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WisconsinMomma

What is quality control in Scouting

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10 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

 

'Thorns and Roses' is always a good campout wrap up--you can get some pretty good raw feedback. Our PLC is always right after the monthly campout and the boy leadership can give their views as well. I really liked someone on here who used "Thorns, Roses, and Buds" -- the Bud representing encouraging signs or opportunities. 

 

We used stop, start, continue which we were taught in nylt. Same concept. 

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31 minutes ago, Back Pack said:

 

We used stop, start, continue which we were taught in nylt. Same concept. 

 

I think we picked up Rose and Thorns from sharing a campsite with another Troop like 20 years ago. The boys were (I heard) asked to share in their Rose and Thorns by that Troop on Snday morning and our Scouts just copied and it has been passed down year by year.

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1 hour ago, Tampa Turtle said:

 

I liked one our Old School Scoutmaster who knew the handbook in and out would seem to answer almost any question "Its in the Handbook!" and often could cite the page number. Eventually the smarter lads caught on.

That’s how I worked. Yes, they eventually caught on.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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1 hour ago, Tampa Turtle said:

'Thorns and Roses' is always a good campout wrap up--you can get some pretty good raw feedback. Our PLC is always right after the monthly campout and the boy leadership can give their views as well. I really liked someone on here who used "Thorns, Roses, and Buds" -- the Bud representing encouraging signs or opportunities. 

We're a "Thorns & Roses (& Buds)" Troop as well.  Yep, a great way to clear the air around the final-night campfire; each scout gets to contribute and be heard.

At the following troop meeting we pull from another old-school (JLT ?) tradition: the "Par-18" evaluation.  After the opening ceremony, the SPL calls for a voice-vote on each of the previous weekend's activities, requiring consensus on each question (from one to three ... you know it was really awful if they yell "zero!"):

  • Was the job completed?
  • Was it completed On Time?
  • Was it completed correctly?
  • Did everyone in the group participate?
  • Was everyone in the group pleased with the effort?
  • Is everyone in the group eager for the next job?

Activities receiving "all 3's" results in 18 (thus the name).  The last question usually results in some scouts shouting "what IS the next job?!"" at which point the Scribe points to the calendar.

Edited by AltadenaCraig

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16 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

That’s how I worked. Yes, the eventually caught on.

 

Barry

Yes, that's my experience too. Answer enough questions with "What does your BS Handbook say?" or "What does your PL (SPL or whatever) Handbook say?" and they generally catch on.

 

Our troop had used Thorns and Roses. At Philmont we learned Thorns, Roses and Buds, and brought it home. After that, its what the troop used.

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One thing about thorns, roses and buds, is scouts will often just bring up thorns they have no control over. They'd bring up the fact that the weather was bad but not that one of the scouts would not help out. It's the things they have control over that bring up the best feedback and yet the hardest issues to raise. When I see the struggle with this I also tell them it is indeed hard to do but they'll really need that skill in the future. Once they know that courteous confrontation is hard to do for everyone they're more willing to try. This is why I said in an earlier post that a facilitator can help a lot.

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Our troop learned Thorns and Roses from Philmont, but it really never caught on in the troop. Philmont started using it when scouts complained the adults were taking over the crews and there was nothing the scouts  could do about it. Philmont added thorns and roses to help give scouts a way of expressing their frustration. Our PLC is encouraged to nip any concern with adults in the bud by talking to the SPL who in turn will talk to the SM if needed. I think most issues never get to the Thorns and Roses level.

 

Barry

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23 minutes ago, MattR said:

One thing about thorns, roses and buds, is scouts will often just bring up thorns they have no control over. They'd bring up the fact that the weather was bad but not that one of the scouts would not help out. It's the things they have control over that bring up the best feedback and yet the hardest issues to raise. When I see the struggle with this I also tell them it is indeed hard to do but they'll really need that skill in the future. Once they know that courteous confrontation is hard to do for everyone they're more willing to try. This is why I said in an earlier post that a facilitator can help a lot.

My experience is the boys do not respond well to an adult facilitator --it tends to shut down real dialogue. Ideally an older boy who is respected can offer suggestions. But I think it is more important that they get talking and they know what is going on anyway. We let some adults comment at the end but they have to keep it as brief as the boys. Usually the SPl or SM get the last work. 

