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Fat Old Guy

11 year olds leading 11 year olds, what's your experience?

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Mark,

Those are not the expectations I have of 11 yr old PL's. Those would be the expectations I would have of a 14 yr old & up PL.

 

11 yr olds are still just kids. For many of them, this is the 1st time they have ever done anything without dad and/or mom around. They have enough trouble finding their socks with a flashlight & a map! Like I posted once before, there are 11 yr olds who be good PL's but this is the exeption not the norm.

 

Ed Mori

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Ed,

 

I used the word "hope" more like "wish' than "expect". I might read you wrong, but I think that if you had an 11 year old Patrol Leader, you would "hope" that he got his feet quickly...

 

I see it differently. When we have 11 year old PLs, we know almost for certain that they will not understand their role. We know that they won't know how to lead a group of peers (one of the toughest jobs in the world!). We know that they won't even have the skills to take care of themselves.

 

The difference of opinion between you and me centers, I think, in whether this is acceptable. I don't think it is to you, and I think that is why you don't agree with the NSP Patrol and an 11 year old Patrol Leader. On the other hand, I think that these shortcomings not only are acceptable, but help speed the process of learning to lead. I really believe this. If you could repeat the experiment 100 times, I think you would find that a 15 year old who had the oppurtunity to practice being a leader as an 11 year old, under the guidance of a GOOD Troop Guide will be a better leader than a 15 year old that didn't get that chance. In other words, my eye is on his success 4 years down the road. I read your posts to mean you are looking for immediate success. If it is the immediate succuss that is vital, I agree 100% with you. Absolutely do not let an 11 year old run anything. He'll almost always fail. Better have a 15 year old run that Patrol. I just don't that that's the point of the program.

 

Let me try it one more way, then if If I don't go to the bathroom, my tonsils will be floating. I don't think it is likely that a boy learns the skills necasary to be an effective leader by starting to learn them at 13 or 14 or 15. If he doesn't start learning before that, I just don't think he's going to get it. So how do we begin the lessons? I think it is by providing an oppurtunity to practice. And that's as a Patrol Leader in a NSP with rotating leaders and a qualified Troop Guide. Sometimes, that becomes impossible (well, highly difficult, like this year for us when we only had two new Scouts).

 

Gotta go!

 

Mark

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A full uniform, fine postured, snappy scout salute to mk9750. Excellent understanding of the leadership methods of scouting.

 

BW

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When I was a young DE in late 1988 or early 1989, there was a significant revision of the Boy Scout Handbook and along with that, a new ideal troop structure was unrolled.

 

The new troop structure would put all first year Boy Scouts in a patrol of their own with the goal of working on the rank requirements heading to first class. An assistant Scoutmaster would be assigned by the Scoutmaster to help the new scout patrol. An older youth would serve as troop guide and be an advisor to the new scout patrol.

 

So today, as I was researching patrol outings, I came across something of an evolution of the above that is in the Senior Patrol Leader Handbook of recent publication.

 

The first change that struck me is that the New Scout Patrol is held as an option. I think that's good. As this thread shows, it has been used to varying degrees of success in various troops in varoius councils.

 

The second thing that struck me is the recommended selection of the patrol leader for the New Scout Patrol (if used.) I don't have the book in front of me so I won't use quotation marks, but please allow me to paraphrase.

 

It said that the New Scout Patrol Patrol Leader is selected by the Senior Patrol Leader with the advice and consent of the Assistant Scoutmaster (for the New Scout Patrol.)

 

This allows for the SPL with his experience and the advice of an adult to select whoever he feels is best to lead that patrol regardless of age.

 

Just another hunk of wood on this particular fire . . .

 

DS

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Hi DSteele,

I'm looking at The Patrol Leader Handbook, page 39, and that's not what I am seeing. it says that "a troop usually consists of 3 types of patrols 1.New-Scout patrols, 2.Regular patrols,3. Venture patrols" and "the new-scout patrol elects a patrol leader just as the other scouts do".

 

Could you share exactly where in the book you found the info you shared?

 

Thanks,

Bob

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Hi Bob:

 

I'll share it, but it will have to wait until I go into the office tomorrow. I don't have the books here.

 

As I recall, the passage I was referencing came from the Senior Patrol Leader Handbook, but I'll check tomorrow.

 

Dave

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I checked there too DS and found a similar statement about the Troop Guide on page 106 but not about the patrol leader.

 

BW

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"I used the word "hope" more like "wish' than "expect". I might read you wrong, but I think that if you had an 11 year old Patrol Leader, you would "hope" that he got his feet quickly..."

