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OneHour

Dealing with New Scouts

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As a new New Scout ASM, tonight I was tasked to help out with the new scouts (18 of them). The older scouts were working on their advancement; as a result, one of the other ASMs and I were tasked to work with the new scouts. This is one of the few times that the adult leaders handles the scout direclty outside of the Patrol Method(ie. no SPL or PLs).

 

Well these boys seemed to test the water and boundary alot tonight. Some of them were very rowdy and discourteous. They refused to listen to the other ASM and started to pick on each other. I had to intervene and "set the boundary." They still probed and pushed the limits. I know that being in Cub Scout and experiencing adult leadership in Cub Scout is different, but some where and some how these boys learn courtesy and respect, but when, where, and how?

 

Now, if we as adult leaders can't seem to coral these boys, how would a teenage PL or SPL does it? I have been trained as an ASM and I am a firm believer in the Patrol Method, but somehow my fellow Scoutmasters and I need something to help the PLs and SPL. The reason why I ask this question is that we will put the junior leaders through a JLT in the upcoming months and I would like to incorporate your ideals and experiences. This troop has never truly functioned in a Patrol method/boy led mode. This troop is relatively new (3 years old). The adult leaders have always been a integral part of the leadership. This year is different (I think). The troop is attempting to go 100% boy led.

 

Thanks,

 

1Hour

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I would have informed the Scoutmaster and SPL of what went on. The SPL would talk to the boys while the SM talks to the parents. Both basically saying "if you continue to behave this way. We'll have to let you go". If and when the boys decide to push a little on the SPL, then the SM will give his final warning with the parents of the boy at a SM conference.

 

Boys will test the limits. Let the SPL and PL's do thier jobs by correcting the boys first. When that fails the SM gets involved with the parents.

 

Matua

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First, I'd organize those boys into three New Scout Patrols, with Guides and an ASM for each if you have a deep enough bench. If they're in a single group of 18, you will have guaranteed mayhem. Each NSP should elect a PL and appoint an assistant, and rotate them monthly. No matter how "messy" it is, it'll give them an idea of what it's like to try to herd those cats, and they may be more inclined to get with the program when it's someone else's turn.

 

KS

 

 

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Ditto to Korea. 18 Scouts regardless of age in on Patrol is just asking for trouble. I would also try to split the "leaders" up.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Agree with all said plus a few. Although buddies want to stay together somtimes you may have to put them in different groups. The way you devide them can be your most effective tool. I think the best job ever done was by Sir Earnest Shackleton when he devided up his crew. Almost a textbook demonstration on the effectiveness of the patrol method.

 

Our new scout patrols are actually lead by Troop Guides who function as there patrol leaders for six monthes with the members rotating as assistants. After his term the Guide will either move back to his patrol or to troop leadership, depending on elections. An ASM is assigned to help the guide.

 

 

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Thanks for the advices. Agreed totally on the division of into patrols. What would be an ideal way to div up the boys into patrols? There are 12 from one Pack, four from another, and two from a third. My personal opinion is that the SM and SPL need to scramble the boys up and take 'em out of their environment (their buddies). What do ya think?

 

1Hour

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Since the ASM's are the ones who have been dealing with this group, I think they should be the ones who do the dividing. I would get the SPL and any other youth leaders involved so they are up to speed with the situation.

 

I would divide them up in a way to creat the best Scouting atmosphere possible.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Hi Onehour

100% boy led in one year? Admiral goal, but remember in a boy led troop, adults must learn as much as the scouts at a faster rate to keep up and stay out of the way. Your experience here is one example of that. So pace yourself.

 

Everyone gave great ideas for working with these guys. So I will give some ideas on dividing up the scouts. I would like to read what Sir Earnest Shackleton did but we learned the easiest path to building patrols with the least pain in large groups is to ask every scout to name on a sheet of paper one friend they would like in their patrol. Explain the logistical problem of breaking up old dens so they understand why. Then you can sit down with the list and divide the scouts up, so long as they have at least one friend, usually the FAMILIES are happy. Also, later you can use moving the one friend as leverage to change their behavior if there are still problems.

 

Another reason I have found this to work is some scouts (and Parents) don't want to be with certain other boys around them (bullys) and this is a way they can do that without any trouble.

 

Have a great day.

 

Barry

 

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Eagledad

Where does the bully/troublemaker go?

 

I used that website to help with my ticket!

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Some of the materal sources are mine, but not the Web site. It belongs to a Scoutmaster in Minnesota who ask permission to post stuff I wrote on another Scouting Forum. I'm glad you enjoy it.

 

Barry

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Hi Dan

 

Circumstances are always different, but just last year we had one scout with learning disabilities who was picked on by two boys in his den. His dad requested that his son be placed in a different patrol. They weren't bullies to everyone, but my son was their troop guide and they did seem to focus on this one scout. We found out later that the Den leader encourage the behavior. Just a few weeks ago the dad of the learning disabled scout asked to be an ASM because their experience has been so good in the troop.

 

What was your Ticket item?

 

Barry

 

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Great idea using the one friend list. Do you let them list someone they prefer not to be with? After I think about that it seems like that would be too negative and you can figure out the out guys by who doesn't get listed.

 

Incidentally, about the Shackleton thing. Thats a bit of an extreme situation and I shouldn't imply that it is directly applicable to a Scout troop. Great story, though, and lots of good lessons in leadership.

 

I agree, too, about the website -- fantastic.

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GOAL #2: Develop Job Descriptions for the position of Assistant Scoutmaster, New Scout Patrols.

 

The troop did not really have a New Scout Patrol program. 3 of my ticket items address this. It has been an uphill battle to try and get the leaders (adult and scouts) on board.

The job descriptions utilized 11 Things I learned as Scoutmaster, Lessons and Suggestions on Boy-Run troops Part 1 AND 2.

I owe you and Larry a BIG thank you for writing that. I was in process of writing up about the same thing when I found that site, which saved me about 2 weeks of typing and thinking!

I did not write a job description, just a page of information on what NSP is and how it should be ran, (troop guides)

I am sorry to say that most likely that it is going to fail. The ASM for NSP which are mostly 2nd year leaders do not believe in the NSP program. The older leaders have never heard of NSP! Change is very hard in this troop. The SM is a great guy, but in over his head. The SM and the Committee all say that a Scout should never fail, which means if they have a POR and do not perform it, it is ignored. This is a large troop 91 scouts are registered, 15 new scouts this year.

Before anyone says it, almost all leaders are trained.

It is mostly a boy run troop, but it is all by the seat of the pants, very little planning for meetings or outings.

It is the best troop in the area, which is why it is so large. I believe if NSP was used, this troop would grow even more and split into 2, would have split long ago, if they utilized NSP, years ago, drop out rate is about 60% for First year Scouts.

These are not issues they are opportunities!!!

Thanks for letting me vent!

 

 

 

 

 

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