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Patrol job in addition to troop POR?

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We have a new Patrol with one Life, one Star, two First Class, two scouts. Ages range from 11-13. They picked their own patrols last week.


One 1st class was elected PL. The three other experienced boys have troop leadership positions (not SPL or ASPL). Two of them are troop guides! I know they are supposed to be assigned to NSP but lack of trained leaders committed to following the BSA methods put the boys in this spot.


The experienced boys insist their troop POR relieves them of responsibility for taking a patrol job. I know I cannot look for help from the literature since the problem arose from failing to follow the program. Any suggestions on how to proceed from here.

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Let me take a stab at this. Other's will come along and further direct, but I can help you now. Get your ideas rolling and then you'll have a clearer picture of what to do.


The requirements are basically the same for each rank that requires them. They are:


Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, or instructor.


Now as long as they are doing one of these things for the correct period of time. Things are fine. It can be ANY of these (in fact it can be "...one or more of the following positions of responsibility " or it can be to "...carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop.")


Now then... what was your problem? I don't understand where you have a concern the book can't resolve... Good luck and Happy Scouting!


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The purpose of holding a position of responsibility is not so that you can advance. Troop and patrol leadership opportunities exist as a method of scouting to allow the scouts to learn and practice leadership and organizational skills, while applying them to the tasks of operating troop and patrol programs.


Mrs.Smith If you are baking a cake and you leave out three ingredients, there is no point in worrying about whether or not you should leave out a fourth. You aren't going to get the desired results whether you add the fourth one or not.


The troop has not organized the patrols correctly, they are not using Troop Guides correctly, they do not have trained leaders...Whether the scouts hold two PORs or not is irrelevant, you aren't going to get the results you need either way.


Jerry Seinfeld tells the story of the TV commercial where the lady shows how well the detergent gets all the blood stains out of the clothing. He points out that "if your clothes are covered with blood maybe how you do laundry isn't your biggest problem!"


Look at all the things the troop isn't doing or isn't doing according to the scouting program. Maybe what you are posting about here isn't the biggest problem.


Until the big thing gets done (the leaders get trained and understand the program), you are wasting your time trying to solve the little things. PORs should be a natural function created by program needs. If the troop has dues to collect someone has to collect them, call that person the treasurer and give them the emblem of their office to show that is their responsibility.


If a patrol leader isn't going to be at 100% of every activity and meeting he will need to designate a temporary leader. Call him the assistant patrol leader, and give him a patch to designate that responsibility.


But, the troop has bigger problems than laundry.



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I completly agree with Bob.


I've been an SM for a small troop (about 10 boys). We only had 2 patrols, and an SPL (no ASPL, no need) Every scout had an office, every scout contributed to that troop. No on in a troop of 10 had more than one office.


Now I'm a CC for a troop of 60. Every scout that wants an office has one, every scout contributes, no one has more than one office. There is no such thing as a better office, all contribute to help the troop work.


(I'll now climb off my soap box, and play nice in the sand box)

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The simple answer Mrs. Smith, no. A patrol may consist of a patrol leader, two troop guides, librarian, quartermaster and a chaplain's aid. Who is going to cook? Who is going to clean? The correct answer is all of them.

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Bob White, I am thoroughly disgusted with the lack of knowledge our leaders have. I am trying to change it but as you all said it takes about 3 years, not 3 months to change a troop culture.


In this troop, Troop Guide is just a patch you get to wear for 4 or 6 months. My question is how can a patrol of older boys function if none of them can hold a patrol job while working on Star or Life. That's impossible, right?

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I expect every Scout who's First Class or higher in rank to hold a position of responsibility, even if he's already met the advancement requirement for # of months in a POR. I think they all understand their responsibility as older, experienced Scouts to do for the Troop now what the Troop did for them when they were younger and much less experienced.


There's nothing preventing a Scout with a Troop POR from holding a patrol position concurrently. My current Troop Scribe is also an APL.


