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Thread: gender split in patrols

  1. #1
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    gender split in patrols

    I've always shied away from all girl and all boy patrols, but such is probably a bit easier, for example for camping. Yes, I know you can split tents (eg patrol tents) but NOT to have to explain to parents would be easier.
    However we're increasingly finding the kids themselves splitting by gender. We've now one patrol with 5 girls and one boy, and another with all girls, and yet another with all boys.
    This has been discussed at TLF, and from the kids end, they just want to be with their friends.
    Should we leaders do a thunderbolt from god bit and fix an unbroke situation? Should we just sit back and allow things to develop?

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    Member jamo1913's Avatar
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    Personally I don't like single sex patrols or even patrols where people are with their friends. One of the best skills I got from Scouts was the abillity to meet new people and to be able to work with them no matter what. This came from being in patrols away from my mates for our weekly meetings. Being put with people they don't know is something they will encounter throughout their lives and some of my best friends now have been people I met because I was in their group on a district/county event.

    However, when we were on camp (unless we had taken the patrol tents) we had the freedom to choose who we were with. The only problem with being with their mates is that if they have a falling out there is the potential you will have friction in the group for a few weeks/during the camp whilst it settles down. In my experience people who don't know each other and fall out usually get over it a lot quicker than those who know one another. If people arew with their mates and someone new joins the patrol they could feel a bit excluded as there is always the danger (and we are all guilty of it whether we know it or not) of things being a little cliquey at times.
    Last edited by jamo1913; 18-01-2013 at 02:56 PM.

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    I'm glad this has come up! I am trying to put a patrol system back into my scout troop, I have been ASL for the last year and am now SL, the previous SL was against it for reasons known best to himself..so for 4 years there has been no culture of working in patrols. They have done more team work in the last year and the new scouts and the ones who've come up in the last year are used to working in 6's from cubs....I am still pulling my hair out trying to decide who gos where!
    I could painlessly put them in friend groups!!
    The big drawback though is that skills and experience are not ballanced, I have a few very shy scouts, some awkward ones and a small hall! Ideally I would like to have 5 groups of 5, that would let me get the right mix of people but that many patrols is sooo difficult with our equipment and physical space in the hall, 4 patrols works better but gives me more clashes...
    I wondered about getting the kids to vote on PL's? The getting everyone to write 2 names next to theirs so that their is someone in the patrol the get on well with? Anyone got any good suggestions?

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    The ideal team for one job isn't the ideal team for another. Why not just put them in Patrols they're happy with but split them into different teams depending on what you're doing?
    You could keep a chart and play teamwork bingo - winner is first person to work in a team with every other member of the troop.
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    Senior Member Fraggle's Avatar
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    I usually avoid putting all girls together but recently we have only had a couple so they have ended up together. In the past we have had big fall outs with an all girl patrol!

    As for picking who goes where, I like to try to have an even split of ages across the patrol. That way when new people come in you don't have to jiggle everything around and get lots of people with the wrong badge on their arm! It also makes it 'fair' in the eyes of the kids, you get less 'well so and so is with his friends, why am I not?' sort of thing.

    I don't like having friends together in patrols if I can avoid it, they spend all day at school together and then bring whatever arguments/excitements/gossip etc with them to Scouts and they get distracted.

    I know there are lots of methods for choosing PLs, but as I am a control freak so I choose them! I do ask the PL forum for their input, especially when it comes to picking APLs, but ultimately it's my choice. I base it on behavior, commitment and maturity. It's surprising how much better behaved some of them are when they think they have a chance at promotion. :P

    What I would suggest when setting up the patrols is to make sure you use them for everything, games, activities etc. We also have a duty patrol that has to sweep up and pack away the chairs at the end of the meeting.

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    In our Troop we try to end up with a good mix of ages in each patrol so you have about the same level of average experience in each patrol. As people tend to be friends with people their own age then this does mean we end up splitting some friends up and we tend to split up any of them who show signs of messing around when they get together. We currently have 3 female PLs in the Troop all in the same school year and good friends with each other.

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    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    for cubs and know they do in scouts, we actively try and split up friends as it causes more problems, and if you split friends up people make new friends.

