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5thGenTexan

Cub Scout Patrols

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In our pack its been kinda decided the Webelos are going to adopt the patrol method and start learning the real skills they need before joining the troop.  Its also been suggested that the lower dens are going to act as patrols.  Instead of one person cooking for everyone each den (DL) will cook for themselves.

 

Our. Campout for this weekend was cancelled because its supposed to be wet and cold and seems like everyone has been sick.  So we are going to just do a Beaver Day work day at the local camp.  I was planning on taking a 10x10 popup canopy to cook under and a place for people to get out if the rain if needed.  I never felt good about it but it would have been the best option.

 

I want to propose to my leadership we put together a real dining fly or two.  Webelos should be able to or learn quickly to set one up.  I would like for my Tigers to be introduced now to the idea.  Its something they can help with unlike cooking or anything with fire at this point.  Start at the very least seeing what different knots are used for, start working as a team to complete a task. By the time these Tigers are Webelos they would be able to show up at camp and setup quickly without thinking about it.  

 

Also think a nice dining fly setup would be awesome during out city festivals.  Would be a more impressive display than a popup canopy and a table.

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When you say "acting as patrols," do you mean in regards to camping only, or through the whole program in general?

I will be frank - as a Webelos leader and an child educator I am not in favor of this idea. The patrol method is, specifically, allowing the boys to manage their own affairs, and leaving them to their own devices when it comes to activities, cooking, etc. Boys of Cub Scout age are too young for this practice to work. There is solid educational, pedagogical support for the leaders guiding activities for boys this young. They need to have solid, positive modeling for how activities are supposed to work in the first place, and they don't have the self-discipline, knowledge or skills they need at this age to do that on their own. As a Child Development Specialist, I would intervene immediately if I knew a Pack near me was attempting to fully implement the patrol method.

The Webelos program is where preparation for the Patrol Method begins - they practice it for a month, and then spend time talking about it and how it succeeds (or fails) based on their experience. They do NOT implement it fully; the purpose of the adventure is to prepare them for Boy Scouts by giving them a sample of what the program will be like - it is not the program itself, nor should it be. Jump-starting the Boy Scout program by pushing it in Webelos is not age-appropriate, nor is it wise - the programs are different for a reason, and the boys are being short-changed out of the wonderful Webelos program that is in place by skipping forward to the Boy Scout methods without giving them the full Webelos/Arrow of Light experience. 

What surprises me is that the scaffolding of skills and knowledge clearly delineated from rank to rank seems to be largely ignored by this move. Each Cub rank's adventure are specifically designed to gradually move boys towards Patrol practices, but by setting the example through attentive adult leadership appropriate to their ages. Tigers especially need hands-on support from their leaders and parents, not just to get things done safely and correctly, but emotionally as well - remember, these are still children, and they deserve to be treated as such. Once they are old enough for Boy Scouts, you can loosen the tether on them more safely.

Now, as far as cooking and setting up at camp activities - sure, let them help out, and PLEASE make them a part of the fun. But DON'T expect them to be self-sufficient at this age, and don't treat them like patrols. The Den System is designed for boys this age - don't move them up before they are ready, don't cheat them out of the Cub Program by skipping ahead, and let them be children with loving, involved leaders who help and guide them so that, when they are finally old enough for Boy Scouts, they are truly prepared for the program.

 

*** Despite all this, a nice dining fly set-up is always nice, and looks great at festivals and events. 

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29 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

When you say "acting as patrols," do you mean in regards to camping only, or through the whole program in general?

I will be frank - as a Webelos leader and an child educator I am not in favor of this idea. The patrol method is, specifically, allowing the boys to manage their own affairs, and leaving them to their own devices when it comes to activities, cooking, etc. Boys of Cub Scout age are too young for this practice to work. There is solid educational, pedagogical support for the leaders guiding activities for boys this young. They need to have solid, positive modeling for how activities are supposed to work in the first place, and they don't have the self-discipline, knowledge or skills they need at this age to do that on their own. As a Child Development Specialist, I would intervene immediately if I knew a Pack near me was attempting to fully implement the patrol method.

