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Patrol Camping ideas

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I would like to hear how your troops utilize the Patrol Method on campouts. Kind of a broad topic, but I am really looking for things like how spread out patrols camp, how that varies in different settings. Also, what patrol activities does the SPL arrange while camping? Competitions? Separate Patrol activities/training?


Just looking for a fresh perspective and some new ideas to consider.

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As much distance as possible between patrols! The rest works itself out. Troop officers "patrol/mess" together under the leadership of the ASPL. SPL coordinates all troop necessary functions, i.e. flag ceremony, campfire attendance, SPL meetings, etc. Adults camp together in another area and tag along as necessary. The SPL tends to hang with the adults as the adult/youth liason person and then doesn't interfere in the ASPL's leadership of the troop officers. The reason for the ASPL supporting the troop officers is because the SPL is responsible for supporting the PL's.



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After I began this thread, I did a search and saw the recent thread "How do we build true, independent patrol camping?" to which you contributed a significant amount. I will continue this as separate thread where I can ask some questions of my own.


Let me briefly explain my perspective. Our troop is quite old, but has struggled membership wise over the past 10-12 years. We are on the front edge of a predicted of a growth cycle, based upon factors which, though very interesting, are of no consequence in this discussion. Our SM has done a pretty good job for 6 years, but is ready to move on. It has been quietly agreed for 2 years that I will step up when he leaves, which will likely be in about 2 months. In the meantime, he is letting me take the leading role in his stead, while he is stepping back and mentoring me.


Our Troop has resonable youth leadership (something I have been working on from the sidelines for a year, though we still have a ways to go), but our older youth are still in the "troop" not "patrol" mindset. On the other hand, our younger membership (2 patrols of 13 and unders) are open minded and with the right support, should begin to "get it."


We just had elections, and will be conducting a mini-TLT during the afternoon at an upcoming campout for the new leaders (the entire troop went through the full TLT in March). I don't want to replace the SPL as the instructor of the PLs, but I know the SPL has little understanding of the Patrol method and would do little to pass this on the PLs.


Here is my dilemma: if I trust the new SPL (which I should do) to teach the PLs, he will not deliver to them what they need to succeed. If I allow this to happen, but follow up the SPL by then giving the PLs the "right" program, I will undermine the SPLs credibility and authority. This is not about "letting go." Our troop leadership "let go" for the past 10 years, but didn't properly support the leadership, they often just said "it's youth run; I can't interfere."


The patrol method is the means by which these younger scouts will learn leadership, and I have no problem with letting them fail. But to let them fail without providing them with the right tools (knowledge) to succeed, is setting them up for failure, which will undermine my credibility and damage their self confidence.


So where do I go from here?

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One step is to get away from the misunderstanding that the SPL arranges patrol activities. Patrol Leaders lead Patrols not the SPL. The SPL leads Troop activities. Those would be the activities when more than one patrol is particpating, buit even then the SPL leads the overall activity and Patrol Leaders lead the patrols.


As far as what they do, that depends on what the Patrols decide they want to do. Your role is to train Patrols leaders to be able to help the patrols make these decisions, and how to work with the other elected patrol leaders and the SPL to coordinate them.

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I centainly understand that the SPL leads troop activities; no immediate problem with this one. And I understand that PLs lead patrols.


What I was specifically asking was twofold. First, according to the TLT, it is the SPLs job to conduct the PL training. Untimately, this is my goal, to have the youth run the TLT and instruct the younger, new youth. Our new leadership contracts state they will help train their replacement. In the meantime, it is my opinion that my SPL is illequipped to handle this job. He is effective with the (younger) kids, and has good personal skills and is an addequate leader. He has never been in a Patrol-centered troop, and hasn't himself bought into this concept yet. So what ground do I take on this issue.


To our "veteran" (adult) leaders, I have suggested things like Patrol-cars, and genuine patrol food shoping, only to met with a response of blank, deer-in-the-headlights type stares. In spite of this, these veteran leaders are receptive (though skeptical) to "new" ideas, and our parents are really hands off. My second challenge is working with the SPL (and senior scouts) to get them to buy into this; for the younger scout leaders, I do not see this as such an unsurmountable challenge.


I paid close attention to the other thread on Patrol Campouts. Our upcoming campout is at a state park, so we will have limited opportunity to disperse our patrols, but we have enough space to keep them separated. The PLC organized this with a surfing activity, but most of the older boys who pushed this through are going to be MIA at sports activities or work.


