Patrol Advancement & Training




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Chapter V

One of your most important functions is to help every member of your Patrol advance in Scoutcraft. Your aim is to turn your gang into a first class Patrol. You can't do that with a bunch of Tenderfoots. Do your utmost to inspire each of your Scouts with the ambition to become First Class or better. A real Patrol Leader helps his Scouts through the Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class requirements.

As with everything else in the Patrol, it's your example that counts the most. If you are out in front in advancement your boys will want to follow.

You are probably already a First Class Scout. If you aren't you need to get cracking. You can't teach your boys the Scout requirements unless you know them well yourself.

Get all the help you can from your Scoutmaster, your Assistant Scoutmasters, your Troop Leader as well as from experts outside the Troop.

The Requirements Of Scouting

Now, remember that the requirements are not something separate from regular Scouting.

Compare the Second Class requirements with the things you do on a Patrol hike, and you'll see that everyone of them is part of your hike activities. Compare the First Class requirements with the Patrol overnight camp, and you'll discover that they contain all the features of a good camp.

It's as simple as that; give your boys plenty of hiking and camping and they can't help advancing. Give them exciting Patrol life and they'll pick up all the skills they have to know to move up in grade.

Know Where You Are

If you are the Patrol Leader of a gang of brand new boys, you know exactly where you are; you have to get them over the first hurdle—the Tenderfoot requirements. When they have mastered these, all of you can move along together.

However, you are more likely to have a Patrol who have reached various stages in Scouting. The first thing you have to do with them is to find out where each one stands. Make up a chart of the Patrol's advancement. Along the upper edge of a large sheet, write the requirements for Second and First Class. Along the left edge write the names of your Scouts and then check off the requirements that each Scout has completed. Then decide where to go from there.

Make It Natural

Make all the requirements part of the boys regular Patrol life. 

Remember the boys want to do things so:

bulletDon't use words if a picture can illustrate the point.
bulletDon't use a picture if you can demonstrate the point.
bulletDon't use a demonstration if the boy can do the thing.

You have to use your imagination to turn some of the Scout requirements into action, but it can be done. Some requirements are best handled directly—by simply having the boys do them. Letting them use their own brains. You will help them best by letting them help themselves. Take fire lighting for instance. It's only by making a fire that a boy learns to build one. Let them start making fires themselves, then give them pointers as they go along.

If a direct method can't be used, try the demonstration—imitation method. Knot tying, signaling, first aid and many other scoutcraft skills are learned easily by this method. You simply lead the boys along in doing a thing. In knot tying, for example, give them ropes and let them follow your action as you tie a knot.

Eventually your boys will learn skills, but if you want to keep them in training, they have to make use of them regularly. You can use games to improve boys' speed and general ability in such subjects as knots, signaling, first aid and many other Scout subjects.

Competition in the Patrol adds to the excitement of keeping a subject alive.

But the best practice is the actual application of the skills on numerous Patrol hikes and camps.

Here are four points to follow in instructions:


  1. Never give any instruction without showing its practical use. 
  2. Introduce competition games in connection with the instruction. 
  3. Set a time limit on each subject for the individual boy concerned. 
  4. Do not have a single slack moment for anybody.

The Golden Arrow Training

In order to help you, as a Patrol Leader, in doing your job efficiently and also to ensure that you are trained in the methods of instruction, the Golden Arrow Training Program is available through your Troop and Scoutmaster.

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. 
  2. Have satisfactorily participated in a Patrol Leader's Training Hike as outlined in the Patrol Leaders Golden Arrow Training booklet. 
  3. Have satisfactorily participated in a Patrol Leaders Training camp. 
  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 30 minutes each are being held regularly to the benefit of the Patrol. 
  6. Satisfy his Scoutmaster that he led his Patrol in camp for a period of at least 24 hours to the benefit of the Patrol. 
  7. Be recommended for the Patrol Leader Golden Arrow Badge by the Court of Honor and his Scoutmaster.

If you have not as yet received Patrol Leader training, talk it over with the Scoutmaster and the Court of Honor immediately.

The Court of Honor

The Patrol System






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
How it All Began ] Patrol Spirit ] Patrol Organization ] Patrol Meetings ] [ Patrol Advancement & Training ] Court of Honor ] Patrol Out of Doors ] The Patrol Leader ] Indoor Patrol Box ]

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.