I would accept weather as a thorn. We once camped on the edge of a growing hurricane (it was an unexpected turn and we were a bit stranded). The weather was hell but one lad used it as a Rose: "The wind blew away some tents but also those dang mosquitoes!"

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I always do an After Action Review of a lot off activities.  I don't do the Thorns and Roses, because a lot of the thorns would be bad weather, etc.  I use Past Wins and Future Wins.  Past Wins are those thing that were done well and are easily identified.  What were the fun and exciting things.  The Future Wins are what were those things that didn't go as well that we need to work on to make it a Past Win.  Now there's not much one can do about the weather (Future Wins) but maybe a bit of pre-event weather watching, picking activities appropriate for the weather or maybe being better prepared in the future for bad weather to insure it is a Past Win from what they learn.  It rained gangbusters, but the new dining flies were terrific and the boys got to play cards at the picnic table or the rain was good because the fishing was good, etc.  It helps with a glass-half-full attitude.  On our latest outing, fishing, it rained gangbusters, but the fishing was good, the boys had a great time and as one boy put it, "We got some pretty good bragging rights out of the deal."  If the boys have the opportunity to win all the time, they have a great time.  I really don't want thorns in my garden.

Edited by Stosh

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TT,

 

Have you ever tried evaluation, by whatever title or method, at the campsite just before the trip "home"?

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How does one make constant improvements in the program without constant evaluation of what's working and what isn't?

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1 minute ago, TAHAWK said:

TT,

 

Have you ever tried evaluation, by whatever title or method, at the campsite just before the trip "home"?

What is Rose and Thorns if not an evaluation? Usually done right before the final campsite cleanup sweep before departure. And the PLC does a different one a few days later. I think there one question is "should we do this again?". Of course the adults used to do an online or conference call 'After Action Report' over stuff we had concerns with (signs of bullying, campsite reservation, etc etc). The Rose and Thorns is very similar to the "Hot Wash" we used to use in Emergency Operations. The later more formal thoughts tend to miss out of the emotional gripes and frustrations right after the event. 

We did have a SPL (whose dad was a corporate trainer and was trying to run the troop via fiat) attempt some overly complicated evaluation process that just bored and confused the boys. At one points I heard the words "Sigma Six" and I wanted to cry.

He also tried a kind of "black marble/white marble" system to ration pizza slices at a meeting which got overly complicated and most resulted in marble missiles and loose marbles all over the church room we were using. I chalk that us to a noble if failed experiment. We were soon back to line up by rank/age/height/patrol/name or reverse order.

As part of my job (now) as a community planner I have had to lead lots of public meetings, charettes, visioning exercises etc etc. I gotta a lot of tools if I was to use them. But stuff like 'Rose and Thorns' keeps to the KISS principle for boys.

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The secret to doing AAR's is to not let the boys know you're doing one.   I started out my last one with, "Hey, guys!  It's stopped raining just in time to go home!"  My mistake, the boys wanted to hang around for another 4 hours of fishing, which we did and "chatted about the weekend" while fishing.  :)

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20 hours ago, MattR said:

This is good but BOR's don't happen often enough. I did something similar with entire patrols, just as the manuals mention. Thorns and roses. We got some very good responses from them. It did take an adult to facilitate because the scouts would naturally just grunt and move on. Rocking the boat is very hard for a teenager.

You are right.  I never said it was perfect.  It's just if you look for some documented element of BSA's program that exists for quality control purposes, it's the BOR ... and letting bad troops die.  I really don't see other quality control mechanisms.  JTE maybe, but it's mostly ineffective.  

Thorns and roses is a great tool when you can solicit real content.  I just don't see it taught by BSA as part of the program structure. 

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8 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

You are right.  I never said it was perfect.  It's just if you look for some documented element of BSA's program that exists for quality control purposes, it's the BOR ... and letting bad troops die.  I really don't see other quality control mechanisms.  JTE maybe, but it's mostly ineffective.  

Thorns and roses is a great tool when you can solicit real content.  I just don't see it taught by BSA as part of the program structure. 

I have heard some pretty good and/or damning feedback at some BOR's. It really depends on the boy as much as how the adults conduct themselves.

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