Patrols & The
WHAT IS A PATROL
A Patrol is a group of Scouts who belong to a Troop, are similar in age,
development and interests. The Patrol system allows Scouts to interact
in a small group outside the larger Troop, working together as a team,
and sharing the responsibility of making their Patrol a success. Patrol
size depends on a Troop's membership, the ideal being a maximum of eight
Patrol spirit is the glue that holds the patrol together and
keeps it going. Building patrol spirit takes time, because it is shaped
by the patrol's experiences - good or bad. Often misadventures, like
getting lost on a night hike, will contribute much in pulling a patrol
together. The weekend it rained and flooded your camp is the one you
will never forget. Some patrols build up traditions, and these help
build each patrol member's sense of belonging.
KINDS OF PATROLS
There are ideally three kinds of Patrols:
New Scout patrols, Regular patrols and Older members. Troops decide on
their own strategy, and what works best for them.
1) New Scout patrols are for those
who recently joined or moved up from the Cub Pack.
2) Regular patrols for those who have completed their Scout Membership
awards and initial challenges.
3) Older patrols for those shortly heading for the Explorer Section.
"In planning and carrying out the Scout programme by
patrols, your Scouts get valuable practice in group discussions and
First handbook for Patrol Leaders
- Plan and lead some patrol meeting and
- Keep your patrol members informed.
- Give each member some specific task whenever
- Represent your patrol at Troop Leaders'
Forum, or Patrol Leaders' Council as it used to be called.
- Prepare the patrol to participate in all
- Work with other Leaders to make your troop
- Know the abilities of each of your members.
- Set a good example.
- Wear the Scout Uniform correctly.
- Be guided by the Scout Promise & Law.
YOUR DUTIES AS A PATROL LEADER
When you accept the position of a Patrol Leader, you agree to
provide service and leadership to your patrol and the Troop. Take this
responsibility seriously, but you will also find it fun and rewarding.
As a Patrol Leader you are expected to do the following:
Tips for Being a Good Patrol Leader
- Keep your word. Don't make
promises you cannot keep.
- Be Fair to All. A good
leader shows no favourites. Do not allow friendships to keep you
from being fair to all members of your patrol. Find out who likes to
do what, and assign duties to patrol members by what they like to do
- Be a Good Communicator. You
do not need a loud voice to be a good leader, but you must be
willing to step out in front with an effective 'Let's go for it!' A
good leader knows how to get and give information so that everyone
understands what is going on. No-one can read your mind.
- Be Flexible. Not everything
goes as planned. Be prepared to shift to 'Plan B' when 'Plan A'
- Be Organised. The time you
spend planning will be repaid many times over. Take notes; keep
- Delegate. Some leaders
assume that a job will not get done if they don't do it themselves.
Wrong! Most people like to be challenged with a new task. Get your
patrol to try things they have never done before. Do not try to do
everything yourself. Sharing jobs and fun is a much more rewarding
- Set an Example. The most
important thing you can do is 'Lead by Example'. Whatever you do,
your patrol members are likely to do the same. A cheerful attitude
can keep everyone's spirits up. "Laugh, and the world laughs with
- Be Consistent. Nothing is
more confusing to a young Scout than a leader who stands on his/her
feet one day, and on his/her head the next. If your patrol knows
what to expect from you, they will be more likely to respond
positively to your leadership.
- Give Praise. The best way to
get credit is to give it away. Often a "Nice job" remark is all the
praise necessary to make a Scout feel he/she is contribution to the
efforts of the patrol.
- Ask for Help. Never be
embarrassed to ask for help. You have many resources at your
disposal. When confronted with a situation you don't know how to
handle, ask someone with more experience for some advice and
guidance. They too will learn much from you.