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TAHAWK

Civil Protest, Policing, Moving Forward

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30 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) today announced 330,882,751 recreation visits in 2017 – almost identical to the record-setting 330,971,689 recreation visits in 2016. While numbers were steady, visitors actually spent more time in parks during their 2017 visits compared to 2016.

Increased attendance at parks, 1.5 billion visits in the last five years, also means aging park facilities are incurring further wear and tear. President Trump has proposed legislation to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund that would help address the $11.6 billion maintenance backlog in the National Park System. The fund would take new revenue from federal energy leasing and development and provide up to $18 billion to help pay for repairs and improvements in national parks, national wildlife refuges and Bureau of Indian Education funded schools.

“Our National Parks are being loved to death," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. "As visitor rates continue at a high level, we must prioritize much-needed deferred maintenance including aging facilities, roads and other critical infrastructure. President Trump's proposal to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund is a step in the right direction. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this is an American issue, and the President and I remain ready to work with anyone in Congress who is willing to get the job done.”

National Park System 2017 visitation highlights include:

  • More than 1.44 billion recreation hours in 2017, an increase of 19 million hours over 2016
  • Most – 385 of 417 parks in the National Park System – count park visitors
  • 61 of the 385 reporting parks set new visitation records (about 16 percent of reporting parks)
  • 42 parks broke a record they set in 2016
  • 3 parks had more than 10 million recreation visits – Blue Ridge Parkway, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • 10 parks had more than 5 million recreation visits
  • 81 parks had more than 1 million recreation visits – one more million-visitor park than 2016
  • Half of national park visitation occurred in 27 parks
  • The total solar eclipse last August brought visitors in record numbers to several parks

Parks that passed notable recreational visit milestones for the first time:

  • Grand Canyon National Park 6 million
  • Zion National Park 4.5 million
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area 4 million
  • Boston National Historical Park 3 million
  • Glacier National Park 3 million
  • Bryce Canyon National Park 2.5 million
  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park 2.5 million
  • Big Bend National Park 400,000
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve 400,000
  • Mississippi National Recreation and River Area 400,000
  • Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site 200,000
  • Congaree National Park 150,000
  • Great Basin National Park 150,000
  • Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site 150,000
  • Monocacy National Battlefield 100,000
  • Waco Mammoth National Monument 100,000
  • Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument 75,000
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park 75,000
  • James A. Garfield National Historic Site 50,000
  • National Park of American Samoa 50,000
  • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site 50,000
  • Agate Fossil Beds National Monument 30,000
  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument 30,000
  • Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve 30,000

This explodes the idea that the outdoors going public, scouts included, can rely on limited, high impact,  marquee destinations like premiere National Parks. There are too many of us trying to crowd into the same spaces.  Scouting, as an outdoors oriented organization, could do a world of good in trying to leverage every tool available to keep local green spaces available to scouts as well as to the general public. Local unit, district, and council campgrounds and reserves; municipal and county parks. I so wish scouting would become advocates for keeping camp grounds and open spaces viable and available to all for all the things we love to do in scouting as well as to keep America's youth in general interested in the outdoor lifestyle.  

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4 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

The Topic Drift Police may arrive directly.

Could be, but this seems to be more optimistic. I mean, right now it is raining ash in my town and it's supposed to snow tonight. The tomatoes are history.

4 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) today announced 330,882,751 recreation visits in 2017 – almost identical to the record-setting 330,971,689 recreation visits in 2016. While numbers were steady, visitors actually spent more time in parks during their 2017 visits compared to 2016.

I guess you're saying people do, in fact, enjoy the outdoors. That and the fact that the BSA is hurting is quite a paradox. My neighbor has scout aged kids and they go camping every few weeks in the summer. And yet they have zero interest in scouts.

4 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

BSA, as a bureaucracy, has done almost nothing  in decades to encourage use of The Patrol Method and nothing to discourage ignoring that method. Conclusion: ignorance or lack of interest. 

While I agree, I'm starting to think there's more to it.

6 hours ago, Eagledad said:

im not a fan of Eagle Mills, but they do have a better average for new scouts staying because the adults are still so hands on.

