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qwazse

Why is eight so great ...

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9-12=6-8. Funny scout math but I agree with that observation. Makes meetings where the 9-12 show up more difficult. I hate it when the patrol plans for the campout and meal plan and boys who have no intention of going make all sorts of demands affecting the ones who do go.

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GBB training has slots for 8 boys. Anything beyond that seems to be dead weight for the leaders to handle.

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I took a class in college called "Organizational Behavior". 

One of the sections was about teams.

Back in the 60's (I think) businesses did a study (and spent millions of $$$) on team size.

They concluded that the most effective team size was 6 to 8 and this was how many people a manager could efficiently  handle

 

I remember thinking back then that BP figured this out 75 years earlier and for a lot less too.

Edited by CNYScouter
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The British army figured it out long before BP used it for scouting. A scouting patrol was 6 to 8 men who would leave the army and independently scout out the enemy. What they needed to know was what scouting used to be. The group needed to be small enough to go undetected but large enough to be effective.

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When one plans to have boys miss events it will happen. 

 

Nah, boys missing events is just life, eh?   Sometimes boys have families.  :)   Sometimes they have other activities.

 

Organizational behavior literature assumes a business environment, where everybody is expected to be there every day.

 

The British Army I'm pretty sure is an environment where everybody is expected to be there every day.

 

Green Bar Bill wrote at a time when Scoutin' was often the only organized youth program in town for most of the year.  

 

Sometimes, things change.  ;)

 

It'd be interestin' if folks commented on what their actual attendance rate is.  We'd all have to agree to really measure it, because I've found adult estimates to be off by 20-30% often enough.

 

It's just somethin' to think about.  If yeh have a patrol that's limping along at 4 on a typical campout, or one or more patrols are "collapsing" to 3 or fewer so they aren't really sustainable as a patrol on da campout, then the diagnosis is that yeh have too many patrols.  Don't "combine" patrols temporarily, and don't make some poor lads struggle with a 2-3 person patrol that can't hike on its own.  Definitely don't blame the boys.  Just try fewer patrols with slightly bigger numbers to reflect your attendance rate.  

 

I think you'll find it works better, and because it works better da morale and attendance rate will increase.

 

Beavah

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I took the OPs question to be idealistic, so I haven't participated. Is eight a good starting place? Sure, why not. But as Beaverah points out, eight is just a starting place. 

 

But our troop has a reputation of being friendly toward sports and other big activities like band, so we typically experience a 25-35 percent reduction of attendance, depending on the season of sports. I confirmed that figure during January and summer when participation is highest because there is relatively no sports pulling scouts away at the time. In that culture, our scouts plan a head for the activities and experience in the troop. A football player plans to run for PL in the January. We had one scout plan his calendar to run for SPL a head 18 months to fit around his swimming team schedule. We see many players show up late friday night or early saturday after the their game. 

 

We adults figure that the troop can either fight for time in a boys busy schedule, or join them and welcome them when they can. We typically have 95% of scouts go to summer camp, which is an incredible number when you consider 45 percent of the troop is 14 and older. The patrol sizes bounce between 6 to 12 scouts. Ideal? I don't know, we adults honestly don't get involved unless we see some dramatic loss of growth. I'm sure their is some struggle, but with mixed age patrols, the maturity of the older scouts balances a lot of those struggles.

 

As I said, 8 scouts is idealistic. Real life finds balance through experience. I think the question is where do we adults fit in that circle of life? 

 

Barry

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