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Pathfindersonline • View topic - New to Precision Drilling

Pathfindersonline

Networking ideas for Pathfinder Ministry
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:07 pm 
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ok, my club is getting ready to start a fancy drill team and I seem to be in charge...i know the basics really well (having a drill master from the army in my first club can do that.), but i'm kinda lost as to the whole idea as to how to go about this. how do i keep the kids liking it? are there any required moves (i'm from the southern california conference if that helps)? Where are competitions held? how do you enroll? basically everything....please help! thanks!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:56 pm 
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I will attempt to answer as many of your questions as possible.

You will need to contact your area coordinator or your Conference Pathfinder Director to inquire about required moves, where and when the competitions are held, and how to enroll.

Usually drill is split up into 2 categories. The required stuff and the fancy stuff. My conference (Georgia-Cumberland Conference) has rules for both categories. Each conference will differ as to how they run a drill event. As I, and I believe others as well, like to define the categories, the required category is all about precision. How well your team moves together for each command is the important part of that category. That is why they require certain moves (usually well known moves that have a set way of being performed). The fancy category is more about creativity. Your team may do certain moves that are unique to your club.

I have saved, perhaps the most important (as well as the hardest) question for last. Keeping Pathfinders interested in drill & marching is the key to a successful team. But creating and keeping that interest is a challenge. The following answer is not a formula for how to keep interest up, it is an opinion and a narrative of how I do it. Don't force an activity like this upon anyone. That is the surest way to destroy any interest in the activity. Drill & Marching needs to be a volunteer group. Don't make practices too long. One to 1 1/2 hours is about all that a practice should last. Any longer and those involved will loose interest quickly. Don't be too strict. This doesn't mean that the team shouldn't learn about discipline (personal control), team work, and rigidity. But be loose, especially at the start of practice and the first practices. Being too strict means that the team members are not likely enjoying themselves and will thus not do as well. Reward hard work. Give the team members something to look forward to. Get to know your team. If a team member doesn't know each member of the team, then they won't work as well as a team. A team will also not work as well with a distant drill instructor. They usually enjoy being friends with their drill instructor. This allows them to talk to the DI about problems knowing that the DI will work with them.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:52 pm 
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ok, thanks...one more question I forgot... what is the smallest amout of people you would recommend to be on a team...my club is small. (2 friends, 6 explorers, 2 rangers, 5/6 guides, + myself for MG) just wondering. thanks!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:45 pm 
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I'd go with 9, but 4 or 16 might work too. With those numbers you can arrange your people in a square. Four seems maybe too small though, so if you can swing nine, go for it.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:52 am 
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The smallest that I ever like to use is 6, but that doesn't mean that you can't work with less.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:56 pm 
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thanks a ton everyone! i hope i can get as many of my group involved nad liking it. i know i can get my bro, a friend, and obviously myself...i am just hoping that because my brother (a guide) gets involved, the other guides will too, and the rest will follow suit. *crosses fingers* lol. thanks for the advice though! I felt way over my head, but this helped a ton.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Your welcome. We always like helping if we can. Let us know how it goes.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:24 pm 
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12 is a nice number, because you can do things by 3s or 4s. However with a small club you might want to go for 6, 8 or 9.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:41 pm 
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A good thing to remember is not to get too hooked up on how many people you have in your drill team; don't get discouraged if you only have an odd number interested. An even number is obviously the best to start with but really any number above four is fine. The difference between even numbers and odd numbers (for the most part) is that even numbers work well with rectangular type formations and odd numbers work well with other types of formations. However; it can be difficult, for a new drill team who has an odd number of people, for elements to perceive their place in a formation based on non-square angles. There is also the option of adding a guidon to your rectangular formation. That would take care of your odd person.

Veteranpathfinder gave some really good advice on how to get started. It's hard to add much more. Keep us posted. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:25 pm 
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ok, update on the drill team. two weeks ago we finished the drilling and marching honor. That was a cool moment. We are having trouble with columns however. we can do it, but its not easy for us. We are starting on the Drilling and Marching Adv. I am working on putting together a routine. Any ideas you have would be helpful. We have 9 official members, my assistant, and myself. The team has even named itself Wildfire. They're all excited to be in and I love seeing the changes in their attitude toward pathfinders. the morale of the club has raised due to their excitement.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:46 am 
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That is outstanding! It's always good to hear about Pathfinders who are excited about drill. Having a team that is excited about doing advanced routines is the biggest hurdle. Are there any particular things you would like some ideas on? If you need ideas for some movements, I would ask your drill team to come up with some ideas. That is a great way to get creative ideas that you would not have thought of and it gets the kids involved. Plus, if they end up doing a movement that they helped create, I have found that also makes the members work that much harder because they are already invested. Of course you will probably take an idea and to some polishing to get it ready for the team. And as always, never try to teach something you don't fully understand. I think you have a great start already and these hurdles will be easier to overcome with practice.
Hope this at least give a little help. Let us know if there is anything specific you can't seem to figure out.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:58 pm 
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Thanks for the encouragement. A small update: My team now has a captain. Its a guide that didnt know almost anything before and has blown me away! i am so proud of him and the team as a whole.
now I do have some questions.
1) on columns (the bane of my team's existance...)... is there a great way to teach it? cause i think I am missing it. we have spent ridiculous amounts of time working on them, and they're gettin a little better, but not a ton.
2) I am trying to put together a basic routine with fancy drill incorporated into it that is still easy. my team can do box step and something called the 'monkey salute' i picked up from a drill instructor in northern cal. do you have any suggestions of some easier of the actual fancing marching moves I could teach them? i have to keep it simple for right now...
3) for drilling and marching honor, adv. The events we participate in, can we host a show where we drill for an audience and have that count? or does it have to be competitions and parades?
thanks again! (so glad these forums are back up!)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:45 am 
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I've used a 2x4 or unused flag pole to keep people together while turning. I also stand or use cones at the places I want them to turn. That way, when a column command is called, they are together and turn smoothly.

As for other moves, I would have to email you something later. I'm actually on a Pathfinder camp-out this weekend.

A performance that you hold, should fulfill the requirement for one of your required drill events.

God Bless and Happy Sabbath!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:44 pm 
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I think that the column movements are one of the hardest for drill teams to grasp as far as some of the more basic movements are concerned. I think that they key with columns is to try several methods of instruction and then practice, practice, practice. The comment using the pole to keep the lines together good for that part. If you have the Basic Drill Video, take a look at that and maybe you can use the instruction provided there for some other tips.

The box step is a good starting point(assuming we're talking the same thing). If you are new to instructing fancy drill, coming up with your first movements are challenging. One of my first fancy movements was a variation of the Salute to the Four Winds concept where all the pathfinders went in four different directions and then stopped and saluted. Another example is what I call "stacked" commands where the command is called that causes the pathfinders to do the same thing more than once. For example, while marching, you could call "Double To the Rear, MARCH." then your team would execute a Rear March twice in succession, pivoting on the right foot. A third idea is to call numerical series commands. that would be where you identify a particular element with a number then call a command for each element. An example of a simple movement that appears complex is to id each column(use 3 for example). call the commands:
1, to the rear march,
2, to the rear march,
3, to the rear march.
Then do it again and you have a movement that seems to 'jumble' all your columns and the they will come back together.

As far as the Adv. drill and marching honor, I agree that holding a performance should meet those qualifications.

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