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Eagledad

Adult led and youth led

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55 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

How? if the adults are leading then by definition the youth are following.

 

https://scoutmastercg.com/where-is-it-written-that-troops-are-boy-led/

Sure, for certain definitions of "leading." I prefer Stosh's explanation of leadership (and have shamelessly stolen it when dealing with my own Scouts): leadership is taking care of your boys.

With that in mind, what kind of activities do the adults do that take care of their Scouts? Well, since the adults' goals, i.e. Scouting's Aims, are to develop physical fitness, citizenship, and character, the adults "lead" by coaching and developing the scouts. They don't lead by dictatorial fiat, because that eliminates the boys' opportunity to grow, and that's not "taking care of the boys." 

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11 hours ago, ParkMan said:

It the intersection between the concept of "adult led, youth run" and "how do adults and youth of different generations work together".

For example - often adults have the overall responsibility for something such as an event.  The Scouts will be running the event and probably making the bulk of the decisions.  Yet, there will most certainly be times when the adults responsible for the event need to figure out how to work with the youth running the event.  It's an exploration of how to do that effectively.

So, boy run is an example application for the subject of generations working together. 

That sounds about right, boy run wasn’t given much more than honorable mention in the SM Handbook. Even the old WB course struggled with it, which was a direct troop simulation.

Barry

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22 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

So, boy run is an example application for the subject of generations working together. 

That sounds about right, boy run wasn’t given much more than honorable mention in the SM Handbook. Even the old WB course struggled with it, which was a direct troop simulation.

Barry

Empowering youth to lead was a common theme throughout our course - both when I was a participant and a staffer.  This is just one of many times it's brought up.

Edited by ParkMan
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12 hours ago, ParkMan said:

It the intersection between the concept of "adult led, youth run" and "how do adults and youth of different generations work together".

For example - often adults have the overall responsibility for something such as an event.  The Scouts will be running the event and probably making the bulk of the decisions.  Yet, there will most certainly be times when the adults responsible for the event need to figure out how to work with the youth running the event.  It's an exploration of how to do that effectively.

I don't know that we're all in disagreement here, but I think it is worth clarifying what is meant by "adults have the over all responsibility for something such as an event."  This is probably the biggest challenge I face as a concept with adult leadership in my unit. 

There are very few things where the adults have over all responsibility for an event; they are generally where the effect of having the event go poorly will fall not on the scouts but on folks outside of the troop.  We adults always have some very specific responsibilities for an event: health and safety, and adherence to BSA and CO policies, but as long as no one is getting unnecessarily hurt, endangered, or misbehaving, neither the success nor the failure of an event is the adults' responsibility. 

Let's look at an example.  On a campout, the PLC has as its goal that in the morning each patrol will set up a station of basic T21 skills like lashings, knife and axe safety, and fire building so that newer scouts get a chance to learn and all scouts get a chance to practice.  Come that day the plan falls apart; some patrols don't have the supplies they need, the PLs aren't effectively leading, the scouts within the patrols aren't working as a team, and it just sort of breaks down.  The adults can provide some coaching along the process, but they shouldn't step in and take over just to make sure that the program is a "success".   It's OK if it's a complete failure, the adults' role at that point is to work to help the boys later analyze what went wrong and how they can perform better in the future.  This is one of the hardest parts of being a scout leader --- watching the boys fail when you know how easy it would be to step in and make something a success. 

Adult leaders may get some criticism from other adults when they get back, "why didn't X happen, I thought the guys were going to accomplish Y" and the adult leaders have to be able to defend the program:  "X and Y didn't happen because the scouts weren't able to make them happen, and they're going to learn from this, but it wasn't our job to step in and make sure X and Y happened." 

Edited by T2Eagle
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2 hours ago, DuctTape said:

How? if the adults are leading then by definition the youth are following.

https://scoutmastercg.com/where-is-it-written-that-troops-are-boy-led/

Because leading isn't synonymous to commanding. But even in command structures there are leaders besides those in command.

When I was in the infantry, the Captain was the company commander, he sets the direction (based on higher orders). But the 1st Sgt was also a leader, as was the platoon Sgt and Section/Squad Sgt. At each level NCO's were autonomous and were the leaders of the troops. The President as C-in-C is not the only leader in the military, there are literally thousands of leaders.

In Scouting adults lead by training, mentoring, and guiding, not commanding. Although, ultimately they are in "command" because they are responsible and will face consequences if they do not lead appropriately.

Boys run the program. They plan and carry out the program. The lead others during that process.

