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Bob White

Measuring "active in your troop or patrol" requirement

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UM EXCUSE ME

I never said

To want or expect or worse demand that a boy make scouting his only activity you do a great diservice to the boy and to the program.

 

I think scouting should be on the same level as sports, not more or less, if that takes the sport programs to change so be it.

so you ask who suffers, the scouts who are trying to lead a troop with, boys(notice I did not say scouts) that only show up when it fits their schedule.

So MISTER WHITE, in one of your old posts you said that if a whole or almost whole patrol could not go on a campout, the patrol should not go. You stated that you should not combine patrols to make an whole patrol. So who suffers the scouts in the patrol, the scout leaders, and the troop.

 

BUT IT DOES NOT REALLY MATTER SINCE THE UNIT/COUNCIL CAN MAKE UP THE RULES AS THEY GO!

 

 

 

 

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Bob,

 

I'm kind of suprised no one has taken your bait, but that's never atopped me from being the fish.

 

In our Troop, both requirements (active and Leadership) are defined by the boy with the guidance of the Scoutmaster and the Board of Review. During each, the Scout is asked at what level he anticipates participating in the period he expects the next rank to take. If he says "Well, I just got a part time job that requires that I work every weekend, so I probably won't make many campouts, but you can count on me for practically all of the meetings", then that is the standard by which he will be judged at his next conference and review. If he says "I'm trying to get elected SPL next time, so I know I'm going to have to be here the vast majority of the time", then get elected, if later, he isn't there the vast majority of the time, he probably isn't going to be looked upon favorably at his conference or review.

 

In the lower ranks, we use this same method for Scout Spirit. We always ask what point of the Scout Law the Scout feels he is very good at, and what part he thinks he needs to improve. We make a note in his handbook, and at the next rank's conference and review, he has to be able to discuss what he has done to improve. In the upper ranks, Scout Spirit to us has an entirely different meaning, and although we still use this as a discussion topic, we look at other aspects of the Scout's life to determine his spirit.

 

So, I think the answer to your question, Bob, is that the boy determines how active he must be to meet the requirement. Sound like what you wanted to hear?

 

Mark

 

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Whoa Dan!

 

There were no quote marks around that statement. You wondered whether scouting should be as demandind as sports. I offered that such a positioning would not be in the best interest of the scouts or the program.

 

My son is a good basketball player. When he went into Jr. High he wanted to join the team. At sign-up he was told by the coach that the players were not allowed to participate in any other extra curricular activity during the season "whether school related or not." My son turned to me and said "let's go". He said no one other then his mom and dad would decide that. He would have to miss scouts, drum lessons, band, and a church committment to play 7th grade sports. Sorry but that is not a mentally healthy adult (in other words...he's nuts). That is not an uncommon expectation of youth leaders in many activities not just sports. It is not the philosophy of the BSA movement.

 

Now in the name of accuracy....

 

I NEVER said that if some or most patrol members could not attend an event that the others should not go.

 

I said the patrol becomes however many in the patrol shows up. If only two members of the Hawk patrol are going on the campout then the Hawk patrol camps with two people. Yes, I did agree that one of B-Ps basic tenents of the patrol method is you do not combine patrols. combining them goes against the very purpose and design of the patrol. If the bears show up to a game without their defensive line (a situation not all that uncommon for the Bears) they are not lent players from another team or folded into another teams player roster. you play with the team you show up with.

 

Troops are not divided into patrols. patrols gather to form a troop. Never combine patrols, IF you want to get the full reward of the patrol method.

 

But we digress, lets stay on Measuring "be active in your troop and patrol".

> Who decides what that means?

> When is it decided?

> When is it measured?

> Who measures it?

 

Who would like to take a stab at these specific questions?

 

Bob White

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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MARK!!!!!!

 

Kudus to you and the methods used in the troop you serve.

 

The handbook says that the activity requirement is measured by "being there". So this is an attendance issue.