Theodore Roosevelt's command to take San Juan Hill in 1898 was not "Charge!" It was "Follow me!" Instilling this upon our leaders in a patrol-centered troop is my goal.

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Ok... from your further clarification on the posting, do the same whether you are camping or running the troop.


I would patrol up all the older boys that are not "with it" when it comes to the patrol method and have them run their own program, i.e. in fact they are using the patrol method whether they realize it or not.


Then run the troop meeting as basically a gathering of patrols. Each patrol is in charge of their own program until "further notice". This will being the development of autonomy. Refrain from allowing the patrols to "work together" for a while so they get the idea that they are in it on their own. (100' Rule) No older boys helping the younger patrols. Everyone does their own thing.


All troop activities are now defined as a gathering of patrols. They stand/sit together as patrols during flag ceremonies, campfires, etc. so that they develop that "small group within the larger group" mentality.


The SPL needs to recognize his focus is not on the Troop, he is not Senior Troop Leader, he is Senior Patrol Leader and his responsibility will be focused on Patrol Leaders only. His leadership focus is on PL's. Nothing more at this point. Are the PL's trained? Are they functioning as head of their patrols? What problems are they facing? What do I do to help them look good. etc. Once one gets through the initial shock of patrol focus, then the SPL can formalize his efforts into gathering his "patrol" into a functioning unit (PLC).


The SPL needs to focus his PL's according to their skill levels. Are the older boys planning an outing? hike? something of interest to just those patrol members. Is the NSP planning out advancement, maybe a day hike to do 10 plants and 10 animals, compass course outing? getting ready for camping at the camporee? Is the PL going to need the TG or Instructor for his activity? The SPL coordinates these things at the reqest of the PL so the PL can focus on his patrol program, not the logisitics. To compare it to most adult-led, troop-method programs, the dynamics are the SPL is the "SM" and the patrol is the "troop" on a mini-scale. This allows the boys to function in a small group and experience everything they would have if they were adults running a troop. The beauty of the patrol method is that it offers a small enough group that a young learning leader will not feel overwhelmed with it.


8 boys/patrol, 8 patrols/1 SPL, will give a troop of 60+ boys and no one has a responsibility larger than 8 boys. This is why the patrol method is so powerful and effective. Everyone has an environment that is small enough to handle.


Pull your troop officers TG, Scribe, Instructor out of their individual patrols and put them in a Virtual Patrol under the guidance of the ASPL. That way they are available to jump around from patrol to patrol and put out fires, meet needs and serve the patrols without having to worry about short-handing their "home" patrol. This eliminates the conflict of interest and dual focus that most troop officers experience.



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Buffalo Skipper writes:


"The patrol method is the means by which these younger scouts will learn leadership, and I have no problem with letting them fail. But to let them fail without providing them with the right tools (knowledge) to succeed, is setting them up for failure, which will undermine my credibility and damage their self confidence. So where do I go from here?


Skipper, in your initial post you said that you were "Just looking for a fresh perspective and some new ideas to consider." I would suggest this "new" idea:


The Patrol is the primary source of ADVENTURE in Scouting.


The Patrol Method is supposed to make Scouts HAPPY.


We don't hear that much anymore.


Look at some of the words you used in your most recent post: struggled, consequence, sidelines, replace, dilemma, allow, follow up, undermine, authority, leadership, interfere, problem, fail, failure, damage.


These are not "party" words, Skipper. :)


They come from thinking too much. They are the natural consequence of too much leadership theory.


When we think of the Patrol Method as "the means by which these younger scouts will learn leadership" then, yeah, our job is going to be a big downer. It is going to be all about "letting them fail" to teach them some deep meaningful lesson about "leadership."


The Patrol Method is FUN. It is a GAME. It is about ADVENTURE!


If you are sincere about looking for a "fresh perspective" then why not (just as an experiment) separate those Patrols by maybe 50-100 feet and TAKE A VACATION FROM LEADERSHIP THEORY!


If the SPL is incompetent, then why not just skip the "TLT" for a while? It doesn't sound like it has ever actually done your Troop any good.


If your Scouts have never camped as Patrols before, or even shopped as Patrols for food, then I recommend that you NOT set them up for failure.


