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The PLC Has Decided: Mixed Aged Patrols in May

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So the PLC had a lengthy meeting last night. After doing all the pros and cons on NSPs versus Mixed Aged, they decided on Mixed Aged patrol effective  Monday May 2nd.

 

Once that was decided, they had to decided how to organize the new patrols. That got interesting. First thing they came up with was who NOT to put together. The Scouts knew which combinations of Scouts would be toxic. Apparently part of the NSP's problem is all the toxic combinations are in the same patrol. Once that was decided came the actual deciding. One suggestion was lining up by size. Another was a single line and  "1,2,3,1,2,3...." One was by age, but it was pointed out that essentially that is how the troop is already divided, and it aint working.

 

Eventually the idea of pulling names out of a hat came about, with the caveat of separating the toxic combinations. And essentially that is how it was done. Older Scouts in one cup, middle scouts in a second, new scouts in a 3rd.  Results are pretty balanced and I have only 1 concern. One patrol has  an older Scout in it who was SPL, and would like to run again. And will probably get it. The second older Scout in the patrol has not been seen since recharter.

 

Overall i think they did one heckuva god job.

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Overall i think they did one heckuva god job.

 

Hope it works out. That type of change is never easy.

 

Did they consider at all whether to keep friends together as much as possible?  Particularly among the younger Scouts?

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I was having the same thought as Stosh, but I do notice you say "toxic combinations" rather than "toxic Scouts." What is it about these combinations that is "toxic", and what has been done to try to resolve the issues? And how many "toxic combinations" are we talking about here?

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The boys tried it so I'm willing to give my benefit of the doubt. I will say:
 

My troop has tried this exact method, the Scouts will congregate into their natural patrols, unless quick steps are made to build patrol identies. My Troop stopped battling the natural patrol dynamic and let them form their own patrols, free for all. It's worked so far and done alot to eliminate the issues we used to have regarded patrol membership.

 

In short, Scouts will form into their preferred patrols naturally, your PLC can either battle this process or facilitate it. Clearly if what you did before wasn't working, your Scouts will not build their own patrols based on that, but I'm not sold on trying to build balanced patrols. I haven't seen that work yet. The scouts tend to abandon their assigned patrols and form into their usual gangs, (or as I've said, their natural patrols.)

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Kudos to the scouts for their initiative, and I respect the scouters for having the courage to stand back and allow the scouts the freedom to do this without a bunch of adult nitpicking.

 

Whatever wrinkles ensue, I'm sure the scouts will solve them.

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I have 4 kids like this. On their own they are great. Together they are a nightmare.

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@@Krampus

 

If left alone, do you think any of these boys would naturally want to be in the same patrol as the others?  I find that boys that don't like each other will find patrols that are different.

 

However, with that being said, I had a kid in my Cub Scout den that was a real jerk.  We even went so far as to "take it out back."  In Boy Scouts we became best friends.  Go figure.  :)

 

As an adult I don't know how all these things work out.... so I stay as far away from the selection processes as I can and for some reason the boys always seem to find a way on their own.... which makes life a lot easier for me.  :)

Edited by Stosh

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Yeah, I believe scouts want to hang with their friends.  And for the most part you can't force it.  

 

I wish you the best.  Changing from mixed age to scouts choosing their patrol is relative easy.  Switching from age based or self-picked to mixed age is harder.  Switching to "assigned" patrols I've seen too.  Scouts have quit over it.  Mainly because they are now being told they can't hang with their friends.  Usually, it's the 14/15 and higher ages that it hits hardest. 

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Yeah, I believe scouts want to hang with their friends.  And for the most part you can't force it.  

 

I wish you the best.  Changing from mixed age to scouts choosing their patrol is relative easy.  Switching from age based or self-picked to mixed age is harder.  Switching to "assigned" patrols I've seen too.  Scouts have quit over it.  Mainly because they are now being told they can't hang with their friends.  Usually, it's the 14/15 and higher ages that it hits hardest. 

I'm thinking that's because the high school aged boys have established their groupings and to mess with them will turn them off to scouting.  Hanging with my buddies was #1 with me when I was that age and when my patrol left scouting, we all left together and went into Civil Air Patrol together.  All for one, one for all.  Younger boys may adapt better to adults' messing with the groups, but as they get more mature and independent, that becomes an eventual deal-breaker.

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@@Krampus

 

If left alone, do you think any of these boys would naturally want to be in the same patrol as the others?  I find that boys that don't like each other will find patrols that are different.

 

However, with that being said, I had a kid in my Cub Scout den that was a real jerk.  We even went so far as to "take it out back."  In Boy Scouts we became best friends.  Go figure.  :)

 

As an adult I don't know how all these things work out.... so I stay as far away from the selection processes as I can and for some reason the boys always seem to find a way on their own.... which makes life a lot easier for me.  :)

 

In my case, two would hand together. The other two are partners in crime. Having them divided in to two patrols makes things easier than having them in one patrol. 

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 All for one, one for all.  

 

IMHO, that's what patrols are about.  When you choose your patrol or you have alot in common, it's easier.  When you are told who to spend your time with, I see little reason to feel that way unless you didn't have strong friendships in the troop to begin with.  

 

Anyway ... some troops can make each way work.  I strongly like NSP and scouts choosing their patrol.  That's for me and my sons.  You and yours can do differently.

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In my case, two would hand together. The other two are partners in crime. Having them divided in to two patrols makes things easier than having them in one patrol. 

 

And if one were to present this to BP I wonder what he would say about natural leadership when it comes to this type of personality?  :)  After all that ability to draw others into trouble is a strong indicator of leadership.  Just because one may not like it, it's still leadership.  Harness that and one has the basis for a great leader.  Been there, it works!

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If I recall the saga of this troop correctly, the "toxic pairings" were all about the same age, so they needed their space.

The previous configuration was micromanaged by adults.

This upcoming configuration was micromanaged by PL's using a stochastic process with Baysian priors weighted by utility (a sorting hat).

For most troops, that's about as good as it gets.

Once in a while, you get a few boys who say "Hey, we think we can make a great patrol, how about it?"

In the best of all worlds, IMHO, they recruit boys from their non-scout friends to come give it a go.

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If I recall the saga of this troop correctly, the "toxic pairings" were all about the same age, so they needed their space.

The previous configuration was micromanaged by adults.

This upcoming configuration was micromanaged by PL's using a stochastic process with Baysian priors weighted by utility (a sorting hat).

For most troops, that's about as good as it gets.

Once in a while, you get a few boys who say "Hey, we think we can make a great patrol, how about it?"

In the best of all worlds, IMHO, they recruit boys from their non-scout friends to come give it a go.

 

:)  No matter what process one uses, if they let the boys decide, then when things go awry, they have no one but themselves to blame.  I always go for that option whenever possible.  I never want to get holding the bag.

Edited by Stosh
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