 

I concur. Hope you made it in time :)

 

Ed Mori

 

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One of these days I'm going to learn not to post until I've checked my reference.

 

I sometimes remember incorrectly.

 

The passage I was remembering is on page 20 of the Scoutmaster Handbook. However, it was referring to the seleciton of the Troop Guide. The Troop Guide is selected by the Senior Patrol Leader with the advice and consent of the Assistant Scoutmaster.

 

Pages 44-46 of the Junior Leader Handbook give an example of a Troop Guide leading the New Scout Patrol through the process of electing one of their own as Patrol Leader.

 

Which is quite a bit different than my quick scan on the way to find something else. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and will try harder to check my references before posting.

 

DS

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Is it not correct that the PL for new Scout Patrol is supposed to be rotated among all the members of the patrol so that all the boy get a taste of it and have the opportunity to attend PLCs?

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The original question was asking us if we had experience with 11 year old patrol leaders leading patrols of 11 year olds.

 

My dear wife reminded me that I have had such an experience.

 

In 1994, I was the Scoutmaster of a troop that was barely hanging on -- as I've alluded to in previous threads.

 

We managed to pick up 18 Webelos to join our existing troop of 4 active members.

 

Only one of the original four could attend summer camp with us. We picked up the Webelos in May and 16 of them signed up for summer camp.

 

So we headed off to summer camp -- myself as the Scoutmaster, my wife as a second adult (for part of the week) and one father as another leader.

 

The boys had been together since tiger cubs and knew each other well.

 

I named the oldest Scout as Senior Patrol Leader for the week and divided the remaining 16 boys into two patrols. We agreed that each boy would be patrol leader for one day and the leadership would rotate. We also agreed that each patrol leader of each day was fully accountable for the actions of his patrol as a whole.

 

The boys didn't know it but I had been assistant camp director and program director for that camp in previous years. I knew the camps drill very well. On the morning of the first day the alarm would sound and we would have to send a runner to the dining facility to account for each member of our troop. I did tell them that the troop wouldn't be able to account for its members until every patrol leader knew where every member of his patrol was . . .

 

We reported last. The boys had a tough time getting their act together. Oh well, it's about teaching the boys. So I took it when the program director of the camp -- who knew who I am -- decided to berate me publicly about the slowness of my troop to respond. Some of our military bretheren are possibly taking my use of a drill as a teaching tool to be counter to the purpose of a drill, but to me it was a teachable moment.

 

It worked. So did the rotating leadership. I had one particular little trouble maker, let's call him Garnett. Garnett didn't seem to mind getting his patrol and patrol leader "in trouble" from the SPL -- until it was his day to be patrol leader. Then everything had to be "just so." The Spl taught him some valuable lessons that day. That same boy tried to revert to his former rascal position when he turned over the patrol leader patch and his patrol was very hard on him . . .

 

When fall came around, the patrols held their own elections and chose, in my opinion, very wisely, based on their 1 day experience at summer camp.

 

It was wonderful to behold . . . until the parents became overly involved several months after I stepped down as Scoutmaster a few months later, but that's a different story.

 

DS

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It works i have seen it, i have also seen 12 yr olds lead 16 yr olds, it happens all the time, atleast for the boys in my troop, there is no reason why a scout as young as 11 or 12 cant lead a weekend hike, bike, or paddle. pressuming that they have an older scout advising them and a scoutmaster not getting in the way (ie just make sure they get home alive) i can name three young men in the past 5 years who at the age of 14 (or younger) lead a fifty mile or longer hike, 2 12 yr olds that organized the entirety of going to res camp, yes that includes the daily scoutmaster meetings, collecting the money, med forms, etc

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"2 12 yr olds that organized the entirety of going to res camp, yes that includes the daily scoutmaster meetings, collecting the money, med forms, etc"

 

Call me a cynic but how much of that was done or prompted by mom and dad? Consider your other thread about Eagles and how you comment on young Eagles having had their work done by mom.

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note that i have no problem with prompting from mom and dad, i have an issue with doing by mom and dad, now i continue, since in one case the scouts parents were not there and had little concern with camp, mute point, in that case i as a 16 yr old prompted him, of course you are going to need to hvve an adult drive them to the scout office to file papers and pay, and in some cases put an adult signature on something, but these boys did all of the accounting for every penny and every form, they made sure that we had dads going, that we had enough transportation, permision slips etc. i acted as an advisor for both of these trips, i was 16 and 17 if i recall, and double checked every thing they did, and corrected a few mistakes, but let them do all of the work

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