Troop Operations Program
Steve Tobin (srtobin@MMM.COM)
Wed, 9 Feb 1994 16:50:34 -0600
Question about the BSA Troop Operations Plan
As Mike said, this has been an active topic on the list. I got in on the
last go-around and got a lot of good ideas out of it. I have been a SM
for only 3 years, and have a dim recollection of how it was done in the
'60's when I was a scout, and my 'system' is still evolving as I learn.
So, TIFWIW (take it for what it's worth).
I agree with almost everything Mike said, except I like the basic idea of
the new scout patrol and use it. I also think what I will call the traditional
method is ok, too. Both systems have benefits and problems that need to be
dealt with, but as I though we HAD to use the new system, I have gotten it
to work, with modifications to deal with the problems Mike pointed out.
The incoming Webelos and boys are formed into their own patrols, with an ASM
in charge of supervising. They are given an introduction that explains the
patrol system, boy leadership, etc. and they elect patrol leader. I have
a leadership meedting with the new PL and APL according to the Junior
Leader Training Guide to let them know what they need to do, and how to
go about it. The Guide sits in on this and contributes. I teach the Guide to
interact with this patrol leader the same way I interact with the SPL; help
him decide what needs to be done and how to do it, then let him do it.
We don't rotate PL's more than once, and then only if the boys want to.
It takes too much time and effort away from the prime directive.
Most boys don't want to be PL yet, which is fine if they aren't ready.
The ASM, so far, has been the den leader from cubs, and also needs 'instructed'
in the new ideology, so he/she sits in on all of this also. From this point on
it has worked out to be a kind of team approach between the ASM and Guide.
The Guide has other things to do at meetings also, and can't stay with them
the whole time. Likewise the ASM. As the year goes on they need less and
The Guides are responsible to supervise the new patrols' advancement, and work
with the troop Instructors and others to do the teaching. They work with the
PLC to schedule the skills part of the meeting if necessary. My troop leaders
(adult) unanimously agree that the 1st Class in a year idea is trerrible, and
do not worry about it. We do nuch more practicing, instruction and reviewing
to make sure they master the skills. 1st Class comes during the second year,
when the scout is better prepared.
The Guides also make sure they get their menus planned, food bought,
help them on campouts, etc. It is trade-off between the needs of the new
scout patrol and the needs of the Guide to do other things.
The patrols are allowed to reorganize each year. This helps integrate the
members of the new scout patrol, if they want to, and makes up for dropouts.
I have loosely supervised the process, mainly to avoid having the scout
nobody wants. I am beginning to think it would be a better idea to mix things
up more, though, more along the lines of the traditional method. The
'natural grouping' concept makes the scouts happy, but they tend to become
involved in non-scouting activities (goofing off) too easily. I think mixed
patrols may work better to implement the teaching goals of scouting.
We have formed the SPL, ASPL and Guides into a Senior patrol, with the
ASPL assuming 'PL' duties. This is mainly for campouts and such, and they
do their cooking and such as a patrol. They can't do their troop duties, and
also be a contributing member of a patrol. There are too many, along with
the SM/ASM's, to distribute as 'guests' among the patrols for meals, so this
has worked out ok.
... You know, in reviewing all of this, I have just realized what a bunch of
xxxx hoops I've had to jump through to try and get this dumb idea to even
begin to work. And I haven't even gotten to the Venture program yet, which
I _still_ haven't worked out. Anything this complicated can't be a good
Never mind. /o\
| Closed for |
| renovation |
| and |
| reevaluation |
Steve Tobin, SM
Eagle Class of '65
Troop 39, Cannon Falls, MN
Cannon River District, Gamehaven Council
Member: Minnesotans for Global Warming
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City