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"Your ... troop is made up of patrols . . . ."

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Ponder this:

 

 

 

Your Boy Scout troop is made up of patrols, with each patrol’s members sharing responsibility for the patrol’s success.

 

 B.S.A., The Boy Scout Handbook, 13th Ed. at p. 25 (2016).

 

Not "made up of Scouts"; "made up of patrols."

 

I wonder if it is a typo.  I hope not.

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I've taken flack all along for saying that exact thing.

 

So if a troop is made up of patrols, as an example,  is it the patrols that elect the SPL or the individual scouts?

 

A lot of people give great lip service to their troop structures, but in reality run a program far differently.

 

And for all the civics minded nerds out there, NO, THE PEOPLE OF THE U.S. DO NOT ELECT THEIR PRESIDENT, the Electoral College does.  We are not a DEMOCRACY, we are a REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC.

 

Like anything else, what's written and what one thinks is written are often two different animals.

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Since elections became mandated, the Scouts elect the SPL.  Of course, some make up their own rules, typically that adults run everything.

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Maybe the PLC should elect their SPL?

 

PRO gress, CON gress, etc. etc.

 

"The work is done by whoever shows up."

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Maybe the PLC should elect their SPL?

 

PRO gress, CON gress, etc. etc.

 

"The work is done by whoever shows up."

 

That's what I promote, the consensus of patrol leaders pick their leader, the SPL just like the member of the patrol pick their leader, the PL.

 

The PL's support the work of the patrols, the SPL supports the work of the PL's.

 

I've allowed this process to operate in my troops and end up with effective and functional PL's and if the decide they need the help of the SPL they put one in place.  Otherwise the PLC is just that PATROL LEADER COUNCIL, it's not made up of anything other than PL's.  I see too many APL"s, TG's, QM's, Scribes, and every Tom, Dick and Harry on the PLC which doesn't do anything but muddy the water, prolong the discussions, load up council votes and other abusive practices.

 

Run lean, run clean....

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It would be nice to have the majority of troops follow the rules before working on ways to ignore them. 

 

The SPL does more than support the work of the patrols.  He leads the troop-level activities that, under his leadership, the patrols have planned in the PLC.  He represents the Scouts, through the PLS, to the Troop Committee on occasion, such as presenting the suggested annual program for the troop.  He represents the troop at meeting of troop leadership, such as at camporees and planning of those activities.

  

The SPL is a voting member of the PLC in Boy Scouting.  The PLs are the only other voting members, unless someone decides to ignore the rules.

 

If the troop only has one patrol, no need for an SPL.

 

If we decide to ignore the rules, how do we decide whose unilateral changes in rules are to be given weight?   My previous SM who says "It's all optional" (as he acts as a one-man-band SM/SPL/PL)?.

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I don't see it ignoring rules when the boys make the decisions to do what they think is best for their situation.

 

2 patrols with an SPL  PLC ends up always a two against one vote.  If the SPL always votes with the patrol he's part of, the other patrol will cause problems and or find other things to do when those troop activities roll around.  If the SPL is not part of either patrol, who does he camp with?  No one listens to the SPL, who's he in charge of?  Troop?  Is that all the boys?  Then what's the use of the PL's?  which deteriorates down to what's the use of the PLC?

 

The more one allows such processes to go on, the more attendance, discipline, organizational confusion will disrupt the patrol method of the troop.

 

I don't ignore the rules, I find that many of the rules in certain situations are counter productive to smooth operation of the troop.  If the boys have 3 patrols and they don't think an SPL is necessary because everything is running along smoolthly, why have an SPL election just because some adult rule out of National BSA says to have one? 

 

If a troop is operating under a true patrol method operation, what's the purpose of a troop activity?

Edited by Stosh

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The boys do not make up all the rules for Boy Scouting and have never done so.  The BSA rules and regulations in 2016 require the Patrol Method, and neither Tom, Stosh or Joey or George defines the Patrol Method, even if B.S.A. is clumsy about it..  

