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Eagle94-A1

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back.

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Well the advancement situation I've discussed in the other thread has lead to some "challenges."  That, something our older scouts commented on, and our schedule for the next four months has caused the troop's adults to take two steps back. Yep they had a meeting last nite while I was campign with Cubs Scouts, and one of the leaders doign the AT was not there,.

 

Older Scouts.

 

Our older Scouts are not happy with being split up but understand. They like that they will have a prep trip away from the rest of the troop, and time on the AT. This weekend, they could not compete since they didn't have enough members of the patrol attend to compete. So thew SPL decided to split them into the two patrols. Fair enough. SPL made the call. But apprarently they made teh comment that they want to compete as a patrol at the district camporee in 6 months.

 

Schedule.

 

Our troop's planning and follow through sucks. Long story short, the troop planned to go to Philmont, but didn't plan times to do prep trips.  One ASM not going to Philmont decided they needed a prep trip and took the planning of it on his own to helpthe Scouts out. WELL Philmont is cancelled, and he is trying to organize a AT trip, but getting everyone together fro practice is a pain. But this month 1/2 ther troop is doign a prep trip and 1/2 is going on a standard campout. next month is summercamp, and July is AT and a smaller weekend trip.  Now August was suppose to be a canoeing campout, but apparently the section of the river selected is going ot be tough. The adults planning it are saying only abotu 1/2 to 1/3 of the troop will probably qualify skills wise to make the trip,essentially the backpacking group, and the rest will have to do something on their own..Sept. is camporee prep, and since the older scoutys want to compaete one last time, Plan B, put together by the PLC with some adult influence is going to be scrapped.

 

 

So what's going to happen now?

 

All the older Scouts goign on teh AT will be in one patrol so they can do their own thing to prep for the AT on meeting nites. OK cool with that.

 

Everyone not going on the AT will be divided into two patrols. How they do the division remains to be seen and I have muy concerns.

 

SPL will be elected from the AT group since that is the  most experienced Scouts adn teh ASPL will be selected from thoss not going on the AT.

 

WAIT A MINUTE , WHAT?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!

 

Also, I was told that my estimate of 13- 24 Scouts is way off, since we usually only get 1/3 of the available new Scouts, so they will be placed in a NSP for 6 months until they can get their act together and join a standard patrol.

 

WHAT?!?!?!?! THE CURRENT NSP HAS MEMBERS WHO HAVE BEEN IN OVER A YEAR ALREADY?!?!?!?!

 

And to make sure that what happened advancement wise does't happen again, the adults are proposina adding a step in which the Scout shave to do a skills nite with the scouts to prove they are ready for the SMC and BOR

 

WHY ARE WE ADDING STEPS???? WHY CAN WE NOT LET THE SCOUTS TRAIN THEM AND TRUST THE SCOUTS TO SIGN OFF WHEN THE "STUDENT SCOUTS" DEMONSTRATE MASTERY OF THE SKILLS???

 

vENT OFF

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And now, Folks, one knows why outside interference in the Patrol Method of patrols being of like-minded friends is not a good idea and creates more headaches than it's worth.

 

In all my years as SM I've never had issues like these, but then I don't poke a stick at it until it erupts into a melee either.

 

Just because the SPL is messing with the patrols doesn't make it the patrol method.  The SPL needs to be educated as to what that means before he does more damage than what's already been done.

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I'm not going to deconstruct this consequence of a lack of common vision and unified leadership.

 

There is no reason you all couldn't pick a campsite that the through-hikers would arrive at by the end of the day and leave in the morning. training for whatever big-ticket adventure ... Check.

 

There is no reason why the influx of crossovers couldn't be handled under the assumption of 3 or 13 new scouts.

 

There is no reason why a couple of patrols couldn't be the camporee patrols and represent the troop accordingly.

 

But, until an SM fills the gap and supports one way of doing business and only hat way, the beatings will continue ...

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Maybe I'm the "troublemaker." They do a leader's meeting when I have to do BORs. Then this leaders' meeting at camp when 1 leader is scouting out a new trail for the AT folks since we cannot do the original trail due to lack of permits, and I'm with the Cub Scouts in Cub World.

 

Am I paranoid, or am I paranoid enough? ;)

 

Seriously though. this  statement says it all IMHO

 

"lack of common vision and unified leadership."

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Common vision is derived from the program of the BSA.

 

Unified leadership is derived from the training program of the BSA.

