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Twocubdad

Creative PORs

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I sure wouldn't want to have my signature as SM on an Eagle application for a Scout who filled a POR requirement with a Patrol position, other than PL. I can't find anything in any of the BSA literature that would allow me to come up with that interpretation for the POR requirement.

 

Twocubdad,

As to your original post, I would explain to the parents that there are only so many positions, and if their son wants one of them in the near future, he needs to demonstrate his ability to lead and be responsible. Have great attendance, be the first to lend a hand, be an outstanding Scout, etc.

 

You have an opportunity for the Scouts to really ratchet up their commitment and dedication to the Troop, in an effort to "earn" those PORs. If you just create more positions to keep everybody happy, you do the opposite.

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I would assume that a troop QM with assistants that the assistants get POR?

 

The judgment in the long run is do the boys do the work, not just wear the patch. I feel that with the structure of our unit the patrol officers often times do more work than the troop officers in that they are the ones directly responsible for the functioning of the patrol work and the TOC supports them in their duties. Except for the trailer, I don't think there is anything that is designated as troop equipment except for stuff that filters in and doesn't have a home.

 

When the TOC goes out on an outing the function as a virtual patrol with an ASPL as it's "PL". The SPL works with and assists the virtual patrol (PLC) of PL's. Does that mean when the QM organizes the equipment for the TOC that those efforts are not counted towards his troop POR? With every member of the troop having been assigned some responsibility within his patrol, and others assigned to assist those patrols there's not many scouts standing around with nothing to do.

 

Then one beg the question: When a DC goes on an outing, can he just sit around and do nothing? After all he's getting troop POR and not lifting a finger to help anyone in the troop. Kinda makes one wonder how relevent the POR patches really are, doesn't it? By the way, my DC's work very closely with the TG because as part of their learning curve when their Cubs cross over, they may in fact get picked as the NSP TG in the process. He had better know what the job requires.

 

As far as EBOR, I've never heard of anyone questioning the boy's POR's. The boys in my unit don't pass out these responsibilities on a 6-month term basis. A PL serves for as long as his patrol wants him to and that may mean the other boys in his patrol will never get a chance at POR unless he goes into the TOC or PL of a different patrol. This subtle prejudice against maintaining longevity in a patrol means a boy will be penalized for hanging with his buddies. My boys prefer to hang with whom they wish, not according to some pre-determined process in the program.

 

Under those dynamics, what happens if none of the patrol QM's wants to leave his buddies and take on the TOC QM? Kinda makes one want to hand out a patch to a new kid so the program looks good on paper doesn't it?

 

Stosh

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Stosh,

You appear to be pretty far off the reservation. I doubt I'm going to be able to answer your questions, but I'll try.

 

For starters, all the equipment is Troop equipment. It all belongs to the CO. It may be assigned to a Patrol, but by the charter, it belongs to your CO.

 

Those holding Troop positions other than SPL, ASPL and TG are still members of their Patrol, so a DC is still an active member of his Patrol. So no, he shouldn't sit around with nothing to do. He should be on the duty roster like all the other patrol members.

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Well, I'm only about a half-bubble off by most accounts. But then aren't we all in different ways.

 

"For starters, all the equipment is Troop equipment. It all belongs to the CO. It may be assigned to a Patrol, but by the charter, it belongs to your CO." Unfortunately this is not true in our unit. The last time I checked the sleeping bags the boys own do not belong to the CO. If the boys pool their personal credits and/or pay cash outright for their chuck boxes, they do NOT belong to the CO it belongs to the boys. These items are not troop owned and loaned out to patrols, they are patrol owned by the boys who paid for them personally. There seems to be a little more ownership in the process and they do take better care of them if it really belongs to them.

 

In our unit those who take on troop officer positions drop out of their patrols to hold these positions. The boys felt that if a QM belonged to a particular patrol he would give preferential treatment to his own patrol so instead, the POR boys drop out of their patrols and move into the TOC "patrol" supported by an ASPL. The DC's often take on a non-POR position in this group such as Grubmaster. Because that position does not have a direct impact on the troop, the DC has the opportunity to remained in his patrol with his buddies if that be his choice. He has no conflict of interest with any other patrol by doing so.

 

Whereas troops often times do things which manage their activities specific to their needs, i.e. size, location, etc. our boys have seemed to evolve into a rather strange sort of operational set up different than most other troops. They came up with it and seem to like it and we have far less problems than the more "traditional" setups.

