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acco40

Sr. Patrol - how does yours function on outings?

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I noticed in the SM handbook that in reference to troop positions "Scouts serving in any of the following troop postions will also continue to be active members of their patrols." The reference is to the troop positions of QM, Troop Scribe, OA Rep, Troop Historian, Troop Librarian, Instructor, Chaplain Aide, Den Chief, and Jr. SA.

 

The SM Handbook also states that the SPL is NOT a member of a patrol. The same goes for the ASPL(s). My question is for small to medium size troops with one SPL and one ASPL, do you assimilate them into a patrol wrt cooking, cleaning, etc. or do you have them "stand alone" as a Sr. Patrol so to speak?

 

We have traditionally assimilated them into patrols (sometimes to even them out numbers wise) but my thoughts now are to have them remain intact as the Sr. Patrol. Comments?

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We have always included them in with the adult leaders. It gives us opportunity to train them in advanced campiong skills that they can then share with the Patrol Leaders and we have more opportunity to counsel them in leadership skills.

 

Bob White

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Ours are mixed in with the patrols because usually our camping patrols are mixed patrols anyway. Our SPL isnt always on campouts anyway so when that happens, the highest ranking scout is put in as acting SPL.

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acco40,

I strongly recommend keeping the staff guys separate from the patrols on campouts. Campouts are the prime opportunity for patrols to learn to work together and practice all of that leadership stuff. In my experience, it clobbers the patrol dynamics to have extra guys added into the mix -- especially guys who are most likely senior (in position, if not age and experience) to the patrol leader. Your choice on whether to have them (staff) mix in with adults for cooking. If just two (an SPL and one ASPL, like you described), I'd have them in with adults. If much larger, consider letting them be independent.

 

We have also tended in the past to have a lot of "mixed patrols" on campouts, like Hops mentioned, because of the desire to have optimum patrols of 6-8 each, but we're getting away from that. From now on, we're having patrols stick together - even if only 2 guys are there. (If anybody interested, I'll let you know how that goes in a month or two.)

 

-mike

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I would be interested to hear how that goes. If you could post your observations and conclusions in a new thread later on that would be quite nice. Thanks.

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Thanks guys. Our Troop is young (11 youngest and just turned 14 the oldest) and of medium size so the SPL and ASPL are not necessarily much more "senior" than the others. I believe in the future we will integrate the SPL and ASPL into the adult patrol and have the SPL act as the patrol leader. It will be good training for him to see if he can herd the adults as effectively as he can the youth!

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I used to be worried about numbers. If we went camping and had two patrols with only 4 in each patrol we would combine the two. When we (The PLC me as the Scoutmaster) Looked at this we seen that we were not using the patrol method. So unless there was only one scout from a patrol we would always camp as patrols.

The Leaders camped and ate in their own site along with the SPL and the ASPL. While we never viewed the leaders as being a patrol. We were aware that we were setting the example. So we always looked at the leader site being in good order and our keeping on time as being very important.

We were very lucky in that we had one Leader who wasn't very good with the Scouts, but loved to cook so we always had him come and cook for the Leaders. This freed the adults up to do more stuff with the Scouts when needed.

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Hi all

 

At one time we asked the SPL and ASPL to be part of the adults group. While they did enjoy hanging with the adults some, they where always seeking out their fiends. Most of our Senior Scout Leaders are 15, 16 and 17, so that may have something to do with it. We still bring enough food for them and when they have had a hard day and need a break, they sit with the adults. But when they want to just relax, they want to be with friends who relate to them.

 

We do treat our PLC with specail prevlegdes, they usually get treats like candy, cookies and even coke once in a while from the SM during PLC meetings on campouts. The SPL is usually invited to all adult special snacks, so they do enjoy the special treatment.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Barry

 

Have a great day.

 

Barry

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Troop size is 78, with 1 SPL and 3 ASPLs. 6 patrols.

 

On campouts, there are usually about 45 to 50 scouts and 15 to 20 adults. SP and ASPLs eat with adults, but camp by themselves. Each patrol camps separately.

 

There are about eight or so 16/17 year old scouts that are each assigned to a patrol as an instructor. If they go on campouts, they eat with the patrol they are assigned to.

