Meeting Ingredients




Search  Inquiry Net

Home ] Up ] Next ]

Meeting Ingredients
Before the Meeting
Opening Exercises
Troop Formations
Patrol Corners
Scoutcraft Games
Recreational Games
Council Fire Period
Closing Exercises
After the Meeting

Scout Books

Site Contents


SCOUTCRAFT INSTRUCTION-By this we mean the introduction of some Scoutcraft that will help each Scout to become better prepared.  If you use the idea of planning the program of your Troop around a monthly theme, this presentation will, of course, cover the skill you are concentrating on at the time.  This part of the meeting may be put on in several ways:

Talk-a SHORT and snappy one, by a qualified speaker on the theme of the month. 

Pictures-A talk will be greatly strengthened by the use of a blackboard, charts or large-sized pictures.  Filmstrips or slides are even better.  Occasionally, use one of the special Scoutcraft training films that are available through your Local Council.

Demonstration-Many subjects are best treated in the form of a demonstration with the actual materials at hand: "Packing Your Pack," "Making a Camp Bed," and so on.

Dramatization-A number of skills adapt themselves easily to dramatization-axe safety and first aid, among others.

SCOUTCRAFT PRACTICE-The actual use during the Troop meeting of some Scouting knowledge, for practice in the subject, or for testing.  This, too, will be based on the "theme of the month."

Scoutcraft Games-involving Scout skills, quickness of action or thought, observation and deduction, use of the senses-with the Patrols the teams.

Scoutcraft Projects-each Patrol showing its ability in a skill by completing a project in it.   Such projects lend themselves especially well to contests between the Patrols.

Scout Formations – Just enough practice in the use of silent Scout hand signals to keep the boys alert, and to move the Patrols quickly into various formations for games and other activities.

FUN-Different program features that will add variety to the meeting and will help to build Troop spirit and enthusiasm:

Recreational Games-Recreational Games-with emphasis on physical action and fun.

Songs-serious or humorous, old and new.

Yells-to "blow off steam," for unity and morale.

Story-Telling by Scouts, leaders, outsiders.

INSPIRATION-Various means of keeping the ideals of Scouting before the boys in a natural manner:

Ceremonies-opening and closing ceremonies, investitures and advancement ceremonies.

Scout Oath and Law-occasional recitation of the Law, and re-dedication to the Scout Oath at special, outstanding events in the year's program. 

Scoutmaster's Three Minutes-a short, inspirational talk by the leader. Scoutmaster's Three Minutes.

ADMINISTRATION-Business matters will have to be looked after, but keep the time spent on them at a minimum.

Reports-by Patrols on attendance, advancement, uniforming. Reading of the Troop log by the Troop Scribe.

Dues-Payment of the Troop dues.

Inspection-of Uniform-for neatness and correctness and proper wearing of Badges and Insignia.

Announcements-of forthcoming meetings, hikes, camps, and so on.





BEFORE MEETING Service Patrol arranges room.
Patrol meetings.
Games for arrivals to join.
Personal conferences.
Business (dues, attendance, library).
Final check with leaders.
Opening ceremony.
Scribe's Report.
Announcements relative to meeting.
FORMATIONS Patrol Formations-silent signals.
SCOUTCRAFT PRESENTATION Short talks on Scoutcraft.
Instruction movie. Demonstration-Dramatization.
PATROL CORNERS Patrol projects.
Preparing for Patrol's participation in later contests, stunts, etc.
SCOUTCRAFT GAMES Scout skill games.
Sense games.
SCOUTCRAFT PROJECTS Contests between Patrols or between Patrol representatives.
Fun games.
COUNCIL FIRE Songs. Yells. Story telling. Stunts. Scoutmaster's Minute.
CLOSING EXERCISES Announcements of future events.
Closing ceremony.
AFTER MEETING Personal interviews.
Service Patrol cleans up.
Short Leaders' Council meeting.


Planning the Details

When the skeleton of the Troop's meetings is once determined, it becomes comparatively simple to lay out the details of each individual meeting.  While the program for the month as a whole is planned at the monthly meeting of the Patrol Leaders' Council, the plans for the Troop meeting immediately ahead are best checked at the short get-together of the leaders after each meeting is adjourned.

