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kckirwan

"Boy lead" Programs - Presentations?

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I would like to +20 Fred. Although I do agree that this is youth-led movement, that doesn't create a unified vision. I want parents in a troop to come away with the patrol method......

 

Agreed.

A long time ago, I started a thread about "one program".  What I was trying to get at was this "unified vision".  In my thinking, boy lead patrol method really isn't all that hard of a concept....IF one spends just a bit of time to research the idea, do a bit of reading, and reflect on what was originally laid out.  The problem I suppose is that there is no unified level as to how much reading, reflecting, and understanding one needs to form an opinion.

It really is a very basic concept, but I'd venture to guess that there really aren't two troops that operated exactly the same.

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Agreed.

A long time ago, I started a thread about "one program".  What I was trying to get at was this "unified vision".  In my thinking, boy lead patrol method really isn't all that hard of a concept....IF one spends just a bit of time to research the idea, do a bit of reading, and reflect on what was originally laid out.  The problem I suppose is that there is no unified level as to how much reading, reflecting, and understanding one needs to form an opinion.

It really is a very basic concept, but I'd venture to guess that there really aren't two troops that operated exactly the same.

Yes, that is the struggle. The Camporee discussion highlighted to me how much different my patrol method experience was in the 70s compared to the scouting program the BSA is pushing today. Same age patrols alone have made a huge shift in how adults perceive the process of patrol method. Patrol method, boy run and scout led, weren't common terms when I was a scout because patrol method was the normal way of scouting in most troops. It's just how it was done.

 

Part of having a successful patrol method program is giving the scouts enough independence that they feel motived to change some of their habits of how they make decisions. But most adults who were kids back then will agree that our parents gave us a lot more trust and independence than the culture of parents allow today. Helicopter parents today are the norm. Adult leaders in the 70s didn't struggle to let scouts make wrong decisions like parents today. So, as a result, boy run is defined in each troop more by the limitations of the adults' fear to let boys make decisions.

 

From Nationals perspective, scout independence is directly related to the cost of liability. So, they aren't all the motivated to push patrol method very far. IMHO, restricting patrols from camping without adults was a liability cost decision. The process of a true patrol method program is difficult for adults today because they really don't want the stress of worry that comes from not controlling the actions of youth. We have become a culture of Helicopter Scout Leaders and we aren't really sure we want to change.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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Part of having a successful patrol method program is giving the scouts enough independence that they feel motived to change some of their habits of how they make decisions. But most adults who were kids back then will agree that our parents gave us a lot more trust and independence than the culture of parents allow today. Helicopter parents today are the norm. Adult leaders in the 70s didn't struggle to let scouts make wrong decisions like parents today. So, as a result, boy run is defined in each troop more by the limitations of the adults' fear to let boys make decisions.

 

This is more than just the parents at fault at the scout events. The same people that are helicopters have not let their children make any decisions their entire life. Teaching them how is really hard. A road map for that would really help. To be honest, waiting until they're 13 seems to be too late. It is so ingrained that the oldest person around, whether adult or SPL or PL, makes all the decisions that just saying let the scouts do it isn't enough to get them to do it. So the new scouts still don't make significant decisions until they're 13 and suddenly PL, at which point they're completely new at it and struggle.

 

As much people don't like the NSP idea I've found a use for it. Namely teaching the younger scouts to make decisions. Hopefully they'll get it and next year I can mix them with the next new group of scouts. By the time these scouts are 13 and ready to be PLs mixing the scouts together will work and the NSP will be less needed in the future.

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This is more than just the parents at fault at the scout events. The same people that are helicopters have not let their children make any decisions their entire life. Teaching them how is really hard. A road map for that would really help. To be honest, waiting until they're 13 seems to be too late. It is so ingrained that the oldest person around, whether adult or SPL or PL, makes all the decisions that just saying let the scouts do it isn't enough to get them to do it. So the new scouts still don't make significant decisions until they're 13 and suddenly PL, at which point they're completely new at it and struggle.

