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Other Patrol Positions

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Bob White, you seem fixated with "Yaworski," you really should seek help.

 

You did imply that you weren't going to post again until I left and I'm not the only one that read it that way.

 

"Special friend/special relationship," a difference which makes no difference is no difference.

 

Sputter and fume as you might, you've been asked to provide citations to back your position and you can't.

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"I'll tell you what I told Ed, if you cannot ask nicely than you don't get an answer."

 

Bob,

Here is how I asked the 1st time. What's not nice about it?

 

"OK Bob, where and in what handbook does it state each Scout in a Troop should have a position of responsibility? Not your interpretation of what it says."

 

Oops! Forgot - Please!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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"I have better ...leadership skills!...a leadership position...not a minute before!"

 

Though it was given in the context of a joke (I assume ;)), Dan's post reveals the confusion of responsibility vs. leadership that may have provoked much of the disagreement in the first place.

 

Also, I don't think that Bob was using the "here's the offical policy-case closed" method here. That method is often annoying, but does have it's place. It seems that he was referring to the tradition of giving every boy in a patrol a task (responsibility) within his patrol. Cheermaster, grubmaster, and hikemaster are some of these. These aren't really leadership positions, but they are responsibilities (if small ones).

 

There are two general methods of discourse I have seen in this forum:

 

-One is "Official BSA policy states P." This method is refuted by asking for specific citations or debating the meaning of the words.

 

-The second method is "P has a place in Scouting because of circumstances or traditions X, Y, and Z."

 

I think that Bob was using the latter method (which is not his usual) but was responded to as if he were using the first. That every scout should have a position of responsibility a la Baden Powell's original descriptions is a defensible non-offical-policy position. I don't think that it should be responded to by asking for specific citations or bringing up cases like brand new scouts where it may not work.

BTW, I think that a new scout could serve as cheermaster in his patrol as well as the next kid. That's what makes these unofficial positions different from the offical and/or leadership positions (SPL, PL, QM, etc.)

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With all respect Adrianvs, and I do appreciate the attempt to clearify my posts, what you have written is not correct.

 

All positions are refered to as positions of responsibility in the scout resouces as far as I know. Usually they are refered to simply as positions. A Patrol Leader has a position in the patrol just as a Patrol Scribe does. They have different responsibilities but they both hold patrol positions.

 

The Patrol Method is just one method of achieving the aims and mission of the BSA, NONE of the methods are controlled by "policies". They are the course of action that distinguish between delivering a scouting program or just doing stuff in a Boy Scout uniform.

 

Baden-Powell wrote that the Patrol Method is not one way to operate a troop..It is the ONLY way.

 

Having every scout share in the responsibilty of administering the patrol or troop is one element of the patrol method and has been taught in basic level scout leader training for decades.

 

I have already listed several positive things gained from the use of this practice and so far only Dan has verbalized the drawbacks. In a finely tuned satirical voice I might add.

 

Do not be so hasty to refer to positions as Grubmaster and Cheer master as "unofficial". "Under used" is a far more accurate term. Since they appear in the Handbooks of Boy Scouting with job desciptions, I would say they are indeed official.

 

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

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I realize, Bob, that you WERE using the first method. I humbly rescind my defense.

 

I don't think we disagree about the patrol positions, however. I just think that I meant something different from "unofficial" than you did. I realize that it isn't the proper word but I couldn't think of one that meant "Once common and mandated, but now optional and quite uncommon."

 

I stated that not all positions of responsibility are positions of leadership. That does not mean that the two groups are exclusive. I thought I made it clear that positions of leadership are a kind of position of responsibility.(This message has been edited by Adrianvs)

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Adrianvs, please understand there is NO POLICY on this matter. So I was not using either method of discourse that you put forward. Are those really the only two options? None of the methods of scouting are policy. They are actions that form the identifying structure of a scouting program.

 

The patrol method is, in the opinion of many, the core method. it is the sphere within which all other methods are occupants. It is thought by some to be merely breaking a troop into small groups. In fact that is not even an element of the Patrol Method. The core of the patrol method is in the the understanding of the social needs and characteristic of boys of scout age.