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In our Troop, the SPL has always been elected from the Venture Patrol. This is where his friends are, so he and the ASPL have always maintained their relationship with their own Patrol.

 

I see the point that Mike F is making: The SPL being "led" by a Patrol Leader. In our Troop, the venture Patrol actually could go without an elected leader and perform just as well. By the time a boy has been invited to be in the Venture Patrol, he seems to understand what is expected of him. At their Patrol meetings, they take 5 minutes (tops) agreeing who will do what for the next campout, or meeting, or whatever, and then start talking about school, sports, girls, etc. We used to overhear them and try to steer them back to discussing Scout stuff, but it never worked. So we decided to see how they performed without more planning, and all was well. The cook cooked, the KP guy KPed, the fire guy made a nice fire, the QM made sure all of the equipment was there and returned, and it all happened without any one person "leading" the effort. Because it's like that, all of the guys in that Patrol act like equals, and each pitch in. The SPL usaully is attending to other things when the Venture Patrol is divvying up tasks, so he rarely has Patrol responsiblities b3ecuae he wasn't there to say "I'll do that", but if he sees something that needs done and he's not otherwise occupied, he's as likely to do it as anyone else.

 

These guys have kind of perfected the theory that the easiest way to be lazy is to do what needs done. And you know what? They're good at it!

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I rather liked the model used during the National Jamboree by my troop. (I think this set up was produced at the national level, but I may be wrong.)

 

We had 4 patrols of 8 Scouts each. We had 4 youth troop leaders (SPL, ASPL, QM, Scribe) outside the patrols. We had 4 adult leaders (SM, 1stASM, 2ndASM, 3rdASM) outside the patrols.

Each patrol cooked and cleaned on their own. Each had a dining fly, tables, anc equipment. The troop had an additional dining fly and tables.

 

For meals each patrol cooked for 10. They would host one pair of troop leaders (a youth and the adult the advised them) for each meal. (We rotated the location the leaders ate so that they moved to the next patrol in a counter-clockwise direction every day, or at least that is how I recall making that decision.) Those leaders would stay out of the patrol site until meal preparation was complete and the Patrol Leader invited them to join with the patrol for the meal. The leaders would then depart after the meal was complete to allow the patrol to clean. In a few cases it became painfully obvious that something had gone wrong with meal prep, to the point of being beyond the control of the PL, and the leaders assigned to that patrol, or others available, would step in and offer some guidance to get them back on track.

 

Now as much as I liked this way of doing things, it wouldn't work quite as well under less than ideal situations. I must say I like the idea of an adult "patrol" acting as a model for the Scouts. Though there have been times I think there would have been some role reversal if we operated on that principal. Maybe the old "Leadership Corps" wasn't the worst of ideas. I don't really think one way of doing things can work in all situations. There are too many times you have a PL as "acting SPL" for a trip, or a very low number of participants, or some other variable that it really must be a case by case sort of thing.

 

Oh, one final comment. I can't really see how the QM would be able to support his patrol, if in one, very well. The QMs I have seen that really took the job seriously stayed about as busy with that as the SPL does. Maybe if each patrol was issued all equipment prior to the trip, there was no troop gear to be looked after, and each patrol was fully aware of how to operate and maintain their equipment in the field, then the QM might not need to do anything until return, but how often is all that the way it works. Also, in stories I have been told by associates with experience in well functioning larger troops the Scribe was just as indespensable as any other youth leader. So I suppose the question of even having the various leaders assigned to a patrol or not must be answered to best fit each situation.

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I am sorry to bring up and OLD topic, but I really needed to respond to this last post. I just finished being Scribe in my troop for the past year, and did everything I could think of doing (yeah I should probably get a life outside of BS), and at the same time, I was patrol leader. At no point did I feel I was needed to do both. Does anyone have any ideas on a situation where this would occur?

 

Eric

[edit: I reread the message, and it came off with a mean tone to it. That was not intended. Sorry](This message has been edited by meamemg)

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We have a patrol made up of the older members of the troop. During troop meetings the Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Guides, and Jr. Assistant Scoutmasters are part of a different patrol called the Jr. Leadership Corps. Basically they aren't a patrol, but on the roster they are.

 

During campouts the Jr. Leadership Corps and the Older Scout Patrol (mostly made up of scouts who are Star and up) are one of the same.

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