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hotdesk

New Scout Patrol ASM has ?'s

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TO All:

 

I am a Jr. Assistant Scoutmaster who was recently given the responsiblity of being the Assistant Scoutmaster for the troop's New Scout Patrol(s). I know what the purpose of the new scout patrol is and I know some of the downfalls that can occur, but I still have some questions (I have read the Scoutmaster Handbook, the old copy of the Jr. Leaders Handbook, and look on the web a lot).

 

1. How do you get the differences between the Pack and Troop across to parents and new scouts?

 

2. How do you switch the patrol leaders every month. (Basically how do you decide who is it?)

 

3. What type of things to you do to help the Troop Guide do his job and what exactly is his job?

 

4. Any other hints that you have would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Hotdesk

 

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Hi Hotdesk,

First, which is it, are your a JASM or an ASM there is a big difference. It is important that the New Scout Patrol have an adult nearby in the form of an Assistant Scoutmaster for New Scout Patrols. These boys are used to having two adults lead them for over 4 years. You cannot completely remove direct adult leadership all at once and expect them to know how to handle things. You need an Assistant Scoutmaster there.

 

Here are my suggestions,

1. Explain the difference to the parents and scouts. Explain that this change doesn't happen right away but will be a process that will take place over the next year.

 

2. We hold an election to determine the patrol leader and like in a regular patrol he selects and assistant patrol leader. The next month the APL becomes the PL and chooses a new APL and so on until everyone has had a chance to work with the Guide as a PL and attend a PLC meeting.

 

3. The Troop Guide acts as a co-leader with the PL he allows the PL to be the voice of the leadership team and he acts as a coach to help the new scout understand the leadership skills and responsibilities. The ASM for New Scout Patrols and the Troop Guide plan an annual program that will alow a scout who attends and participates, to learn practice and apply the skills needed to reach First Class in the first 12 to 14 months.

 

4. Except for opening and closing and an occassional game keep the New Scouts separate from the regular and Venture Patrols for the first 9 to 12 months.

 

Make sure it's a hands-on program. Every thing they learn needs to be through doing.

 

If what you are doing isn't related directly to a scout skill needed to achieve First Class, stop doing it.

 

Hope this helps,

Bob White

 

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Bob said it well. I can't improve on it. We used the same method of electing Pls as Bob and it worked well. We discussed it with the Scouts helped them figure different options and then let them decide with method worked for them.

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In our Troop, we try to schedule the entire Webelos den, with their parents, to come to a Troop meeting about this time of the year -- they're normally eager, since it's an AOL requirement, too. In this meeting, my CC and I tag-team the parents. He gets them first (admin stuff), while I do SM conferences with the Scouts. I then turn them over to the SPL, and it's my turn with the parents. Among other things, I stress the differences between the programs, and try to ensure they understand the transition their sons will go through, and that they'll go through especially in terms of who will communicate with them. I also give them a ding-dong school on the Boy Scout Handbook -- how it's laid out, where the equipment lists are, how to keep it in one piece, how important it is to "surgically attach" it to their Scout, etc. I've found that doing this cuts down on misunderstandings...doesn't eliminate them, just cuts down on them.

 

KS

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Not being familiar with all the Boy Scout literature, is there a sample first year calendar for getting everyone to First Class? Something similar to the schedules laid out in the Webelos Leader Handbook for getting everyone to AOL.

 

 

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There is a very useful tracking sheet that groups the requirements for Tenderfoot to First Class by what can be done while camping, at troop meetings, during service projects, etc.

 

Using monthly themes based on the advancement skill groups is also a good way to plan an effective first year program. The Troop Program Resource Notebooks are excellent for that.

 

Bob white

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TwoCub - The tracking sheet Bobwhite mentioned can be found at:

 

http://www.scouting.org/forms/34118.pdf

 

All - Here's a "First Class - First Year" plan I found recently while researching the topic for our upcoming new Scout patrol. I can't find a date on it, but it references "Wood's Wisdom" which is the predecessor of the current "Troop Program Features", so it's a few years old.

