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WisconsinMomma

What is quality control in Scouting

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1 hour ago, Tampa Turtle said:

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. 

. . .

I missed the at camp part.

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3 hours ago, Tampa Turtle said:

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. 

Good point. I think it's a matter of trust. Scouts won't talk to anyone they don't trust about crap that happens. That's probably true for everyone. Anyway, I've had situations where getting a scout to talk was like pulling webbing from a spider's butt. The scouts did try before I got involved. In one case the scout was conflicted. He wanted to be loyal to his mates even though some of them were treating him like dirt. I had to create trust quickly and the best way I could think of was to just ask him for specifics. He got real shy and I told him I'd probably heard much worse from other people. He'd finally mention some swear word that was used and I just asked him if there was anything else. Eventually it was a huge win for everyone. Once I got the scouts involved to sit down and talk I walked away and they kept talking. I'd be the first to have a scout do this as it would be an incredibly useful skill to develop. But the speaking skills of most 15 year olds is something along the lines of "What's buggin' you?" "nothin'" "cool." As Fred said, this isn't taught.

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15 minutes ago, MattR said:

Good point. I think it's a matter of trust. Scouts won't talk to anyone they don't trust about crap that happens. That's probably true for everyone. Anyway, I've had situations where getting a scout to talk was like pulling webbing from a spider's butt. The scouts did try before I got involved. In one case the scout was conflicted. He wanted to be loyal to his mates even though some of them were treating him like dirt. I had to create trust quickly and the best way I could think of was to just ask him for specifics. He got real shy and I told him I'd probably heard much worse from other people. He'd finally mention some swear word that was used and I just asked him if there was anything else. Eventually it was a huge win for everyone. Once I got the scouts involved to sit down and talk I walked away and they kept talking. I'd be the first to have a scout do this as it would be an incredibly useful skill to develop. But the speaking skills of most 15 year olds is something along the lines of "What's buggin' you?" "nothin'" "cool." As Fred said, this isn't taught.

To be fair it takes a special boy to pull some it off sometimes; usually a guy with some real skills who is 'pretty chill'. Some boys are a little too much drama--they just make it worse. The boy sense of fair play is a little off: 

(True story. Older boy puts assembled tent 20' off the ground, younger boys a short kid finds it and raises hell)

S: "Hey Tim, sorry man, about putting your tent up in the tree. It seemed pretty funny"

T: "Knock it off, you tore a hole it was a new tent"

S:"You can set fire to my tent if you want?"

T:{thinking) "No...gotta any duct tape?"

S:"I think we have some. I'll get it down. You can have my cobbler tonight--I really don't like it anyway"

Peace is achieved.

Later short kid asks older kid to put it back in the tree so he can sit in it and get his picture taken.

Mom returns from hike, hears the whole funny story and asks where were the adult leaders when all this hazing was going on. (fair question)

-----

Boys actually identified this as a Rose and Thorn the next day: Rose as it was pretty impressive and funny but a Thorn because it hurt Tim's feelings. Boys proposed a rule that no tents put in trees or all tents put in trees with everyone agreeing.

 

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I'm thinking BSA lost control of quality a long time ago. Just my opinion.

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4 hours ago, Stosh said:

I'm thinking BSA lost control of quality a long time ago. Just my opinion.

Agree, Stosh. 

While JTE is a (poor) attempt to show units how to track items that impact unit quality, the things they measure, their method of "measurement" is really lacking. For example, "Have an effective plan to recruit Webelos" is just a statement. The Bronze Level metric is to hold two events with a pack...but how EFFECTIVE is that as a measurement of whether your plan is good or bad? We have all seen units make Gold that are really lower quality units than others that just make Bronze.

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2 hours ago, Col. Flagg said:

Agree, Stosh. 

While JTE is a (poor) attempt to show units how to track items that impact unit quality, the things they measure, their method of "measurement" is really lacking. For example, "Have an effective plan to recruit Webelos" is just a statement. The Bronze Level metric is to hold two events with a pack...but how EFFECTIVE is that as a measurement of whether your plan is good or bad? We have all seen units make Gold that are really lower quality units than others that just make Bronze.

Theoretically, that's the purpose of the UC tools and ratings on every visit.  Check the boxes on JTE but evaluate effectiveness by UC visits.  Yeah, I know, UCs aren't really UCs as long as they are pushing FOS and popcorn, and it assumes some experience, but, I did said theoretically at the beginning :).

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29 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Theoretically, that's the purpose of the UC tools and ratings on every visit.  Check the boxes on JTE but evaluate effectiveness by UC visits.  Yeah, I know, UCs aren't really UCs as long as they are pushing FOS and popcorn, and it assumes some experience, but, I did said theoretically at the beginning :).

What is this "UC" person of which you speak? Uniform Coordinator? Unit Cashmonger? Utility Codger? ;)

Since 2005, I have only seem them come out to feed during FOS season. After that they must hibernate from another 11 months.

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19 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

What is this "UC" person of which you speak? Uniform Coordinator? Unit Cashmonger? Utility Codger? ;)

Since 2005, I have only seem them come out to feed during FOS season. After that they must hibernate from another 11 months.

