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TAHAWK

BSA Program Planning web article jumps the rails

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Somewhat off topic but maybe you should review the Tools section of the Boy Scout Handbook 2016 version and the Guide to Safe Scouting on the whole knife issue.   

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss08.aspx#f

 

 

A knife with a CAN OPENER?  First off, the patrol cook boxes have can openers and nobody packs for a backcountry trip bringing cans of food.  Secondly, knives that have can openers are usually non-locking folders which are more dangerous (IMHO) than sheath knives because they can fold back on the scout's fingers when they are using them.  I regularly tell scouts and parents not to get the Swiss Army type knives because the blades aren't as sharp and you are carrying a lot more weight than you need to for all the gadgets.

 

We recently went to a scout camp.  After checking in, my son asked the Campmasters if there was any problem with the boys using sheath knives (I have a Ontario RD-7 and he has a Becker BK-9).  They said if it's not prohibited by BSA it is allowed at camp.  Son then asked if there was any problem with setting up a knife and tomahawk throwing station (we have sets of SOG throwing knives and tomahawks).  They said if it's not prohibited by BSA than it is allowed in camp. :D

 

Now I need to get a kuhkri to take to summer camp where sheath knives are banned. :p

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Oh, good, I'm glad we got that all cleared up.  So a fillet knife?  Is that a sheath knife or a food prep knife?  And seriously folks!  Why are we letting our boys put knives in the chuck boxes WITHOUT SHEATHES?  Next time they reach in to get a knife, they could seriously cut themselves.  THIS IS WHY I HAVE A KNIFE BLOCK ON MY COUNTER AND NO KNIVES IN DRAWERS!  What's the lesson here?

One lesson is that those who create "zero tolerance" rules are typically not very knowledgeable. That got us "Flash suppressors EVIL. Compensators OK." and "Telescoping stock EVIL. Folding stocks OK."

 

Remember, HH, a khukuri is a sword in a scabbard, not a knife in a sheath. "Show me the rule about swords." (^___^)

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GOOD NEWS:

 

The bizarre article on annual program planning that started this thread is GONE.

 

The longest journey begin with the first step, and this is not just the first.  We are returning to Boy Scouting.

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That's good news.  Let's hope that was intentional and that the page is not coming back.

 

As an aside, I like the BSA's "Page Not Found" page with the map and compass.  I never noticed that before.

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I can lose that whole article in a heartbeat.   Boys will never find it on the internet and all this troop planning will ultimately get lost in the discussion of patrol planning and coordination between patrols.  The adults will never outnumber the boys because we only have the SM and the ASM and they are always off jaw-jacking while these kinds of calendar discussions are being held.

 

BOR's?  Whenever necessary.

COH's 5th meeting of the month

Troop Open House - when the Webelos show up.

Service Projects - as needed, scouting for food, neighborhood clean up - spring and fall, etc.

Cross-overs - Last week in June

Summer camp we set, district sets camporees, etc. and the monthly outings are whenever the boys can get away.  two this month, maybe none next.

 

This process usually takes us about 10 minutes every year to set up.  All the rest of the plans are done on a patrol basis.  The boys plan it and the adults get to go along for fun. 

 

My boys seem quite please with the way things seem to be working out.  Spring hike coming up next month along with a Webelos outing next month, maybe some hiking thing the following month Summer camp after that.  Jury is still out on that, only a couple of experienced boys the rest will be Webelos cross-overs and we may need to lean heavily on a mess hall camp this year.  Boys haven't confirmed what they want yet.

And I guess some one DID lose it, Stosh... *laughing

Mind must be elsewhere as I couldn't fully grasp your meaning until I tried the link...*smiles

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I am informed that the problems with the website article on programming will be corrected.

 

Good.  Sometimes BSA is it's own worst enemy.  I've seen it several times where someone winged it and wrote something that sounded nice but was not based in the BSA program.  That's what the originally posted web article sounds like.  Someone winged it without realizing there were key points and ideas on how a troop should do annual planning.  

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Sorry if the thread is unclear.  The offending article is gone, removed by BSA from Scouting.org.

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On 4/7/2016 at 3:15 PM, TAHAWK said:

In several publications, BSA states that annual program planning is to be accomplished by the PLC,  led by the SPL. The SM acts as a coach for the SPL and a resource.

 

In two publications that I can find, BSA says that the SPL presents the proposed annual plan to the Troop Committee, which is to remember that program is to be Scout-planned when considering whether the Troop has sufficient resources to support the proposed program.

 

These current BSA statements are consistent with BSA policy for over eighty-five years.

 

 

Inconsistent with those eighty-five years of statements is the current BSA web article entitled "Planning."  http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/ProgramPlanning.aspx

 

This web article says the following:

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps this is, in part, simply very poor writing.  But the error in stating that the Committee, COR, and UC (and other adults) are invitees is a clear violation of BSA policy. The presence of so many adults will change the process even if, as seems unlikely, they never open their mouths. And the stated claim that they need to be there for "efficiency" suggests that they are absolutely expected to participate.  For a typical troop, the Scouts present could be outnumbered two-to-one. -- or more.

Sorry to bring this post back from the dead, but my troop is just about to through the planning process again, so I was going through the PM forum for ideas. It struck me that the article described in this ancient post sounded familiar, so I looked back at my Troop Leaders Guidebook. 

Yep. Word for word. Guess all this garbage is official now.

Any suggestions on how to provide practical training to the youth leadership on how to plan long-term? 

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17 minutes ago, LVAllen said:

Sorry to bring this post back from the dead, but my troop is just about to through the planning process again, so I was going through the PM forum for ideas. It struck me that the article described in this ancient post sounded familiar, so I looked back at my Troop Leaders Guidebook. 