 

Stosh

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I don't know if this will help but here goes. Our Troop grew by leaps and bounds about 2-3 years ago. Almost doubleing in size. Now all these guys are looking for POR's. We have no shortage of crossovers,average 20+ per year. What we did was to get a at least 2 boys from each patrol trained as instructors. Then we had them specialize in a certain area. Joey does knots, billy totin chip etc. you get the idea. Now when it's skill building time the SPL says "all the first years tonight will meet with joey and learn knots. the other instructors help but it's joey's show. Then it rotates. Plus having extra instructors in the patrols speeds up the learning curve as the first yers don't have to wait. BTW we got some of those little patches from the Scout Shop with pictures of compass, fire knots etc that the boys can wear to donote what they are instructors in.

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That's one of the things we're working on. We currently don't have instructors but are looking crank them back up. Our thinking is to look at instructor as a Star-level PoR and have the boys be responsible for teaching one or two skills or perhaps teach one and assist one.

 

In the past instructor was rather thoroughly abused as s leadership position. When I joined the troop we had 10 or 12 instructors and non of them did anything. We eliminated the position entirely but I think we've had enough time pass that the institutional memory of how it ran before has been rebooted.

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Twocubdad,

 

You may wish to consider patrol instructors that coordinate with a troop Instructor for their patrol's needs. This way the troop Instructor becomes the resource go-to person for T-2-1 training and leadership training. The Instructor also has an "assistant" at the patrol level who can help out with any hands-on instruction. This patrol Instructor becomes acclimated with the instruction process and the troop has a pool of boys on the patrol level working in that program that can step down and take on the troop Instructor position as needed. Many of the Troop Officer Corps positions can be filled this way, i.e. Scribe, Chaplain Aide, QM, etc. This way these boys don't have to take on a troop level position without having had the opportunity to build up some controlled experience in the position. Nothing worse than having a boy step into a troop officer position for rank advancement and know nothing about the job. The "on-the-job" training should be done before they get there so the transition is smooth. The question remains then, "Do these patrol Instructors get POR credit for doing the job on the patrol level?" I tend to think so, because they need to work with the patrol Scribe and PL to make sure their patrol buddies get the proper training. In some way or another most of the boys should be constantly in a POR whether they actually get a patch or not and then maybe should be getting credit for it along the way, too. If these patrols are running efficiently they should make excellent training grounds for the eventual troop officers that are older and more mature to coordinate the activities of multiple patrols. To have a boy take over a troop officer position without any training or background is setting the boy up to fail in many respects.

 

Stosh

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The BSA has NO official rule ANYWHERE that prohibits multiple Troop Quartermasters, just as the BSA does not prohibit multiple Assistant SPLs (ASPL).

 

If you actually use the Patrol Method the way that Green Bar Bill and Baden-Powell practiced it, then you know that a good Patrol Quartermaster works as hard as the Patrol Leader before, during, and AFTER a campout. Such QMs should be granted Troop Quartermaster status with a patch and POR credit.

 

Remember that the Troop Method, in which only TROOP positions earn POR credit, was designed by office management experts who most likely never actually used the Patrol Method. The BSA has not changed the OFFICIAL RULES to prohibit the "Creative" adaptation of their "21st century" theory to the Patrol Method of previous official BSA publications printed before PORs were invented.

 

Kudu

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Kudu,

 

I have been practicing the policy of patrol QM's, Patrol Instructors, Patrol Scribes, etc. getting credit for the job being done on a patrol level. The boys in the Troop Officer Corps obviously get credit for POR, but in my estimation of the work being done, so do the patrol POR's. At this point the only boys not getting POR credit are the APL, the patrol Treasurer, Hikemaster, Grubmaster, etc. Those where there is nothing specifically defined in the literature. I have often thought that with the amount of work the Grubmaster does for his patrol, it's a shame he gets no credit for it. But then one's gotta eat either way. What's your take on this practice?

 

Stosh

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jblake47 writes:

 

"I have been practicing the policy of patrol QM's, Patrol Instructors, Patrol Scribes, etc. getting credit for the job being done on a patrol level. The boys in the Troop Officer Corps obviously get credit for POR, but in my estimation of the work being done, so do the patrol POR's. At this point the only boys not getting POR credit are the APL, the patrol Treasurer, Hikemaster, Grubmaster, etc. Those where there is nothing specifically defined in the literature. I have often thought that with the amount of work the Grubmaster does for his patrol, it's a shame he gets no credit for it. But then one's gotta eat either way. What's your take on this practice? "

 

Stosh,

 

I see "credit" for PORs as the second most destructive force in American Scouting, so I try not to talk about it with my Scouts.

 

The MOST destructive force, of course, is the emphasis on earning Eagle. Because it is an indoor award I try not to talk about that either.

 

So in our Troop the only Scouts who were concerned with earning Eagle were the 1) natural leaders, and 2) former Cub Scouts who happen to cross over into our Troop (our "feeder pack" folded as the neighborhood changed).