 

As much people don't like the NSP idea I've found a use for it. Namely teaching the younger scouts to make decisions. Hopefully they'll get it and next year I can mix them with the next new group of scouts. By the time these scouts are 13 and ready to be PLs mixing the scouts together will work and the NSP will be less needed in the future.

 

As much as the NSP isn't liked, often times it isn't used much, but you have touched on one of the key assets for having one.  This leadership/decision making doesn't need to wait until they are 13, FC, and well into scouting.  With NSP, it starts immediately.  Although it's somewhat of a misnomer, the NSP only means that the TG and maybe an ASM keep an eye on things a bit more than if they were a regular patrol.  The caveat comes when they "break up" the guys into regular patrols rather than just renaming them a regular patrol.  They have struggled and bonded during that first year and unless there are major personality conflicts, they really want to stay together.  As one who stays out of patrol selection matters, often times maybe one or two will bail to another regular patrol, but I find friendship holds the group together.  If the patrol is small, often times they will merge into one of the younger regular patrols where the age difference might only be a year or two.  If that doesn't work, they take on the next year's NSP into their patrol to increase numbers to the magic 6-8 boys.

 

That first year is critical for the opportunity to learn to fail and come up smiling.  The burnt grilled cheese seems to be the traditional indicator in most cases.  Pancakes comes in a close second.  And nothing trumps failure like burnt bacon!  But they learn, that by the time they get to 13, they are seasoned scouts, with FC skills.  I prefer that over delaying the pain until they are 13 and in two years of struggle, they leave at 15.  And of course, if the older boys are the ones making all the decisions in the patrol, what chance does the new guy get to get his hands dirty?

 

Just my opinion, worth about 2-cents.

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Stosh, I think there is opportunity for a young scout to lead in a group of older scouts, assuming the older scouts understand that they are also responsible for developing younger scout leadership. Let the younger scouts be in charge of something simple but have them lead the patrol. Unfortunately, when I tried that the older scouts just took over because that's what they saw. I don't think the adults are doing anything worse than the older scouts. The same training that we're talking about here also needs to be presented to the scouts.

 

I agree that friendships are hugely important. By the time a scout is 13 he better have great friendships. Those that do tend to stick around and put up with anything just to go camp with their friends. The ones that formed friendships as cubs do even better.

 

We'll see. There's a new scout in my troop that's 14. I know his cousin, who was a fantastic scout and had enough confidence that nothing bothered him. He really was a friend to all. I hope the new scout has the same personality.

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I see very little difference between adults taking over the operation of the patrols any different than the older boys taking over the operation of the patrols.  In either case, the dynamics of developing leadership are taken away from the new boys.  Is it any wonder then they just sit back and do nothing for the first two years, struggle the next two years and then quit. 

 

A level playing field, a well trained TG and hands off ASM, and the new guys get an opportunity to show what they got right from the git-go.

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I see very little difference between adults taking over the operation of the patrols any different than the older boys taking over the operation of the patrols.  In either case, the dynamics of developing leadership are taken away from the new boys.  Is it any wonder then they just sit back and do nothing for the first two years, struggle the next two years and then quit. 

 

A level playing field, a well trained TG and hands off ASM, and the new guys get an opportunity to show what they got right from the git-go.

Well at least you are allowing an evil ASM as part of the solution, you didn't use to do that.

 

If the older scouts are taking over when the younger scouts have the authority, then the SM is doing it wrong. You could ask for ideas because we have some that will help.

 

And younger scout learning to make decisions is very different than younger scouts put in leadership positions. I keep asking you stosh, if mixed age is so bad, how did the BSA and Greenbar Bill survive for 80 years.

 

Different strokes for different folks. Some adults are mixed age kind of leaders, some work better with same age. Maturity comes when one understands there are many ways to achieve the same goal. I find enough challenge in helping leaders understand the basic concept of patrol method without having to debate details. Explaining the basic concept of patrol method is what the OP is asking.

 

Demonizing those who are different says more about your style of leadership than theirs. I did both mixed age and same age and mixed age works better for me. I measure progress of the program by the growth the scouts gain from their experiences in the patrol. A lot of scoutmasters don't believe throwing new scouts into responsibilities beyond their maturity develops growth, so they do it differently than you with great success. Many boy run patrol method troops have great success with older scouts teaching, mentoring and being a companion.

