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Archive for the ‘Patrol Method’ Category

So the boys all got together a few weeks ago in their re-formed patrols and voted on how they wanted to be identified.  We were really excited because a visiting scout, who has now since joined our troop, joined in on the fun.

The patrols are!!!

Snipe   Thundercats   Cyber Zombies

The first patrol competition was to come up with a patrol name and yell and then do their yell for the adults and committee.  Since there was a danger of multiple patrols wanting the same name, then they had to work fast and as a team to get theirs done before the others.

As we get new scouts this fall, we will continue to have the Pioneer patrol for the first year emphasis boys, but then they will merge in with the other patrols and the boys will vote on new patrol names as needed.

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When older scouts Eagle, it can leave a hole in the Troop. With a gap between older scouts and younger ones, with mixed ages in between, the troop faces some leadership challanges. Lucky for us we have two new Eagle’s who have decided to become ASM’s.
As with life, sometimes we all get in a rut, stagnate, or however you want to discribe it. The Scoutmasters have decided to do a little reorganizing, but not re-inventing the wheel. We have come up with a plan to make the meetings more interesting, fun, and challenging for the boys. We are still boy run, but with more involvement between Scoutmasters and Scouts.
Getting the Scouts back on track with patrol method, Scout Skills, patrol competitions, troop projects, and more. It’s time to get out of our rut and back to Scouting. We have realized that we have to change things up from time to time to keep every ones interest, scouts and adults alike.
To start with the patrols have gotten uneven, so we have reorganized from five patrols to three, and will let the scouts rename their patrols to form unitity, with new patrol yells and flags.
Tomorrow night we will have a PLC with the newly elected and discuss the changes. We also have plans for parents to get them more involved in the Troop meetings.
All the Scoutmasters and our Committee Chair are excited about making our Troop strong and full of scout spirit again.

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dre0780lObviously, on the day your son was born, his umbilical cord was cut.  But was completely cut?

Even for those boys who progressed all the way through cub scouts, for many parents, it is a difficult task to cut the emotional cord once they enter boy scouts.  That’s ok, it’s a common occurrence, so there is no shame.

The older our kids get, we fight for their dependence on us just as hard as they fight for their independence.  It is a logical conclusion that releasing control to let them go off and do things on their own would be difficult.   Be brave; you can do it.

Oh, and dare I say it, regardless of the cute little cartoon you just chuckled at, this isn’t just a ‘mommy’ thing.  Not even close.

In our troop, the first couple of campouts are spent each year reminding scouters and parents alike of the patrol method and how it has to be respected from both directions.  The leaders, literally, draw lines in the sand to remind the scouts to ask for permission to enter.  The fun part is that the SPL has always drawn his own line and the young scouts, in response to being turned away gleefully deny our entry.  Granted, they don’t realize we’ll go over there, without a real need, to give them that reinforcement.

We’ve had parents actually turn their back on their son to resist answering him.  We’ve had parents say this is the best thing ever, being able to let someone else tell their son to take their (non critical) issue to the scout campsite.  Others occassionally struggle with it, but eventually, those parents become some of the best advocates to the system.

Hang tough parents.  you, and your son will be stronger without that heavy cord holding them back.

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I’m sure as leaders we all deal with this at one time or another, so I thought I would share what Scoutmaster had to say on this topic.

Almost all of us have either had the personal experience of working with someone
who displayed bad apple behaviors … When this process starts to unfold at work, it consumes inordinate amounts of time, psychological resources, and emotional energy. … such  circumstances underlie many people’s reluctance to fully commit to teams…  they offend us, reduce our enthusiasm, change our mood and may ultimately lead us to personally de-identify or leave the group, with a high likelihood that the group itself will perform poorly, fail, or disband.
Will Felps – How, when, and why bad apples spoil the barrel: Negative group members and dysfunctional groups. PDF LINK

Professor Will Felps was interviewed on a the December 19, 2008  episode of ‘This American Life‘ (Ruining It for the Rest of Us). He relates the results of a study in group dynamics where an actor put into a group of unwitting students and told to model one of three ‘bad apple’ behaviors: the slacker, the depressive pessimist and the jerk.
Read full post at Scoutmaster

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Troop 483 is off to Winter Camp at Camp Strake today.  Looks like their week is going to start out warm and rainy. We’ll have about 28 scouts and 6-7 adults attending, along with 3 scouts from Troop 658 camping with them. Our scouts will be working on various merit badges while our adults will be teaching them this week. If I get a chance to sneak away I may try to drop in and visit our campers. I look foreword to all the stories and tall tales when they return.

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Looking back, looking forward, looking in…

A normal program year in a Scouting unit provides plenty of opportunities for evaluation, review, and reflecting. We, as Scouters, should take full advantage of these opportunities to ensure we are doing the best we can for our Scouts. We also need to encourage our Scouts to evaluate, review, and reflect on not only their advancement goals, but also their jobs as leaders, and their life “outside” Scouting.

Teach your Scouts that complaining about a problem doesn’t make it go away. We should evaluate the situation to figure out why the problem occurred. We should review the situation to see how the problem affected our goals. And, we should reflect on the situation to see what can be learned from the problem. But, remind them that problems are not the only things that should be evaluated, reviewed, and reflected. The things we do that are successful, or go off without a hitch, can also teach us a thing or two.

via: Green Bar

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Looking back, looking forward, looking in…

Reflection is as important as, and sometimes more important than, evaluating and reviewing. Reflection is what helps a Scout learn to tie a bowline. Evaluation helps he see the mistakes he makes on his first couple tries. Reviewing helps him see what the end result of a bowline is supposed to be like. Reflection helps him make the leap between what he’s done, and where he wants to go. The same is true in everything we do, including our jobs in Scouting.

Like that Tenderfoot, a Scouter is taught how to do his or her job, does the job for a while, and then reflects on the experience. That reflection helps the Scouter learn how to apply his or her knowledge of the job using his or her personal abilities. Through reflection, we learn what we’re good at, and what we’re not so good at. That helps us be better adult leaders, because it focuses our attention on the things we need to improve.

If we don’t reflect on what we’ve done, or are doing, we can’t learn from the experience until it’s too late. Reflection should be a natural part of what we do as leaders, just as reviewing and evaluating should be. It’s what we want our Scouts to do.

To be continued:

via: Green Bar

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