 

I would suggest maybe as an alternative or even a last resort, run the troop according to ideals of the BSA.

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I would suggest maybe as an alternative or even a last resort, run the troop according to ideals of the BSA.

 

 

"There not ready for that." is the excuse I'm told.

 

My plan B is to focus on which ever patrol I'm assigned to or my son's patrol, or both. There may be a lot of patrol camp outs being planned.

 

Sad thing is this, my middle Son's Webelos Den is performing better than some of the patrols.

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By "they" I'm assuming the adults?  Maybe it's time they do get ready, they're the adults, i.e. the grown-ups!  If per chance the "they" refers to the boys, then yes, they have been deprived of the appropriate outdoor education, leadership program that BSA has advertised.  Read the Scouting brochure and start doing the program as promised.  Disfunctional troops are cheating the boys of what they paid for.  They call it "Bait-and-Switch" in the marketing world.  Promise one thing deliver another. 

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... at camp when 1 leader is scouting out a new trail for the AT folks since we cannot do the original trail due to lack of permits ...

 

Can somebody help me with this? What is involved in "scouting out" a new trail? Isn't that something a "scout" should do? As in, I unfold a trail map of PA or some state/national park on a table and say "decide where when, here are some numbers to call if you want more info." First boy how comes up with even a half-baked idea gets to run point and partner with someone (adult or older youth) to promote the hike to everyone else. Get transport to the trailhead, and deal with whatever eventualities await the weekend.

 

Honestly, E94, conditioning for the AT involves mainly getting your gear on and hiking your sorry butt around town for several weekends in a row. City locked? Maybe ask the owner of some tall building if you all can use a stairwell to practice verticals. End the day at a minor league ballpark, offering to be color guard.

 

Maybe I've been too reckless with these boys.

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Maybe I'm the "troublemaker." They do a leader's meeting when I have to do BORs. Then this leaders' meeting at camp when 1 leader is scouting out a new trail for the AT folks since we cannot do the original trail due to lack of permits, and I'm with the Cub Scouts in Cub World.

 

Am I paranoid, or am I paranoid enough? ;)

 

Seriously though. this  statement says it all IMHO

 

"lack of common vision and unified leadership."

 

Yeah, @@qwazse is wise. This is the major reason almost any project fails, whether in big business or in volunteer organizations. You need buy in from the key stakeholders (adults and scouts). If the adults don't back it, they will surely submarine you every chance they get. If they Scouts don't buy it, then even with the adult backing you are pushing rope.

 

We have this problem years ago when our unit made the change. We simply had to "wait out" the nay sayers until they left, then went about our change.

 

Hang in there. Change will happen. It may take time but when you are successful it will be worth the wait.

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Can somebody help me with this? What is involved in "scouting out" a new trail? Isn't that something a "scout" should do? As in, I unfold a trail map of PA or some state/national park on a table and say "decide where when, here are some numbers to call if you want more info." First boy how comes up with even a half-baked idea gets to run point and partner with someone (adult or older youth) to promote the hike to everyone else. Get transport to the trailhead, and deal with whatever eventualities await the weekend.

 

Honestly, E94, conditioning for the AT involves mainly getting your gear on and hiking your sorry butt around town for several weekends in a row. City locked? Maybe ask the owner of some tall building if you all can use a stairwell to practice verticals. End the day at a minor league ballpark, offering to be color guard.

 

Maybe I've been too reckless with these boys.

 

Regarding the scouting out a trail in advance, MEA CULPA, as well as a few other leaders as well. I was taught, not only in Scouts but also with another youth organization I worked for, that you not only want to use the maps, but you want someone who has been on the trail or river before.  When I was in Canada, we had local Scouts serving as guides. When I did the river expedition for my job, the trainers had all done that stretch of the river before. Yep we planned it and created extraction points, etc. when things DID hit the fan, it was nice to know that the trainers new EXACTLY where they were on the river,  and were an extraction point was. Yes our emergency had to have a medevac, and he nearly didn't make it.  Our backpacking guru has a similar story, as well as another ASM.

 

As for being reckless, I don't think so. You know your Scouts, and have been prepping. We have had minimal prepping, and we are safety paranoid. Especially with my family's history of me getting injured on a camp out, and the wife pulling out a body from the lake and doing CPR. :)

 

Yeah, @@qwazse is wise. This is the major reason almost any project fails, whether in big business or in volunteer organizations. You need buy in from the key stakeholders (adults and scouts). If the adults don't back it, they will surely submarine you every chance they get. If they Scouts don't buy it, then even with the adult backing you are pushing rope.

