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TAHAWK

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

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Things running smoothly is not the standard.  The supposed need for a smoothly-running organization is, in fact, the most common rationalization for adult-run troops.

 

It's BSA - through BSA adults - that says a troop is supposed to follow the Patrol Method that you elect not to teach.  The problem that I see is that BSA is only "saying" and not doing.   Apparently, if you feed the metrics, you can ignore almost all the rules, even the clearest ones.

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Things running smoothly is not the standard.  

 

Does that mean that things running poorly is the standard?

 

The supposed need for a smoothly-running organization is, in fact, the most common rationalization for adult-run troops.

 

So it's most  important to have the adults running the show in order to ever have a good program under the BSA structure of operation?

 

It's BSA - through BSA adults - that says a troop is supposed to follow the Patrol Method that you elect not to teach.  

 

But the patrol method is what is taught and that's what is instrumental in things running smoothly.   

 

The problem that I see is that BSA is only "saying" and not doing.   Apparently, if you feed the metrics, you can ignore almost all the rules, even the clearest ones.

 

Maybe the anomaly lies in the fact that there are those out there that can't grasp the possibility that there are troops out there that aren't sitting in the middle of the Bell Curve.

Edited by Stosh

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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.

If the scouts weren't using XYZ, then the adults already took the 1st and 2nd adult run step in the program the scouts are using. And if the program is running smoothly, why would the adults force XYZ?

 

You complain of catching flack for promoting stosh scouts over the Boy Scouts. But that isn't true, the flack is the result of belittling adults who use the BSA program. You once admitted coming around that different adults use different styles that fit best for their personality. But you still insult those same adults to defend stosh scouts. As I said, if you were really that confident in stosh scouts, then why the condescending tone? What do you care if we use SPLs?

 

In the big picture, how a scout gets picked for a POR or the hierarchy of the leadership structure is trivial compared to the much bigger goal of scouts practicing the character habit of taking care of your boys. If the first year scout buys into the importance of taking care of your boys attitude, then the senior scouts are certainly showing it in all their actions. Everything else is just small potatoes.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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"'Things running smoothly is not the standard.'

 

Does that mean that things running poorly is the standard?"

 

The boys doing the running is the standard.  If they are trained and supported properly, smoother running tends to come with experience.

 

""The supposed need for a smoothly-running organization is, in fact, the most common rationalization for adult-run troops.'

 

So it's most  important to have the adults running the show in order to ever have a good program under the BSA structure of operation?"

 

Not even close.  No need to invent errors on my part.  I make enough of my own without that.

 

If we cannot distinguish between adults as teachers and resources and adults "running the show," we cannot have a rational discussion.   Nor can you be a successful Scouter in a Boy Scout Troop which has been based in the U.S, for at least eighty-five years on the distinction and on the Scouts and Scouters playing their respective roles.

 

You can, of course, do almost anything you want in the way of inventing your own rules.  Many do it.

 

I'"It's  BSA - through BSA adults - that says a troop is supposed to follow the Patrol Method that you elect not to teach.  '

 

But the patrol method is what is taught and that's what is instrumental in things running smoothly. "

 

And one might deal with the reality that the Patrol Method, like B.S.A.'s other methods, is mandated by the voting members, staff, and writers at B.S.A. - all of whom are adults.  

 

And I only wish the Patrol method were again taught in Scoutmaster training.  It is not.  Teaching it is not one of the learning objectives.  One can find the information only with some effort and if one knows what you are seeing scattered here and there.

 

"'The problem that I see is that BSA is only "saying" and not doing.   Apparently, if you feed the metrics, you can ignore almost all the rules, even the clearest ones.'

 

Maybe the anomaly lies in the fact that there are those out there that can't grasp the possibility that there are troops out there that aren't sitting in the middle of the Bell Curve."

 

I take it this is an attempted "shot," but you are too subtle for me.    

 

Wait!  Your method troop is way up the curve; right?

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So you have no SPL.   Is that the case with more than one patrol?

They didn't have the patches, but in their minds their SPL was a senior who had been PL, and a buddy of his would routinely assist him, so that was that. Then among the rest they picked their PL. Can't remember if the older two stayed out of it or not.

 

So, when you get down to one patrol, it's kinda like quantum mechanics ... weird things happen.

 

The BSA "small" troop chart has an SPL with 3 PLs. (Although one may debate the probability of you actually having a full-blown NSP if you only have two other patrols, one of which is a venture patrol. With good retention and steady-state recruitment, that would imply maybe two cross-overs per year?)

 

I tried to discourage our troop from having an SPL when they got back down to just 3 patrols. They would have none of it.

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But the patrol method is what is taught and that's what is instrumental in things running smoothly. "

 

And one might deal with the reality that the Patrol Method, like B.S.A.'s other methods, is mandated by the voting members, staff, and writers at B.S.A. - all of whom are adults.  