The Webelos program is where preparation for the Patrol Method begins - they practice it for a month, and then spend time talking about it and how it succeeds (or fails) based on their experience. They do NOT implement it fully; the purpose of the adventure is to prepare them for Boy Scouts by giving them a sample of what the program will be like - it is not the program itself, nor should it be. Jump-starting the Boy Scout program by pushing it in Webelos is not age-appropriate, nor is it wise - the programs are different for a reason, and the boys are being short-changed out of the wonderful Webelos program that is in place by skipping forward to the Boy Scout methods without giving them the full Webelos/Arrow of Light experience. 

What surprises me is that the scaffolding of skills and knowledge clearly delineated from rank to rank seems to be largely ignored by this move. Each Cub rank's adventure are specifically designed to gradually move boys towards Patrol practices, but by setting the example through attentive adult leadership appropriate to their ages. Tigers especially need hands-on support from their leaders and parents, not just to get things done safely and correctly, but emotionally as well - remember, these are still children, and they deserve to be treated as such. Once they are old enough for Boy Scouts, you can loosen the tether on them more safely.

Now, as far as cooking and setting up at camp activities - sure, let them help out, and PLEASE make them a part of the fun. But DON'T expect them to be self-sufficient at this age, and don't treat them like patrols. The Den System is designed for boys this age - don't move them up before they are ready, don't cheat them out of the Cub Program by skipping ahead, and let them be children with loving, involved leaders who help and guide them so that, when they are finally old enough for Boy Scouts, they are truly prepared for the program.

 

*** Despite all this, a nice dining fly set-up is always nice, and looks great at festivals and events. 

No, not talking about cutting them loose and do it on their own. :)   Its my understanding each den will have its own cookbox.  The campout that isn't going to happen this time we were going to cook breakfast and dinner at the den level. Tigers do Tiger Bites so they have (at least mine do) an understanding of what is healthy and what isn't.  I see no reason they can't help plan the menu.  They can't cook but in instances they can sure help prepare.  Foil pack meals come to mind.

If  each den had its own dining fly to set up....  Tigers can help unfold the tarp, they can help straighten lines, etc.  They cant drive stakes or set poles upright.  They can start seeing how a particular knot is used.  Start learning to work as a team with a tangible goal. 

It didn't happen this year but next year I fully intend on Denner elections on a regular basis for their Wolf year.

 

I think there is a lot that can be done that is age appropriate while preparing for the eventual crossover to the troop.  I do not believe making "sit upons"  does anything to achieve that goal.  Yes, I saw this week on FB of big plans to have a den decorate a bucket and make a cushion seat with pretty fabric. 

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Okay, that makes more sense. And I apologize for the long diatribe; I just had an instance a few days ago trying to deal with a neighboring pack that asked me to come do a training and I arrived to find their program was WAY WAY OFF, so I am a little skittish when I hear about using the Patrol Method for little kids lately, lol. 

And I have never heard of a "sit upon," but it sounds ridiculous, albeit cute. Don't we have enough to do without wasting time making fluffy chairs? I am totally with you on that one, haha. 

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6 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

Okay, that makes more sense. And I apologize for the long diatribe; I just had an instance a few days ago trying to deal with a neighboring pack that asked me to come do a training and I arrived to find their program was WAY WAY OFF, so I am a little skittish when I hear about using the Patrol Method for little kids lately, lol. 

And I have never heard of a "sit upon," but it sounds ridiculous, albeit cute. Don't we have enough to do without wasting time making fluffy chairs? I am totally with you on that one, haha. 

"Sit upon"   Sit Upon

Saw another jewel the other day where someone wanted to make paper dolls so her den could dress them up to illustrate differences.  Or something of that nature.  It really scares me what some people are doing. :)

Edited by 5thGenTexan

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LOL. Don't get me wrong, that sounds like a cute idea and it would be great for school or a family council or something - but not for Cub Scouts, where we have enough requirements to complete already! :laugh:

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We did something like this when I was a Cub leader.

On a few campings trips, each den level was responsible for doing their own food prep. 
- The Webelos did most of their own cooking with active support of their parents.
- The Bears worked with their parents to make food
- The Wolves stirred pots, put ingredients in, etc.
- The Tigers flipped pancakes.

