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gilski

Patrol Method older boys with crossover boys?

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Hey, CNY.

 

I really think you have to look at da people side of the equation, eh? For example, most of us who've been doin' this scoutin' stuff for a long time recognize that the best summer camps aren't the ones that necessarily have the best program (in terms of things to do), they have the best people (long-term, consistent, friendly staff).

 

Ya really need to start lookin' at all the units around you in terms of the people.

 

I think you're right about Cubs; the programs tend to be very spotty because the adult turnover rate is so high. No weekend training can replace years of experience. Troops tend to hold on to people a bit longer, and such people anchor the program a bit better. But if they don't, the "temporary" parents runnin' them naturally turn them into short term adult-run Eagle Mills for their kids.

 

No surprise, really, because their longest term hands-on training (BSA summer camp) is a perfect example of adult-run, troop method, merit badge mill Scouting.

 

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You would think that if there was one good method for doing things the word would get around in forums like this one.

 

You would think that National would pick up on this one good method for running a troop and share it with everyone - assuming National has the most experienced and gifted leaders.

 

You would think that would avoid having leaders trying out new ways of doing things, at the expense of the boys - notice I didn't say "experiment".

 

The positions of Troop Guide and ASM for new-scouts is mentioned several times in the Scoutmaster's Handbook. Even though leaders are given the option to go with mixed patrols, you would think that by the frequency at which they mention these positions would tell you that new-scout patrols is the preferred method.

 

If you don't properly use the patrol method, use the position of Troop Guide, or have things boy-run, then having a new-scout Patrol is going to be a challenge. It's much easier for the adults to run things and for the boys to be thrown together in mixed patrols. But, the boys do not get as much out of the program as they should.

 

The easy way is not always the right way.

 

 

 

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>>Do some troops choose to go with mixed patrols because they can't or don't know how to staff these positions?

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This year, we are not using a NSP, because we only received 2 new Scouts. We are a small troop (9 boys), and are just splitting into 2 patrols. We will see how this works for us, and go from there.

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I have read this thread with a mix of emotions - some of surprise that some seem to think that one way will work for all situations and admiration at the way some of our group has found unique ways to "play" the game of scouts. I respect what the by the book people are saying, but as with most things in life, it don't always work that way when reality comes crashing in. We all need to be open to new ideas, even experiment if necessary, and try to make the Boy Scout program work for the group of boys and the adults we have. I have taken a number of great ideas from this thread to be used in our adaptation of the mixed patrols/NSP idea, including using a troop guide to assist our new scouts in the "mixed" patrols. I think to play any game well, you have to be able to look outside of the box and understand the intent of the rules, the intent of what the methods are meant to achieve. That, in my mind, is what we should be striving for.

 

I will now step off my soap box. Thank you and to all keep up the great debates!

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