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Stosh

NSP and Veteran Scouts

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Posted Today, 03:58 PM

The Latin Scot, on 22 Dec 2016 - 11:10 AM, said:snapback.png

I think that this is an outstanding goal.  I think a shortfall in WEBELOS is the lack of DL knowledge of patrol method.  The idea doesn't really get taught all that well it seems, and so really a WEBELOS and even an AOL really isn't all that much ahead of a boy walking into a troop meeting off the street.

...... But that's because we talk about them at every meeting, and I want them prepared so that as soon as they graduate to the Troop, they can pass of their Scout rank at their first meeting. .....

 

A flip side to the idea though is that the scouts might get a bit bored earlier on.  

If the troop guide and instructor does what it is that they do, regardless the ability of the new scouts...

Or if the scouts and /or adults in the troop hold onto any preconceived notions about age and ability.

 

As an example, our SM has started an idea of a "high adventure patrol"...Open only to older scouts.... I forget the age exactly.  But the idea is sound..... let the older scouts do some fun stuff to help hold their interest.  I like it a lot.

but

what it's really doing is throttling the younger boys.

 

One example of a suggested activity was to canoe over to Cumberland Island, where it is possible to camp.... and it wouldn't be tailgate camping.

I asked why not let any scout come along that wants to go..... I know my son would enjoy it much more than having some older scout read to him out of the book about how to do some particular thing or another....such as build a camp fire.  But the answer i got back was that the younger guys wouldn't be able to handle it..... or some such thing......

 

so my point is this.... get them too ready and they may just get throttled back anyway to the point of being bored.

 

Might should prepare them while you're at it with tools on how to overcome adult influenced ideas....

 

So, one has this great idea to retain older boys, give them high adventure and they hang together and have a good time.  Then one wonders about the younger boys getting left out?  This is why I spun this off into the Patrol Method area of the forum.

 

The older boys (Venturing Patrol)  go and have fun and aren't bored.  This is great!

 

Younger boys (NSP) are jealous! and feel left out.  Well, Cupcake, get your patrol organized, trained and plan a major trip of your own!  Who says you have to miss out when the only thing holding you back is yourself? 

 

NSP PL: Mr. Stosh?  How come the older boys get to go primitive camping and we can't go along?

 

Mr. Stosh: Who said you can't?

 

NSP PL: They did, the boys in the Venture Patrol.

 

Mr. Stosh: That's not your patrol, why would you think you should go along?

 

NSP PL: Because they are doing all the fun things.

 

Mr. Stosh:  You're the PL, make plans to do it as a patrol too?

 

NSP PL: We don't know how.

 

Mr. Stosh:  Why not?  All the knowledge to pull it off is in learning the S->FC requirements.  The only thing holding you back is yourselves.

 

By the way, when I was WDL my boys planned out a farewell to Cub Scout outing by canoeing out to a remote island, set up camp, dug latrines, cooked for the weekend, fished, canoed, swam, had a great time and came home all in one piece.

 

The key to the whole thing is the WDL never said, "NO, YOU CAN"T DO THAT." 

 

And as an added note, the Saturday night meal was baked potatoes, corn on the cob roasted on the fire and a nice steak.  Cobbler for desert.  All done by the boys.  I did help them time the steaks so they wouldn't get ruined per their request.

 

The reason the NSP boys take a beating in the troops is because the adults totally underestimate their abilities and their drive to succeed.  If the NSP want to do a primitive campout, let them!  They'll learn it isn't as easy as the older boys make it out to be, but with training, the second time out is always better.

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I think we also underestimate the desire of older scouts to mentor younger ones.

My boys love the venturing stuff, but although they like it because it gives them space from the youngns, they like it just as much because it gives them stories to tell the 1st and 2nd year boy scouts.

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One also must be aware that individual older scouts enjoy the younger boys and in a NSP/Reg/Venture patrol structure are not limited to just their age/ranking group.  One of my better Eagle scouts after attaining the rank, put in two years as NSP TG instead of wasting his time as JASM (His words, not mine.)

 

But for those boys that do not want that much interaction or constant interaction with younger boys, the Venture patrol is a strong draw for them.

