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In a small camp so very much can be done through the example of the Scoutmaster. You are living among your boys and are watched by each of them, and imitated unconsciously by them, and probably unobserved by yourself (Baden-Powell).

The Arrow Patrol should have at least one training camp a year. It should be held in the Fall or as early as practicable in the Spring. This will allow time for Patrol camps to be held prior to the Troop summer camp.

If Patrol Seconds are not normally members of the Arrow Patrol, the Patrol Leaders should seriously consider inviting them to this training camp. In camp especially, a Patrol Leader needs strong support from his Second.

The purpose of the camp is twofold:

1. to advance the knowledge and camping skills of the Patrol Leaders;

2. to provide them with experience and guidance in leading a Patrol in camp.

While you are ostensibly the leader of the camp, you should delegate responsibility to members of the Patrol to give them experience in leading, and to build up their confidence. The extent to which you are able to do this will depend on the experience of the Troop.

Training in camping is divided into three parts:

1. pre-camp preparation;

2. in-camp activity; and

3. post-camp review.

The contents of Part V are based on Chapter 7 of The Troop Scouters Handbook. Winter camping is not a necessary part of Golden Arrow training.


The initial decisions as to whether there will be a Patrol Leaders' training camp, and so, when, where and what shall be its theme, rest with the Court of Honour. Once these have been decided and the date fixed, the following will have to be determined:

(i) The Programme. Obviously, training in camping skills will be the basic theme for camp, but what areas need special attention? "What ideas did we try last year that we would like to improve on this year?" "Let's try that new type oven we saw in The Junior Leader." "What is the theme for the summer camp this year is special training indicated here?" "What specific training do we need to help with our personal advancement?" These are the sort of questions that will determine where special emphasis is needed.

(ii) The Site. Determine who will make approach for permission.

(iii) Applications. Complete any necessary application forms, and Scoutmaster to inform Group Committee.

(iv) Quartermaster. Draw up list of Patrol equipment required; allocate responsibilities to Patrol Quartermaster to have this checked and prepared.

(v) Draw up list of personal equipment required and encourage each boy to check and repair his own gear at home.

(vi) Arrange for transportation, if necessary.

You will arrange the following short training sessions for the Arrow Patrol:

(i) Feeding and Preparation of Menus. This session certainly should not be too technical, but the boys should have a basic understanding of what constitutes a balanced menu, both from the point of view of nutrition and interest. It may be necessary to inspire some imagination and possibly some incentive, to promote not only a variety of food, but various ways of cooking it. Here is an opportunity for another form of adventure.

(ii) Ordering and Purchasing. Some guidance on quantities to buy, budgeting and selective purchasing will be required. Perhaps a trip can be arranged to a store or supermarket where the manager will give the Patrol Leaders some tips on good buying. This is especially necessary in the purchase of fresh vegetables, fruit and meat.

(iii) Cooking. If Patrol Leaders want to try experiments in cooking, then the Arrow Patrol's camp is a good place for it. Cooking over an open fire out-of-doors is a good deal harder than cooking on an electric stove, so it may be a good idea to encourage the Patrol Leaders to practise at home under Mom's watchful eye. It might be an idea for each Patrol Leader and Second to undertake to prepare one complete meal, to be a surprise to the rest of the Patrol. However, as a word of warning, it may be well to stress that a great variety of dishes are available without resorting to expensive foods.

(iv) Skills. Any skills or camping practices which were particularly weak the previous year may well be the subject of further training sessions prior to the camp.

(v) Equipment. The Quartermaster may have found some of the equipment in need of repair. If possible, these repairs should be made by the Arrow Patrol.

Patrol Leaders will pass on much of this training to their Patrols and many "needs" may receive special attention in Troop activities. Prior to the camp, the Patrol Leaders will have Patrol-in-Council to:

(a) Make any last minute adjusting to the planning.

(b) Check that all preparations are completed.

(c) Allocate responsibilities to each boy for pitching camp and draw up a plan of operation to be implemented upon arrival (make allowance for bad weather).

(d) Draw up a roster of routine duties for the camp.

You may wish to make some specific points which from past experience you feel need stressing. Boys usually have only a vague notion of time and it is wise to remind them of the time it usually takes to perform routine jobs such as pitching camp, cooking a meal, etc., and to stress the need for punctuality, especially at meal times.


Here follows in chronological order the basic steps and requirements of sound camping practice. These will serve as a check list for you no matter what the experience-of the Troop or the theme of the camp.


(i) Orderly unloading - details arranged previously.

(ii) Patrol Leader will indicate area where equipment is to be temporarily stacked.

(iii) Quartermaster will supervise unloading and stacking of Patrol equipment. Patrol Second will supervise movement and stacking of personal equipment.


If the site is strange to the Patrol and they have not been able to visit it prior to the camp, it will be necessary at this stage to have a short Patrol-in-Council to decide the layout of the site. Encourage careful planning at this stage - it can save so much time and trouble later. Members have already been allocated their special responsibilities. You will have your own job, but you should keep a general eye on the progress of pitching camp and try to ensure that things are done as efficiently as possible.

(i) Pitch tents; take in personal equipment and put in order.

