06 Court Of Honor




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1. Patrol System
02 The Patrol Leader And Second
03 How Can A Leader Lead?
04 When Should A Leader Lead?
05 Privileges Of A Patrol Leader
06 Court Of Honor
07 The Patrol Spirit
08 Patrol Discipline
09 Patrol Instruction In Second Class Work
10 Patrol Instruction In Proficiency Badges
11 Patrol In Council
12 Patrol Competitions
13 The Patrol At Play
14 Patrol Good Turns
15 Inter-Patrol Visiting
16. Patrol In Camp
17. Difficulties
How To Start A Troop On The Patrol System

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The Court of Honor may be variously constituted, but, however constituted, it should be the most important council in connection with the Troop. It has seen considerable developments since Scouting started. It was originally designed to be a body to decide on punishments, to make awards, and to deal with any important matters in connection with the running of the Troop. 

Side by side with the Court of Honor, the Scoutmasters found it desirable to have a Leaders, or Leaders and Seconds, Council to transact and carry on the ordinary routine business. After a time, however, it seemed to be rather unnecessary to have two separately constituted bodies, whose functions largely overlapped and whose affairs would be all the easier if they might be combined. For this reason there sprang up what may be described as the latest development, and a very helpful development, of the Court of Honor.

This Court consists of all the Leaders and Seconds, with the Scoutmaster in the chair. It may consist of all the Leaders and some specially-selected Seconds, or it may again consist of all the Leaders, and Scouts specially elected from each Patrol. It is usually helpful to have the Scoutmaster in the chair, but in some cases the chair is taken by a Patrol Leader, and the Scoutmaster himself is not present.

A Court meets in two capacities, its executive capacity, or its judicial capacity. As an executive body it should meet every week, even if only for five minutes, to transact the ordinary Troop business. A boy should be appointed secretary and he should keep minutes. After the minutes have been read and signed, each Leader gives a brief report of the work his Patrol has done during the week. If the Leader cannot be present, he notifies his Second that this is the case beforehand and the Second gives the report on behalf of his absent Leader. 

If the Chief Scout's Patrol Form is used, the chairman can read this out and no further report is necessary. The Court of Honor then deals with questions in connection with the arrangements for the coming week, Patrol Competitions, Summer Camp, Football and Cricket, Badge Examinations, Technical Instruction, Inter-patrol Visiting, Troop Subscriptions, and many other things. If the Scoutmaster has got any announcements to make this is the occasion on which he makes them. and the Leaders afterwards pass the information on to their Patrols in due course. Any member of the Court of Honor is entitled to ask the Scoutmaster any question, unless such question is a breach of Scout Law. Free discussion in the Court of Honor should be warmly encouraged. There is no time in which the Scoutmaster has a better opportunity of getting into touch with the real feelings and aspirations of his boys.

Some Scoutmasters may say that their Patrols only meet one night a week and that there is therefore no time for the meeting of the Court of Honor. This is a mistake. Supposing that the Troop parades on Tuesday night from 7.30 to 9.00. At 8.50 the Patrols will be dismissed, and every. body will go home except the members of the Court of Honor, who remain behind. This adds to the esteem in which the Court is held by all the members of the Troop.

Again the Court of Honor may meet in its judicial capacity. For this purpose its constitution may be slightly altered, or on the other hand it may remain exactly the same. Some Courts, when meeting in their judicial capacity, consist of a kind of senior sub-committee composed of the Scoutmaster and two or three specially selected Patrol Leaders. At any rate when a member of the Troop is on trial anybody junior to him in rank should be asked to withdraw. The Court only meets in its judicial capacity if some breach of Scout Law has been committed. Thus, in a good Troop, it would not have to meet more than two or three times in a year. At a judicial Court of Honor the members should be on their honor not to discuss the vote or opinion of any particular member afterwards. Any verdict stands as the decision of the Court as a whole.

The greatest advantage of the Court of Honor is that, more than anything else, it encourages the Patrol System and fosters the Patrol Spirit. Every Leader is told that he is responsible for his Patrol, but he never feels this responsibility more clearly than he does at the meeting of the Court of Honor. He not only has to give a report of what his Patrol is doing, but he must also explain slackness or non-attendance on the part of any of his boys. He may be asked, for instance, why he has got a Scout wearing a Service Star who has not yet earned any Proficiency Badges, or he may be asked whether Tom Smith, who yesterday broke his arm, is at home or in hospital and, if in hospital, what are the visiting days.

It will be found helpful for a Scoutmaster who is starting a Court of Honor to draft a simple "Constitution" defining the duties and powers of the Court. This should be read and approved at the first meeting, and entered in the minute book. It is not wise, for example, to grant the power of dismissing a Scout unless the Leaders are senior boys with a thorough understanding of the aims and ideals of the Movement. If it is understood that the Scoutmaster holds a final veto over the decision the Court makes, it is almost certain that he will never have to use it.







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
1. Patrol System ] 02 The Patrol Leader And Second ] 03 How Can A Leader Lead? ] 04 When Should A Leader Lead? ] 05 Privileges Of A Patrol Leader ] [ 06 Court Of Honor ] 07 The Patrol Spirit ] 08 Patrol Discipline ] 09 Patrol Instruction In Second Class Work ] 10 Patrol Instruction In Proficiency Badges ] 11 Patrol In Council ] 12 Patrol Competitions ] 13 The Patrol At Play ] 14 Patrol Good Turns ] 15 Inter-Patrol Visiting ] 16. Patrol In Camp ] 17. Difficulties ] How To Start A Troop On The Patrol System ]

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.