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MattR

Dynamic patrols and the patrol method

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This is where I make the difference between "contingent" and "patrol".

Contingents are handy when only a couple guys from each patrol are interested in an activity, so they peel off from their patrols' for that activity. This is often how we prepare our Philmont or Seabase contingents.

The patrols serve as a scout's "home base."

Needless to say, too many contingent activities and boys lose sense of patrols. Too few, and your patrols may miss out on "injections" of creativity from boys coming back from contingents.

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We have 6 patrols and once you are assigned to a patrol, that is your patrol for your tenure.  Note we have about 90 scouts, so roughly 15 assigned per patrol.  That being said, there are they older scouts who may be not as active, and we split up the new scouts each year based on actual activity to keep a good core group.

For most outings we have 6 patrols that function. Typically about 40 attend each outing.  Our lake outing had 70 with about 20 leaders in and out, so 90+ in camp for the period.  Some of the outings two patrols may combine so we have 6 -8 scouts working together.  In that case the two patrols determine which PL will be in charge for that outing in a combined patrol.  

We let the Greenbar determine which patrols combine

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On 2/10/2018 at 11:56 PM, TAHAWK said:

 

“ ‘[T]he Patrol System is not one method in which Scouting for boys can be carried out, but it is the only method. . . . ’”

        B.S.A., The Patrol Method (1930)

“The patrol method isn’t one way to run a troop. It’s the only way.”
 
           B.S.A., Scouting.org   (2014)
 
"Unless the patrol method is in  operation, you don't really have a Boy Scout Troop
 
         B.S.A., Scouting.org (citing Baden-Powell) (09/2015)
 
"Scouting happens in the context of a patrol"
 
        B.S.S., Scoutmaster Position Specific Training (syllabus 2018)

[to the Scout:] "Your boy scout troop is made up of patrols, with each patrol's members sharing responsibility for the patrol's success

        B.S.A., The Boy Scout Handbook, 13th [curren] 'Ed. at p. 25.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

These points, I wish were burned into every scouter with every required training that they take.  they should be dissected and analyzed thoroughly during every IOLS, and probably ILST too, as long as we are making the scouts sit through that....

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On 2/12/2018 at 2:57 PM, Jameson76 said:

We have 6 patrols and once you are assigned to a patrol, that is your patrol for your tenure.  Note we have about 90 scouts, so roughly 15 assigned per patrol.  That being said, there are they older scouts who may be not as active, and we split up the new scouts each year based on actual activity to keep a good core group.

For most outings we have 6 patrols that function. Typically about 40 attend each outing.  Our lake outing had 70 with about 20 leaders in and out, so 90+ in camp for the period.  Some of the outings two patrols may combine so we have 6 -8 scouts working together.  In that case the two patrols determine which PL will be in charge for that outing in a combined patrol.  

We let the Greenbar determine which patrols combine

Compare: "A patrol is a group of friends"  Boy Scouting.

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"We have patrols, but have to form patrols at each outing based on who goes." I hear this a lot locally (we have five troops in town) and it always concerns me. My son crosses over tomorrow. My worry is if new patrols are being formed--when? If it's in advance, fine. But, if it's happening at or right before, who's planning the meals, buying the food, making the duty roster, etc.? Sounds like a recipe for an adult led program.

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The four steps of team development are forming, storming, norming and performing. If the team never gets to storming, they will never get to self functioning performing.

Scouting is a growth development program. There is growth through all stages of team development, but storming and norming are the most challenging steps in team development. The growth from those steps are also the most fulfilling for scouts and are generally the drive that motivates a scout to continue his scouting experience. If the scouts never get to those stages of team development , then likely the adults have to become part of the program just to keep the scouts somewhat interested. But rarely do scouts in these kinds of program stay past age 14.

Barry

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13 minutes ago, MattHiggins said:

"We have patrols, but have to form patrols at each outing based on who goes." I hear this a lot locally (we have five troops in town) and it always concerns me. My son crosses over tomorrow. My worry is if new patrols are being formed--when? If it's in advance, fine. But, if it's happening at or right before, who's planning the meals, buying the food, making the duty roster, etc.? Sounds like a recipe for an adult led program.