Is it possible they're so hands on because the advancement side of the program is so well defined? There are requirements and stages and a sequence that is clearly described in the scout handbook that explains how to develop an eagle scout. It's easy for the adults to follow that, so they do. It becomes the program because there's nothing else described. There is no such program for developing an independent patrol. No equivalent to tenderfoot through eagle for a patrol or a troop. There is a vague description of patrol method but even if it were given to everyone it certainly doesn't have a 3 to 5 year sequence of more challenging levels to conquer. No requirements for improving teamwork like there is for sharpening a knife. No requirements to organize so many events as a patrol like there are requirements for numbers of nights camping for a merit badge. There's a lot of bling for skill advancement and barely anything for patrol advancement.

I think that's the type of idea that a troop could just do on their own. It would be interesting to see what it might look like, though.

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45 minutes ago, MattR said:

"While I agree, I'm starting to think there's more to it."

Please share.  i thought either they don't know what it is or don't think it is important any more, as they wrote off the outdoor Program in 1971.  What possibilities am I missing?

45 minutes ago, MattR said:

Is it possible they're so hands on because the advancement side of the program is so well defined? There are requirements and stages and a sequence that is clearly described in the scout handbook that explains how to develop an eagle scout. It's easy for the adults to follow that, so they do. It becomes the program because there's nothing else described. There is no such program for developing an independent patrol. No equivalent to tenderfoot through eagle for a patrol or a troop. There is a vague description of patrol method but even if it were given to everyone it certainly doesn't have a 3 to 5 year sequence of more challenging levels to conquer. No requirements for improving teamwork like there is for sharpening a knife. No requirements to organize so many events as a patrol like there are requirements for numbers of nights camping for a merit badge. There's a lot of bling for skill advancement and barely anything for patrol advancement.

I think that's the type of idea that a troop could just do on their own. It would be interesting to see what it might look like, though.

The advancement rules are pretty clear, and systematically ignored. 

 I have repeatedly heard Scouts sharing insights into who is the easiest merit badge counselor for a given badge.  Not especially  great  "preparation for  life."

Could be kids stay around at mills  to get "Eagle" on their resume, even if not earned (a good  moral lesson?).  Also advancement has been accepted by "professionals" as a measurement of success, especially to show their bosses, although advancement is a tool and not an objective. 

The scouts of Mr. Watkins, mentioned above, had confidence because they were able to solve problems, rather than have someone else do it for them.  That was something I hoped to accomplish as well. 

In contrast, the Scoutmaster of the Year averaged 4.5 Eagles given out, but they had little to no outdoor skills and  almost no experience in leadership/problem-solving/responsibility - at least in a Scouting context.   

I worked with a near- Eagle Crew Leader at Philmont  twenty years ago who received Eagle within a couple of months of returning.  He was, beyond doubt, the most helpless of the ten Scouts in the crew and had been appointed to his position by the Crew Advisor on the basis of Rank and age.  He cried almost every day - sometimes more than once.  But Mom, the Committee Chair, made sure he got Eagle - even bribing kids with expensive video games to vote him in as Patrol Leader for his POR.  I am sure should would have not discussed "trustworthy" at all, being an "adult."  One of my Life Accomplishments was getting him up the switchbacks to Urraca Mesa. Talk about one step at a time.

Our former SPL was at Columbia on 9/11 and organized 1900+ students to make and deliver food, beverages, and wet towels to responders  at Ground Zero.  He called a meeting of all interested in helping.   He had them form themselves into "teams" of eight and had them elect their Team Leader.  Five "teams" were a "League."  The League elected a "Commissioner." Team Leaders consulted with their team, and then with  their League Commissioner.  The League Commissioners represented their Teams at the meeting of League Commissioners, who were a committee to  agree on the overall plan.  Where could he have learned such stuff?  (He had been  elected "Permanent SPL" of his NYLT Course four years previously.  Not an average kid. (He has two Phds now. )  But I'll bet there are man young people out there who, given the training, counsel, and opportunity, could have done something along those lines.

 

"patrol advancment" = ?   Not a term I have see before.  

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8 hours ago, MattR said:

Is it possible they're so hands on because the advancement side of the program is so well defined? There are requirements and stages and a sequence that is clearly described in the scout handbook that explains how to develop an eagle scout. It's easy for the adults to follow that, so they do. It becomes the program because there's nothing else described. There is no such program for developing an independent patrol. No equivalent to tenderfoot through eagle for a patrol or a troop. There is a vague description of patrol method but even if it were given to everyone it certainly doesn't have a 3 to 5 year sequence of more challenging levels to conquer. No requirements for improving teamwork like there is for sharpening a knife. No requirements to organize so many events as a patrol like there are requirements for numbers of nights camping for a merit badge. There's a lot of bling for skill advancement and barely anything for patrol advancement.

