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Stosh

NSP and Veteran Scouts

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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.

...

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.

...

It is possible to overthink this. And, I think with the plethora of materials (trickled down to us from management consultants) scouters are encouraged to attempt "henpecking" boys into ace patrols by balancing skills, age, enthusiasm, etc ....

 

The fact remains that the best favor adults can do for boys is to find the kind farmer or city park manager with the nice field for camping on the "back nine", give the phone # to the most mature boy to set a date, acquire a few spare tarps, some cheap rope, and give them the occasional weekend where the SM can guide them from a safe distance.

 

Planning meals and procuring provision can be a fine adventure, and the less miles put on the vehicles, the more time spent on the perfect lunch, dinner, and breakfast. For many scouts, years may go by and that's all they'll ever ask for. So give them that, and you have a skeleton on which to build the patrol they'll cherish for decades.

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:)  The only adult rule I have when it comes to the patrol method is: 6-8 boys, one leader.  The rest is up to them.  It is really surprising how little grief I get out of that process.  Everything that goes wrong is of their own making and falls into their responsibility to fix.  They problem solve, they do what it takes to avoid hassles, and they generally really like hanging out with their buddies.  Some advance, some take their time.  They tend to keep each other on task and hold each other responsible for getting things done per their assignments. 

 

The reason the adults don't mess with the patrol method is because if they do and something goes awry, they will get 100% of the blame from the other adults.  Leave the boys alone to figure things out.  If they ask for help, give them advice, but keep your hands in your pockets.  Create for them opportunities, but don't expect any of them to be taken advantage of, it's their program.  If you come up with a bright idea, they'll take over and follow through.  If you come up with a dumb idea.... well they can see right though that and will avoid it like the plague.  Don't take it personally.   It's NOT YOUR PROGRAM!

 

We as scouters tend to complain about a ton of things coming down from National, yet we then turn right around and try ramming it down the boys' throats.  What's with that?

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Yah, hmmm...

 

It's nice theory, but it mostly doesn't work in practice.  

 

Whether it's G2SS or da requirements for BSA or council high adventure programs, there are age limits, eh?  So a gang of 11-year-olds can't always do what a gang of high schoolers can do.  Lots of good reasons for that, too.

 

Practically speakin', if it's paddle a mess of miles across a lake to go camp, a gang of experienced high school scouts will have no trouble.  A mixed age patrol will be able to do it, with da stronger older lads helpin' out the younger fellows who are learnin'.  They'll have challenges, but the challenges will allow da younger lads to grow as scouts and da older lads to grow as leaders.

 

Put a mess of 10 and 11-year-olds together and odds are it becomes a mess.   Yeh need perfect weather, and lots of prep, and an unusual group.  Add some wind and the lads get blown about. Some aren't up to the distance, and da rest don't have the reserves to pull 'em along.  Add some rain and yeh get more issues.  Tired-and-grumpy leads to patrol collapse or meanness or fights.   All together yeh have a set of real safety issues, as the young guys can't always manage rightin' a flipped canoe, or don't always mind fire safety when tired, etc.  

 

Same sorts of things with backpackin', or winter campin', or high-adventure bikin', or whatever.   And when a lad gets tired and grumpy, or hurt, or blown across a lake in the wrong direction, then yeh have parents and others complainin', or kids droppin' out, or folks even removin' the Scoutmaster because of lack of confidence in his judgment.

 

The way yeh get young lads on real adventures is to use the older lads as friends and supporters and leaders, eh?  Yeh can sort of do that in a guided-tour school kind of way with a TG and Instructor, or yeh can do it a more natural way as a Patrol. ;) 

 

Beavah

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If BSA high adventure bases have limits on ages as do the Jamborees, that means not everyone in the patrol can go.  Then the older boys go as individuals and the "patrol" gets left behind.  Need more boys for the HA?  Don't look to the patrol, have the adults help get an ad hoc patrol together. 

 

After all, the 16 year olds really love hanging out with 6th graders.

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"High Adventure" does not need a BSA base.

Totally correct, there are age limits placed on certain activities at summer camps too.

