Re: new scouts patrol
Steve Tobin (srtobin@SKYPOINT.COM)
Wed, 12 Jun 1996 01:10:54 -600
Hi, Sandy and everyone
As you can see, there are differing opions on the New Scout
Patrol. Having made the trip from favoring it, to not liking it, and
back to liking it I have been on both sides. It works well for me, so
I will pass on what we do.
I like the peer patrol model instead of the "classic" mixed age
patrol for a number of reasons I won't get into now. It has it's
problems and negative points, but then both methods do. The system
that has evolved for us starts with the New Scout Patrol.
Each New Scout Patrol has a Troop Guide and an ASM Advisor assigned
to it. It is explained that each one will get a turn at being PL to
get some experience, and they are given the "short course" on how
the troop works and what the PL's responsibilities are. As each PL
is elected the Guide and I (or the ASM) sit down with him and
review his duties in a little more detail.
Someone said that a boy this age isn't ready to be a full blown PL,
and this is true. The ASM initially takes an active role in the
patrol. He works with the PL, teaching him what to do, and doing it
with him if necessary. As the PL builds confidence and experience he
will take over more responsiblitiy. This repeats with each new PL,
although later ones need less help than the first ones.
11 year old scouts and Webelos follow the laws of gases that I
learned in physics class. They are highly active, collide frequently
and expand to fill the space available. They take pretty close
supervision or they degenerate into caos pretty rapidly. Each group
of scouts is unique, as is each ASM, so each situation evolves
differently. The key is for the ASM to back off as soon as possible,
and to do things _with_ the patrol leaders and not _for_ them. We
also have the older scouts very involved with the the new boys, not
just the Guide.
The next year they require less ASM involvement, but he is still
there to help and guide. By the third year they are pretty much on
their own. The main need is someone to ensure they get things done
on time and remember important dates. Boys don't seem to have much
sense of time until they get older. Like 24, maybe.
Good luck with your new troop.
Steve Tobin, SM Troop 39 <email@example.com>
Cannon Falls, MN Gamehaven Council
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