"Senior scouts"

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"Senior scouts"

Postby Fred Johnson » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:09 pm

"Senior scouts." I want to learn what others do. Okay. I'm hoping this can be more "sharing" than potificating / preaching / pointing fingers or just quoting BSA policies. I'll stay out of the discussion on this one (as best I can).

The topic came from discussions with adults who are former scouts during our last camp out.

Several local very successful and quality troops emphasize "senior scouts". Scouters often have the attitude that younger scouts can't learn leadership or run a troop without having senior scouts teach it and/or help. (I agree it is preferred, but I don't think it is a show stopper.)

The real question is that some troops elevate the status of "senior scouts" or form "senior scout" patrols that run the troop (choosing / recommending who should be on the ballot, running advancement, etc.). I don't fully understand as our troop doesn't do this.

Our troop is more egalitarian in that they elect their SPL and PLs and only use the three types of patrols from the SM handbook: new, standard, and venture. Our PLC is pretty standard and uses the standard PLC planning sheet. Generally though, all our scouts are treated the same. We don't use a "senior scout" for privilege or status except sometimes with troop guides. And, some of our scouts do focus more on high adventure when they are older. Younger scouts focus on skills or basic advancement.

I'd like to hear from troops that use "senior scouts" as maybe our troop should adopt some of those incentives and/or practices.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:23 pm

Moved mine into a Venturing Crew where they belong :twisted: Let the flaming begin
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby Fred Johnson » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:55 am

wagionvigil wrote:Moved mine into a Venturing Crew where they belong :twisted: Let the flaming begin


I don't understand.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:26 am

We started a Winter Spots Crew (aka Skiing) separate for the Troop for all Boys from grade 10 up. They ran it they planned all the activities and they all made Eagle. They intern invited friends and we went co ed.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:17 am

"Fred"....Wagion is a huge proponent of the BSA automatically moving scouts at age 14 into Ventures. Cubs 6-10; BS 10-13; Ventures 14-21

We do not form a Senior Patrol..not enough scouts to do that. We have moved our 2 Eagles into JASM positions and they serve as help to the SPL/ASPL since they held those postions. The rest of the troop is split into troops mixed with new and old scouts.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:24 am

smtroop168 wrote:"Fred"....Wagion is a huge proponent of the BSA automatically moving scouts at age 14 into Ventures. Cubs 6-10; BS 10-13; Ventures 14-21

We do not form a Senior Patrol..not enough scouts to do that. We have moved our 2 Eagles into JASM positions and they serve as help to the SPL/ASPL since they held those postions. The rest of the troop is split into troops mixed with new and old scouts.


Troops Or Patrols?? :lol: I also think that the scouts that Join Crews end up being better leaders in the troop if they decide to stay. The 17 year old -10 1/2 year old mix is not a good thing anymore.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby kwildman » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:56 am

wv - why 10th grade. Venturing is open to completed 8th grade or 14?

we dont do anything special for senior scouts. They are in the experienced patrol but most of them are pretty good at letting others lead and not being a detractor.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:33 pm

I agree at 14 but I would say mandatory in grade 10. The youth decided who would make the cut off and since our High school at that time was 10-12 that is what they did.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby Billiken » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:42 pm

The oldest Scout in our troop turns 17 in January.
He earned his Eagle in Feb 2010.

After his ECOH I told him he owed the troop 1 year of service in a non-SPL, ASPL, or PL position(s).
He agreed/complied

How did I do this?
Scout in question in my son.

He talked with our corresponding Crew Advisor and will likey joing the crew in 2011.

We have only 1 other Scout that's 14+, currently serving as ASPL.
(He's attending NAYLE at Philmont this summer.)
Currently Life, he said he wants to complete his Eagle in the Troop with me as the Scoutmaster of Record.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:46 pm

Billiken wrote:The oldest Scout in our troop turns 17 in January.
He earned his Eagle in Feb 2010.

After his ECOH I told him he owed the troop 1 year of service in a non-SPL, ASPL, or PL position(s).
He agreed/complied

How did I do this?
Scout in question in my son.



I guess you can get away with adding to the requirements!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Were there any car keys attached to this requirement? :wink:
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby Fred Johnson » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:51 pm

I did not mean the "older boy problem" at all. I'm familiar with it and how Venturing can be a great solution. I fully support Venturing.

My question is different though. And, I may not have titled this subject correctly. I should have called it more “Senior Scout Patrol” established through special selection and having special privileges. Several local troops use them (not ours) and one of our very very vocal scout parents is strongly pushing it.

  • Does anyone use them?
  • How does the concept mix with BSA rules / policies / concepts?
  • (or better said) Can it exist within BSA rules / policies / concepts?
  • How are the initial members of the senior scout patrol chosen?
  • How are the members chosen in the future?
  • Are they members of other patrols?
  • How do they relate / interact with PLCs? Troop guides? Patrol leaders?
  • What special privileges do they have?

There’s related issues with this that I’ll avoid wasting everyone’s time by discussing. I curious about this concept. Personally, I’d rather avoid it as I don’t see it in BSA’s program. But, others have used it and are using it. Now, I need to understand it so that we can adopt or reject it.
Last edited by Fred Johnson on Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby Billiken » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:52 pm

smtroop168 wrote:Were there any car keys attached to this requirement? :wink:


Location and access of Jeep Wrangler keys is a function of GPA (available real-time over his school's web site). :D
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Fred what I see is using this "senior Patrol" Concept to avoid doing what BSA would like to see and that is a Crew Started. I would like to suggest if you can fimd the New Powder Horn this year somewhere get a couple older Trained (NYLT or Crew Leadership training)youth to take it. The New course is one weekend and any scout/Venturer can take Powder Horn. The course at Heritage in AUgust is using two crews for the youth which would allo for 16 total.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby Fred Johnson » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:27 pm

I hope my boys get into Venturing. And, I've recommended specific Venturing crews to our scouts. I also support creating a venture patrol in the troop if boys want extra high-adventure and/or more challenges.