 

I find that along with the Venture patrol, the Leadership Corp (POR patrol) tend to have more age/rank variety and do just was well as a Venture patrol but the lack of continuity tends to be a bit more disruptive (boys coming and going at 6 month intervals)  I don't have quite as much problem with that because the POR's are not on a term basis and the boys hold the POR's for as long as they perform the job.  My Leadership Corps is very much like what one would call a Venture patrol, but getting into it is easier, just take on the POR and you're in.  Venture patrols tend to be membership by friendship, age and/or popularity.

 

The Leadership Corp tends to be quite patrol motivated with an external vision of what they are all about, i.e. inter-patrol relationships, whereas Venture patrols are more self-serving.  It leaves the door open for older boys that want to serve and those that want to "do their own thing".

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Because our troop has had neither Leadership Corps nor Venture Patrol for quite some time (and certainly the GS I've known have had no such structures) it seems like our venturing crew goes through cycles of being one or the other.

 

Right now, I am squarely advising a Leadership Corps, who have no vision for big-ticket scouting (or even "small ticket, extreme/specialty challenges") but want to do be better scouts. (Thus the meetings with simple-minded knot-tying sessions.)

 

At other times, its a group who comes in singing "I want to get away, I want to fly away ..." To which, our old bones sometimes scream for trying to keep up with them.

 

I suspect the same things happens among older boys in troops not closely tied to a crew, there are different mixes at different times. So, the cross-overs' experience is going to be somewhat shaped by that.

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After the complete mess our NSP was, we are integrating everyone into existing patrols. We are going old school. Traditional Patrols. When my middle son crosses over, he wil be integrated into an existing patrol.

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And before that, there were just patrols. The boys make up their own gang without influence from adults whether those adults are SMs or the new handbook writer in Tx.

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Stosh

that was my post you quoted in your OP.

and I agree with you.  IN fact your post pretty much echoed the conversation I had with my son.  Actually several various conversations....

 

You wrote, " Younger boys (NSP) are jealous! and feel left out.  Well, Cupcake, get your patrol organized, trained and plan a major trip of your own!  Who says you have to miss out when the only thing holding you back is yourself? "

 

In our case, our troop has patrols and is going through the motions but really isn't doing the patrol thing,  They cook as patrols but really everything else is done as a troop.  Additionally, the adult scouts are saying they have to miss out.  They flat out say that the young kids can't do it.  I don't think they are doing it conscientiously but they are really discouraging such thought with their paradigms.

 

Oh well, I'm doing what I can at every opportunity to plant the seed in scouts and scouters, that the patrols really can do patrol level stuff if they want...... and many times I've planted the seed in my son't mind in particular.  He's young, 11, and well hasn't come out as a leader, so I don't imagine he'll be pushing those established paradigms any time soon..... but maybe someday.  I've at least tried to plant the seed.  

 

And besides, I'm only MC.  Maybe someday I'll be ASM and can encourage even more by being willing to foster such a trip......

"Younger boys (NSP) are jealous! and feel left out.  Well, Cupcake, get your patrol organized, trained and plan a major trip of your own!  Who says you have to miss out when the only thing holding you back is yourself? 

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And before that, there were just patrols. The boys make up their own gang without influence from adults whether those adults are SMs or the new handbook writer in Tx.

 

@@DuctTape, yes, the dynamics change, the verbiage changes, but the reality stays the same.  Previously there were "just patrols".  Yep, and the high school kids didn't hang out with the 6th graders or even the junior high kids.  They did their thing and the younger boys did their thing and everyone kept to themselves.  In my troop in the early 60's it was pretty much patrols grouped by age.  I don't remember having any older boys, nor do I remember any new boys being assimilated into our patrol by adults.  We hung out together and that was that.  Well they can call it anything they want and publish any handbook they so wish, but the fact remains when adults do a scramble mix-up in order to assimilate the new guys it is not boys making up their own gang.  It is unfair to all concerned once that happens.

 

4 boys, 16+ years old, talking about a canoe trip in the BWCA,  They're excited about it until the SM comes around and decides that 4 scouts aren't enough to make up a "full" patrol and puts in 4 new 10 year olds that need to be mentored by older boys.  Well, there goes the canoe trip and the "fumes" start to look pretty good.  So in order to avoid the hassle the 4 - 16 year old boys decide to merge with the 15 year olds because they think the canoe thing sounds pretty good, but they can't because they, too, have 4 new 10 year olds they have to "mentor" (i.e. babysit), too.

