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Hedgehog

Troop Guide in Mixed Age Patrols Without New Scout Patrol

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Q,

 

I don't disagree. Scouting done well, with participation fullfilling most requirements will happen. Either TG, nor PL are responsible for others advancement any more than encouragement and help. Patrols can have on their meeting agenda a question about what fellows need to do what, and plan adventures which include those items. Of course if a scout does other things instead, he will miss out on both adventure and advancement. That is his choice.

 

Apply that concept to parenting, teaching, and a half dozen other child development people and that sounds kinda "dumb".  Of course we don't just say, here's your training pants, let me know when you need help toilet training, I can come and cheer you on.  :p   I know what you are trying to say, but we are dealing with the newbies of the troop, not the guys 1-2 years into the program were if they haven't gotten beyond TF after 3 years, they probably aren't interested in Eagle.  Nagging isn't going to work, but maybe a concerned budge here or there might move the lad along and not miss out on the fun stuff down the road as you point out.

 

 

 

 Agreed.  That is why I won't rule out a NSP if we get 10 crossovers and won't automatically form one if we get 4.

  

@@Stosh and @@DuctTape, our issue isn't the lack of opportunity or coordinaton with the outdoor program.  We have at least one campout per year where the boys can do orienteering, a hike on half the campouts, two backpacking treks a year, etc.  The issue is like @@qwazse said, for the PLs advancement of other scouts is low on their list.  Nobody is paying attention to the fact that the guys HAVE completed the requirements and that is with TG's inserted in each patrol, presumably coordinating with the patrol leader and lots of encouragement from the Adults (i.e. suggesting one meeting a month to focus on advancement).  

 

Why is it so important to have a TG in the patrol?  Yes, the PL is ultimately responsible for the advancement and welfare of the boys in his patrol, but at the same time he has a APL who's sitting around on his hands doing nothing and so we toss in a TG to cover for the APL?  Sounds like a work around that I would be accused to to get POR credit for the APL position.   :rolleyes:    I would say, get the APL up and running on the advancement of the boys, he's the #1 right hand man for the PL to be assisting with the patrol members anyway, why not just make him functional and earn his stripe.

 

 

My sense is that the we give the other folks who would be TGs within a patrol the Instructor patches and leave them within the patrol and develop clear responsibilities.  Part of problem solved. 

 

Riddle me Joker, why can't the APL be doing this?  Or is he too busy waiting around for the PL to miss a meeting?  Have functional patrol officers and one doesn't need a half-dozen troop officers and adults to meddle in the affairs of the patrols!

 

Right now, that is being done by the ASMs.  My sense is that should be done by a boy.  That really is what I see as the problem, ASMs intervening to make sure the boys pay attention to advancement.  You pinpoint the exact scouts that I'm worried about -- the ones that won't ask for help.  

 

Of course, if the boys don't function in their responsibilities the adults will and DO take over!

 

So I see a guy (APL) working with guys in his patrol and others with teaching skills ()coordinated by the APL) and signing off on requirements (by the PL having been reported by the APL),, being a friend to the new scouts and working as a Den Chief.  This is the guy (APL) that goes over to the scout sitting by himself on a campout and asks if he is OK, that goes into his tent to get a sweatshirt for the scout who's jacket got wet because he left it outside his tent.  He is doing the job and I want him to continue doing the job and be recognized as a leader  (That's why they call him the Assistant Patrol LEADER).  :huh: .  

 

 

The patrols seem to be functionally oriented toward deciding what to do for the one week a month they are in charge of the Troop activity portion of the meeting.  The adults do keep their distance and the SMs and ASMs are reacting to the boy leaders not taking care of their boys related to advancement (That's because they aren't doing their job in the first place)..  For most of the PLs the concept of advancement seems to be treated as an adult agenda item (Maybe someone ought to clue them in that it's THEIR job and the PL has an APL that can help him with it!!) ("does anyone need help with advancement... no?  OK, let's do something fun now").  If one has the PL's looking to the adults to tell them anything, then it is obvious that the PL/SPL boys are NOT in the lead position in the troop.

 

 

 

My sense is to give the boy the TG patch, tell him that his job through next March is to do the things that are bolded in the description below and that if we have enough scouts to have a NSP, we will have one (from crossover through summer camp or sooner if the boys in the patrol want to integrate into the troop).  Most likely the majority of scouts crossing over would be from the Den he is the Den Chief for, so that role would seem natural. 

  1. Troop Guide

    • Introduce new Scouts to troop operations.

