Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
matuawarrior

Off-Site Patrols

Recommended Posts

We started Off-Site Patrols within our Troop.

 

Due to our economy and rising gas prices, our committee and Chartered Org. agreed to follow the local LDS church and thier Scout units in starting 0ff-site patrols. These are patrols that meet at other locations closer to the Scout's homes other than the regular troop meeting site.

 

Each patrol must have the following in order to qualify as an Off-Site Patrol:

 

1-ASM

4-8 Scouts

An approved meeting place i.e. home of one of the Scouts.

 

We have our committee members,JASM's, parents, and myself rotate in evaluating the patrols randomly. Right now, we have 1 Off-Site Patrol. The Scouts in this patol used to travel 15 miles from their village to our troop meetings. Now they operate their patrol in the PL's family garage. Our committee is evaluating this patrol for a month or two to insure it works. We plan to start up other patrols in neighboring villages in 2 months.

 

The PL still has to attend PLC. The patrol may campout by themselves but must participate in All Troop Events (monthly Campout or Hike). The patrol also has to attend the end of month Troop meeting for Board of Reviews, Inspections, Patrol competitions, and Fellowship.

 

We brought up to the parents of these Scouts that they can actually start their own Scout unit. They declined. It's alot better staying with our Troop then breaking away. So this new alternative may just workout.

 

The Scouts that live in my village are assigned to meet at the regular troop site.

 

Matua

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you have the "Minimum 2 Deep Leadership", etc... per the Guide to Safe Scouting present, this sounds like a great way to go.

 

Other than that, this sounds like the way scouting used to be commonly run aroud here (Central Indiana), when I was a boy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrols are not required to have two deep leadership present for meetings. Patrols are boy lead and do not have the same regulations as a troop. Remember a troop is not divided intop patrols, patrols gather to form troops. It is only during those gatherings that two deep leadership is required. Patrols may also go on overnights and hikes without adults present under specific conditions.

 

bob white(This message has been edited by Bob White)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since we started this program. Our Off-site patrol has done more activities than our on-site patrols. Membership is slow but the four boys who are there are committed.

 

The ASM assigned to them is their advisor. This Tuesday's meeting, they will be heading up to Rendezvous with the Troop for Patrol competitions, Inspections, and Boards of Reviews. The PLC and Venture Crew officers are also planning a BBQ for that night.

 

The Patrol Method works when you let it take its course.

 

 

Matua

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrol's are not required to have two deep leadership? I can understand if there no was no ASM present then that rule would apply but if one does show at a seperate off-site patrol meeting shouldnt there be a second?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There should only be a second if there is a first, that is the point of two deep leadership. it is not because the boys require two adults to help them but to make sure that no adult is ever alone with the boys.

 

The point of the patrol method is that there is no need for the first adult to be there. Patrols do not need to have adults to meet and under the correct circumstances do not require adults when hiking, camping, or doing other day or overnight activities.

 

Bob White

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our first evaluation is this Tuesday for our off-site patrol.

 

After two weeks of working as a team, the Off-site patrol is requesting that the committee recind the requirement for the ASM since the Patrol has a JASM assigned to them as an advisor.

 

Since the patrol is doing a great job, I feel the JASM and ASM should be both pulled back to the Troop to help with the 2 NSP's.

 

Matua

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, Bob White's response inspires a question that has always bugged me.

 

Two-deep leadership equals two adults at patrol meeting. OK, I'm down with that, it's just like the girl scout rule.

 

But for a merit-badge counseling: Two-deep leadership can equal one adult plus 2 scouts. Now, that seems OK to me too. But it isn't the same as the other two-deep rule. What's up with that?

 

And while we're on the subject, how exactly do patrol meetings without adults present occur? Most of the parents in our troop would never consider letting their boys attend a meeting without a parent around, much less a campout or even a day hike. (I would, and one other would. Unfortunately our sons are in different patrols.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SagerScout,

 

I had the same question in my mind the first time I saw Bob say this. Then later, he went on to explain that a group of 5 - 10 buddies could get together and go for a bike ride on their own, or go over one of their houses and hang out together without adults, so they aught to be able to do so in Scouts. He was very clear (and Bob, I apoligize if I put incorrect words in your mouth) that this can be done with the approval of the SM, who, presumably would use proper care in deciding if a Patrol is capable of handling whatever it is they want to do on their own.

 

My son was a Patrol Leader at the time, so I put the bug in his ear to test what would happen. He planned a mini campout at a local park. The ASM said he wouldn't be able to be there, so they'd have to cancel or move the date. My son told him it wasn't a big deal, they were going to do this one without adults. He called me to see what was up, I explained to him the idea, and he was so enthusiatic, he almost wet himself (well, OK, that's an exageration). It was just like things had been when he was a Boy Scout. Once he was on board, all but one parent agreed. they hiked to the park on Friday after School, set up camp, threw a ball around, eat Pop Tarts and Skittles, and stayed up late, got up in the morning, struck camp, hiked to McDonald's for breakfast, then came home. They all say it was the best fun they ever had! What's so big a deal about sleeping in a tent one night and going to McDonald's for breakfast? It's what THEY wanted to do, and someone trusted them to do it.

 

All of these guys were either First Class or Star, and all were 13 - 15. It was a little easier for the parents knowing that everyone had the skills to make this happen, they all had 1st aid kits and could actually use them in an minor emergency, they were exactly 3/4 mile away from the closest parent, and there was a cell phone in one of the boys packs (the little concessions that we have to make for the different world in which we live compared to 25 years ago). But the change in attitude among these guys has been tremendous. They were a pretty good Patrol before. Now they are fantastic!

