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Bob White

Measuring "active in your troop or patrol" requirement

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Interesting questions kwc57

 

I understand the concept of patrols coming together to form a troop....in theory, but not in practicality.

 

It is only theory as long as you continue to not do it. Once you accept the concept and operate according to it then it becomes practical application. Right?

 

When the Webelos come to visit they visit a troop meeting, But, what they should have pointed out to them, and what will be obvious if the patrol method is used, is that the meeting is a gathering of small, easily identifiable, separate patrols, under youth leadership.

 

It should be explained to them (by the Troop Guide) that they will be joining a New Scout Patrol which for their first year will develop their outdoor skills, and teach them the basics of patrol and troop operations. After they reach First Class rank they will have the choice of staying together to become a regular patrol OR they can choose to join an existing regular patrol if it has an opening. As they grow in strength and knowledge they will have an opportunity in a few years to join a high adventure Venture patrol.

 

Explain that as a skilled scout in a good patrol they will have many opportunities to do hiking camping and other activities on there own. In addition to that their patrol will join other patrols on occasion to hike and camp, canoe, ski, etc. as a troop.

 

Show them how the patrols each take a responsibility for the troop meeting.

Hawk patrol is service patrol this month. They were responsible for setting up the meeting room and cleaning up afterwards,

Cobra patrol is the program patrol. They are responsible for Opening and closing ceremonies.

The Flamming Arrows are putting on a presentation later on How to pack for a canoe trip we have coming up next month.

And the Assist. Senior Patrol Leader learned a new game at Roundtable last month that the Patrols are going to play later tonight.

 

Now is this a theoretical Troop meeting? Only if you are not yet using the patrol method. Can it be a practical Troop meeting every week? Only if you practice the Patrol Method.

 

One last thing.

But often the patrols are decided at a different level than the boys picking and choosing isn't it?

Not if you are following the program. Who chooses their friends at school? Who chooses their friends in the neighborhood? Who chooses their friends at camp? Why is it a boy not in scouting gets to choose his own friends but we think a boy in scouting needs to be assigned friends?

 

Bob White

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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BW,

 

Let me show you my confusion by two of your statements:

 

1. It should be explained to them (by the Troop Guide) that they will be joining a New Scout Patrol which for their first year will develop their outdoor skills, and teach them the basics of patrol and troop operations. After they reach First Class rank they will have the choice of staying together to become a regular patrol OR they can choose to join an existing regular patrol if it has an opening. As they grow in strength and knowledge they will have an opportunity in a few years to join a high adventure Venture patrol.

 

2. Not if you are following the program. Who chooses their friends at school? Who chooses their friends in the neighborhood? Who chooses their friends at camp? Why is it a boy not in scouting gets to choose his own friends but we think a boy in scouting needs to be assigned friends?

 

They are PUT into a new scout patrol. If there is an opening in an existing patrol, they can join it. Someone other than the boy decided that they will be in the new scout patrol. I understand the necessity of that. But later, what if Billy and Tommy and Joe are all best buddies and want to be in a patrol together and the Atomic Arrows, Bucktoothed Beavers and Rascally Racoons each only have one opening in their patrols? Now the boys are split and they didn't get to choose.

 

I'm sure I just don't "get it" yet since we are still in a pack and not a troop. I'm not trying to be difficult, I just don't see how all of the logistical shuffling takes place and everybody stays happy.

 

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Great questions! in order to remain on topic though let's move this to a new thread.

 

Watch for it in the Patrol Method board.

 

Bob

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Bob

I could not find the post that I thought I remembered. So I will walk away from this discussion. I am petty sure you know my feelings on being active. And I am pretty sure I know what yours are.

And I submit an apology for getting a little hostile, on this subject, but it is one that pushes one of my hot buttons.

Walking away feeling I could not get my point across.

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Dan,

Please don't walk away. I think you represent alot of well-meaning scouters who simple see this requirement differently than how the program intends for it to work.

 

Can we agree that it is possible to achieve a measurable activity level that incorporates both the needs of the scout and the needs of the Patrol and troop. And that this measurable, cooperative decision is achieved by an open 2-sided discussion with the scout. And that the time to do this is before the scout begins his trek toward the next rank during the Scoutmaster Conference.

 

Are there any points in this that you feel is not beneficial to the mission of the program?

