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Bob White

3 program method/ We're havin some fun now!

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Had a great meeting tonight with the two new assistant scoutmasters for New Scout Patrols. My responsibilities are changing with the continued growth of the troop. So we reviewed the purpose and function of the New Scout Patrol and gave them all the resources they need to start their program planning.

 

The troop has grown large enough and with a wide enough age range that we have gone to three distinct programs during each Troop Meeting.

 

Everyone meets in one room for the Opening Ceremony, then splits into 3 separate areas for program. The New Scout Patrols (NSP)are working on Tenderfoot to First Class level skills. Each NSP has an assigned Assistant Scoutmaster, and a Troop Guide that joins their Patrol as a co-leader with the monthly Patrol Leader.

 

Another ASM and I are responsible for supporting the two Regular Patrols. They work on more advanced skills and exposure to merit badge opportunities. We will keep this group for two years.

 

The two patrols of our oldest most experienced scouts go to the Venture Patrol program supported by the SM and another ASM. Their focus is High Adventure skills and activities.

 

Each program area meets separately for patrol meetings, games and skills presentation, and then regroups as a troop for recognitions, news, SM Minute and the closing.

 

Should be a great year!

 

 

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Bob,

 

What are your thoughts about the Venture Patrols cross-registering as Venturers?

 

The first benefit I see is the access to activities given by the Guide to Safe Scouting. Venture patrols, if I understand policy, are still Boy Scouts for GSS purposes.

 

Thanks for the input in advance.

 

John

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Bob White,

 

Sounds like this 3 program method is exactly what my older son's troop needs. Membership is hovering in the low 90s, with fully one third being new scouts who just crossed over. Being a boy-run troop, the PLC makes all the programming decisions.

 

The ASMs who work with the Troop Guides and the NSPs have a great program for that age group. They break out after the troop opening and spend about an hour working on basic skills. They add monthly campouts and service projects (April through June) to the mix. By the time July summer camp rolls around, any scout who participates will be comfortable sleeping in a tent he pitched, cooking his own meals over a fire or stove, and surviving in the woods. Most earn at least one rank by the end of summer camp, some more.

 

But get to the regular patrols and the program is non-existant. There are no assigned regular patrol ASMs. The PLC schedules an occasional guest speaker, but it's "advancement" most of the time. No patrol skill sessions, games or meetings. Just meet with merit badge counselors IF you remember to call them up and make an appointment. Arrg. You generally have poor attendance of scouts in this age range. Since the troop doesn't have venture patrols, attendance by older scouts is dismal.

 

Bob White, how would you get this troop to change its ways? Remember, the PLC makes all the decisions and parents (including troop committee members) are not invited to the PLC (we'd inhibit the scouts). This is a sincere request, because I can see my 7th grade son getting bored and losing interest in scouting.

 

 

 

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Sounds like a great idea with the 3 program method. But if they only come together for opening and closing, how to the older boys get to know and teach their skills to the younger guys? Or do they not want to? I notice in my Troop that sometimes the older guys don't want to have much to do with the younger ones. Mainly because they feel dragged down by them. That's why for reasons of keeping them involved, that they are in the Venture Patrol, to do bigger activities.

 

On campouts will the Troop camp together or will it be by Patrol? In our Troop, the Troop camps together on one site, but the Patrols do some of their activities separately like cooking etc... Hikes are sometimes a Troop activity, and sometimes a Patrol activity.

 

Goodluck though! Keep us posted on what follows.

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We have older scouts who are instructors and work at all three levels of the troop.

 

The best way to get to this is by having a SM who understands the program and have a team of ASMs that work well together.

 

I see no advantage to dual registering Boys Scouts into Venturing. Venturing is a separate program, separate unit. Would you intentionally talk a Boy Scout into dual registering into another troop? There is no difference. If I had I scout who I thought was not getting what he needed out of the troop, only then would I suggest he try another feature of the Program. If a Crew has a real program of its own it should not need to rely on dual resgisters from troops for its core memberships.

 

The G2SS is for the entire BSA program and all program levels, it is not discarded simply because you are a Venturer.(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Hi All

 

>>I see no advantage to dual registering Boys Scouts into Venturing. Venturing is a separate program, separate unit.

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But Barry a Venture patrol can do the very same thing.

 

Venturing was designed to bring more youth into the program not to just give scouts two uniforms. It's a great program and it has it's place, but it shouldn't be used in place of a good troop program for boys already in scouting.

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What specific activity can a Venturing Crew offer that a Venture Patrol can't? I am not aware of a single one.

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This is a strange conversation. I never would have thought that you would be offened by scouts particpating in multiple programs.

 

It's not a matter of what, it's a matter of how much. For that matter, what does OA offer that a troop can't. Would it be OK if one of your scout wanted to be on the JLTC team? I was in a Scuba Post, I got to scuba every month of the year if I wanted. Sure, I guess a troop could do that, but is that realistic?

