Re: Adult/Leader Patrols
John Peschken (jpeschke@TSI.COM)
Mon, 1 Dec 1997 23:23:50 -0600
Wow, do you sound like us, about a year ago!
We finally decided we had to give the boys a chance to run things. We
started on a trip about a year ago. We took a cabin for the "Leader
patrol", and each of the other patrols had their own cabins ... these are
about 20-30' apart, but it made a world of difference.
It was completely amazing to us, how fast the boys figured out that they
were largely responsible for themselves, and rose to the occasion. Leaders
emerged, and they survived.
Now, that's not to say we abandoned them. We'd sort of wander by their
cabins now and then to observe how things were going. If it was dinner
time, and nothing was happening, we simply asked "Is there a problem?" If
the answer was "No", we suggested they might want to get on it, and then we
walked away. No pushing, no doing it for them. One patrol "didn't get
around to" doing dinner one night. They got real hungry as the evening
went on. No one died.
So, my advice?
Do: Say "It's up to you" a lot. Make sure they're safe. Guide them. Make
suggestions. Offer to help by explaining how it's done.
Do Not: Nag or do it for them. Even the youngest ones will develop an
amazing amount of self sufficiency so fast you won't believe your eyes.
I happen to think if you don't let them run it themselves, you're cheating
them out of one of the best things about being a Scout. Don't sell them
short, they can do it.
At 07:58 PM 12/1/97 -0600, you wrote:
>Some background... Our troop is mostly young scouts: out of about 25 boys
>only 5 are First Class or above; only 3 are 14 or over. The Troop is 5
>years old, but had always been very small until the year before last; all
>the current members except one have joined the Troop in the last 2 years.
>The sudden growth has been tough on everyone, including the SM. We have 2-4
>adults actively working with each of the 3 patrols (all but 1 (me) are
>trained ASMs; 2 are currently doing their Woodbadge tickets). However, from
>what I observe, the troop has never been truly boy-led. With such a young
>group and so many adults, I fear we're in danger of being a "Cub Scout
>Troop", if you know what I mean.
Maple Grove, Minnesota, USA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City