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Why were Venture patrols done away with?


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Dang.  I'm worn out on the berating NSP.  NSPs work.  If people judge NSPs don't work, it's because that's what people want to see.  ... 

The question is what do you want scouting to be.  I want it to be a set of friends ... who regularly get together to keep their bond ... who can go out and have their own adventures.  Ideally, they develop life-long friendships.  If not, that's fine too.  I am 100% okay if a specific patrol name dies out after the last member finishes his journey.  If anything, those 17 year old scouts that are the last few in their patrol become the best troop guides as it gives them a job.  

Perhaps scouting has so much trouble because scouting can exist in so many ways.  Baseball is throw, catch, hit, run. Well-defined.  Same for football.  Block, tackle, run, pass, catch.

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My own experience is that scout growth is dramatically slower without older scouts modeling the skills the new scouts need to learn. Troop Guides are OK, but they have to teach most of the skills in m

Great question!  In reality, they weren't.  That is, you can organize your Troop any way you wish, and if you want to have an older group called the Venture Patrol, then go for it. Here's a websi

A few reasons for Venture crew/patrols demise. 1. Not really popular outside of LDS units, and then it was those units that did not focus on sports. When the old  Leadership Corps was turned into

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The unit I am associated with now actually does NSPs in an interesting way.  There is one, but its existence is time limited.  The new scouts come into that patrol, and the troop guide works directly with the NSP PL, so if there is “whispering in the ear” it is coming from a senior scout, not an adult.  The NSP gets to pick a patrol name and come up with a cheer/etc. so they get that first exercise in group decision making and consensus (that is lost if they just go directly into a permanent ‘legacy patrol.’).  But their membership in the NSP is both time and rank  — once they make Tenderfoot, they move to one of the mixed patrols and, if they aren’t advancement oriented, they move on to a mixed patrol when most of the cohort that joined when they did has moved and that incarnation of the NSP ceases to exist and when the next pulse of new scouts enters a new one starts.  That helps get the new scouts moving together on the very early scout skills (including the basic stuff for Scout rank) but gets them relatively rapidly into senior scout led patrols.  

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An interesting idea I only experienced once, and that was when I joined my first troop. At the first few troop meetings all the new scouts participated with all of the patrols (a different patrol each week). IIRC, we went as 2 per patrol. After 3 or 4 meetings the Patrols chose which of us were invited to join them. They made a big deal about choosing us. It was kind of like "draft day", the SPL would announce "The Toads choose Jimmy to join their patrol"! Cheers and high fives as each scout would run over to their patrol, be greeted with enthusiam and given their patrol badge. 

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29 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

An interesting idea I only experienced once, and that was when I joined my first troop. At the first few troop meetings all the new scouts participated with all of the patrols (a different patrol each week). IIRC, we went as 2 per patrol. After 3 or 4 meetings the Patrols chose which of us were invited to join them. They made a big deal about choosing us. It was kind of like "draft day", the SPL would announce "The Toads choose Jimmy to join their patrol"! Cheers and high fives as each scout would run over to their patrol, be greeted with enthusiam and given their patrol badge. 

Now, that sort of sounds fun.  I can see it happening this way.  :) ...  Need to avoid the last kid chosen issue.  
 

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

Now, that sort of sounds fun.  I can see it happening this way.  :) ...  Need to avoid the last kid chosen issue.  
 

IIRC, the "choosing" was all done ahead of time by the PLC. This was just the announcing. So it wasn't like gym class and picking teams. It is possible they announced all the patrols selections at the same time, "Tigers select Jimmy and John". It was a long time ago.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/22/2022 at 11:49 AM, DuctTape said:

Possibly. Might I suggest that if this occurs it might be a result of not having the conversations with the scout ahead of time. Has he scout been explicitly told he may (and should) seek guidance when needed? Did the scouter go over the plans with the scout leader ahead of time? Not to approve or fix them, just to ensure the scout had a plan. The scouter should ask leading questions to help the growing scout leader determine what should be considered. Afterwards, a sit down to discuss what worked, didn't etc... But not "whispering in their ear" during the activity.

In general, "off the rails" is when a significant safety issue is about to occur.

I don’t necessarily disagree with any of that, but when a new Scout (particularly, in my experience, a girl) is put in charge of a patrol or troop, they often really have no idea what they’re doing, and, more importantly, lack confidence in their ability to do it, no matter how much talking beforehand you might do. Therefore, I simply don’t see a problem with significant hand-holding in the beginning, even, as I said, to the point of literally whispering what to say next in their ear, should that become necessary. And I don’t understand why you do.

Obviously if it’s this way for more than a handful of meetings, you’ve got bigger problems, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

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The reason I would not recommend it is because it does not allow failure. A scout needs failure to reflect and learn. That is the number one feature of scouting. Allowing the scout to fail, reflect, learn, and improve IS scouting. 

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1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

The reason I would not recommend it is because it does not allow failure. A scout needs failure to reflect and learn. That is the number one feature of scouting. Allowing the scout to fail, reflect, learn, and improve IS scouting. 

THIS. IS. THE. WAY!