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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    I try to keep each patrol mixed, it's an opportunity to learn about life. When they get to university and jobs they will almost certainly work in a mixed sex environment, no point hiding them from it and they can maybe learn from each other.

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    In cubs we have mixed sixes. On camp they work in their sixes but sleep in separate tents (normally with their friends where poss).
    Spark - AGSL Emlyn Scout Group & soon to be AESL for our new Explorer Unit

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    We always have used PLC now TLF to choose PLs and allocate kids to patrols. That's how I beleive in doing things; that's why we're where we are.
    Thanks all for your inputs; food for thought.

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    Senior Member SimonM's Avatar
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    I used to try to mix things up a bit within patrols...

    Gender
    Ability
    Behaviour
    Friends

    Also, I've found that all girl groups generally demoralise the others by winning everything.

    Simon
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    SM(s) (B-PSA) RedCoat's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=MartinSykes;310627]The ideal team for one job isn't the ideal team for another. Why not just put them in Patrols they're happy with but split them into different teams depending on what you're doing?QUOTE]

    To me that rather defeats the whole point of having Patrols. It sometimes happens in our Group and niggles me every time it does.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Tibsie's Avatar
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    We do some things in "pure" patrols but sometimes we need two or three larger teams rather than 5 or 6 patrols, sometimes one patrol only has a couple of people in it on a particular camp or activity so they'll get put with another patrol.

    Patrols are used whole when possible otherwise they are used as the basis of other teams.

    To decide who goes in each patrol we start with our points system.
    Each Scout gets points based on how long they've been in Scouting, how many nights away they have, how many hikes, how many staged, activity and challenge badges they have, how often they attend weekly meetings and other events.

    This lets us see at a glance who has more experience than someone else. One of our Scouts has over 700 points, the older and keener ones have well over 600. Older but less enthusiastic Scouts have around 200-400 and Scouts just coming up from cubs have around 50.

    We even have a Scout who has been with us for quite a while but hasn't earned much more that 100 points. They don't come on camps, they don't have many badges and their attendance is sporadic but not low enough to give them the boot. There's not a lot more we can do, we provide the opportunity, it's up to them to take it.

    We use the points along with our own experience to make decisions about who to make PLs and APLs, then we try to balance the patrol points totals as best we can to even them out. It's difficult with new Scouts because you don't know how well they'll do before you put them in a patrol. Once you get to know the kids you know that there are some who don't go well with someone else.

    At the moment we have a LOT moving on to Explorers. So many that we have a temporary "Moving On" patrol that's about 1.5 times the size of a regular patrol.

    Regarding girls, we try to engineer a gender balance across patrols. Before last summer we were down to two girls, last term that went up when we had some join from Brownies but only about half seem to have "bedded in". This term we've had another few girls from Brownies but this batch appear to be more enthusiastic.

    On camps the cooking and activity patrols are their normal patrols, tweaked for numbers if needed. Sleeping patrols are different of course. Recently we've only needed one tent to accommodate the girls with the boys in more or less the camp patrols. We've had more girls than boys on camps in the past and it's never been a problem.

    Be flexible with patrols, if something's not working then feel free to move people around. Most Scouts in our troop have been in two or three different patrols by the time they leave, sometimes because they need a PL that can cope with them, others because of a promotion to APL or PL.
    Tom
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    [QUOTE=Tibsie;310700
    We use the points along with our own experience to make decisions about who to make PLs and APLs,

    Be flexible with patrols, if something's not working then feel free to move people around. Most Scouts in our troop have been in two or three different patrols by the time they leave, sometimes because they need a PL that can cope with them, others because of a promotion to APL or PL.[/QUOTE]

    I guess we're at diametric ends of the spectrum- nothing wrong in that! We use our PLs and APLs, along with leaders in deciding what to do. If I'm not misunderstanding you, your adult leaders do that.
    I see that working well if that's what suits you.
    But I'm sure we all get the kids we deserve and it's likely my rabble wouldn't work with you, and vice versa.

  15. #15
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    Tried single sex patrols on summer camp last year to make it easier for tentage. NEVER EVER EVER EVER AGAIN

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