 

And I only wish the Patrol method were again taught in Scoutmaster training.  It is not.  Teaching it is not one of the learning objectives.  One can find the information only with some effort and if one knows what you are seeing scattered here and there.

 

 

I teach it. It takes up a pretty sizable chunk of the course when I teach SM specific. It's mentioned in the syllabus. That gives me full license to expand it's prominence in my course. None of the powers that be have objected so far. 

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I teach it. It takes up a pretty sizable chunk of the course when I teach SM specific. It's mentioned in the syllabus. That gives me full license to expand it's prominence in my course. None of the powers that be have objected so far. 

 As do I, again with no complaints.   But what part of the method is described has only been there since September, 2014.  For the nearly previous fifteen years, the syllabus section "Working With Youth - the Patrol Method" had not one sentence on the method.  Indeed, the word "patrol" did not appear in that section of the syllabus.  Information on the method was scattered incompletely about the rest of the syllabus and in the AVs, and there were references to places where other aspects were discussed, as in the SMHB.  Still, as now, the presence of that syllabus title excused covering the material.  Better to light a candle.

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a few thoughts.

 

1) I too emphasized the patrol method when I do SM Specific. IMHO, the patrol method is the foundation of Scouting along with the outdoors. No patrol= No Scouting.

 

2) The current BSA Table of Organization for a troop, has only been around since 1989, about 27 years. Prior to that it was mixed aged patrols with some type of Older Scout patrol, some time in the 1920s to 1989, or  approximately 69 years. And prior to that, it was pure mixed aged patrols. While some have had success with NSPs, I and others have not.  So I have no problem with troops that continue using mixed aged patrols. Mixed aged patrols do work.

 

3) If memory serves, the concept of SPL came about because of William Hillcourt, and his experiences as a Scout in Denmark. If I recall correctly, the other PLs voted for him to be SPL in order to help them out and mentor. Over the years, the SPL has gotten more and more responsibilities. I admit, I like the entire troop voting for SPL, even when I disagree with their decision, or as was the case last year SHOCKED by the decision to elect a first year Scout as SPL ;)

 

BUT I would rather have the PLs elect the SPL, than have an adult appoint him. While it may not be the norm now, it was the norm at onetime.

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I teach it. It takes up a pretty sizable chunk of the course when I teach SM specific. It's mentioned in the syllabus. That gives me full license to expand it's prominence in my course. None of the powers that be have objected so far. 

 

@@Sentinel947, I don't think anyone is complaining about whether the patrol method is being taught or how it's being taught, but instead how it is being implemented.  The method of breaking the troop into smaller manageable groups is no big deal.  I have seen this happen in a lot of adult managed/controlled troops.  This organizational management of the patrol method makes a good working tool for adults to divide and conquer large numbers of boys, dealing instead with small units that can easily be supervised.  This of course does nothing to translate any dynamics of leadership in the organization's functioning.

 

If the troop is boy controlled, the smaller units make it very easy for fledgling  managers to handle the tasks which is good.  One doesn't want to overwhelm the boys until they have sufficient skill to maintain order.  This seems to be the problem I have seen as UC where the SPL is either overwhelmed by trying to "run the troop" or has basically nothing to do because the PL's are running the patrols.  The SPL becomes the "chairman of the PLC and only interferes outside that responsibility.  If the troop officers are functional, communications and finances are handled by the scribe. equipment by the QM, and in a moderate sized troop, other POR's are pretty much "optional" for most troops.  These outside positions really don't function within the patrol method anyway.

 

So, regardless of the patrol method organizational structure, how that structure is authorized to function is the part that is often not addressed.  The patrol method is implemented, the organization clearly defined and yet the authority of operation remains in the parent/child, teacher/student, or clergy/lay dynamics, the normal development of maturing boys and the emerging independence will be reflected in the troop in the same dynamics as those in family functionality problems, school, discipline problems and drop out rates, and young people leaving the church only to return later in life as they work out the changes in relationships.

 

Knowing this and modifying, not the organization management of the patrol method, but altering the authority model differently than home, school and church, a lot of those disruptive behaviors and problems can be avoided.

 

As @@Eagle94-A1 mentions in his post, the SPL being elected by the PL's is not BSA recommended nowadays, but it surely what I have seen happen when the boys themselves are allowed to make the rules on how they want their troop to be run.  I was also surprised that the candidates were taken from a pool of former PL's and current APL's.  An APL won.

 

So, I don't think anyone is denying the importance of a patrol method, but there seems to be a difference of opinion when it comes to implementation and flow of authority in the various models.