    • Guide new Scouts through early Scouting activities.

    • Help set and enforce the tone for good Scout behavior within the troop.

    • Ensure older Scouts never harass or bully new Scouts.

    • Help new Scouts earn the First Class rank in their first year.

    • Coach the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol on his duties.

    • Work with the patrol leader at patrol leaders’ council meetings.

    • Attend patrol leaders’ council meetings with the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol.

    • Assist the assistant Scoutmaster with training.

    • Coach individual Scouts on Scouting challenges. 

If you happen to have a true NSP then YES, go with a TG that will fulfill the role of teaching the PL/APL/Scribe/QM their roles in the patrol, but also function as the supporting APL of the NSP on the important issue of advancement.  That shouldn't be left to the newbie APL.

 

If one doesn't have a NSP and blends the boys into other patrols, then I would get the APL's functioning ASAP.   Why have TG's doing the APL's job for him while he sits on his hands?

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Hedge, I apologize. I thought I was being clear my response was specific to just one comment earlier.

 

As to your specific issue, the PLs or TGs need only encourage, but not babysit. Advancement is the individual scout's responsibility, not the PL, TG, nor mommy. These others should encourage, and help provide the opportunities, but getting a book signed, or setting up a sm conference or bor is the scout's own responsibility. Definitely not an adults job. Do not do for rhe scout, what they can do for themselves. Some may not care about getting things signed off.

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Hedge, I apologize. I thought I was being clear my response was specific to just one comment earlier.

 

As to your specific issue, the PLs or TGs need only encourage, but not babysit. Advancement is the individual scout's responsibility, not the PL, TG, nor mommy. These others should encourage, and help provide the opportunities, but getting a book signed, or setting up a sm conference or bor is the scout's own responsibility. Definitely not an adults job. Do not do for rhe scout, what they can do for themselves. Some may not care about getting things signed off.

 

@@DuctTape

 

I want to focus in on the highlighted issue above.  I totally agree it's the boy's responsibility to get his advancement done, but in order for the PL/APL to help him they have to be attuned to his needs and make the appropriate opportunities available.  If little Johnny need to do cooking on an outing, the APL should know this and make sure the PL is aware so he can offer little Johnny a chance to get that requirement done.  I hear way too often, it's not the PL's job to watch things like that, but in my troop/patrols that is a major requirement for "taking care of your boys," to know where they stand with advancement and make sure the opportunities are there for them.  It's not doing the requirement, it's just making sure the boy has the chance to even make a choice for himself.

 

I use the APL interchangeably with the TG depending on whether or not the APL is trained (NSP) and the responsibility would pass to the TG for the new scouts.  Otherwise if it's an older patrol or 2nd year patrol or non-tiered patrol, then I would think the responsibility would fall to the PL/APL team to monitor their members.

 

Stosh, we are on the same page. What you call concerned budge is what I call encourage.

Edited by Stosh

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@@Stosh - I agree that the PLs and APLs should be doing this.  But that has proved harder in practice in part because of our focus on boy-led.  The issue has been discussed at PLC meetings by the SPL based on a mention by the SM.  But, it seems that everyone agrees that they need to do something, but forget when they go to their patrol meetings because of everthing else they are judgling.  So I'll admit that my adult solution is to put a boy who cares in charge of taking care of the new guys.  It beats micromanaging how the PLs operate.  There are a lot of other priorities that I'd like to see the PL's focus on improving and change is gradual.

 

@@DuctTape - I was responding to your earlier post about planning adventures that include advancement.  The boys do that naturally.  The problem is there is no encouragement concerned nudging, follow-up or assistance regarding advancement.  I think the idea is to have someone ask, "what do you need to do for the next rank?"  If the answer is I don't know, then the follow up is "bring in your book next week and we can look at it together."  Once the scout who is advancing identifies what he need to do, the question from the scout assisting is "how can I help you?"  Also, there is a benefit to having one person that anyone in the Troop can go to to ask Scout through First Class advancement questions.  The greatest predictor of success in any aspect of life is knowing that someone else cares that you succeed.

 

That behind the scenes, one-on-one encouragement also answers the question how a someone in the position I'm imagining can function without undermining the PL or APL.  They don't interfere with or even attend a patrol meeting, but just looks out for the new guys in every way (see list of duties above).

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@@Hedgehog, the more I hear about your situation, the more I think "service project."

 

Your boys have shunned the system where a TG would share direct contact with the first-years.

You want the PL/APL to care, but they have a bunch of other tasks that they find more engaging.

