Scoutmaster Podcast 10
This podcast features my patrol system overview based on Baden-Powell’s Aids to Scoutmastership
In This Podcast
Patrol system [2:02]
Clean camp [10:34]
Choosing a Troop [14:33]
“Difficult” Scouts [18:44]
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We’re the family mentioned in the “Choosing a Troop” segment based on an email I sent Mr. Green asking for his perspective on the choice before us. We took another couple of weeks to commit, but my son had his mind set on the well-accomodated troop that was further from home. I even tried to talk my son into going to the smaller, less-equipped troop where all of his den-mates were going to test his resolve. He wouldn’t be swayed. He stuck to his principles and the troop rating system that our District WEBELOS-to-Boy Scout tranition chair suggested he draft. Nine troop visits and six Scoutmaster conferences will educate a young boy well if he’s taking notes.
My son is a homeschool student and so wasn’t classmates with the other boys in his den, which may have been a factor in choosing to go his own way. He was, however, deeply disappointed when his closest denmate committed to go with the rest of our denmates to the small unit nearby.
A month into the new unit and I can’t keep him away from the troop hut. He’s made several friendships already, has successfully camped with his patrol, and even begged to participate in a cross-over ceremony just two weeks after he joined, at which we enjoyed being on the other side of the bridge for the first time. He earned his Scout “rank” at the first meeting and is loving every minute of it. I’m satisfied knowing that we did our homework in searching out our family’s first Boy Scout troop and that we were both independently like-minded in the result. I’m confident that my son made his choice based on his standards and has a deep pool of boys with which to forge friendships.
Even though the Scout Hut is thirteen miles awayI knew we would benefit from the scenic county drive because it would give us time to brief and de-brief on our meetings – his experience as a brand new Boy Scout and mine as a newly minted Committee Member.
I’m very proud of my boy and hope that he will fully appreciate the merit in choosing his own path, knowing that he’s joined other like-minded boys who also want to make the most of their Boy Scouting experience. I’ve used the experience as a teaching tool for encouraging him to choose healthy friendships with boys of good character and values and taking a stand against negative or un-Scout-like behavior. Of course, he’s not perfect and I make sure he knows that, but I have told him that I failed to guard my own influences in high school and college and accepted friendships with young men of bad character to my detriment. I tell him often that, “You get good at what you practice, whether good or bad.” But I digress.
There’s plenty of room for disagreement with our decision not to choose the closest unit or the one that all of his friends went to, but we’ve found what we were looking for. The unit is led by a 16-year-old Eagle Scout and functions well in patrols. The unit recently hosted our district Camporee and was told by the ranger that it was the best-run event in his five-year tenure. What wasn’t widely known was that quite a few older Scouts weren’t able to make the event because of a mandatory high school sporting event so it was mostly run by the younger and middle-school-aged Scouts.
Thanks again to all of you who provided your input on my initial email that Mr. Green posted some months ago – I carefully read and considered all of your comments.