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By Dan Kurtenbach

I was challenged by my PLC for guidance in putting together fun/interesting program ideas for Troop meetings. They were trying to find middle ground between simply working on advancement and running off to play basketball, but found that the type of detailed, interlocking meeting plans contained in Troop Program Features didn't really meet their needs. 

Following is a preliminary list of 50 miscellaneous program ideas for Patrols to choose from when they don't have other business to take care of. (The final list will be much longer and include working on various types of awards and recognitions, and practicing the standard Tenderfoot to First Class advancement skills. Games will be a separate category, so are not really included here.) 

The criteria are that the activities be fun and/or interesting, mostly indoors, and capable of running 20-45 minutes (although they could be completed in one meeting, or over several). Most will require some preparation or assembly of resources and materials prior to the meetings.


bulletMake fire-starters
bulletPerform maintenance on bicycles
bulletConduct a sports clinic in a sport of the Patrol's choice
bulletCreate a Patrol cookbook
bulletCreate a (mostly) fictional Patrol history
bulletBuild a catapult
bulletConduct a refresher course in first aid
bulletHold a firearms safety course
bulletPractice various ways of setting up flies and tarps
bulletPractice setting up and using a hammock for camping
bulletLearn Morse Code
bulletLearn Semaphore
bulletLearn Sign Language
bulletMake rope
bulletPractice setting up a tent blindfolded
bulletForm a Patrol band or singing group
bulletCreate a skit, song, or mime
bulletLearn to splice rope
bulletMake a Patrol flag
bulletAssemble a Patrol first aid kit
bulletMemorize the Gettysburg Address
bulletCreate an accurate sketch map of a park or neighborhood area
bulletPractice techniques for moving and carrying sick and injured persons
bulletLearn the locations of ten constellations in the night sky
bulletRead and discuss with the Patrol Chapter 13, 14, or 15 of the Boy Scout Handbook
bulletPractice techniques for cleaning up the cooking and eating gear on a campout
bulletListen to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and discuss it with the Patrol
bulletPractice using various common hand tools
bulletLearn to use a Global Positioning System (GPS) device
bulletChange a tire on a car
bulletLearn to sew patches and buttons on a shirt
bulletChange the oil, air filter, and spark plug, and sharpen the blade of a lawn mower
bulletWith the approval of the Patrol's parents, watch the BSA youth protection video appropriate for the Patrol's age group
bulletMake hiking sticks for every member of the Patrol
bulletConstruct model rockets
bulletAssemble a raft that can carry at least a twenty pound load
bulletLearn proper methods for purifying water on the trail
bulletLearn how to iron a pair of pants
bulletLearn to identify the snakes native to your area
bulletLearn and discuss with your Patrol what to do if you are involved in a car crash or if your car has a flat tire or mechanical problems on the road
bulletConduct a uniform and insignia inspection of the Patrol and discuss any errors or problems and how to fix them
bulletPlan an "old time" overnight hike--no sleeping bags, backpacks, nylon tents, gas or liquid fuel stoves, or convenience foods
bulletLearn to use a Bake Packer for cooking meals on the trail
bulletPractice techniques for hanging bear bags
bulletCreate a display or computer slide show about your Patrol or a recent Patrol activity, complete with photographs and text
bulletPractice using ropes and pulleys to lift heavy objects
bulletMake a video
bulletMake ice cream
bulletLearn about and discuss with the Patrol the culture of Native Americans who lived in your area
bulletLearn how to find the current weather conditions and the weather forecast for a location outside your local area

Mark Alman adds:


Play "Scout Jeopardy:" 

The Scouts come up with the questions beforehand, one Scout volunteers to be the MC (completed a requirement for Communications MB in the process).  Have prizes for the winning Patrol. 

We have run it two ways: a fixed spokesman for each Patrol, or rotate players throughout the game. Whatever works for you. 

See Also: Patrol Corners






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Object of Camping ] Patrol Camping ] Patrol Hikes ] Gilcraft Patrol System ] The Patrol System ] Court of Honor (PLC) ] Gilwell PL Training ] Philipps' Patrol System ] Golden Arrow PL Training ] Patrol Leader's Creed ] PL's Promise Ceremony ] Patrol Competition Awards ] Informal Scout Signals ] Ten Essentials ] Story Telling ] JLT Skits: Leadership ] Master & Commander ] [ Patrol Activities ] Patrol Motivation ] Troop Meeting Hints ] Troop Meetings ] Patrol Leader Training ] Essays ] Patrol Flags ] Training Patrol Leaders ] Troop Brainstorming ] Menus ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.