Jump to content

Moving from Adult led to Scout led

Recommended Posts

Thanks - for the advice.


Took me a while reading the forum to figure out what the Yours at 300 ft meant, but I do think it's a great idea. My 8th graders are competent enough in their scout skills to camp away from us, but there are a couple of other issues that make me hestitant.


First, I have 5 boys that have been together since Tiger Cubs - they tend to leave the other two out a lot. Some of that is getting better as they mature and spend more time as a patrol, but it's still an issue. Second, their (the 5's) interactions are very rough and tumble and boy like - they know that they are friends and they know they don't mean anything by it - the others feel like they are being bullied, and they may be right - just because the boys doing it don't realize they are being bullies, doesn't mean that's not what it is.


Due to this, I definitely have parents that would not allow their kids to go if they felt the adult supervision was not strong. I think this would hurt the patrols cohesion in the long run. My thought is the more time they spend together the better this will get.


We can certainly start in stages though - camp just a little distance until their interactions improve then move further and further away.


And thanks for the links and info about the handbook. I'm so clueless didn't even realize there was a scoutmaster handbook - I was so excited last week when I figured it out. (I know - it's my fault I am so clueless - I should have been trained, but instead I followed the lead of the leadership that was in place.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 41
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic


I CAN get the 2 deep leadership but only if things are LOCKED on the calendar so I can implement. Ya know reservations MADE/DONE so I can create those interesting flyers and motivating talks. Enough last minute, just talk, vetoing and ONLY Troop events. I'm taking advantage of Council and District events this year. I want the OUTING in ScOUTING!



Another way of wording: 'Hitchhiking is allowed' please from http://inquiry.net/patrol/brainstorming.htm?


Its country suburban town where we teach not to 'hitchhike'. Definitely safety issues here. Don't need another 'unmentionable'.


Gunny: 5 year transition?? Is it really gonna take that long Scouters??


And Kudos.. THANKS for the links!

TAHawk.. THANKS for the words of wisdom!

ReaseyAnn.. Thanks for starting this thread.. LOTS of helpful advice here!.. *smiles




Link to post
Share on other sites


Reaseyann writes:


"First, I have 5 boys that have been together since Tiger Cubs - they tend to leave the other two out a lot...very rough and tumble and boy like...Due to this, I definitely have parents that would not allow their kids to go if they felt the adult supervision was not strong."


This is why the "Real" Patrol Method relies on an older/bigger, and more mature "Natural Leader" to lead a Patrol into the backwoods without "adult association."


It would be ideal if one of your NYLT Scouts is such a Natural Leader. If he is an older Scout and transfers into your Patrol, just make sure he has at least one buddy his age (of his own choosing) to tent with.


If it is the parents of the two Scouts (who have not been together with the other five since Tiger Cubs) who demand adult "helicopters," then maybe they could switch them out to an adult-led "Webelos III" Patrol if the Troop reorganizes :)


Just to be clear, a Patrol Hike is one (1) Patrol only! Other Patrols hike separately to other destinations.


I agree with TwoCubDad: "Blowback -- you need to prepare for it. Making change almost always results in some folks being unhappy."


In some Troops, it can take years to pull off even if you are the Scoutmaster.


But the advantage of an adult-led Troop is that you do not have to change as many "unhappy minds" if (as an adult) you go ahead and make changes only to the Patrol to which you are the advisor. :)


Unlike debating abstract Troop leadership theory with hostile adult helicopters, Physical Distance works miracles with a single Patrol (and makes sense to all the boys in the Troop) right away!


Yours at 300 feet,







Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree - if I were only concerned with my patrol it would be a pretty simple task, especially since most of my parents I've had since Tigers too. However, since the hubby is now Scoutmaster - we need to look at the bigger picture.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I am thinking that you go ahead and impliment this with your patrol. Don't worry about the others.


In a year, your husband can say: "Okay, look at the "X" patrol and look at what they have done, how well they did and what they can do."


It will be easier to have the other boys look at what your patrol has done and get on board with it, and then pushing the rest of the adults to do it , than just trying to explain to all the parents about what it could be like.


And if the other leaders don't want to do it, why should it affect youyr patrol.