I think that's the type of idea that a troop could just do on their own. It would be interesting to see what it might look like, though.

Is it possible? I have said many times over the years on this forum that adult run programs are usually advancement programs because they are so easy to follow. They don't require much personal guidance or coaching because the results of the scouts actions are obvious to everyone, especially the scout. The uniform is the same, most Eagle Mills are the best dressed programs because a uniform is basically a check list. Patrol method program are more ambiguous because counseling is deeper into how to make right decisions based on the Scout Law. Uniforming a patrol method troops is less tidy because the dictates making right decisions based on his growth and maturity. By  the end of my Scoutmastering, I could identify a boys level of maturity or general attitude of life just by how he wore the uniform.

Allowing a scouts to grow in the decision making process requires a lot of patience because that process takes years. And maybe that style of adult guidance isn't piratical in this culture.

But I wonder what growth comes from following instructions to Eagle. The largest Troop in our district is a bragging 200 scouts strong program that promises Eagle by age 14 if they follow the Troop advancement map. The troop sets a goal of at least 80 new scouts a year, and usually reaches that goal. I used to wonder why the troop wasn't bigger. 80 new scouts a year is a lot. 80 new scouts a year every year and only 200 scouts total. I learned the troop also looses at least 80 scouts a year by age 14. Scouts aren't asked to leave at age 14, but the program is so structured to reach Eagle by age 14, that there is nothing much for those who stay. I can go on and on, but the troop is truly an adult run program. Walk in and follow an adult to the next stop on the map to Eagle. Finish that step and follow an adult to the next stop to Eagle. 

I once had an Eagle Scout from that troop lead our NYLT course. He was impressive and I asked him how he manage to stay in the program so long after age 14. He said, a few of us actually liked other parts of scouting. I realized he is one of those special rare scouts that is a natural leader and can't get enough of it. He loved our NYLT because it truely was the first time he was the leader of the program. No adult telling him what to do.

I don't know what to say Matt. Our troop was half the size of that troop and had the 2nd most Eagles in the district. We were the opposite of an adult run troop. We were certainly not an advancement program. The difference between our programs was our average Eagle was almost 17 years old. Almost half of our scouts where 14 and older, and we had the largest group of older scouts in the council. That includes all the Venture Crews and whatever else.

I believe there are two paths being discussed here: one is your suggestion of a planned out step by step program where the scouts check a box and move to the next step. Same as the Eagle Mill I described. The other is plan of personal development by putting a patrol in situations where they have to decide how to go forward. I agree the Eagle Mill is easier for the adults. The Patrol Method route develops more personal growth. I've seen it and understand the two paths. But, the future of scouting appears to require inexperienced adults who need a step by step plan to know when the scouts actions are successful, so they know when their own actions of managing the program are successful. 

I believe adults have a role, but their role in the traditional program was limited with the intention to guide young adults to grow in adult skills. That requires the adults to grow as much as the scouts to be successful, and maybe that is asking too much of adults anymore. 

As I've claimed before, the changes folks in this forum seem to want for scouting leads to a more after school type program where the adults know exactly where the scouts are in location and can measure where they are in the program at all times. Maybe that is all this culture will allow now. I'm settled with that, but it's not scouting for me. 

Barry

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17 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

All the good words about Scouting methods are still  there - scattered about - if one knows what they mean taken together.  However,  decades have passed since they were combined in any coherent message - no chapter, no article, no check-list.  And the descriptions of methods are routinely contradicted by BSA statements by the unknowing "professionals":  "Patrols are one component of what we call youth-run, or youth-led, troop."   No, in Scouting, the youth-run troop is a component of the Patrol Method, and not the most important component at that.

BSA, as a bureaucracy, has done almost nothing  in decades to encourage use of The Patrol Method and nothing to discourage ignoring that method. Conclusion: ignorance or lack of interest. 

@TAHAWK thanks for this post. I was asked to be a scoutmaster 6 months after my son joined a troop, of which I was gone three months managing a little league baseball team. I totally see how it is easy for a new scoutmaster to get into a advancement-centric mode and the adults associated with the troop, who want their sons to become eagles, loved the troop run that way. I did not know any better, since I was never a scout in my youth.

Then I took a woodbadge course that opened my eyes to the patrol method. I listened to all of the scoutmastercg podcasts, which gave me a picture how youth led looks like and how adults are supposed support the program. So I changed my job description as Scoutmaster to align more with how scouting was done when scouting started. This got me removed as scoutmaster for a month (a scout was elected Senior Patrol Leader that a group of parents did not think was worthy of the position), then the troop split, so I was reinstated as scoutmaster. 

