Patrols

In 1920, Baden Powell wrote in his book “Aids to Scoutmastership“:

The Patrol System
The Patrol System is the one essential feature in which Scout training differs from that of all other organisations, and where the System is properly applied, it is absolutely bound to bring success. It cannot help itself!

The formation of the boys into Patrols of from six to eight and training them as separate units each under its own responsible leader is the key to a good Troop.

The Patrol is the unit of Scouting always, whether for work or for play, for discipline or for duty. An invaluable step in character training is to put responsibility on to the individual. This is immediately gained in appointing a Patrol Leader to responsible command of his Patrol. It is up to him to take hold of and to develop the qualities of each boy in his Patrol. It sounds a big order, but in practice it works. Then, through emulation and competition between Patrols, you produce a Patrol spirit which is eminently satisfactory, since it raises the tone among the boys and develops a higher standard of efficiency all round. Each boy in the Patrol realises that he is in himself a responsible unit and that the honour of his group depends in some degree on his own ability in playing the game.

Essentially what BP summised was that Boys will naturally lead, they will naturally compete, and they have a desire to be successful.
The Patrol is the place where that happens.
I can not appreciate enough the part in which he states that the Patrol is the key to a good Troop. Not a good Troop is key to good Patrols. The foundation that is built with Patrols will stand as strong as granite that a Troop can build on.
Constantly, we need to build up our Patrols by teaching, coaching, and mentoring the Patrol leaders. Being great examples of the values of Scouting and skilled in the methods.

You can read the full book “Aids to Scoutmastership” here.

Another good resource for learning more about the Patrol Method is at the White Stag web site.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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