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Scotts_Scout

New Scout Patrol (NSP) vs. Mixed Patrol

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our troop has done both mixed and NSP. the NSP failed because WE (the adults and PLC) did not set it up correctly.

 

In the past, we got in 2-4 new scouts a year and blended them into the existing patrols. It was a bit of a challenge to keep up with some of their advancements and remember to provide opportunities FOR advancement. Lots of boys kind of slid through - they would 'hang' at tenderfoot or 2nd class through 2-3 COH's. often parents would bring to our attention that some boy who wasn't the organized type, was way behind. Not great - but we mostly stayed on top of things.

 

last year we worked at recruiting and got 10 new boys. We also had a new SM and lots of troop changes. We decided to do a NSP and try to do First Class / First Year.

What we DIDN'T do was:

Have a trained, skilled Troop guide work with them

Change patrol leaders monthly

have a specific ASM assigned to them.

have a program specifically PLANNED for them.

The boys came from different packs at different times over 3 months - it was crazy.

 

Essentially, we treated them exactly like an existing patrol, with no guidance, and they flopped - horribly. Not only because the boys had no leadership, but because the NS parents did not know the program, and while they tried to help, their help was inconsistant and operated like a cub den, when they did help.

 

you need a PLAN - to concentrate on introducing the boys to BOY Scout ways and advancement opportunities.

 

you need an ASM that already understands the troop and boy scout program as your troop delivers it.

 

you need to actively recruit parental help from the first year scouts.

 

you need a Boy Troop Guide who REALLY WANTS to work with the yonger scouts, and is TRAINED and SUPPORTED by the adults in the troop.

 

you need to rotate leadership so that all or most of the new boys get to attend a PLC, make decisions and lead. this also helps keep 'clicks' from forming and leadership advantages being taken.

 

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after our blunder, which resulted in a hazing incident at camp this summer by our NSP, we dissolved the NSP and blended then into the two reg patrols. the Venture patrol remained - a few Star scouts moved into it.

 

but that isn't working, either. the New Scouts don't have the skills they should have been learning this year - and they outnumber the older scouts in those patrols. the effect was that at last election, the reg patrols now have 1st yr tenderfeet and 2nd class boys as PL and APL - elections were by popularity.

 

I think by next election, things will kind of balance out.

 

but I will be encouraging our troop to try NSP again, and do it RIGHT this time. to have a plan in place and people to guide it BEFORE the recruits show up.

It makes sense, and SHOULD work - IF you follow the plan.

 

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Laura

 

You called the last election a popularity contest. Is it a possiblity that the boys in the patrol saw something about the people running that you, an adult leader, didn't see? Could they have possibly been more attentive, since they only have to focus on there patrol, whereas you should be looking at all the patrols? Could they had picked the scout that they thought would do the best job even though you didn't think the same? Is it possible that different people have different thoughts and points of view?

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It is not a committee decision to my knowledge. This decision rest solely with the scoutmaster of the unit. If it has worked in the past, YES, if it hasn't, Then NO. Don't created waves and try to do this on your own. That is when trouble starts.

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There is no such thing as "a decision that rests soley in the hands of the Scoutmaster" since the decision on who will serve as the Scoutmaster is in the hands of the committee chair and the Charter Organization.

 

Bob White

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Im a strong believer in the new scout patrol, with an instructor, the patrol is still able to function, with a patrol leader and his assistant. and the instructor insures that the scouts learn the basic skills of scouting. usual in my troop the instructor has final say as to when the new scouts move on normally around 2nd class, sometimes earlier, sometimes later depending on thier maturity and skill level, if your lucky then a new scout patrol can move up as a group into a middle patrol position, to simplify the issues with names, my troop has all new scouts as pinetrees, if we have a large number then they each pinetree patrol chooses a name (alpha, bravo, flaming pinetrees, yellow, white, black, squirrel infested, etc.)

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