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TAHAWK

Are Scouts Really Experiencing the Patrol Method?

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40 minutes ago, LeCastor said:

Thanks, Barry.  All good points.

And, yes, I think we do need a national figure head to give guidance to Scouters on how to ensure the Patrol Method is properly utilized in their respective Troops.  Maybe he/she could write monthly articles in Boys' Life lifting up the Patol Leaders and encouraging Scouts to make the most of their Patrol fun and adventure.  Wait, this sounds like a familiar concept...;)

 

25 minutes ago, MattR said:

I just submitted a request to Boys Life to start that up again. I told them I knew some people that could write the columns. We'll see!

Good ideas but wrong magazine. Boys already know how to do all that, it's the adults getting in their way that's more of a problem IMHO.

Put the column in Scouting magazine. I suspect you'd reach the adults that are keeping the patrol method from truly taking off in their units there rather than BL.

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17 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

 

Good ideas but wrong magazine. Boys already know how to do all that, it's the adults getting in their way that's more of a problem IMHO.

Put the column in Scouting magazine. I suspect you'd reach the adults that are keeping the patrol method from truly taking off in their units there rather than BL.

The ideal, IMHO, would be to reprint the GBB article in BL. An abstract about the article in Scouting. And a BL online comments section where PL's/SPL's could "sound off" if they've did what the article talked about and report their after action review.

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For two years we had a national head of training at HQ whose No. 1 priority was the Patrol Method.  We actually got some explanation of the Patrol Method back in the Scoutmaster Specific syllabus, after a fourteen year absence.  More change in SM training was prevented by making Venturing  leadership training top priority.) The language about a troop being a group of patrols reappeared in the Handbook.

But he seems to have made the bureaucracy nervous, so he was promoted out of that job and the former chief put back in charge.  All progress stopped, as did any direct communication with volunteers.

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At a local council-wide (might have been mine) training event last fall a Scouter (might have been me) facilitated a 50-minute discussion on what the Patrol Method is and what it isn't.  As far as I can tell, it was well received and ~20 Scouters and one Scout were engaged and eager to know more about how to use this Method in their respective Troops.  I think we'll just have to be the individuals, Patrol Method 'champions' in our respective spheres of influence.

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2 hours ago, LeCastor said:

Thanks, @MattR!  I hope you'll let us know what you hear back!

Also, these Boys' Life reprints of Green Bar Bill's articles are pure gold.  I'm lucky to have found them in our Troop storage closet where they had been languishing for far too long.

IMG_3123.JPG

 Any way you could scan those into pdf format and make them available? Bill's writing style made you want to read the books. The current style makes the BSHB boring.

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38 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

 Any way you could scan those into pdf format and make them available? Bill's writing style made you want to read the books. The current style makes the BSHB boring.

Sure thing!  I'll just have to get to the public library.  I'll upload as pdf to the topic Patrol Method/System Resources ASAP. :D

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On 1/14/2018 at 10:14 PM, TAHAWK said:

BSA has not explained what the Patrol Method is in over forty years. It was totally absent from Scoutmaster Specific for fourteen years.  (The word "patrol" appeared once in the syllabus section on "Working with youth; the patrol method."  No a sentence in that session related to the Patrol Methoid - not one.  BSA still has the right words here and there, but not is a single chapter, list, or article and very little is identified as part of the Patrol Method.  So no coherent statement since before most SMs were eaned (or born).   Plus, BSA publishes contradictory things that are anti-Patrol Method.  So if you don't know what you are seeing, you might think it's about the mythical Boy Led Troop method, as per "Orientation for New Scout Parents."

The Patrol method is a part of the current training.   Or at least, patrols and patrol meetings and the roles. 

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 I assure you that I know what went into the syllabus in 2014, and how much more then then head of training wanted to put in before he was promoted out of that job.  It is weak tea, indeed, and a great improvement in that for fourteen years nothing was taught about the Patrol Method.

 

In summary:

1. The patrol, not the troop,  is the primary setting in which a boy experiences Boy Scouting.

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

 3. A "troop" is the youth-led “league” in which the patrol teams, who help plan "league" program through representative democracy,  play the “game” of Boy Scouting beyond the patrol level.

 4. Beyond considerations of safety, adults in Scouting are:  a) teachers of leadership; b) coaches,  mentors, and resources; and c) examples of Scouting values.

 

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12 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

 I assure you that I know what went into the syllabus in 2014, and how much more then then head of training wanted to put in before he was promoted out of that job.  It is weak tea, indeed, and a great improvement in that for fourteen years nothing was taught about the Patrol Method.

 

In summary:

1. The patrol, not the troop,  is the primary setting in which a boy experiences Boy Scouting.

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

 3. A "troop" is the youth-led “league” in which the patrol teams, who help plan "league" program through representative democracy,  play the “game” of Boy Scouting beyond the patrol level.

 4. Beyond considerations of safety, adults in Scouting are:  a) teachers of leadership; b) coaches,  mentors, and resources; and c) examples of Scouting values.

 

I am not sure what materials you are referencing, but I have taught SM/ASM Specific using the last 2 Syllabi, dating back to 2010, and the Patrol method is very much a part of that training. In fact, we break the group of trainee's into patrols as well. Then we use the patrol method during IOLS and Wood Badge.

The training far too short for the amount if information we are trying to teach, but it is there. And if trainers are following the program, they are teaching it.

