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gwd-scouter

Boys in control - or too much control

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It's been an interesting summer. We grew from 9 to 22 scouts in April. At that time, we made two new scout patrols and gave each a Troop Guide to help them out for a little bit. We are having our annual troop planning weekend in a couple of weeks and the guys have elected a new SPL (yep, Patrick was finally elected. After the past year's struggle I had with the former SPL, I am looking forward to having an older, experienced guy at the helm).

 

SPL called a special meeting a couple of weeks ago for anyone wanting a position of responsibility and to talk about forming permanent patrols. OK, sounds good. The guys decided to form three permanent patrols, with a fourth patrol of the SPL, ASPL, QM, and JASM.

 

So, that makes three regular patrols of six. The adults thought that two patrols of nine would have been better, but the guys elected to do three of six. OK, their choice.

 

Then, this same group of guys, essentially everyone but the group that just joined, divided everyone up and selected from among themselves a patrol leader for each patrol to lead them. When I asked why they weren't going to hold elections for patrol leader the response was - we think the most experienced guy in a patrol should be the patrol leader. We've been there before with immature leaders and we don't want to go there again. I must say, two of the three selected to be patrol leaders will be terrific. The third, while having been in the troop for 3 years now, is something of a goofball, we never know when he's going to show up for a meeting or outing, and I'm not sure how effective he will be. Training begins.

 

So, the guys are certainly taking control of their troop. I think the year ahead will be interesting.

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At times when I read the stuff that is posted in the forum, I can't help thinking that we all might be guilty of taking what we do a little too seriously.

Kids join Scouts to have fun.

We the adults if we are playing this game as it should be played have little or no control about the Lads who join the Troop that we serve.

Most of us (The adults) are in this for the long haul.

It always strikes me as strange that the big problems we face today will in five, ten or maybe twenty years be the great stories that we will retell around the campfire.

 

Everyone will make mistakes. Adults, kids, parents -Everyone.

Hopefully we will learn from them and move on trying not to make the same mistake again.

We do tend to become so wrapped up in what is happening now, that we forget that we are building the foundation of something that we hope will be around for a very long time.

One goofball P/L is not going to stop the world from turning.

In fact we can all learn from his "Goofiness"!

Chances are that this Lad might never be the worlds greatest P/L.

But he is one of "Your" Kids!

At times I'm sure you will feel like pulling your hair out and maybe his as well!

But again you are so very lucky that this goofball is willing to spend some of his youth with you.

You can watch him as he grows and develops.

He will make you smile, he will at times touch your heart.

 

HWMBO pulled out our wedding album the other day. I'm not sure why? We will have been married for 27 years. There is a few photos of us leaving the church.

The Scouts on their own decided to form an honor guard. I looked at the faces of all them Lads. I can remember their names! I can tell silly stories about the goofball things each of them did! I only keep in contact with about half a dozen of them.

But I know that my life is so much better for having known all of them and I'm so very grateful that they allowed me the opportunity.

Eamonn.

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gwd-scouter,

 

Eamonn gives you good advice. Let the boys make their decisions. The boy that you are concerned about may surprise you. He may step up to the plate and show real leadership skills. Many boys change when they are finally responsible for something. I believe that our society does not allow our youth to be responsible for projects, chores, et cetera. So, hopefully, he will become a pleasant surprise. If he is not successful, you can gently suggest that since the patrols did not elect the PLs, that patrol elections be held after 6 months or so (not earlier because this boy deserves the opportunity to learn how to be a good PL. This may be one of your best accomplishments as SM.

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Well I read the post as a little humble bragging. And rightfully so, you worked very hard to pull the troop up to this place. Weve all seen your blood, sweat and tears as the forces seem to work against you even when you knew you were doing it right. Oh, I know you questioned yourself now and then, but you had it pretty much right all along.

 

I think the boys feel it too, and they dont want to lose that ground they worked so hard to get. But like the adults, the scouts will find out that growth is more about learning from the failures than celebrating the gains. Still, even with all that, they still have a Scoutmaster they can count on, and a troop that is fun despite the growing pains. In all its inconsistency, the boys will still find that Scouting is the one thing they can still count on in their lives.

 

Yep, it will be an interesting year, but you all earned it.

 

Barry

 

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Guys decided to go with two patrols after all. The third patrol leader didn't show up for the hike a couple of Saturdays ago nor the meeting the Monday after when the permanent patrols were formed. Works out well since this fellow let everyone know last Monday that he wasn't coming on this weekend's annual planning campout either because he's on the soccer team and has games on Saturdays.

 

So, now we have the Eagle patrol and the Desert Fox patrol. The Awesomeness Patrol is made up of our SPL, ASPL, JASM and Quartermaster. Those are the only Troop level PORs we have right now. Each patrol has a PL, APL, and patrol quartermaster.

 

Last Monday was fantastic. Patrols planned their menus for this weekend's campout. Patrol leaders collected money from their guys. SPL checked over the menus. After closing, the patrol leaders then met briefly with me, along with their grubmaster for the weekend, so we could sort out the money - they took out the money they needed for the food and turned in the rest to me to pay the campsite fee.

 

I popped in the room where the awesomeness patrol was finalizing plans for the weekend. They let me know that the two patrols will be camped as far apart from each other as possible, the adults are to camp on the other group site (we've reserved two) and the awesomeness patrol will be in between. I asked a few questions, but it became very clear that they didn't need me (or want me) in there when my son (the SPL) said, "we've got this Mom."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Success Story! Thanks for sharing the follow-up with us. Makes you feel all warm inside when they do the right thing don't it!

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Always pleasing to hear a feel-good story. I hope with your recent advice on my other thread that we can have a similar happy ending to our PLC situation.

 

Keep up the good work!

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It took years for us to get to this point, Buffalo. In the first year or so of our transition, hit and miss many many times. Seemed like for every great moment we had, we had two dismal failures. For the past two years though, the guys have done tremendously well pulling this troop together and, finally, getting us to a point where we were attractive enough and had a strong enough program to recruit so many new scouts last spring.

 

The three older guys that remember the old ways of our troop (when they were the young guys) look back every now and then and see how far they've come. They like where they are. These three most senior scouts, now 16-17, have really been terrific. Now, in their last year or two of scouting they are proud to run the show, make no bones about the adults staying out of their way, and help the younger guys coming up to take their places. Yes indeed, these guys want to make sure they leave the troop in good hands.

 

Hey Barry, I just love this scouting stuff.

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