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How Do We Make Boy-Led Understood By Adults?

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There is no doubt that there are Troops out there that are led by adults.  How do we make it obvious to these adults that the Scouts should be running the show?  What resources do we have available to us to train new unit leaders in the Patrol Method?

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I think a big aspect of it is training. I had my eyes opened when I took Scoutmaster Fundamentals, but the knowledge of how to actually be a better Scoutmaster came from talking to and learning from experienced Scouters, both in real life and online. Websites like this one have the potential to be really helpful, if we play our cards right. 

 

Sentinel947 

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Training for leaders. Meeting for parents where we emphasize boy-led and patrol method. Have the boys deliver the latter.  :cool:

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2 X 4 - 4' long with the words "Board of Education" on it.  Give one to each PL and if an adult comes within range they are to use it liberally.  If the boys need help, they simply ask, THAT is what the adults are there for.

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That's a really good question, as in I'd like to see a good answer. But I don't have one. Actually, you have two questions. The first is how to explain the benefits of boy led and the second is how to teach it.

 

Benefits: Boy led teaches the scouts responsibility, problem solving, and compassion. I don't see other youth activities that come close. While younger scouts mostly just want fun, older scouts also want purpose. Boy led provides that purpose.

 

Teaching/resources: There are resources that hint at what the issues are. SM specific training is very light on helping someone that hasn't seen it done right. The SPL and PL handbooks are not bad. The SM handbook is worthless. I found a book called A Scout Leader's Guide to Youth Leadership: Working the Patrol Method that helps a lot. It's full of stories and short ideas. It's a bit random and the writing is kind of jumpy. It's hard to pull out a hand full of ideas to focus on. One more resource is hitting the jack pot on this forum. There's lots of knowledge and experience here but if the answer requires more than a page or so then the person asking can get overwhelmed. That said, there are some great ideas I've gotten on this website that I haven't seen elsewhere.

 

So, to answer your question, there is no one resource for helping scouters that want to do their best. Since this is BSA's bread and butter, it's surprising.

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That's a really good question, as in I'd like to see a good answer. But I don't have one. Actually, you have two questions. The first is how to explain the benefits of boy led and the second is how to teach it.

 

Benefits: Boy led teaches the scouts responsibility, problem solving, and compassion. I don't see other youth activities that come close. While younger scouts mostly just want fun, older scouts also want purpose. Boy led provides that purpose.

 

Teaching/resources: There are resources that hint at what the issues are. SM specific training is very light on helping someone that hasn't seen it done right. The SPL and PL handbooks are not bad. The SM handbook is worthless. I found a book called A Scout Leader's Guide to Youth Leadership: Working the Patrol Method that helps a lot. It's full of stories and short ideas. It's a bit random and the writing is kind of jumpy. It's hard to pull out a hand full of ideas to focus on. One more resource is hitting the jack pot on this forum. There's lots of knowledge and experience here but if the answer requires more than a page or so then the person asking can get overwhelmed. That said, there are some great ideas I've gotten on this website that I haven't seen elsewhere.

 

So, to answer your question, there is no one resource for helping scouters that want to do their best. Since this is BSA's bread and butter, it's surprising.

 

I did enjoy the Working The Patrol Method book and found it helpful in explaining boy-led to my Troop's committee.  

 

Stosh has a point with the boards. LOL!  You might make some enemies at first by keeping the adults at the edge of camp but they'll soon realize--with a little help from the SM--that the PLs are in charge!

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I did enjoy the Working The Patrol Method book and found it helpful in explaining boy-led to my Troop's committee.  

 

Stosh has a point with the boards. LOL!  You might make some enemies at first by keeping the adults at the edge of camp but they'll soon realize--with a little help from the SM--that the PLs are in charge!

That is one of the points I learned from this forum. There needs to be a very clear distinction between what the adults and scouts are responsible for. Without that the boys will tend to back down and the adults will tend to step in. Suddenly it's the adults. I also like the 300' idea. While it doesn't have to be 300' there needs to be separation between patrols in camping as well as what patrols do on campouts and meetings. It's similar to the 2x4 only it's for scouts. I guess 300' is softer than a 2x4. Recently I've been repeating the mantra that the PLs are responsible for delivering the promise of scouting to their patrols, with the promise being fun/outdoors/skills/advancement/adventure/service. It's not my job or the SPL's job. then I ask them what they need help with. The response has been great.

 

I don't know how you collect these ideas for the new guy trying to turn his troop around.

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I don't know how you collect these ideas for the new guy trying to turn his troop around.