 

Just as in scout spirit, the best person to set the activity goal is the scout himself (according to the Boy Scout Handbook), during the Scoutmaster Conference. The activity level needs to be unique to the individual scout. Who is responsible for knowing the needs of each scout? The Scoutmaster. What tool is the SM given to discuss and discover these needs and characteristics? The Scoutmaster Conference. When are goals set? The Scoutmasters Conference. When are the requirements of the next rank reviewed? At the Scoutmasters Conference.

 

If the goals are the scout's then he knows if he met them or not. All you have to do is ask him how he thinks he is doing on his goal and review the numbers with him to let him self-evaluate his own performance.

 

This is one way teach goal setting, planning, evaluating. It should not be used to re-test.

 

So what is a good attendance figure? Talk to each scout and find out.

 

Good Job Mark!

 

BW

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So it okay to sluff off if you have a good excuse!

Lets all remember what excuses are like!

Whats the difference between reason and excuses, how good one tells the story!

 

and yes bob i will find your statment on patrols not going.

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Dan,

No one is talking excuses here. we are talking about Talking. It's about letting Scouts be part of the process of setting and evaluating their own goals. Why would anyone be opposed to that?

 

Go ahead and look Dan. If you find it as you say, it is a typo. I have followed, used and taught the patrol method for decades and I have always maintained that patrols are not combined and that the patrol functions with as many members as is present. That is how you build peer pressure to make the others attend. Make their absence noticable and their individual participation important to the success of the patrol. If you allowed patrols to ebb and flow membership whenever someone was missing then they would not be able to see how their presence is missed.

 

Bob(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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As both a Bear fan, and a Bear I take exception to Bob Whites comment about the Bears, unfortunately, as with much of Bob White's comments, it dead on, but I still take exception to it

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As both a Bear fan, and a Bear I take exception to Bob Whites comment about the Bears, unfortunately, as with much of Bob White's comments, it dead on, but I still take exception to it

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I think the post Mark had about the Scout determining how active he wants to be is good. Great way to set the activitity level! But, I gotta go one step further. Bob will probably think I'm an idiot like he normally does.

 

Say the Scout tells you he will only be able to be at one meeting a month & will only be able to make the camping trips 3 or 4 times a year and won't be going to summer camp and he doubts if he will be able to attend any extra activities all because he is too busy. And he has just been elected Patrol Leader. Now the Scout has decided on his level of participation. What next?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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" I understand attendance isn't the measure of a Scout. Committment to the Scouting program is."

 

Really? Show me where that is written.

 

Really? Show me where it says committment isn't important.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed

There is no need to be so hard on yourself. I have never said you were an idiot. I don't know you well enough to even know if you are an idiot. I only know from your own posts that you say you do not follow many of the basic methods of the scouting scouting program.

 

I would hope that if a scenario came up where the scout the scout was only going to come to one meeting a month and make 4 or 5 campouts a year you would listen to his explaination of why, consider his abilities, his past history in the program and his future goals and determine together if that was enough time.

 

Here is an example. The troop meets on Monday nights. The scout (we will call him Bob) is meeting with you for his SMC for Star scout. In asking about his goals he tells you that he plans to achieve Eagle. Bob has been an active Jr. leader in the past and is a fine young man. But Bob is a Junior and has hopes to attend the Air Force Academy. He is also the VP of the National Honor Society at his High School and is in the Band. The NHS meets after school on the second Monday. On the third Monday of the month he volunteers at a local shelter for the homeless. On weekends he delivers food with the local Meals on Wheels program. Not only does he enjoy these activities but they will help him toward his goal of attending the Academy.

 

So Bob explains that with the extra pressure to get the needed high grades on top of other responsibilities Troop meetings will be tough. Bob only needs two MB and his project for eagle and he will continue to work on that. You agree that troop meetings will be a challenge but urge him to make as many as possible because his presence is a big influence on the younger scouts. You remind him of the great places the PLC has planned for outings and that he will miss a lot and he agrees to make at least half the events.

 

Finaly you remind him he still needs to actrively serve in a leadership position. you suggest that he heads up a special project by publishing an e-mail newsletter for the troop. A task he can do from home. Bob agrees.