@MattHiggins, file this under "all politics is local". We usually let the boys adjust their camping arrangements the week before the campout. That is, we expect them to come the Monday before telling us who will be joining their patrol for the weekend.

Yes, this opens the gate for adult intervention. So, the PLC has a 15 minutes pow-wow after each meeting (rather than the more typical monthly meeting). This helps them be "first-to-know" about who's on what roster, and gives them a chance to "task" adults with things that will actually help boys lead rather than replace their leadership.

The best solution for patrols is a group of boys so tight and proud of their identity that they would more than happily arrive at camp as a "patrol of one" if need be, for the sake of his buddies. Inculcating that vision is truly challenging. But, it's fun when you see it happen.

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3 minutes ago, qwazse said:

The best solution for patrols is a group of boys so tight and proud of their identity that they would more than happily arrive at camp as a "patrol of one" if need be, for the sake of his buddies. Inculcating that vision is truly challenging. But, it's fun when you see it happen.

Well said, we had a couple of campouts with a patrol of one. They usually get a lot of respect and praise by the other patrols.

Barry

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, qwazse said:

@MattHiggins, file this under "all politics is local". We usually let the boys adjust their camping arrangements the week before the campout. That is, we expect them to come the Monday before telling us who will be joining their patrol for the weekend.

Yes, this opens the gate for adult intervention. So, the PLC has a 15 minutes pow-wow after each meeting (rather than the more typical monthly meeting). This helps them be "first-to-know" about who's on what roster, and gives them a chance to "task" adults with things that will actually help boys lead rather than replace their leadership.

The best solution for patrols is a group of boys so tight and proud of their identity that they would more than happily arrive at camp as a "patrol of one" if need be, for the sake of his buddies. Inculcating that vision is truly challenging. But, it's fun when you see it happen.

So, are your patrols still planning their own meals, budgeting and buying their own food and cooking as separate patrols as well as planning their own activities based on what they need and/or want to get done? If so, then making or tweaking patrols is fine. If not, then we have camping clubs, not Boy Scouts. I imagine your patrols are doing those things, but I am eager to see what transpires locally.

Edited by MattHiggins

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, MattHiggins said:

If it's in advance, fine. But, ....

old thread so I'm sorry if I've already written this...b I disagree with this idea.... I think it's never fine

2 hours ago, qwazse said:

The best solution for patrols is a group of boys so tight and proud of their identity that they would more than happily arrive at camp as a "patrol of one" if need be, for the sake of his buddies. Inculcating that vision is truly challenging. But, it's fun when you see it happen.

Exactly!!!

well I've never actually seen it happen so I can't confirm it's fun to see, but "Exactly" to the first part of what you said!!!  makes total sense!

Edited by blw2

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4 minutes ago, blw2 said:

well I've never actually seen it happen so I can't confirm it's fun to see, but "Exactly" to the first part of what you said!!!  makes total sense!

It is the goal at the very least.

Barry

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4 hours ago, MattHiggins said:

So, are your patrols still planning their own meals, budgeting and buying their own food and cooking as separate patrols as well as planning their own activities based on what they need and/or want to get done? If so, then making or tweaking patrols is fine. If not, then we have camping clubs, not Boy Scouts. I imagine your patrols are doing those things, but I am eager to see what transpires locally.

Some months they are more autonomous than others. And, if you browse through old posts on this topic you'll get a better idea of the ebb and flow.

I rib our SM a lot because he has a servant heart, and offers to run errands for the boys. But, when that doesn't work out to the boys' liking (e.g., a key ingredient is missing) it's on them to solve it.

And there are reasons besides laziness that drive boys to want to be more troop and less patrol. Overcoming those is a process.