 

The common denominator in this whole hassle is the adults messing around with the patrol method.  The "new" methods don't work because the NSP doesn't have any leadership (and the adults haven't allowed any of the Leadership Corps the opportunity to develop as such.  The NSP's have leadership, the adults just don't know it nor allow it to happen.  The reason the Venture Patrols don't develop is because the older boys stick around only long enough to get Eagle and then disappear, unless they abandon the whole thing prior to that as not being worth the effort.

 

I totally stay out of the patrol make-up and development, nor do I do anything to influence the leadership selection process.  Over the years I have simply watched what generally happens and it basically falls into the NSP/Reg/VP groupings unless the troop is very small then maybe they have a NSP/Reg set-up until the membership increases and a VP develops for the older boys.

 

I have never had the problem of having to split up and remerge patrols in order to generate some ad hoc "patrol" system to accommodate a high adventure opportunity. 

 

When I went to Philmont in 2000, the trek team was made up of older boys from 3 different troops.  I'll never do that again.  Not worth the 9 days of hassle in a remote location.  From day one, they never really did anything "as a group (patrol)".  The older boys resented the younger ones because they weren't "carrying their weight", both figuratively and literally. 

 

When left alone, the boys do far better and I enjoy my coffee a lot more.  MYOB is the first lesson my ASM's learn when it comes to the patrol method.  And the interesting thing about the whole process is the more the adults stay out of the way, the faster the boys have an opportunity to develop their own leadership.  In my former troop where the numbers grew to the point where multiple patrols were needed they naturally fell into the NSP/Reg/VP model.

 

Over the past 3 years I have been SM of a struggling new troop of one patrol, basically a NSP.  Yet 2 of those 3 years, members of my troop (PL and/or APL) have won the top sales prize for council popcorn sales.  We have no ISA's so all the money goes back into the patrol/troop for everyone to enjoy.  No scout has had to pay more than $50 to go to summer camp and yet, there are no older boys to mentor, no adults running any of the show and the boys seem to be really happy with the setup they have created.

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The common denominator in this whole hassle is the adults messing around with the patrol method.  The "new" methods don't work because the NSP doesn't have any leadership (and the adults haven't allowed any of the Leadership Corps the opportunity to develop as such.  The NSP's have leadership, the adults just don't know it nor allow it to happen.  The reason the Venture Patrols don't develop is because the older boys stick around only long enough to get Eagle and then disappear, unless they abandon the whole thing prior to that as not being worth the effort.

 

As you know I hate adult interference too. It really does mess up things. IMHO the NSP concept was one developed by adults, specifically using the LDS model, in 1989. Yes my troop had an "older Scout patrol" called the Leadership Corps, but until you got into it, you were in a traditional, mixed aged patrol. We had 11 to 15 year olds in them. The two times we used NSPs, it was total failures. Too many new folks for just one person to deal with. We went back to traditional patrols, had 'experienced" Scouts work one-on-one with the new Scouts, and it worked.

 

My current troop's former NSP was a lot like your Philmont trek, new Scouts from 5 different Webelos dens with 5 different levels of preparedness for Boy Scouts. Some jumped in and tried to get the job done. Others were so used to  the adult Cub Scout leaders doing everything, they didn't have a clue. Unless threatened with physical violence (we found out after their TG was no longer there) they didn't do a thing. The ones used to Cub leaders doing things and telling them what to do refused to listen to the PL and TG's advice. It was a complete disaster with several Scouts contemplating leaving.

 

I admit, I do not like how the adults changed the patrols after the PLC came up with a method of dividing everyone. They spent 3 months trying to come up with a solution to our NSP mess, and could only come up with traditional patrols.Their method of division was pure randomness (putting an existing patrol's names in a hat and pulling them out for each patrol) and IMHO genius. But the adults rearranged it for HA purposes.

 

Although I wished the Scouts would have been able to select the patrol they were in at the last unit elections ( my troop gave everyone the opportunity to switch patrols every 6 months), the PLC was tired of the lack of stable patrols, and decided no switching about. Hopefully that will get patrol spirit going.

