Moosetracker is right. We are a country driven by fear. Letting your kids walk around without adult supervision can now get you arested in some places ("it's not safe!").

Yeah just in the news this week is something about parents who allowed their 6 yo & 10 yo walk alone to the neighborhood park and they got a visit by the police and a warning.. They did it a second time and are now in real hot water (I forget what they are now facing)..  Luckily, I was happy to see comments after the news article siding with the parents and thinking authorities were over-reaching.. But, still.. Reminded me of when I ended up with my sisters 5 yo child for 2 or 3 months.. My mother brought him to us as we were out of state.. Child welfare wanted to take the child away from her because she dared to let the child play outside in his own backyard without constant supervision..  My sister had to sell her house and move out of the neighborhood before she could come and get her child back from us..

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Every day one's freedoms erode, bit by bit.  Kinda like the frog in cold water sitting on a hot stove.  

 

What was once a free society, it is now ruled by fear mongering of well intended tyrants that dictate from the governmental pulpits from local all the way up through national.  The government has a contractual mandate in the Constitution.  They have gone WAY, WAY beyond the scope and now infringe directly in the once almost sacred Bill of Rights.  Well, that's pretty much gone now, too.

Edited by Stosh

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Every day one's freedoms erode, bit by bit.  Kinda like the frog in cold water sitting on a hot stove.  

 

What was once a free society, it is now ruled by fear mongering of well intended tyrants that dictate from the governmental pulpits from local all the way up through national.  The government has a contractual mandate in the Constitution.  They have gone WAY, WAY beyond the scope and now infringe directly in the once almost sacred Bill of Rights.  Well, that's pretty much gone now, too.

 

 

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.â€

― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

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