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Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

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5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

I developed and taught a patrol method class. I found the struggle for many adults is just believing that patrol method does work. I gave some examples to the class of what Scouts can achieve with independence. 

One scouter stood up and called me on letting Scouts go on a 5 mile hike without adults. I asked him what scared him about the hike. He mentioned the obvious concerns like getting lost, or hurt, or even confronting strangers. I explained all adults have fears that hold them back from giving Scouts independence. I showed him how to remove those fears by teaching map and compas and using GPS. I suggested letting the Scouts hike in town in a familiar route so they couldn’t get lost this first time out. I explained teaching first aid and dealing with strangers in a scout like manner. The objective, I explained, was to use training to ease the adult fears.

The skeptical scouter sat down without saying thing, but he approached me two years later at another course to tell me that he did exactly what I suggested and it worked. He apologized for being rude that day, but thanked me for patiently showing him how to run a patrol method program.

So I agree with your suggestion of teaching patrol method. But it is a challenging concept for adults to consider, much less accept. Truth is just about every troop of adults feel they are using patrol method because they have patrols. What defines the different troops are the limits they place on the Scouts independence because they fear the worst. What adults need to learn is how to get past their fears. I showed them how to do that with training. But all I was really doing was getting them to understand Scouts are only limited by the adults and the adults can do something about it. How they get out of way isn’t as important as understanding the need to do it.

This forum does pretty good sometimes explaining true patrol method and showing scouters how to get past their fears. But I don’t know how much adults want true patrol method anymore, the Patrol Method forum used to be one of the most active forums, now it’s hardly even touched. I’m not even sure what adults want from scouting anymore.

Barry

I think there is a LOT of adults that have a fear of things not going as planned.  The patrol method is the definition of things not going as planned.  Most of the time, it is barely controlled chaos.  When I have to talk with parents because they are upset that there is "free time" scheduled on campouts, we have a problem.  If the entire day from sun up to sun down isn't scheduled... then what is being accomplished?  and Gasp!, a boy might get into trouble without someplace to be at all times !

I firmly believe this should be required reading before ANY adult it allowed to sign up as a leader in a unit:

http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/

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6 minutes ago, DeanRx said:

I think there is a LOT of adults that have a fear of things not going as planned.  The patrol method is the definition of things not going as planned.  Most of the time, it is barely controlled chaos.  When I have to talk with parents because they are upset that there is "free time" scheduled on campouts, we have a problem.  If the entire day from sun up to sun down isn't scheduled... then what is being accomplished?  and Gasp!, a boy might get into trouble without someplace to be at all times !

I firmly believe this should be required reading before ANY adult it allowed to sign up as a leader in a unit:

http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/

Yep! Adults prefer order. Actually, Scouts do to, but they haven’t had enough life experiences to create order as fast as the adults. And the adults don’t understand that the patrol experience is developing the skills for creating order. The more room Scouts are allowed for chaos, the faster they learn how to make order.

The Troop is real life scaled down to a boys size. 

Barry

 

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Regarding fiefdoms, well....  isn't this called networking? 

I'll just say that I'm a total nobody (not really), but Wood Badge helped me meet great Scouters and it has made opening some doors easy. I have two instant allies in my WB course director and my WB ticket advisor, and they are automatically interested in me doing work for them via the WB ticket!  I have to go do stuff and contribute, and everyone will help me because I say the magic words "wood badge ticket".   If you want to try it, it could work for you, too!   Think of Wood Badge as your premium Scouting Networking channel, if you don't need the leadership training, then it's your team leadership onboarding program and networking event where you get to meet about 50 - 75 other people who love Scouting like you do. 

The thing is, in Boy Scouts you can't really go it all alone, you need a team.  You need to be part of a team and WB seems to be how you get on a team and get people on your team. 

I've felt rejected in Scouting a lot, not at Wood Badge, but from some folks locally, and it sucks, and I'm sorry for anyone who has had that kind of experience.  But the thing is you have to reach out and find your people in Scouting and make your team.  I'm sure there have to be some good people in your area that you can team up with. 

But yes, you need Council approvals on some things.  Offering help at District might be easier if your Council is difficult. 

You always have to find the nicest people and go where they are -- they're out there somewhere! 

I have a big problem with organizations that whine that they have no volunteers, but then are mean to the people who volunteer for them!  Why does this happen??!!   If it weren't so sad it would be funny. 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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On 08/31/2018 at 9:56 PM, cocomax said:

The GSUSA organization is a wonderful group.  After taking GSUSA Camper training, I can tell you it was light years better than my BSA Outdoor training.