 

Your right to refuse to follow the basic rules is no greater than the right of some harry-armed biscuit-burner to run his troop method/all adult-run troop.  There is a lot of flex, especially given B.S.A.'s struggles with English prose, but it's not suppose to be "all optional."

 

Why follow the rules?  Why follow the Scout Law that requires you to follow the rules? 

 

There are activities beyond the patrol level, such as inter-patrol and inter-troop competitions.  There are opportunities that require an adult to sign the paperwork.   Nothing wrong with troops existing for the administrative convenience of patrols of which they are composed.

 

And who made any of us the final arbiter of the "true patrol method" in contrast to what B.S.A. says is the Patrol Method since before we were born?

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According to the "rules" the SPL is to run the troop, but as stated if there is only one patrol then the there is no need for an SPL, Sounds like an adaptation to the rules.....

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No BSA table of organization I can find shows one patrol and an SPL.  One patrol, it seems to me, means no SPL because there is no SPL job.  If a troop is, as BSA now says, composed of Patrols, rather than Scouts, one patrol is a "troop" for bureaucratic/metric purposes only.

 

The question has come up on the Scouting blog, but BSA never took it on that I can find.  You know BP started Boy Scouts on the basis of patrols, with troops coming along later, and Bill insisted the the patrol was "the unit for Scouting."

 

An SPL is not supposed to be a patrol member so how can he "vote with the patrol he's part of"?

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Red herring. No organizational chart exists for one patrol. Well,the closest we come is the last page of ILST, which has a "small troop chart" with one patrol leader, a new scout patrol leader, and venture patrol leader. It doesn't specify the minimum numbers for that organization, but we know that BSA allows as few as five boys. If those boys were all 1st class rank and, say 13 through 14 maybe a 16 and 17 year old, the logical inference would be that there is no new scout and venture patrol ... So trim those branches, but the SPL still remains with the ONE TRADITIONAL PATROL. And that's how boys who haven't even taken ILST generally conceptualize it!

 

It takes a lot of adult intervention to get them to believe they don't have an SPL. I'm our case, we just stopped buying the patches.

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The more one allows such processes to go on, the more attendance, discipline, organizational confusion will disrupt the patrol method of the troop.

This straw man ignores the primary foundational call for a scouts duty of helping others by living the Scout Law; or as some say "take care of your boys". It doesn't matter what patrol process the patrol members use, independent decisions in the process is always challenging.

 

If the scouts are given the freedom to make independent decisions and guided to use the scout oath and law in their decisions, the one constant that keeps them coming back is the the satisfaction from helping others (taking care of your boys). Not whether the SPL gets a vote or note.

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I don't ignore the rules, I find that many of the rules in certain situations are counter productive to smooth operation of the troop.  If the boys have 3 patrols and they don't think an SPL is necessary because everything is running along smoolthly, why have an SPL election just because some adult rule out of National BSA says to have one? 

 

Why would the boys think the SPL is not necessary when their handbooks explain the SPLs responsibilties in the process. They wouldn't unless someone outside the process convinced them. Which shows why a patrol not using BSA guidelines is more adult run. And it is not fair for the boys who thought they were joining the Boy Scouts to get pulled into the adults vision of scouting. Boys typically leave these programs because they are frustrated from not being allowed to make their own independent decisions.

 

Manipulating the scouts' decisions is a risk for all of us and we have done it to some degree, but giving the scouts a basic set of published guidelines to use minimizes that risk and leaves the adults to focus on growth of character, fitness and citizenship learned from using the oath and law. In other words, adults leave the process of the patrol method up to the scouts and focus more on encouraging "taking care of your boys".

 

Barry

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I used to have a troop of 4 patrols....

 

Scouts decided to try the SPL/PLC thing.....

 

They decided it wasn't necessary, took time away from other more important things the patrols were dong....

 

Dropped it after a trial run of about 6 months......

 

If things are running along smoothly and no one's having any problems, and BSA comes along and says you have to do XYX, that means that the first step to adult run has taken place.  Adults in the troop going along with it is the second step.  It gets worse as time goes on.

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