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Thread: An Efficient Flag Break (& Flag Down)

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    An Efficient Flag Break (& Flag Down)

    Hi,

    We have been Scout Leaders for about 12months, and since we have been leaders, the Scouts do not achieve a efficient flag break & flag down, (they mess around too much!!!). When we started the old Scout Leader had them standing in a line PL in Front and rest behind, (we changed this to Horse shoe because they kept prodding each other). The problem we get when we call "fall in" the Scouts arent even dressed so we wait for 5 minutes for them to put their shirts on etc., when they fall in they continue to talk.

    We have tried asking for quiet, we have tried being quiet ourselves waiting for them to follow suit, but at the end of it all we are 15mins into our meeting.

    We even "fall in" 15mins before flag down because of the same problems, thus leaving us with 1hour for the actual meeting. This is a problem which we have inherited any advice would be great please.

    YIS,
    Al

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    We had this problem a few years ago (again inherited). My solution was to explain to the scouts that if they did the flag break dismisal well we could spend more time on games. I invited the parents into the hall at the end of every meeting to watch the flag down. After six months it improved and two and a half years later they do it very well.

    It will take time for them to chanfe their attitude but is possible with persiverance
    Mike
    DESC - Icknield, Luton



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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Ach! Time for a good old RSM bollocking.

    Seriously, lay the law down. This is RESPECT for your country, your fellow Scouts. Disrespecting the Flag is disrespecting your country and in some countries would see you in jail, or taken outside and given a beating. The mere fact that you CAN disrespect the Flag without any serious penalty is the very reason that you SHOULD respect the Flag.

    At Flag Down at the end of the night, I'll stop them, and make them do it again and again until they get it right. You only need to keep them 5 to 10 minutes past time for their parents to get stroppy with them. Longest time was 20 minutes to get the flag correct, they never got it wrong for six months after that!
    Ewan Scott

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    Yes, I've got the T-shirt Sparkgap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_P View Post
    We had this problem a few years ago (again inherited). My solution was to explain to the scouts that if they did the flag break dismisal well we could spend more time on games. I invited the parents into the hall at the end of every meeting to watch the flag down. After six months it improved and two and a half years later they do it very well.

    It will take time for them to chanfe their attitude but is possible with persiverance
    We do a similar thing with ours: the quicker they get flag break done the more time for games (especially Manhunt which seems to be their favourite!). If they take too long they lose the first game. Likewise for flag down and handing out notices, they'll lose time on the last game as we'll cut it short if I don't think they'll have enough time to get ready. They soon learn!
    Andy
    SL 1st Wellington
    www.wellingtonscouts.org

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    Flag break is the one time we refuse to have any talking or messing about. Any Scout caught talking, prodding etc is sent to the corner of the room to stand on their own. The duty PL does flag break from start to finish - they bring the Troop to alert, break the flag, step back, salute, return to their place in their Patrol and then puts the Scouts "at ease". They do the same at the end of the meeting and dismiss the troop.

    We all stand in a square - Leaders and Young Leaders along the wall by the flag, a patrol ao our left and right and 2 Patrols facing us so we can see everyone. The only time we all have our back to a Patrol is when the flag is being broken or lowered. If we think we have an issue, a Leader stands behind that Patrol.

    We made it part of the code of conduct that silence is expected at flag break.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Ach! Time for a good old RSM bollocking.

    Seriously, lay the law down. This is RESPECT for your country, your fellow Scouts. Disrespecting the Flag is disrespecting your country and in some countries would see you in jail, or taken outside and given a beating. The mere fact that you CAN disrespect the Flag without any serious penalty is the very reason that you SHOULD respect the Flag.

    At Flag Down at the end of the night, I'll stop them, and make them do it again and again until they get it right. You only need to keep them 5 to 10 minutes past time for their parents to get stroppy with them. Longest time was 20 minutes to get the flag correct, they never got it wrong for six months after that!
    AMEN BROTHER!

    Flag break and flag down, the only times in the evening I demand (not ask), silence, respect, and self control. My Patrols stand in lines, making an open ended rectangle, PL on one end, APL on the other.


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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Our Scouts have been messing about more and more at flag break and flag down over recent years. I was chatting with our SL last night and she has decided that she is going to nip this in the bud and get them standing properly at alert and at ease when told as they are wasting time with the messing around currently.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Senior Member CilDroichid's Avatar
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    I brought in a new 'tradition' about 3 years ago of Duty Patrol; circulates around the patrols each week.

    Duty PL chooses who will do opening prayer, flag break and flag down/closing prayer/taps.