 

Not all discussions have black and white solutions. The forum should encourage ideas from which to choose. I grow tired of the us vs. them chest pounding dialogs.

 

Barry

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Yes, that is the struggle. The Camporee discussion highlighted to me how much different my patrol method experience was in the 70s compared to the scouting program the BSA is pushing today. Same age patrols alone have made a huge shift in how adults perceive the process of patrol method. Patrol method, boy run and scout led, weren't common terms when I was a scout because patrol method was the normal way of scouting in most troops. It's just how it was done.

 

Part of having a successful patrol method program is giving the scouts enough independence that they feel motived to change some of their habits of how they make decisions. But most adults who were kids back then will agree that our parents gave us a lot more trust and independence than the culture of parents allow today. Helicopter parents today are the norm. Adult leaders in the 70s didn't struggle to let scouts make wrong decisions like parents today. So, as a result, boy run is defined in each troop more by the limitations of the adults' fear to let boys make decisions.

 

From Nationals perspective, scout independence is directly related to the cost of liability. So, they aren't all the motivated to push patrol method very far. IMHO, restricting patrols from camping without adults was a liability cost decision. The process of a true patrol method program is difficult for adults today because they really don't want the stress of worry that comes from not controlling the actions of youth. We have become a culture of Helicopter Scout Leaders and we aren't really sure we want to change.

 

Barry

I of course can't speak to the program you experienced, exactly

but i would venture to guess that "most" patrols in the 1970's weren't being run in the purest of sense.....

....going back to that "gang of boys" that naturally want to just run around together I mean...

 

I'll say this,,,the mis-management..... and ultimate forced break up of my son's "NSP" I'm sure was a major factor in his dropping out of scouts.  Having a bunch of outsiders come in and tell him and his friends which groups they must swear allegiance to..... splitting said friend groups away form each other....yeah, that predictable doesn't fly.

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I of course can't speak to the program you experienced, exactly

but i would venture to guess that "most" patrols in the 1970's weren't being run in the purest of sense.....

....going back to that "gang of boys" that naturally want to just run around together I mean...

 

I'll say this,,,the mis-management..... and ultimate forced break up of my son's "NSP" I'm sure was a major factor in his dropping out of scouts.  Having a bunch of outsiders come in and tell him and his friends which groups they must swear allegiance to..... splitting said friend groups away form each other....yeah, that predictable doesn't fly.

Yep, that predictable won't fly. 

 

But "purest sense"? Is there a purest sense? Or is there different success stories. Lots of success stories since the inception of Scouts. 

 

I can understand one bad experience swaying a mind, but how does that account for all the successes through the history scouting?

 

Do it anyway you want, but don't discount successful programs based from one bad experience of your program. 

 

By the way, you posted many frustrations of your sons troop over the years, not just the one. Patrol method is giving scout the independence of making decisions for their own outcomes. How much independence to make decisions did his troop give him?

 

Barry 

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While not everything works well with everyone, one must accept the fact that what the boys want and what the adults want is the core of the discussion.

 

I hear over and over again the "problems" people are facing when running scout units and it always seems to boil down to more problems with adults than boys.  Yes, an ASM keeping their eye on the NSP is not the same thing as an ASM taking it over.  Same for the TG.  He is there to instruct and guide, not run the patrol.

 

If the vision and goal of scouting lies with the SM, then the SM is running the show.  The vision and goal of scouting lies with the boys, for good or for bad, it's the boys' program. 

 

As far as patrol structure?  Not my baby.  I don't get involved and I don't get blamed.  If the meetings are boring, I don't get blamed.  If someone complains about something, I don't get blamed.  Now that may sound a bit like too much hands off, but I have boys that step up and take over in the vacuum left by adults.  And as long as the adults stay out of it, the discipline problems are minor, the advancement happens, the program flows with jerks and bounds, but it progresses, the boys have a good time and for the most part everyone is happy.