It seems to me that district/council/national are quite hands off on how troops are run, therefore, parents involved in the troop are the ones that oppose the patrol method, youth led, etc methodology the most. I agree that JTE should account for this better, but reviews from my district commissioner seems to be more thorough. Again, the troop has to make a decision to commit to JTE and commissioner reviews to align their program to how it should be run and many do not. 

I am proud of the scars I have taken on this, because I have seen growth in my scouts that stuck with my troop. 

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19 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) today announced 330,882,751 recreation visits in 2017 – almost identical to the record-setting 330,971,689 recreation visits in 2016. While numbers were steady, visitors actually spent more time in parks during their 2017 visits compared to 2016.

Increased attendance at parks, 1.5 billion visits in the last five years, also means aging park facilities are incurring further wear and tear. President Trump has proposed legislation to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund that would help address the $11.6 billion maintenance backlog in the National Park System. The fund would take new revenue from federal energy leasing and development and provide up to $18 billion to help pay for repairs and improvements in national parks, national wildlife refuges and Bureau of Indian Education funded schools.

“Our National Parks are being loved to death," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. "As visitor rates continue at a high level, we must prioritize much-needed deferred maintenance including aging facilities, roads and other critical infrastructure. President Trump's proposal to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund is a step in the right direction. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this is an American issue, and the President and I remain ready to work with anyone in Congress who is willing to get the job done.”

National Park System 2017 visitation highlights include:

  • More than 1.44 billion recreation hours in 2017, an increase of 19 million hours over 2016
  • Most – 385 of 417 parks in the National Park System – count park visitors
  • 61 of the 385 reporting parks set new visitation records (about 16 percent of reporting parks)
  • 42 parks broke a record they set in 2016
  • 3 parks had more than 10 million recreation visits – Blue Ridge Parkway, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • 10 parks had more than 5 million recreation visits
  • 81 parks had more than 1 million recreation visits – one more million-visitor park than 2016
  • Half of national park visitation occurred in 27 parks
  • The total solar eclipse last August brought visitors in record numbers to several parks

Parks that passed notable recreational visit milestones for the first time:

  • Grand Canyon National Park 6 million
  • Zion National Park 4.5 million
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area 4 million
  • Boston National Historical Park 3 million
  • Glacier National Park 3 million
  • Bryce Canyon National Park 2.5 million
  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park 2.5 million
  • Big Bend National Park 400,000
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve 400,000
  • Mississippi National Recreation and River Area 400,000
  • Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site 200,000
  • Congaree National Park 150,000
  • Great Basin National Park 150,000
  • Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site 150,000
  • Monocacy National Battlefield 100,000
  • Waco Mammoth National Monument 100,000
  • Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument 75,000
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park 75,000
  • James A. Garfield National Historic Site 50,000
  • National Park of American Samoa 50,000
  • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site 50,000
  • Agate Fossil Beds National Monument 30,000
  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument 30,000
  • Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve 30,000

It’s good to appreciate our own country.  I’m not sure where the money is going to come from for a lot of needs on the National wish list.  This year hasn’t helped for an already runaway spending habit.  But let’s hope for the best

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14 hours ago, MattR said:

Is it possible they're so hands on because the advancement side of the program is so well defined? There are requirements and stages and a sequence that is clearly described in the scout handbook that explains how to develop an eagle scout. It's easy for the adults to follow that, so they do. It becomes the program because there's nothing else described. There is no such program for developing an independent patrol. No equivalent to tenderfoot through eagle for a patrol or a troop. There is a vague description of patrol method but even if it were given to everyone it certainly doesn't have a 3 to 5 year sequence of more challenging levels to conquer. No requirements for improving teamwork like there is for sharpening a knife. No requirements to organize so many events as a patrol like there are requirements for numbers of nights camping for a merit badge. There's a lot of bling for skill advancement and barely anything for patrol advancement.

I think that's the type of idea that a troop could just do on their own. It would be interesting to see what it might look like, though.

