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RainShine

Patrol Method not so much

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Do you have monthly committee meetings? Can you influence the agenda at all? The committe should regularly discuss the "state of the troop". How are we doing with the methods of scouting? Do we focus on some methiods more than the others? What the SMs plan to fix this? Whats an ideal troop with patrols look like? What are adults doing that can be done by the scouts? 

Sure the SM provides the vision for the program but he should be sharing details with the committee on how well its working and what the challenges are. We do this every month and it seems to help keep everyone (committee and SM/ASM) engaged and on the same page. You can also use the BORs to see what the scouts feel about the program and the way patrols are working to give the SM feedback on changes he may need to make.

 

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9 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Do you have monthly committee meetings? Can you influence the agenda at all? The committe should regularly discuss the "state of the troop". How are we doing with the methods of scouting? Do we focus on some methiods more than the others? What the SMs plan to fix this? Whats an ideal troop with patrols look like? What are adults doing that can be done by the scouts? 

Sure the SM provides the vision for the program but he should be sharing details with the committee on how well its working and what the challenges are. We do this every month and it seems to help keep everyone (committee and SM/ASM) engaged and on the same page. You can also use the BORs to see what the scouts feel about the program and the way patrols are working to give the SM feedback on changes he may need to make.

 

This is pretty good, you are way ahead of most troops.

May I ask if your committee discusses how the troop is doing in the 3 Aims, Character, fitness and citizenship (I'm old school, so I don't include the new aim of leadership)? In my philosophy of a boy run program, the scouts are responsible for the Methods, and the adults are responsible for the Aims. If the scouts aren't doing the Methods correctly, the adults will likely see the problem in the Aims. Then the SM can identify a change or changes to influence more progress. 

Judging troop performance from Methods to Aims is a difficult shift of accountability. But ideally the separation of responsibilities pushes the program more towards the objective of preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices. The adults shift their focus from Methods (or scouts actions) in making decisions, and more to the bigger picture results of decisions based from the character actions of the Scout Law. Everything in the Aims is based from the integrity of scouts decisions in their activities.

As I said, shifting from asking the question of, if the troop is spending enough time (or to much) on advancement, to letting the scouts control their advancement and asking the question of, do the adults see a measurable change of better character, is a challenge for adults. But, the adults will see a remarkable rise in the maturity of the troop culture if they work toward that focus. 

Just a thought.

Barry

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I have a slightly different view on scouting methods. The SM provides the framework that includes the right mix of methods and the scouts run that program. As SM I was the one pushing for the committee to hear how the program is running, how we are using the different methods, it up to them to determine if we are meeting the Scouting Aims. This is where the committee should be providing feedback - are we doing enough to be physically fit? We seem to have this flaw in character throughout the troop (ex: swearing), what can you do to help curtail this? Why are you only doing 1 service project per year? Do you need our help to find more projects?

I really thought this is how it should work with SM and committee so appologies if I have led my troop astray.

 

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4 minutes ago, TMSM said:

I have a slightly different view on scouting methods. The SM provides the framework that includes the right mix of methods and the scouts run that program. As SM I was the one pushing for the committee to hear how the program is running, how we are using the different methods, it up to them to determine if we are meeting the Scouting Aims. This is where the committee should be providing feedback - are we doing enough to be physically fit? We seem to have this flaw in character throughout the troop (ex: swearing), what can you do to help curtail this? Why are you only doing 1 service project per year? Do you need our help to find more projects?

I really thought this is how it should work with SM and committee so appologies if I have led my troop astray.

 

Apologies? You have a very fine troop, no apologies required.

I don't mean any disrespect, I just personally feel that giving the scouts the responsibilities of their activities and just taking responsibilities for their decisions is the next step in adult leadership maturity. But, I admit, that is my big picture of developing Citizens of Character and Leaders of Integrity. Vision keeps us going strait, which isn't always easy. I commend anyone that stays in the lane away from the gutters.

Barry

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No disrespect taken, I assume we are talking about the same things. Can you walk us through an example of how your scouts would utilize the scout methods to create activities and how they would create the program around this?

 

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7 minutes ago, TMSM said:

No disrespect taken, I assume we are talking about the same things. Can you walk us through an example of how your scouts would utilize the scout methods to create activities and how they would create the program around this?

 

Hmm, that is a complex question because their are so many dynamics of setting goals and developing skills, toward, or as a result of those goals. It might be easier to define the differences as a result of scout choices. And many of these things come by accident. For example we had to take a scout to the emergency room during summer camp because the he subbed his toes while running through camp. The adults camp at a separate campsite across the road from the scouts, so I have to walk over to talk the SPL. And in short, the SPL saw the whole thing happen. He knew the rules of shoes being required and no running in camp and even confessed that he didn't try to stop the scout. In fact, at least 20 scouts witness the scout running through camp without shoes and didn't try to stop him. 

Being a little frustrated, I had a SM Conference with all the scouts at once and pointed out that they were all as much at fault with the accident as the scout himself. When comparing their choices to the law, they all failed and someone got hurt. That was a red flag to emphasis that taking care of each other often means telling your brother scout that they are doing it wrong. I coached the PLC to watch and help each other. I started having conferences with all the scout involved with a scout's bad decisions. If a PL is having trouble with one scout, don't wait for the call of help, wander over and offer your help. Don't yell across the room as a distraction, just quietly wander over. 