 

I think that was the idea behind Working the Patrol Method.   :D 

 

Coming up with a resource like the one you request would be an excellent Wood Badge ticket item!   :laugh:

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All Scout Masters will tell you that their troop is boy run, and they are to some degree. But a troop can only be a boy run as the SM is willing to let it be. I used to teach boy run and man my vision of boy run can be a tough sell. But the first question is what do you as the SM envision a boy run troop to be and why? What do the scouts get out of it? What the scouts get out of it is how you will market the idea. What you envision the boys doing is the frame work of reaching that goal. 

 

For me boy run gives scouts the true independence to practice making right decisions based off the Scout Law. I market it like this, character is easy when the adults make all the decisions, it become a bit more challenging when the scouts have to make the decisions. Scouts can become a lot less friendly, courteous and kind under the stress of trying cook dinner for a whole patrol or set up camp in the rain. My scouts are more mature than the average scout in leadership and making good decisions because they do so much more of it in our troop. 

 

Does that at least begin to answer the question, I may be way off track.

 

Barry

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Does that at least begin to answer the question, I may be way off track.

 

 

 

There's no one correct answer, Barry.   :D  This is an awesome start to a discussion that needs to be continuous.

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All Scout Masters will tell you that their troop is boy run, and they are to some degree. But a troop can only be a boy run as the SM is willing to let it be. .....

 

Based on my limited observations, this is spot on.

I believe that most adults think the troop is boy run.

 

Part of the issue I think is differing definitions of the term.

and then not all adults on the same page....

 

 

I was involved in a troop committee for a short time.  The committee was discussing which weekend we should do a camping trip and where to.... I suggested gently, that the boys should be deciding when and where.... & I was promptly educated in stronger language than I'll repeat here, that the leadership would not let the boys determine his schedule.  I tried to point out that I was thinking it would be for them to work out, deciding when and where they want to go.... then they would need to be responsible for asking the SM or ASM to take them.  If none of the ASM's would do it, then they would be out of luck....

I dropped it, figuring I succeeded with a nudge, and since the troop was really only transitioning to boy lead that they need time...

 

I'm still concerned by what I still see, as this is likely where my son will cross over to.... but I'm sure it's a slow transition sometimes.... so I'm hopeful.

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Not to split hairs, but is there a difference between boy-run and boy-led?

 

Reason I ask is because, for me, boy-led is allowing the SPL and the PLs to lead and make the decisions. Those decisions are then executed by either the boy or adult leadership teams.

 

Boy-run, on the other hand, would suggest (to me, anyway) that the boys run the whole show; inclusive of planning and execution of all aspects of the unit. This is a MUCH larger task and, I believe, outside of what is meant by boy-led.

 

That's my take anyway.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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There is no doubt that there are Troops out there that are led by adults.  How do we make it obvious to these adults that the Scouts should be running the show?  What resources do we have available to us to train new unit leaders in the Patrol Method?

 

I think seeing boy led troops is a good idea.   Honestly, I don't think there is much way to change troops that are actively adult led, if the adults like it that way.  The only people that will change to boy led are those that want to be boy led. 

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Not to split hairs, but is there a difference between boy-run and boy-led?

 

Reason I ask is because, for me, boy-led is allowing the SPL and the PLs to lead and make the decisions. Those decisions are then executed by either the boy or adult leadership teams.

 

Boy-run, on the other hand, would suggest (to me, anyway) that the boys run the whole show; inclusive of planning and execution of all aspects of the unit. This is a MUCH larger task and, I believe, outside of what is meant by boy-led.

 

That's my take anyway.

At least until a few years ago, the BSA used the term boy run. 

 

Barry

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Based on my limited observations, this is spot on.

I believe that most adults think the troop is boy run.

 

Part of the issue I think is differing definitions of the term.

and then not all adults on the same page....

 

 

I was involved in a troop committee for a short time.  The committee was discussing which weekend we should do a camping trip and where to.... I suggested gently, that the boys should be deciding when and where.... & I was promptly educated in stronger language than I'll repeat here, that the leadership would not let the boys determine his schedule.  I tried to point out that I was thinking it would be for them to work out, deciding when and where they want to go.... then they would need to be responsible for asking the SM or ASM to take them.  If none of the ASM's would do it, then they would be out of luck....

I dropped it, figuring I succeeded with a nudge, and since the troop was really only transitioning to boy lead that they need time...

 

I'm still concerned by what I still see, as this is likely where my son will cross over to.... but I'm sure it's a slow transition sometimes.... so I'm hopeful.

 

Wow, I would never have thought about the Troop Committee making any decision about when and where the troop was camping. The PLC decides that, and tells the TC. That said, there have been times when the TC has had to veto PLC plans, due to lack of adult availability, or due to finances. 

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