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LeCastor

Green Bar Leadership Experience

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Pushing this thread back to the top.

@LeCastor, what are the half dozen ideas you want the PL to walk away with? Ideas that could be referenced when the PL is stuck with a problem. From there the activities in your training should be clear. Or how about between 6 and 8, just to go with the patrol theme. One idea is too vague and won't help the scout (so "boy led" doesn't really help much). Twenty ideas is off the deep end and twelve is too cumbersome. But 6 - 8 is enough that a scout can keep all those ideas in his head at the same time as he learns it.

 

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Thanks, @MattR. Here are ten things that popped into my head as I sat down to type, in no particular order:

 

1. Every member of the Patrol needs to be, consistently, given responsibility/responsibilities--at Patrol meetings, on Patrol hikes, in Patrol camps, etc.

2. Remember the Golden Rule--treat each Patrol member as you would like to be treated.

3. When dealing with conflicts, take a moment to see what you've been doing and then come up with a different approach.

4. As a Patrol Leader, you should be constantly striving to improve yourself and encouraging others around you to do the same--advancement, continuing training

5. Contact your Patrol members frequently to check in and thank them for their hard work--showing you care is important as a leader.

6. Make sure you listen to each member of the Patrol--truly listen so that you can help each member succeed.

7. Be Prepared at each Patrol Leader's Council meeting--taking good notes and always having ideas to share each time shows the SPL/SM you are serious.

8. When a project needs to be done, a Patrol Leader gets his/her hands dirty, rolls up his/her sleeves, and participates as much as each Patrol member.

9. Encourage each Patrol member to participate in every camping trip, hike, and activity as much as he/she is able.

10. When in doubt always remember the Ideals: Scout Oath and Law, Motto and Slogan, Outdoor Code, etc.

 

There are no doubt many, many more take-aways I'd like each Patrol Leader to glean from this experience. But those listed above have been helpful for me as a Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, Den Chief, Junior/Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner, and Wood Badge course director. :D 

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If I were to take your list, mix it with my experience, and boil it down ... It would be something like:

  • Patrol pride,
  • Skills mastery, and
  • Brotherly love.

You'll likely come up with something different, but a goal is to have a frame of two or three themes to hang your ideas from ... something you won't mind repeating throughout the course so much the boys will think you don't know how to say much else.

You could leave them a list, but lists are hard. Frameworks are easy.

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13 minutes ago, qwazse said:

You could leave them a list, but lists are hard. Frameworks are easy.

Completely agree! I wouldn't want to hammer these Patrol Leaders with a list. 

I think Green Bar Bill's 4-part list, though, sums it up as you and I have done so here. :D 

from Handbook for Patrol Leaders, 1929

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7 minutes ago, LeCastor said:

Completely agree! I wouldn't want to hammer these Patrol Leaders with a list. 

I think Green Bar Bill's 4-part list, though, sums it up as you and I have done so here. :D 

from Handbook for Patrol Leaders, 1929

Definitely send the students home with that. And if that's how you talk, go right ahead quoting it repeatedly.

But, if you're not Danish, or riveting, seriously consider your audience and do what needs to done to get in their heads. Be the meme they'll post to their friends. If you want it to be in large print, you have about two words for each point.

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And what does the PL lean on when the SPL/SM/some random adult comes up to a couple of his guys and tells them to come with him, he needs them to do something for him?

Nowhere does it say the patrol should be making the decisions. I suspect this wasn't an issue 50 years ago.

1 hour ago, qwazse said:

But, if you're not Danish, or riveting, seriously consider your audience and do what needs to done to get in their heads. Be the meme they'll post to their friends. If you want it to be in large print, you have about two words for each point.

Lead: with enthusiasm

Do: Adventure/Advancement/Skills/Fun

Live: the Oath and Law

Use: servant leadership

Own: your patrol's destiny

 

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3 hours ago, MattR said:

And what does the PL lean on when the SPL/SM/some random adult comes up to a couple of his guys and tells them to come with him, he needs them to do something for him?