(ii) Lay out camp kitchen, prepare fireplace pits and start on necessary gadgets.

(iii) Prepare latrine.

(iv) Prepare proper food storage arrangements.

(v) Collect wood and water.

(vi) Set up dining shelter, table, etc.

(vii) Have the first aid kit accessible and ready for use.

The Patrol Leader's job during this period is, of course, general supervision; to be available to help where problems occur; to keep check on the time; to see that each boy is carrying out his allotted task; and in general to encourage and help everybody enjoy himself.


(i) Observe Provincial and/or Municipal regulations.

(ii) Does your latrine have a friendly look or would it take a team of horses to drag you there?

(iii) Is it comfortable? This doesn't imply plush seats, but suggests easy access, privacy, secure foothold and freedom from natural irritants such as thistles.

(iv) Clean and tidy?

(v) Paper adequately stored and washing facilities available?

(vi) Have the boys been trained in its use?


(i) See that proper respect is paid to tent. Don't throw it about, tread on it or play about while pitching it.

(ii) Properly pitched - walls to ground, sod cloth under ground sheets.

(iii) Ground sheets and equipment properly stored.

(iv) Proper ventilation.

(v) Satisfactory sleeping arrangements.

(vi) Airing of bedding, etc.

(vii) Inspection order.

(viii) Proofing - use of tents in wet weather.


(i) Precaution against forest fire.

(ii) Adequate pre-instruction prohibiting the cutting of green timber.

(iii) Choosing best kindling and firewood from what is available.

(iv) Adequate supply of firewood on hand.

(v) Cutting and splitting firewood.

(vi) Maintaining supply of dry firewood.

(vii) Use and misuse of tools.

(viii) Ensure that wood chips are picked up after each chopping by the person chopping.

(ix) Preparing and lighting fires.

(x) Preparing and lighting fires in wet weather.

(xi) Types of fires and their special values.

(xii) Ovens.


(i) Storage and maintenance of food. Protection from weather, animals and insects. Refrigeration for certain foods.

(ii) Preparation of meals with care and cleanliness.

(iii) Timing meals.

(iv) Cooking skills.

(v) Keeping prepared food hot and in good condition.

(vi) Making food look attractive.

(vii) Serving with finesse.


(i) Comfort - weather-wise.

(ii) Comfort - seating and eating.

(iii) Setting table.

(iv) Cleanliness of diners and eating habits (e.g. - not dropping food on ground, etc.).

(v) Good serving arrangements - avoid bringing dirty pots to the table, avoid everyone jumping up and down from table to get things.

(vi) Grace.

(vii) Table manners and mealtime conversation.

(viii) Maintaining an attractive table. (ix) Clearing up after the meal.


(i) Hot water READY.

(ii) Scrape food off plates and dishes.

(iii) Burn waste scraps.

(iv) Production line in washing up - three bowls: suds wash; Javex rinse; clear water rinse.

(v) Be sure to clean all utensils including washing-up bowl.

(vi) Wash down dining table.

(vii) Tidy up washing area.

(viii) Dish cloth and towels - do they need boiling?

(ix) Burn all waste and grease pit cover and replace with a new one.


(i) Designated place kept tidy.

(ii) Comfort - i.e., a place where the water is easy to access, the surroundings are conducive to washing and there is room and good footing.


(i) Advancement for Patrol Leaders.

(ii) How to teach skills by incorporating them into interesting activities.

(iii) Games, wide and otherwise.

(iv) Duty to God.

(v) Bull sessions around the fire.

(vi) Campfire - friendly and informal.

(vii) Swimming - waterfront regulations.

(viii) Special activities.

(ix) Be prepared. Have the necessary precautions been taken to ensure the happy enjoyment of all activities?


The programme must not be so tightly scheduled that there is no free time for the boys to follow personal pursuits occasionally. A rest period after meals, and the late afternoon and early evening whilst dinner is being prepared afford excellent opportunities for this. Opportunities here for boys to have personal chats with you and other Scouters.


(i) Clear instructions - known responsibilities.

(ii) Careful timing.

(iii) Do in correct order.

(iv) Assemble equipment for orderly return transportation.

(v) Final check over site to ensure that it is spotlessly clean and in good condition.

(vi) Final words by Leader.

(vii) Thanks to God.

(viii) Thanks to owner of property.

(ix) Return on time.


(i) Quartermaster to check over and see that equipment is properly stored.

(ii) Each boy to check over his personal equipment and see to its repair and/or washing.

(iii) Patrol-in-Council to discuss camp, draw conclusions and lessons. How may they be applied to the Patrol?

(iv) You should review each boy's performance with him personally and relate it to his Patrol.

(v) Now what about Patrol camps?

Dates will be fixed at Court of Honour. Each Patrol Leader and Second will plan their Patrol's camp in similar fashion and report to you. Whether a Patrol camps by itself or with Scouters in attendance will depend on its experience and ability.

Golden Arrow Patrol Leader Training






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Introduction ] Patrol Leadership ] Patrol Meetings ] Court of Honor ] Hiking ] [ Camping ] Guide to Assess Training ] Further Reading ]

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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.