 

 

When left alone, the boys do far better and I enjoy my coffee a lot more.  MYOB is the first lesson my ASM's learn when it comes to the patrol method.  And the interesting thing about the whole process is the more the adults stay out of the way, the faster the boys have an opportunity to develop their own leadership.  In my former troop where the numbers grew to the point where multiple patrols were needed they naturally fell into the NSP/Reg/VP model.

 

I just wish the adults would get out of the way, and have patience. Organization and leadership do not happen overnight, especially with adults constantly stepping in and interfering.

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As you know I hate adult interference too. It really does mess up things. IMHO the NSP concept was one developed by adults, specifically using the LDS model, in 1989. Yes my troop had an "older Scout patrol" called the Leadership Corps, but until you got into it, you were in a traditional, mixed aged patrol. We had 11 to 15 year olds in them. The two times we used NSPs, it was total failures. Too many new folks for just one person to deal with. We went back to traditional patrols, had 'experienced" Scouts work one-on-one with the new Scouts, and it worked.

 

And this is the key issue that is often missed.  Too many new folks?  Okay we have 18 new boys coming into the troop.  Hmmm, We will need 3 TG's to handle these 3 NSP's, and at least 5 Instructors (That in itself is a patrol of older Regular Patrol Boys.  They all move in together in a Leadership Corps Patrol run by an ASPL to back them up and keep them organized   One has the older boys mentoring the 3 NSP's, and one hasn't messed with any of the Reg or Venture Patrols.  These 8 boys can all be POR volunteers that step temporarily out of their Reg or Venture Patrol to gain their rank advancement or simply because they want to help out on a more mature level. 

 

The alternative?  take the 18 new guys an put 2-3 of them in each of the 5-6 Reg/Venture patrols.  That way EVERY patrol in the troop is disrupted!  Sounds like a plan to me!  3 new patrols, a handful of older boys and the problem has little impact on the troop and no impact on any of the other patrols.

 

My current troop's former NSP was a lot like your Philmont trek, new Scouts from 5 different Webelos dens with 5 different levels of preparedness for Boy Scouts.

 

So have 3-5 small patrols.  There's nothing wrong with multiple NSP's anymore than there is nothing wrong with multiple Reg and Venture patrols!

 

Some jumped in and tried to get the job done. Others were so used to  the adult Cub Scout leaders doing everything, they didn't have a clue. Unless threatened with physical violence (we found out after their TG was no longer there) they didn't do a thing.

 

So was it an issue of a lousy TG or the NSP program?    Why wasn't the SPL/ASPL keeping an eye on the TG?  If after 6 month to a year the boys are clueless, there's something other than NSP causing the problem.  My NSP boys are pretty much self-sufficient after 4-6 months.   

 

The ones used to Cub leaders doing things and telling them what to do refused to listen to the PL and TG's advice. It was a complete disaster with several Scouts contemplating leaving.

 

Again, one's wasted first year with the boys.  Obviously Webelos III doesn't work well in the NSP.   If the boys are refusing to listen to the PL and TG, why would they listen to the PL of a Reg or Venture patrol?  Maybe intimidation by shear numbers works in your troop, but I prefer a different style of leadership.  Why aren't these boys taught the routine of boy-led in their first year?  Session #1 with the new guys should have straightened that out on day one.

 

I admit, I do not like how the adults changed the patrols after the PLC came up with a method of dividing everyone. They spent 3 months trying to come up with a solution to our NSP mess, and could only come up with traditional patrols.Their method of division was pure randomness (putting an existing patrol's names in a hat and pulling them out for each patrol) and IMHO genius. But the adults rearranged it for HA purposes.

 

That pretty much removes anyone hanging out with their buddies.  Ad hoc adult patrols are the norm in most troops that aren't boy-led.

 

Although I wished the Scouts would have been able to select the patrol they were in at the last unit elections ( my troop gave everyone the opportunity to switch patrols every 6 months), the PLC was tired of the lack of stable patrols, and decided no switching about. Hopefully that will get patrol spirit going.

 

Good luck with that.  If I can't be with my friends, I'll find other opportunities to hang out with them.    Let me see...going to the mall and hanging out for the afternoon with my buddies or going on a scout outing where my buddies have to be 300' away?  Easy choice for me.

 

 

I just wish the adults would get out of the way, and have patience. Organization and leadership do not happen overnight, especially with adults constantly stepping in and interfering.