Training boy leaders to run their troop is the Scoutmaster’s most important job. Train Scouts to do a job, then let them do it. Never do anything a boy can do.”
Sir Robert Baden-Powell (also quoted on page one of Troop Leaders Training, 2010 printing)

“Your Scoutmaster and other adult leaders will help Scouts become good leaders, then will step back and allow the troop’s youth leaders to take charge of planning and carrying out activities.”

“An important goal of boy scouting is that troops are scout-planned and scout-led.”

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49 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Empowering youth to lead was a common theme throughout our course - both when I was a participant and a staffer.  This is just one of many times it's brought up.

Every troop believes they empower youth to lead. Where National has failed in the past courses (1990 thru 2008) is identifying the differences between units. Or even worse, expections of the program. Im not sure they know or care of the differences. So long as units work with in the G2SS and YP, they are satisfied.

But, there isn’t much guidance or definition for those of us in the weeds working to get the most of boy run or Patrol Method. That’s why we see extreme programs at each end of the boy run patrol Method spectrum. 

Barry

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Please tell me you are joking?

If you are not, please get SM Specific training ASAP!  

And if BSA training is encouraging this, and from reading the WB syllabus it is, then the BSA is truly dying. The Patrol Method will soon be in name only as patrols will no longer be allowed to do day activities on their own. And as Old School Scouters leave or die off. We will have a generation of Scouters who have no idea what Scouts are capable of, and should be doing. Scouts, BSA will truly be a Webelos 3, or AOL2, program with adults making all the decision, and the Scouts doing nothing. 

This is something I have been fighting with my troop for a few years nows: adults making all the decisions. The Scouts I've talked to are tired of it. The next camp out was arranged at the last minute, and it was done by the adults. It is something almost all of them have done, they are tired of the campsite, and won't be going as a result.

No I am not kidding.

As for training, I am a training chair and have and still staff many BSA courses.

I always emphasize (some would say to the point of annoyance) youth-led, youth -run and patrol method. Never do for a Scout what a Scout can do for himself does not absolve adults from their leadership responsibilities, which includes training, mentoring, guiding, safety, YP and policy. I am not sure how that equates to Weeb3 or AOL2, but both Baden-Powell and Hillcourt referenced adult leadership, so I am comfortable that I am what they had in mind.

As for my former troop, when I left the Scouts planned every outing, meeting and event. They ran everything from start to end. Other than things like Scoutmasters minute, securing, contracting and paying for the locations they selected for outings, making sure that we had enough transportation and that we were in compliance with the YPT and driving issues, the adults did not have much at all to do with the program. The SM and ASM's would give guidance with issues the Scouts brought to us, or maybe occasional whisper some question or advice into the ear of the SPL and PLs, but that is about it.

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"Adult lead, Youth run" 

Is a confusing phrase, because it's reliant on the listeners interpretation of "Lead." As long as the Wood Badge Instructor teaches it right, it's not a big problem. 

The way I explain it to newbies, "Adults advise and train youth, youth lead and run the program."  In my opinion the role of Adults is contradictory. On one hand, we have total and complete responsibility for safety, and we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to the troop. On the other hand, the Scouts will not step in and lead unless the adults train them AND provide the space for those youth to grow and be responsible themselves. 

There can be a point in some troops and scout cultures (Like NYLT) where the bulk of the training of youth is done by other youth, but adults still have an oversight and advisory role to play here. 

I think almost all of us here envision the same roles for Adults and Youth, but depending on the connotations we add to words, some difference in word choice is used. 

Edited by Sentinel947
Added context before I can no longer edit!
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As a side note, I cannot reconcile how some of the same people who vehemently support/defend the Patrol Method will disregard/trash Wood Badge. Both of which are basically Bill Hillcourt creations.

The Patrol Method is an evolution of Scouting introduced by Hillcourt in the 1920's. Wood Badge was started by Baden-Powell in England, but had fits and starts here in the U.S. until Hillcourt got involved and just would not let it die. He ran through several iterations before it stuck. It continued evolve during his time in Scouting.

So if BSA training and Wood Badge are a detriment to Scouting and the Patrol method and are negatively impacting your individual unit, as some have said, why not get involved on the training side rather than dismissing it or talking it down?

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1 hour ago, HelpfulTracks said:

As a side note, I cannot reconcile how some of the same people who vehemently support/defend the Patrol Method will disregard/trash Wood Badge. Both of which are basically Bill Hillcourt creations.

The Patrol Method is an evolution of Scouting introduced by Hillcourt in the 1920's. Wood Badge was started by Baden-Powell in England, but had fits and starts here in the U.S. until Hillcourt got involved and just would not let it die. He ran through several iterations before it stuck. It continued evolve during his time in Scouting.

