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Eagledad

Adult Patrol Coaches

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Laura, to answer your question takes an entire course in scoutmaster training. That is why training for leaders is so important. It is not me putting the responsibility of training junior leaders on scoutmasters, that is one the the major points in the Scoutmasters job description. How he or she does it is called the scouting program. Now I am not trying to be smug, but that really is what the program is, an educational method where we teach character, citizenship and fitness to scouts through the implimentation of 8 specific methods.

 

I never said that a troop that follows the scout program runs without a hitch. In fact I and others have said exactly the opposite, that a troop that runs by the scouting methods is designed to have problems. These hurdles are part of the learning and growth process. Show me a perfect trop and I'll show you the adults who are doing the boy's work.

 

These leaders, who do not let scouts lead because they make mistakes, are not only missing the boat, they can't even see the water. The best way for a new leader to get on track is

1. Go to training and pay attention, ask questions, keep a good attitude.

2. Familiarize yourself with the resources, read the Scout Handbook, the Scoutmaster Handbook, and the Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader Handbooks.

3. Attitude is everything. respect and enjoy the scouts and they wil respect and enjoy you.

4. Train the SPL and Patrol leaders monthly. then all of you practice the leadership skill for the month.

5. Lead by asking not telling.

6. Adapt and overcome. If the scouts have a hard time with dishes teach them utensiless cooking.

7. find an experienced scouter (who understands the program) to mentor you for a year.

8. With the committee select and recruit two or three ASMs to help, insist they attend training then give them specific tasks to work on to allow you the time you need to do the job of SM.

 

I hope this helps,

Bob White

 

 

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Bob,

Do you use this condescending style in your training courses? If so, does it work?

 

I understand very well, Bob. What you seem to not understand is there are time no matter what you do that it's not going to get through. But I guess that never happens in the Bob Scouts of America, does it.

 

Ed

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Dear Ed,

I think most everyone realizes that a bulletin board does not lend itself to the same style or vocal tools such as inflection, pitch, volume and pace that a person to person training situation offers. On the board I can see how some of the things written might be misinterpreted based on idividual moods and bias.

 

That being said I have never had anyone attack me personally, or the scouting program, with the same degree of hostility shown by FOG or with the depth of misuse of the program that you have shared. It would not matter what I posted the two of you seem bent on distorting it in some way. This is a path you two have chosen not me.

No one else is attacked in such a way by either of except when they challenge FOG.

 

I am comfortable that the other posters and lurkers understand that my emphasis is on understanding and following the BSA program, though some may not always share the same interprtation. Only you and FOG seem to think that I am the one outside the box on this and have chosen to make it personal.

 

Happy scouting,

Bob White

 

 

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Bob is right in that your question is best answered by attending Scoutmaster training. I wouldn't want to short-circuit that. But go back up and read KoreaScouter's post about striking a balance among the various methods of Scouting. Still being on the blue side of the aisle and not having all the training myself, I'm still an outsider here. But KS's approach seems very reasonable.

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I misuse the program? Examples please examples!

 

I am not professing that I follow the program to the letter. I don't think anyone does. But I have never misused the program.

 

Ed Mori

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KS's advice is absolutely correct. I don't think anyone is suggesting one method be left out. Each method has it's own elements, purposes andd interactions with the others. This thread was discussing two of those inter-related methods of Patrol Methos and Leadership development. They happen to be key because these two are the catalyst and arenas for the other 6 methods. So yes, a balance is needed but so is an understanding of each of the 8.

 

Bob White

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I have taken New leader Essentials,SM/ASM training, Outdoor Leader Skills, Committee challenge and various other training programs (YP, Safe Swim, safety afloat, and skills classes) offered by my council and district - everything, essentially, that was available to me except Woodbadge, which I haven't been able to arrange yet.

 

That being said, the 'training' is only as good as the trainers and my ability to follow them. Some of my 'trainers' have been more interested in reminising about the past than teaching present skills - and others have been bvery good - but I may not 'get' all that some are trying to cram in my head. I never was a very good student....

 

but i do READ everything I can get my hands on. I do get frustrated with BSA communication - they seem to cover the same things over and over - and all very vaguely - they are not very specific. Consolodating it ALL - it all SOUNDS really good - and with INDIVIDUAL BOYS - one on one - or very small groups - I can see that the techniques should work.

 

but I have seen the most trained, responsible, mature boys - fall totally backwards in their 'leadership' when faced with biggest force in any teen's life -

 

PEER PRESSURE

 

the scout books/training tend to just gloss over that one, and it's a biggie! oh - they cover resisting Drugs and reporting sexual harrasment and the hard stuff - the big black and white things - but the minor things and grey areas they don't touch. A GROUP of boys behaves differently than an individual boy will.

 

I was a weird kid - I LIKED scouting, I GOT the idea that taking adult resposibilities earned me adult priveledges - I was one of those kids who thought responsibility was FUN.

 

I think we have ONE of those in my troop.

 

the rest would rather roast hot dogs and marshmallows for every campout and play touch football all day and night - rather than Plan, organize, work on advancements and do 'chores'. Everything is "NOW" - every single one reminds me of my ADD son - they never think ahead - only about RIGHT NOW.

 

I'm TRYING, and so are the other leaders to let them

make their own mistakes and hopefully LEARN from them - but the BOYS are so entrenched in just 'playing' that they never think of the things they did wrong - like forgetting the dishes needed to cook the meal - and they are STILL turning to the adults and saying stuff like Mr M? when is dinner? What do we do now? "mrs T? have you seen my sweater/sleeping bag/ hat?" Mr's J? where's the pancake mix? frying pan? spatula? Even when our answers are non-commital - "did you ask the SPL?""where did YOU leave them? or go ask SPL / PL / Cook" - they continue to turn to the adults.