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Question: why aren't we talking about a Green Bar Patrol?

 

I mean, if the boy's a "veteran" scout, then he should have a PoR or implementing a service project through which he may continue to develop leadership. That puts him in the Green Bar Patrol.

 

Green Bar patrol wants some special training:

  • to be better at teaching aquatics? Give them a plan for achieving BSA Guard.
  • to master canoeing? Plan that challenging trip.
  • to backpack better? Line up an extra week of hiking someplace rugged.

Possibilities are endless. The boy can be doing the Green Bar activity one week and his patrol activity the next. Yes, leaders on a development track are perfectly capable of being in two patrols at once.

 

I remember sitting in a back room planning stuff (like the yearly calendar) with the ASPL maybe once. The rest of the time, we were by a camp-fire baking pizza with the leadership corps, thinking up the current life-scouts' next crazy location for an Eagle project, or what we could do for an additional week besides troop leader training with those slow-on-the-uptake city boys.

 

One of my goals as an advisor to a general interest crew is to give youth something to take back to their (boy or girl scout) troops.

Edited by qwazse

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Okay, I'll bite... what's a GBB patrol?  I train all my boys in the GBB patrol structure where everyone has a job in the patrol and the patrol is an independent unit in the troop.

 

My NSP is trained in the GBB patrol format within the first 6 months.  Everyone has a job to do in the patrol.

 

My Leadership Corps of POR holders is made up of TROOP level POR's, but each patrol has a QM for example and a Scribe as well.  Both those positions have a Troop QM and Troop Scribe in the Leadership Corps which operate as a "patrol" with an ASPL as it's "PL".  They are not members of a NSP/Reg/Venture patrol at that time due to any conflict of interest with their former patrols. 

 

None of my boys are members of two patrols at any one time, there would be conflicts and hassles as to which one got priority at any given time and at best each patrol would get restricted effectiveness out of the boy.  It's kinda like the issues dealing with a Troop and Crew of the same people.  One or the other is going to get short changed.  The same will happen with a multiple patrol issue.

 

I see this conflict many times when older boys ad hoc together for a special activity and for the most part, their participation in their regular patrol is curtailed until the activity has been completed and the competition for time is resolved.

 

It is this kind of disruption that I don't participate in.  If a group of boys want to ad hoc into a patrol because they are older? well let them reorganize as a patrol.  Quit hassling 3 patrols to get enough people to HA.  Just make a HA patrol and let the 3 patrols flesh out their membership with other scouts of like interests and maturity levels.  If left alone, they'll figure it out.

 

I really get tired of siding with the boys every time some adult has some grandiose idea on how the patrols should be organized.  I had one ASM have the boys meet separately as a patrol for 20 minutes at the beginning of the troop meeting.  I was gone during that time.  When I got back I asked why the separation in time?  We have a small troop with one patrol.  After I got done scratching my head I finally figured out what was happening.  The patrol meeting was for the boys to do their thing and the rest of the meeting time was for the adults to tell the boys what's really going to be going on.  None of the adults were that happy about the SM siding with the boys and the WHOLE meeting time as the patrol meeting and there was no TROOP meeting.  If the adults needed something to say, they had to go through me first for approval.  It works a lot better now that that boys are back running things and the adults are out of their hair.

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At my age, I've learned it's a waste of time attempting a dialogue of ideas against closed minded theories.

 

As with others on this forum, I have had many wonderful scouting experiences as a youth and adult in the BSA. Enough experiences to know the difference between idealism that set boundaries to protect limited vision, from the humility of keeping an open mind for new ideas to expand  scouting experiences. When adults move past the pride that tends to create barriers, there is no limit in giving scouts a program where they have the freedom to experience their dreams.

 

Barry

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......After I got done scratching my head I finally figured out what was happening.  The patrol meeting was for the boys to do their thing and the rest of the meeting time was for the adults to tell the boys what's really going to be going on.  None of the adults were that happy about the SM siding with the boys and the WHOLE meeting time as the patrol meeting and there was no TROOP meeting.  If the adults needed something to say, they had to go through me first for approval.  It works a lot better now that that boys are back running things and the adults are out of their hair.

