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Enhanced lone scout / family scouting leveraging council properties


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Posted (edited)

With today's challenges (liabilities, YPT, charter org, family time, etc), is there a possibility to refocus scouting around the council camps?  

  • Camps offering weekend skills training ... weekend advancement testing and sign-off ... 
  • Camps offering monthly adventure opportunities ... 

I'm sure you could establish a program that doesn't require a huge paid staff.  Instead, leverage camp masters and skilled volunteers to teach and test.  Leverage "family scouting" to provide the YPT.  Think of it as a state park with resources, skills instruction and advancement. 

Where I've donated hours to my local unit, I'd be willing to camp once a month to teach shooting sports ... or cooking ... or fires ... or knife safety ... or tent setup.  etc, etc, etc.  

It could serve lone-scouts or family scouting ... AND PERHAPS ... patrols.   The cub dens could continue but mature and grow into independent patrols where the adults are pulled more and more out until the patrols work and function on their own. ... Patrols truely being the fundamental unit of scouting.  

Just a thought.  We have such great camps.  It seems we could leverage them more.

Edited by fred8033
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Posted (edited)

"Family scouting" is NOT Scouting. I have experienced this scenario with a 'family friendly" troop. There will be parents who refuse to let their Scouts grow, they will interfere and they will ignore anyone inside, and especially outside, of the groups. 

This is a sore subject with me as 'family scouting" was affecting my two older sons and was ruining their experience, and almost destroyed the troop they left. And upon reflection I do not think the troop fully recovered. And what really saddens me is that for all the new folks joining BSA who have no idea what Scouting truly is, this "family scouting" theme is all they will have.

And try having a conversation with these folks about how things are suppose to be done. You will be told you are wrong, you have no idea what you are talking about, and Scouting has to change with the times. My personal favorite is a someone telling me the CS information that SOMEONE ON THE 411 CUB SCOUT COMMITTEE (caps for emphasis) gave me was wrong and that they had no idea what they were talking about. (sarcasm on) REALLY?!?!?! A member of the committee that revamped the Cub Scout program doesn't know what he is talking about when it comes to the Cub Scout program? (sarcasm off)

 

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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I like the idea of a patrol focus to teach that skill. Give patrols a bunch of options rather than a camporee style program. It could be advancement, skills, or just fun with boats, shooting, hiking or whatever else the camp supports. 

But the same thing should be done for the adults. They need something to do to keep them from annoying scouts. That might solve @Eagle94-A1's concerns. Training for patrol method. Put them in their own patrols for doing some fun/skills. Maybe roundtables and all the commissioner stuff could be done as well? And get troop committee meetings out of the way as well. Or help work on the camp. 

Scouting is best when done outdoors, so this idea has some merit. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, MattR said:

But the same thing should be done for the adults. They need something to do to keep them from annoying scouts. That might solve @Eagle94-A1's concerns. Training for patrol method. Put them in their own patrols for doing some fun/skills.

At least with parents I have been encountering of late, no it won't help. One of the adults interfering was "trained." He did the online SM Specific and ITOLS at summer camp. Still let his child shirk his duties, still jumped in and taught classes and/or do stuff for his child, still allowed his child to leave his buddy and sneak into his tent. And the person telling me the 411 Committee member was not only trained, but a 3 beader to boot.

 

Edited: I really dislike online learning because it does not allow for questions and answers, not does it discussion.

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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Well, then maybe the SM has to take the training on how to deal with adults that get in the way. In my experience these people are not that common. Most reply positively to gentle coaching. And for the ones that don't get it, remove them.

I had a dad that was much more disruptive than any parents you've described. The rest of the troop backed me up. After a month he was gone and we could get back to scouting. A month after that another troop had removed him and his son became a lone scout.

Part of the sm's job is teaching adults. Granted, this isn't explained anywhere but that's more reason to have training at a campout for adults.

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19 minutes ago, MattR said:

Part of the sm's job is teaching adults. Granted, this isn't explained anywhere but that's more reason to have training at a campout for adults.

Yep, adults require as much, if not more, teaching than the scouts. 

I taught a boy run and patrol method class in our council for two years. Let's require something like that for both the SM and CC.

We kind of have the camp that Fred describes. While troops can camp there (we sent our patrols there when they wanted to camp without adults back in the day), the facilities were built with teaching in mind. It also has a COPES course and Climbing/Rappelling tower and pool for unit activities and adult certifications. 

I agree with Eagle94's concerns, I'm sure Fred does also, but this camp idea is worth discussing in an age of Helicopter Parenting/Leading to hammer out ideas and restrictions. I certainly like MattRs suggestions of kicking the adults out of the Scouts' camping area. OK, my words, but Patrol Method Camp Rules can force patrol method in the safe area of camp where the adults give the scouts more independence. This could turn into an instructional and Patrol method teaching/practice/tuning camp where Troops are required to attend at least once a year to get the adults, and maybe PLCs, back up to speed. I used to preach to council that the best quality control of multiple units (Districts) is training. Training is the one place all the units learn the same specific expectations to running their program. Sometimes they were taught wrong, but that is a difference subject.

Most folks who have been here a while on the forum know that my greatest fear of everything going on with the BSA in the last few years is driving the BSA into a afterschool daycare program. Patrol Method is loosing its following because fewer adults have no experience and don't understand or trust it. Maybe this camp is the way to protect Patrol Method and enhance it's performance by training all the adults of it's methods and benefits.

I don't know,  just kicking a few thoughts around.

Barry

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15 hours ago, MattR said:

But the same thing should be done for the adults. They need something to do to keep them from annoying scouts. That might solve @Eagle94-A1's concerns. Training for patrol method. Put them in their own patrols for doing some fun/skills. Maybe roundtables and all the commissioner stuff could be done as well? And get troop committee meetings out of the way as well. Or help work on the camp. 

As scouts should have boating, shooting sports, hikes, etc... camps should promote a long list of prefered adult activities ... read a book, take a nap, clean your car, perform a camp service project like paint a building, etc.  Effectively all activities that keep them far more than arms length away from the scouts.

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Posted (edited)

The only reason I suggest a camps with regular volunteer led activities open to both scout patrols and lone scouts (aka family scouting) is that times have changes.  Many parents won't back away from their kids and recognize kids need to solve their own issues.  So the question then becomes, is there a way we can show value to those scouts where the parents won't back away from their kids?  

Maybe the camp master could setup a time where the camp master would be willing to observe and sign-off on seeing a youth setup a tent and understand what is needed.  Maybe, another youth could cook dinner using dutch ovens and a skilled volunteer effectively could sign off on some of the skill requirements.  

My preference is patrol based and continually mentoring the adults to back off.  But the outdoors is key and even without the patrol, youth can learn skills, self-reliance and that they can deal with and survive hardships more than they'd ever believe.  

BP created something great, but times change and programs evolve.

Edited by fred8033
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