Adults, Adults, Everywhere Adults
Paul L. Johnson (74724.3473@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Mon, 11 Sep 1995 13:59:54 EDT
I just had to add my two cents into this one. I'm involved with a
small troop in a small town. We usually have at least one camping
activity each month.
We usually have two youth patrols and one adult patrol. The boys
are responsible for setting up their camp, starting fires,
providing and preparing meals, clean up, etc. The adults manage
their area of the site as well. Of course we try to set a good
example. The SM's camp box includes a few extra supplies
(especially cooking utinsels and the like) to help out a patrol
that is not fully prepared. Any scout borowing items is usually
quizzed as to why his patrol didn't bring everything they needed.
Just like the boys, the adults take turns at "grubby" duty for
New boys tend to come running to an adult when ever they run into
small problem. My first stock response is to ask the boy how he
thinks he should address the problem. In most cases the next response
is "Good idea, Do It!" The boys quickly figure out that they can
make decisions (within their patrol) and solve the small problems
themselves. A couple of years ago an article in the Scouter
magazine indicated the most important piece of equipment the SM
has is a folding chair. If things are going right, the adults
should be able to sit to one side and sip their coffee (after the
dishes are washed, of course).
It doesn't happen overnight. It usually takes a year or so before
the new boys really get into the groove, but it happens. And
then watch out. If you are not careful, you will find yourself
rushing to keep up with the kids!
When new Webelos move up, we put them into existing patrols. If
necessary, patrols are re-organized at this time. The boys decided
that this was better than creating a patrol of all new boys.
Although the adults try to set a good example, every 12 year-old
knows everything there is to know, and certainly can learn nothing
from an adult (especially his father). Having experienced scouts
in each patrol probably teaches more to the new scouts than an
army of adult leaders. The experienced scouts learn a lot about
leadership as well (especially the patrol leaders).
The senior patrol leader often eats with the adult patrol. If we
see a problem, we usually try to direct the SPL to get the patrols
back on track.
New adults come into an existing "patrol", just like the new
boys. The best advice is probably: "Point the boys in the right
direction, then get out of the way."
Six Mile, SC
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City