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fred8033

BSA patrol method is lost in the fog

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36 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

 Then new Troop Leader Guidebook in 2018 and another new one in 2019.  Why did they even publish the 2018 ?  They knew there was more coming for 2019.  It frustrated me. 

The tone of National for the last couple of years is chaos. I'm guessing girl membership change has everyone at National trying to catch up. The 2018 publish has likely been planned for several years, so putting it out on time was just easier than holding it back.

39 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

  IMHO, BSA should sell the youth scout handbook and it should be a complete book (scout, SPL, PL, etc).  The rest should be available easily online.   

What a great idea.

Would a SM require much more in their handbook?

Barry 

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3 hours ago, DuctTape said:

This is why the handbooks aren't really used except as "sign-offs" BECAUSE THEY ARE OTHERWISE BASICALLY USELESS. 

I assume you are using "BASICALLY USELESS" as a relative term?    Have you ever looked at the "Girls' Guide to Girl Scouting" which is the closest thing GSUSA currently has to a handbook?

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3 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

I assume you are using "BASICALLY USELESS" as a relative term?    Have you ever looked at the "Girls' Guide to Girl Scouting" which is the closest thing GSUSA currently has to a handbook?

The only GSUSA handbook I have is a first edition. I haven't t looked through it. Would I be correct to assume it has changed a lot?

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5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

But, the new Tiger program in the 1980s highlighted their greed. IMHO, the added burden of toddlers to an already full program teetered the scales negatively all they way to Venturing.

What I saw with GSUSA was that starting the girls as "girl scouts" in kindergarten set the expectation that scouting would be a light & fluffy extra-curricular.  The littlest kids did not do much because they could not do much.   And by the time they got a little older, and could do more,  their opinion/expectation (and for the new-to-girl-scouts families, the parents' expectation) of "Girl Scouts" had already been set.  Not good.

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10 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

Would I be correct to assume it has changed a lot?

That is an extreme understatment.   

Do you have "How Girls Can Help Their Country?"  or "Scouting for Girls?"

In October 2017, my daughter picked up a boy scout hand book from a few years ago,  read it, and said "This is like what Girl Scouting used to be" -- and her point of reference for "what Girl Scouting used to be" was a late 20's handbook which was a slight revision of the original 1920  "Scouting for Girls".      In other words "Scouting for Girls was (in my daughter's opinion) more like the recent Boy Scout handbooks that it was like the recent "Girls Guide to Girl Scouting".

Edited by Treflienne
typo

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14 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

That is an extreme understatment.   

Do you have "How Girls Can Help Their Country?"  or "Scouting for Girls?"

In October 2017, my daughter picked up a boy scout hand book from a few years ago,  read it, and said "This is like what Girl Scouting used to be" -- and her point of reference for "what Girl Scouting used to be" was a late 20's handbook which was a slight revision of the original 1920  "Scouting for Girls".      In other words "Scouting for Girls was (in my daughter's opinion) more like the recent Boy Scout handbooks that it was like the recent "Girls Guide to Girl Scouting".

Scouting for Girls, I am almost certain. I will check when I get home.

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16 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

What I saw with GSUSA was that starting the girls as "girl scouts" in kindergarten set the expectation that scouting would be a light & fluffy extra-curricular.  The littlest kids did not do much because they could not do much.   And by the time they got a little older, and could do more,  their opinion/expectation (and for the new-to-girl-scouts families, the parents' expectation) of "Girl Scouts" had already been set.  Not good.

The problem Tigers caused was requiring more volunteer time to an already heavily burdened volunteer program. I don't know the numbers now, but 20 years ago only half of the graduating Webelos continued to the next step of scouting, troops. I believe that 70% of those Webelos can blame their boring experience to adult leader burnout. It's too much, and now they have a Lion program. 

Barry

 

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I remember when Tiger Cubs was initiated.  I saw it as a response to Y-Guides (then “Indian Guides”) which began in 1st grade and threatened to capture dads & their boys before they became eligible for cubs.  I see Lions as a similar response to youth soccer, which a few years ago began capturing families at Kindergarten.

 

My son & I enjoyed Tigers - and I’ve been involved ever since even though my son is now 23 - but I can see Barry’s point that for most parents, this race-to-the-bottom just invites early burnout.

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

The problem Tigers caused was requiring more volunteer time to an already heavily burdened volunteer program. I don't know the numbers now, but 20 years ago only half of the graduating Webelos continued to the next step of scouting, troops. I believe that 70% of those Webelos can blame their boring experience to adult leader burnout. It's too much, and now they have a Lion program. 