If you really want to get to the Patrol Method, then you MUST show some leadership, which means TAKE CHARGE:


1) Meet with the Quartermasters, Patrol Leaders and SPL and announce that your job is to move the Troop to the Patrol Method at the next campout. Ask for their help, but make it clear that the Patrols will be separated. Don't waste time explaining the Patrol Method.


2) If you DO have anything resembling Quartermasters, spend at least one meeting with them checking things off checklists to make sure each Patrol has the right equipment (especially cooking gear and supplies).


3) Find the BEST cook in each Patrol (no matter whose "TURN" it is) and make sure each Patrol prepares a good menu that the cook wants to prepare.


4) If you do not have a tradition of Patrol shopping, then work though this as best you can. This is not the time to "teach them a lesson" about hunger as the consequence of poor planning.


5) At the campout spread those Patrols out. Make sure the adults are segregated away from them.


6) Find a place from where you can observe the Patrols without interruption. Bring two chairs (one for your SPL). Patrol Leaders are not created equal. See which Patrols work smoothly and which ones end up arguing. Take notes. If you are lucky your incompetent Patrol Leaders will step aside when the Patrol's REAL leader steps up.


7) You say that your SPL works well with the younger Scouts, so consider dispatching him if necessary to help the Patrol Leaders when conflicts arise. Remember that this is your vacation from leadership theory, so ask the SPL to help out in practical ways, not teach them some kind of leadership lesson. The idea is to have FUN, not to teach business theory.


8) If the Scouts don't have any planned activities, consider individual Patrol Hikes without adults. Then set aside some time for Wide Games. These are games that Baden-Powell designed to develop Patrols. Boys do NOT learn games by reading them, or having someone read the game to them. Pick 4-6 Wide Games for daylight, and another 4-6 Night Games for after dark. Explain each one to your Patrol Leaders IN YOUR OWN WORDS and have them pick one for the day and one for night.


Wide Games:




Night Games:




9) On future campouts refer to your notes and allow the Patrols that work smoothly to camp further away than those that have not figured it out yet. All a Patrol REALLY needs to be happy is a good Cook and Quartermaster. A natural leader will emerge. If one Patrol Leader is always incompetent, consider asking the SPL to promote him so that the Patrol can pick a new PL. Don't teach them a lesson by making them suffer under a poor choice for six months.


10) The Patrol Method comes naturally to boys if you just separate the Patrols, and make sure they are prepared enough to be dry and well fed. It only seems complicated if you use Scouting as an excuse to teach theory.


The time for theory is AFTER three or four successful campouts. AFTER they have figured most of it out for themselves. AFTER they discover their natural leader. AFTER they have the confidence of good experiences.





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Thank you Kudu,


That was the kind of clear-cut response I was looking for! I really think you put it into perspective when you talked about ADVENTURE and scouts being HAPPY.


I get the impression that you may have mistaken a few things I said, but it could have just been that I was being too wordy and not clear. No point rehashing that, I want to focus on your ideas here.


Most of the boys are energized about the surfing campout (this weekend). I don't think FUN will be left out of this one. It has been 4 years (almost to the day) since our troop's last surf outing. It was on the island at Fort Pickens, 4 days before Hurricane Ivan struck. We were the last troop to camp there, as the road has not been rebuilt.


Our patrols do have their own boxes, and nice, well equipped ones at that. The patrols have always been responsible for preparing an stocking their own boxes, and have already done this for this weekend.


I know who is the best cook for each patrol, and at least one of these was set up to work with the first year boys to help them out, who are really looking forward being able to cook.


We usually have one particular adult take the menus and do the shopping for the boys. Yesterday, instead, he met with the boys from 2 patrols and the boys shopped; it was a step in the right direction, and we will continue to pass this responsibility to the patrols. It was never about setting the scouts up to fail, but about getting them in the habit of assuming this task.


At the campout, we will separate our patrols (as space permits) and work with the new SPL.


Thank you for the games tips. Night games Friday and Saturday will definately be in order. I can still vividly remember games I played on my first Boy Scout campout (and almost every campout after that). What do you think about making teams out of patrols? The SPL could pull that off, if suggested. Should we also push a campfire program? Many of the boys see this as a chore rather than fun. We have a CoH the following week, so I don't want to overdo it (or overthink it).


Next month we were going to have a formal Cook-off, which everyone is excited about. Any idea about what surprises I can throw out at them on this one? Like right before prep begins, hand them a roll of aluminum foil and say "No Pots!" or maybe right after they buy their food, we can tell the PL that everything must be cooked in a dutch oven?


