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xj-boonie

Summer camp - too many adults?

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1 hour ago, perdidochas said:

Well, then you are a better man than I am. 

thanks, but I seriously doubt that.

I know the temptation you write of, very well.  I had to work hard to resist it....

but

thanks to effort & interest on my part, enough to do a lot of reading books on the subject and participating here and actively reading scout blogs and listening to podcasts...I think I came up to speed very quickly.  Nothing about being a Cub Scouter certainly had anything to do with it.... Yes it was hard to resist and no doubt I wasn't perfect at it and made mistakes...  I'm remembering one of my early camps though that I went on with the troop.... a veteran ASM who was an Eagle as a youth, had attended Philmont, Order of Arrow, and all of that...good guy, very smart guy...but I remember him jumping in and doing it for a scout (building a fire I think it was).... and I tried to politely/covertly call him on it to steer the situation.  that's just an example, and not trying to brag or anything...just point out that blanket statements like "don't let first year scouters..." can be just plain dangerous to take without a grain of salt.

Since that experience, I have strongly felt that both cub scouts and cub scouters would be better served if training and the program in general, probably starting at the bear level, started to steer in the ideas in the patrol method and "boy leading the way" concepts....not going full in at that point, but easing towards that independence

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2 hours ago, perdidochas said:

Well, then you are a better man than I am.  When I was a first year Scouter with the Troop (after having been a TDL, DL and 1 1/2 year WDL, and still being a WDL for the next Den), I was assigned a job by the SM as Advancement chair. Best thing they ever did.  When the NSP (my former Webelos Den) was not working right, and having problems menu planning, I almost jumped up to help them. Thankfully, I had a job to do with the Troop, and couldn't do that.   It's too tempting for most of us WDLs to turn the NSP into a Webelos III den. 

A Boy Scout leader shouldn't be herding cats. The SPL and PLs should be. 

At summer camp, the SPL and PLs are going to their own merit badges.

These are first year scouts.  The group we have this year might be good on their own.  We've had some special needs kids who could not.

At the beginning of the week, I'd want an adult making sure they get there.  They have no older scouts going to Brownsea Island with them.

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2 hours ago, MattR said:

 Both a two hour (for parents) and a full day training (for scouters) of patrol method/boy led/fun with a purpose would prevent all these confusing threads. Just imagine if the BSA put on such a training. Every time someone new came here and started asking about adult/scout interactions we could just say "we strongly suggest any adult take this training. It will really help. There are scenarios. You can roll play. It's fun. You'll finally get past all the mystery and know when to step in and when to step back."

But no, we'll never see it. Instead we now have this vague phrase, family camping, that's really going to make things worse.

 

The BSA already trains adult leaders in the Patrol Method - its part of the Scoutmaster-specific training.

The expectation is that Scoutmasters will learn this, that ASM's will learn this - and that they will bring it back to the units, and implement it. The Scoutmaster is the "chief program officer" of the Troop - one of his responsibilities is to bring the committee/parents up to speed on what the program is all about - and that means "training" the committee/parents in the Patrol Method and how it works. 

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4 hours ago, xj-boonie said:

Barry,

With all due respect, this is a request from the camp, as stated in their Brownsea Program letter: "We ask that every Troop with Brownsea Scouts designate a Leader to participate in the
program with those Scouts throughout the week."

I appreciate your concern, but having been to camp a time or two, the scouts are perfectly fine with finding their way around and are usually better at it than us old timers.  Occasionally they need to look at the map the first day, but they seem to remember where everything is from the opening tour better than we do.

And while we don't put the adults in a different site (the camp doesn't have that capacity/availability), we have typically had the adult tent(s) as separated as possible.

Thanks for the clarification. I think two subjects were combined into one, helping out the camp staff and giving new scouts independence.

 

2 hours ago, MattR said:

 

Eagledad, a week or so ago there was a thread about training and patrol method. You had said it was all there, people just had to dig for it. Well, this is the perfect example of how that isn't going to work. Volunteers do have limited time. Training needs to be effective and succinct. I really do like your description about scout growth. I use it all the time now. Unfortunately, you're the only one that really talks about it. It's a constant battle to convince parents that older scout growth is the key to a good program. They just look at me stupid and go back to where they were. Both a two hour (for parents) and a full day training (for scouters) of patrol method/boy led/fun with a purpose would prevent all these confusing threads. Just imagine if the BSA put on such a training. Every time someone new came here and started asking about adult/scout interactions we could just say "we strongly suggest any adult take this training. It will really help. There are scenarios. You can roll play. It's fun. You'll finally get past all the mystery and know when to step in and when to step back."