 

Some think the Patrol method centers around youth leadership. Actually leadership is its own separate method. What the Patrol Method does is act as the vehicle for the leadership method. Without patrols there would be only a handful of offices available within a troop for scouts to learn and practice leadership and organizational skills. To ignore this element makes the need for patrols largely uneeded. Without the use of the patrol method it is not scouting, it's just doing stuff in a scout uniform.

 

Bob White

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Again, it comes down to semantics. By policy, I meant "official method of BSA or Scouting." From now on, I will use the word "method" for many instances I would have used "policy." The terminology is not second nature to me yet. You could consider me a youngin' as far as scouters go.

 

Just a question.. Don't you think that youth leadership is a necessary feature of the patrol method? What I mean is, it wouldn't be the patrol method without youth leadership, would it? It would just be a subdivision of the troop a la Cub Scouts. Without youth leadership, wouldn't it be the "Den Method?" I assume the difference between a den and patrol is in the presence of youth leadership and not merely the name. I know that Den Chiefs serve as non-peer youth leaders, but the analogous position to the Den Leader is the Patrol Leader. Am I way off?

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Youth leadership is a vital method of scouting. It could not exist without the patrol method. If youth were not in the top leadership position in the patrol then a youth could not lead the troop as SPL. Imagine a trop with adult patrol leaders but a youth Scoutmaster. It just couldn't work.

 

That's why I cringe when troops have an adult assigned to help "coach" each patrol. I have never seen this work. The adult inevitably ends up running the program whether they intend to or not.

 

Count up how many leadership opportunities would be possible if it was just one large group and no smaller groups. Not too many.

 

The patrol method, with a recommended 6-8 members allows every scout to have a specific responsibility in helping the unit succfeed whether in a troop or patrol office.

 

Keep in mind that a troop is not divided into patrols. (that is one of the most common mistakes scout leaders make), patrols gather to form a troop. it is a very important distinction.

 

Remember that Den Chief is not really a pack leadership position. It is a troop leadership position. The Den chief is there to assist the adult den leaders, to set a good youth example for the cub scouts, and to represent his troop.

 

Hope this helps,

Bob White

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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It's all in the Scout and Patrol Leaders handbooks (and others). Even if a potential new Scout is going on his first trip, I'll suggest that the PL pair him up with a Patrol member and his position (Cheermaster, Skitmaster, Grubmaster, etc..).

 

It works for us. Even this visitor feels needed and part of the team (Patrol).

 

sst3rd

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"Keep in mind that a troop is not divided into patrols. (that is one of the most common mistakes scout leaders make), patrols gather to form a troop. it is a very important distinction."

 

I understand and agree with the I hesitate to say, philosophical meaning of the statement and what it means for a troop, but I don't think it's a factual statement. A troop simply isn't formed when a group of patrols come together from some community. In every case, a troop is formed and then divided into patrols. Furthermore, troops are often reorganized into different patrols. Perhaps the troop members want to try a different patrol system or integrate new scouts. In any case, the troop is the permanent unit to which members belong and which survives many patrols. It serves as a good profundity to remind us that youth leadership must work "from the bottom up" rather than the SPL creating a program. Perhaps the statement should say "Youth leadership should function as if patrols gather to form a troop." or something of the sort. As it stands, I cannot see the statement as factual. Maybe it's an odd type of hyperbole.. It's really too late for me to tell at this point. Oh well..(This message has been edited by Adrianvs)

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Adult and youth must focus on the formation, function, maintenance, and activities of the Patrol. The PLC should concern itself with the cooperation of Patrols as a Troop. The scoutmaster should teach them how.

 

Bob White

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"All positions are refered to as positions of responsibility in the scout resouces as far as I know."

 

An Assistant Patrol Leader isn't considered a position of responsibility for rank advancement.

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KS, I agree with your comments. While patrol positions do not meet POR requirements for rank advancement (nor should they), they most certainly help a scout in his advancement and prepare him to assume similar PORs later in his scouting adventure.

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