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Breaking Point

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1 minute ago, ParkMan said:

Seems like a good teachable moment for adults.  Articles in Scouting Magazine and posts in Bryan on Scouting.  Pretend to talk about the rule change, but really talk about giving the buys space to employ the patrol method

Yes, it's about space, but not just physical distance. Patrol method "requires" an attitude of space that represents taking interference away from scouts making decisions based on their personal free thought. The intention of traditional scouting program is to give the scouts the room to make a decision without fear or thought of outside authority (outside the patrol) interfering with judgement. That is the challenge for adult leaders. And it is very challenging. Most adult leaders can't do it. Even fewer parents can do it. It's impossible with families.

Barry

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27 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

... but seriously, a Great SM or ASM, would allow the Scouts to operate the same way they have always been.  But just be there for the chance that something bad could happen.  I would not spend the time "correcting and yelling" at my scouts.  I would save the words of "wisdom" until the end when they do roses and thorns. ...

You need to understand how absurd this statement is. Ideally, we would have four patrols. Each would come with a great plan for the same weekend. One to hike North, the other South, the other East, and the other West. How could I or the SM possibly "be there for the chance that something bad could happen?"

Not by limiting each plan to no more than 100 yards from the SM's camp chair and coffee. (FWIW, I don't recall my SM ever having a camp chair.)

The PM tells me how:

Know the skills of each patrol. That shouldn't be too hard. The cloth on their left pocket and merit badge sash should tell that. Review the plans, suggest revisions if necessary. Make sure they have specific contact information if necessary. Back in my day, thatwould be clear knowledge of every farmer's residence and every ranger's station ... plus the location of every pay-phone, and where the dimes are in each scout's emergency kit. Arrange rendezvous points to touch base with the PLs who may need some extra support (i.e. the ones who aren't quite first class scouts -- concept, not patch). Or send a chaperon if you must (e.g. SPL/ASPL/JASM).

Fast forward to the age of cell phones ... this whole process should be even more manageable. In fact, SM and I have hiked to our coffee shop while the boys executed their plan knowing that we were just a phone call away. This should be the standard. The need for "minders" in the immediate vicinity should be the exception -- typically employed while a patrol is still getting its bearings.

This, to me, is the quintessential definition of a great SM. Empowering boys by getting them qualified to patrol (verb: the action of traversing a district or beat ... for observation ...).

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24 minutes ago, blw2 said:

I thin I might have posted this idea before....but in case I didn't

My read on this is the vast majority of units operate this way already...so this is really almost nothing new to a majority if I'm right.  It has just been an adult leadership unwritten rule, and now it's written as an official program rule ...

In my neck of the woods, the majority of troops DO ALLOW patrols to do their own day activities without adults. My troop has allowed patrols to meet on their own and do stuff without Scouters present.

One troop is so Patrol Method oriented, that the patrols do their own service multiday service projects all without adults interfering  supervising.

7 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Yes, it's about space, but not just physical distance. Patrol method "requires" an attitude of space that represents taking interference away from scouts making decisions based on their personal free thought. The intention of traditional scouting program is to give the scouts the room to make a decision without fear or thought of outside authority (outside the patrol) interfering with judgement. That is the challenge for adult leaders. And it is very challenging. Most adult leaders can't do it. Even fewer parents can do it. It's impossible with families. (all emphasis added by E94-a1)

Barry

SPOT ON!!!!!!!! Not only can most adults NOT do it,  I would add that it includes those of us who should know better having grown up in the program. Gunship in my other posts is an Eagle, and he is one of the most adult oriented folks around. Helicopter parents make it even worse. Heck we had beginning to interfere last nite during instruction on lashings until the SPL politely put him in his place (what a breath of fresh air the new SPL is). And I see the future of Scouts BSA: family camping a la Cub Scouts. You already have units allowing it. Heck my unit sadly does this now. And those that are for it see BSA's FAMILY SCOUTING emphasis as an endorsement of family camping at the Scout level.

15 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

I am not sure if this is a breaking point or just a worn down point.     The meeting starts in 2 minutes and I haven't been able to make myself change into my uni . I can't think of a single reason to go . All my sons have  aged out years ago.  I was working on training the new PLs about the patrol method, but there seems no point to that since it will be outlawed in October.   I've gone from angry to depressed to sad to accepting to grateful for the years of memories.     Much the same as when my parents died.    

