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Adult Patrol Coaches

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So Fog, what specific instructions would you give a Patrol Leader to help him get the job done and keep the group together. Perhaps the BSA program has been lured down a worthless path. Share with us your methods for successful leadership.

 

Up to this point you have only offered imagined scenarios and criticism. Here is an opportunity for you to post your insights.

Bob white

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Caution Snide Remark ahead!

 

 

 

 

fog

maybe none of them want to be there because the troop you are with does not follow the program and there is a crabbing old guy there, that only has negative things to say.

Sorry to hear no one wanted you to play baseball with them.

 

 

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Tsk, tsk, dan. You're getting as nasty as Bob White who doesn't follow the Scout law.

 

I'm well loved by the Scouts in my troop, they vie for the honor of holding my parasol, opening my beer, and lighting my see-gars.

 

 

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"Up to this point you have only offered imagined scenarios"

 

Boy, it's a good thing that the Navy doesn't use any imaginary scenarios for training officers. I remember being at a training conference and someone said, "What if a terrorist blows up a boat load of explosives next to one of our ships?" We all laughed at him and the instructor kicked him out of the room because that had never happened. I guess that it is a good thing that the Secret Service never uses imaginary scenarios for training because they that no one will ever attack the President in an unusual fashion, like shooting at the White House.

 

 

 

 

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So does this mean that you have no constructive information on helping a patrol leader to operate an effective patrol capable of getting the job done and keeping the group together?

 

I'm shocked!

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Let's subtitle this one "When you gots sucky patrol members"

 

Going back to Ed and Bob's excellent adventure of sorting out the matrix between good leadership, poor leadership, and negative response and positive response...

 

I think we've all been there where you got a group of just totally bad-attitude-weilding grumpy obnoxious scouts (havn't we??) Even so, good leadership ought to result in results that suck less than bad leadership... In other words, given patrol members that suck, (for whatever reason, temporary or chronic) bad leadership will *not* make things better.

 

So, there's still a definite need to build the leadership skills (while there is also likely a need to work in some individual conferencing with a particularly uncooperative scout.)

 

I *don't* think I've ever encountered the situation Ed describes where patrol members who suck end up doing a better job given really poor leadership. The SPL Ed described doesn't sound like he was a "poor leader" - actually Ed didin't say a word about this kid's leadership - he described his outward appearance. Granted, outward appearance can help or hinder one's leadership, but this is dependent upon how the appearance is "read" by the particular group. I'm betting this SPL's outward appearance communicated something positive to boys in the troop. Plenty of standard texts on leadership tell you to wear a three piece suit. The three piece suit is only conducive to leadership of groups where the three piece suit communicates something positive ;)

 

Anyway, this is a long way of saying I don't think Ed has truly provided evidence of poor leadership resulting in positive outcomes, so I'm not adding this to my matrix yet :)

 

And, hey, I think I'd like to play sandlot baseball in Bobland - come to think of it, it sounds a lot more like Scouting than baseball ;)

 

Peace out,

Anne in Mpls

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"I think we've all been there where you got a group of just totally bad-attitude-weilding grumpy obnoxious scouts (havn't we??)"

 

Never in Bobland!

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Well Bob, if there were six hours to kill, I'd go find the SPL and let him explain to the PL that he needs to motivate the patrol by explaining to them that dishwashing is an important task that impacts the health an hygiene of the entire patrol and that if the assigned person didn't do the dishes that someone else would have to pick up the slack which would mean that something else wouldn't get done.

 

However, the Scouts would be unmoved by this speach and still refuse to do the dishes because none wants to get all greasy and smelly. At this point, the SPL says, "do what you're told or I'll have my enforcer ASPL pound you."

 

My way is simpler and teaches them that they need to respect the chain of command that they set up.

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Have to admit to having never heard of this Adult Patrol Coach.

I looked at this thread last night.

It is kind of strange as I have been thinking about the methods of Scouting and the boy led troop. (I am aware that I need to find a hobby.)

The more I think about this Patrol Coach, the more I don't like it.

I keep getting this mental picture of a gagged den leader. Then I have to ask why is this person with the troop?

Sure it is hard training your Patrol Leaders.

Maybe we need to look at what we are training them?

Much as I don't want to I keep turning back to the Leadership Skills in the "Old" Wood Badge course. They are covered in the new course but I'm an old dog.

If we think back we will see that the skills that we covered are the same as what we need to be passing on to our SPL, PLC, and Patrol Leaders.

When Baden Powell wrote Scouting For Boys and Aids To Scoutmastership. I feel sure that he didn't mention Patrol coaches because they are not supposed to be there.

Some of the stuff BP said:

Scouting is a game for boys,under the leadership of boys.

 

The Patrol system is the one essential feature in which Scouting differs from that of all other organizations, and where the system is properly applied, it ia absolutely bound to bring success. It cannot help itself.

 

The Patrol is the unit for Scouting always, whether for work or for play, for discipline or for duty.

 

An invaluable step in character building is to put the responsibility on to the individual. This is immediately gained in appionting a Patrol Leader.

 

I think when there are "Watchdogs" looking over the patrols we are diminishing the role of the Patrol Leader.

Also while there might be enough adults to go around in a small troop, when you get to large troops there is a problem. At one time we had 14 Patrols and only six active ASM's.

Eamonn

 

 

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So Fog, given the choice of being able to have a patrol that got along and cooperated, or the squabbling patrol that the old guy in khaki who didn't understand leadership gave the bad advice to, which would you rather have?

