How To Start A Troop On The Patrol System




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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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Anyone who has had experience of Scouting will have at least two words of definite advice to give to a friend who is just going to start. They are these: "Begin small." It is hardly possible to begin with too few boys, and it is very usual to begin with too many. In the earlier chapters it has been pointed out that to work the Patrol System at all successfully it is necessary to give to Patrol Leaders and Seconds greater ideas and greater knowledge than the boys whom they are expected to command. The idea of the Patrol System should be adopted from the very beginning.

We will take it that the prospective Scoutmaster has held a meeting of boys in connection with his Church, Club, Sunday School, or of boys in his locality. He should try to get some good speaker to explain to the boys what the Scout movement means. For this purpose he may get his District Commissioner or some Scoutmaster in the neighborhood who has had experience. He will also speak to the boys himself. He will tell them that he will start a Troop in three or four months' time, but that to-night he will take the names of all those who think they would like to join. 

He will select ten or twelve of the keenest boys and begin training them at once. After the first fortnight he will only retain eight. These will pass their Tenderfoot tests and take the Scout Promise. They may then be entitled to wear uniform. He will spend the following months in teaching them their Second-class tests. The time it takes a boy to become a Second-class Scout depends upon the boy's age, education and surroundings. If special attention is given to the boys, the period should be anything from four to six months. 

When these boys have become Second-class Scouts the Scoutmaster will appoint Leaders and Seconds. If his eight boys are all reliable he may appoint four Leaders and four Seconds, or otherwise he may make only three Leaders and three Seconds and put the other two boys into the ranks. Lie will now communicate with the boys who originally gave in their names, he may also hold another meeting, and he will now definitely make up his Patrols and start his Troop. If he has got three Leaders and three Seconds, he will take in thirteen more boys and make three Patrols of seven. This is an excellent number to have for the first year, although in certain cases, especially in towns, it is difficult to refrain from taking in a considerably larger number.

It may be pointed out that the enthusiasm of the boys who came to the original meeting will be very much on the wane after three or four months of waiting. Quite apart, however, from the fact that the enthusiasm of boys, can always be speedily revived when necessary, it will also be found that a boy who has been waiting two or three months and still wants to be a Scout will develop into a better article than a boy who merely joins through being carried away by the excitement of the moment.

In a large number of cases a prospective Scoutmaster will find that the reasons against starting with only a handful of boys are almost overwhelming In such cases one must give the same recommendation as before, "Begin small," and one would urge from the very earliest moment that the Scoutmaster should makeup his mind to give special facilities to his Patrol Leaders and Seconds. In any case, until the boys have passed their Tenderfoot tests his Leaders and Seconds will not be appointed. Sometimes the appointment may be deferred until the boys become Second-class Scouts. This, perhaps, applies to the country more than to the towns.

Before appointing a Leader the Scoutmaster should always tell him exactly what will be expected of him, not only in the Troop, but also by the Chief Scout and by the Scout Brotherhood. Unless he is keen to undertake the job, it is a great mistake to appoint a boy at all.

The essence of this suggested method of starting a Troop is that the Leaders and Seconds should be given chances of remaining always a good deal in front of the other boys both in Scout knowledge and in Scout experience.

May this book close with the words with which it began, the words of the Chief Scout in the first edition of "Scouting for Boys": 

"In all cases I would strongly recommend the Patrol System, that is, small permanent groups, each under responsible charge of a leading boy."

The End.







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.