I keep reading that we do not teach patrol method anymore, but it is just not true, at least not in my Council. And I hear we do not teach it the "old" way, but I have dozens of old hard bound books dating back to the 1920's and many more on PDF. I constantly reference them for teaching a wide range of classes. For the most part, what we are teaching reflects Patrol Method as it was then and now. Troops putting those lessons in action may be an entirely different story, but Patrol method is certainly being taught.

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4 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

The training far too short for the amount if information we are trying to teach, but it is there. And if trainers are following the program, they are teaching it.

 

THAT is the problem. Most Scouters get what 30 minutes or thereabouts on the topic. As you stated, IT IS NOT ENOUGH TIME (emphasis). Then  you got the folks, even those who SHOULD know better, that do not believe in the Patrol Method, or do not have the patience to do it right. Heck Bryan on his blog even did an article on it, and said it's OK for adults to intervene in areas when health and safety ARE NOT a concern. These adults think they are helping hte Scouts, wen in effect they are hurting htem.

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6 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

The training far too short for the amount if information we are trying to teach, but it is there. And if trainers are following the program, they are teaching it.

I have never found BSA training to be wanting in time consumption. That's one of their biggest problems is the length of time they take. They take 6 hours to teach 2 hours worth of material.

Material is their next problem. It is inadequate and out-dated.

Training the trainer is the next deficiency. Their materials for teaching delivery -- and actual course content -- have few good examples and don't teach trainers how to teach well.

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Thank you for your service.  I too have some experience with Scoutmaster training and Wood Badge, both starting in 1959.

Start with this: understanding the Patrol Method is not even a learning objective of Scoutmaster basic training per the current syllabus.  It should be THE objective.   

To avoid a wall of text comparing BSA training syllabus contents to more authoritative BSA statements on the Patrol Method over the years and today,  please consider this: for fourteen years, until late Summer 2014, the section of the Scoutmaster Specific syllabus entitled "Working with Youth, the Patrol Method" lacked a single sentence correctly describing the Patrol Method.  In fact, the word "patrol," appeared exactly once.   Staff, then sworn to present the message BSA "intends," might have compensated.  I surely did.  (I am always happy to learn more if you could cite language to the contrary.)

Now, we are sworn as trainers to "use" the syllabus. ("For what," one asks. )The current syllabus, sadly, is only fractionally better than what it replaced because it reinforces the incorrect idea that the troop is where everything of worth happens.  The syllabus does say, "Scouting happens in the context of a patrol, then contradicts that defining  concept in almost everything else it says.  Just look at the model troop meeting plan - a few minutes for a patrol "business" meeting and the vast bulk of time "troop," "troop," "troop."  Even Scoutcraft instruction is shown on the troop level.  Compare that to these words: "[The patrol is] the place where boys learn skills together, take on leadership responsibilities, perhaps for the first time . . . . ”    B.S.A. Scouting.org., (2018)   “Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements.”  B.S.A., Scouting.org (2018)[emphasis added]   Does the syllabus even mention that Scouts, not adults, are to be the primary Scoutcraft teachers?  No.  And where is the training on planning patrol program, where "scouting happens"?  ZIp.  Nada.  Zero.v  Troop, troop, troop.

The present syllabus falls FAR short of coherently presenting a correct view of BSA's statements since 1929 and to this date to the effect that Boy Scouting is patrol scouting, not troop Scouting.  

"A patrol is that small group of boys and friends under their own leadership who plan and carry out troop and patrol meetings and activities. It is the basic organizational unit of a Scout troop.  Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster Handbook, 1998 ed., 2010 printing,  Chapter 4, "The Boy-Led Patrol"

"Unless the patrol method is in operation, you don’t really have a Boy Scout troop.”  Scoutingmagazine.org (citing Baden-Powell) (September, 2015 and still posted today - this very minute)  https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/09/05/patrol-method/  

The legend is that Coach Vince Lombardi began every training season with, "Gentlemen, this is a football."

Gentlemen, this is Boy Scouting. 

Yogi Berra on why SMs need to know what the Patrol Method is:

 "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there."

NOTE: site is supplying it's own underlining.  Thanks, I guess.

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51 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

I have never found BSA training to be wanting in time consumption. That's one of their biggest problems is the length of time they take. They take 6 hours to teach 2 hours worth of material.

Material is their next problem. It is inadequate and out-dated.

Training the trainer is the next deficiency. Their materials for teaching delivery -- and actual course content -- have few good examples and don't teach trainers how to teach well.

Really, Colonel?  An interative diuscussion on the Patrol Method + cover the syllabus in 35 minutes? 

All woods tools and each trainee applying the skills, all in, efffectively, fifty minutes?  

Woods Badge, when I first was "junior staff," was T-F Scoutcraft in eight continuous16hr+ days.  Now we have twenty-two hours if we are lucky.  Eighteen hours at summer camp version.

As for the rest.   +100

 

 

A

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This is what I wanted in woodbadge. They could bring this back and a week in the woods doing training would be wonderful. Not much needs to be written.

 

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18 minutes ago, MattR said:

This is what I wanted in woodbadge. They could bring this back and a week in the woods doing training would be wonderful. Not much needs to be written.

I missed your post the in Virtual Campfire, so thanks for linking to it.

I could merely upvote it once in both places. So I strongly recommend everyone to navigate to MattR's post, then the link he shared, and vote on both accordingly.

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