My emotions are running the same gamut when I read the latest G2SS on this topic. Got worse when I did the Youth on Youth Protection Training. WOW Scouting is going downhill IMHO. Told my sons some of the stuff, i.e. no more patrol meetings without adults. Oldest is having second thoughts about staying active after earning Eagle, and may be thinking of speeding up his timeline to earn it.  Middle son stated he wants to earn Eagle and get out before BSA gets worse. As for the youngest, he is the one who is the least happy with all the changes. I think he believes he is not getting the same program that his brothers had. Oldest made a comment that he may not Cross Over, or if he does won't stay around due to all the changes. National is no longer making  Scouting fun. And now with the emphasis on Youth on Youth Protection, it seems as if national is making boys appear prone to verbal, physical, and sexual abuse and not worthy of being trusted out of earshot.

When did BSA change it's matra from "Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!"

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8 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Know the skills of each patrol. That shouldn't be too hard. The cloth on their left pocket and merit badge sash should tell that. Review the plans, suggest revisions if necessary. Make sure they have specific contact information if necessary. Back in my day, thatwould be clear knowledge of every farmer's residence and every ranger's station ... plus the location of every pay-phone, and where the dimes are in each scout's emergency kit. Arrange rendezvous points to touch base with the PLs who may need some extra support

I really enjoyed doing that as a SM. It made a simple hike into an adventure. The scouts got serious. They knew it was important just from all the questions they got. What bothers me so much, and is probably where @Oldscout448 is coming from, is that I just couldn't get this idea across to the other adults. They can cook on their own but that's not an adventure.

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19 minutes ago, qwazse said:

You need to understand how absurd this statement is. Ideally, we would have four patrols. Each would come with a great plan for the same weekend. One to hike North, the other South, the other East, and the other West. How could I or the SM possibly "be there for the chance that something bad could happen?"

Not by limiting each plan to no more than 100 yards from the SM's camp chair and coffee. (FWIW, I don't recall my SM ever having a camp chair.)

The PM tells me how:

Know the skills of each patrol. That shouldn't be too hard. The cloth on their left pocket and merit badge sash should tell that. Review the plans, suggest revisions if necessary. Make sure they have specific contact information if necessary. Back in my day, thatwould be clear knowledge of every farmer's residence and every ranger's station ... plus the location of every pay-phone, and where the dimes are in each scout's emergency kit. Arrange rendezvous points to touch base with the PLs who may need some extra support (i.e. the ones who aren't quite first class scouts -- concept, not patch). Or send a chaperon if you must (e.g. SPL/ASPL/JASM).

Fast forward to the age of cell phones ... this whole process should be even more manageable. In fact, SM and I have hiked to our coffee shop while the boys executed their plan knowing that we were just a phone call away. This should be the standard. The need for "minders" in the immediate vicinity should be the exception -- typically employed while a patrol is still getting its bearings.

This, to me, is the quintessential definition of a great SM. Empowering boys by getting them qualified to patrol (verb: the action of traversing a district or beat ... for observation ...).

Well, I guess that's where each troop is different.  For mine, I have enough ASM and CM's that are registered and trained, that we could support 4 different patrols on the same weekend.

Unfortunately, even my experience as a Scout in the 90's, we never did Patrol only activities.  We camped and did all events as a Troop.  I cannot say if that was a Leadership controlling issue, or just a inexperience issue on the PM side. 

Now fast forward to my sons troop.  I have encourage him and his Patrol to do Patrol only events.  I have entire patrol waiting to do a hike with compass, that the rest of the troop can't seem to agree on. 

 

I can understand your point, but like all others, we will have to either adapt our ways, or step aside for someone that will.

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This is all coming from the line?

 Patrol Activities—A Scout patrol may participate in patrol activities. Two-deep adult leadership is required.

If so, then I don't see how any of the things above are a problem.  On a camping trip, the SM sits in his chair at camp while each patrol goes off on their own.  That's not a patrol activity - it's a hike during a troop camping trip.  I didn't see a line in G2SS that a patrol has to be supervised at all times.  The G2SS just doesn't want patrols organizing their own activities without adults being present.  Notice it says two deep leadership is required - not two deep supervision is required.

If it really was 4 different patrol activities, I guess you just have to manage that.  We have groups of scouts do things all the time.  But, a couple of adults tag along.

But this whole helicopter parent thing is different.  The BSA certainly could do more to teach and explain how adults need to give the boys space.  But, this one also lands on the shoulders of Scoutmasters & senior ASMs.  They need to set the tone with the other adults.

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18 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

Well, I guess that's where each troop is different.  For mine, I have enough ASM and CM's that are registered and trained, that we could support 4 different patrols on the same weekend.

Unfortunately, even my experience as a Scout in the 90's, we never did Patrol only activities.  We camped and did all events as a Troop.  I cannot say if that was a Leadership controlling issue, or just a inexperience issue on the PM side. 