 

By the way Eagle94-A1, the NSP vs.mixed patrol when left alone tend to favor a "layering" effect where the ages in the "mixed" patrols really aren't as mixed as many adults would like them to be.  High school kids hang with high school kids, same for middle school, and where 6th grade is still elementary, they get left out in the cold unless some older boy wants POR credit.  I don't use NSP,  :)  but I allow the boys to and the new guys coming in tend to hang together for a while and then maybe if they want to will on their own make membership changes in the patrol.s, blending them a bit more.  

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I also spent some time on patrol method in my course. It's kind of interesting to see several of the forum members who are obviously passionate about patrol method are, or were, teachers in the Scoutmaster Specific Course.  I don't know if that says more about active members of forums or the impact on the experience of using patrol method.

 

I practiced explaining patrol method a lot to develop the right words and phrases that had the most impact in the least time to the listener. I talked to a lot of visiting Webelos parents about the differences of troop programs in the area and I found myself talking a lot about patrol method. 

 

Barry

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Now that you mention it, a couple weeks back, some parents were asking me what it would be like if their son joined the troop, and I started off with "Well, the troop operates with the boys in small groups called patrols ..."

 

So, yeah, you all have had an impact.

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By the way Eagle94-A1, the NSP vs.mixed patrol when left alone tend to favor a "layering" effect where the ages in the "mixed" patrols really aren't as mixed as many adults would like them to be.  High school kids hang with high school kids, same for middle school, and where 6th grade is still elementary, they get left out in the cold unless some older boy wants POR credit. 

Then the SM is doing it wrong. Older scouts are the refection of the quality of the whole troop. If the SM is truly teaching "take care of your boys", then most, if not all, the scouts will display the same quality; not just within certain ages, ranks or leadership positions. As was said in a different discussion, why would a SPL who learned and practiced "take of your boys" in the patrol behave any different in the SPL position?

 

Barry

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Many, including the former national head of training and the Scouter Formerly Known (in Scouting)  as "Andy," have complained about the failure to train in the Patrol Method.  One described the Patrol Method as having been "mislaid" by the authors of training materials.  The 2014 syllabus is an improvement but is still lacking as compared to the sum of the current authoritative statements by BSA.  Much less does the syllabus measure up to the words of the man who BSA expressly hailed as â€œthe foremost influence on development of the Boy Scouting program†Bill Hillcourt.  Not to mention or B-P.  .Again, the syllabus does not even have as its goal that the participant understand the Patrol Method - just parts of it.  Perhaps that is as much clarity as could be tolerated.

 

Nor is the Patrol Method described in any other single piece of current BSA literature.  All the ingredients are still there, but they are not gathered on any list or in any chapter or article. If you recognize the pieces when you see them - scattered here and there -- the sum of the parts would make Bill smile.  For example, did you notice that, "[The patrol is] the place where boys learn skills together, take on leadership responsibilities, perhaps for the first time "  The contemporary syllabus says most patrol activity is in the troop context - perhaps an accurate a description of our declining Scouting age but rather contrary to the Boy Scouting notion that a Scout experiences Scouting primarily in the patrol context, not the troop context (It's the "Patrol Method.")  The Boy Scout, for example, only" sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements." B.S.A. website 2016[emphasis added].  To what extent have we seen that the very opposite is more common, and with adults doing most of the teaching?

 

How can we be sure what the adults think they are "implementing"?   Are they refusing to follow the rules, as some here advocate, or are they simply unaware of what Scouting is - the program that they are honor bound to support?  
 
I am hopeful enough to believe that if the typical adult were told what he is supposed to do and why, he would be likely to offer Boy Scouting to youth.  That could be helped along by recognizing those "troops" that are Boy Scout troops.  
 
"So, I don't think anyone is denying the importance of a patrol method, but there seems to be a difference of opinion when it comes to implementation and flow of authority in the various models."
 
Headwaters District Scoutmaster of the Year for 2011 and PLs/SPL: "It's all optional.  I can do whatever I want.  I'm the Scoutmaster."  (This is the troop where none of the "patrol leaders"  knew to which "patrol" they had been assigned three weeks after they had been appointed by the SM/SPL.) "Why if you had them split up into patrols, the patrol leaders would have to take charge."
Edited by TAHAWK

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Many, including the former national head of training and the Scouter Formerly Known (in Scouting)  as "Andy," have complained about the failure to train in the Patrol Method.  One described the Patrol Method as having been "mislaid" by the authors of training materials.

 

I can believe this. I met one of the three authors of the 1999 Scoutmaster Specific Course syllabus and he said all three authors sent their completed sections to National without comparing each others work. National combined the sections and published the material without any help from the authors. 

 

I can see the three assuming Patrol method was explained or highlighted somewhere else, and leaving it out. And it would be an example of how small mistakes can have huge unexpected consequences.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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