 

Now that is 100% of what we can agree upon!  :)  The one caveat I would also like to add to the mix.  The PLC in my troops have never had the power to dictate anything to the patrols.  The PL's are the highest level of leadership in the troop.  The PLC solves inter-patrol issues, but never, never, never dictate anything to the patrols, especially not their membership!!!!!

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When one looks at the "book" regarding the labels on the patrols, it also includes rank, age etc... It is ridiculous. Apparently a NSP is made up of only 11 year olds. Regular patrols are made up of first class and above. The venture patrol has no ages or ranks. Where does a new 12 year old scout go? (He askes rhetorically). Get rid of the labels and attempts to categorize, it muddies the waters.

 

In my youth scouting experience, when I joined, I was chosen by a patrol. The PL was a few years older than me, and I always looked up to him. Patrol makeups changed over the years as others came/left, but there was never a set time when patrols were "organized" it was organic. As an aside, at my Eagle COH, I asked my first PL (who was now in college) to give me the Eagle Charge.

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This statement by BSA leaves no place for Scouts in their second year who are not First Class and not yet 13.  Obviously goofy and another example of the reality that some at National are not as good at their jobs as others.

 

Since the statement is clearly inaccurate, what is left is that there are many possible "kinds" of patrols - the most important factor being that they are a team of "friends."  

 

 

 

. . .a small, largely self-selected  team of friends who, under the leadership of a Scout they elect,  experience a Scouting program they collectively plan.

[emphasis added]

Edited by TAHAWK

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This statement by BSA leaves no place for Scouts in their second year who are not First Class and not yet 13.  Obviously goofy and another example of the reality that some at National are not as good at their jobs as others.

 

Since the statement is clearly inaccurate, what is left is that there are many possible "kinds" of patrols - the most important factor being that they are a team of "friends."  

 

 

 

[emphasis added]

 

One has to also consider that the breakdown of NSP, Regular and Venture patrols generally has very little to do with rigid rulings. 

 

Little Joey and his 3 buddies all come in from Pack 1 and there are 4 boys from Pack 2 down the street which go to the same school and are in the same class.  They didn't get their AOL because their WDL was not into pushing the boys.  No big deal  They all arrive together at the Webelos invite outing from the local Troop. 

 

So the older boys hosting them make the reference to them going to be the "New Guys" coming in to the Troop next month.  Okay, they hang out together and don't notice anything amiss because they are all new. 

 

So they show up for their first official Troop meeting and they all sit together and this guy known as the Jimmy the SPL introduces the group to an older scout John who's going to be their "Troop Guide" to help them get settled into scouting.  Joey gets picked as the PL for the new boys and his buddy Teddy is the APL.  John is very helpful getting them organized and showing them how to run meetings and such. Every now and then Pete shows up to show the boys how to build fires and tie knots and Frank shows the boys how to make meals and use the map and compass.  The guys have a great time hanging out together.

 

Well after 6 months of this stuff, John says he needs to go back to his patrol and Pete takes over the Troop Guide thing.  No problem he's done a nice job teaching things and seems really nice.

 

After a year most of the boys are Second Class , one's First Class and one's still a TenderFoot.  It's not a big deal. The TF boy will catch up eventually.

 

At the winter Webelos campout the older boys now refer to the new Webelos boys as the "New Guys".  Pete says he's going to need to jump over to the New Guys and be their TG, but Jimmy the SPL will be able to help out here and there if PL Joey needs any help.  PL Joey and APL Teddy think they can do okay so it shouldn't be any big deal.  They know they can always ask Jimmy, Pete, John and Frank if they have any questions or need help.

 

It would seem that the older boys had stopped calling them the New Guys now and were just talking about them as the Silver Fox Guys.  I guess they weren't going to be the New Guys anymore.

 

Fast forward now 3-5 years and Joey is no longer with the group, he's the SPL and Pete their old TG is now the PL.  That's okay because John and Frank's patrol's membership had aged out quite a bit and they needed a home so the Silver Fox took them in.  Teddy is out of the patrol for a while too.  He's the TG for the New Guys coming in this spring.  Pete thinks it might be a good idea for everyone to think about some big canoe trip this next summer.  Maybe invite SPL Joey back for the trip and maybe Teddy could get some time off from being TG long enough to go along too.  Sounds like it might be a lot of fun.

