Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Patrol Method
Re: Patrol Method
William L McLeod
Wed, 28 Apr 1999 14:08:19 -0400
You are right, the patrol method says that it should be a boy run troop.
However, boys don't intuitively know how to be leaders, and they won't learn how
to be leaders without our help. When I have a talk with a Scout I like to ask
questions. This allows the scout to come up with an answer and gives him a
model of how to solve problems in the future. Boys this age aren't always able
to predict the outcome of a situation. They haven't had the experience to see
the "warning signs". It is our job to point out those signs to them and let
them decide on a course of action.
A boy run troop with little input from an adult is just as bad as an adult led
troop with no input from the boys. I am finding out more and more that the SM
position is a coaching role not a leader role. (I am not always successful at
remembering that I am the coach, but I keep trying. <g>)
Have you had discussions with the new PL? Does he understand what is expected
of him? Has he had any Junior Leader Training? Have you approached him to see
if he thinks there is a problem? Have you talked with the SPL to discuss the
problem and possible solutions?
I would suggest a couple of things:
1) Troop JLTC if you haven't done it in the past 6 months or so. Be sure to
emphasize leadership styles and what makes a good leader.
2) Individual SM conference starting with the SPL on down.
SPL: Do you see anything wrong with this patrol? Does everyone in the patrol
get along? What do you think the problem is? What could be done to change
things? Have you talked with the PL?
PL: Do you see anything wrong with this patrol? Did you think that there
might be a problem when boys started leaving the patrol? Does everyone get
along? What did you do to resolve conflicts? How did the patrol make
decisions? What kind of a person do you think makes a good leader?
Patrol members past and present: Do you see any problems in this patrol? What
could be done to make it a better patrol?
After your SM conferences, THEN let the boys be leaders. See if are able to
implement their ideas and solutions. See if they can use the 11 skills of
leadership to be better leaders. Follow up with each individual to see if
things are working out. If not, then coach some more. Otherwise, coach some
Bill McLeod, SM
(trying to be the coach not the leader)