More than 1/2 of our most active boys are just making Tenderfoot, 6 months into their first year. Recent campouts (which I have missed) have been largely adult run, as the older experienced scouts have failed to show up. I want to avoid this in the future, and what you have presented (and what I have read on other recent threads) have given me some significant ideas about how to do that with patrols and without (if necessary) the "older" patrol.

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Buffalo Skipper writes:


"Night games Friday and Saturday will definitely be in order. What do you think about making teams out of patrols? The SPL could pull that off, if suggested."


Yes! Use the games to make the Patrol Method FUN :)


Buffalo Skipper writes:


"Should we also push a campfire program? Many of the boys see this as a chore rather than fun."


Yeah, even gathering the wood can be a drag. I would not "push it."


When the time seems right remember that sometimes it takes an adult getting up and entertaining the Troop for a while to get Scouts to realize they can do a better job :) For us one backpacking trip led to the discovery that two Scouts knew long stretches of Monty Python movies by heart and could turn them into entertaining two-person dialogues. This prompted four other Scouts to reveal that they had memorized 20 minute chunks of red-neck comedy specials. It is always surprising to discover the talents that are hidden in any Troop of ordinary Scouts if you think outside the rutted "skit" box. Some Camp Fire Resources:




Buffalo Skipper writes:


"Next month we were going to have a formal Cook-off, which everyone is excited about. Any idea about what surprises I can throw out at them on this one? Like right before prep begins, hand them a roll of aluminum foil and say "No Pots!" or maybe right after they buy their food, we can tell the PL that everything must be cooked in a dutch oven?"


How would such curves help build stable Patrols? I would place my energies into encouraging them to make plans in ways that make the Patrols self-sufficient.


For a long time I offered to wash the Dutch Ovens for any Patrol that cooked in them, if they agreed to watch me clean them. By the time everyone realized how easy it is, Good Dutch Oven food had become a Troop Tradition.


Good luck!



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BuffaloSkipper writes

"according to the TLT, it is the SPLs job to conduct the PL training."


I don't think it says that Buffalo. It says thet the SPL "works with the Scoutmaster" in training youth leaders. The program does not expect the SPL to be able to do it himself or to have to do it himself. It requires you to develop the SPL and for him to help you in training others.


Your second concern was "To our "veteran" (adult) leaders, I have suggested things like Patrol-cars, and genuine patrol food shoping"


Why are you suggesting it to ASMs? Their role is to support you. Your role is to train junior leaders. the patrols role is to act as independent teams. Don't spend time making suggestions on patrol function to the AMS. Instead focus on training the junior leaders to be able to camp independently, shop independently, etc. etc..


No suggesting to ASMs...train the junior leaders, then give them the opportunity to practice and apply those skills. This is not something you need permission from the ASMs to do. Instead assign the ASMs to tasks that will help the patrols to learn, practice and apply these skills under youth leadership.

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I stand corrected, and you are right. The TLT (same as Chapter 7 SMH) has a chart listing the "Youth Leader Training / Conducted By" with the Patrol leader training to be done by the Scoutmaster and SPL. In my own defense, eventually I would like to see the SPL conduct this training.


As for our troop dynamic, that is a different story, and I guess relevant to this discussion, at this time. Hang on, this will be a wild ride....


Our troop is a 75+ year organization. For several decades during the 70s 80s and early 90s, it was the largest, most recognized and respected troop in the council; for 15 years it had over 75 (active!) scouts. I grew up in a "rival" troop less than 1.5 miles up the same road, which belly upped about 15 years ago. I "came" to the troop when our pack had to abandon the school charter it had for the previous 43 years, and we rechartered with the church (I am now a member of the church Charter Organization). I showed up at a committee meeting, saying, "here is my pack, let's work together." I joined as a committee member, initially acting as a liaison between the troop and pack, and later as training chair. It was quietly agreed by the committee (behind my back, I later discovered), that I was viewed as the SMs likely successor, even if it was to be several years out. The troop had about 10 active scouts, a committee which was barely hanging on (3-4 showed up at meetings, on a good month), a COR which had not been seen for years, and was in a leadership/youth survival mode. The primary adult leadership was the SM and the Treasurer, and for all intents and purposes, there were no ASMs. I eventually changed my registration to ASM two years ago, but switched back to CM a month later so we could actually muster enough for a BoR. Something had to change.


