Re: Teaching the Patrol Method
Lew Orans (lporans@ONRAMP.NET)
Sat, 6 Apr 1996 06:36:20 -0600
At 07:40 PM 4/4/96 -0800, you wrote:
>Has anybody developed an in-troop program for teaching the patrol
>We would like to implement the concepts in a tangible way such as role
>playing, demonstration, and/or skits.
I have been involved in training in Boy Scouting for many years. I have
even contributed to the editing and writing of training materials for the
BSA. But, let me step back to my experience as a Scoutmaster.
If you are trained as a Scout Leader (any and all formal training -- Fast
Start, Fundamentals, Wood Badge -- and you regularly attend District
Roundtables -- and you read and use the literature (from your post, you have
certainly read the material and even counted the words), then do not stop
there. But at the same time my humble suggestion is "back to basics."
So, what are the basics?
Start with B-P -- "Scouting is a Game with a Purpose." Play the Game as it
was meant to be played. Organize the troop and patrols as suggested in the
BSA literature. Elect your PLs and SPLs. Use the Patrol Leaders' Council to
plan, plan, plan. Train them according to the SM JLT Kit including the
"Continuing Opportunities" section. And -- USE THE PATROL METHOD. Let the
Boys do their best. Let their leaders do their best. Coach and Guide the
leaders. Have the Boy Leaders (SPL, ASPL, etc.) help. Use the resources
already available -- Woods Wisdom is a key. Then let the boys lead, let
them stumble, support and use patrols in all things. When you think of the
troop for any reason (health included) check the patrols first.
When thinking of training, think of a statement that is a guide for teaching
since Aristotle said it over 2,000 years ago ... "For the things we have to
learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." Now Aristotle was the
tutor of Alexander the Great, so assuming he took his own advice, results
tend to show he did a pretty good job. Baden-Powell presented Scouting as a
game to be played. Try not to get trapped in the trap of training for
whatever ails us. You might know that JLTC and Wood Badge do not offer much
training in the Patrol Method, they help you understand it by doing it.
That is the way.
I am involved professionally in the field of training and development. One
of the "learnings" of recent years, and one of the developing concepts in
corporate learning is the shift from training to development. From teaching
to learning and, specifically, to the learner taking responsibility for
their own destiny, for their own learning. In a corporate setting many have
found that training (no matter how creative) often loses its potency when
the individual gets back to the real world. They look to see things done
"that way", the way they just learned, and no deal, it is not happening. The
example of the leader is always the key.
So, in a troop setting, you can be true to Scouting and to B-P's idea, if
you just do the program, let the boys lead, and always do things by and with
Just one old Scouter's thoughts. My own life experience has seen this work
in many circumstances. I urge you to think about it and give it a try.
Yours in Scouting,
Sam Houston Area Council
"When tempted to lecture do not. When tempted to train, play a game instead."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City