You have a boy who you are trying to fit into a position, to whom you could just as easily fit a project.

A TG pulling the first-years aside from each patrol, might disrupt the PL's agenda. (The PL might not describe it as such. He might not even be bothered by it. But that's immaterial.)

But, patrols being challenged to benchmark skills acquisition of T2FC boys might help them perform to your satisfaction.

 

So, maybe here is how the project plays out:

  • Tell him the troop could use a 2016 trail to 1st class poster ... basically some large-rule graph paper grids.
    • You may have to explain that, once upon a time, spreadsheets in the cloud were hard to come by. ;)
  • He makes a quadrant for each patrol. One row per scout (even the ones in upper ranks), one column per requirement.
  • He finds a central location to post it.
  • Cells get colored in as often as a scout is seen demonstrating a skill this year. (PL's responsibility to report what was done ... honor system.) He might want to use colored tacs to represent if a scout demonstrated it on one, two, or three separate occasions.
  • A rank advancement might get a string of cells blocked in a special base color (e.g. a strip of felt or colored tape),
  • Patrols get points based on color-weight of the cells. The SPL may receive a report on current standings.
  • Maybe, he could take a picture of it every whip-stitch, and that becomes your troop website's home page.
  • Maybe there's another scout who could cobble together weekly pictures of the poster to make a time-lapse of the movie of the poster amassing color!

With things like these, I feel the only award needed is bragging rights. But, I think if you would like to bring the point home, a patch from your collection to the PL with the best colored grid might be in order. :D

 

This keeps your scout, with the help of the SPL, putting the heat on the PL/APL and getting younger scouts to notice how what they do might fit into some bigger plan. It might motivate other scouts to demonstrate those skills just for the silly of it:

"Mr. H, I did a 20 miler last weekend, can I stack 4 pins on my 2nd Class 5 mile hike?"

"Did you navigate?"

"No, the map was too heavy. I let Johnny carry it."

"Well, grab those four pins. AND PUT 'EM ON JOHNNY's SQUARE!"

 

For the scout in question, this gives him measurable goals in developing and implementing a chart. It allows him to interface with other leaders, and provides a concrete service to the troop. Finally, it is amenable to after-action review, which he could do with the PLC or the troop as a whole depending on his maturity. All of those are very useful activities that will prepare him for a future PoR.

Edited by qwazse
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I thought about our discussion as I mowed the lawn this afternoon....

 

At the end of the day, it isn't about the various organizational contrivances that can be made to accommodate a certain outcome.   It's about the scouts.

 

We know two things:  scouts like to be with their pals.   And scouts want to be outdoors.  Anything that takes away from these two things is bound to demotivate the scouts, and we know the results from there.

 

PLs lead the patrol and look after their scouts.   Patrols plan and execute activities that are fun and if possible, also fulfill requirements for advancement (as DuctTape said so well earlier).

 

When a patrol leader teaches, he's really growing as a leader as well.

Edited by desertrat77

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One has to start some place.

 

"

@Stosh - I agree that the PLs and APLs should be doing this.  But that has proved harder in practice in part because of our focus on boy-led.  The issue has been discussed at PLC meetings by the SPL based on a mention by the SM.  But, it seems that everyone agrees that they need to do something, but forget when they go to their patrol meetings because of everthing else they are judgling.  So I'll admit that my adult solution is to put a boy who cares in charge of taking care of the new guys.  It beats micromanaging how the PLs operate.  There are a lot of other priorities that I'd like to see the PL's focus on improving and change is gradual."

 

@@Hedgehog  Let me guess at this one.  Your boys have yet to figure out the difference between leadership and management.  Boy led is not just boy managed.  GBB training has management tasks for everyone in the patrol.  If everyone is managing their tasks, then real leadership can take place which doesn't seem to be happening in your situation.  The PL/APL team is overwhelmed with management that they can't do leadership of taking care of the people they are responsible for.  If there's micro-managing going on anywhere in the system, it usually is a major red flag for task overload and the first casualties are the people involved. 

 

I think you run your PLC far differently than I do when I had one.  Nothing "came down from the top" so to speak.  The PLC was not a management tool in as much as it was a support system for the PL's.  It's a group that takes care of it's people, i.e. the PL's.  This is one of the concerns I have run into in the past.  Trading the adult mandated management for boy mandated management is not a move towards boy led, only boy managed or boy run.  Boy led is where the leaders lead rather than having managers direct.  I really don't worry about boys not doing the tasks correctly, or on time, or according to any standard as long as the boys are cared for and don't feel alone or on their own.  As long as the PL assures each member they are working together for a common goal for everyone, they will all follow and get the job done.  Far easier to live with those dynamics than some prescribed management routine of operation. 

