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The Latin Scot

Supporting the Patrol Method - as Unit Commissioner

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When JTE first came out I remember being told that they would tighten up the requirements every year to slowly improve all the troops. I'm not sure what happened to that idea.

One of the problems with JTE is that it is entirely based on easily measured concepts. The number of meetings held, number of campouts, number of advancements, etc. This is straight out of SMART goals. It is entirely based on the methods of scouting with no room for the aims of scouting because character, the oath, and law can't be measured. I could see a problem with with measuring improved growth of scouts and silly arguments between the districts and scoutmasters as they try to decide who deserves gold.  However, character has never been a simple idea to measure. If it were, the bible would be a very simple algorithm to measure people's character so they could see whether they were good or bad. Instead, there are lots of stories about struggling with good and bad.

If the PL doesn't know what his patrol is then, sure, that's a huge red flag. Can you imagine the list of rules for trying to measure how well a troop uses the patrol method? What a nightmare. I'd much rather see the SM and ASM's sit down with a knowledgeable facilitator to evaluate their aims. Rather than a ranking make it a win/win way to help develop units. It would be great to see that in Rogue Scouts as well. ;)

I think I'll go back to my woodworking shop. I'm trying something new. There was a huge wind that took down some trees at my mother-in-law's farm and a cherry tree got knocked down. I'm hoping to get a local sawyer to come and slice it up for me. I have a spot all ready to create a stack to dry the wood.

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Not black and white,  and, like all scoring system, subject to "gaming," but JTM doesn't even try.  

If you have more than one patrol. all Scouts, except troop leadership, belong to a semi-permanent patrol that meets, camps, performs service, learns, and participates in troop program together.

Patrol Leaders and,If you have more than one patrol, the SPL are elected by democratic vote of the Scouts.

If you have more than one patrol, have at least X  PLCs, including an annual program planning event, at which the patrol leaders, chaired by the SPL, plan the troop's program for the year, inclusive of all troop meetings and other activities, and prepare a written annual program plan.  

The SPL presents the troop annual program plan to the Troop Committee and, with the SM's support, asks the TC to support that program

Have at least X patrol meeting lasting at least one hour every month.

Have at least x patrol outings a year

Have at least x patrol service projects per year.

Scouts primarily learn Scout skills in the context of their patrol.

All patrols by month x of the program year have names, patrol medallions, flags and yells, cheers, or songs.

Every Scout by month x of the program year has a job within his patrol and can explain the responsibilities of that job in summary fashion.

All troops certified by their UC (judged by the DC to be performing as UC to minimal standards ) to be complying with the X points of the Patrol Method certified by the District Program Committee, to be annually awarded a ribbon for the troop flag bearing the words " Scout Troop" and the program year (e.g. "2020").  The ribbon shall be publicly awarded at a district event.

The SPL leads troop activities, working through the patrol leaders whenever practicable.

 

Of course, this would be more fair if BSA actually explained what The Patrol Method" is.


 

 

 

Edited by TAHAWK

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4 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

All troops certified by their UC (judged by the DC to be performing as UC to minimal standards ) to be complying with the X points of the Patrol Method certified by the District Program Committee, to be annually awarded a ribbon for the troop flag bearing the words " Scout Troop" and the program year (e.g. "2020").  The ribbon shall be publicly awarded at a district event.

 

Why not do this anyways?  

As a UC you're a district level Scouter.  Invent the award locally and start promoting it.  Honestly, in our district folks would care way more about a local award than JTE. 

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Our District Committee voted unanimously to do it as a district, to be awarded at Klondike Derby or Camporee  or District Dinner, with  ceremony at the unit as a last resort.  Council Exec vetoed on grounds leaders might see it as pressure.  Imagine that , a ribbon's-worth of pressure to deliver Scouting to youth. 😉

Shortly thereafter, all districts were abolished, creating some interesting Bylaws issues.

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2 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

Our District Committee voted unanimously to do it as a district, to be awarded at Klondike Derby or Camporee  or District Dinner, with  ceremony at the unit as a last resort.  Council Exec vetoed on grounds leaders might see it as pressure.  Imagine that , a ribbon's-worth of pressure to deliver Scouting to youth. 😉

Shortly thereafter, all districts were abolished, creating some interesting Bylaws issues.

