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Eagle94-A1

Change in The Troop, It's Coming

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I think this naturally leads to properly defining the TG in this whole mix in that he might just be the king-pin in this whole NSP issue.

 

To me the TG is as important to the NSP PL as the SPL is to the other more experienced PL's.  I for one see the SPL as the person responsible for supporting the work of the individual PL's in their patrols.  It is as if the SPL is the PL of a virtual patrol of PL's.  That is his focus, making sure his PL's are successful.  Okay, with that being said, we have a new group of boys coming in and are going to need the attention of someone like the SPL far more than the already established PL's.  So the SPL sends in his "stand-in"

to work with the new guys and not consume all his time there.  The SPL and TG work with the new patrols.  It's not just a TG dump and run on the part of the SPL.  His responsibility is the success of ALL THE PATROLS.  He does this by putting a TG in there to help until they get their feet on the ground.  A good TG should only take 6 months to get the new patrol up and running.  If it takes longer than that, the TG is meddling like an adult in the operation of the patrol.

 

Former DC's or WDS's may not be a good match for the role of TG.  A DC is told by the true leader of the den what needs to be done.  A TG needs more than an SPL to constantly tell him what he needs to be doing.  Also denners don't function nor have the expectations like a PL.    A lot of different dynamics going on here.

 

I'm thinking the SPL of the troop where it is used is the most experienced PL qualified person in the troop.  He is the go-to person for PL's to rely on.  On the other hand the TG must be as PL qualified as the SPL but also have the teaching skills to teach the PL role and function to the new PL of the new patrol.  Instead the new patrols are destined to fail because most of the time the TG is no where near qualified to actually be a help to the PL of the new patrol.

 

By the way in my former troop where there were older and newer patrols, the TG's that volunteered to do so were always Life or Eagle and had been PL's before.  Maybe that's why I had good luck with my new patrols.

Edited by Stosh

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....My complaint with the one particular NSP was primarily with the idea that a scout couldn't leave until he was first class. That's dumb......

and yet that is exactly what the new handbook says!

well truthfully, it goes on to contradict that in the next paragraph, but that was the point that they seemed to be making

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... This seems like a great suggestion.  In practice though i'm not quite sure how I'd go about that without coming off as a back seat driver.  After all, he is the ASM... I'm not ....

Do you, one of your relatives, one of your friends, or a boss have property suitable for 8 boys and a couple of adults (at a slight distance) to camp on?

 

"Hey, I know a great location for your first patrol outing. As soon as you can convince the SM that you've got a good plan!"

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Well I guess the either/or is where we get lost in this discussion. The program I left when I retired was just a small skeleton of was started. We changed to fit the needs and issues that developed from previous techniques or styles. We changed our new scout program six times before we got one that worked for us. And because we were boy run was why it was a challenge. As of not too long ago, our policy was to move new scouts into the patrols when the number of new scouts wasn't greater than adding 3 to each patrol. We found through experience that more than 3 messes up the patrol dynamics enough that it is kind of starting over. The way we put them in patrols is let the patrol leaders each introduced themselves and gave a brief description of their patrol. After all the introductions, the Patrols mixed in with the new scouts to learn more about each other. Then the new scouts are instructed to pick th epatrol they want and the friends they want to be with them. They can pick as many friends as they want, but we ask they set a priority because they likely will not be with all the friends. What is interesting to me is in all the years we did that, the scouts always picked only one friend. I never saw it go beyond that, even though there were no limits. Also, new scouts were told they could start their own patrol and we were ready for that with Troop Guides, but nobody ever took that offer. I  think when experienced scouts introduce themselves to the new scouts and invite them to their patrol, it just not something they want.

 

Now, if the group of new scouts is greater than 2 to 3 new scouts per existing patrol, then we put them in NSPs. The patrol only last until after summer camp (which was just before the next SPL election), then we let the scouts choose the patrol they wanted to join. We encourage both the patrols to shop for new scouts and new scouts to shop for patrols. Ideally everyone knows where they are going before the break up. Each NSP has two troop guides that the SPL recruits. They are typically 15 and older and very experienced. We never much good luck with young TGs. We also use an ASPL who basically serves the TGs needs. And we have an ASM who basically works with the TG as their assistant. The main reason we brought the ASM in was for the new scouts and parents to see how the ASMs serve the scouts. It helps ease the boys and parents into trusting the youth leadership of a boy run program. It definitaly attributed to reducing the number of new scouts quitting. It works pretty good. The ASM also is the trainer for new parents. We ask that parents to visit at least three troop meetings and one campout so we can show them how a boy run program works. It is likely the only time the parents get to see a PLC meeting because adults don't normally participate without permission from the SPL. The ASM is the parents guide on campouts and points out the specifics of how the troop operates in a boy run program. The ASM for that job was typically the next coming SM so he could practice explaining and teaching boy run to the adults. The adults have a lot of fun on campouts. We don't have limits on adults camping with the troop. When the patrols are 100 years away, problems were rare.

