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This Golden Arrow training book is written directly to you, the Scoutmaster. Its purpose is to provide a guide which you may use to train your Patrol Leaders, irrespective of their individual experiences or the experience of the Troop.


In the Patrol System the Scoutmaster's most important role in the Troop is training Patrol Leaders. This training establishes the operational standards of Patrols, the Court of Honour, and consequently the quality of the Scouting enjoyed by every boy in the Troop.


Patrol Leaders and Seconds must have been appointed as recommended in The Troop Scouters Handbook p. 37. They must be aware of the requirements for the Golden Arrow.


For training experiences, the Patrol Leaders (and possibly Patrol Seconds) will form a Patrol with you as their Patrol Leader. This Patrol is called the Arrow Patrol. Thus you train your Patrol Leaders in a similar setting to that in which they will train their Patrols. In this way, they not only learn skills, but how to instruct in them and how to conduct Patrol meetings.


The most important thing to understand is that the training and developing of Patrol Leaders is a continuing process and not the result of a formal training course. The training given to a Patrol Leader must be adapted:

(i) to his age, personality and experience in Scouting;

(ii) to the standing and experience of the Troop;

(iii) to the activities in which the Troop is currently participating.

For this reason there is no set syllabus but an indication of the guidance the Scout needs from you to help him perform his duties as a Patrol Leader. His training must begin as soon as he is elected and must fit in with the current activities of the Troop. It is expected that a Patrol Leader or Second should be able to fulfil the requirements for the Golden Arrow within six months of being elected.

The notes in this booklet should be adapted to suit the circumstances, be expressed in your own words and spiced with examples and personal anecdotes. DO NOT READ THESE NOTES TO YOUR PATROL LEADERS.

While it may be necessary to conduct yarns on some of the subjects, do not attempt to cover too much at any one time. Probably the best learning results when discussion arises naturally from an incident or question. For example, a Patrol Leader bothered with lack of discipline may ask at a Court of Honour meeting what action he should take. This would provide an excellent opportunity to cover this aspect of Patrol Leader training and discussion should be encouraged so that all may contribute their thoughts and experiences. A great deal will also be learned incidentally through participation in the normal training programme of the Arrow Patrol.

Patrol Leaders receive training and guidance through three main avenues.

1. The Court of Honour. While Court of Honour meetings have their own specific purpose in the Troop, a Patrol Leader will learn a great deal about his responsibilities, understanding human nature and developing a sense of values, through the discussions which take place. When you attend meetings of the Court of Honour, you will seize opportunities as they occur, to provide learning experiences, but beware of preaching or of abusing your privilege.

2. The Arrow Patrol. The meetings of the Arrow Patrol will provide opportunities for the members to learn and develop new skills, to progress with their personal advancement, to prepare for forthcoming activities and to learn by personal experience and from example, how to resolve some of the problems of leadership.

3. Personal attention. Much of the guidance a Patrol Leader will receive will be through discussion with you and it is important to realize that the possibilities of developing his potential as a leader will be realized only if his education is the result of mutual learning.

Assistant Scoutmasters and others may be enlisted to assist when necessary, but the responsibility and the lead must always remain with you.


Patrol Leader is a position of responsibility. Each boy has his own capacity which should develop as he grows - the responsibility entrusted to him must remain a challenge but not go beyond his capacity. Patrol Leaders will make mistakes but, properly handled, they can be valuable learning experiences. Help him to profit by his mistakes, avoid criticism of him in front of his Patrol and don't assume his responsibility for him unless absolutely necessary.

Demonstrate faith in each Patrol Leader and his Patrol by trusting him to do the job for which they have elected him.


Throughout this book are italicized notes. These are directed to the Scoutmaster for his personal information and consideration as distinct from information he will pass on to the Patrol Leaders and Seconds.


In order to qualify to wear the Golden Arrow, a Patrol Leader or Second must:

1. Have received instructions from his Scoutmaster in all essential aspects of Patrol Leadership, mentioned in this Golden Arrow Training Handbook.

2. Have satisfactorily participated in a Patrol Leaders' training hike as outlined in this Golden Arrow Training Handbook.

3. Have satisfactorily participated in a Patrol Leaders' training camp as outlined in this Golden Arrow Training Handbook.

4. Have knowledge and ability above the general standard of his Patrol in any three Scouting skills and demonstrate his ability to instruct in these subjects.

5. Satisfy his Scoutmaster that Patrol meetings of not less than thirty minutes each are being held regularly, to the benefit of the Patrol.

6. Satisfy his Scoutmaster that he has led his Patrol in camp for at least a period of twenty-four hours, to the benefit of the Patrol.

7. Be recommended for the Patrol Leader Golden Arrow Badge by the Court of Honour and his Scoutmaster.

The Golden Arrow Badge is worn on the flap of the left pocket of the uniform.

The Golden Arrow is available to Patrol Leaders and Patrol Seconds only.







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
[ Introduction ] Patrol Leadership ] Patrol Meetings ] Court of Honor ] Hiking ] Camping ] Guide to Assess Training ] Further Reading ]

Parent- 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.