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@qwaze - I like your idea, but my sense is to let the boy who wants to do this figure out his own way.

 

At the end of the day, it isn't about the various organizational contrivances that can be made to accommodate a certain outcome.   It's about the scouts.

 

After thinking about this, my sense is that I let the scout that wants to take this role do it.  It works for him as a learning experience, it helps the other scouts with advancement.  What I've realized that I'm tripping over is the organizational contrivances that I'm trying to fit this into.  If the boy wants to help others with advancement, then the most important thing is that he be given that chance.

 

@@Hedgehog  Let me guess at this one.  Your boys have yet to figure out the difference between leadership and management.  Boy led is not just boy managed.  GBB training has management tasks for everyone in the patrol.  If everyone is managing their tasks, then real leadership can take place which doesn't seem to be happening in your situation.  The PL/APL team is overwhelmed with management that they can't do leadership of taking care of the people they are responsible for.  If there's micro-managing going on anywhere in the system, it usually is a major red flag for task overload and the first casualties are the people involved. 

 

I think you run your PLC far differently than I do when I had one.  Nothing "came down from the top" so to speak.  The PLC was not a management tool in as much as it was a support system for the PL's.  It's a group that takes care of it's people, i.e. the PL's.  This is one of the concerns I have run into in the past.  Trading the adult mandated management for boy mandated management is not a move towards boy led, only boy managed or boy run.  Boy led is where the leaders lead rather than having managers direct.  I really don't worry about boys not doing the tasks correctly, or on time, or according to any standard as long as the boys are cared for and don't feel alone or on their own.  As long as the PL assures each member they are working together for a common goal for everyone, they will all follow and get the job done.  Far easier to live with those dynamics than some prescribed management routine of operation. 

 

I don't understand your distinction between leadership and management.  To me, leadership is working with others to decide what needs to be done, how it will be done and then getting it done.  Management is checking boxes on someone elses checklist without knowing why you are doing it.

 

What I have is a boy who wants to lead by helping others progress in ranks because he sees a need in the Troop.  How will he do it?  I don't know.  Can he work with the PLC in organizing the outdoor program and the monthly themes to hit some hard to accomplish requirements?  Can he talk to the PLs and APLs to have them pay attention to a couple of scouts who need requirements? Can he reach out to the shy guys and offer them help and encouragement?  Can he invite a guy over his house to teach him lashings or take time on a campout or hike to show someone how to use a map an compass?  Can he pull someone out of the troop portion of a meeting to sign off on requirements?  Of course to all of those.  Is it up to him to decide how he does it?  Of course.

 

I have a boy who wants to take care of the boys in the troop.  What would you do if a scout asked, "can I be in charge of helping all the new guys get settled in the troop and advance?"  

 

Should I tell him that it is up the the Assistant Patrol Leaders in each patrol but because we are a boy led troop I have to wait until the SPL notices the problem and addresses it? 

 

Or should I just give him a one word answer....LEAD.

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@@Hedgehog, that was just by way of example. What you want to make clear to the boy is that there is no boiler-plate way to get this done. Thus, giving him a POR patch will not help him have reasonable goals. But devising a project with measurable goals will. Obviously, the more that those goals are self-designed, the more likely they are to be implemented.

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@qwaze - I like your idea, but my sense is to let the boy who wants to do this figure out his own way.

 

 

After thinking about this, my sense is that I let the scout that wants to take this role do it.  It works for him as a learning experience, it helps the other scouts with advancement.  What I've realized that I'm tripping over is the organizational contrivances that I'm trying to fit this into.  If the boy wants to help others with advancement, then the most important thing is that he be given that chance.

 

 

I don't understand your distinction between leadership and management.  To me, leadership is working with others to decide what needs to be done, how it will be done and then getting it done.  Management is checking boxes on someone elses checklist without knowing why you are doing it.

 

Because people use the two terms interchangeably without regards to the situation it is very confusing as to how it all operates.   Are we talking WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE as a task to accomplish (management) or does it not sound like people in the process are of no consequence other than to help get IT done?  The prime objective is to do what needs to be done.  That's management.  How it (the task) is to be done is a judgment call of a manager.  If he doesn't care about the people, it makes no never mind WHO does it as long as the prime objective of the task is done,  and finally the most important thing here is "getting it done".   So what does any of that have to do with taking care of other people when the #1 priority is doing the job, not taking care of the people? 