 

Your feedback is appreciated.

 

Bob White

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ron,

No one is saying to sign-off on the requirement if the scout hasn't met it yet. What the program is saying is that the requirement needs to take into consideration the uniqueness of each scout, and that the goal ultimately needs to be set by the scout. He needs ownership of the goal in order to grow and learn from it. And the SM needs to understand that you cannot set one number and expect a one-size-fits-all solution. It is the SM resonsibility to help the scout set meaningful achievable goals based on the needs and characteristics of each individual scout. That is the purpose of the Scoutmasters Conference.

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mk9750,

Bingo! Right on the money!

 

Bob,

Where did I ever say I " do not follow many of the basic methods of the scouting scouting program."? Is this one of your assumptions? Is so, please remember what happens when one ass-u-me-s. mk9750 is on the money. In my unit, I do what is best for the Scouts, not the adults. If the adults benefit wonderful.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

 

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Ed,

If what Mk9750 is right, and you lead differently then what you write in your posts, you have done yourself a great disservice, and brought relief to many of us.

 

We were really concerned.

 

Over the year your posts have lead us to believe that you do not trust 12-year olds to elect their own leaders, that you assign meritbadges, that you have a 50% or greater drop off rate, that you limit or restrain advancement based on age or maturity rather than completion of requirements, that you judge scout spirit by attendance and other glaring leadership errors. You have supported the use of tobacco in front of scouts in direct violation of the Youth Protection training, and have shown a general lack of understanding of the Patrol Method and other scouting methods. You have routinely insulted volunteers and professionals serving at the council and national levels of scouting service. All this because you played the devils advocate without letting on that you really did not do this awfull things.

 

To further confuse us you pretended to be dismissive and argumentative if anyone uses the actual scouting program resources to counter your opinion.

 

If you ware actually playing devil's advocate, at some point you should change your posts to support the actual scouting program or I and others will continue to think that you really believed all the misinformation and improper methods that you continued to support.

 

For instance when you played devils advocate and wrote "In my unit, I do what is best for the Scouts, not the adults."

You probably were really thinking...'In the unit I serve We follow the Scouting program and not what the SM personal opinion is of what is best for the scouts.' Am I right?

 

I am relieved to find out you don't actual impose your need to excercise your personal authority in the ways you have described in your posts. You would accomplish much more for the scouting program if you wrote about the methods you actually believed in and supported, rather than give the false impression that you were a trained leader who didn't understand or follow the scouting program.

 

Glad to hear you don't actually do as you have written,

 

I look forward to reading you fully support this program, and reflect the proper methods in your posts.

 

welcome back,

Bob(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob,

WOW! you really make many assumptions about my posts! I am refering to the paragraph after "We were really concerned". You have something to back up your assupmtions I hope.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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No one is saying to sign-off on the requirement if the scout hasn't met it yet. What the program is saying is that the requirement needs to take into consideration the uniqueness of each scout, and that the goal ultimately needs to be set by the scout.

 

Bob,

Who is saying sign off the requirement if it's not met...What I am saying is that you cant consider a boy active if he does not attend outings or meetings..the requirement says active in the troop not active with baseball,soccer and band practice then the troop, its says the the troop and only the troop

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Ron,

 

The problem we struggled with the first couple of years I was in our Troop was what constituted "active". You're right, the requirement doesn't take into account a boy's other responsiblities. But it also doesn't say 100% attendence, or 80%, or 50% or 10%. It just requires being active. So how should that be defined?

 

Under our old SM, and until we as adults tackled this question while trying to strive for being more boy led, we said that percentage should be about 75%. I'll have to admit to you, I didn't like it. My son, 13 at the time, and all his buddies were making almost every meeting, and every event. The older guys seemed to be hardly making that requirement. It just didn't seem fair to me.

 

Once my son became 16, 17, I realized the differnece between a 13 year old and a 17 year old. There are more responsiblities. There are more interests. And if the boy is of the charecter we hope Scouts are, those other interests are not only valid, but desirable. We want to encourage him doing other things, not being the roadblock.