I think it stands for Uninvolved Chimera (chimera in the sense of being mythical.)  I do not believe our troop has had a UC in the 14 years I have been on the committee.  In theory there is an ADC assigned to our unit along with a lot of others, but I don't know who the current one is and have never seen him/her (or any of his/her's predecessors) at any of our meetings.  We do have one ASM who, for awhile at least, was UC for a few other nearby units, but not ours.

Which, in my opinion, is probably just well.  When we have needed help from outside the unit, it is usually not the commissioner corps that has been able to provide it.

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On 11/30/2017 at 4:31 PM, Tampa Turtle said:

To be fair it takes a special boy to pull some it off sometimes; usually a guy with some real skills who is 'pretty chill'. Some boys are a little too much drama--they just make it worse. The boy sense of fair play is a little off: 

(True story. Older boy puts assembled tent 20' off the ground, younger boys a short kid finds it and raises hell)

S: "Hey Tim, sorry man, about putting your tent up in the tree. It seemed pretty funny"

T: "Knock it off, you tore a hole it was a new tent"

S:"You can set fire to my tent if you want?"

T:{thinking) "No...gotta any duct tape?"

S:"I think we have some. I'll get it down. You can have my cobbler tonight--I really don't like it anyway"

Peace is achieved.

Later short kid asks older kid to put it back in the tree so he can sit in it and get his picture taken.

Mom returns from hike, hears the whole funny story and asks where were the adult leaders when all this hazing was going on. (fair question)

-----

Boys actually identified this as a Rose and Thorn the next day: Rose as it was pretty impressive and funny but a Thorn because it hurt Tim's feelings. Boys proposed a rule that no tents put in trees or all tents put in trees with everyone agreeing.

 

and yet without that "hazing", they wouldn't have learned, via a real world situation, conflict resolution.  And now, as boys is when they should be learning that, not as men when nuclear war is potentially on the table. ;) 

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17 hours ago, Gwaihir said:

and yet without that "hazing", they wouldn't have learned, via a real world situation, conflict resolution.  And now, as boys is when they should be learning that, not as men when nuclear war is potentially on the table. ;) 

 There are plenty of opportunities in life to learn and practice conflict resolution.  It's not like this was the only moment in time when they'll ever have the chance.  

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1 hour ago, WisconsinMomma said:

 There are plenty of opportunities in life to learn and practice conflict resolution.  It's not like this was the only moment in time when they'll ever have the chance.  

True, but there is a difference between a friendly practical joke and hazing. Sadly hazing has become a pop culture trigger word to imply hostile intent when in reality it was just the opposite. The intent of the person who acted is just as important as the response of the person who was on the other end. It is much easier to teach the values of the Oath and Law when intent of the actions are measure, as apposed to the method of the actions.

Another example of using politically correct trigger words inappropriately is the BSA statement that holding a scout up-side-down during an awards ceremony was a form of hazing. National put that in the Guide to Safe Scouting Guide for pete sake for liability purposes. Rest assured it was the Cubs who were the most upset by the restriction. Have we as a culture come to a point where hostile threats are the only way to control behavior? That is not scouting, but I fear that is becoming the way of the BSA when that is the only way adult leaders react to scout behavior.

Barry

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@WisconsinMomma, while there are plenty of opportunities for conflict resolution, why waste this one? I mean, learning how to do a practical joke when you're 13 and among people that understand how to do practical jokes is a lot better than waiting until you're in a frat and people are forcing you to drink shots. This may sound extreme but a lot of kids do not have any opportunity to screw up before they're sent off to college where they suddenly have much more freedom and no experience on how to deal with it.

This is the whole point. The adults telling the scouts not to do something because it might go bad is not at all the same as the scouts figuring it out on their own. Yes, snow shoeing in an avalanche zone is not the place to let them learn the hard way. But practical jokes are fine. The scouts will eventually forget what the adults said. They will not forget the time they messed up and had to deal with the consequences.

When I was a scout we were sent off looking for smoke shifters and sky hooks. That is now called hazing or bullying. It is neither. Sure, it could go bad but if done right It is an opportunity for the younger scouts to learn how to take some discomfort with a smile, the older scouts to learn how to watch for where the line is on each scout, the adults to bite their tongues, and everyone to have some fun.

I'm sorry if I seem to be going on about this, but it seems that some of the best lessons that scouts could learn about dealing with other people are being taken off the table. They can also be fun.

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On 11/29/2017 at 1:33 PM, cocomax said:

The new classroom style of wood badge with its power point slides,  flip charts,  movies and focus on learning to make presentations may have been carried from wood badge into scouting, it is most visible in the new way camporees are run now.  Many camporees activities consist of presentation stations were the boys sit on folding chairs and watch a flip chart presentation on, water safety, plant ID, how to make a survival kit,  and wilderness survival. Patrols are awarded points for paying attention and interacting in an active manor with the teacher.   The boys in my troop find camporees based mainly on flip chart presentations boring and avoid them.  Maybe it is not the fault of wood badge, I don't honestly know, I do know all the scouters running these new style camporees in my area are highly focused on wood badge. Maybe wood badge is just a reflection of the push to turn scouting into a more school like atmosphere.  I don't like it myself, I think scouting should be about getting out and doing things and having fun and learning and growing as a person while having fun with your close friends.   

  

How depressing. I though Camporees were bad in my district a few years ago.  

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6 hours ago, Eagledad said:

holding a scout up-side-down during an awards ceremony was a form of hazing.

Holding a scout upside down during an awards ceremony????

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