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Duty Rosters, and modern scouting


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Whats your patrol Duty Roster look like?

Fireman was a coveted role back in the day, but national now tells us not to start unnecessary campfires. The standard duty roster still features fireman, waterman which now appear to unnecessary. Our boys certainly don't bother with it. That leaves cook, clean-up and a lot of twiddling thumbs. 

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28 minutes ago, ramanous said:

Whats your patrol Duty Roster look like?

Fireman was a coveted role back in the day, but national now tells us not to start unnecessary campfires. The standard duty roster still features fireman, waterman which now appear to unnecessary. Our boys certainly don't bother with it. That leaves cook, clean-up and a lot of twiddling thumbs. 

Our patrol duty rosters look like whatever the patrols wat them to look like, it's not an adult function.  For the most part they slot in two cooks, two scouts for clean-up, maybe somebody on water if we have to haul it from somewhere.  I'm not sure about twiddling thumbs, but there's no reason for everybody to be busy for the sake of being busy.  The rest of the patrol can be kicking a ball, playing cards, just goofing off, or maybe even the dreaded "working on requirements."

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We need a watermaster as we have to bring our own water. Either way, it's typically hard to cook without water. 

To me, the whole point of the duty roster is to get the scouts out of the idea of "we just do it all together". It's a tool for the PL to learn how to delegate - grubmaster, cleanup, eventmaster ...

Maybe it would help to sit down with the plc and have them make one with some adult questioning.

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Thank you. "Twiddling thumbs" was more of a catch-all phrase. In my observation, the scouts tend to congregate in the kitchen while cooking then disperse when it comes time to clean-up saying they helped cooked so someone else should do the clean-up (who tend to be younger scouts that then stop coming to outings.) A duty roster is absolutely the traditional way a patrol leader should manage this, but the duty rosters I've seen seem outdated.

When implementing the scouting methods, certainly there is a balance between youth-led & adult-mentoring.  Its great if your older scouts are properly trained and self-directed, but when they are not an adult leader needs to be able to provide some guidance: here's a relevant duty roster, how and why you use it (or something along those lines depending on the circumstances)

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I find socratic questioning a helpful way to mentor the PLs and APLs. Paperwork not so much. I would start with the mentoring of the PLs and asking what is working well and what needs improvement. Use socratic questioning to get to help the PL determine possible solutions.

Focus on:

the PL as the leader, someone other's follow

leading by example

servant leadership

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10 hours ago, ramanous said:

In my observation, the scouts tend to congregate in the kitchen while cooking then disperse when it comes time to clean-up saying they helped cooked so someone else should do the clean-up (who tend to be younger scouts that then stop coming to outings.)

My observation: Nobody enjoys cleaning. So everyone should help. The scout in charge doesn't actually clean anything. Instead, he or she is responsible for finding tasks and delegating them, making sure they get done.

Next observation: a patrol that understands teamwork has no problem with cleaning or anything else. A patrol that has poor teamwork won't be helped by a duty roster or even a fairly good PL. It takes a rare leader that can create good teamwork from bad.

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5 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

IMHO, the Patrol Method is not that everyone has a specific job rather everyone helps get the whole job done.

My $0.02,

This is part of it, but patrol method is also developing habits that enable immature decision makers an environment to practice choices based from the scout law. That in of itself is chaotic enough. Some regimented procedures provide scouts a safe place to make decisions based on the law instead of emotion. Structure is kindness. And when an individual builds the habit of making decisions based from trustworthy, helpful, friendly, …….., then they have the maturity to try it differently to improve the results, just like my kids are doing as parents. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

... And when an individual builds the habit of making decisions based from trustworthy, helpful, friendly, …….., then they have the maturity to try it differently to improve the results, just like my kids are doing as parents. 

Barry

My daughter-in-law speaks highly of the results of the Patrol Method.  :)

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19 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

My daughter-in-law speaks highly of the results of the Patrol Method.  :)

Of course. We would expect nothing less from his dad.

Barry

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On 4/22/2022 at 8:13 PM, MattR said:

 It takes a rare leader that can create good teamwork from bad.

All good points being made. This certainly depends on your patrol/troop culture and condition. Leadership Development is both an Aim & a Method of Scouting, and leadership skills can be learned just as any other skill. The Patrol Method provides the structure to do so, and the other methods the opportunity.

Certainly a mature patrol can get away with less planning and delegation. Younger scouts, however, don't know where to start and look to the older scouts for guidance. The older patrols aren't providing the guidance, because they are mature/experience enough not to need the formality. This, I think, was the key failure of the Leadership Corp concept.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think I'm a duty roster believer.  This weekend we went to a camporee and ... well I'd like to say we "decided to try" the "everyone helps" method but in reality we just ended up there for ... reasons.  I didn't love it, the boys were split.  There were literally too many cooks in the kitchen in my opinion :)

I see value in the duty roster.  It sets expectations clearly, helps ensure everyone takes their turn, breaks larger tasks down into more manageable pieces, it helps those who need a turn for advancement get it, and it avoids congestion. 

The patrol leader can make an executive call if the meal plan really demands a few more hands for cooking or KP.

I think I support the standard duty roster template.  If there is no fire, it's easy to scratch off.  Having the water crew ensure water vessels are full and to heat the water for KP does provide more jobs to do, leadership chances, and a better sharing of the task load than having KP crew responsible to get and heat water on top of doing the actual dishes.

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Our Troop just went to Philmont last summer.  Duty rosters are an essential part of the experience.  We practiced the use of duty rosters during our 2 years of training and it really improves camp setup, clean-up, cooking and tear down.  Every Scout (and Scouter) knows their role for the day.

If you haven’t used them, Google a template and try them at an upcoming camp.

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13 minutes ago, curious_scouter said:

If there is no fire, it's easy to scratch off. 

Our fire position is responsible for stove set up and getting an adult to check, charcoal prep if we are Dutch oven cooking, and firewood gathering/prep/lighting.  There must always be enough tinder/kindling/fuel on hand for the next fire.  At the end of the trip, we leave it for the next group.

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On 4/24/2022 at 11:33 AM, ramanous said:

Certainly a mature patrol can get away with less planning and delegation. Younger scouts, however, don't know where to start and look to the older scouts for guidance. The older patrols aren't providing the guidance, because they are mature/experience enough not to need the formality. This, I think, was the key failure of the Leadership Corp concept.

 

The leadership Corp is where the senior scouts who have done it all go to be a source for the younger leadership. But, that shouldn't take away from the patrols. In fact, if a Patrol Needed a new patrol leader for some reason, they would likely come from the leadership Corp.

One of the flaws of todays leaders is they push leadership on scouts too fast and too early. True leadership requires a lot of skills to coordinate a team toward success. Developing those skills takes time and duty roster is one of the best tools for teaching coordinated team work. I found that patrols without duty rosters struggled to get all the responsibilities performed because someone the PL had to constantly ask a scout to do it, after the job should have been done. A duty roster reminds all the scouts or their responsibilities before the assume the responsibilities. A duty roster teaches discipline and work ethic. 

A duty roster also encourages calm leadership. I use to teach our youth leadership that if you have to yell to get something done, then you are do your job wrong. 

The skills that a simple duty roster teach will last the scout forever. I know because I use those skills everyday.

Barry

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