Barry

 

We get some new Scouts each year that have bailed out in 4th grade due to "yawn" too long of a Cub program.  Then they see us when they are maybe 6th grade, want to know if they can join Boy Scouts as they dropped out of Cubs.  A lot of our leaders that were Cub leaders talk about the long long long walk through Cubs...up to 6 years now

We tell them if they have the application, pay the dues, and give us to start a Medical A / B...welcome aboard

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29 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

We get some new Scouts each year that have bailed out in 4th grade due to "yawn" too long of a Cub program.  Then they see us when they are maybe 6th grade, want to know if they can join Boy Scouts as they dropped out of Cubs.  A lot of our leaders that were Cub leaders talk about the long long long walk through Cubs...up to 6 years now

We tell them if they have the application, pay the dues, and give us to start a Medical A / B...welcome aboard

 

Why I am an advocate of beginning the transition to Boy Scouts as soon as they become Webelos, just as the program was intended. Start giving them more independence, lewt them camp a few times with a troop, LET THEM HAVE MORE RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES AND LET THE PARENTS SIT BACK (emphasis).

 

I have seen the difference between packs that begin the process early compared to late. IT IS HUGE! Ebery single Scout in my oldest son's den from 5 that was in his old troop is still involved in Scouting save one. And he moved and I have not been able to keep up. Compared to the other pack that fed into the old troop, 0 remain. With my middle son's den, all are still active in 3 different troops. The other pack's den has a 50% attrition rate after 2 years.

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22 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

We get some new Scouts each year that have bailed out in 4th grade due to "yawn" too long of a Cub program.  Then they see us when they are maybe 6th grade, want to know if they can join Boy Scouts as they dropped out of Cubs.  A lot of our leaders that were Cub leaders talk about the long long long walk through Cubs...up to 6 years now

We tell them if they have the application, pay the dues, and give us to start a Medical A / B...welcome aboard

I have repeatedly told parents if their cub is bored, get him out, participate in something that you all enjoy, and when he's 11 or 12, come visit the troop again. I dare you to try and find that in any leader's manual.:ph34r:

We've "recovered" several boys that way. Sometimes for a little while, sometimes longer. One current case was a scout whose older brothers and father are Eagles. All he wanted to do was master board games (which his dad was very good at). His dad always sounded so discouraged that he wasn't interested in scouting. I told that dad to not drag the kid anywhere, go to his basement and paint those creepy figurines with his son until they can't stand it anymore. From time to time I'd get posts of these next-level boards that they were working on. The SM and I had grins a mile wide when this boy, now 12, came in and said his dad wanted to do more camping with him so he was going to give scouts "another try." I told him, "We have been watching your career, with interest." (Yes, he got the Star Wars reference.) After the first trip, he was hooked. The kid loves backpacking. His dad shared a photo of him hunting crawdads and my dog trying to figure out what he's after.

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Always seems to me like the program should go:

  • Cub Scouts: Lion through Wolf ranks
  • Webelos: Bear through earning AOL
  • "Early" Scouts: 5th grade through middle school
  • "Older" Scouts: High school

At each "level", the program needs to shift a bit and introduce new challenges.  Cub Scouts need not be 6 years of the same thing.  Lions and Webelos age kids are vastly different and the program can adjust accordingly.  For my son, Tigers & Wolves was about crafts and fun.  Bears to Webelos was about learning rudimentary outdoor skils.  My son was fortunate that we had a leader change when he got to the bear level and so the program was very different.

As the Scouts BSA age ranges the troop experience is different for younger scouts & older scouts.  Younger scouts is about developing stronger outdoor skills and patrol life.  Older scouts is about leadership. 

Same goes for adults.  We, as volunteers, need a change after 2-3 years too.

Seems like the right life span for any level in the program is about 3 years.  We could do this radically in the BSA and split the pack experience into two programs - or packs can just do that through what they do.  Change leaders in the Bear year, provide Bear-Webelos activities, etc.   If we let it, it tends to happen naturally in a troop.  It's just important for troop adults to recognize it and support it.

Edited by ParkMan
Realized I mixed up Lions and Tigers :)

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36 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Always seems to me like the program should go:

  • Cub Scouts: Lion through Wolf ranks
  • Webelos: Bear through earning AOL
  • "Early" Scouts: 5th grade through middle school
  • "Older" Scouts: High school

At each "level", the program needs to shift a bit and introduce new challenges.  Cub Scouts need not be 6 years of the same thing.  Lions and Webelos age kids are vastly different and the program can adjust accordingly.  For my son, Tigers & Wolves was about crafts and fun.  Bears to Webelos was about learning rudimentary outdoor skils.  My son was fortunate that we had a leader change when he got to the bear level and so the program was very different.

As the Scouts BSA age ranges the troop experience is different for younger scouts & older scouts.  Younger scouts is about developing stronger outdoor skills and patrol life.  Older scouts is about leadership. 

Same goes for adults.  We, as volunteers, need a change after 2-3 years too.