SPL and SM should ask the PL for the Scouts. If they jump in politely remind them that the Scouts are doing  their assigned jobs needed for the entire patrol.

Sadly this happened in my old troop several times regarding a random adult. One time the random adult stopped a PL from doing his assigned job by the SPL. I saw the confused Scout, asked what was up and he told me one of the parents, whom he could not ID as they were new, told him to stop what he was doing and do something else. I asked who assigned the job to him, the PL told me the SPL. Reminded him the SPL is in the chain of command, and since the adult was not even in uniform, and he had no idea who it was, continue his assignment. Worked out great.

Sadly that hadn't been the case. Many times the adults overuled the Scouts or ignored their explanations or questions on the matter. Last time adults pulled that stunt was at camporee. SPL and PLS were trying to get tarps and tents set up in the rain, and 2 parents were contradicting them, and issuing equipment instead of the QM. Long story short, it took 2-3 times longer for the tents to be set up, tarps were set up the next day,  and dinner was cooked in a completely separate area because there were no tarps.

 

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@Eagle94-A1, this is what I'm trying to solve. It's not just the SM/SPL, it could be scouts from another patrol walking in and disturbing an activity. The scouts don't understand that interruptions need to be dealt with. They just go with it, lose all sense of time and don't realize what's happening. They really do own their destiny.

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5 hours ago, MattR said:

@Eagle94-A1, this is what I'm trying to solve. It's not just the SM/SPL, it could be scouts from another patrol walking in and disturbing an activity. The scouts don't understand that interruptions need to be dealt with. They just go with it, lose all sense of time and don't realize what's happening. They really do own their destiny.

I'd think this would be good for a new patrol leader to train on.  Some things that come to mind are:

- it would be good for them to understand the core responsibilities of a patrol in a few basic scenarios - a camping trip & a troop meeting.  Just what is it that a patrol is supposed to do?

- get them to work on prioritizing their patrol's goals and then work with the patrol members to accomplish them.  Have them work through interruptions to get back on task.

 

Further - I think it would be good to get them to start thinking about how leading and managing are different.   Get the wheels turning on why being a patrol leader is more than simply taking charge at meetings and getting stuff done.


 

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Forgot one idea: Be Prepared. In other words, have a plan, an idea, enough to keep things going even if things change.

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Two ways to drive positive team building is working under the strict conditions of time and competition. In other words, strict agendas and patrol competitions. I learned recently these are the same conditions used in training Special Forces teams. Nothing motivates change like a sense of failure. So build a rigid agenda that forces patrol to work as a team to succeed. Not so rigid the fun is taken out of the activity, but enough to force actions to accomplish success.

First, every activity should have an agenda set by time. Especially troop meetings, PLC meetings and camp outs. Our SPL calls the SM the night before the meetings to give his agenda. And he gives the SM a camp out agenda at the Troop meeting before the camp out. Giving to SM the agenda ahead of time is just good policy to give adults a heads up. But, more importantly, it also holds the SPL accountable. 😉

 Our patrols were taking two hours to break camp because they hated the task and nothing was driving them to be more efficient. Also, some of that Patrols were stopping for a junk food break on the way home. Parents were complaining of waiting longer than been scheduled, so I gave them the SPLs phone number. He found a sudden motivation to ban junk food stops until patrols broke camp fast enough to get home at the posted time. The patrols manage to reduce breaking camp to 40 minutes. Time is my favorite motivator. 

As for competition, there are many ways for patrols to complete, but a great one that requires team work and time are patrol inspections. If a patrol has one hour from getting up to assembly, they have to work as a team to cook, kp, clean camp, and prepare tents for inspection.

I also used time and patrol peer pressure on our NYLT (JLTC for us) courses. Works very well to push a bunch of scouts who don’t know each other to come together as a team. 

These are just a couple of examples, but time and peer pressure motivates patrol teamwork a lot better than whining adult leaders. I learned over time to motivate patrol success without being the bad guy. 

Barry

 

 

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