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New Scout Patrol vs Mixed Age Patrols (YPT)

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23 hours ago, SubSM said:

That is what we have to do on most campouts, due to the lack of scouts. I am trying to figure out how to build patrol spirit when every campout is another ad-hoc patrol here and there.

 

Mike

Same here.  As hard as I try, it's just not possible.  For many scouts, scouting is not the first priority activity.  If you don't accept that, then our troop would be VERY small.

We do the best we can with the circumstances we have.

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On 7/24/2019 at 12:11 PM, SubSM said:

That is what we have to do on most campouts, due to the lack of scouts. I am trying to figure out how to build patrol spirit when every campout is another ad-hoc patrol here and there.

Mike

 

1 hour ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Same here.  As hard as I try, it's just not possible.  For many scouts, scouting is not the first priority activity.  If you don't accept that, then our troop would be VERY small.

We do the best we can with the circumstances we have.

Why did you guys take on scoutmastering? In one sentence, what do you want from the experience? 

There are as many reasons for volunteering as there are volunteers. Camping, leadership, adventure, mentoring young people, or even proving to oneself that you can do it. There is one desire that motivates your soul more than the others. What is it?

The BSA has set their Mission of Association for Preparing young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the value of the Scout Oath. They even give building blocks to the mission called Aims and Methods

Goals, mission, vision; whatever you want to call it, are required to lead anything forward because the leader needs to know when they aren't following the right path. Why did you take this job? What is your goal? Does it fit with the BSA Mission?

My goals when I started were developing a troop of independent thinking scouts who didn't require adults around to function normally. With that goal in mind, and along with the goal of preparing young people to make ethical choices by instilling the value of the Scout Oath as my compass, I use the patrol method toward my goals. I shaped the Patrol Method to achieve my goals.

To keep going in the right direction of working toward an troop of independent thinking scouts with a lot of character, we tried different approaches to just about everything until we found the' approach that worked best toward our goals. We tried 6 (yes Six) different approached for first year scouts and many different trainings, and different PLC meeting styles until we found the ones that fit our goals best. We even switched from a Car Camping troop to a backpacking troop.  It was a long humiliating process of learning by failures. I am so good at doing it wrong the first and second time. But, I look back and it was so much fun. 

So, when we talk about patrol method, the starting place for making the method a success is knowing where you want to go. What is your goal? How does it fit within the BSA Mission? How can Patrol Method be shaped to work for your goals? 

And have the courage to change when it becomes obvious your plan isn't working. Do you like your program now? Is it working toward your goal? Mission?

Don't be afraid of asking for help. I encourage a lot A LOT of ideas on this forum that were proven to work for us. But, very few of those ideas are original to our troop. We tried ideas that made other programs successful, it was much easier.

So, what are your goals? How can we help?

Barry

 

 
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3 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

For many scouts, scouting is not the first priority activity.  

I can relate to them. Scouting has never been my first priority activity. There is nothing wrong with a boy choosing to participate in a scout unit as his second or third favorite activity. We should be glad that the scout has a variety of activities and lots of friends to enjoy.

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17 minutes ago, David CO said:

I can relate to them. Scouting has never been my first priority activity. There is nothing wrong with a boy choosing to participate in a scout unit as his second or third favorite activity. We should be glad that the scout has a variety of activities and lots of friends to enjoy.

Agreed. If a youth prioritizes Scouting or not, I'm glad they are involved at whatever level they want to be. We're a broad enough program to accommodate all involvement levels. 

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17 hours ago, David CO said:

I can relate to them. Scouting has never been my first priority activity. There is nothing wrong with a boy choosing to participate in a scout unit as his second or third favorite activity. We should be glad that the scout has a variety of activities and lots of friends to enjoy.

 

17 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

Agreed. If a youth prioritizes Scouting or not, I'm glad they are involved at whatever level they want to be. We're a broad enough program to accommodate all involvement levels. 

Yep.  That's what we do.

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22 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Same here.  As hard as I try, it's just not possible.  For many scouts, scouting is not the first priority activity.  If you don't accept that, then our troop would be VERY small.

We do the best we can with the circumstances we have.

I think the key here is to develop a program that is rewarding to Scouts regardless of the level of involvement.  From occasionally active Scouts to the super committed ones, they all need to find challenge and reward.

I like to think about how to increase participation through challenge to and involvement of the Scouts - not structural things like patrols or meetings.  For exmple - grouping Scouts into patrols and giving them a name isn't important.  Patrols are a way for Scouts to share experiences together.  It leads to friendships and camaraderie. It is also a way to increase the challenge to the Scouts.  When patrols are really driving the activity in the troop, it makes participation more relevant for and important to the Scouts. 

Similarly, meetings are not important - it's what happens at meetings that is important.  Are you planning for a trip?  Then yes, the Scout ought to be there to work out details.  How will they eat if they don't plan food or who will bring what gear?  How will they have anything to do if they don't work out their trip plans?  The troop meeting is the place to sort that ought.

My daughter is a youth ballet dancer.  As she has progressed she has increasingly challenging roles.  When they have a show coming up, she needs to be at rehearsal.  If she does not attend, how does she learn her part?  How can the other dancers learn what she will do?  So, she attends the rehearsals.  If it's a quiet time of year with no show, then she can miss class if something else comes up.  But all this is OK because she enjoys the reward of progressing as a dancer. 

I think you can look at Scouting the same way.  You don't mandate participation- but you make the program rewarding at all levels and that will cause participation to increase because that participation will be important to the Scout.

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Barry,

I took your advice and talked with the SPL. We reduced our total number of patrols in order to have a higher number of scouts in the patrols. All of our scouts in the NSP decided to stay together and absorb some of scouts from the other patrols. 

We will keep this format for as long as it works. 

Thank you,

Mike

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, SubSM said:

All of our scouts in the NSP decided to stay together and absorb some of scouts from the other patrols. 

I like seeing "our scouts in the XXX patrol decided".  IMHO, this is the key to success.  The scouts in the patrol decided.  

Edited by fred8033
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