 

What I have is a boy who wants to lead by helping others progress in ranks because he sees a need in the Troop.  

 

And the troop is in need.  What does that have to do with caring for the boy who needs help progressing in the ranks?  Two different attitudes in approaching the situation.  Boy needs to progress so it will look good for the troop to have everyone at FC.  How is that helping the boy?  It may or it may not.  A leader will first ask if the BOY wants to advance.  If not, THERE IS NO TASK NEEDING TO BE DONE.  :)

 

How will he do it?  I don't know.  

 

Neither do I, it all depends on the management style of the boy doing the work (task).

 

Can he work with the PLC in organizing the outdoor program and the monthly themes to hit some hard to accomplish requirements?  

 

All tasks again, we're still talking management.

 

Can he talk to the PLs and APLs to have them pay attention to a couple of scouts who need requirements?

 

Giving directives to collect data to justify the tasks?

 

Can he reach out to the shy guys and offer them help and encouragement?  

 

Okay, now we shift a bit.  This is the first time a person is brought into the picture.  NOW WE HAVE A REAL LIVE PERSON TO LEAD!  :)  We aren't talking tasks here, it's taken on a personal relationship dynamic of one person leading another! 

 

Can he invite a guy over his house to teach him lashings or take time on a campout or hike to show someone how to use a map an compass?

 

Or maybe he just takes the young scout aside and says, "What can I do to help." and wait for the boy to identify his needs.  This is how he takes care of the boy.  He doesn't organize tasks, lesson plans, activities.... he just takes an interest in the boy and offers to help him with his concerns.

 

 Can he pull someone out of the troop portion of a meeting to sign off on requirements?  Of course to all of those.  Is it up to him to decide how he does it?  Of course.

 

No, it's up to the young scout to decide what help he needs and this scout needs to be prepared to roll up his sleeves and do what it takes to take care of the boy!  THIS IS LEADERSHIP.

 

I have a boy who wants to take care of the boys in the troop.  What would you do if a scout asked, "can I be in charge of helping all the new guys get settled in the troop and advance?"

 

If he was a really good manager, I would give him a chance, but it would be a lot easier if he were a leader.  A servant leader doesn't need to be "in charge" of anything, that's a management dynamic/directive.  

 

Should I tell him that it is up the the Assistant Patrol Leaders in each patrol but because we are a boy led troop I have to wait until the SPL notices the problem and addresses it? 

 

If the APL (or the PL) aren't really interested in taking care of the patrol members, then it doesn't make one bit of difference how many hoop opportunities they create for the boys, if the boys aren't going to follow they are wasting their time.  The boys will follow those who are interested in helping them with their needs, whatever that might be.

 

Or should I just give him a one word answer....LEAD.

 

But does he even know what that word means?  :)

 

PL: Next Saturday we will be doing the 5 mile hike for advancement.  Be there.  (That's the task)

Johnny: My family is going to be out of town this weekend.

PL: That's too bad because we won't be doing this 5 mile hike for advancement again until next year. (management)

PL: Don't worry about it, between the the APL and I we can figure something out for you (taking care of his boys).

 

Is the #1 priority, the advancement (management) or is it the boy (leadership)?

 

One doesn't need to be in charge of anything, all they have to do is care about helping the people around them.  "Help other people at all times!"  What to do to help is not as important as stepping up and being there for someone who needs help.

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Yah, hmmmm...

 

@@Hedgehog, it seems like da troop is runnin' fine, eh?  The boys have real patrols they identify with.  Your retention numbers are very good (way better than @@Stosh's this year ;)).  From what yeh say, the lads are learning things.

 

I'm still wonderin' what da problem is?  

 

Let's face it, Advancement is often exactly what your lads describe, eh?  An "adult agenda" item that they're not interested in, especially when it doesn't relate to their fun and adventure, or involves a lot of paperwork.  Rather than create a bunch of adult-assigned PORs to try to get reluctant boys to adopt the adult agenda, why don't yeh take a Saturday BBQ with your youth leaders and talk about what they think.   It might be enlightening.

 

To bring it back to more of a kid game, yeh need to get off the field and stop directing the game, eh?  Yeh just need to set up da rules to incentivize what yeh want from the lads.  Put up a poster so they can see advancement in each patrol and (naturally) compare.  Give 'em patrol points for advancement or whatnot.  The boys' strategies should be up to them, eh?  Maybe the Beaver PL takes it on himself; maybe da Bobwhite PL assigns advancement to a Patrol Signer-offer, maybe da Eagle PL decides to hold separate patrol advancement nights or day trips.   Whatever!   Advancement is part of the youth game, it isn't an adult goal.