Being an active member of our CO (church men), I bent the ear of the president. Together we recruited one of our veteran church members to be the new COR. He is a "double Eagle," earning his Eagle with this same troop in 1953 (his son earned it in 1983, he serves on Eagle boards and was a past District Chairman), which is to say, he was just the right person to take a leading role in the troop re-development. We had an unexpected crop of Webelos join this year (our church now charters 2 cub packs, each 60+ strong), so we worked hard to build a "new" and stronger committee, which has helped.


Please don't think with all this I am trying to "take over" the troop. What I have done is facilitated leadership in the committee and reinvigorated our relationship with the church. These people I have recruited are not "yes" men (our COR is a retired board member of the area power utility--hardly someone I could push around). Knowing that I was to be stepping into the SM role, I wanted a strong, decisive and committed committee supporting the program.


I am an active trainer in the district and sit on the training committee. More importantly, I am someone who pays attention to those around me (including those on this forum). I have spent the past year trying to re-introduce the 8 methods of scouting to this troop. I found that they were firing on 5 of 8 cylinders, but were open to doing better. It was a situation where, though I was not SM or CC, I was able to encourage ideas, slowly. The SM and I talked this past week and finally set a general time line of 2 months or less before I step up. My last "objective" before this happens is to work with the committee to recruit at least one steady ASM.


The troop is on the cusp of what may be a tremendous growth spurt. Our troop now has 2 packs with the same Charter Organization. I am the outgoing Cubmaster of one (new CM took over for the first time last night!), and now that the pack is with the church, many of the pack members have a church connection. The CM of the other pack is an Eagle with the troop from 15 years ago, and his father was SM of our troop for the last 10 years of the "large numbers." My son will be crossing from the first pack this year, and I can state a minimum of 6 of his den will likely cross to our troop; we are looking at least the same from the other pack. This would double our troop size, and we are looking at similar numbers the following year. Interestingly, we are reaping the rewards of 2 past events, recently, the shifting of the 2 packs to the church as CO, but more interestingly, several members (parents) of both packs were scouts with this troop at its heyday, and their kids are now in Cub Scouts. To be honest, I see it as my responsibility (and that of the committee) to these historical members that we have a healthy troop when their boys cross.


Sorry for the rant, but I hope it puts into perspective what I am trying to accomplish. My goal is, of course, a healthy, youth led troop, utilizing the patrol method. This plan (of mine) has been in the works for some time. As CM, I could not commit to being the leading force in the troop, so I have worked in the background, but since summer when I stepped down as CM, I have been more active in troop activities. I think I learned more at summer camp this year than I did for 3 summers camping and 2 years staffing as a youth, and I still have much to learn and experience to gain. I feel that I have a better than average grasp of what makes a troop run right. It is a matter of learning and experiencing how to apply that in the real world.



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Hi Buffalo Skipper,


Despite the background of ther troop, Troop leadership is troop leadership. No matter how you come into leadership and what other positions you have held or still hold the the BSA program is unaffected.


My recommendation is to not concern yourself with the past. Focus on the present and the goals for the near future and act accordingly.


The Methods of scouting and their implementation are not altered based on the past.


The best way to prepare for your growth spurt is to have an assistant Scoutmaster for New Scout Patrols prepare a First Class emphasis program plan, and to have the SPL select a Troop Guide now for each expected Patrol. You and the ASM for the New Scout Patrols begin training the Troop Guides before the new Scouts get there.


Then turn the new scouts over to the ASM and the Guides. The ASM can keep you infoprmed as to their progress. That you leaves you free to train and develop the skills of the SPL and the other Patrol Leaders.


I never suggested not to listen to input from others such as your ASMs, but do not suggest to them what needs to be done...lead. You are the person responsible for the program, they are there to support you. Take what input you want then make a decision and assign tasks to the assitants to get the decisions accomplished.


The Scout program is not designed to be lead by popular vote. The program methods are already determined, and your responsibility is to implement them.


good luck, have fun as SM.

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Next summer, try and send all you older Scouts to NYLT if you want them to pick up on how the patrol method is suppose to work.

When I was in Scouting in the 70's, we didn't know anything other then patrol method. on winter cabin campouts, yes we would cook as a troop, but that was the only time.

When I came back into boy Scouts as a leader about 6 years ago, the troop we joined had pretty much lost the concept of patrol method. Now we're so small that we can only man one patrol. Hopefully that will change over the next two years as we hope to see an influx of about 12-51 Webelos, more then tripling our ranks.