I agree with you. I think difficulty in navigating the patrol method could be a possible reason why so many kids leave scouting within a year or two of crossing over. There is no road map on how to do it and most of the recent crossovers I've seen have been traumatic. The patrol method is based on the idea that scouts come into the program with some basic skills. However, it's pretty accepted that today's kids do not have the opportunities to develop the same kinds of interpersonal skills that are so necessary for the patrol method to work. My school district, for example, no longer assigns group projects because kids cannot handle conflict resolution and consensus building. Most kids today, and more importantly their parents, also do not accept peer leadership and yet it's a cornerstone of the patrol method.  Troops that have really excellent adult leadership who can model these behaviors and monitor appropriately from afar can do well with it but not every unit has those skills.

So I think looking at whether this a program area that could be given more structure might be really useful. 

 

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5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Is it possible? I have said many times over the years on this forum that adult run programs are usually advancement programs because they are so easy to follow. They don't require much personal guidance or coaching because the results of the scouts actions are obvious to everyone, especially the scout. The uniform is the same, most Eagle Mills are the best dressed programs because a uniform is basically a check list. Patrol method program are more ambiguous because counseling is deeper into how to make right decisions based on the Scout Law. Uniforming a patrol method troops is less tidy because the dictates making right decisions based on his growth and maturity. By  the end of my Scoutmastering, I could identify a boys level of maturity or general attitude of life just by how he wore the uniform.

Allowing a scouts to grow in the decision making process requires a lot of patience because that process takes years. And maybe that style of adult guidance isn't piratical in this culture.

But I wonder what growth comes from following instructions to Eagle. The largest Troop in our district is a bragging 200 scouts strong program that promises Eagle by age 14 if they follow the Troop advancement map. The troop sets a goal of at least 80 new scouts a year, and usually reaches that goal. I used to wonder why the troop wasn't bigger. 80 new scouts a year is a lot. 80 new scouts a year every year and only 200 scouts total. I learned the troop also looses at least 80 scouts a year by age 14. Scouts aren't asked to leave at age 14, but the program is so structured to reach Eagle by age 14, that there is nothing much for those who stay. I can go on and on, but the troop is truly an adult run program. Walk in and follow an adult to the next stop on the map to Eagle. Finish that step and follow an adult to the next stop to Eagle. 

I once had an Eagle Scout from that troop lead our NYLT course. He was impressive and I asked him how he manage to stay in the program so long after age 14. He said, a few of us actually liked other parts of scouting. I realized he is one of those special rare scouts that is a natural leader and can't get enough of it. He loved our NYLT because it truely was the first time he was the leader of the program. No adult telling him what to do.

I don't know what to say Matt. Our troop was half the size of that troop and had the 2nd most Eagles in the district. We were the opposite of an adult run troop. We were certainly not an advancement program. The difference between our programs was our average Eagle was almost 17 years old. Almost half of our scouts where 14 and older, and we had the largest group of older scouts in the council. That includes all the Venture Crews and whatever else.

I believe there are two paths being discussed here: one is your suggestion of a planned out step by step program where the scouts check a box and move to the next step. Same as the Eagle Mill I described. The other is plan of personal development by putting a patrol in situations where they have to decide how to go forward. I agree the Eagle Mill is easier for the adults. The Patrol Method route develops more personal growth. I've seen it and understand the two paths. But, the future of scouting appears to require inexperienced adults who need a step by step plan to know when the scouts actions are successful, so they know when their own actions of managing the program are successful. 

I believe adults have a role, but their role in the traditional program was limited with the intention to guide young adults to grow in adult skills. That requires the adults to grow as much as the scouts to be successful, and maybe that is asking too much of adults anymore. 

As I've claimed before, the changes folks in this forum seem to want for scouting leads to a more after school type program where the adults know exactly where the scouts are in location and can measure where they are in the program at all times. Maybe that is all this culture will allow now. I'm settled with that, but it's not scouting for me. 

Barry

The two pronged approach you discuss came  after me In ‘87 or I have no memory of it.  Historically, Scouts drew directly from and was formed around military traditions and structure. The merit badges frequently had either direct correlation or applicable though that has softened somewhat.   There is a reason there is a wide range of commands, formations and activities that echo this. Likewise, the traditional development attributes from scouting up to very recently if not still so allowed enlisting members to have one upgrade rank on coming in.

it seems modern parents may not be cognizant of these facts and in some cases bitterly refute or resent it.  Be that as it may, the program ought to be a hybrid...in my view.  In the service, the leadership development is fairly well developed through enlisted, NCO and Officer.  All these steps have training to advance and that include skills and competency with instruction and evaluation.  Appropriately, new members observe and learn what to do, each grade learns by example from senior and do on.  They have to prove their merit and competency.  
 