Mrs. Smith, you mentioned in your first post that the Troop Guide(s) are supposed to be assigned to the NSP. Actually, I see it differently. The SPL, ASPL, and Troop Guide are typically not assigned to any patrol while in their positions. They work closely with the NSP, but are not a part of it.


Certainly, younger, less experienced Scouts should "cut their teeth", leadership-wise, on patrol positions such as patrol Scribe, patrol QM, and patrol grubmaster. But, as others point out, that doesn't relieve all patrol members of their responsibility to contribute to the patrol's success by sharing the workload, too.


There's a reason why the advancement requirement says "be active in your Troop AND PATROL...".



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Regardless of how the troop is run or not run, your post indicated that the boys chose their own patrols. Once chosen the older scouts voted (or were outvoted) for a younger scout to be PL then stated that since they had other 'Troop' positions they did not have to do other stuff.


"stuff!", as members of a patrol they have the duty to help fulfill the needs of that patrol. Might want to remind them of 'Helpful', 'do my duty' and I am sure there are many other scouting precepts that relate.


In our troop, Troop Guides are in an older scout patrol that functions as a patrol. The SPL and ASPL do not have a patrol and work with and cook with the adult patrol normally or with a patrol of their choosing. ( normally one that either does not have the leadership on the overnight or needs more than a little help)


older scouts sour grapes or scam? hmmmmm...



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Mrs.Smith, you are both right and wrong.


You are right that the BSA program instructs that the troop Guides join the new Scout Patrol and act as a co-leader with the revolving Patrol Leaders. They can as the year progresses draw back more and more as the NSP develops more skills. It is also recommend that the Troop Guides join in with the higher adventure activities that the other scouts in their age group participate in so that they can maintain contact with their peers as well as be members of the NSP.


You are incorrect to think that a patrol of older boys cannot function if none of them can hold a patrol job while working on Star or Life.


The patrol can work just fine if the scouts cooperate. Have boys hold more than one position of responsibility is not a good situation. Most boys have their hands full trying to do one job well let alone two. The key is in the leadership training and abilities of the Patrol leader, and in the observation and evaluation abilities of the adult leadership.


Multiple PORs is not the solution to your problem. Remember also the goal of the Patrol Leader is to help the patrol and its members to succeed. don't worry about filling all the offices. Fill the ones that are the highest need with the scouts you have. One person...one job. Then lead everyone to pitch in as needed for the success of the group.(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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I totally agree with Bob White. I was amazed to hear that some are using SPL to help with NSP... If the SPL is doing that who's running the troop? Who's ensuring meeting is running according to the agenda the PLC approved? Heck who's running the PLC? Troop Guides take a group of new scouts that are used to a Den Cheif (with any luck) and turn them into a patrol of scouts that are very willing to follow the SPL and do what they would like to do.


Speaking from experience, smaller troops don't need all the leadership a large troop has. In my former situation. We never had more that twelve boys in our troop. By the time you split them in two patrols and introduce 4 leaders there ( 2 PL & 2 APL) and have an SPL, you now have 5 of the 12 leading. Talk about a top heavy organization! (For those that are wondering, when our SPL couldn't make the meetings, he rotated those responsibilities to between the 2 PLs. The effected PL had his APL run their patrol) As the troop grew ASPL was the first office we added.


By the time you add it TG, Scribe, Quartermaster, (and of course) DC to the mix you only have 3 boys that don't hold a "major, needed" role. Notice we didn't have a bugler? We had taps, I used to play my harmonica for that. Of those orginal 12 boys, 10 made Eagle, 11 will tell you that scouts was great, the other one, well we can't all be successful. (By the way, I was SM for 4 years) At the end of my service the troop had grown to about 25, and is still going today, just in a different town.


In the large troop that I CC for, we have had multiple TG (as many as 3) 2 ASPLs, 60 scouts is a whole different world from what I was doing as a SM. But again, we have scouts that learn to lead.


In both cases if you hung around long enough, you'd see both SPLs cook, clean, pitch tents, or be in charge. I think that is one of the GREAT lessons of leadership in scouting.

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