I'm really wondering though about troops that create a special "senior scout patrol" as an honor patrol with special privileges and such. It's being strongly pushed as a new concept in our troop. I'd like to understand the issues.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:31 pm

Fred Johnson wrote:I hope my boys get into Venturing. And, I've recommended specific Venturing crews to our scouts. I also support creating a venture patrol in the troop if boys want extra high-adventure and/or more challenges.

I'm really wondering though about troops that create a special "senior scout patrol" as an honor patrol with special privileges and such. It's being strongly pushed as a new concept in our troop. I'd like to understand the issues.

Don't start a VEnture Patrol. It is Not Venturing and there are things they cannot do that a Crew member can pistols for one High Powered Rifles for another
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:07 pm

Fred Johnson wrote:I did not mean the "older boy problem" at all. I'm familiar with it and how Venturing can be a great solution. I fully support Venturing.

My question is different though. And, I may not have titled this subject correctly. I should have called it more “Senior Scout Patrol” established through special selection and having special privileges. Several local troops use them (not ours) and one of our very very vocal scout parents is strongly pushing it.

  • Does anyone use them?
  • How does the concept mix with BSA rules / policies / concepts?
  • (or better said) Can it exist within BSA rules / policies / concepts?
  • How are the initial members of the senior scout patrol chosen?
  • How are the members chosen in the future?
  • Are they members of other patrols?
  • How do they relate / interact with PLCs? Troop guides? Patrol leaders?
  • What special privileges do they have?

There’s related issues with this that I’ll avoid wasting everyone’s time by discussing. I curious about this concept. Personally, I’d rather avoid it as I don’t see it in BSA’s program. But, others have used it and are using it. Now, I need to understand it so that we can adopt or reject it.


We don't. I don't use new Scout Patrols either or special 1st Class in a year programs. I integrate the new guys with the older ones and empower the older ones to teach (and sign off their books)the younger ones

There is literature in the old BSA handbooks about Senior Patrols and one of my uniforms has a "Senior Scout" Patch sewn on about the BSA one over the right pocket. We were the 3 Eagles who didn't bolt after getting our medals. We functioned as a patrol for campouts but we're "staff" advisors to the SPL and other PLs serving as quasi ASMs. I seem to recall we had our SM and one ASM for 75 scouts. Here's a sample of the patch

http://cgi.ebay.com/Boy-Scouts-America- ... 4aa6c2a72b



My guess is that troops that use Senior Patrols today as a retention tools for the older guys to allow them time away from the younger guys. Special privleges? Like what? Separate tents? Don't have to cook or clean?

So are they breaking any rules...no unless the Senior Patrol becomes a secret society. Does it work for them? Looks like it Will it work for your troop? Maybe.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby Fred Johnson » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:24 pm

smtroop168 wrote:We don't. I don't use new Scout Patrols either or special 1st Class in a year programs. I integrate the new guys with the older ones and empower the older ones to teach (and sign off their books)the younger ones

There is literature in the old BSA handbooks about Senior Patrols and one of my uniforms has a "Senior Scout" Patch sewn on about the BSA one over the right pocket. We were the 3 Eagles who didn't bolt after getting our medals. We functioned as a patrol for campouts but we're "staff" advisors to the SPL and other PLs serving as quasi ASMs. I seem to recall we had our SM and one ASM for 75 scouts. Here's a sample of the patch

http://cgi.ebay.com/Boy-Scouts-America- ... 4aa6c2a72b

My guess is that troops that use Senior Patrols today as a retention tools for the older guys to allow them time away from the younger guys. Special privleges? Like what? Separate tents? Don't have to cook or clean?

So are they breaking any rules...no unless the Senior Patrol becomes a secret society. Does it work for them? Looks like it Will it work for your troop? Maybe.


Thanks. That's great info. I didn't know it was in the old handbooks. It seems like a lot of the confusion is between current published BSA stuff and past BSA practices.

We're not thinking of it as a retention tool. We're having no trouble with retention. We're thinking of it as something to make the scouts focus more on advancement, leadership and scout spirit.
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby Mrw » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:01 pm

smtroop168 wrote: Eagles who didn't bolt after getting our medals. We functioned as a patrol for campouts but we're "staff" advisors to the SPL and other PLs serving as quasi ASMs.


We currently have a leader patrol made of a few of these guys. All are cross-registered with the Crew as well, but still wanted to help out with the troop too.

They are currently functioning more as mentors for the SPL and PLs. I guess the only "perk" they have is that they do not have as much teaching time with the new boys. And after they have done that for 3-4 years already, it has gotten old and they do not want to be bothered with the "little kids."
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby ThunderingWind » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:47 pm

Two Troops, Councils and one region ago...the troop I was with called this the "Life" Patrol. Once they made Life rank they culd bring their own tents, backpacking stoves and eat whatever they wanted.

For all other Scouts it was Troop tents, Patrol meals and duty rooster stuff.

They still had to serve on the duty rooster for water fetching and wood gathering, fire watch, flag duty, latrine scrubbing, etc....
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Re: "Senior scouts"

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:18 pm

What does a Troop Rooster look like? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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