None of this is new or surprising.  The adult military is not a perfect fit but has been an excellent one.  While scouts doesn’t have NCO schools or basic training, they do offer the echo of a successful formula.  The structure, instruction, incentives, duty, respect and advancement are wildly beneficial to boys...I simply don’t know about how girls respond so I can’t speak to that.  
 

When I came through, we loved the summer camp, marching, formations, bivouacs, long hikes, attention to uniform and so forth.  Being from the south, marksmanship was especially liked and many of the troops played guerrilla warfare on camping trips with great relish. Many, if not most, of the fathers and adult leaders were prior service.  (It’s no coincidence the south has traditionally supplied large numbers of military personnel to the armed services).  Perhaps many current adults might find this repellent and not why they signed up...it’s been said already on this forum except in a far worse delivery.  But, that’s how it was in the Chickasaw Council and kids loved it and didn’t turn out as war mongering autocratic adults.  
 

The platoon part of what you describe s intriguing because I don’t know how it works.  Adults don’t do the work for the scouts but guide, set limits, arbitrate, set examples and take on the responsibilities that are not for minors.  They exercised experience and wisdom where youth lacked and made sure the environment was a fun and learning one.
 

The scouts take the instructions when given and pass them down to their patrol members.  The patrol leaders are responsible for organizing, delegating, monitoring and being held accountable for a variety of tasks.  That’s how our troop worked.  The hierarchy and rank, like the armed services, worked.  
 

I’m at a loss to understand what could be done differently, but clearly, a lot has changed since ‘87.

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15 minutes ago, yknot said:

I agree with you. I think difficulty in navigating the patrol method could be a possible reason why so many kids leave scouting within a year or two of crossing over. There is no road map on how to do it and most of the recent crossovers I've seen have been traumatic. The patrol method is based on the idea that scouts come into the program with some basic skills. However, it's pretty accepted that today's kids do not have the opportunities to develop the same kinds of interpersonal skills that are so necessary for the patrol method to work. My school district, for example, no longer assigns group projects because kids cannot handle conflict resolution and consensus building. Most kids today, and more importantly their parents, also do not accept peer leadership and yet it's a cornerstone of the patrol method.  Troops that have really excellent adult leadership who can model these behaviors and monitor appropriately from afar can do well with it but not every unit has those skills.

So I think looking at whether this a program area that could be given more structure might be really useful. 

 

I don't thinks so, your theory isn't supported by studies and polls. But if you want to push that theory, than the solution is another year of Webelos. What age do you think it's OK to quit holding the scouts hands?

If you want to change the Patrol Structure, you need a different argument. The stress of making personal decisions has little to do with the structure they make the decisions, it has to do with the new practice of dealing with the consequences of making decisions. It's a matter of developing the habit through practice in a safe place.

Barry

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

The patrol method is based on the idea that scouts come into the program with some basic skills. However, it's pretty accepted that today's kids do not have the opportunities to develop the same kinds of interpersonal skills that are so necessary for the patrol method to work. My school district, for example, no longer assigns group projects because kids cannot handle conflict resolution and consensus building.

That's a very interesting observation.  I have to agree.  School administrators have become increasingly cautious about group projects.  About 40% of my class time was spent on group projects, usually in small groups of 4 or 5.  My last principal didn't like it very much.  

I don't know if it had anything to do with students being unable to handle conflict resolution or consensus building.  I know the modern trend in education is leaning towards individualized instruction.  Teaching to the test.  Personal interaction and coping skills can't be measured on a standardized test.  Therefore, they are unimportant.  At least in the eyes of a school administrator.

Does this effect scouting?  I don't know.  Maybe parents and scouts want to copy the learning techniques they learn at school and use them in scouting.  I did the opposite.  I took some of my scouting skills and used them in the classroom.

 

Edited by David CO

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

I agree with you. I think difficulty in navigating the patrol method could be a possible reason why so many kids leave scouting within a year or two of crossing over. There is no road map on how to do it and most of the recent crossovers I've seen have been traumatic. The patrol method is based on the idea that scouts come into the program with some basic skills. However, it's pretty accepted that today's kids do not have the opportunities to develop the same kinds of interpersonal skills that are so necessary for the patrol method to work. My school district, for example, no longer assigns group projects because kids cannot handle conflict resolution and consensus building. Most kids today, and more importantly their parents, also do not accept peer leadership and yet it's a cornerstone of the patrol method.  Troops that have really excellent adult leadership who can model these behaviors and monitor appropriately from afar can do well with it but not every unit has those skills.