 

I recomend doing this heartily. Let your guys give it a try. I'll bet they don't let you down.

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you reconcile with the curfew laws if there is no adult supervision?

 

Also, with the 2-deep question, I think we are confusing 2-Deep Leadership with Youth Protection. A Merit Badge counsellor is not a "leader", therefore only the YP rules apply...no one-on-one contact. If a scout takes a buddy and the three of them meet, the rule is met. "2 Deep" is more of a safety issue for troop outings than it is a YP issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark your son does my heart proud. The best sign of a good scout program is Patrol activities without adult leadership. It has been a elemnt of the patrol method since day one and has been a promise printed in every edition of an American Boy Scout Handbook and still is.

 

We train boys to be self sufficient, trustworthy and effective leaders, and yet so many of us are afraid to actually trust them to be those things. If we really believe in what we are doing, and if we did it correctly then the logical culmination is independence from adults.

 

That is the whole purpose of the Patrol Method. Adult leaders are called troop leaders for a reason. They only pplay a role when the troop is present. What is a troop? A basic tenent of scouting is "a troop is not divided into patrols. Patrols gather to form a troop". Adults are not required for a patrol to meet. For patrols to do hiking or camping under the protection of the BSA they need to have the scoutmasters permission and the parents must all be aware that the boys will not have adult leadership present.

 

Two deep leadership does not say you must have two adults at all times. It says you cannot have one adult with one child. And that troop activities must have a minimum of two adults. Patrols are not troops. They even make this specific point during the YP video.

 

Mark said it very well. If these boys were not in scouting you would think nothing of them hopping on their bikes on a summer day and going for a ride. Why, if they are scouts (and are taught bike safety, planning, map reading, manners and other related skills) do they need to have two adults present for the same bike ride? They don't, and the handbook even says so.

 

Baden-Powell said it best..."Train them, Trust them, Let them lead."

 

As far as curfew. That is a local ordinance and would have to be handled at the community level. But if the scouts are on private property I'm not sure that would have any bearing.

 

The more you focus on the individual patrols the closer you get to real scouting.

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to throw in my two cents worth on the 2-deep leadership requirement. I'm quite sure (but don't have the G2SS available for quoting) that this only applies to Troop Activities. I've seen it explained from the G2SS that a meeting is defined separately from an activity - the reasoning being at an activity, someone can help/stay with an injured scout, the 2nd can go for help. Not really a problem in a meeting setting. As B.W. said - in this case it's a G2SS issue, and not a YP issue.

 

I know it's a "cop-out" to not offer the direct quote, but I'm hoping another list member can come to my aid on this one.

 

Cheers,

 

--Gags

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW. I am sitting here just blown away Bob White, you, Old Grey Eagle and others have taught me so much about some of the finer concepts of Scouting. I am deeply appreciative of the knowledge you so freely share. It is taking me a while to get my arms around the concept in this thread. The idea of Patrols without adults is really powerful, but in these modern times I just can not visualize National supporting it from the liability standpoint. As a Scoutmaster, I have always encouraged Patrols to meet outside of the Troop gathering but with registered adults tagging along. If I could have some assurance that National would back me if God Forbid something should happen to any of the boys on a Patrol outing without registered adults, it might take me a little bit to become comfortable with the idea, but I would try it. When I was a lad, taking off on my bike or camping in the woods without any adults was natural. However, under the auspices of the BSA it appears to become a whole different ball game.

 

SM406

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ability of patrols to hike and camp on their own without adults present and with the permission of the SM is written about and supported in the Scout Handbook, the Scoutmasters Handbook, both the SPL and the PL Handbooks and mentioned specifically in the Youth Protection video and in the on-line Youth Protection training. Finally it is mentioned in the Guide to Safe Scouting in the very first paragraph regarding Leadership Requirements for Trips and Outings. Since these are all national publications from the BSA I am not sure what more you would require in evidence of the BSAs support of this activity?

 

Here are some important guidelines. The first two come from the BSA the rest are my own that I have used for several years.

 

1. The patrol must have the SMs permission.

2. ALL parents of the scouts participating must give their approval and know that no adults will be present.

 

(my rules to get SMs permission)

3. All scouts must be First Class or higher.

4. Only scouts from that patrol can attend

5. The patrol must file a travel plan.

6. They must have a purpose or goal to accomplish in the way of advancement education or service.

7. They are responsible for the use, care and return of all troop equipment that they take.

8. They are to behave as scouts at all times

9. They must give a patrol report to the troop at the next meeting about their trip.

10. They can expect at least two adults to drop in or at least observe them from a distance at any time during the event (this is for their safety not to check-up on their behavior)

 

If I have any concern over the ability of the scouts to do these things then I will modify the requirements and insist that two adults camp near them.

 

Hope this helps,

Bob White

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob White,

 

You're absolutely right about zero leadership being acceptable at the patrol level, with the approval of the SM. My original post was relevant to Matua specifically having only one ASM present.

 

I look at your First Class requirement a little differently. I look at the maturity level of the scout rather than rank. Some Star scouts are complete squirrels compared to first year boys. I do however make sure that lower ranking boys have at least a few successful campouts etc... in before I would allow them to go. The PL definitely needs to be at least First Class.

 

Beyond curfew, some areas, specifically state parks in our area and some town parks, don't allow campers without at least 1 person over the age of 18, or in some cases 21 present. The boys need to check this out in advance.

 

Another point I would make is that since the boys are not allowed to fuel or light lanterns or stoves without knowledgeable adult leaders present, I do not allow them to use them on their own.(This message has been edited by silver-shark)

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  

×