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Posted (edited)

I introduced myself to Professor Tuckman, who answered his own telephone at Ohio State, solely by name and recited what I had just been told about his "Stages of Team Development" (at Wood Badge).  He chuckled, and said, "You must be with Boy Scouts.  I wish they would read my article.  Did you?"  I assured him that I had, and that had also taken Blanchard's week-long "Situational Leadership" in 1995.  "Then", Professor Tuckman said, "can we assume that you know I never said that."   I told him  that we could use that as a working assumption and that I was calling to be sure I understood his theory.  We talked for about forty-five minutes.

In Tuckman's theoretical model, "stages" are simply descriptions of where the group can be at a given point, for use as guidance of the group "leader" in "supplying what is missing."  (If, then)  There is no necessary or inevitable order.  There may be other stages.  Stages may repeat.  The leader must adjust his/her efforts to the situation in which the group finds itself.  (Hence, "Situational Leadership.")

Most "productive team I was on  at "work."

1. Started ignorant and depressed.  "We are scapegoats" was one comment.  "Doomed" was another.  Seemed very united in this view.  Said, grimly, we would nevertheless fight the good fight.  "No one will be able to say we didn't  try."  One member of the team pretended to be very ill to drop out before our first meeting.  Some "refused" the assignment (Not sure how they got away with that.).  As we started our work, calls and emails were not returned by persons with critical information.

2. As we learned some relevant and material facts, energy increased and morale rose.  We might not crash and burn.

3. As we learned more, hope turned to optimism.  We started to believe we could  "win" (with no shared definition of "win.")

At this stage, as word of progress leaked out, people who had studiously avoided any association with the team fought to get on it.  The team started out all management - not "bargained-for" work, you see.  Towards the final days of preparation, hourly employees were helping without pay.  CWA union stewards were helping or asking if they could help - without pay -  BIG DEAL.  Managers who had previously failed to return calls, showed up with donuts and pizza. ("Victory has a thousand Godfathers.  Defeat is ever an orphan.") 

5. Our stated goal from top company leadership (also at Stage 1) when we were ordered to be part of this team was to keep the verdict under $30,000.000.00.  The verdict would then be tripled by statute to determine the damage award.   As we waited for the verdict, @250,000.00 sounded good to them.

6. The verdict was for $1.00, trebled to $3.00.00., a good payoff for thousands of hours of work.

The opposing team (sixty-attorney law firm) dissolved after revoking partnership of their leader.

 

Tuckman's reaction to my report: " Real life is only approximately like models. "   Reminds me of Psych 101: "People are not like Coke bottles."

Professor Tuckman passed away in 2016, ending my hope to get our council WB Coordinator to talk to him.

 

I was the leader of this team (expression of confidence or ???? :confused:)

Like many teams in real life, some members of this team had related with one another before being placed on this team, some for many, many hours over up to eight years.

Other team members, although in the same department,  had never worked together. 

Others had never even met.

One of my team was higher in the company hierarchy by one level and three pay grades.  I am convinced he joined up on his own initiative because we were friends,

 

Cubs joining a patrol are not a twelve-step group (Tuckman's subjects).  They are likely to have been teammates together for years as Cubs, well along in sorting out relationship issues, but there could be an outlier or two or three.

It's only a tool.
 

 

Edited by TAHAWK

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My idea was form the patrols for the event a month before the event. As soon as one camput ends the scouts should know their schedule well enough to decide if they can go on the next. This gives enough time to coalesce around the tasks that need to be done. I really dislike when the patrols start deciding the meeting before the campout. There's no way the new members will have had time to prepare for anything other than doing the usual meals, not to mention whatever the main event is at the campout. Then everyone wonders why there's no teamwork.

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"Form the patrols for the event..." confuses me.  I think of it as the patrol forming the events. I find most ad hoc patrol issues arise when events are planned as a troop instead of as a patrol. If the patrol is the primary unit, then all decisions, events, planning arise from that primary unit. When the troop is tbe primary unit which makes tbe decisions, plans the events it is no wonder the patrols break down. In essence the troop is trying to operate as a giant patrol ineffectively.

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