Now fast forward to my sons troop.  I have encourage him and his Patrol to do Patrol only events.  I have entire patrol waiting to do a hike with compass, that the rest of the troop can't seem to agree on. 

 

I can understand your point, but like all others, we will have to either adapt our ways, or step aside for someone that will.

The issue of adapting is the issue.  BP himself said "The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting for boys can be carried on. It is the only method.”

Another one of his great quotes "In Scouting, a boy is encouraged to educate himself instead of being instructed."

I understand exactly what @qwazse and @Oldscout448 are getting at- at what point is Scouting no longer Scouting.  Put aside any bias anyone has about allowing girls into the troop program, if you change the PM as a whole it no longer is Scouting, straight from the words of the man who founded Scouting.  We can't be a society that laments that kids don't go out of doors and play anymore, and don't socialize beyond digital communication, and yet now coddle and feel we need to be with them 100% of the time.  The world can absolutely be a cruel place- a lesson we adults all had to learn, and sheltering youth isn't going to make that reality go away.  You just need to teach them properly and equip them with the tools the best you can.   

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53 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

The G2SS just doesn't want patrols organizing their own activities without adults being present. 

There was a time that a patrol organizing their own activities was the beating heart of the patrol method.  

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Sadly. Not any more in the new scouts bsa program. Unfortunately I belive this is just the beginning. 

I am starting to reach my breaking point.

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2 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

There was a time that a patrol organizing their own activities was the beating heart of the patrol method.  

And they still can - 100%. 

45 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

The issue of adapting is the issue.  BP himself said "The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting for boys can be carried on. It is the only method.”

Another one of his great quotes "In Scouting, a boy is encouraged to educate himself instead of being instructed."

I understand exactly what @qwazse and @Oldscout448 are getting at- at what point is Scouting no longer Scouting.  Put aside any bias anyone has about allowing girls into the troop program, if you change the PM as a whole it no longer is Scouting, straight from the words of the man who founded Scouting.  We can't be a society that laments that kids don't go out of doors and play anymore, and don't socialize beyond digital communication, and yet now coddle and feel we need to be with them 100% of the time.  The world can absolutely be a cruel place- a lesson we adults all had to learn, and sheltering youth isn't going to make that reality go away.  You just need to teach them properly and equip them with the tools the best you can.   

This is exactly why we need leaders like @qwazse & @Oldscout448.  Yes, the mechanisms we use in scouting change - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.  But, the basic task has not - developing youth through Scouting.  Scouting needs the experiences leaders to help guide the new leaders and adults so that good choices are made.  On this issue - patrol activities.  One could read that and have adults take over.  Or, a season Scouter could read that and say "ok, we have to make sure we've got two deep adult leadership.  So, let's come up with a way to have patrols plan and execute their own activities, but have a couple of adults nearby as a safety measure."

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Kryten said:

Sadly. Not any more in the new scouts bsa program. Unfortunately I belive this is just the beginning. 

 

Breakdown of the intent and spirit of the Patrol Method was happening 20+ years ago by my memory, probably longer really. I don't think it's fair to try and pin any of that on the recent changes. 

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8 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

So, let's come up with a way to have patrols plan and execute their own activities, but have a couple of adults nearby as a safety measure." 

Hey, as long as "nearby" can be at the other end of an eight mile trail, we're in agreement. :ph34r:

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I think that's two deep adult leadership in my book.  Adult leadership is present to make sure that the correct things happen if something goes wrong.  The adults can verify that basic precautions were taken, the boys know where they are going.  Then they can wait at the end of the trail.  If the boys don't arrive at the expected location, then you can take the appropriate steps.

 

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19 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Hey, as long as "nearby" can be at the other end of an eight mile trail, we're in agreement. :ph34r:

I would not have a problem with that at all. I also know that if I talked to my DE (he is one of the good ones) he'd encourage it.

The problem, as I see it, has two parts. The first is a really vague description of what is allowed. The second is that parents interpret it to mean the scouts can't ever be on their own. I do understand where it's coming from. Vague used to be fine because all kids did things on their own. And I have no doubt that there were times when they got into trouble. No doubt because I got into trouble. The glue that can hold things together is good training. Again, none of this is mentioned. So it can still work.

<moderator hat> The only solution is to get more adults reading this forum. </moderator hat> :)

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this has me thinking of legal issues

aside from BSA guidelines and PM,

cant find specifics in my state regs

but curious, can minor hike/camp alone in various state/fed lands?

developed campgrounds require an adult+18 to sign,

permits for large groups +10 or more and for stays longer than 3 nights require a permit and adult in my state lands (NY and PA)

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