What an awesome!!!! idea.  What a brain dead decision by the SE - doh!  From hearing these stories, I realize that I'm in a pretty decent council with empowered volunteers.  There's got to be some kind of national advisory board that hears these stories and establishes policy for SEs.  Here's hoping...

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The SE was a decent guy.  He had "taken one for the team" by closing a camp in a smaller council in Ohio - a camp that BSA wanted closed and probably needed closing due to lack of a waterfront and adequate space.  His reward was to, largely, retire in place in our council with a higher salary.  (To his credit, he did emphatically put a stop to registering mythical units , and membership, a constant problem in BSA councils and in ours in particular - we had 30% fictional membership when he took over, and he took the hit on the year-over-year "decline" to correct the books.   But that seems to have been the last "hill" he was willing to storm.)  Membership and financing continued to spiral downwards.   Council now "serves" well under 5% of eligible youth. 

The replacement SE, told that many Scouters found training to be of low quality, decided the "solution" was less training, but leaving the same awful training leadership in place  The emphasis of the couple in charge is on enlarging the "No" list, to the extent that we have fewer than a dozen "official" training staff in the entire council, so promised training is cancelled about as often as it happens.  No "other' training in four years (Fortunately the councils around us have strong "other" training.)  Promised Scouter training at summer camp canceled most weeks.  Most past WB Course and NYLT course directors and several dozens of other experienced trainers are, with one exception, uniformly "NOs", so they staff in other councils, areas, region, at Philmont, and in Canada but not in their home council.  So "less is more," and we are meeting that objective.

This SE has set up "Service Areas" - like districts run by typical "professionals."   😡   "Roundtables" are 75% or more announcements or exhortations to give money/sell stuff/ patronize counsel profit-making activities, with predictable impact on attendance. ("Has your estate plan recognized your obligation to support scouting?")

But what do we know?

I am reminded of the debate at a National Jamboree between the "professional" "supporting" health and safety about safe dish-washing, the head volunteer Gold Hat having run off.  The "professional" had a BA and, doubtless, Camp School training.  On the other side was a fellow with a  Phd in Microbiology.  In later years, he was a top executive at the  World Health Organization, specializing in E. coli.  While in Switzerland, he was selected as a lecturer in biotechnology at the Haute Ecole Specialier.  The Camp hospital was filling with E. coli dysentery cases.  The Virginia Department of Health would come to threaten pulling the permit for the Jamboree over illegal dish-washing practices.  But what did Doctor  Horsfall know compared to a "professional."?  We WOULD put the chlorine in the second, and final, hot rinse!

In the end, B.S.A. capitulated to the Health Department's ultimatum and distributed third washtubs to all Jambo troops for the legally required final, tepid sanitizing rinse - although it took over fourteen years to change official B.S.A. practices.  (Our two troops already had and were using the third tub and had no dysentery cases, mere volunteers us.  Horsfall had presented at our Roundtables years before, being from our area, so we knew the proper practice and ignored the Handbook practice.)  (Some printings of the 12th Ed. relapsed into error a few years ago, but it was corrected - all with no announcement.  The 13th Ed. is incorrect.  Like the incorrect illustration of the tripod lashing that has come and gone in BSA publications for almost sixty years, error has a high survival quotient [13th Ed. illustration is correct. 12th Ed. illustration is incorrect.].)

We need all hands on deck for bare survival.  That necessity is not uniformly recognized, much less who the "top hands" are.  Until then, one can only prepare and hope for an opportunity to serve.  Oh, and give money.

No list No. 147.

 

 

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Hey @The Latin Scot !

I am glad you are looking into being a UC.  I think it is one of the best jobs in scouting for those of us who aren't needed in our own kids units.  You have gotten some great advice so far.  What I have seen of unit assignments is that there is a piece of advice passed through the commissioner corps that UC's should not be assigned to their "own" unit.  Different DC's seem to take this differently.  Sometimes it means not your son's troop, sometimes it means not the troop you grew up in.  I am of the opinion that it helps to be a little separated but not too much.  Try to look at yourself as a District scouter (enjoy those silver epaulets).  I have always had 2 or 3 units.  Sometimes I hike or camp with different ones.  At district and council events, the corps has started camping together, complete with our a big commissioner flag and over the top camp food.  

