Thanks to the 90 participants who responded to the patrol system survey.
I have prepared an analysis of the results that I plan on using during a university of Scouting training event.
The patrol system is the essential element of Scouting. It is the central focus of successfully delivering all that the Scouting program promises.
Applying the patrol system (or method) has always been a challenge as it is often misunderstood.
Like many Scoutmasters I have struggled with understanding and implementing the patrol system effectively. Over the past twenty six years I have attempted several different approaches to building and sustaining a strong patrol system. In that time I have learned that the basic framework of Scouting needs no modification; the basic principles are sound.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
Most of what happens in Scouting is not easily quantifiable and there is too broad a range of practices to imagine that there is any way to ask all the ‘right’ questions. I am also aware that anything I author is going to be subject to my own experiences, interpretations and biases. I designed this survey rather hastily in order to see if I could gather some information for a training course I am preparing. It is by no means exhaustive or scientific (or particularly well designed).
The Patrol System Survey PDF file
Michael S. Malone says
Very interesting results — and eye-opening. The range of troop ‘cultures’ is quite remarkable.
If you decide to expand upon your section on methodology and potential sampling error, I have a couple comments. On your question about adult participation in troop meetings: We have a 75-boy troop that is almost entirely boy run However, every meeting features a “Scoutmasters Minute” at the end (as I think even Baden-Powell suggested). And there is a moment in every meeting where the SPL asks, “Are there any adult announcements?” and gives permission for those adults to speak. I considered that adult involvement; from another perspective it is not.
By the same token, on the question of the frequency of patrol events, I considered only the annual patrol campout, not the biweekly patrol meetings (which were addressed in another question). If you meant any patrol only activities, my number now jumps from 1 to about 25.
I’m not sure if anyone else had the same confusion. Otherwise, I thought your questions and phrasing were dead-on . . .and the results are very useful to this ASM.