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Please, help me evaluate our weekend outing, and the CoH which followed.


For the campout, 6 boys showed up, all 6-7th graders. Two who had confirmed the week before called as we were packing, and did not show. This was to be the outgoing SPLs last outing of his tenure, but he had a swim meet and did not come, but this was known in advance. The remainder of the older boys who had pushed for this campout also were unable to make it.


Two PLs did make it, leaving us with patrols of 2 and 4. Our SM has had some health issues and ended up leaving late on Friday evening. We camped in a state park, in the group area, but spaces were no larger than a regular (RV) camping spot. Both patrols camped together across the road from the adults, and largely out of sight (but not earshot), as we were unable to separate further in this location.


One of the PLs was chosen (by the SM who left early) to lead for the weekend. The second PL took more of an APL role, and there were no problems; in fact, in the eyes of the adults (and scouts, as best we can tell) the senior PL did a great job. As food had been bought for separate patrol preperation, each small patrol did their own cooking and cleaning. We (adults) never looked in on them, and they did well (they brought us samples, and the fish tacos were perfectly cooked and seasoned!).


After an unusually lengthy cleanup on Saturday morning, we drove the 6 miles out to the gulf beach, where there was a red flag flying. This means that, though the beach is open (2 red flags is closed), there are strong rip currents and dangerous conditions The waves were excellent for surfing, and the wind was around 20 kts. As we adults were unexperienced surfers, safety ruled, and we were not comfortable with novice surfers in those conditions (only one scout was "experienced," but his skill level was nominal). We went back to an inland beach, where the boys lunched, swam and played on the surf boards for several hours. They were disappointed about not being able to surf, but they had a blast anyway.


Before dinner, when we were back at the campsite, I ran a simplified "Roses and Thorns" with the boys, bringing out what each of them could have done differently, what we collectively could have done better, and ended with what was going well. The effect was good, and I briefly talked about what we might do differently on the next campout. Because of the the amount of time it had taken to clean up from Saturday breakfast, I had the PLs set a goal for Sunday breakfast/clean up, so we would have time to try to surf again that morning. They reached their Sunday goal (they were in fact--of their own accord--in bed by 8:30 and up by 6:00 am!) and were ready to leave when they said they would be. Alas conditions were Red-flag again, and we we had a repeat of Saturday's activies. Again, they had a lot of fun in the water before they cleaned up, broke camp and went home. It was discussed and agreed that if they want to plan anther surfing outing, we will have 2 experienced adult surfers meet us at the beach and assist us.


Monday was a big Court of Honor; it was the responsiblity of the outgoing SPL to plan the program, but he did not prepare. I wrestled with what to do; in the past, a previous Adv. Chair had planned and executed all CoHs, and I really wanted this to be boy run. I threw together a program and handed it to the SPL and said, here. Though this may sound like a recipe for disaster, he is a capeable speaker and was able to wing it, with a better CoH than the troop has seen in years. There was new scout initiation, awards, program, new leader induction, and even a song. SM inducted the new SPL who then inducted the PLs. All but one registered boy attended (17 yo who was working). One (veteran) parent came up to me afterward and even said, "Wow, that's neat the way you had the boys run everything."


As I have said earlier, the SM will be stepping down by the December CoH (good time to transition), but I have been given a free hand with the PLC, which has been weak for years (I know, PLC is the SM's job and not mine, but I have to work with the cards I am dealt on this one). So, where do I go from here?


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If one really wants an evaluation one might consider the fact that with 6 boys going, it's pretty bogus to have a SPL and ASPL. By stepping in and realigning the patrol"s" what happened was that the two patrols were basically consolidated into one with two menus. They camped together, they had only one leader and to think this is a multiple patrol issue is fantasy. Because of the numbers, the boys basically camped as boy-led, troop-method. Had the boys been separated better one would have seen that. But with the selection of camp area, the situation was destined to be boy-led, troop-method regardless of how many scouts showed up. Boys on one side of the road, i.e. "troop" and adults on the other. Not condusive to patrol method approach. If only one boy showed up from his patrol, would he camp by himself? Nope, consolidate him into another patrol and thus the integrity of two patrols are both compromised.


When only 6 boys show up, just go as troop with one leader, call him anything one wants, but don't pretend to think it's boy-led, patrol-method when boys from two different patrols are involved and adults step in and realign things for convenience sake.



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