 

It's not for everyone, I agree.  But as long as it is for the boys, who cares?  Helicopter parents?  Don't have any.  That's spelled out in new boy orientation with the parents.  If the parent wishes to work with all the boys, they are welcomed to join in on the programming end of things.  If they don't, they are more than welcome to work on the committee.  Because of this I have very little problem with families.  Only once did it come to pass that I was removed as SM because I was expecting too much leadership out of the boys.  They went back to more hands-on adult led and within 6 months they lost half their boys.  Boys want opportunities, when they are taken from them in Scouting, they will find other opportunities elsewhere, and we see that process operating across the board.

 

Just keep it in mind that the problems most adults face in the scouting program are the direct result of their own actions. 

 

Parent to SM: "My son is not happy with the way things are going." 

SM: "Well, there's nothing I can do about that, nor can you.  So who does that leave to handle the problem?"

Parent: "My son?"

SM: "If he doesn't learn how to figure things out on his own, he'll never move out of your house."

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If the vision and goal of scouting lies with the SM, then the SM is running the show.  The vision and goal of scouting lies with the boys, for good or for bad, it's the boys' program. 

 

 

Scouts have NO authority to set their program vision and goals. That authority is the BSA. The BSA stipulates exactly what the vision and goals are for all its members. Otherwise a SM would just make up goals for his own glorification.

 

Just as important, the scouting program does not belong to the boys. The scouting program "is" the adults program specifically targeted to work toward the BSA Vision and  Mission. If one does not agree with the BSA Vision and Mission and the guidelines toward achieving those objectives, one does not have to join (and should not join) the BSA. 

 

As long as the SM agrees with the BSA Vision and Mission, and stays within the BSA stipulated rules and guidelines, they can work toward the BSA Vision and Mission the best they know how. 

 

Barry

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But the boys can be empowered with the BSA vision and goals too.  This is not something that is uniquely the possession of the adults.  The boys can take ownership of the BSA vision and goals, too.  When that happens, it's boy led, if not it's adult led.

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But the boys can be empowered with the BSA vision and goals too.  This is not something that is uniquely the possession of the adults.  The boys can take ownership of the BSA vision and goals, too.  When that happens, it's boy led, if not it's adult led.

Sure, but that is not what you said. You implied that the adults had no say or responsibility toward vision and mission. Reality is the adults have ALL the responsibility of the vision and mission. So long as the SM stays within the BSA rules and guidelines of the program, the SM can empower as much of that responsibility on the scouts as they want. But the BSA has already done most of that for the SM with Aims and Methods. 

 

Sadly, you are so hung up on force feeding your definition of patrol method on us that you can't see the forest for the trees. Boy growth in the scouting program requires a relationship of scouts and adults working together toward specific experiences. Concepts set the direction toward the vision and mission without the rigid lines of personal interpretation. Once personal lines are drawn as right or wrong, the program becomes very small and limits creativity. 

 

Folks work better with concepts because they can use their own life experiences and knowledge to guide the program toward the same objective.  

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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Yep, that predictable won't fly. 

 

But "purest sense"? Is there a purest sense? Or is there different success stories. Lots of success stories since the inception of Scouts. 

 

I can understand one bad experience swaying a mind, but how does that account for all the successes through the history scouting?

 

Do it anyway you want, but don't discount successful programs based from one bad experience of your program. 

 

By the way, you posted many frustrations of your sons troop over the years, not just the one. Patrol method is giving scout the independence of making decisions for their own outcomes. How much independence to make decisions did his troop give him?

 

Barry 

 

in the big scheme of things, not much at all!  That I think it a major problem....

 

what I was getting at

....& I suppose it may have been poorly written...was not to be critical of you or your experience....just to say that any time the patrol selections are set from outside the natural boy-group, it's not the pure "gang" of friends that purely and simply chose to be.  By the time the 1970's rolled around, things were well underway into the big ship of rules and procedures that we call the BSA.  That's all I was getting at.  It's a far cry from the group of neighborhood guys that were friends already, choosing collectively to play this game of scouting.

Not so unlike how little league baseball might differ quite a lot from sandlot neighborhood pickup games.....

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