So I think looking at whether this a program area that could be given more structure might be really useful. 

 

Almost no Scouts are exposed to The Patrol Method from what I have seen here since 1981 or seen from out-of-council units at summer camps in seven states during that period.  And I looked, asked, and discussed what I saw and heard.  "Andy" agreed with this observation, as did the employee in change of training at National  in 2014. 

I have no idea why, for example, agreeing on a menu for a weekend campout should be "traumatic," especially with adults as teachers and coaches - unless the adults and the kids  are especially incompetent for some reason(s).  If the pancakes are burned, there is an opportunity for constructive evaluation - and nobody dies.

Adults in Scouting should be able to guide the Scouts with questions: "Will you be able to keep the hamburger from spoiling until Saturday dinner?"  The untrained may not know how to "lead" the leaders in this fashion.  But training has been deemphasized, at witness the steadily reduced time allocated.                    

The decline of interest in training at BSA is a good reason to expect poorer performance.  But BSA is inbred - a conversation largely internal and among the "deaf."  I have encountered three "professionals" in the last decade who could adequately explain The Patrol Method.  Our current Council SE certainly cannot - not remotely.  He found the entire notion of Scouting being patrol-centered very strange.  "Where did you get that idea?"  I sent him a statement, with historic and current sources, and never heard from him again - except when begging for $$$ or a change in my will to leave everything to Council.

Wood Badge does not devote five minutes to explaining The Patrol Method, saying it teaches " by example."  So BSA is using the "DGE"  approach to teaching?  HARDLY.  Wood Badge does not "guide" or  "enable" the trainee,  Instead, the remote authors of the Syllabus, through the  "ADULTS (Staff) exert near total control.   So much for 'EDGE" or Wood Badge teaching . The Patrol Method.  Perhaps only "Enable" is left - more like "You're on your own.".  Of course, good Staff may surpass the Syllabus - heresy in our council, where no sentence or word not in the Syllabus is to be uttered by Staff, even is response to a direct question. 

 

Find this in Wood Badge: 

nless the patrol method is in operation, you don’t really have a … Scout troop.” B.S.A., Scouting.org (citing Baden-Powell) (currently on line at Scouting.org, 09/08/20 https://scoutingmagazine.org/2014/12/help-youth-leaders-build-scout-led-troop/

 "Independent, Distinct and Autonomous Patrols
Patrols need to stand on their own. They need their own identity. This extends to every aspect of the program. When camping each patrol has their own area, their own food, their own leadership and their own program."

“ Scouting happens in the context of a patrol.” B.S.A., Scoutmaster Position Specific Training, (09/08/2020)

“Your … Scout troop is made up of patrols, with each patrol’s members sharing responsibility for the patrol’s success.”  B.S.A., The Boy Scout Handbook, 13th Ed. (2016) at  p. 25

HOW DOES ONE "KNOW" THAT SCOUTING DOES NOT "WORK" "THESE DAYS" WHEN ALMOST NO ONE HAS BEEN TRYING IT FOR DECADES?

 

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Moderators have been letting this off-topic topic go on for some time now.  Have they not noticed, or are they greatly relieved that we are no longer talking about the riots and they don't want to spoil a good thing?  :unsure:

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This is a very interesting discussion. The patrol method is integral to scouting but you almost wonder how it can possibly work in today's environment. David CO mentions the trend towards individualism in education. I agree. And that is exactly why many scouts, and even more importantly their parents, have an issue with peer leadership. Kids today are not taught to work in a team or in a subordinate position to anyone else, they are taught and raised to do what they want and what works for them. Tahawk mentioned trauma. The trauma I'm talking about is when you've got a room full of kids taught that their individual rights, opinions and interests are what are most important and not anyone else's. The loudest rule the room; the more laid back hang back in misery and quit. We also have Den Chiefs and Troop Guides who are supposed to teach and manage this process. However, these scouts are generally not promoted to these roles because of any particular talent or training. They are in them because they need to fill a POL. They are often ill equipped to handle a diverse group of kids. Troops that have great adult leadership will instinctively know how to deal with this. Other Troops will just recite the mantra that it's scout led and ignore it. Yet others, without training or any kind of guidance on how to deal with these situations, will hover in and run the troop for them. These are all reasons why I think having some kind of step by step process spelled out for youth leadership might be a good idea. 

