Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dan

Choosing patrol members

Recommended Posts

Can a patrol say no we do not want this scout in our patrol?

My sons patrol had 4 boys from another patrol come up and ask if they could join their patrol. The patrol, well the 2 of the 5 that where there said you 3 can join and the 1 cannot. Is this acceptable!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm up late preparing for a trip so I'll have a go at this.

 

If you have a patrol of 5 adding 4 boys in my experience is too large of a patrol. I guess I would want to know more about the patrol they are leaving. How big is it? Why do they want to leave? why do they want to join another patrol? Why don't they just start their own patrol? why don't they fix the patrol they are in? Why are two boys making the decision for 5? If you are the SM what counseling have you given either group on this matter? Why did things get to this point?

 

There are too many pieces to the puzzle missing to get a clear picture of what is happening.

 

Bob White

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I gave you to much info! :)

The question should be: Can a patrol choose who the memebers of the patrol will be?

I am not the SM.

I thought 8 was a good size for a patrol.

3 seems small.

I am trying to keep details out until I know the answer to the above question.

I think you are reading to much into this one.

The reason only 2 members of the patrol where there, 2 where at football practice, and 1 is never there. (This is being addressed by the SM).

The PL and APL where there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The easy answer is patrols are run by boys. A troop is not divided into patrols, patrols gather to form a troop. Who picked your friends that you hung around with at this age? The Sm needs to lend some guidance to this. Asking for answers when you are unable to share needed information makes giving a complete response impossible.

Bob White

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only ways I would interfer with a patrol's setup is if:

 

1) The patrol was too large for the PL to handle. Younger Scout usually cannot handle more than the recommended size of 8 scouts. Above 10, the patrol is difficult for Scouts to handle.

 

2) A patrol member is having serious difficulties with other members. If the situation has been attempted to be solved by the PL, then the SPL and finally the PLC, and the problems continue, then and only then I would move the Scout having the issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrol makeup is a common topic because rarely is there a troop that does not have patrol issues of one sort or another. While I'm intriqued by the concept of patrols coming together to form a troop, in my experience this is limited to the WEBELOS to Scout transition and the formation of a new scout patrol for the first year. Our troop is fortunate enough to get 10 to 15 new boys each year, usually from a couple of packs and almost always from multiple dens from within those packs. It would be impossible for these boys to select their own patrol because of numbers, but we usually keep members from a WEBELOS den together at least for the first year. At the end of that first year we have done a number of different things, for a while we had patrols of multiple ages, the problem here was that the older boys wanted to make the younger boys do all the work and the younger boys were usually more active than the older boys. We had many problems fielding functional patrols and even tried overloading patrols to 10 or so members to we could get 6 on every camping trip. This met with limited success. Recently we tried keeping patrols together by age, this way the boys were largely clustered by age and by extension activity level. This worked great for the first year patrols as they moved forward and it worked great for second, third and even some fourth year scouts. Problem here was that some active older boys were teminally stuck in patrols that frankly did not function. We will move back to a blended approach this spring, patrol assignment has been a concern for me and will be a topic our PLC will wrestle with in the coming months. Patrols at the same time must be and cannot be cliques, they must be able to function as a team, they must leverage their relative strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day they cannot be populated by popularity alone as no member of the troop can be left out. The PLC and the Scoutmaster must resolve these issues in an on-going way, there is no right formula as the only guarantee is that the specific formula that works today may not work tomorrow. I believe that boys that can lead and teach must be distributed throughout the troop and then allowed to do so, this requires a level of interference on the part of the Scoutmaster, I'd rather call it influence, but ultimately it will yield the desired results. So, to answer your question, on its face the 'we will take you three but not him' isn't acceptable to me on its face; on the other hand merging of patrols requires a global, troop wide look, that might make scattering of the members the right answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me get this straight.

 

Is it preferable to have the boys choose up patrols? Or shoud the SM or SPL assign patrols?

 

How often, (if ever), should there be changes in the patrol assignments. Our troop seems to reorganize patrols every year or so.

 

Is this the norm or the exception?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well our troop has done it both ways actually. We have done in the past, PL selecting the patrol members. The SM in our troop puts boys in whatever patrol because of the fact that sometimes they don't pick right and the kids that get into fights are in the same patrol. So as long as everyone gets along its ok for the PL to select their members. But I would have the SM verify each patrol to make certain there won't be any problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like smaller (tiny) troops will be more likely to need to reorganize patrols as they grow than larger troops. Some reasons I can think of..

1. Simple growth may require new patrols, as the troop grows from the size of one fairly small patrol to enough members to make 2 or 3 pretty stable patrols.

2. Recruiting might only bring in 1 or 2 new scouts at a time, rather than enough to start a whole new patrol. Until recruiting is stepped up, trying to form new scout patrols may not be the most efficient use of troop leadership. And in the tiny troop, they are not generally overwhelmed with having lots of leaders looking around for something to do.

3. In a smaller troop personality conflicts can tend to be magnified. Divide and conquer thinking often is applied here.

Now, there are good and bad ways of reorganizing patrols. The bad ways are fairly easy to tell: "Y'all are a squirrelly excuse for a Scout troop, so, Bobby and Tim, we're separating you, " etc etc. In other words, the reorganizing is communicated with a sting, is done from a top-down mentality, and is prompted by negatives.

Some good ways of reorganizing - offer an opportunity to a scout who is needing a challenge, have the PLC determine if/when new patrols should be started up, ask the one or two new scouts coming in the door if they have 2 or 3 friends who'd like to join with them and form their own patrol.

As far as how often reorganizing is happening, it really depends on what the reasons are, but if things are being shaken up too much, that's not good. And sometimes if a troop is constantly reorganizing it's because the leadership is really unsure of *what* to do and they'll keep tossing things around in different combinations hoping to stumble onto something that works - obviously, this is not the best of situations, but I've seen it happen! (Actually, our local GS Council did this for a while back in the '80s - they were absolutely ridiculous. Staff changes, personal infighting, despotism, retreats, a new organizational chart, more retreats to explain the changes, more staff turnover in response...it was nuts.) Anyway, stuff that happens in troops are all examples of things that happen in the other organizations you'll encounter, good and bad, and can all serve as a learning opportunity ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×