 

A person can't box in the BSA Mission Statement to just one unit at a time. The goal of the program is much bigger than that. Scouts each have their own individual dreams and goals. If your troop is good, they've learn to think and act outside the norm. The BSA gives us the tools so scouts can seak their dreams and find their place in the world. It's not insult of your program if the scout wants to extend his experiance. It's complement that he wants to stay with yours.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Got to go. Hey all have a great weekend.

 

Barry

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Who is offended?

 

Here's the thing as a troop leader my job is to deliver the best boy scout program I can to the most scouts I can. If I were a Venture leader I would deliver the best Venture program I could to the most youth I could. If a Scout in the troop I served was not getting enough adventure, activity and and leadership opportunity from the troop program, and wanted to join a Venture Crew then more power to him and shame on me for not doing my job.

 

The Venture program is not an extension of troop scouting it is another program, another charter. It was designed to bring youth who did not find what they needed in troop scouting into the program by means of a repackaging. Optional uniform, optional advancement, coed membership, older membership, fewer adults.

 

But there is no program activity, leadership opportunity, or socialization offered in Venturing that is not available through a troop's Venture Patrol program.

 

If I can keep a scout interested in troop scouting until he is 18 why on earth would I encourage him to join another unit?

 

Boy Scouting does not rely on Pack memebrship until AFTER the boy is finished with cubbing. Venturing should not be relying on Boy Scout members until after the boy has finished with the troop. Venturing was not designed to be used primarily as a dual activity for Boy Scouts.

 

It has become that for two reasons.

1) Too many troops do not deliver on the promise of scouting adventure within their troop and so the boys seek it out elsewhere.

2) Too many Venture Crew organizers made it a practice of bleeding troop membership to start crews rather than getting out into the community and getting new members into the scouting program.

 

Now I realize that this was not true in every case but it is too often true.

 

When a new scout joins the troop I presume he is here until he turns 18. I fhe has to look elsewhere for adventure and personal growth then we are not doing our job. So far so good.

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Handgun shooting is reserved to Venturers only.

 

From G2SS...

 

"Handguns (Venturers only)

"The following guidelines relate to the use of handguns within the program of the Boy Scouts of America.

 

(in boldface)

 

"Handgun use is limited to the Venturing program only."

 

 

Another...

(in boldface) "Pointing any type of firearm (including paintball, dye, or lasers) at any individual is unacceptable. However, law enforcement departments and agencies using firearms in standard officer/agent training may use their training agenda when accompanied with appropriate safety equipment in the Law Enforcement Venturing program."

 

Here's one where the Venturer must be cross-registered back to the troop:

 

(in boldface) "All youth registered in Venturing are eligible to participate in crew, district, council, and national Venturing activities as well as national high-adventure programs and world jamborees. Venturers are eligible to participate in Boy Scout resident camp, but they must be multiple-registered with a Boy Scout troop and attending with the troop."

 

SCUBA is restricted to ***Varsity*** element of Boy Scouts or Venturing program. As I read this one you have to establish a Varsity team, not just have kids 14 and over:

 

(in boldface) "Scuba training programs may be a part of Varsity or Venturing activities for participants who are 14 years of ago or older. Members who meet the age requirement and are properly certified may participate in group dives under the supervision of a responsible adult who is currently certified as a dive master, assistant instructor, or any higher rating from NAUI, PADI, or SSI. Student divers must be under the supervision of a currently certified NAUI, PADI, or SSI instructor. No exceptions to the BSA age requirement are permitted. Scouts and Venturers with a junior diver certification may dive only when accompanied by a buddy who is a certified open-water diver at least 18 years old."

 

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John,

You have misunderstood the policy. First if you look in the Scoutmasters Handbook, pages 142-144 you will see that the Venture Patrol has the same program availability and recognitions as Varsity Scouting and can take part in any activity approved for Varity teams.

 

Next your statement on SCUBA participation is incorrect. Any scouts certified in SCUBA can SCUBA under certain conditions except for Cub Scouts.

 

SCUBA training courses however are limited to Varsity Teams(and therfore Venture Patrol) and Venturing Crews for members 14 years of age and older.

 

You are correct that Varsity Teams and Venture patrols cannot hunt, or shoot handguns. But I know of no Venture crews that have hunting as their sole program, and the handguns are limited specifically to law enforcemnt crews so not even all Venturing units can do that either.

 

I maintain that as long as a troop is maintaining the interest and growth of a scout there is no reason to promote that they join Venturing until they are 18.(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Not sure if I ought to spin off here or keep going? What the heck, I will keep going.

While I can and do see where Bob White is coming from. I think that this idea of being in two programs at the same time is not such a great idea. Yes I know that OJ is in two but that was his choice. We have never really had a heart to heart chat about why he wants to be in the troop and the Crew, but I think the fact there are friends of his in the Crew that were never in the troop and more then lightly would never join a troop has a lot to do with it.

Eamonn

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