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Stosh

Boy-Led, Patrol-Method Non-Support outside of troop

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Sure, 300' is the ideal, but there will be a lot of times where you don't have the space to have a 300' buffer between the Patrols - does that mean you should throw up your hands and just declare that the Patrol Method won't work?  Of course not - you still set-up by Patrols in the limited area you're in.

 

Summer camp rules prevented your two small troops that were camping together from participating together?  Did you talk to the Camp Director?  If so and they refused to allow it, you got yourself a Neidermeyer of a Camp Director that needs to be replaced with someone that understands Boys and Scouting.  Most Camp Directors I worked with would have smiled and said it was just fine for you to combine forces.

 

I'm curious as to how the Patrol Leaders getting the information about the day's schedule from the Senior Patrol Leader, who gets that information from a daily SPL meeting is somehow anathema to Patrol Method Scouting.  One of the tasks of the SPL in Patrol Method Scouting is to disseminate information to the Patrol Leaders.  Does the SPL not have a meeting or phone call with the SM before a PLC to be able to pass along any information the PL's need to know or does the SM just srping the news on everyone at the PLC at the same time?  If I'm at a PLC and I see the SM making the announcements directly, my first thought isn't Patrol Method - it's Adult Led Troop Method.

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Sure, 300' is the ideal, but there will be a lot of times where you don't have the space to have a 300' buffer between the Patrols - does that mean you should throw up your hands and just declare that the Patrol Method won't work?  Of course not - you still set-up by Patrols in the limited area you're in.

 

So who made the rule that the patrols in the troops have to stay together?  3 troops of 3 patrols can spread themselves 300' apart by putting one patrol from each troop in each site.  I never advocated being 10' from another patrol from another troop.  Heck, they might even talk to each other and the boys could make new friends.  Troop cooking and adult hovering will cease immediately.  Of course this process would have been facilitated by having the patrols register for the event and go as a patrol, not as part of a inseparable troop.  A patrol should be able to function away from the mother ship for such occasions.  It's not like there's going to be miles between the patrols.  

 

Summer camp rules prevented your two small troops that were camping together from participating together?  Did you talk to the Camp Director?  If so and they refused to allow it, you got yourself a Neidermeyer of a Camp Director that needs to be replaced with someone that understands Boys and Scouting.  Most Camp Directors I worked with would have smiled and said it was just fine for you to combine forces.

 

There were bigger problems with the camp director, this wasn't an issue, my boys had a good time with the other troop, and probably got more out of having free time than some adult structured camp-wide games.

 

I'm curious as to how the Patrol Leaders getting the information about the day's schedule from the Senior Patrol Leader, who gets that information from a daily SPL meeting is somehow anathema to Patrol Method Scouting.  One of the tasks of the SPL in Patrol Method Scouting is to disseminate information to the Patrol Leaders.  Does the SPL not have a meeting or phone call with the SM before a PLC to be able to pass along any information the PL's need to know or does the SM just srping the news on everyone at the PLC at the same time?  If I'm at a PLC and I see the SM making the announcements directly, my first thought isn't Patrol Method - it's Adult Led Troop Method.

 

With my boys in the troop, the flow of information is VERY minimal going from adults -> patrols.  Most information is Patrols -> adults.  About 97% of the adult -> patrol information is seeking more clarification of needs on a specific activity.  In a supporting role, there's never any adult announcements necessary.The 3% adult -> patrol flow of information is pretty much the SM Minute.

 

As far as the SPL's role, he is the collector of information and then is responsible for letting the PL's know.  It's a convenience thing.  The PL's could all go to the SPL meeting and hear for themselves, but it's just easier if one guy gets stuck with having to go.  Usually the summer camp SPL meetings can be boiled down to a 2-3 minute quick comment to the PL's.  I find that those meetings are nothing more than a rehash of the day's event on the weekly calendar given out on the first day of camp anyway.

 

In order to do his job, the PL's right-hand man is his APL.  His left-hand man is his SPL

 

I have noticed that most of the boys that were PL's and needed to attend a PL meeting he would send his APL so he could stay with the members of his patrol to which he was responsible for.  A lot of the PLC meetings were attended by the APL because it was mostly just information flow from the patrols -> leadership corps and SM.  Decisions were made at the patrol level and that information was passed down to the Officers and SM so they would be able to support those decisions.

 

The annual calendar for example is an amalgamation of all the patrol calendars into one so everyone in the troop knew what everyone else was up to.  It definitely was never "approved" by the adults on the committee.  If that ever happened, and the adults said, you can't do that, it would leave an undefined hole in the calendar.  Or as I would often suggest to their boys, just get a couple of the parents together and go anyway, just don't wear your uniforms.  When my committee found out I did that, they began to work on ways to keep the boys IN the program by supporting their plans instead of tearing them apart.