 

when they DO have major blunders - they don't seem to correct them next time, either. I can't tell you how many times they have tried to have three patrols split the same dutch oven...

 

I must be taking the wrong courses, because NOTHING I have taken in scouting is teaching me HOW to teach leadership - most of my 'training classes' have concentrated on paperwork, job descriptions and skills.

 

One of the big things, which someone else mentioned, is that most of our boys don't WANT to lead - they see it as a chore and a headache. and when they DO elect a leader - it is always by popularity rather than skill, training or ability.

 

Of the things you mentioned, Bob - I can see three that we do NOT have available or are doing -

 

#4 monthly leadership training of PL's and SPL. I would have no idea how to do this, and I don't know if Our SM has plans for this - I will ask him - I can see where it would help.

 

# 7. find an experienced scouter (who understands the program) to mentor you for a year. We have ONE over -experienced scouter who is 'old school' and who people tread carefully around. she is elderly and Ill, and people are reluctant to make waves. Even if she were NOT there, I doubt we could find anyone else to step in and help, as many of the troops in our area seem to have the same problems.

 

8. With the committee select and recruit two or three ASMs to help, insist they attend training then give them specific tasks to work on to allow you the time you need to do the job of SM. We DO have two or three TRAINED ASM's, and a few untrained ones, who are not interested in training further. We are working on recruiting more help from parents - but it is tough - most want to come along on a strictly 'chaperone' basis and do not want to get into the 'program', we WANT & encourage the parents to come, but some have been detrimental - they don't want to follow the rules and behave like scouts, from major to minor problems -we have had fights with other campers in a campground, to pop and radios along on campouts (we don't allow the boys these things, so why should the adults have them?)

 

I know that things that interest ME - reading and discussing, trying to research and figure out what makes people tick and how they work together would bore the boys to tears.

 

so how do we teach them teamwork and leadership in ACTION rather than lectures?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I misuse the program? Examples please examples!

 

I am not professing that I follow the program to the letter. I don't think anyone does. But I have never misused the program.

 

Ed Mori

 

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Hi Laura,

 

it is been my experience that you cannot have a good troop without a good scoutmaster. I can see haow you might be frustrated. the pfoblems you are describing are areas of Scoutmaster responsibility. Since you are not the scoutmaster the only way you can resolve these issues is by getting the scoutmaster to address them.

 

Training is a big part of it. Youth leadership needs to be taught and developed. Kids can run a sandlot ballgame becasue they understand how to play ball. You cannot expect them to run scouting without the same understanding of the game. That is a SM's responsibility.

 

Scoutmasters who feel the need to be "in charge" of everything will never have the time to do the things thety are actually responsible for. Start with choosing monthly themes tied to an outdoor adventure that requires that theme skill to be used. Make patrols independent, self reliant and reposible for their own actions or inaction.

 

Lead by example and guide youth leaders by asking there opinion and then letting them choose their actions from the options that you helped guide them to.

 

Set the example, have the adults operate as a patrol,have posted duty rosters and menus. Cook easy by interesting meals in various styles. Box oven, utensiless, dutch oven, grilled, one pot, reflector, dehydrated.

 

Teach the PLC to make and follow agendas.

 

Untrained leaders are like cars that are up on blocks. No matter how much noise the engine makes it is still not going to go anywhwere. Scouts can usually see a difference between an untrained parent and a trained scout leader.

 

These are just general suggestions based on what youwrote. If you want to write me by private message with more specific questions about what your responsibilities are I will try to help. But try as we might, together we cannot change other people we can only change ourselves.

 

Bob White

 

 

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My thoughts are: if I am not following the program as designed, then I am misusing the program as it was intended to be. For better or for worse.

 

SM406

 

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Must admit that I agree with Bob on this one; but it must also be said that none of this occurs overnight - a point that gets through to one Scout will be completely ignored by another that requires a different approach.

Training your Scouts is a constant challenge; they WILL get it eventually and use their learnings in ways to make you proud (although they will always add their own flavor to the mix) We must constantly work at these lessons in the most difficult way possible - by our example... Not to continue to make the effort is the major that I see with this process!

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This reply is mostly to LauraT7's last note.

 

You mentioned PL's usually being elected based on popularity. I've seen a TON of something else that I think is even more damaging - who hasn't been PL yet? At least with popularity, the other kids like him and want him to be their leader. When the boys sit in a circle and debate whose turn it is to be "stuck with the job" of PL, it can really go downhill. The others don't really respect and want him as their leader -- they just don't want the job themselves.

 

As for periodic training, a portion of each PLC can be used to present one aspect of leadership. For starters, let's say "communication." Start with some of the stuff you used in the more comprehensive troop JLT, then open it up for discussion -- what is/is not working in their patrols? Kick around some ideas for improvement. What are some guys using that the others haven't thought about?

 

Ideally, the SPL will be the one to lead this effort, make the presentation and lead the discussion. SM and SPL could work together behind the scenes to plan a strategy to address certain topics in the months to come, based on their perception of troop's needs. If necessary, the SM or another skilled trainer could make the info presentation, then back away and let the SPL lead the discussion. (Helping prepare these 5-minute info packages might be one way you could help.)

 

Another way to keep reinforcing leadership is through quick SM Minutes. I recently drafted up one on "Teamwork" for our SM after we had a bit of a meltdown on a campout. He appreciated the help.

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