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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Age based patrols are basically setting the scouts up to fail because they don't have a good example for how to succeed.

No, they aren't...the key is the Troop Guide. Wanna really understand the Troop Guide role?  Look at the patch.  He is the Patrol Leader-mentor.  We use Troop Guides to great effect.  Usually, they are past Patrol Leaders for their Patrol.  For six months, they go side by side with the PL of the New Scout Patrols until they "get it".  Six months is about all it takes, depending on program.  We camping trip every month, immediately followed by a PLC, a day trip every month, and have a service project every other month.  Plenty of leadership opportunities.

Train 'em, Trust 'em, Let them lead!

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53 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

No, they aren't...the key is the Troop Guide. Wanna really understand the Troop Guide role?  Look at the patch.  He is the Patrol Leader-mentor.  We use Troop Guides to great effect.  Usually, they are past Patrol Leaders for their Patrol.  For six months, they go side by side with the PL of the New Scout Patrols until they "get it".  Six months is about all it takes, depending on program.  We camping trip every month, immediately followed by a PLC, a day trip every month, and have a service project every other month.  Plenty of leadership opportunities.

Train 'em, Trust 'em, Let them lead!

Well said.  

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47 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

No, they aren't...the key is the Troop Guide. Wanna really understand the Troop Guide role?  Look at the patch.  He is the Patrol Leader-mentor.  We use Troop Guides to great effect.  Usually, they are past Patrol Leaders for their Patrol.  For six months, they go side by side with the PL of the New Scout Patrols until they "get it".  Six months is about all it takes, depending on program.  We camping trip every month, immediately followed by a PLC, a day trip every month, and have a service project every other month.  Plenty of leadership opportunities.

Train 'em, Trust 'em, Let them lead!

Troop Guides are better than nothing, but nothing beats watching and experiencing the dynamics of mixed age group. Troop Guides still do a lot of teaching the skills, where the young scouts in a mixed age patrol learn simply by watching and participating with the experienced patrol mates. 

The other problem I have observed with same age patrols is they become cliquish and don't mix well at the older ages. The scouts in troops with same age patrols tend to merge into troop leadership with their patrol mates instead of scouts from all the patrols. Almost can't prevent it since the patrol ages up into the responsibilities. 

Saying all that, I know a troop may not have a choice and have to do the best they can. But, I'm not sure how to do a same age patrol without using older scouts because of abuse risk. It would be like running a new troop without older scouts every year.

Barry

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We got swamped with new scouts. Enthusiastic ones. So much so that they are recruiting their buddies. Nice problem to have, but the NSP is getting an increasingly wider spread in advancement to scout rank and beyond. I told the PLC that they have until the end of the month to distribute this dirty dozen (now baker's dozen) into their respective patrols.  That way they can start drilling with the guys who will be in the tent next to them at summer camp,  and the Troop Guide and fall back into coaching the few who haven't made Scout Rank yet.

Still, we're continually flexible. And if eight 1st-years want to be their own patrol, we'll support it.

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