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Eagle76

Adult Patrols

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Buffalo

 

If some patrols take longer to get their camp chores done then there is less time for them to do activities. I agree that it is a learning exp. for the boys. Maybe poke in and ask the boys why they are taking so long. Maybe it is one boy who is not pulling thier share of the load. a quick conference with the PL or SPL may remidy (*sp*) this. But remember to let the Boy leadership correct it, just provide guidance.

 

As for the adult patrols, I am all for them. I have been helping out with the Troop that my son will be moving to in a couple of years, ( now that they are back in action) and I can see where they could use the help. All the parents work. So a week at summer camp may be split with several different leaders. Like SM and AMS on Sun - Wed. Then 2 ASM's Wed through Sat. and the SM comes back on Saturday to help with packing. Thhings would just work better. I think that if the adults show a good patrol method then the boys can learn from that. They still look to us for guidance, even though they may not admit it.

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Our adult leaders and/or visiting parents are the "Old Crows" on outings. (average 4-6 adults) We don't have any yell, flag, saying or any patrol "flash" Usually no formal meal planning or duty rosters. We just all chip in and get it done. We could just as easily be called the "adults". We leave the "boy scouting" to the boys. However, I could see the need to divide the adults into groups (patrols) when you get 8, 10 or more adults.

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We do it, and it works out great. The relatively small number of adults all get along well for the most part. We work together and set a good example for the boys.

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We are the Anasazi Patrol (means "Ancient Ones" or "Ancient Enemy" in Navajo). We are a patrol only in to the extent that we cook our own food (it removes us from worrying about eating burn't food and jumping in to often) and tenting together (removes some youth protection concerns). Other than that we mostly stand around and watch the boys go.

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Our troop mixes it up whether we act as a patrol or not on campouts. But the one thing we do, which I have not seen here is for our Webelos II at their weeklong summer camp. We only have a couple of "free" adults that go to the mess hall with the boys, however, the rest of the dads act as a patrol. This shows and teaches both the boys that will bridge over what it's about AND it also shows the dads what their sons will be doing next year.

 

We have a duty roster posted, they see various dads doing different jobs. No POR or titles, but they see how things are supposed to work. We also actively talk to the boys about what we are doing and why. The Webelos have their own chuck box, wash buckets, etc. When they hit the troop you get a lot of 'Oh yeah, I remember when....."

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In our troop the adults form the Old Goat Patrol, wearing a patch showing an old goat in a camp chair with umbrella, drinking lemonade. On our patch is our patrol saying: "Ask Your Patrol Leader!" Our regular adult campers/ leaders include both moms and dads.

 

Our patrol is usually only made up of the adult drivers to a camp (about 6 or 7), along with the SPL (who has no Duty Roster duties, but eats with us and places his tent/sleeping area between the adults and the boys); but for a nearby camp such as Camporee (usually our first campout after crossovers from packs), or our annual campout where we invite Webelos II from local packs, we end up with a larger adult patrol (around 20). Our usual ratio is one adult for every 4 boys on most campouts.

 

We have no problems with this, as we need the drivers, and allowing them to stay gives us more volunteers for driving then just dropping off and picking up would. They get to see how the boys are progressing, and learn to let them be on their own (awards for most independent new adult and most independent new Scout camper are a feature of early year camps). They also end up learning the skills required for rank, and so can help their own boys if asked at home. Most of the adult campers are active in the troop as registered leaders, and those that aren't usually become registered after a few campouts. They allow us to have more flexibility in camp programs and give us additional resources for learning, as it is impossible for only a few people to know everything. We are lucky to have adults skilled in a variety of different fields (botany, geology, nature, science, wilderness and others), allowing us to provide a wide array of learing beyond just basic scout skills (between our leaders, we have merit badge counselors for all of the Eagle required badges and a number of electives). We have the adventurous (hikers, rock climbers, backpackers, skilled water and snow sports enthusiasts) and those that prefer car camps (and like to teach things like area lore and dutch oven cooking). By their involvement, the boys see the enjoyment of camping, and not just going to fulfill requirements for rank.

 

To limit the outdoor program to just SM and ASM's would degrade the opportunities our boys enjoy. I don't ever anticipate there would be occasion where all or most of the adults came to the same camp, but I would be loathe to say 'no' if they so chose.

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