New Scout Patrol
Ernest R. Spradling, P.E. (freemason@AOL.COM)
Thu, 10 Feb 1994 19:56:40 EST
Boy, this New Scout Patrol has once again generated some very interesting
Seems like all of you out there have experienced everything that could go
wrong with the concept, from the we-they inconvenience, to the ASM & TG doing
all the work for the boys! Seems like the concensus is that it did achieve
the goal of First Class in the first year, though. Although it has been a
while since I was a youth, I still remember the days well (shut up, kilted
one :)) and we had a vertical age alignment, with the corresponding variation
in experience from which to draw. Heck, we even had "instructors" (remember
them, Mike?), usually Senior Scouts or Explorers, who taught some specialty
that they were good at, e.g., cooking or knots & lashings. We all had a good
time at it, and only the infighting of the adults marred the program (but
that's another story).
The hardest part about the new scout patrol is that there is, in effect, only
one more experienced boy leader, and an ASM; this could effectively turn into
a "third year Webelos Den" (sorry, Cubbers;), with the older ones doing all
I have ALWAYS maintained that if you can keep the boy's attention with a good
program, and he is interested, he will stay. If he finds it boring, he will
either find a more active unit or he will drop out of the program altogether.
I currently visit one unit which uses the New Scout Patrol program, and it is
currently in use; however, the TG does not like being stigmatized by being
associated with the younger boys, and the program may suffer as a result.
Meantime, I will watch & learn.
Funny, though, I didn't see in the Scoutmaster's Handbook where the use of a
New Scout Patrol is mandatory - like the Venture/Varsity programs, would it
not be considered optional? If the best operating plan for the Troop is to
mix the younger boys in with the more experienced boys, then why not? Also,
where does it say that the boy HAS to stay in the new scout patrol until he
reaches First Class? Did I miss something? Besides, I made mine in one year
without the emphasis- I liked the program! THAT is the difference!
Now, I am very much in favor of trying a new method - it may actually work -
and am not discounting something because it is different or new or not how it
has been done before. BUT IMHBCO it takes a positive attitude of all
involved before something new will work effectively. Actually, Nathan said
it better than I did.
Yes, I am also in favor of restoring the signalling requirement, even though
it was the hardest part of First Class in my day. It appears superfluous in
this day of cellular phones, but it was interesting in its own right. Kinda
reminds me of my daughter griping because she is having to learn
multiplication tables in the age of calculators and computers (anyone
remember the slide rule?). Seems the revisionists want to ashcan all
tradition in favor of political correctness/newspeak.
Oh well, enough rambling tonight - just my 0.10 worth [inflation;) ]
Randy Spradling, P.E.
Assistant District Commissioner Treasure Coast District, Gulfstream Council
(FL) Aal-Pa-Tah #237 Eagle Scout (1971)Vigil Honor (1974)(Thal-Coo-Zyo #457)
Life Member Alpha Phi Omega Mu Tau Chapter (#589-139879/Life#5915) (WV
Gonna be a critter soon (SR-5).
(To know oneself is the ultimate form of aggression)
(Calvin: Do you think that children are born sinful?
Hobbes: No, but they are quick studies.)
I >>>----I>----<> I
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City