 

Maybe after yeh talk to the boys, yeh discover all yeh need to do is find a way to streamline the bloody paperwork. :p

 

If your boys are growing in character, fitness, and citizenship, then things are fine.  They're enjoying things, the young lads are staying, the old boys are staying around, they're all learning.   You're doin' great.

 

Beavah

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@@Hedgehog, that was just by way of example. What you want to make clear to the boy is that there is no boiler-plate way to get this done. Thus, giving him a POR patch will not help him have reasonable goals. But devising a project with measurable goals will. Obviously, the more that those goals are self-designed, the more likely they are to be implemented.

 

That is another "adult goal" that I have - asking the boys in all positions to set goals for their positions and to think about (and maybe plan) how to accomplish them.

 

@@Stosh, I think our definitions are more similar than different.  When I talk about "what needs to be done", I'm talking about goal setting.  Leadership can be an individual setting a goal ("I'm going to organize the troop gear") or a group goal ("Our patrol is going to teach lashing skills").  Management is "We have to arrange the troop gear  because the ASM told us to."  Deciding "How to do it" can be leadership by an individual (asking others to help him because they agree the task is important) or a group (deciding who will teach which lashing based on knowledge, who will get the rope and sticks, who will come up with ideas of what to make using lashings).  Management is "the ASM told me to get you to help with the gear and gave me the diagram of how it should be arranged" or "the SPL said to build tripods using the lashings described in the book because that is easy."  Getting it done can be management in telling people what to do or it can be leadership in inspiring people to do the task.

 

Management is telling people what to do to get the job done, but leadership is teaching, mentoring, inspiring, encouraging, reassuring, pushing, praising, helping and cajoling people as they get the job done.  The same task can be management or leadership.

 

 

 Boy needs to progress so it will look good for the troop to have everyone at FC.  How is that helping the boy?  It may or it may not.  A leader will first ask if the BOY wants to advance.  If not, THERE IS NO TASK NEEDING TO BE DONE.   :)

 

 

I guess I wasn't clear on the "need."  I think that some boys who want to advance are falling through the cracks because nobody is paying attention to them.  This isn't about numbers, this is about the boys feeling like they are part of the program.  In a word, they need a little guidance,

 

All tasks again, we're still talking management.

 

 

I see taking initiative and coming up with ideas and working with others to implement those ideas as leadership.

 

 

A servant leader doesn't need to be "in charge" of anything, that's a management dynamic/directive.  

 

 

True.  But giving someone a position of responsibility based on what they are doing is an encouragement to keep doing that.  Especially when there are others who have patches but do not take responsibility (another issue, but not for this thread).

 

But does he even know what that word means?   :)

 

 

 
If he has a goal and that is the only instruction I give him, he will figure it out if he doesn't know already.
 

 

To bring it back to more of a kid game, yeh need to get off the field and stop directing the game, eh?  Yeh just need to set up da rules to incentivize what yeh want from the lads.  Put up a poster so they can see advancement in each patrol and (naturally) compare.  Give 'em patrol points for advancement or whatnot.  The boys' strategies should be up to them, eh?  Maybe the Beaver PL takes it on himself; maybe da Bobwhite PL assigns advancement to a Patrol Signer-offer, maybe da Eagle PL decides to hold separate patrol advancement nights or day trips.   Whatever!   Advancement is part of the youth game, it isn't an adult goal.

 

 

 

As I mentioned above, it isn't a sense of advancment metrics but of people who want to advance not receiving the assistance and encouragement they need.  

 

I tend to stay away from any "rules" if I can avoid it.  We could easily put in adult dictates that the PL's provide a list of requirements signed off on over the past month at the PLC meeting (ugh more paperwork).  We've tried gently encouraging the PLs to pay attention -- which was ineffective and brought @@Stosh's wrath as being top down adult management. 

 

As I've read through all the responses here, the solution that makes the most sense to me is to tell the boy who wants to do this to just do it.  It isn't an adult dictate requiring metrics and analytics.  The boy will figure out what he has to do to take care of the younger scouts.  I won't tell him what he has to do, but I'll just tell him that it is up to him to firgure out what is best and to work with the boys and others in the troop to accomplish it.  

 

 

One doesn't need to be in charge of anything, all they have to do is care about helping the people around them. 

