scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: New Scout Patrols to Permanent Patrols
Sat Jul 15 2000 - 21:28:47 CDT
>1) How long does your troop use the New Scout Patrol?
The new Scout Patrol is a full time patrol. Typically its membership turns
over in a year. That's probably the only patrol where the ASM gets a little
bit of a break. Which is a good thing since, after working with the New
Scouts for 9-10 months, he NEEDS IT!<g>
But after a 2-3 months "slowdown", its back to it again!
>2) What tells you it's time to merge the New Scouts into the permanent
I use the New Scout Patrol for all Scouts who are crossing over from WEBELOS
or, if I have a new scout that is in the same age group. I have not had
success with "older" youth that join Scouting in this environment. The
age/maturity difference seems to be too much and the older youth get
discouraged. When dealing with a 13ish new Scout I put them immediately
into a "regular" patrol, but have them join the new scouts when we are
working specific skills that the new youth needs.
I move "new Scout Patrol" members into a permanent patrol when one of a
couple of things happens:
a. they make first class (generally first year)
b. They are down to one or two requirements (typically things they need
to do themselves), and are not getting value from the new scout patrol any
c. If the age situation starts to come into play.
>3) How do you merge them?
Depends on the year and the Scouts. If I have the luxury, I try to give both
the youth and the patrols an option as to patrol assignments. Some years, I
simply have to place them in "a" patrol, because I haven't lost enough youth
(other than through age attrition) to provide a "selection". This year it is
quite possible that we will be forming a new patrol in the troop as the boys
earn 1st class. Could be an interesting opportunity to allow the youth to
>4) How do you start new permanent Patrols when you've grown such that the
>existing ones do not accommodate all of the New Scouts?
I've tried several approaches. The end result is that it depends on the
personality of the group your dealing with. Some years I have allowed a
patrol to form exclusively from the New Scouts that are moving up. Other
times I have asked for "volunteers" out of certain patrols to form a new one.
Other times I have simply advised them that they were moving to a new
patrol. Each approach worked. Each approach had advantages and
disadvantages. You need to give real thought to it and make a decision based
on the personality of the boys.
>5) If you don't use the New Scout Patrol, why?
I didn't use the New Scout Patrol the first two years I was Scoutmaster.
Basically, at the time I felt that the interaction with the older youth was
more valuable. Looking back, I think that was a mistake. But that was my
experience. The experience of other units that I know of has been very
positive for them and worked. Partially troop size played a role. Sometimes
the specific adult leadership plays a role. Sometimes the strength of the
youth leadership plays a role.
My recommendation, FWIW, is to do the new Scout Patrol. In general, it is
well worth the effort and helps the transition period. There's sound
programmatic and experience behind the BSA recommendation.
>6) How much does your PLC do in managing this?
That's one of the helpful aspects of the New Scout patrol. It starts getting
them involved in a process (the PLC) that they otherwise wouldn't have
exposure to. I include the PL, APL, and try to involve other new scouts in
the PLC so they gain familiarity with what its about and how it works. It
also helps them to understand what "boy run" is supposed to be about.
>7) What special thing works really well for your New Scout Patrols?
The Troop Guide. Read the Job Description for this position. Work with your
SPL VERY carefully. A good Guide is a God Send. The Scouts will have a
GREAT time and learn quickly and well. Retention will be high. Rank
Advancement will occur as it should. The new Scouts will rapidly (within 3-4
months) become fully integrated into the troop. The rest of the troop will
know them by name and work with them. You won't hear "hey, new scout" from
the rest of the troop.
A different kind of ASM. Remember, they are fresh out of Cubs and need
coaching to get into the Boy Scout "thing". You can't dump em into it, the
culture shock is too much. They need a bit more mentoring and supervision
than the other patrols, but they also need someone that can help them learn
and transition. The Troop Guide is KEY, the right kind of ASM is just as
critical. MUCH more so than in the "regular" patrols.
>Thanks for sharing!
Any time. Should be an interesting set of answers.
BSA Troop 225
London in a week and PEAK 2000 in two weeks!!