 

The natural leaders are usually gifted with above average IQs and adult verbal skills. Eagle is easy for them because Eagle Scout is all about homework Merit Badges, "leadership," and the "values" of the adult leaders that Scouts happen to get stuck with. Because they are natural leaders, POR credit is never an issue: They continue to serve as Patrol Leader year after year after year, because that (rather than sports, band, or part time jobs) is what they WANT to do for fun, serving is their PRIORITY in life. In that they are similar to good adult Scouters.

 

Our Eagle-bound former Cub Scouts (who stuck with the scissors and paste long enough to earn Arrow of Light) are often motivated by pressure from their parents. They usually value sports, band, martial arts, etc. higher than Scouts. So these are the only boys for whom "POR credit" is an issue.

 

With them I use Scoutmaster Conferences to figure out what their schedules are like for the next six months and together we figure out where their particular talents would be most useful to the others. This can be any "Troop Method" position such as Instructor, Guide, etc.

 

Because I view POR "credit" as evil, I do not place a higher value on useful PORs if a Scout is only qualified for mostly bogus positions such as Chaplain Aid, Librarian, Bugler, etc. (Jazz band members can make VERY entertaining Troop Buglers!).

 

Because the Troop is so old, we have had Historians perform valuable service by digitalizing all the old photos, newspaper clippings, interesting historical records, etc.

 

So I go by personality rather than the usual assumption that most "positions" are all that important. For instance, if a bad leader manages to get elected as Patrol Leader, then the SPL can get the Patrol out of their mess by promoting the bad PL to the basically useless position of ASPL after the Patrol agrees with the SPL on a good PL.

 

In Baden-Powell's understanding of Scouting, a Scout had to keep proficient at his "Proficiency Badges" to continue to wear them. "Positions" like Quartermaster could be filled by whoever felt like acting as Quartermaster any given month. The Patrol Leaders in Council generally approved the equivalent of "blue cards" only when a Scout contributed more to other Scouts' advancement than to his own.

 

Regarding Patrol Positions:

 

1) Patrol Grubmasters: In our Troop they were mostly fat latchkey kids who tended to be VERY good cooks. That was their passion. They were seldom interested in advancing beyond First Class except for cherry-picking the fun parts of OUTDOOR Merit Badges, which I DO encourage them to do. :)

 

2) Patrol Scribes: Patrol Leaders usually handled the money and kept notes when needed. If they wanted to delegate they could, but it never became a POR issue.

 

3) Patrol Hikemaster: This is a very important function in old-school Scouting because the whole point of Scouting is that Patrol Hikes are ENTERTAINMENT. The emphasis is NOT on the distance, but on the THEME. Most of our hikes took place on monthly campouts so this kind of thing was batted around by the Patrol Leaders in PLC Meetings.

 

4) Assistant Patrol Leader: Usually the APL is the second most responsible Scout in the Patrol, so he often takes on other responsibilities as well: Patrol Scribe, Patrol Quartermaster, etc.

 

5) Patrol Cheermaster: Scouting is ENTERTAINMENT. Period. Like Hikemaster and Grubmaster, no Scouts contribute more to Troop retention numbers than good class clowns! On one backpacking trip our District Commissioner had the Scouts rolling on the ground, drooling in the dirt at the campfire, laughing at his jokes as he read from his PDA and strummed his backpacking guitar for effect. So the next time we set off for the backwoods, when he asked me if he should bring anything extra, I told him to refresh his PDA. Well this time his act fell flat and one of the Scouts filled an awkward silence with a line from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Unexpectedly, another Scout continued on with the next lines from the scene. It turned out that they had both memorized long 20 minute sections from the movie, and the campfire turned into extended Campfire Stunt dialogues (in Scouting, a "stunt" is an extended "skit," but based more on plays than on puns and put-down humor). Not to be outdone, it turned out that some of our socially conservative Scouts had memorized lonnngggg stretches of redneck HBO comedy specials, which turned into extended campfire monologues with new Scouts jumping in to out-do the others.

 

Who knew that "modern 21st century boys" memorize stuff?

 

So to answer your original question, if POR "credit" is ever an issue for a Scout who does not have an official Troop Method position, you can ALWAYS work out a "Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project," which is a basically a wild-card that CONVERTS ANY SERVICE into officially acceptable POR credit.

 

Kudu

(This message has been edited by kudu)

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Kudu,

I've read thru the 3rd edition, and I can't find where GBB even mentions a Patrol QM in the text. What am I missing?

 

You either missed it or are just ignoring it, but in another thread you said "Scout Spirit requirements, Scoutmaster Conferences, and Boards of Review are designed to keep a Boy Scout Troop adult-run. They are a flat rejection of Baden-Powell."

 

All three of these are in the holy grail of Scouting (3rd Edition, SM Handbook). Are you saying Green Bar Bill's SM HB is a flat-out rejection of Baden-Powell??

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