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LeCastor

Patrol Method/System Resources

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This is really appropriate . This weekend, I spent time with the SPL trying to help him out and get organized. We had a nice long chat, and he got 1.5 months planned out and detailed. One thing I found was the WOODS WISDOM book the troop got back in 1993. I've seen it before, and suggested using it as a model to base his meetings on.

But it ain't Green Bar Bill. Not only is the instruction based upon different ability groups, instruction appears to be taken away from the PLs. Multiple times I read getting parents involved in teaching and/or attending camp outs or activities.

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How about the SPL as chair of the Patrol Leaders' Council, which is supposed to plan the the Scouting time allocated to troop program -- a minority of Scouting time -- as representatives of their constituents ?

 
"Patrol Leader, “[r]epresent your patrol at all patrol leaders' council meetings and the annual program planning conference.”
 
                   B.S.A. , Scouting.org (2018) [capitalization as in
                         original]
 
"The Patrol Leaders bring the needs and wants of their respective patrols to The Patrol Leaders’ Council and the members democratically select the
troop program." 
 
                 B.S.A., bsahandbook.org (2018)
 
…[T]hrough these patrol leaders, Scouts have a voice in deciding what activities the troop will put on its calendar.”
 
                B.S.A., Orientation for New Scout Parents  (2018)
 
 

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Teaching scouts how to run productive meetings is one of the most common weaknesses I have observed of troop leaders over the years. The SPL Handbook gives an example of how to conduct a meeting, but very few troops use the handbook.

The problem with district and council JLT courses is, if the troop adults don’t know what the courses teach, rarely do the scouts bring anything back to the program. It’s not that the adults don’t support their scout’s training, they just don’t know how to let the scout mix what he just learned into the program. 

I really believe the best way to get the most impact from Junior Leadership courses is send the adults through them.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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Teaching adults how to run productive meetings is just as difficult, possibly moreso.

  • Upvote 1

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I honestly found the SPL guidebook a complete waste. Most of the meeting plans are not useable for small troops, as we don’t have money to buy new supplies every month for a one time use. I have edited them before, otherwise I make my own.

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There can be a disconnect between the real world and bureaucrats.  I am a gear nut but some of the gear suggested in Scouting takes my breath away, value-wise.  EXPENSIVE!!

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5 hours ago, ItsBrian said:

I honestly found the SPL guidebook a complete waste. Most of the meeting plans are not useable for small troops, as we don’t have money to buy new supplies every month for a one time use. I have edited them before, otherwise I make my own.

SPL “Hand”book? There is only one meeting plan that goes something like:

Officer reports

Patrol Leader Reports

Old Business 

New Business 

Are you sure we are talking about the same thing?

Barry

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"One, two, three, four or five Patrols may form a Troop, but the Patrols are the working unit whenever practical and the Troop organization is designed to provide supervision, coordination, institutional loyalty and service."
 
                                                  B.S.A., The Patrol Method, 1938 ed. at p. 3.
 

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2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

SPL “Hand”book? There is only one meeting plan that goes something like:

Officer reports

Patrol Leader Reports

Old Business 

New Business 

Are you sure we are talking about the same thing?

Barry

Handbook, guidebook, it all means the same to me.

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10 hours ago, ItsBrian said:

Handbook, guidebook, it all means the same to me.

Well, for me, it means if the boys don't use the books, somebody has to tell them and that is usually the adults. 

Barry

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Well, for me, it means if the boys don't use the books, somebody has to tell them and that is usually the adults. 

Barry

As I said before, I have used the book and did not benefit a small troop like mine.

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3 hours ago, ItsBrian said:

As I said before, I have used the book and did not benefit a small troop like mine.

At the same time, our troop of only a few boys had a push to go back to the book and follow it more closely, and it has helped strengthen the unit and the boys tremendously. It's not as much the book itself as how you use it.

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2 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

At the same time, our troop of only a few boys had a push to go back to the book and follow it more closely, and it has helped strengthen the unit and the boys tremendously. It's not as much the book itself as how you use it.

Most of the “games” require supplies we don’t have. Also for some want you to plan a camp out for a certain week, which we can’t just do always. It is more logistics and planning. I like to go more in depth with topics than how they describe it.

I have my Troop spend about a month and a 1/2 on First Aid. I want them to know it, as it is in my opinion one of the most important things one need to know. The meeting plan does not outline all the things that one needs to know, if they do, it’s only for a brief second.

Remember, every Troop is different.

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@ItsBrian, I think the simple fact that you're here with us on the Forum shows you care a lot about Scouting and about the Scouts in your Troop.  I admire your decision to join this group and give we Scouters a view from the youth perspective.  I think what @The Latin Scot  and @Eagledad are saying is that, as is this topic's subject, the Patrol Leader Handbook is simply a resource for Scouts on how to implement and maintain the Patrol System within a Troop.  

I like that you modify the games and such to fit your needs.  This is another example of how you are being a good leader and adapting a resource to fit the needs of your Troop's Patrol(s).  Like you, my Troop was small and I was the SPL. Coincidentally, I came across my old meeting plans in a box the other day and looked back fondly on the time and energy I spent preparing awesome meetings for my fellow Scouts.  You do what you think it best for your Scouts and make sure they are having fun and learning the necessary skills.  

Edited by LeCastor

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