 

But it is amazing the sense of responsibility and purpose some boys get when they are told they are truly in charge.  I think B-P and GBB knew that.  

 

Whether we have an NSP or not next spring, my decision is to give this boy the TG patch now and tell him to take care of the newer guys.  

 

We often talk about giving someone the credit for the position they are doing despite the patch.  Last night this boy was going through Scout requirements with a new scout.  He was talking about the troop leadership.  When he explained the TG role as "helps the new guys get used to being Boy Scouts and helps them with working toward First Class" the new scout looked at him and said, "that's you, right?"  The scout looked at me and I nodded.

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@@Hedgehog

 

Excellent discussion!

 

@Stosh, I think our definitions are more similar than different.  When I talk about "what needs to be done", I'm talking about goal setting.  And that's where I define it squarely in a management position.   Leadership can be an individual setting a goal ("I'm going to organize the troop gear") I'm going to do something and I don't need anyone to follow?  How is that leadership?  Organizing a task is not people driven, it is task/goal driven.  or a group goal ("Our patrol is going to teach lashing skills") Whether anyone shows up or not?  Maybe no one shows up because the boys don't need another task, all they need is someone to help them directly, person to person,   Management is "We have to arrange the troop gear  because the ASM told us to."  Correct!  Deciding "How to do it" can be leadership How to do a task is simply management style.  It can be done by an individual (asking others to help him because they agree the task is important) Leaders don't ask people to follow, people follow leaders because they are leading.  :)  or a group (deciding who will teach which lashing based on knowledge, who will get the rope and sticks, who will come up with ideas of what to make using lashings).  Management is "the ASM told me to get you to help with the gear and gave me the diagram of how it should be arranged" or "the SPL said to build tripods using the lashings described in the book because that is easy."  Getting it done can be management in telling people what to do or it can be leadership in inspiring people to do the task.  I think you're confusing motivational management with leadership.  Motivational management ranges from telling someone what to do down to coercing someone to do it or carrot and stick, threats, punishment or any one of a number of other motivational management techniques.  How many people are there because they like the leader and will do it whether they are asked or not?  That's not motivational management, that's leadership.

 

Management is telling people what to do to get the job done, but leadership is teaching, mentoring, inspiring, encouraging, reassuring, pushing, praising, helping and cajoling people as they get the job done.  Nope, that's motivational management. The same task can be management or leadership.  Leaders don't do tasks, they lead people.  Managers do tasks.

 

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 Boy needs to progress so it will look good for the troop to have everyone at FC.  How is that helping the boy?  It may or it may not.  A leader will first ask if the BOY wants to advance.  If not, THERE IS NO TASK NEEDING TO BE DONE.   :)

 

I guess I wasn't clear on the "need."  I think that some boys who want to advance are falling through the cracks because nobody is paying attention to them.  That's because they aren't being lead.  No leader is taking care of them.  There is no leader paying attention.  This isn't about numbers, this is about the boys feeling like they are part of the program.  In a word, they need a little guidance,  No, they need a leader that cares about them, genuinely wants them to be a part of the leader's group, and makes the boy feel he's part of the group of other followers.   They don't need guidance, they need to feel cared for.

 

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All tasks again, we're still talking management.

 

I see taking initiative and coming up with ideas and working with others to implement those ideas as leadership.

 

I see helping others with THEIR ideas and working to see to it THEY are successful with their ideas, supporting them, keeping them focused and feeling part of the greater whole is leadership.  The TASKS ARE NOT AS IMPORTANT AS THE PEOPLE to a leader.

 

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A servant leader doesn't need to be "in charge" of anything, that's a management dynamic/directive.  

 

True.  But giving someone a position of responsibility based on what they are doing is an encouragement to keep doing that.  Especially when there are others who have patches but do not take responsibility (another issue, but not for this thread).  Position of RESPONSIBILITY is not a leadership goal.  Doing the task of Patrol Leader does not make them a leader.  All they need do is satisfy a list of tasks and they get credit for having the ABILITY to RESPOND to the task at hand.  RESPONSE-ABILITY is the original Latin root words to our modern day word.  They don't need to lead to respond.

 

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But does he even know what that word means?   :)

 

 
If he has a goal (Task) and that is the only instruction I give him, he will figure it out if he doesn't know already.  And that is the mark/trait of a good manager! 
 