    Most of the time they do ok; but we've had issues in the past.

    On one occasion I was so irritated by the chatter that I told them if they messed around next time, we'd repeat flag down until they got it right....

    Not a week later, one of my ASLs told 3 scouts to leave parade during flag down and go out into the foyer as they were messing.

    That was the last straw for me! Told the flag patrol to raise the flag back and secure it (I could hear the whispers behind me 'OMG! she's doing to make us do it again!!' ), told an ASL to bring in the messers... made everyone fall in to patrols and stand silently while I counted to 20, with a very stern look on my face! (I'm told I look very scary when I'm cross! ) You could hear a pin drop!

    Our flag down routine now is:

    Fall in to patrols, PLs 'dress' the patrol.

    If someone in a patrol is messing, I'll call the PLs name, quietly if possible and say something like 'John, sort out your patrol please', PL usually gets the hint and swaps around two scouts who are chatting/messing (or mutters 'Shut the **** up', which I pretend not to hear!)

    Give notes to PL to hand out after dismissal, I do any reminders etc.,
    PL chooses scout for closing prayer.
    After closing prayer, I remind scouts for silence while we do flag down (I found this to be the crucial bit, lord knows why!),
    Flag down
    then we have Taps (again PL chooses the scout who will lead) and dismissed.

    PLs hand out notes after dismissal

    My biggest irritation now is the ASLs chatting while I'm doing the notes/upcoming stuff!

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    Sorry to butt in, i run Explorers obviously its a tadge different due to ages, but we have flag break and flag down, but if someone messes around i get those not messing around to do 10 pressups, even the girls do it..

    Generally though they do the flag ok, i've seen worse that is for sure..

    i suppose its the ex-RN matelot in me!

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    Senior Member Fraggle's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem and we solved it (ish!) in two ways.

    Firstly we made the Patrol Leaders responsible for their Patrol and we award the first Patrol to fall in extra patrol points. We have got to the point now where noone calls 'fall in', I just walk into the hall at 7.15 to find the whole troop ready and waiting!

    As for taking too long to get ready for flag down... Well I had been telling them for a couple of weeks they were taking too long and one night they were messing around alot so we started our final game and after about 15 seconds I called fall in. They were gutted that they lost a game!

    Anyway, hope that helps!

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    Hi,

    Many thanks for all the responses.

    We tried to implement them last night, I asked the Patrol Leaders to Sort their Patrols out, and when the Patrol Leaders messed about one of the ASL's went behind them to have a word.

    When it went to far I asked the Patrol Leader (who was messing about what time it was, I then explained we had lost 5 mins of the meeting down to them) it worked well.

    The same principle worked at flad down, just hopefully they keep it up.

    We were waiting for a First Responedr to come and do First Aid, so while we had 10mins I sat them all down in a half circle on the floor, and we did a Code Of Conduct.

    For each Code of Conduct they named they got to propose a future Activity. This worked well, but to me surprise the first CofC they named was to behave at flag break and flag down.

    Plus they paid attention during the first aid.

    I just hope it continues!

    YIS,
    al

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    Ok. Here's what I did.

    Due to not releasing the program to the scouts so they can't pick and choose which week they come I can swap things about at the last minute.

    I gave them a warning that if it didn't improve they would spend a whole evening doing fall in, fall out, flag up and flag down until they got it right.


    It didn't improve so I stuck to my word, three weeks later it was raining outside but going to be firelighting skills but instead we did that all night. we did play the odd game but I'd shout fall in to see if they could do it mid game or whenever I decided.

    By the end of the night they had it sorted and now as soon as it starts going bad I threaten it again which makes them all pay attention.

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    We just stopped all games we did before and at the end of the evening. We also run a tuck shop, that was also stopped when they misbehaved.

    Myself and the other leaders were getting annoyed with the Scouts not taking FB/FD serious enough. One evening we spent 30mins for FB getting them to not talk while alert, falling out correctly etc. Flag down was the same, we over ran our meeting by 10mins, but it's simple, all they had to do was turn right and salute, wow they found that hard! Parents were find with the over run. They can be just as bad some times, chatting away! Patrol Leaders have also been told what they should be doing to help too.

    They are all like pro's now.
    Last edited by OMGitsDan; 23-11-2011 at 10:27 AM.
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    We had a problem of the Scouts messing around during FB/FD whilst we were all facing the flag - and hence couldn't see what they were up to!

    So, I've started to get the SPL to run the FB/FD entirely, so I can stand at the back to identify the offenders! It's been working quite well.

    If anyone messes around, we repeat it until it's done properly. Though haven't had to do that much since standing at the back!

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