Jump to content
Stosh

The Senior Patrol Leader is in charge.

Recommended Posts

Try being a teacher, and getting 150 students each day.

 

That's the stuff that nightmares are made of.  High school would be a bedlam, kindergarten.... well I wouldn't' want to even try and imagine.  Herding cats does come to mind, though.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem IMHO is that adults either A) having never experienced Boy Scouts take the Cub Scout leader model and apply it to working with Boy Scouts and B) Adults who have Boy Scout experience either forget what it's suppose to be about, or need "deprogramming" from Cub Scout leader mode.

 

As stated earlier, some adults do not have the patience to handle the organized chaos of Patrol Method.

 

I'm thinking it might be more of a public relations image issue.  Here we have all these parents checking out the troop and it's chaotic and unorganized.  Who's fault do they figure it is?  Yep, the SM.  Kids miss a couple of outings because they don't get themselves organized?  Yep, SM's fault.  Little Johnny didn't get his TF badge along with the others?  SM's fault.  As long as the parents and other outsiders do not understand the concept of youth leadership development, they will always be critical of the non-adult run programs and blame the adults.

 

I'm thinking a lot of the adult driven dynamics are a self-preservation issue.  After all, I was removed from the SM position because I expected the boys to do too much of the leadership - their words, not mine.  This is what adults may have to look forward to if they develop the boy-led, patrol method dynamic too far and actually let the boys run the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only issue I have with the "Webelos III" comparison is that at least the Webelos primarily operate as a den, not a pack.  The classic adult run/troop method operation doss not even have that aspect.

 

Seems we should refer all parents of Webelos crossing over to the on-line training materials for new Scout parents.  Although there are some errors, at least they emphasize youth leadership (as the B.S.A. author thought that the boy-led troop  is one of BSA methods, of which the Patrol Method is a "component" [should be embarrassing and should have been fixed weeks ago])

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Stosh

 

True, some parent's don't get it, and don't want to get it. Remember the Scout we had advancement issues with? Only time we really talked to mom was when behavioral issues arose, and then it was our fault for not bringing it to her attention earlier! Um, invited you to parents' meetings to discuss how things operate and how we do things, and you never showed up.

 

The issue I'm discussion is adult Scouters who either been through the program, or have completed training, and still don't act like Cub Scout leaders. Yes, I admit I needed deprogramming, but some folks just are not getting it.

 

@@TAHAWK

 

Why I believe in starting the Webelos-to-Scout Transition as soon as possible. Whenever my Cubs had the opportunity to see Boy Scouts in action, I took it. When I begged a troop to invite my old den of Webelos and parents to camp with them, it was because I wanted the Webelos and parents to see what Boy Scouts can do. Starting the process in 5th grade is too late IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As with most organizational charts, the most functional groups invert them.

 

As part of our leadership training this year, I was going to do something different when we go over the BSA organizational chart.  I was going to set it up as a human organization chart with the people filling in posiitons and having rope between who reported to whom.  I was then going to tell them that it was backwards and that they needed to turn around.  The SPL is responsible to support the PLs and the PLs are responsible to support their patrols.  When you turn around that way, you realize who is supposed to have your back.

 

"In Charge" implies a management issue.  Leading a troop and leading people are two different animals that often get confused as the same thing when in fact they are not.

 

I think your biases might be influencing your reading of that phrase.  If someone is in charge, that can be management or leadership.  I've been in charge of a lot of things in my life, some of them involved leadership and others did not.

 

Is this Patrol Method or youth leadership?   Seems like trustin' boys to be capable and to run things through happy chaos is youth leadership.

 

Patrol Method is about breakin' up bigger troops into smaller independent functional groups, eh?  That can increase opportunities for leadership and such, but it does lots of other things like leveraging identity and competitive spirit, increasin' opportunities for followership and smaller contributions to da group, allow for a degree of specialization, etc.

 

 

I think the patrol method works because a smaller group is easier to lead. 

 

Beav,  your observation has great value in an environment where some think elected youth leaders constitute the "method" and overlook "smaller independent functional groups."  We keep reading "troop," "troop," "troop."    

 

I see this in my Troop.  The first part of our weekly meeting is run by the SPL and ASPL as a Troop, the second part of the meeting is patrol breakouts where the main thing they do is plan for their week of conducting the Troop activity, the third part of the meeting is one of the patrols running a Troop activity and the closing of the meeting is done as a Troop.  Our outdoor program is still planned as a Troop.  We have ad-hoc patrols on outings which typically have done little more than cooking together.  We're slowly moving toward stronger patrols at our meetings and the boys functioning more as patrols during outings.  Still have a long way to go.

 

I'm thinking it might be more of a public relations image issue.  Here we have all these parents checking out the troop and it's chaotic and unorganized.  

 

When parents visit, I tend to emphasize what I call the "beautiful chaos" that is boy-led.  I explain to the parents that it would be a lot more structured if the adults ran thing, but that the boys think it is more fun for them to run things and they learn a lot more.  I thinks that most parents like the idea of a program that encourages their son to become self-sufficient.  It is a PR issue and we have to treat it that way.

 

I see the SPLs role as the coordinator in chief.  They exist because there are multiple patrols.  Some things are done at a Troop level and others at the patrol level.  The SPL is "in charge" of those things done at the Troop Level.  Our Troop does service projects at the Troop level.  Those are announced and coordinated by the SPL.  On a campout we've done orienteering by Patrols.  The SPL coordinates where and when the patrols start (sometimes they start in waves, sometimes they do a staggered start) and the PLs work with their patrols to teach the skills and to navigate the course.  As I"ve mentioned before, our Troop needs to start having more things done as patrols rather than the troop and that will affect the role of the SPL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As part of our leadership training this year, I was going to do something different when we go over the BSA organizational chart.  I was going to set it up as a human organization chart with the people filling in posiitons and having rope between who reported to whom.  I was then going to tell them that it was backwards and that they needed to turn around.  The SPL is responsible to support the PLs and the PLs are responsible to support their patrols.  When you turn around that way, you realize who is supposed to have your back.

...

Feel free to use my illustration, be sure to preface with "Some stranger on the Internet explained it this way ...

 

P.S. -- Son #2 warned me to never use it on any scouts ever ... So, you know it's gotta be good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×