Seems like the right life span for any level in the program is about 3 years.  We could do this radically in the BSA and split the pack experience into two programs - or packs can just do that through what they do.  Change leaders in the Bear year, provide Bear-Webelos activities, etc.   If we let it, it tends to happen naturally in a troop.  It's just important for troop adults to recognize it and support it.

It also would work to lessen the meeting requirements for the younger ages, where meeting weekly is tough and is work. The Cubs meet 1-2 times a month, the webelos meet more like 3-4 times, and then the troop meets weekly. Then older crew or whatever can make their own schedules based on interest.

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7 hours ago, Eagledad said:

The problem Tigers caused was requiring more volunteer time to an already heavily burdened volunteer program. I don't know the numbers now, but 20 years ago only half of the graduating Webelos continued to the next step of scouting, troops. I believe that 70% of those Webelos can blame their boring experience to adult leader burnout. It's too much, and now they have a Lion program. 

Barry

 

This line of thought has always intreguied me.  If this was the GSUSA, where a troop is a collection of 8-10 girls and that's it, I can see this happening.  A couple of leaders start, get a few years in, get tired of it and get burned out.  

In a Cub Scout pack you've got 30, 40 scouts?  Is there no support organziation for the den leaders?  Is there no prospect for replacement leaders so that those original Lion leaders can pass the reigns? 

Our pack saw leader turnover in about 50% of the dens - it seemed to usually happen around the bear year.  Further, den leadership was typically a team effort - two or three parents worked together.  Further, the pack had other adults around - ACMs, Committee Members, who could lessen the load.  I'm sure we had some burnout, but not to the level the get described here.  It was rare for us to have less than 80% of Webelos at least join a troop.  Many of those den leaders went on to take small rolls in the troop.  A few came back and willingly volunteered for another round of being a den leader.

I'm not suggesting you're wrong - not at all.  But, I'm just wondering how many packs where this happens are simply suffering from being a pack that's too small and doesn't have adequate size fo have enough leaders.

Edited by ParkMan
left off a final thought

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10 hours ago, ParkMan said:

This line of thought has always intreguied me.  If this was the GSUSA, where a troop is a collection of 8-10 girls and that's it, I can see this happening.  A couple of leaders start, get a few years in, get tired of it and get burned out.  

In a Cub Scout pack you've got 30, 40 scouts?  Is there no support organziation for the den leaders?  Is there no prospect for replacement leaders so that those original Lion leaders can pass the reigns? 

Our pack saw leader turnover in about 50% of the dens - it seemed to usually happen around the bear year.  Further, den leadership was typically a team effort - two or three parents worked together.  Further, the pack had other adults around - ACMs, Committee Members, who could lessen the load.  I'm sure we had some burnout, but not to the level the get described here.  It was rare for us to have less than 80% of Webelos at least join a troop.  Many of those den leaders went on to take small rolls in the troop.  A few came back and willingly volunteered for another round of being a den leader.

I'm not suggesting you're wrong - not at all.  But, I'm just wondering how many packs where this happens are simply suffering from being a pack that's too small and doesn't have adequate size fo have enough leaders.

You are right that the Bear year is the burnout year. That is the hump year of either making or breaking the den to succeed.

Experts say that the average person gives 20 months of volunteer service willingly. After that? Well after that the volunteer requires support. 

Your pack is very much like my pack, support is provided. But, I don't think you realize how few pack are this organized. They are good at planning a head and they aren't very good recruiters. Most of them push the same leader to complete the 5 year tenure. They don't seek out a substitute. The leader  nobly continues, but the effort lacks the enthusiasm for a fun program. 

Some find find a substitute, but with much reluctance and they drag the scouts to the finish. We had one den of 12 Webelos join our pack where the parents finished the two Webelos years by taking turns. Not one of them was the official leader, they just took turns to get the boys through. As good as it sounds, it wasn't a fun den. They had fun in our troop.

If you look at the volunteering required just for the Tigers, you will find it to be about a forth of the pack volunteers. And many packs look to the new Tiger parents to fill leadership roles with the thinking that the sooner they get started, the more enthusiastic they will be. But, I find that first grader parents are reluctant because they are being hit with everything that first year: First year of school, first year of Sunday school, sports, dance, piano, karate, and Cub Scouts. I will never forget the very tired looking parent who came to recruiting night holding his thumb-sucking son .In our culture, the first year of elementary education is a huge maturing year for both the parents and kids. Night and day difference from the 2nd grade.

Someone asked why Webelos is such a dropout year. It's the year where parents draw the line and make their kids finish what they started. Webelos II is the end of starting with Cub Scouts. 

I was told a few years ago that National is also seeing more drops at the Webelos I and Bear years now. I don't know.

You've heard me say this many times, kids go with their parents. If you want happy scouts, make happy parents. That is what we did. 

Barry

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