 

oh that is rich.  i can't believe I didn't see it before!

but in a way that's kinda-sorta almost what our troop does.... except it's not called "patrol" meetings

the Troop meets and the SPL does basically the bidding of the adults (more or less)

then the scouts go outside and run around a while, doing only they know what....

then they come back to close the flags and clean up....

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@@blw2

 

It always amazes me (even when I do it myself) how much we as adults really "don't see" the things we do.

 

Instead of going outside to run around, keep the boys in patrols (yes, an adult directive!  :( ) and have them program for themselves (another adult directive! :( ) something to do other that "only they know what...."  :)  It'll get the ball rolling towards the patrol method and at least hanging together long enough as a patrol to build up a bit of esprit de corps among themselves.  The road is less bumpy after that.  I'm thinking that the first thing that may happen is at least if they are playing a game of some sort, they have sides comprised of their own patrol members.

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A "troop meeting" is supposed to primarily be patrols doing things as patrols.  Oh, occasionally there may be an "expert" whom the PLC schedules to make a presentation to multiple patrols, but that is, says BSA, a "sometimes" thing, as in:

 

 

 

Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements.
[emphasis added]â€
 
B.S.A., Scouting.org,  (2016)
 

 

Your Boy Scout troop is made up of patrols, with each patrol’s members sharing responsibility for the patrol’s success.
 
B.S.A., The Boy Scout Handbook, 13th Ed. (2016) at p. 25
 
 

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Okay, I'll bite... what's a GBB patrol?  I train all my boys in the GBB patrol structure where everyone has a job in the patrol and the patrol is an independent unit in the troop.

 

My NSP is trained in the GBB patrol format within the first 6 months.  Everyone has a job to do in the patrol....

Not GBB patrol. Every patrol should be that.

 

The GB patrol, as defined by GBB, is merely the troop leader's council (youth leaders, not adults) out on training. So, to finish the story about making pizza on the Laurel Ridge with my troop's leadership corps ... next week I come back and in our patrol meeting I say, "Hey guys, the SPL had us making pizza over the campfire last weekend. How bout let's up our game for the next campout?"

We wound up starting the tradition of chocolate fondue. The other patrol started making steaks.

Franks and beans no more!

 

 

 

All because some older scouts took time for one more winter campout to help some Life scout cut a trail through mountain laurel.

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Okay, I can see that.  I differ in that I work with my PL's to develop leadership within the patrols.  I view teamwork as shared leadership.  I have a situation where two assertive boys are in the one patrol I have.  One was selected as PL and he chose someone else for the APL.  The other boy was pretty much bummed out.  I asked him about stepping up in his patrol and taking on the role of ActivityMaster.  When he asked what that meant, I said the PL and APL are going to be busy with leading the boys, maybe they could use some help putting together an activity calendar, registering the boys for camporees and summer camp, helping the boys get the MB's they wanted, planning hikes and outings for the boys, etc.  6 months ago these three boys were pretty much on the outs.  Not today.  Once they began to share leadership among themselves all the conflict went away.

 

I didn't have to "train" this boy to be the ActivityMaster, it simply came natural for him in that he got to do all the things he wanted to do for activities and the other boys just FOLLOWED along with it?  Sounds like leadership to me.  :)

 

I was at summer camp one year and the boys all paired off as buddies.  The two remaining boys were a special needs boy and an older boy.  I had to do everything in my power to keep myself from stepping in and making the selection more equal.  I didn't.  The older boy literally took this boy "under his wing" and made sure he had his 3 times a day medications, got to his MB sessions and looked over him in great detail.  This included helping him every morning with his bed-wetting problem.

 

This non-slected older boy went on to become an excellent SPL in the troop within a year or so.

 

I am totally convinced we as adults have a lot to learn about the power of our young boys finding their way in life.  Given the opportunity to actually serve (like in servant) in a leadership role brings out the best in them.  Never underestimate the power of natural leadership in your boys and encourage it every chance you get.  There are no syllabuses for such training.  Just an adult to allow the boys to capitalize on their opportunities.

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