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20 hours ago, DuctTape said:

The reason I would not recommend it is because it does not allow failure. A scout needs failure to reflect and learn. That is the number one feature of scouting. Allowing the scout to fail, reflect, learn, and improve IS scouting. 

Yeah I think BP took that concept from Havad Business Review. For about 2X the cost of a Scout Handbook, you can buy their current issue. IMHO joining a Scout Troop is more thrifty. :D

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22 hours ago, Calion said:

I don’t necessarily disagree with any of that, but when a new Scout (particularly, in my experience, a girl) is put in charge of a patrol or troop, they often really have no idea what they’re doing, and, more importantly, lack confidence in their ability to do it, no matter how much talking beforehand you might do. Therefore, I simply don’t see a problem with significant hand-holding in the beginning, even, as I said, to the point of literally whispering what to say next in their ear, should that become necessary. And I don’t understand why you do.

I personally believe that scouts under the age 14 should not be leaders of groups. Their pre pubescents maturity isn't developed enough to process the lessons from the mistakes. As you said, they loose confidence and start wanting to stay home.

I do agree that a new troop with new scouts do require some hand holding. But, not much. My recommendation for new Scoutmasters of new troops with young scouts was do only 3 month leadership stents to prevent burnout. 

The point the others are making here is don't loose the the foundation of developing growth through making mistakes in the program. Once a troops starts down the path, it's hard to change.

Barry

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2022 at 5:18 PM, DuctTape said:

The reason I would not recommend it is because it does not allow failure. A scout needs failure to reflect and learn. That is the number one feature of scouting. Allowing the scout to fail, reflect, learn, and improve IS scouting. 

I don’t at all disagree that allowing failure is a key part of Scouting. But if the Scout has absolutely no idea how to do a task, do you just stand back and let him fail? Or do you guide and mentor him? If a Scout is having problems putting up his tent, and there are no other Scouts around who are experienced enough to help him, do you stand back and let him fail, and fail, and fail, because he has no idea what he’s doing? Or do you step in and guide and instruct?

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On 6/1/2022 at 3:37 PM, Eagledad said:

I do agree that a new troop with new scouts do require some hand holding. But, not much. My recommendation for new Scoutmasters of new troops with young scouts was do only 3 month leadership stents to prevent burnout. 

That's worthwhile advice. I’ve been wondering what the ideal tenure was for new troops, or new Scout patrols. I’ve seen anything from one month to six months.

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11 minutes ago, Calion said:

I don’t at all disagree that allowing failure is a key part of Scouting. But if the Scout has absolutely no idea how to do a task, do you just stand back and let him fail? Or do you guide and mentor him? If a Scout is having problems putting up his tent, and there are no other Scouts around who are experienced enough to help him, do you stand back and let him fail, and fail, and fail, because he has no idea what he’s doing? Or do you step in and guide and instruct?

This is a different situation from "whispering in the ear" of the patrol leader who is running a meeting.

In general, a PL should regularly invite "experts" to teach a skill at a patrol meeting. The patrol meetings can be part of a larger troop meeting. 

As to this specific situation, I would first ask why was there no instruction prior to the campout? If there wasn't (which is a problem inandofitself), I would let the scout struggle and wait for them to ask for help. If I see the scout will not ask, prior to them hitting the frustration and melt-down stage, I will ask if they would like some assistance. After they accept, I will often then say "I am happy to show you, but the price is that you will be expected to show the next scout who needs assistance." Since no other scouts are experienced (as per your scenario), I might do this with a group of two (or three). I would also follow up with the PL about knowledge and skill preparedness of the patrol and remind them of using meetings ahead of time to get instruction and practice skills. 

Lastly, I think you may be misinterpreting a lot of my commentary. I am not suggesting that we just let the scouts flail and fail and never intervene nor provide guidance. It is just the how & when of intervention. It is an art for sure. As you can see in my example above, I guide them ahead of time to plan, and ask for assistance. I will never say no to a request for assistance (A Scout is Helpful).  If I see a potential issue I allow the scout to struggle up to but never getting to the point of maddening frustration (each scout is different).

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On 6/7/2022 at 1:38 PM, DuctTape said:

This is a different situation from "whispering in the ear" of the patrol leader who is running a meeting.

Forgive me, but I don’t see how. In each situation, a Scout is in a situation where he has no idea what to do. Do you let them fail, having no idea how to succeed, or do you step in and help? Or do you step in and do it for them?

Do you see a fourth option?

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As to this specific situation, I would first ask why was there no instruction prior to the campout?

Wait, you’re kidding, right? You’re talking about everything being Scout-led, with little to no adult interference, only post-hoc guidance, and you’d be surprised that the Scout leadership had not ensured that every new Scout had been properly instructed into how to put up his tent?

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If I see a potential issue I allow the scout to struggle up to but never getting to the point of maddening frustration (each scout is different).

But not if that Scout is in a leadership position, right? Or, in that situation, would you simply take over?

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Training helps get them get an idea of what to do without whispering in their ear.

Letting them make mistakes or fail is a way to learn.

If you do it for them, they never learn and grow. Worse they will lose interest

4th method: Socratic Ask them questions that make them think and come up with solutions.

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