 

Now you tell me is this caving in? Skating? Or is this a good young man growing up with scout values and ethics?

 

Is this a difficult leadership style to incorporate?

 

Perhaps for some.

 

Bob

 

PS

 

Your argument in the second post is ridiculous (I'm sorry but I can't be more PC than that)

 

The BSA sets the mission of BSA. To say that it could be something else merely because it doesn't say that it isn't something else is illogical. You've used this in the past on other topics. It was irrelevent then and it is irrelevent now.

 

BW

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Bob,

 

First, Bully for your son who told off the basketball coach that was trying to advance his own career dreams on the backs of 7th Graders.

 

This is a thought provoking thread. The engineer in me says that there will never be a quantitative means for measuring this.

 

We have a program called the Lone Scout. I think I have the name right. If we take your above senario and put it in the context of the Lone Scout, then the argument could be made that Bob benifits greatly from what limited involvement,and contact, he does have with a troop. But again it goes back to commitment, and how that commitment is exhibited.

 

The issue points to the fact that every boy and every family are different. We as leaders need to be flexible and respect the differences without compromising the advancement system.

(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

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Ed,

 

I could be wrong (Lord knows I've been wrong lots before!), but sometimes I think you aurgue strictly as the devil's advocate. If so that is fine, it makes for great debate, and often is highly entertaining.

 

But I'll bet you incorporate more of the the system above than you let one. for instance, I'll bet that if in your example, a boy said he would only be making a limited amount of meetings and activities, and gave the reason as being too busy, you'd ask him what else was keeping him busy. I don't think you would say "Whoa! That won't cut it! Every one else makes it to XX% of the meetings, you have to, too." I'd bet instead, you would listen to his explaination. And, if it went like Bob's example, you'd probably be very supportive of him. If he shrugged his shoulders and said "Idunno, just stuff", you'd hold his feet to the fire to get him to admit to himself where he really stood with Scouting. And isn't this what Bob is trying to bring out? That setting these goals is a process that involves the Scout reflecting on his lifestyle, determining what is important to him, and the order of that which is important, then making a plan to meet his goals?

 

I've seen too many posts from you that suggest that whatever you do, whether in conflict with a policy or rule or regulation, or 100% in line, you do from your heart with the best interest of your boys at the core. I am certain that is true. And if it is, then despite your protest here, I'd bet you really follow a similiar pattern, don't you.

 

As a follow up to my earlier post, I'd also like to add that about 2 1/2 years ago, we did away with keeping attendence. The PLC noticed it wasn't adding any value. Now, general goals like being active are noted in the Scout's handbook at the top of the page for his next rank. That way, as he works toward that rank, he sees the goal in front of him, and knows to either alter his effort, or ask to re-evaluate the goal if something has changed in his life.

 

We also don't keep track of attendance at events for 1st and 2nd class advancement. We allow the boy to sign this requirement off himself once he's gotten the 5 or 10 events in. It's amazing, but with probably 25 - 35 rank advancements of 1st and 2nd class in the last few years, we've never had one boy cheat himself by signing this off prematurely. And you'd be amazed I think, at how boys view the world when you tell them that at least for this one requirement, we trust them to sign it off themselves.

 

Ed, if I am wrong, and you don't help boys set their own goals in your SM conferences, I am sorry. But I'm guessing you really do more things the "right way" then you let on, don't you?

 

Mark

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BW,

 

Not to change the subject, but I have a question. I understand the concept of patrols coming together to form a troop....in theory, but not in practicality. When Webelos go visit a "Troop", they visit the Troop. That is how the unit is presented and identified to the world. The Webelos looks at what the Troop has to offer. Yes, they may be put into a patrol meeting when the visit, but they are visiting the Troop to make an evaluation, not the patrol. Let's say 5 Webelos decide to join the Troop. When they join, they don't say I want to be in the Dragon Patrol or I want to be in the Lightening Patrol. They are usually corraled into a new scout Patrol. From your past descriptions, part of the appeal of Scouting for a boy is the ability to form a patrol of his buddies. But often the patrols are decided at a different level than the boys picking and choosing isn't it?

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