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1 hour ago, TAHAWK said:

I am reminded of the debate at a National Jamboree between the "professional" "supporting" health and safety about safe dish-washing, the head volunteer Gold Hat having run off.  The "professional" had a BA and, doubtless, Camp School training.  On the other side was a fellow with a  Phd in Microbiology.  In later years, he was a top executive at the  World Health Organization, specializing in E. coli.  While in Switzerland, he was selected as a lecturer in biotechnology at the Haute Ecole Specialier.  The Camp hospital was filling with E. coli dysentery cases.  The Virginia Department of Health would come to threaten pulling the permit for the Jamboree over illegal dish-washing practices.  But what did Doctor  Horsfall know compared to a "professional."?  We WOULD put the chlorine in the second, and final, hot rinse!

In the end, B.S.A. capitulated to the Health Department's ultimatum and distributed third washtubs to all Jambo troops for the legally required final, tepid sanitizing rinse - although it took over fourteen years to change official B.S.A. practices.  (Our two troops already had and were using the third tub and had no dysentery cases, mere volunteers us.  Horsfall had presented at our Roundtables years before, being from our area, so we knew the proper practice and ignored the Handbook practice.)  (Some printings of the 12th Ed. relapsed into error a few years ago, but it was corrected - all with no announcement.  The 13th Ed. is incorrect.  Like the incorrect illustration of the tripod lashing that has come and gone in BSA publications for almost sixty years, error has a high survival quotient [13th Ed. illustration is correct. 12th Ed. illustration is incorrect.].)

How I learned to wash dishes as a kid was camping with the Girl Scouts: the three dishpan method, third pot containing a bit of bleach.  GS reinforced this when I took their leader training earlier this decade.

Then I joined BSA, and bought the latest fieldbook being sold at the scout shop, and saw that it had (5th edition, p92) the bleach (or other sanitizer) in the second pot, not the third pot.

It seemed a little odd, but I thought that I had better do things the BSA way now . . .  So my troop did this on their first outing.

Then I saw that the BSA handbook (14th edition p308) puts the sanitizer in the third pot.  Makes much more sense, and I'd much rather the scouts do this.  Trouble is, my scouts aren't convinced and having conflicting literature does not help.  See, for example, Bryan on Scouting in 2017 https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2017/03/30/how-to-wash-dishes-at-campsite/

Do you a good reference to a public health department that mandates the sanitizer in the third and final pot?  Or to you have any BSA literature repudiating the former sanitzer-in-second-not-third-pot practise?  I'd like it to seem to my scouts more than just my arbitrary say-so in directing the scouts to follow one piece of scout literature versus another and put the sanitizer in the final rinse.

Edited by Treflienne
clarity

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The 3rd pot, sanitizing rinse method was first rolled out in B.S.A. literature in Boys' Life. It then appeared in the early "printings" (what is normally an "edition") of the 12th Edition Boy Scout Handbook at p. 327.  later "printings" of that "edition" went back to the unsafe two-pot method, then back to three pots.  The 13th Edition incorrectly puts the chlorine in the first rinse, where food particles reduce effectiveness, followed by a hot, third tub.  (p. 308) This incorrect method is covered in the Scouting blog.  Bryan on Scouting :https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2017/03/30/how-to-wash-dishes-at-campsite/

 

For professional advice:

https://stopfoodborneillness.org/news-from-stop-clean-sanitize-disinfect/ [step 4]

"the activity of chlorine is dramatically affected by such factors as pH, temperature, and organic load; however, chlorine is less affected by water hardness when compared to other sanitizers, such as quaternary ammonium"  http://www.fightbac.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Cleaning_and_Sanitizing_Food-Contact_Surfaces.pdf

USFDA: 

Sanitize

This third step in the 3-sink method is arguably the most important. It ensures that all harmful microorganisms are killed and can be accomplished one of two ways.

  1. Chemical sanitizing means you use a chemical solution to kill bacteria. You can use EPA-approved water sanitizers, which usually come in dissolvable tablets, or a chlorine solution. If you use a water sanitizer, simply follow the manufacturer's directions. For a chlorine solution, consult your local health codes and the table below to help you determine the solution and temperature you need and how long the dishes should soak. Chlorine test strips can also help confirm you have achieved the correct concentrations. In most cases, each dish will need to soak from 7 to 30 seconds to be completely sanitized.