So if BSA training and Wood Badge are a detriment to Scouting and the Patrol method and are negatively impacting your individual unit, as some have said, why not get involved on the training side rather than dismissing it or talking it down?

I think I can somewhat answer this. Folks who aren't fans of NYLT/Wood Badge feel free to chime in. Full disclosure: I've been to Wood Badge and NYLT. I've staffed NYLT, and I've just signed my life away for another course this summer. I'm sure at some point I'll staff Wood Badge, but right now at my age, I feel like I have much more to offer to NYLT and the youth staff there, vs Wood Badge staff and participants. I love these two programs, and they've helped me help my troop quite a bit, since I went to NYLT in 2009 and Wood Badge in 2015. 

NYLT and Wood Badge both have great potential to aid the program, but PEOPLE can always mess it up. It's much like church. The program might be solid, but the people who teach it, or go to it, and graduate from it might be less than ideal, and this creates discontent. Basically it's the hypocrite effect. The folks who staff Wood Badge, but then coddle their Scouts, or don't run the Patrol method rightfully cause folks to go "Well, if they did Wood Badge and still don't "get it" then what's the point of going?" 

I know I've met folks involved with Wood Badge or NYLT who are really pushy, and somewhat snobby about it. Like you aren't a "real scouter" if you haven't been to Wood Badge. That's a common complaint I've read on here. There's sometimes an elitist attitude that comes from some (not all Wood Badgers.) Some of us have our hands full with our units, so quilt tripping folks who are really busy, to take Wood Badge isn't a winning sales strategy. To highlight:

My Troop's last Scoutmaster didn't attend Wood Badge till his 3rd year as Scoutmaster. When he took over, it was him, me and 1 other ASM. We had about 80 registered Scouts. If we took off two weekends for Wood Badge, our unit program would have suffered. By the third year in, we'd built up the team, and had a group we could trust to carry things out while the Scoutmaster and I took Wood Badge. We weren't necessary to be at every given event. 

Then there is the fact that Wood Badge and NYLT are weird to outsiders. There's all this stuff that goes on that outsiders aren't fully aware of and don't know how it fits. Outside of the context of the course, these inside experiences are weird. Both Scouters and Scouts go, "All those ridiculous songs and games, I don't want to spend entire week listening to some blowhards."  I've been trying to work with my Scouts who have gone to NYLT on the importance of talking about how it's helped them, and how much fun it was, without it becoming some inside joke between them (and sometimes me.) I think this is something Scouters as a whole need to work on, at a time where more and more folks have no knowledge of scouting, we have to break things down to an easier to digest level, without giving up what makes Scouting, well... Scouting. 

BSA Training quality varies widely based on who is putting on the training, where, and what resources they have at their disposal. Some folks council's Wood Badge/NYLT are possibly filled with a good old boys and gals club where things are tight and clicky. They make it hard to penetrate and become part of the group, and that turns people off. 

TLDR: (To long; didn't read) In short, some folks might have sour opinions about Wood Badge and NYLT because their courses in their council might not be good, either due to resources, or more likely because the folks who lead the Wood Badge/NYLT might not be very humble, accommodating, approachable or just straight teaching the material poorly. It's easy to say "Well then you need to get involved" because often the click/Good ole club doesn't allow outsiders in. And yes, sometimes the material in Wood Badge or NYLT isn't well thought and out and written to convey the right meaning, and this is where strong presenters who "Get" Scouting have to improve the course. Otherwise we get graduates from Scouting's main adult leadership program who don't use the Patrol method in their troops. 

This isn't a problem unique to Wood Badge/NYLT or Scouting. Churches, businesses and any civic group where people gather have these issues. It's easy to say "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater," but that's neglecting that humans are emotional beings, and how we are treated by the messenger does effect how we take in the message. It's the importance of us walking the walk. 

Edited by Sentinel947
Proofreading isn't my strong suit.....added context. I miss having the power to edit my own posts whenever.
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1 hour ago, HelpfulTracks said:

So if BSA training and Wood Badge are a detriment to Scouting and the Patrol method and are negatively impacting your individual unit, as some have said, why not get involved on the training side rather than dismissing it or talking it down?

I’m not sure who you are speaking about, but expressing an opinion is not dismissing or talking down.

The WB course started by Badon Powell has no resemblance to the present day WB  course in its design intent or syllabus. It’s has a whole different purpose that includes the Cub program. It so different that I’m surprised they kept WB as the course name.