 

So.... where do all the rules and regulations and adult made-up rules apply to when the boys transition from NSP to Regular to Venture patrol over the years? 

 

When it comes to labels, the New Guys coming in for the first year are the NSP and have a TG to help them get going and a few of the older older Instructor boys to teach them S->FC skills.  Then after a few years of general scouting they start getting antsy and want to do some really big stuff they just start planning out some of the big trips to take and are now viewed as the Venture patrol of older boys.

 

Who said anything about age limits, rank requirements, experience, or such.  Just let the boys develop and grow over the years and when one talks about the Silver Fox patrol, they are really talking about just some of the older boys that have hung out over the years and are now doing a lot more HA stuff.  The Ravens is the name the new boys picked.  They have a TG and need some special attention, but after a while they will just cease being the New Guys in the NSP and will just be the Ravens.

 

It would seem that people tend to get overly wound up about these labels when in fact they are just nothing more than reference ID to indicate the level the patrol seems to be operating at at any particular time.  The Ravens are the new guys (NSP) Silver Fox are the older boys (Venture) and next year the Wild Wolves are starting to talk about going to Philmont so maybe now there are two Venture patrols.  Big group of Webelos on the horizon next year, looks like there's going to be enough boys for 3 New Guy patrols (NSP's)

 

And life goes on with little or no big hassle.  NSP's need a little more help than the boys in the Regular patrols and the Venture boys are off doing some really neat things on their own.  They come back and help out a lot when the Regular boys are getting overwhelmed with helping out with the New Guys.......

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I like the term "The Patrol of mostly New Scouts"  Rather than NSP.  

Kinda goes along with the concept you're outlining Stosh, but yet doesn't lock anything in.... that these boys must be a member of it, or that that boy can't be a member of it.....none of that.

 

And the bit earlier about staying out of the way..... and letting the patrols meet and work as patrols

I feel like that makes nothing but sense..... and add to it what I think is a big key is that the bounds of the game need to be defined as such so that the scouts know that the patrols are like the teams.  They can and should be meeting on their own and doing activities on their own.

I feel like this is being missed in our troop.

 

One has to also consider that the breakdown of NSP, Regular and Venture patrols generally has very little to do with rigid rulings. 

 

Little Joey and his 3 buddies all come in from Pack 1 and there are 4 boys from Pack 2 down the street which go to the same school and are in the same class.  They didn't get their AOL because their WDL was not into pushing the boys.  No big deal  They all arrive together at the Webelos invite outing from the local Troop. 

 

So the older boys hosting them make the reference to them going to be the "New Guys" coming in to the Troop next month.  Okay, they hang out together and don't notice anything amiss because they are all new. 

 

So they show up for their first official Troop meeting and they all sit together and this guy known as the Jimmy the SPL introduces the group to an older scout John who's going to be their "Troop Guide" to help them get settled into scouting.  Joey gets picked as the PL for the new boys and his buddy Teddy is the APL.  John is very helpful getting them organized and showing them how to run meetings and such. Every now and then Pete shows up to show the boys how to build fires and tie knots and Frank shows the boys how to make meals and use the map and compass.  The guys have a great time hanging out together.

 

Well after 6 months of this stuff, John says he needs to go back to his patrol and Pete takes over the Troop Guide thing.  No problem he's done a nice job teaching things and seems really nice.

 

After a year most of the boys are Second Class , one's First Class and one's still a TenderFoot.  It's not a big deal. The TF boy will catch up eventually........

This sort of maps out how our troop has rolled for my son for this first year

  But

   the key part about them acting as a patrol isn't really there beyond planning the meals for camp outs.

 

     well...and that last sentence needs to be modified.....

with the new requirements, most now are scout and one or two are 2nd class or nearly so

The guides and trainers are frustrated because the new guys don't seem to listen when they are read to out of the book.

The new guys are having fun sometimes, but not all that much.

and they don't really seem all that concerned about advancement and all that "stuff"

 

As I am seeing it in our troop

they (adults) are leading "boy lead patrol method".... at least the best interpretation that they can make given what they know

but they (adults) are missing some important variables in the equation

    I only write this as an example, because it's probably a norm for a lot of troops out there.....

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