Hedge, you've got a great handle on management for your boys.  I have no doubt that there are great things happening in your troop and patrols, but are there boys that stand out that are always there when needed?  Always cheerful and willing to volunteer to help others?  Who will work with another boy because he needs help and for no other reason?  That's a dynamic that is VERY difficult to teach a boy.  They have to want to care in order to be an effective servant leader.  For me people who serve others, regardless of what the "task" may be is what leadership is all about.  If I set a goal for myself, what makes anyone automatically want to follow me?  No one.  If I have a task assigned to me, what makes anyone automatically want to help me?  No one.  But if I have been there for someone when they needed help with a goal or task (management) and I was always there with sleeves rolled up ready to go, I was there to sit with the homesick buddy, who helped him find his necker slide when he lost it, who will buddy up with him even if I didn't need to go to the latrine.... will he be there fore me when I have a task I need having done?  More likely than if I have a task and I have to ask, demand, coerce, bribe someone to help out because no one is following me because I haven't paid my dues as a true leader.

 

Whenever I get a boy that comes and says, "The other boys won't listen to me."  I always tell them that it's because no one is following.  What did YOU do to help them want to follow?  They have a task and they can't get it done with the help of others it's because they have a management task to do and no leadership built up so that others want to help.  So they have to resort to threats, rosters, coercion, delegation, (all management techniques) to get the task done.  I can always tell when a boy cares more about the task than the people.  It's what separates him from a manager/director and a true leader.

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I tend to stay away from any "rules" if I can avoid it.  We could easily put in adult dictates that the PL's provide a list of requirements signed off on over the past month at the PLC meeting (ugh more paperwork).  We've tried gently encouraging the PLs to pay attention -- which was ineffective and brought @@Stosh's wrath as being top down adult management. 

 

Yah, sorry.  Often my furry accent makes me hard to understand.   Either that or my silly word choice.  :o

 

I didn't really mean "rules" the way yeh took it here.  I was thinkin' more in terms of "rules for the game", like how yeh score.    Perhaps a better way would be to say "set up the environment".   

 

Scoutin' is all about settin' up the environment for kids to play in, so that they learn from playin'.   We're like video game designers, eh?  We don't get involved in the play, but we try to tweak the game to make it addictive and make the lads learn something.

 

Right now what you're sayin' is that in the game your kids are playin', they aren't valuing gettin' the cloth patches (or helpin' their mates get the cloth patches).   Yeh could try to encourage 'em as an adult to do that, and a few might try for a bit because of their relationship with you.  But after a bit they're goin' to go back to playin' the game and "forget".   Yeh could try to make a micromanagin' "rule" like what yeh suggest.  Then you'll get grudging compliance with da rule without any real advancement, and the boys will go back to playin' the game.

 

I'm suggestin' that yeh just up the value of cloth patches in the game somehow.   Then the boys will pay attention because it's part of their game, and they'll work out how to get 'em.  

 

First, consider makin' 'em harder.   Levels are only worth blastin' away at if it takes yeh real effort to overcome them so you can brag to your mates.   Lots of troops have taken "no adding" well into "actively subtracting" land.     If yeh just breeze through a level with no setbacks, yeh can't brag about it.   If your character gets eaten by giant spiders a dozen times, and then it takes yeh a month to get past the flaming lizards, then yeh have braggin' rights.  Same with advancement, eh?  Boys will value it more if it's more challengin'.

 

Second, find ways of incentivizing patrolmates to help each other, eh?  Advancement is an individual game in a lot of ways, which is why too much focus on advancement at camp breaks da Patrol Method.   So yeh have to find a way to give a whole patrol "credit" in the game for when one of 'em advances. 

 

Third, try to limit da paperwork chase.   Kids hate that.   I always say the best way for a lad to earn Canoeing MB is just to go canoeing, eh?  With a counselor or friend around to give a few pointers or issue a few challenges here and there.   No need for blue cards or worksheets or books.  When the lad demonstrates all da skills and knowledge, he's done.    Maybe yeh can even steal a march from da martial arts programs and just have a "belt test" every quarter or so.   Havin' to prepare for an upcomin' Tenderfoot "belt test" gives both a lad and his patrol leader somethin' to focus on.  

 

Personally, I think patrol competitions work best and are da most traditional way in scouting.   If a lad can demonstrate a skill under fire in a competition, I reckon he's got it down, eh?  Plus his friends get to see he has the skill and he gets to feel confident, which is what we want in Advancement.  For a patrol to win, its older boys have to teach the younger ones.  

 

What yeh choose depends on your troop, eh?  But yeh have to figure out how to get the adult agenda off of Advancement and make it a part of the kids' game again.  No managers or leaders or job descriptions, eh?  Just playin' the game.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

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