Yep. Word for word. Guess all this garbage is official now.

Any suggestions on how to provide practical training to the youth leadership on how to plan long-term? 

There is some good info. in the Senior Patrol Leader Handbook.  You could use it as a starting point.  There's also a video and some suggested steps at:  https://troopleader.org/annual-planning-conference/

I view having the SPL/PLC invite other adults to the annual planning conference as a suggestion -- not policy.  If they'd be helpful (as a resource on the budget, for example), then they could be invited.  If they would be interfering in the process, then don't invite them -- have the SPL brief them at a later date.

Edited by Thunderbird

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32 minutes ago, LVAllen said:

Sorry to bring this post back from the dead, but my troop is just about to through the planning process again, so I was going through the PM forum for ideas. It struck me that the article described in this ancient post sounded familiar, so I looked back at my Troop Leaders Guidebook. 

Yep. Word for word. Guess all this garbage is official now.

Any suggestions on how to provide practical training to the youth leadership on how to plan long-term? 

I posted about this, contacted people then at National, and the page was removed some time ago.  

 

The idotic 😢 that the Patrol Method is "part of what we call the boy-led troop" is still there.  😢

Edited by TAHAWK

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9 hours ago, Eagledad said:

What exactly do you need? How to train for the planning? How to do planning? Both?

Barry

Mostly training on how to guide a relatively new SPL through the process. I don't believe he's worked through the process before, so I want to give him the support he needs so that he feels it's successful.

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1 hour ago, LVAllen said:

Mostly training on how to guide a relatively new SPL through the process. I don't believe he's worked through the process before, so I want to give him the support he needs so that he feels it's successful.

Practice

Practice with the "right" committee members and other sensitive, informed adults is good

Counseling the Committee on their proper role as supporters of the Patrol Method, inclusive of youth leadership/responsibility is also good.

  • Upvote 1

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10 hours ago, LVAllen said:

Mostly training on how to guide a relatively new SPL through the process. I don't believe he's worked through the process before, so I want to give him the support he needs so that he feels it's successful.

I usually would meet with the SPL and ASPL to discuss the process a few days before. Someone mentioned there is some good literature on the subject. I've been out of the game for a few years, so I'm not sure what is out there. But, even with all the literature, we still developed our own style or process for planning, as most troops do. 

Simplicity is how I approached guiding the SPL to leading a planning meeting. Our PLC planned for six months. Actually we planned for a year, but since the next six months was planned by the previous PLC six months ago, we review the first six months schedule and plan the following six months. Much easier because the new PLC already is running with a planned program schedule. If something needs to change, now is the time.

Anyway, we teach the SPL to go in easy stages.

1. Themes. The SPL goes around and ask each patrol leader for one monthly theme suggestion. The ASPL writes them on a big sheet of paper taped to the wall for everyone to see. The adults get to pitch an idea also. The SPL repeats asking for one theme idea until the group runs out of suggestions. By asking each patrol one at a time, he maintains control, where as if the SPL ask each patrol for all their ideas all at once, the other patrol leaders get board and start chatting with each other. One at a time and keep it moving. 

2. The SPL ask for campout location suggestions. He again ask each Patrol Leader for their suggestion until they each give one.

3. Dates. Dates are the hardest part because so many other activities, events, holidays and so forth have to be planned as well. On the other hand, a busy month of holidays, shool events and other activities can make planning easier because only one or two weekends are even open. 

Our first few planning sessions lasted 4 hours. But after the PLCs got better at it,  they manage to get the who'le year planned in less than  two hours. The key is the SPL following a strict agenda with the ASPL keeping the meeting on pace. Also, the scouts learned to ask their patrols the week before for ideas of themes and campouts so they would have them ready for the meeting.

Generally monthly troop meeting themes set the theme of the campout. But it doesn't always have to be that way. It's simple, but allow the scouts to be open minded. Also, it's good to have a discussion of the themes and campouts after the list is created to promote other ideas that can be added to the list. 

We learned to include the adults as one patrol during planning to help add fun ideas to the schedule. Typically it was the adults who suggested our first Philmont trip, Northern Tier and scuba in Mexico. Sometime scouts have to be primed of possibilities. Think big, the worst that can happen is they troop doesn't have the resources or time. Also, the adults can suggest the first-aid or pioneering type campouts. How about a shooting sports weekend of a water sports. 

Finally, back when these grueling planning sessions were four to five hours long, we created a PLC lock in so the meetings weren't limited by time. But as the meetings got better and much shorter, the lock-ins became a perk of being on the new PLC. They turned into all night video gaming. I learned quickly that a boys dream is all night pizza and video games. No sleep, just video games, junk food paid for by the troop and no lights out. I also learned to recruit a couple of dads to watch over theme while the SM went home to a nice warm bed. I got up early, picked up donuts and juice for the scouts as they waited for parents to pick them up the next morning. The boys were wiped out, but I'm told that everyone at school next Monday heard about the coolest troop in town.

Back to your question: Brief your SPL to use the agenda so that he doesn't get lost in chit chat. Guide the SPL and ASPL to allow productive talk for a couple of minutes, but then move on and keep the meeting moving. I suggest to them that the SPL is leader of the meeting, the ASPL is the hammer that keeps the meeting going forward. Truth is that these types of meetings work better with a like minded team, but ASPLs like to be called hammers for some reason. You can have as many adults as you want, but only the SM can speak. And only when the SPL calls on him. The SPL always has the floor. But they will often need some guidance from an experienced person. You will be tempted to jump in, don't. Wait for the SPL to ask for your input. So, we find that only a couple adults even want to be in the environment. I always invited our previous SM and our camping ASM to the meeting because they usually have really good ideas.

I've said a lot. Does this help any?

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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