And National hasn’t given the support for Bill Hillcourts patrol method for at least 30 years. The SM Handbook implies patrol method should be used and provides a basic structure, but National hasn’t shown support with documentation content or training for patrol method as the primary method torward character development for a long time. Advance gets a lot more attention for direction than scouts learning from the decisions. Which is why it’s the 2nd most discussed method behind advancement. 

And, we have earned the right to speak about our experiences in the program. If it’s true National has decided to make membership changes to save the BSA instead of fixing what is broke, it’s not like either of our opinions matter.

Barry

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Once upon a time, I took my Scoutmaster IOLS  training (but did not become a Scoutmaster. The home Troop already had a good one. I became a ASM)  with a wonderful set of trainers.  I came to believe (and still do), that if anyone were to ask me to define "Scoutmaster", I would point to one of these men. 

With the experience and skill I already had, I asked if I could help with the IOLS training, and so for the last 10 years I have averaged  at least two IOLS courses a year.  .  The course leader (except for some surgical leave !)  has been a gentleman I will name "J".   At the end of each course,  J provides his

""Eight Simple Rules.... that will make Baden-Powell proud"":    ( and I dare say some out there may recognize this)

1. It's a boy lead program   (Note, he said "lead" not "led". I see a difference there.)

2. NEVER do anything a boy can do.

3.  The Troop leader is the Senior Patrol Leader.

4. The Patrol Method works !  

5. It's a Game with a Purpose.

6. Fail to plan and you plan to fail.

7. A Scout is  taught, tested, reviewed and recognized.

8. The Trail to Eagle is a journey not a destination. 

As each point is named, a SHORT discussion ensues.  The list is left for the participants to digest as we present them with their "dangles" ( a hank of rope on a small carabiner). as symbol of their completion.  (is that just a local thing?)

I have not yet spoken to J about this issue, but I feel he will be concerned.  Patrol freedom?  Patrol mentored?  Patrol adult led? 

In as much as "All Scouting is local",  and "the work is done by whoever shows up".  I think this issue will find "adjustment"  from the grassroots, eh? 

 

Edited by SSScout
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Where is Kudu when you need him? :) [Edited to add:  Kudu was a forum member and a relentless critic of WB.  His historical research on WB was quite impressive.]

I haven't been to WB.  Nor NYLT/JLT. 

When I took Scoutmaster Basic Training/Delta in the mid '80s, my course was staffed by the same folks who taught WB in my council.  They were insufferable, condescending bores.  No other way to describe them.  I was relieved when the course was over and, these many years later, still feel the same way.

The next year, my DE presented me an invitation to attend WB (this was still the by-invite only era).  I was humbled but dubious.  Then I read the staff list--the same folks who ran my SMBT.  That was a deal breaker.  No thanks.  My DE, who was a heck of a gent, was sorely disappointed in me.   I felt bad about it, but I couldn't subject myself to those particular scouters again.  Especially 24/7 for 6 consecutive days.

I've been in several councils since.  To varying degrees, the WB communities I've witnessed still operate on the "exclusive club" theory.   My experience with WBers over the decades is mixed.  Many are great folks.  But they were probably that way before they took WB.  Many others, though, believe they are great because they took WB.

Edited by desertrat77

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11 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Every troop believes they empower youth to lead. Where National has failed in the past courses (1990 thru 2008) is identifying the differences between units. Or even worse, expections of the program. Im not sure they know or care of the differences. So long as units work with in the G2SS and YP, they are satisfied.

But, there isn’t much guidance or definition for those of us in the weeds working to get the most of boy run or Patrol Method. That’s why we see extreme programs at each end of the boy run patrol Method spectrum. 

Barry

I went back this evening and checked my Scoutmaster Leaders Specific Training Syllabus.  It's from 2010.  Not sure if there is a newer one or not.  In that material, the first third of the course is all about the role of the Scoutmaster.  It's called "Getting Started: The Role of the Scoutmaster in a Boy-Led Troop."  The session runs about 2 hours and is broken down into smaller pieces.

In WB, there is still the model PLC meeting & I know there's a section on coaching and mentoring youth in there as well.  But, what I remember was it was certainly less instructive on the topic of boy led.  It feels like it was a pervasive theme in the course - it was referred to a lot.  Though not necessarily something that was a focus session on.  Thinking about it, I almost would describe it as if the course developers assumed everyone got boy led and they built materials on top of that.

I'd be all for a session on the WB course that would focus just on this.  It's such a simple concept that so many people get hung up on.  

I'd also be up for a course at other venues - University of Scouting, Roundtable, etc.  To me, this is pretty fundamental to what we do.

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We have sessions like that at roundtables and universities of Scouting here. Of course I am the one who decides what classes are taught. 

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