Start doing this with all the new patrols from now on. Your SM husband can tell all the other leaders to back off on any patrol that is not already theirs.


And by "yours" and "Theirs" I mean the patrols they work with, not that they are in them.



Link to post
Share on other sites

If two Scouts don't fit in the patrol, why are they there? It's supposed to be a natural "gang" - a group that wants to be together (at least most of the time.) If they are miserable, change. It's the school system that forces groupings and Scouting is supposed to be very different.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue with the "They've Been Together Since Tigers" patrols IS THE MAIN REASON for reorganizing patrols. TBTST is not a reason to be in the same patrol, it's the reason they need to be in separate patrols! These kids are in the 8th grade, for heaven's sake. Time to move on -- expand your horizons -- make some new friends. Trust me on this. Only the parents get all weepy over the boys being together since Tigers. Kids don't think that way. They just want to be with their friends and (mostly in the case of middle-schoolers) want to be with the kids they perceive as being "cool." That is NOT the same as being with the same five guys from their Tiger den.


Kudu is right. You need mixed-age patrols, not age-based Cub Scout dens. When one of your three new NYLT graduates takes over as patrol leader, he can deal with the bullying and other nonsense.


Now if you go to all the parents and in a very serious tone explain to them that you're trying something new and the boys will be camping THREE HUNDRED FEET away from the adults, and you need the parents to understand that you're relying on the youth leaders to.... NO, NO, NO! You just tell the parents you're going camping. This patrol camps here, that patrol camps there, the adults camp over here. First of all 300 feet is still within shouting distance, in case of an emergency. The boys aren't unsupervised or loosely supervised. The adults are always available when needed. Frankly, if you have boys who you can't trust to camp 300 feet away, LEAVE THEM THE HELL HOME! Do you think on a campouts now they're under 100% supervision?


Understand that separating patrols SOLVES DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS. If one of the 8th graders is known to bully one of the new kids, put them in separate patrols. By having them 300 feet apart (600 if the adults are in the middle) you've taken away most of the bully's opportunity to bother the other kid.


Sorry if this is trending off into "preaching and screaming."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, don't be surprised if the boys give you "blow back" on the PM! I think you're on the right track. Listen to the issues, they may be:


- Cliques (like you've described). Youth don't always realize what they are doing to make other boys feel excluded.

- Transportation. Youth don't know how to get to the store and buy stuff. In this day and age you almost always need a car.

- Persistence. Fewer and fewer youth work a job where they have to knock on doors to sell something. This means they don't always know how to ask adults for things.

- Discouragement. They may hear something negative from an adult that makes them or their ideas feel unwelcome. The older boys, even if trained, might have a "what's the point" attitude based on very real experiences.


All of this, when added together can make catch-phrases like "turn us into a PM patrol/troop" sound like what they've been doing before was a failure. Keep that in mind, and coach with other phrases like "give you boys the helm", "amp up the fun", "let the adults sit back and watch you grow", "build that brotherhood!"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I now see it takes time-years. We are 18 months into our transition and I see push back all the time. Sometimes it is from the older parents and scouts who had things invested in the old way and liked it because it was "easier" in some respect. A Helicopter Parent (and it is always some other parent--not me! ;) is not going to respect boy-led at scouts while he meddles in the sports team. I see that the progress is a ragged march upward with downs as well as ups. The big challenge is when something goes wrong or if it makes things too chaotic for the adults.


But when you see it works, the change is worth it.


We have 5 patrols and (site permitting) we have room to spread out only 2 of the 5 took the opportunity to move 300' feet away. They are also the best performing patrols (highest campout attendance, win majority of skill competitions, high morale). Some issues --like food stealing--went away with those two patrols because it was very clear when someone was in their area and you need permission to enter another patrol's area. Conversely the other 3 patrols had more issues and conflicts.


Keep it up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Love that story - Thanks


BTW - had our first boy led PLC last night - Gave the boys their assignment and asked the adults to leave the room. Went to check on them after 45 minutes and they had basics laid down. Gave them a little more guidence and then helped them plan the dates at the end to avoid exams etc.


End result - kids had a great planning meeting (even my 13 year old pessimist said it went well) and we have basics laid out through Aug with boys assigned to plan the meetings themselves.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...