 

That is a very basic description of our new scout program that was shaped over years of trying ideas. For me, a troop program is measured by the older scouts on down, so the new scout program is a result of the quality of the older scouts program. Not the other way around.

 

One other thing that hasn't been mentioned is the trickling of new scouts. It is actually rare for us to get all our new scouts at once because different packs have different agendas. We recruit and train about 6 senior scouts to be ready for the worst. But trickling dens can make the situation interesting. 

 

This works for us. Our goal for our program is minimum adult intrusion and as I said, NSPs makes that almost impossible. The method we use now requires no adult intrusion and gets us the best growth for new scouts of all the methods we tried.

 

Barry

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Well I guess the either/or is where we get lost in this discussion. The program I left when I retired was just a small skeleton of was started. We changed to fit the needs and issues that developed from previous techniques or styles. We changed our new scout program six times before we got one that worked for us. And because we were boy run was why it was a challenge. As of not too long ago, our policy was to move new scouts into the patrols when the number of new scouts wasn't greater than adding 3 to each patrol. We found through experience that more than 3 messes up the patrol dynamics enough that it is kind of starting over. The way we put them in patrols is let the patrol leaders each introduced themselves and gave a brief description of their patrol. After all the introductions, the Patrols mixed in with the new scouts to learn more about each other. Then the new scouts are instructed to pick th epatrol they want and the friends they want to be with them. They can pick as many friends as they want, but we ask they set a priority because they likely will not be with all the friends. What is interesting to me is in all the years we did that, the scouts always picked only one friend. I never saw it go beyond that, even though there were no limits. Also, new scouts were told they could start their own patrol and we were ready for that with Troop Guides, but nobody ever took that offer. I  think when experienced scouts introduce themselves to the new scouts and invite them to their patrol, it just not something they want.

 

 

 

Barry

I think that's a really compelling way of doing things. 

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As the original poster, please keep posting how you do things.

 

3 new scouts max sounds like a good idea, and I never thought about that before. HOWEVER if we get the mass induction next December, we are in trouble. ;)

 

My understanding from the liteerature and training syllabi is that the new Scouts are in the NSP until First Class. That's why we have two NSPs, with TGs. Although the 12-13 year old NSP has their act together except for advancement. They've been in Scouting 1-2 years.  It's the 10-11 year old NSP that is causing the issues, and they have been around for the most part for 6 months, some 9 and 12 months.

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Throw away the training syllabus and do what's best for your boys!  That's the heretic in me speaking!

 

If boys needed to stay in some NSP until they reached FC, I as a young scout would never have gotten out of the NSP.  I was 2nd Class when I quit and I had been in scouting for 4 years.  I didn't have much faith in the rank advancement thingy, I was in it for fun.  When it wasn't fun anymore my buddies and I left.

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Throw away the training syllabus and do what's best for your boys!  That's the heretic in me speaking!

 

If boys needed to stay in some NSP until they reached FC, I as a young scout would never have gotten out of the NSP.  I was 2nd Class when I quit and I had been in scouting for 4 years.  I didn't have much faith in the rank advancement thingy, I was in it for fun.  When it wasn't fun anymore my buddies and I left.

 

IF I was SM, changes would have been made. SM has health issues, and I did offer to take over. Troop and church committee wants one of their members as SM. I understand their rationale, and have no problems with that. However I and one of our new ASMs have a similar vision, and we have been talking and trying to convert folks. ;)  He has an advantage in that he's a troop alumnus from it's 'glory days" when the troop had 5 patrols. His disadvantage is that he was a 'Wildcat" for a while in the troop. ;)  But he also isn't a member of the church.

 

The ASM who  is suppose to take over was from a troop that used the NSP and it worked fro them. So we went with that model by the book. It isn't working.

 

Why I saw being a SM is an "art" and not a "science."

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Throw away the training syllabus and do what's best for your boys!  That's the heretic in me speaking!

 

If boys needed to stay in some NSP until they reached FC, I as a young scout would never have gotten out of the NSP.  I was 2nd Class when I quit and I had been in scouting for 4 years.  I didn't have much faith in the rank advancement thingy, I was in it for fun.  When it wasn't fun anymore my buddies and I left.

 

Stosh

I had a very similar look on it as a scout.  I was further derailed because we moved when I was just starting WEBELOS, and when I finally joined a troop I went in older than the average new scout.

 

When we moved I didn't rejoin a pack in our new city, I really have no idea why.  I don't think it was my preference, although I don't remember having much fun with the crafts in cubs.  The we moved again, and I joined a troop with a friend to be with some classmate friends of ours that were more advanced scouts.

 

Me and my buddy were in it for the fun only, and since we were so far behind our peers the fun didn't last long.

 

One of my regrets.... but I think it was very understandable

and it points to a youth viewpoint or situation that we as adult troop leaders should probably remember.

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