 

I can't offer any judgement on it because haven't fully scrutinized it yet, but it appears well thought out. Of course looks ain't everything so it could benefit from a critique from the resident training gurus (bobwhite?). Be sure to cross-check the requirements it lists with current BSA advancement criteria.

 

Hopefully this will help, or at least serve as "inspiration fodder". Here's the link:

 

http://www.troop100.org/1stclass.pdf

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Manyirons - Thanks for the Troop100 link. I haven't looked at it closely yet, but it looks like a well thought-out structure of a First Year program. I like to be a little more flexible than this, but it certainly can be a help to the PLC and the ASM that works with the new scouts.

 

We use a "Parent's Handbook" to help educate them about Boy Scouts and our troop. It covers policies (financial, uniforming, etc.). It also explains the differences between Cubs & Boy Scouts. On the night of our Webelos Open House, we take the parents into another room to walk through this handbook. I know some don't like "troop policies", but I can assure you that we are not adding or taking away from any requirements for joining or advancment. It simply serves as a vehicle to set expectations.

 

Even with that, however, parents struggle with the change. It's different, and they have to work through it. I tell them that just as the boys have to "be prepared", so do they. They have to be prepared to see their boys struggle and learn from their mistakes. But they also need to be prepared for the great feeling of pride they'll have when they see them succeed on their own!

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EagleInKy,

 

I agree about having a program that's flexible. I've done a lot of looking but haven't really found anything. The Troop100 plan looks good, and I'll probably mine it for ideas, but I've decided to create a plan for our troop. It'll be a straightforward approach showing what requirements to cover at which meetings and campouts. At the moment I favor a linear approach as well. In other words, cover each rank completely rather than bounce around (i.e. Tenderfoot requirements this week, First Class next week, back to Tenderfoot the week after). Obviously we'll make allowances for opportunities, but I want to avoid what I've seen a lot of in the past -- boys who have a lot of things completed in several ranks but no rank.

 

I like the idea of the Parent-Scout meeting. I don't think our troop has done this before, but we're going to have one for this new group next month.

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Ironman -

 

Our program is fairly linear, but not as much as yours sounds. We do focus on Tenderfoot requirements during the first two months. Our goal is to provide all of the opportunities they need in that time to earn the Tenderfoot Rank. After that, we do bounce around a little. For example, we may have a campout where we do lots of knots and lashings. The boys may sign off on all of the related work at each rank level. Some will, but others won't.

 

Some requirements have to be spread out. For example, being head cook on a campout cannot be done by everyone at once. Therefore, we rotate through the boys. We reward the boys that are showing the most initiative by giving them the opportunity to do that first. In reality, it doesn't impact anyone's rank advancment, because they all get it done before they're ready for First Class.

 

As we're nearing the end of the "Boy scout year", I'm reflecting on how our 8 first year scouts are doing. Three are about ready for their FC BOR (within the next couple of weeks). Three more are 2nd Class and are on track to make FC during the Spring. Two others are still at Tenderfoot. Both are close, but can't close it out (one is lazy, the other has an attitude problem). Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the progress they are making.

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EagleInKy,

 

I meant to respond earlier but I've been under the weather and I've been having trouble accessing this site of late.

 

We'll attempt to keep the FY-FC very linear -- at least I'll draft it that way. Aside from my previously stated reasons, I want to get a simple syllabus into the hands of the Troop Guides. They can use that at the PLC to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves. We'll "bounce" around quite a bit I'm sure. It'll naturally occur just due to the differences in individual advancement.

 

Good point about the requirements, like cooking, that have to be spread out. I'll try to factor that into the syllabus somehow -- don't know how yet, but somehow.

 

Our last batch of Webelos have done fairly well, at least half can achieve 1st Class by the end of their first year. The others are lagging behind simply due to initiative and lack of camping (their lack -- not the troop's). With regard to the latter, perhaps it's just a phase we're going through, but our last two groups of new Scouts just don't want to camp. We get a few, but even then it's hit or miss.

 

Thanks for all your feedback.

 

hotdesk: how are you making out?

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