Getting Patrols working in the age range 10.5 to 14 age range and Scouts Forums

The county held a brainstorming session early July on two topics
close to scout leader’s hearts and which were giving them problems.
The two subjects were as follows.

Getting PLs and Patrols working in the scout age 10.5 to 14 age
range.

How to get Scout Forums working to give scouts the
voice. 

The 16 scout leaders from all around the county who attended the
session were asked to list problems that they had and potential
solutions for each or the two subjects in turn.

Discussion then took place and the outcome of these discussions
they came up with the following ideas

Getting PLs and Patrols working in the scout age 10.5 to
14 age range
.

–          Have
peer group patrols.

–          Have
team challenges and team building events (identify leaders)

–          Choose
scouts with leadership not age.

–          Create
Patrol identity and loyality

–          Get
Patrols to create their own name/flags.

–          Give
Patrol own boxes.

–          Give
small responsibility first and build up (start small).

–          Run a
balanced program.

–          Inspire
rivalry/team spirit by competitions

–         
Reward/point systems for patrol/scouts

–         
Privileges for PLs (e,g. specific events)

–          Have a
mentor, e.g. Young Leader/Senior PL

–         
Motivate/Encourage/Praise

–          Have
introduction to PLs

–          PLs
training at troop/district/county level

–          Get the
scouts to create a code of conduct

–          Get PLs
involved in planning and running events/activities.

–          Get them
to cook in Patrols at camp.

–          Have a
District PL advisor (adult)

–          Agreeing
with leaders the value and purposes of the Patrol system.

 How to get Scout Forums working to give scouts the
voice.

–          Letting
scouts make decisions, something small first, e.g. game, then build
up.

–          Build in
discussions (in the program) on topics with the troop that they are
interested in. Brainstorming ideas, etc

–          Give
them simple choices initially, i.e. do you want to do this or this
and build up.

–          Make it
fun by say having corners for the answers and ask to run to a
particular one when asked the questions. Or have “pass the parcel”
where questions are in with the prize. They have to be answered by
the person unwrapping the paper.

–          Have
blind voting system (Scouts close their eyes and put hands up to
vote yes or no) or a Spoon in hand system – for scouts to speak.
This gives the less vocal scouts a voice.

–          Court of
honour – Scouts themselves to decide what to when scouts
mis-behave.

–          Put in
place actions from any forums and make sure these are acted on.

–          Have PLC
(Patrol Leader Councils/Forums). This can be just getting the PLs
together at the end of a day at camp or a meeting and asking them
how things are going or to get feedback or ideas. They can be made
longer if the PLs are able and willing.

–          Use any
available time or opportunity, E.g. talking to them on a hike or a
journey back from an activity.

–          District
level – Establish a common format.

–         
Troop  Level – gaining buy in from the leaders and scouts.

–          Put in
place Actions and follow them through otherwise the scouts will
wonder what is the point.

–          Tailor
the scout’s ideas so that they are safe, affordable and doable
whilst not curbing any enthusiasm.

As a result the leaders will try these ideas and a feedback
meeting will held in the Autumn (Date to be decided upon) to
discuss what worked or did not work. Any scout leader in the county
will be invited to the next session so please keep an eye on this
site or you can details from your ADC(S). Also have a look for
“Taking the Lead” on the www.scouts.org.uk website for
Patrol Leader training.

Andy Connellan (Womble) ACC(Scouts)