 

Back to our decision making process. Once we decided to look at this issue, we thought about lowering the standard to allow older guys to comply. This hardly seemed fair, for, as I mentioned, from the younger guys' perspective, the disparity was widening. So we then thought about a two tiered requirement. While trying to have the adults establish these percentages, we figured we aught to allow the boys, to whom we wnated to push more decision making, to set the requirements. What we got was chaos. The band guys could make a differnet percentage of the meetings than the jocks. The guys who worked had a different set of problems. Some wanted to know if getting to a campout on Saturday morning after a game on Friday would be able to count for attendence. It got to the point were we realized we'd never make it fair for everyone. That's why we decided to allow the boys to negotiate this with the SM at the SM conference. He lays out his other priorities, and comes up with a framework for whatever time he anticipates his next rank to take. "Sorry Mr. M., but with football this fall, I just can't be at any campouts, and not too may meetings in Sept., Oct., and Nov." "Well, I can undstand that, Joey. Right after your football season is over, we're going to need a lot of involvement form you older guys to prepare the young guys for Klondike. Can you head up a group that organizes this? You'll probably need to be at every meeting leading up to it, and at least the one prepatory campout in January. You up to that?" " Sure Mr. M., and you can count on me to be at that service project we alwys do in December, too!" And so the discussion goes until both the Scout and the SM have a framework for the boy's expectations for the 5 months, or 1 year, or whatever, until his next SM conference.

 

Interestingly, except for a few wide angle notes made in the Scout's handbook, these goals aren't even written down. He knows if he is meeting his commitment. If he's not, he either commits to doing better, or asks the SM to consider adjusting things, because his situation changed.

 

Have we ever had guys who offered unacceptable goals? Oh man, you bettcha. One kid said he wanted to meet up out on campouts every time on Saturday, because his girlfriend insisted they go out on Friday night. That one didn't fly.

 

The biggest benefit I can offer to this method is the buy - in that happens with the older Scouts. They understand the trick: Make them develop their own goal, and the excuses go away for why they don't meet it. Tell a boy he has to be at at least 80% of the meetings, and I'll bet many of them will find reasons NOT to be there. Make him understand that he set the target, he just seems to take it more seriously.

 

Well, again, 20 minutes typing what was intended to be a 3 minute post. I sure hope I don't bore your folks to tears!

 

Mark

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Mark,

 

I would agree with what your saying, the boys can come up with their own goal taking into account other activity's that could support patrol and troop requirments. So would we agree to above 50% or what if the scout says 30% or below?

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Ron,

 

In our Troop, we don't use a number or a percentage. The Scout discusses his goals in Scouting, and his other activities, and he outlines a plan for his participation. If he says he won't be at many meetings during football, and then comes to none, we would most likely not hold that against him, nor would we keep close enough track to even officially know it. We also wouldn't require that he make it up, again, because we really don't keep attendence, and wouldn't know what percentage of meetings he's been to. His activity goal (and for that matter, his leadership commitment) are not hard numbers. They are goals for accomplishing something. For a Tenderfoot SM conference, the boy would likely commit himslef to being at all or most of the meetings that deal with skills he needs to earn 2nd Class, and probably all of the campouts. During a SM Conference for 1st Class, the Scout would probably be committing to accepting a Leadership position, and the attendence that naturally goes with that, or teaching skills that he just recently learned. If he gets to most of the meetings that do not require him, not too much of a problem. If he is supposed to run a competition after a skill presentation, and doesn't bother showing up, even if it is just the one meeting he misses, he's going to have to have an air tight explaination for why he didn't come. Commitments for Star, Life, and Eagle usually involve advanced leadership responsiblities, community service (often done outside Troop activities, but still important for the development of young men), and or teaching and mentoring younger guys. Although we have a few formal Troop Guides, we kind of see all our older Scouts as Troop Guides. We certainly need these fellows to be an asset to the Troop, and btween the Scout and the SM, they determine what shape that will take, and develop the framework for attendence around that.

 

I'll admit that using a hard number would be easier for the SM and in turn, us on the BOR, but almost every time we try to set things up so they are easier for the adults, it seems to harm our Troop's program.

 

Mark

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its says the the troop and only the troop" Actually that's not true. It says troop and patrol, two different sets of groups.

 

"What I am saying is that you cant consider a boy active if he does not attend outings or meetings..

 

And I think everyone here agrees. The question is how many, and who decides. I offer that the scout and scoutmaster determine this based on each individual scout during the SMC rather than a blanket number determined only by an adult or adults without consideration for the scout.

 

Bob White

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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