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This thing may work after all!

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Just got back from a quick overnight camping trip with the new troop. As we are set now, we have basically a New Scout Patrol and two older experienced Scouts performing JASM roles. Well, this camping trip is one I will remember as a fantastic trip, but I'm not sure anyone else would recognize it. It wasn't any elaborate setting, actually much more "civilized" of a spot than I ever want to go again. Real nice for Cubs if you know what I mean. No great program or anything like that.


What made this special to me was seeing a new 2nd Class PL become a Patrol LEADER. He had his by-the-book stuff ready, duty roster and the like. But until this short trip I had not seen him actually take charge of the group. More than once I would watch something not happen and him drift off, so I had to give him a gentle "Come over here a minute" and take him to the side and ask him questions like what should so-n-so be doing right now, or what about this thing or that. After the third small side discussion, I could tell he knew what the deal was every time I said, "Come over here a minute". So then he wouldn't even let me get the question out. He would look around his patrol area and see what wasn't done and tell me by the time he got to me instead of me having to ask.


The absolute best was this morning after breakfast clean-up. His patrol's cook area was not complete, but there was the entire patrol hanging out around a big tree. He walked by me and I just asked him if the area met his standards. He immediately heads to the tree and gets those assigned to kitchen clean-up back to finish their job, tells those that aren't the gear needs to be loaded and the area policed, and quote "Now get to work!"


Two things happened. The sight of "Push Over Patrol Leader" disappearing was a shock to the young patrol mates systems, and they hopped-to and got busy. The other thing that happened was the two older boys went over to the PL with some atta boys and "Yo da Man". To see the confidence grow inside this boy in one 27 hour shorty camping trip was really an amazing thing to see.


Afterward I got him and the two older boys together for a talk about the trip, and made it clear how I was pleased he took charge like that. But also, if he has any issues getting the boys in his patrol to do their part that's what the older boys are for. And then if they can't get results one of them will come to me. That should lead to a lot less "Come over here a minute" moments between the two of us.


Now, the fact that the four of us have clearly identified the good-nature but definite slacker in the patrol, I am reeeealllyyy looking forward to the camping trip next month. :)

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Thanks, and yes they are a good group that is really starting to come together. One thing I enjoyed was seeing the good natured jabbing back and forth between the older boys and the patrol concerning their separate menus. Not to talk negatively, but the ones that came from other troops before joining us were new to the whole "You mean the whole troop doesn't eat the same thing?" idea.


At breakfast one of the older boys looks at a new scout cooking on his first trip and tells him "Ok, we got you with dinner last night, but you got us on the bacon this morning." And the icing on the cake was when there was bacon left over, the patrol had seconds. The sad puppy dog faces on the older boys was hilarious.


So you can see why the next trip they have already decided is a cooking competition.



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