But no, we'll never see it. Instead we now have this vague phrase, family camping, that's really going to make things worse.

Sorry if I sound grumpy. I tore up my back yesterday and now I just have to wait, horizontally, until it heals.

Well, I tend to speak in idealism and work my way back. There are plenty of resources for scouters for most of the situations they run into. But the adults have to want to find answers. More often than not, scouters don't do the research and work the situation their way, not the BSA way.

You think training will help? Training doesn't train person to be an expert, they train them in learning what they need to learn. BUT, I found through polling scouters at Woodbage that less than 20% of Scoutmasters have read all their SM Handbook. Less than 10% of ASMs.

Passion seems to be the driving motivation for learning the concepts and elements for a Patrol Method program. Like you, those scouters are easy to identify. They like to talk about patrol method or boy run and they typically studied and read Badon Powel and William Hillcourt (Greenbar Bill). They can usually identify the Aims and Methods and how they apply to the patrol method.

I'm not sure that Patrol Method was every easy for scouters, but it sure is harder today.

Barry

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To throw fuel on the fire, there's very little patrol method going on at summer camp.

Sure, you can tent by patrol method, but since the tents are in set positions, you're not getting much separation.

We travel to flags as a troop, not patrols.

We eat breakfast as a troop at our designated tables, which typically don't allow for separating as patrols.

After breakfast, Brownsea scouts go to their program as a group.  Everyone else scatters as individuals to their merit badges.

Everyone (except Brownsea) arrives to lunch as individuals and we sit in those same tables.

Siesta after lunch done as individuals or groups as the scouts choose.

Off to Brownsea and merit badges again.

Travel to flags and dinner as a troop.

Evening programs as individuals or as a troop.

Sleep.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  Patrol method works at troop activities, not at summer camp.

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There are still a few "patrol method" summer camps - patrol competitions,  the whole patrol spends day/day(s) in same activity, patrol cooking no mess halls, few or no merit badges offered,  

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19 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

At summer camp, the SPL and PLs are going to their own merit badges.

These are first year scouts.  The group we have this year might be good on their own.  We've had some special needs kids who could not.

At the beginning of the week, I'd want an adult making sure they get there.  They have no older scouts going to Brownsea Island with them.

Very common way of thinking these days.  It is how we are all conditioned now. 

But to look at perspective, and perhaps change your paradigm a bit.....I don't know how old you are, probably not quite as old as I am, but if you're close.... think about what age these 1st year scouts are.  Now consider the kinds of things you did at that age.  

When I was much younger than these scouts, I was on my bike or on foot, roaming the neighborhood...sometimes with friends, sometimes on my way to see friends.  I'd be out of the house for hours at the time, doing all sorts of things.... exploring new home construction sites, catching crawdads in the creek half mile from home..... My parents probably usually had a good idea of where I was approximately, some of the time, but often they didn't....could be anywhere within a mile or two... but I knew to be closer to home in the evening and to be home usually when the street lights came on...but not always.   I remember many times hanging out in the evenings under that street light.  This was Cub Scout age....

fast forward to the age we are talking about.... I'd be out with my friends roaming much further away.  Rode my bike to school sometimes just for fun, instead of the bus...5 or 6 miles away and this was in a small city. & I wouldn't say that I was any sort of exception to the norm...not a rough family, not bad irresponsible parents...actually quite conservative and I was fairly timid as a kid...

My only point is that these guys at that age can certainly handle getting to a merit badge class on the other side of a very controlled access boy scout reservation, crawling with scouts and scouters all willing to help....well most willing to help

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, MattR said:

... Both a two hour (for parents) and a full day training (for scouters) of patrol method/boy led/fun with a purpose would prevent all these confusing threads. Just imagine if the BSA put on such a training. Every time someone new came here and started asking about adult/scout interactions we could just say "we strongly suggest any adult take this training. It will really help. There are scenarios. You can roll play. It's fun. You'll finally get past all the mystery and know when to step in and when to step back." 

But no, we'll never see it. Instead we now have this vague phrase, family camping, that's really going to make things worse.

Sorry if I sound grumpy. I tore up my back yesterday and now I just have to wait, horizontally, until it heals.

Why two hours? How about "however long it takes to earn 1st class rank in a patrol of scouters trying to serve our youth? Mr. SPL or JASM will sign off as you demonstrate the skills."

I'm really looking to get some adults out of the SM's hair for more than just a day.

(Actually, this batch of adults are coming along quite nicely. A couple of them were Eagle scouts, and are really good mentors -- both of youth and parents.)

P.S. - @MattR, sorry about the back pain. Ouch! Hope you bounce back before the next campout that comes your way.