 

We have this problem years ago when our unit made the change. We simply had to "wait out" the nay sayers until they left, then went about our change.

 

Hang in there. Change will happen. It may take time but when you are successful it will be worth the wait.

 

Waiting out the biggest naysayer IMHO will be a challenge as he is a Scouting addict like me, plus he is the ASM who is a former youth in the troop. It seems as if he doesn't have the patience to let them screw up, and learn from their mistakes. Heck I found out that his son, who's been a CS and in the troop a year, doesn't know how to put up one of the tents! Apparently other Scouts and/or dad has been doing it for him!

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Waiting out the biggest naysayer IMHO will be a challenge as he is a Scouting addict like me, plus he is the ASM who is a former youth in the troop. It seems as if he doesn't have the patience to let them screw up, and learn from their mistakes. Heck I found out that his son, who's been a CS and in the troop a year, doesn't know how to put up one of the tents! Apparently other Scouts and/or dad has been doing it for him!

 

When we are making the change way back when, one of older, wiser ASMs would cook a great Friday snack for the adults, including dessert. It was amazing how many adults couldn't find the time to put up Timmy's tent when there was good adult food available. ;)

 

Timmy got tired of waiting and finally put up his own tent. Amazing the power of food!

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Interesting night. Where to begin.

 

I admit I see the issues some of the leaders are complaining about: lack of skills. My thought process is to get the Scouts to teach the skills themselves or using the skills on camp outs vs. skill review nights or verification check offs before SMC or BORs.

 

So I came up with an idea: Intra-Patrol Olympics. Yes the youth need to say yes or no to it, but the Olympics would A) learn/refresh/ review skills B) competition would rrevive patrol spirit and teamwork in the new patrols, and C) give the adults a chance to see what the Scouts really know and feeling more confident in allowing the Scouts to sign off on advancement and running things. It could be done over a month and have some fun doing it.

 

The biggest naysayer won't even listen to the proposal. " I'm done" and walks away.

 

I admit it was disturbing.

 

SM discusses what was discussed at the leader's meeting Saturday nite with the Scouts, i.e. what was discussed above, and what was going to happen. Older Scout patrol will essentially remain, and will be doing their  own thing. Other two patrols will be redistributed so that a mix of experience will result.

 

Here is where it gets interesting. SPL had to be one of the older Scouts. Now I admit I like First Class and above AND time as a PL in order to be SPL. I firmly beleive you got to have experience facing the problems a PL has in order to help mentor a PL, and one of the SPL's jobs is counseling the PLs. So I'm good with that.

 

But since the bulk of the older Scouts are going on the AT, the ASPL had to be ELECTED (emphasis) from one of the Scouts not going on the AT. 

OK not purely patrol method with the SPL appointing his ASPL, but I can see the reasoning, the Scouts see the reasoning and are cool with it. Question was raised if the older Scouts would have to listen to the younger ASPL, and were told they were voting for the ASPL, so yes they would have to listen to him in the absence of the SPL. When the older Scouts realized they were voting for ASPL instead of appointing, they were good with that. And the ASPL elected is a good one IMHO. While not officially a PL, he was a de facto PL because his PL never showed up to a lot of stuff, and he held the patrol together.

 

2 ASMs were assigned to work with each patrol. 1 patrol's ASMs I have concerns about. The Naysayer is starting to influence another, ASM, so I have some concerns. But the other patrol has one ASM with a steady head on his shoulders and i think will moderate the other ASM. OK the steady headed ASM is a little more hands on than some may like or that I'm used to, but the way he does it is really good; it's more like a big brother. Which is how BP describes the SM's role.

 

Patrol Elections were then done in different rooms as well as coming up with flags, yells, etc. I stuck around with the older Scouts because I'm assigned to them at teh moment. My big push was telling them details about next week, and that 50 miles on the AT is not off the table IF they are willing to come up with a training regimen between now and the trip.

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Clarification with 'stuck around older Scouts."  I was not assigned a patrol. I am working with the older guys because I'm the second leader on the prep backpacking trip in 2 weeks. Also since 1 of their ASMs is on call alot and can leave at the drop of a hat, I'll be helping with them.

 

Upon reflection it may be a good thing I'm not assigned to a patrol. I'm against the Webelos III format it's turning into, and I can work with the older scouts.

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‎On the bright side, there's a hike in your future!

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