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Perhaps you misunderstand the conversation Beavah. We know we agree on the importance of the patrol method. Where we disagree is in two areas. Kudu is hung up on distance when the patrol methods has nothing to do with distance. It is simply about youth gathering in small group doing activities under youth leadership. That is all there is to the "method" of using patrols.


The second is in the content of BSA training. Kudu has read a syllabus and does not think that Patrol Method is taught. I have been on training staffs for 28 years and know that it is.


Kudu would rather believe it is not cause if he accepts it is then he has to accept that it is the leaders who are the one responsible for not using it rather than being able to blame the nameless and faceless persons of the "BSA" for not teaching it.


Finally I did not introduce patrol activities 6 years ago, B-P introduces it 100 years ago, and it's been in every Boy Scout Handbook and every Scoutmaster training course since then.


But it takes adult leadership , not just adult leaders, to make it happen.


(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Beavah writes;


Yah, this thread is a funny one, eh? ...it is fun to read with a beer and popcorn.


I hope that is Trail's End popcorn, Beavah.


Beavah writes;


I think Kudu gets way too caught up on the whole 300 feet bit, too.


But the real story lies in the frenzy to reject Baden-Powell's standard of 300 feet, doesn't it?


If the particular number "300" is the problem, then why not argue that 200, 100, or 50 is far enough, especially since 200-300 feet is the distance still used at some Wood Badge courses?


Why not experiment with "Baden-Powell Patrol Camping" just once, as one might attend a "Brownsea" reenactment?


I suspect that the idea of Patrols 300 feet apart is as terrifying as sky-diving!


The emotional pitch of this near-universal condemnation (it is not just Bob White) indicates to me that people are hiding something that they know they can't mention in a Scouting forum: Probably the realization that close adult supervision is required with six month election cycles and business manager training that doesn't really work with children outdoors. In some cases it is also the secret desire to continue "camping" in neatly mowed campgrounds with flush toilets, warm showers, and electricity.


Simply put, most Troop events, from challenging high-adventure activities to lock-downs at the local elementary school, do not require real Patrol Leaders.


Bob White writes:


The fact that some tropp leaders do not use the patrol method or do not use it to its fll potential has to do with leader selection not Wood Badghe.


Leader selection? Committee Members might be more qualified to recognize outdoor leadership skills in potential adult leaders if outdoor leadership skills were still an essential part of Wood Badge.


In many Troops, the pool of potential adult volunteers is not very deep. The answer is to provide practical training that can be used just in case Patrol camping (on some level--if only on monthly campouts), is ever attempted.


Bob White writes:


It only takes about three minutes to explain what the Patrol Method is. It takes most the day to get adults to understand...


What Kudu does not realize is that the patrol method is an element of scouting that needs to be taught more to adults then to youth. For Youth the Patrol method is natural.


Not true.


If we look at the third edition of the BSA Handbook for Scoutmasters published back when the BSA actually taught the Patrol Method in detail, the adult explanation of the Patrol Method was 65 pages long. But the BSA Handbook for Patrol Leaders was 568 pages long, almost ten times the adult treatment at the time, and 189 times the three page adult treatment of the Patrol Method in the current Scoutmaster Handbook!


To send Patrols out camping by themselves based on boys' "natural" understanding, or on the current BSA literature or training is irresponsible. A good place to start is by allowing your most mature Patrols camp at some distance during Patrol Campouts. Whether it is Baden-Powell's 300 foot standard, or a smaller more "modern" distance of 200 or 100 feet, physically separating the Patrols is the quickest "reality check" on whether your Patrols are actually boy-led, or depend on hovering adults to "mentor" them.


Bob White writes:


Kudu's experience with BSA training is the same as his experience with the Scouting of B-P's days, he has only read about them, he wasn't there. He never lived the scouting of B-Ps day and he has never learned how to lead BSA training or taught the BSA training.


For anyone who missed it, Bob White's poison (as well as "He would rather complain than learn the truth," and "His attitude exceeds his aptitude") is an example of an ad hominem attack. Ad hominem is used when you are desperate to draw attention away from own position because someone asks simple questions that you can not answer.


Bob White's personal attacks are unScoutlike, and untrue.


I Staffed the local BSA SM & ASM Specific training course (including the Patrol Method session), as recently as June 7th, 2008. Except for one fake Baden-Powell quote, the Patrol Method is NOT EVEN MENTIONED in the Patrol Method session (see the "Teaching Objectives," above).


As far as the Scouting of B-P's days goes, what is the point? What is so difficult to understand about spacing Patrols 300 feet apart? If you are afraid to allow Patrols to camp without adult supervision, then try B-P's method of Troop camping instead (or 200 or 100 or 50 feet) and if it does not work report back to us FROM YOUR OWN EXPERENCE as to why a 100 year-old idea is no longer valid.


Bob White writes:


You would think Kudu would be happy to hear that the BSA is still a teacher and proponent of the foundations of Scouting that B-P designed, but he is not.


The BSA may still grant permission to do so in the Guide to Safe Scouting and other literature, but BSA training no longer explains HOW to do it. If you are offering practical Patrol Method advice at Scoutmaster-specific training like "Why can't a dad and a ASM go with a patrol camping for the weekend, then on another patrol outing they can camp nearby, then on another they can spend the day but not the night," then you are not following the official BSA program, are you Bob White?



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When B-P began scouting in the arl;ly 1900's juvenile crime was a huge problem in London. Kids ran in gangs under youth leadership .


When I was a scout aged youth in the 60s I had about 8 or 9 close friends that ran around together. There was no election but everybody looked up to John and he was our leader. ANY of this sound FAMILIAR Kudu?


Kids will naturally form friendships in groups of about 6 to 10, rather than try to work against this natural social grouping B-P incorporated it. It is called the Patrol Method.


The BSA still teachesit and still teaches adults how to develop the leadership skills needed to implement it.


The patrol method works at ANY distance.



When Baden-Powell wrote his handbook for boys, how many Troops were there in the UK?


When B-P had his first campout on Brownsea, how many other troops shared that island?


When B-P started the Scouting movement, how many different cultures was it written for?






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