 

Which do you feel best represents the scouting program?

 

Bob White

 

By the way do you have any constructive advice on the topic of advising a patrol leader to help him can get the job done and keep the group together. Take a stab at it, you can't do worse than the guy in khaki did.

 

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"Maybe we need to look at what we are training them?"

 

Training is all well and good but it only goes so far. It doesn't go very far when you are dealing with an 11 year old trying to lead a bunch of 11 year olds who voted for the PL because he was the only candidate. An 11 year old trying to convince a bunch 11 year olds that things need to be done that they want to do. That's a bunch of 11 year olds who'd be willing to give up TV for a month just for five more minutes of tormenting their younger sisters. These 11 year olds don't grasp the idea that someone has to do the scut work and not everyone can build the campfire.

 

Anyone who has been involved with youth sports will tell that at 11 boys don't take to coaching all the time. It is the exceptional 11 year old that really grasps the idea of that they don't all get to score goals, that the guy who passes to the shooter is important as well. At 11, ME is still very important, more important than US.

 

Sometimes, with 11 year olds, the directive method is the only one that works.

 

Well, that's everywhere but Bobland where 11 year olds exist in a continuium of cooperation and none want to torment their sisters.

 

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I do find it interesting that when this topic was introduced in another thread, I had agreed with Bob White (motto: The Scout Law applies to everyone else but not me), I didn't even make a snide remark.

 

It didn't take long for Bob to attack and to continue to demonstrate that a Scout may be courteous but that Bob White doesn't need to be.

 

(This message has been edited by Fat Old Guy)

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"Training is all well and good but it only goes so far."

 

Finally, we get to the crux of the matter. You do not think that an 11 year old can be taught how to lead or how to put others before himself.

 

You either do not understand or not believe in the scouting program. Because that is exactly the point of the entire program from its birth nearly 100 years ago. The entire thrust is that kids can learn to "help other people at all times, they can learn to plan, and lead, and evaluate, and improve, and they can do it with trained adults teaching specific techniques to boy leaders.

 

You have finally brought to light why your attitude is so dark, your criticisms so constant and your methods undisclosed. You don't like the handbooks, you don't like the rules you don't like the uniform or the parents or the kids that won't follow orders. You are mad because you don't think kids are capable and you don't understand what scouting is all about. You see others can getting the results the program promises and you can't do it, so you think there must be something wrong with the program.

 

Well FOG, Boblands exist all over the world in units that actually know and use the scouting methods. In some areas it is called Matualand, and KSland, and MK9750land, and Eamonnland,and Danland, and OGEland just to name afew.

 

You're just upset that practically no one wants to play ball in Fogland.

 

It's not too late. The information is available the training is available. All it takes is a willingness on your part to change and play the scouting way.

 

Bob White

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Y'know, the real world of scouting is seldom made up of the extremes you guys like to use as examples.

Either perfect troops that have well trained & experienced adults who simply chaperone and advise, and boys who have been taught from the first and brought up thru the ranks to lead themselves - nor are all all troops run poorly by adult heavy-handedness.

 

Although my experience with our troop leans toward the latter, some of us are trying to change it - and we periodically fall backwards. We're far from perfect - i suspect more troops are like ours than are like the

'ideal' boy-led troop.

 

First, you put alot of weight on the SM to 'teach' the boys to 'lead themselves'. I'm not gonna knock our SM - he's a great guy and is doing his very best, he was the best choice we had and I will stand behind him 110%. but holding him or any SM responsible for training an entire troop of untrained boys all at once is an overwhelming task and it isn't going to happen overnight or even in a year.

 

Expecting 11, 12 and 13 yr olds, to join together to elect leadership and organize, cooperate, plan,etc under those circumstances is unreasonable. When left to their own devices it is total chaos. Elections are popularity contests, duty rosters are resisted. Planning for activities gets bogged down in minor bickering and side issues unless there is a strong influence to bring things back on track. Giving them some adult guidance helps, yet we are trying to support without specifically 'telling' them what to do or taking over. We tend to use the 'questions' mentioned earlier, or re-directing by mentioning time or goals when they get sidetracked. if the adults in our troop stepped out of the picture and left the boys to their own devices - they would never accomplish anything. about half the boys would get disgusted and leave, and the other half would still come to meetings just to goof off with their friends.

 

We HAVE boys who have been to weeklong JLT - even a few who have been JLT staffers. yet i don't see this training 'trickling down' to our first-year scouts, who are the wildest bunch I have yet come across. Instead, I see this larger group of first-years 'silliness' pulling the just slightly older boys BACKWARDS!

 

so how can you expect ONE new SM, fresh off the training table - to turn this pack of wild kids into leaders? he can't be everywhere at once. the only way i can see is for him to work as a team with his ASM's and have them work with the patrols.

 

I DO believe the kids CAN learn to lead themselves, I have seen it happen, but i have also seen minor setbacks completely throw off otherwise good leadership, and have seen poor attitudes eat away at leadership attempts. It takes TIME to build the skills and abilities consistantly and I haven't met an 11 yr old yet that can be that consistant and responsible.

 

So when you do NOT have the established program and youth leadership built into your troop - how do you GET there, without adult help?

 

 

 

 

 

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"So when you do NOT have the established program and youth leadership built into your troop - how do you GET there, without adult help? "

 

Follow the program. It is all in the books. ;-)

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