What I didn't know at the time of summer camp but came to learn was the scouts needed permission to call their friends on some of their bad decisions. They didn't want to be a bad guy acting like police on their friends bad decisions. I gave them reason and an excuse to be that bad guy. I turned the bad guy image into being a good guy. It was like letting air out of a balloon, all of a sudden calling each other on their bad decision was a good character action. 

The result at the troop level was that incidences of bad decisions brought to the SM dropped to almost zero in 6 months. If an incidence did get to the SM, it was usually a new scout that wasn't respecting the youth leadership. The scouts starting being proactive in dealing with the discipline of bad decisions. Simply telling your tent mate to put on shoes nips something worse down the road. That has nothing to do with the Methods, but very much to do with Character and fitness at the Aims level. And probably citizenship if we discussed the subject in details. 

That is one example of many. I just have to think of them.

Barry

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22 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

 nothing to do with the Methods -

How about: Ideals(a scout is obedient), Leadership development, Personal growth. No doubt we are on the same page. How do we get other troops to works this way?

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3 hours ago, TMSM said:

Do you have monthly committee meetings? Can you influence the agenda at all? The committe should regularly discuss the "state of the troop".

We do, and I can. I like very much the advice of committee regularly discussing state of troop. Its not happening now.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, TMSM said:

How about: Ideals(a scout is obedient), Leadership development, Personal growth. No doubt we are on the same page. How do we get other troops to works this way?

Well yes, by the adults looking at the problem at the Aims perspective and working from there, the scouts make changes at the Methods level.

We had a situation where the scouts were bringing  too much soda to the camp outs. It was leading to unhealthy diets and trashy campsites. So, I approach the SPL and told him that we adults were observing unhealthy changes to the Fitness Aim. So, the SPL and I came up with a compromising solution of only one 2 liter bottle of soda per campout. He presented it to the PLC and got it approved. Not only did that solve the observed problems, the patrols pretty much stopped bringing pop all together because 2 liter bottles are a hassle for back packing style patrols. Which is were we really wanted the scouts to go in the first place. I just wanted it to be their decision. We stayed out of their responsiblities of running the program and they respected our expectations of character, fitness and citizenship.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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32 minutes ago, TMSM said:

How about: Ideals(a scout is obedient), Leadership development, Personal growth. No doubt we are on the same page. How do we get other troops to works this way?

We have to teach troops the difference and the trust that it works. But, lets start with a brand new troop; how do the new adults insure the new scouts learn how to set up tents for the first camp out. That has the appearance of a conflict right at the beginning. But in reality, using adults as resources for teaching when there are no other resources is just fine. The challenge for new adults of a new troop is learning how to step away from teaching methods as the scouts master the skills. That is where adults typically develop bad habits of controlling the methods as well as the Aims.

Barry

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How about encouraging the scouts to use the Court of Honor as a way to recognize more than just advancement? Recognitions could be for individuals and for patrols. Imagine a scout being recognized by the PLC for his exemplary character on a campout, or a patrol recognized for the "most service hours" logged for the year, etc...

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12 hours ago, DuctTape said:

How about encouraging the scouts to use the Court of Honor as a way to recognize more than just advancement? Recognitions could be for individuals and for patrols. Imagine a scout being recognized by the PLC for his exemplary character on a campout, or a patrol recognized for the "most service hours" logged for the year, etc...

That is one of the best ideas I've seen on this forum in a long time!  Make it a regular thing...and keep the focus on values. Excellent!

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On 6/15/2019 at 3:47 PM, dkurtenbach said:

Many troops that are trying to use the Patrol Method try to adapt to this problem by having artificially large patrols (10 to 15 youth), so that they are likely to have a minimum number of patrol members in attendance at any particular troop activity.  But that's not really the Patrol Method either, because the responsibility for execution isn't distributed among all of the patrol members.   

... followed by @Eagledad's description of giving the methods to the scouts and the aims to the adults.

I agree with @dkurtenbach that times have changed and everyone is busier. This has a negative impact on scouting and we all know why. From the district view at camporees, most patrols are ad-hoc.

So rather than fight it and form huge patrols (which I really don't like) or require participation or going the complete other way and just making ad-hoc patrols the meeting before the campout why not just embrace it and get back to Eagledad's view: The scouts own the patrol method, let them solve the problem. Look at the patrol method from outside the box and maybe a different solution will appear. Let the PLC deal with patrols that don't have enough scouts for an event. Maybe 2 weeks before a campout the PLC can identify those patrols with low participation and they can get everyone into a patrol. How they do it is up to them. They decide what the minimum number of scouts required is and how to distribute scouts from too small patrols. They can also review how it went. That still gives the scouts opportunity to grow in leadership, deal with people problems, and make everyone happy.

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22 hours ago, RainShine said:

We do, and I can. I like very much the advice of committee regularly discussing state of troop. Its not happening now.

I'd be really interested in hearing follow up on this. I can see some SMs being ofended by having to explain how well his program is working and what the challenges are but I see no better way to get everyone on board to what is really happening with the troop.

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55 minutes ago, TMSM said:

I can see some SMs being ofended by having to explain how well his program is working

I don't think that would happen in our situation though. We have our problems, and our patrol method got off track, but the Scoutmaster and ASMs are terrific people and I think they would welcome a recurring review. It's a great idea. The quality of our people at the local level here is top notch.

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