Virginia Department of Health: [think jamborees]

3 COMPARTMENT SINK PROCEDURES For Pots, Pans and Manual Ware Washing

Pre-Scrape - Excess soil from ware – soak as long as possible.

Wash - In clean, hot, soapy water.

Rinse - In clean water.

Sanitize - Immersion for 1 to 2 minutes in a clear chemical solution at 75°F with one of the following: a. 50 to 100 parts per million (ppm) available chlorine, or b. 200 ppm available quaternary ammonium, or c. 12.5 to 25 ppm available iodine, or d. use approved chemical sanitizing agent according to label directions. Change solutions when they become cloud or when a film appears on top. Air Dry - Do not wipe.

 

West Virginia Department of Health: [think jamborees]

Dishwashing Facilities

 Use clean, warm water.

 Use a three compartment sink or three clean containers.

 Wash.

 Rinse.

 Sanitize (the correct concentration for a chlorine or bleach water is 50-100 ppm).

 Follow manufacturer’s directions if other type of sanitizer is used.

ALSO:

https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/foodsafety/assets/DishwashingDiagram.pdf

Edited by TAHAWK
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To put risk in perspective, most foodborne illness can be traced to food preparation. Cross contamination and/or sanitation related to the food preparer.

Camp chefs not washing hands after using the latrine, and/or cutting tomatoes right after cutting raw chicken is most likely. Not using chemical rinses in cleaning the pots/pans in the woods is the least likely cause of foodborne illness.

Ecoli et al does not spontaneously appear into a pot or utensil with leftover food fragments. It must be transferred. This happens during food prep. No matter how well the cooking implements were cleaned, failure to follow safe serve food prep makes any cleaning regimen futile. 

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Good points.

Still the real professional advice seeks to prevent cross-contamination by killing the bacteria that got there by the means you discuss.   The jamboree in question had kids defecating in portable toilets well over 120ºF,  impelling a rush by the kids to get out.  Also. hand-washing facilities were not generally provided (The troop I was with had a hand-washing station using soap and  Lysol, and the leaders (boys, that is) enforced use as a condition of entering the troop site.  Underwear was being washed by Scouts by hand at the sub-camp water point SE of our troop site.  We took it on ourselves to spray the water point 4-5 x/day with chlorine solution as reporting the behavior had no result.

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1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

cutting raw chicken

Yup.  It's that raw chicken that I am concerned about.   Even if you keep the raw chicken well isolated during food prep, you still have raw chicken on the cutting board and the knife.   That meal, when you wash dishes, you make sure you wash the chicken-contaminated stuff last,  so that no one's personal dishes are contaminated with raw chicken.   But by the end of the dishwashing, all the dishpans are contaminated with salmonella (if you ignore the sanitizing rinse.)  So after meal #2, when you wash dishes, all the scouts personal dishes become contaminated with salmonella.  So at meal #3, everyone has salmonella to eat.

As much as I believe in letting the scouts figure things out, the point at which the raw chicken seemed to be on the verge of spreading was the point at which I stepped in to give some specific directions.

1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

No matter how well the cooking implements were cleaned, failure to follow safe serve food prep makes any cleaning regimen futile. 

I agree.   But still, failure to properly wash dishes (and properly sanitize your dishpans) is also a source of trouble.

Edited by Treflienne
clarity

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P.S.  I expect that by age 11 kids ought to have learned at home not to do "cutting tomatoes right after cutting raw chicken" and the importance of handwashing after using the facilities.   However, since most of our families have dishwashers that do the santizing for you,  they may not have learned how to wash dishes by hand.

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1 hour ago, Treflienne said:

P.S.  I expect that by age 11 kids ought to have learned at home not to do "cutting tomatoes right after cutting raw chicken" and the importance of handwashing after using the facilities.   However, since most of our families have dishwashers that do the sanitizing for you,  they may not have learned how to wash dishes by hand.

I would be surprised if the percentage of 11 year olds who have EVER cut raw chicken at home exceeded the mid teens; I would not assume at all that they have any knowledge of how to handle raw chicken or any other fresh meat.  Most of our younger scouts have never cooked anything more challenging than pancakes.

Edited by T2Eagle

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