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I'm curious as to why folks think that Councils should organize Summer Camp as Patrol Method - seems to me we're asking Councils and Districts to do an awful lot of things that the Troops can do on their own.  There is nothing to say that a Troop must cook their meals as a Troop - sure, the meals may be the same but they can still be cooked by Patrols (and wouldn't that be an interesting experiment - we spend a lot of time on weekend trips with Patrols all making their own menus - wouldn't it be interesting to see how each Patrol does when given the same recipe and ingredients?).  Other than room, there is nothing to prevent Troops from setting up camp as Patrols (and we used to do it that way at Camporees in smaller spaces than we would get for Summer Camp).  There is nothing to prevent Troops from forming up as Patrols at Flag Ceremony.  There is nothing to prevent Troops from running their activities in Patrol Method.  My Summer Camp had an evening Water Carnival competition between Troops - nothing would have prevented a Troop from having Patrols choose the events they would do.  Can only do one skit for all-camp campfire?  What's to prevent a Troop from holding their own internal competition to see which Patrol gets the honor of representing the Troop? 

 

Summer Camp just offers a framework for each Troop to figure out the best way for them to participate in it.  Other than Merit Badges, which is an individual pursuit, there is nothing holding a Troop back from using the Patrol Method at Summer Camp except lack of desire or lack of imagination. 

We do line up at flags by patrol. That's trivial. Only one skit per patrol? I guess that's okay. But space and resources are an issue. Doing things by troop takes less space and gear than doing it by patrol. So I spend the first day or two asking for more resources and defending my scouts from staff. It's a lot of my time because the staff doesn't understand patrol method.

 

But it's more than just being in camp. It's also about fun. I asked if a patrol can go down to the dock to go canoeing together, or to the rifle range to go shooting together, or could they at least give me some maps of local trails so scouts could go hiking together. Or maybe there's a geo cache they can do. Nope. It's not that camps are troop vs patrol method, it's that they're all about MBs. I once suggested to my local camp committee that MBs only go until 2:30 and have a time slot for patrols to do things together until dinner. For the really popular things they'd have to sign up but it would be a chance for scouts to have fun as a patrol, or do a service project, or whatever they wanted. They looked at me like I had a 3rd eye.

 

So, yes, we make it work as best we can, but if the patrol method is such a big deal, shouldn't camps be supporting this? The usual answer is that I can run my own summer camp for my troop. I suppose I can, but again, shouldn't my council be supporting my troop using the methods of scouting?

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That's the point of the thread.  I'm glad I"m not alone with this problem.   

 

@@MattR

 

So, yes, we make it work as best we can, but if the patrol method is such a big deal, shouldn't camps be supporting this? The usual answer is that I can run my own summer camp for my troop. I suppose I can, but again, shouldn't my council be supporting my troop using the methods of scouting?

 

Yep, I keep asking myself the exact same question.

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I neglected to give props to Heritage Reservation's Camp Liberty for it's patrol-cooking program.

Each patrol is to send two members to commissary for food pick-up.

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We had 2 troops, 2 small patrols and the commissary sent food for the whole site.  We weren't even allowed to have the troop food split out let alone by patrol or even boy vs. adult.

 

Patrol method only as long as it is expedient and convenient.  Otherwise, it becomes the problem of the troop to figure it out on their own.

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One of the first things you should do is decide just what you mean by “Scout-led troop.â€

 

Huh? Sounds like more lip service, either your troop is scout-led or it is not (but hopefully getting there).

Edited by RememberSchiff

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One of the first things you should do is decide just what you mean by “Scout-led troop.â€

 

Huh? Sounds like more lip service, either your troop is scout-led or it is not (but hopefully getting there).

 

Similar discussion to what @@KenD500 started. Depending on how you define it, the concept can mean different things to different people.

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Yea. I've learned over the years to not take program knowledge basics for granted.

 

Gave this same issue to the PLC: Define boy led. One guys simply said, "Adults butt-out." ;) A JASM chimed in with: "Scouts do everything, adults are the out-of-bounds markers. We go out of bounds, adults step in, coach, guide, counsel and the Scouts learn and move on. First Scout, 13. Second Scout, 17. 

 

Wish that worked with Committee members. ;)

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Why wouldn't it work with committee members?

 

First of all if they are trained, they should know their boundaries and if not, they need to be.

 

Of course, like "boy-led", "leadership", etc. all have varying definitions along the way and no matter how much training one does, there's never going to be a consensus among the committee members.  So the unit needs to define just one meaning to what the process is even if everyone doesn't agree with it.  It becomes the de facto standard and that becomes the flag around which the adults rally.

 

Troop Committee decides that Boy-Led means the SM dictates the program to the boys, and they do the work.  If they do what they are told and the work gets done, they get the POR checked off and life is good.

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Why wouldn't it work with committee members?

 

First of all if they are trained, they should know their boundaries and if not, they need to be.

 

 

@@Stosh, you and I both know it takes FAR longer to correctly train a 40 year-old than it does a 14 year-old. ;)

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