Edited by qwazse

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1 hour ago, blw2 said:

Very common way of thinking these days.  It is how we are all conditioned now. 

But to look at perspective, and perhaps change your paradigm a bit.....I don't know how old you are, probably not quite as old as I am, but if you're close.... think about what age these 1st year scouts are.  Now consider the kinds of things you did at that age.  

 

One of the primary reasons for sending an adult is that the counselor to scout ratio is too large.  In the past, we've also had some special needs scouts that we felt needed an adult. Two, who dropped out of the troop, could not go to events without dad present. As a troop we were not equipped to handle their issues.

We'll evaluate it again this year

Oh, and I'm in my late 40s, I just look like I'm a millennial.  :) 

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You can remember when phones were attached to the wall.  And you can remember albums.  Yah, you're ancient. (like me :laugh:)

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2 hours ago, Buggie said:

You can remember when phones were attached to the wall.  And you can remember albums.  Yah, you're ancient. (like me :laugh:)

funny you mention phones.... just a couple days ago, I found myself explaining what a dial tone is to my almost 13 year old.  I had mentioned it in the discussion, as he and I were hooking up a new voip system for my wife's business fax, discussing how phones get their power....and he didn't know what it was!

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6 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

To throw fuel on the fire, there's very little patrol method going on at summer camp.

Agreed ...

6 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

There are still a few "patrol method" summer camps - patrol competitions,  the whole patrol spends day/day(s) in same activity, patrol cooking no mess halls, few or no merit badges offered,  

... but getting fewer. Partly because nobody sees the benefit. I tried to get one of our extra camps to set up as patrol based and I was told in no uncertain terms that "everyone" wants more MBs and that's it. Still trying to not be grumpy. Our neighboring council has a really good one and it is all about patrol method. Everything was by patrol. I heard great things about it and even talked to the staff. I was seriously impressed. I tried to get my troop interested and the only response I got was the scouts cook on their own on all other campouts so give them a break. That was about the time I decided my time as SM had come to an end.

3 hours ago, qwazse said:

Why two hours? How about "however long it takes to earn 1st class rank in a patrol of scouters trying to serve our youth? Mr. SPL or JASM will sign off as you demonstrate the skills."

I'm really looking to get some adults out of the SM's hair for more than just a day.

(Actually, this batch of adults are coming along quite nicely. A couple of them were Eagle scouts, and are really good mentors -- both of youth and parents.)

P.S. - @MattR, sorry about the back pain. Ouch! Hope you bounce back before the next campout that comes your way.

The 2 hour version is an intro that any parent could find time for. Are you talking about something at summer camp? That's a really great idea. A couple of hours every day would be impressive. Yeah, skip the T21 for the scouts and run it for the adults! I realize that's what IOLS is but it's really a lot more than the skill check marks. Oh well, it was a nice idea.

BTW, I did send something to the JTE email address. I even got a response that they got it, and that they meet once a year to review. Again, that was fun while it lasted.

As for the back, I haven't done this in a few years. I need to work on a physically fit core. And maybe start acting my age. Anyway, thanks.

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2 hours ago, Buggie said:

You can remember when phones were attached to the wall.  And you can remember albums.  Yah, you're ancient. (like me :laugh:)

We had a rotary phone and my brother got Pong and hooked it up to a black and white TV.

My attempt at being a child model was short lived.  Those polyesters are a mean animal, but their coats are worth a fortune.

(I think I went off topic)

 

Polyester.jpg

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23 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

The BSA already trains adult leaders in the Patrol Method - its part of the Scoutmaster-specific training.

35 minutes iand 5.5 pages of the syllabus is not enough. Heck I have been through a week long training on Patrol Method, and still learned things afterwards. Unless you got an old school scouter who pushes the Patrol Method at every chance they get during training. The syllabus mentions "Patrol Method" 19 times. I know one old school scouter who mentioned Patrol Method 42 times.

Further you have folks who ignore it because "they know better," or "Scouting needs to change with the times." Unless you got an old school scouter who pushes the Patrol Method at every chance they get during training. Unless you really see it in action, or truly live it for an extended period of time, most adults do not get it.

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On ‎6‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 2:05 PM, MattR said:

Both a two hour (for parents) and a full day training (for scouters) of patrol method/boy led/fun with a purpose would prevent all these confusing threads.

This is part of why our monthly Roundtable not only features CS & BS breakout sessions, but also a parent breakout.  Hopefully we will be able to have some parents 'see the light'.

We are also coming back this fall with a possible Webelos breakout, designed to help some of those new WDL's to learn the patrol method before they plunge head first into the icy cold waters of Boy Scouts.

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