  My BSA Outdoor training was 90% flip charts, and an obsession with leave no trace. . .  we were taught to always hike in groups of 5 or less to minimize impact on the environment, wear special soft sole shoes to not crush grass or worms, walk on rocks when possible, always pack out your used TP and Poop in zip lock bags, always carry a bear locking canister,  use window screen to screen the dirt where you camped to gather all the micro trash, place a tarp under were you are cooking to catch food crumbs,  when building a fire dig a hole and carefully set the dirt and grass in safe place and line the hole with a space blanket to shield the worms and microbes from heat, when done with the camp fire, pack out the ashes remove the space blanket and return the soil and grass to the hole. . .  I asked the instructor how often she camped and her answer was, "Never, I don't camp."  It was so boring, hour after hour of flip charts and hand outs.  They group that I was which formed little clicks,  and their was lots of bickering and unhappy people, 3 of the people did not want to take the class at all, but had to because they needed it for wood badge.  

My GSUSA instructors where two old girl scouts that must be in their 70's that have camped all their life and are still camping. . .  we played lot of FUN outdoor games, carved fuzzy sticks, started camp fires, sharpened knifes, tied knots, cooked bread on a stick, bandanna in foil, cooked hobo packs,  learned map reading, did a compass course, cooked an egg in a bag, made cookies over a campfire in a pair of cardboard boxes, we did skits, they told funny stories of their grand adventures,  the ladies ran use around all day it was such a blast.  It was such a great example of scout spirit and fellowship. It really made me look forward to working with the Girl Scouts.  One thing they reminded us again and again was this has GOT to be FUN. You must have fun with this, or the game of scouting will not work. 

 GSUSA is fun, my GSUSA troop is fun,  my Boy Scout Troop is very fun. . .

The GSUSA Council in my area is rock solid and very fun and have their act together, my BSA Council is a mess of infighting and incompetence, I do my best to ignore them.  

That funny, I just took ITOLS last month before taking my daughter to Webelos Resident Camp.  My ITOLS experience was almost Identical to your GSUSA training.  We did hands on learning.  Had multiple adults teaching the difference sections. We did all the hands on for each station, the Maps and Compass was done by a Scoutmaster that also does Orienteering competitions.  Had multiple maps of the current area and some from his troops trailblazing trips.  The backpacking section was done by a Scoutmaster that is working on his 4th trip to Philmont and went over his Philmont Backing.  Dinner was 5 different recipes that we all helped make, including Dutch oven whole chicken. Ropes was hands on, and I finally learned better was to remember some basic knots.  We even did the group campfire and did skits and songs.  I don't think we had a single flip book to view, most was done outdoors at the campsite.  Finally learned how awesome yellow birch bark is for fire starting.

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On 09/02/2018 at 9:53 AM, walk in the woods said:

I can't speak for @cocomax, and I appreciate your teaching baloo, but I can generally say solid unit leaders should focus their time and talents on their units.  It isn't the unit leader's job to fix the district.  It's the district's job to serve the unit.  That is especially true for direct contact leaders.

 

District is 99% volunteered leadership (only paid position is DE).  So yes, its the district job to serve the unit, but where do you think those volunteers come from?  Is it fair to say a solid unit leader should only focus on their own unit, and not share their knowledge and assist others?  If that's the case, even forms like these should shut down, because you have your own unit to focus on.

 

I support the district and other units as much as I can.  I wont miss my units events to help out, but my free weekends go to help as much as possible

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41 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

 

District is 99% volunteered leadership (only paid position is DE).  So yes, its the district job to serve the unit, but where do you think those volunteers come from?  Is it fair to say a solid unit leader should only focus on their own unit, and not share their knowledge and assist others?  If that's the case, even forms like these should shut down, because you have your own unit to focus on.

 

I support the district and other units as much as I can.  I wont miss my units events to help out, but my free weekends go to help as much as possible

This is my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I do not think SMs, Skippers, CMs, and CAs  should be working on the district level except as MBCs. They need to focus on their units. I also do not recommend DLs and WDLs serving on the district, except as MBCs and day camp staff,  because they are the primary direct contact leader for their dens. Serving on the district and council level can be overwhelming, time consuming, and does take away from their Cubs.  I've done it, and I wish I would not have.

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19 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

This is my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I do not think SMs, Skippers, CMs, and CAs  should be working on the district level except as MBCs. They need to focus on their units. I also do not recommend DLs and WDLs serving on the district, except as MBCs and day camp staff,  because they are the primary direct contact leader for their dens. Serving on the district and council level can be overwhelming, time consuming, and does take away from their Cubs.  I've done it, and I wish I would not have.