Some dens did a better job of this than others.  My son's den leader was a fantastic guy who spent several den meetings teaching my son (a Bear at the time) to cut, cook on a stove, etc.  Other den leader's didn't really understand how to challenge their boys, so they got less out of it.

The first time we did it, it was a great experience.  The second time was pretty good.  The third time a disaster.  

By the third time, nonsense adult politics crept in.  One den leader was ill prepared and kept having to borrow food from other dens.  Of course scouters are friendly, but when kids started showing up at the other dens areas saying - "I'm hungry", it got a little ridiculous.  The den leader who was the most organized took advantage of the fact that other den leaders didn't read emails and kinda horded the pack gear.  Yet another den leader sat in his area and was sniping about the Webelos leader all weekend. 

That was the last time we did that :)

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In the UK our cubs use somethng that vaguely resembles a patrol system. We don't have Dens like you do instead the  cub pack (8-10 year olds) is divided into sixes and the Beaver Colony (6-8 year olds) is divided into Lodges. Each typically has 6 Beavers or Cubs in it.

They certainly don't act as full on patrols, as Latin Scot says they aren't old enough to function quite like that. Typically though games are played on an inter six/lodge basis, chores on camps are done in a six/lodge, a six may well all sleep in a tent together. In particular in Cubs each six will have a Sixer, who is the equivalent of a PL.. They don't have the same responsibility but they are acknlwoedged as the snior members of the pack and will be asked to buddy younger cubs, do flag break etc.

Those small groups do work quite well both at week to week meetings and camps

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If you plan on having roles in your dens (Didn’t see anything about it), then I guarantee 100% it would not work at any level of cub scouting. Why would someone listen to someone in their classes, same grade, friend, or best friend. I know I wouldn’t. Sometimes high schoolers don’t even listen!

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9 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

If you plan on having roles in your dens (Didn’t see anything about it), then I guarantee 100% it would not work at any level of cub scouting. Why would someone listen to someone in their classes, same grade, friend, or best friend. I know I wouldn’t. Sometimes high schoolers don’t even listen!

Remember it's the kind of thing that beds in though. I think you're seeing it from the perspective of a den/pack going from as is to six (I'll call it that to distinguish from a full on patrol) If you are in a situation where from the moment they walk through the door aged 6 they are introduced to the idea of working in a six and that for various things someone may be asked to be in charge (obviously the complexity increasing from age 6 to 10/11) then that will be accepted. Young children are extremely impressionable and if introduced to something as being the way it is at a young age they will accept that as being the way it is.

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We did what Parkman did though it really depends on what the other parents wanted to do. Sometimes my family ended up cooking our own food because...it was fun and we were camping. We were often in the minority.

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Don't knock the "sit upon"....  Use one when dove hunting.  Has a cooler liner to keep my water and Gatorade cold while in the field!

situpon.jpg

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Watch out, don't get them too far advanced...

 

I often thought that the webelos scouts would have more fun if something like this were done.

When I was CM I tried to encourage it a bit, and I leaned on the Webelos some furring pack meetings as leaders.... they would help keep things organized, pick teams for games, stuff like that....

I would have liked to have even done way more at the den level then we did, in making it into a patrol rather than a den....patrol spirit, patrol yell, picking what they want to do, etc...

BUT

fast forward to after about a year after my son joined the troop.  I was seeing serious signs of boredom....and we really didn't even do all that much at the den level.  The troops might be set up less advanced in the patrol method than even you do now, and that could be a set-up for let-down and disappointment...

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It's too soon for this stuff, especially Tiger through Bear.

I'd rather the boys were off playing in the woods than working in the kitchen area. 

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2 hours ago, cyphertext said:

Don't knock the "sit upon"....  Use one when dove hunting.  Has a cooler liner to keep my water and Gatorade cold while in the field!

situpon.jpg

I made one (a scout is thrifty) it has a plywood seat, is orange, and says "home depot". The seat is bolted, sealed with silicon, and attached to one of those water proof screw lids. Good for canoe camping.

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