Edited by yknot

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2 hours ago, yknot said:

I agree with you. I think difficulty in navigating the patrol method could be a possible reason why so many kids leave scouting within a year or two of crossing over. There is no road map on how to do it and most of the recent crossovers I've seen have been traumatic. The patrol method is based on the idea that scouts come into the program with some basic skills. However, it's pretty accepted that today's kids do not have the opportunities to develop the same kinds of interpersonal skills that are so necessary for the patrol method to work. My school district, for example, no longer assigns group projects because kids cannot handle conflict resolution and consensus building. Most kids today, and more importantly their parents, also do not accept peer leadership and yet it's a cornerstone of the patrol method.  Troops that have really excellent adult leadership who can model these behaviors and monitor appropriately from afar can do well with it but not every unit has those skills.

So I think looking at whether this a program area that could be given more structure might be really useful. 

 

Almost no Scouts are exposed to The Patrol Method from what I have seen here since 1981 or seen from out-of-council units at summer camps in seven states during that period.  And I looked, asked, and discussed what I saw and heard.  "Andy" agreed with this observation, as did the employee in change of training at National  in 2014. 

I have no idea why, for example, agreeing on a menu for a weekend campout should be "traumatic," especially with adults as teachers and coaches - unless the adults and the kids  are especially incompetent for some reason(s).  If the pancakes are burned, there is an opportunity for constructive evaluation - and nobody dies.

Adults in Scouting should be able to guide the Scouts with questions: "Will you be able to keep the hamburger from spoiling until Saturday dinner?"  The untrained may not know how to "lead" the leaders in this fashion.  But training has been deemphasized, as witness the steadily reduced time allocated.                    

The decline of interest in training at BSA is a good reason to expect poorer performance.  But BSA is inbred - a conversation largely internal and among the "deaf."  I have encountered three "professionals" in the last decade who could adequately explain The Patrol Method.  Our current Council SE certainly cannot - not remotely.  He found the entire notion of Scouting being patrol-centered very strange.  "Where did you get that idea?"  I sent him a statement, with historic and current sources, and never heard from him again - except when begging for $$$ or a change in my will to leave everything to Council.

Wood Badge does not devote five minutes to explaining The Patrol Method, saying it teaches " by example."  So BSA is using the "DGE"  approach to teaching?  HARDLY.  Wood Badge does not "guide" or  "enable" the trainee,  Instead, the remote authors of the Syllabus, through the  "ADULTS" (Staff) exert near total control.   So much for 'EDGE" or Wood Badge teaching  The Patrol Method.  Perhaps only "Enable" is left - more like "You're on your own.".  Of course, good Staff may surpass the Syllabus - heresy in our council, where no sentence or word not in the Syllabus is to be uttered by Staff, even in response to a direct question. 

 

Find this in Wood Badge:  [underlining by site software]

“Unless the patrol method is in operation, you don’t really have a … Scout troop.” B.S.A., Scouting.org (citing Baden-Powell) (currently on line at Scouting.org, 09/08/20 https://scoutingmagazine.org/2014/12/help-youth-leaders-build-scout-led-troop/

 "Independent, Distinct and Autonomous Patrols
Patrols need to stand on their own. They need their own identity. This extends to every aspect of the program. When camping each patrol has their own area, their own food, their own leadership and their own program."

“ Scouting happens in the context of a patrol.” B.S.A., Scoutmaster Position Specific Training, (09/08/2020)

“Your … Scout troop is made up of patrols, with each patrol’s members sharing responsibility for the patrol’s success.”  B.S.A., The Boy Scout Handbook, 13th Ed. (2016) at  p. 25

HOW DOES ONE "KNOW" THAT SCOUTING DOES NOT "WORK" "THESE DAYS" WHEN ALMOST NO ONE HAS BEEN TRYING IT FOR DECADES?

 

Edited by TAHAWK

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The Ministry of Truth in action: "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

"Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov (Russian: Никола́й Ива́нович Ежо́в, tr. IPA, IPA: [nʲɪkɐˈɫaj jɪˈʐof]; 1 May 1895 – 4 February 1940) was a Soviet secret police official under Joseph Stalin who was head of the NKVD from 1936 to 1938, during the height of the Great Purge.

He presided over mass arrests and executions during the Great Purge. Yezhov eventually fell from Stalin's favor and power and was arrested and confessed to a range of anti-Soviet activity, later claiming he was tortured into confessing, and eventually executed in 1940 along with most others responsible for the Purge."

 

QqOGDp4.png

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