I can understand your thought process.

 

But, if you take out SM, Skippers, CM's, CA's, DL's and WDL's, who is left?  Besides the old retired scouters that have no unit anymore, and could tell you all the glory days of BP, but nothing useful for the current issues at hand?  I appreciate learning from someone that has experience, but that also can show it in ways that are updated and with the current model of scouting. 

 

Also, being part of the District Training team, isn't a full commitment, at least for my district.  You offer your set skill set, for certain trainings, and only offer it when you are available.   We have a great "old timer" that does fire skills/safety.  We have another that does great Orienteering, a handful that help with cooking, etc.  Now the District Training Chair, that's a full time commitment, but that doesn't mean that person is the only one doing training at any given time.  In fact, ours arranges the training, but barely gives any herself.  I myself chip in for Den leader, CM, and Pack CC positional training, and have helped with BALOO. 

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Yes, I was referring to the "full time position" on the district committee. ASMs, Mates, ACMs, MCs, Pack Trainers, ADLs, and yes the "Red Jackets" should be the ones in those district level positions.

 

 

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14 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

Regarding fiefdoms, well....  isn't this called networking?

That's the thing, Wisconsin...scouters at all levels should be willing to help one another, whether they wear beads, or are a candidate for beads, or none of the above.   Willingness to serve others should not be dependent on critter affiliation.  And there are WBers out there that look at life exactly in that manner--beads or no beads.

Edited by desertrat77
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Alas... for too many adults their BSA involvement focuses on a continuation of earning awards (knots, beads) or progressing to higher office (Unit, District, Council...) and less with mentoring youth. My Wood Badger story... it's pouring rain and I knock on camp's training center door in afternoon asking if we can have our Camp-O-Ree campfire in the big room.  The trainer's answer... "...no Boy Scouts allowed..."  (in a scout camp!)  End of story.... that night window was un-locked, crawl in, open door, have campfire and "left no trace".

If the BSA is betting the farm on girls, besides offering girls membership there should be changes to support the change.  For too many Scouters the administration of Scouting is complicated and the addition of girls adds to the challenges.  The solution the BSA offers is training which in my experience varies too much.  I would re-allocate BSA professional staff and place the leadership and management of training to professional trainers (aided by volunteers).

 

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39 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

As much as I'm enjoying the virtual ritual of burning Wood Badgers at the stake, https://www.scouting.org/scoutsbsa/, seems to make the OP's point.  Would it have been too difficult to put a rotating banner on the page, or split the banner to show both boys and girls smiling and enjoying the outdoors?

The boys notice stuff like this,  even if they don't say anything.

What boys will do is walk away from scouting or never join in the first place. 

Some moms notice stuff like this and get very upset, more so then the dads. Our troop is having to deal with moms that want to pull their boys out of scouting over this even though our troop will not be changing any. 

It seems like recruiting is extra hard this year,  the near by troops are down to 2 or 3 boys, a few years ago they had a lot of boys. I do not know if it has anything to do with BSA focusing on girls.

The Girl Scout troops are growing like gang busters around here.   

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4 minutes ago, cocomax said:

The boys notice stuff like this,  even if they don't say anything.

What boys will do is walk away from scouting or never join in the first place. 

Some moms notice stuff like this and get very upset, more so then the dads. Our troop is having to deal with moms that want to pull their boys out of scouting over this even though our troop will not be changing any. 

It seems like recruiting is extra hard this year,  the near by troops are down to 2 or 3 boys, a few years ago they had a lot of boys. I do not know if it has anything to do with BSA focusing on girls.

The Girl Scout troops are growing like gang busters around here.   

Really? Boys log on to scouting dot org? But, soon it's gonna be Boy's Life and other youth-facing publications.

We have had an uptick in membership. But, the Pack will not serve up as many Webelos next year.

Troops (BSA and GS/USA) have been cycling up and down like that for decades. It's like the weather: hard to catch a global warming signal for all of the noise.

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I compare the the BSA updates similar to how we handled adding girls.  As the change occurs, I expect over communication and focus.  As a Pack we wanted to ensure the girls that joined understood we fully welcomed them, regardless of what noise they may hear from outside.  So, we sent emails to parents, included the girls as a focus during various events and ensured we fully welcomed them.  Now that they are fully on board we are moving to business as usual.  We still need to add some reminders that we accept both boys and girls in our Pack as MANY are unaware of the change.

I would expect a lot of focus from BSA through June/July next year on girls given this major change.  Units adding girls will need the guidance and many people are still unaware of the change.  Over communication will be key.  Over time it should be balanced but I have no issue with the increased focus short term.  

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