This short meeting has several advantages:

1. The leaders have the meeting just finished freshly in mind.

2. There may have been weak spots in the meeting that need to be corrected in the future, or good points worth following up.

3. All the leaders are present so that responsibilities for the next meeting may be assigned or volunteered for, and arrangements made for having necessary equipment on hand.

4. Patrol Leaders may get further suggestions for tying the activities of their Patrols in with the Troop activities.

The Senior Patrol Leader, as usual, is in the chair for this planning get-together.  He has before him the Troop meeting skeleton, and the general program for the month.  Now the specific meeting details are decided.

What ceremonies for the next meeting?  What business do we have to cover?  Is everything in readiness for the Scoutcraft presentation?   What Scoutcraft games and projects?  What Patrol corner activities?  What fun games?  What songs for the camp fire session?  [See Philmont Songbook]. Put the details down on paper in a suitable arrangement:

Troop One
Troop Meeting Program, Jan 15th

7:25 Dues Collection and Attendance John
7:30 Line up. Opening: Flag Ceremony Ralph
7:40 Scribe’s Report.

Patrol Contest Report.

7:50 Game: Noises in the Night Marshall
8:00 Game: Who am I? Ralph
8:10 Morse Signal Demonstration Chief
8:20 To Patrol Corners. Make Signaller  
8:30 Morse game Marshall
8:45 Newspaper Calisthenics Art
8:55 Campfire – Songs Sam
  Stunts Patrols
  SM’s Minute Chief
9:20 Taps. Candle Ceremony Ralph

Who will lead what?   Some responsibilities are routine, such as: The Senior Patrol Leader in general charge of the meeting; the Scribe reading the accounts of the last hike from the Troop log book, handling dues and attendance, and so on.   Other leaders and Explorers may receive special jobs for the meeting: One Assistant Scoutmaster will make the inspection and check on the month's advancement; the other will see how the decoration of the Patrol corners is coming along; the Beaver Patrol will put on the traction splint first aid demonstration; one Junior Assistant will handle the Bandage Relay and the Tourniquet Race, another will take Horse and Rider and British Bulldog.  And so it goes. Put the leader’s names down on paper next to their subject. (See sample Troop Meeting Program, above).

Many Troops rotate special duties among the Patrols: The Patrol which is the Service Patrol arrives early; puts room in shape; starts the fire, if necessary; has material ready for games; is the last Patrol to leave after tidying up the room.  The Patrol that has the job of being the Program Patrol is in charge of opening and closing ceremonies; of the "council fire" period with its songs and stunts, and of the Scoutcraft demonstration of the evening.  These duties may be assigned on a monthly basis or from one meeting to the next.  Put the names of the duty Patrols down and make sure the Patrols know what is expected of them.

With everything planned in advance, the Troop meeting should run off without a hitch.

Keep your old Troop meeting programs on file.  In this way you will have on hand a list of good things which have been tried in the post and which have worked -games and projects requiring little preparation.  They may come In handy some evening in a dull spot, when the program planned seems to slip.

The Scoutmaster's Part

What's your responsibility at the Troop meeting?

Your job will be on the side lines mostly. Your job will be on the side lines mostly.

You may get a questioning glance from the Senior Patrol Leader, that plainly says "Is the game dragging?", which you may answer with a slight nod: "Better shift, Joe."

A Junior Assistant may come to you: "Bob couldn't be here tonight.  Will you be one of the judges in the relay?"

You may spend some of the time examining a new boy in his Tenderfoot requirements.

You may have occasion to say at the close of the meeting: "You did a swell job tonight, fellows!"

And you may catch yourself feeling good all over for the way in which the boy leaders run the Troop!

The Ideal Troop Meeting

The ideal Troop meeting-like the ideal after-dinner speech-is one that runs smoothly and is truly informal.  But just as the successful "improvised" speech is the one that has been carefully planned, so the really informal Troop meeting is one in which the informality has been carefully thought out.

Don't be discouraged because every detail doesn't click as was expected.  A meeting that looks perfect on paper may not quite work out that way, because boys are, at times, something less than predictable.  But, just as often, a meeting will turn out to be infinitely better than it looked on paper-so it more than evens up.

Just keep working and hoping.  Some day your Patrol Leaders' Council ... will devise a program for the Troop meeting that will work 100 per cent ... maybe!


Begin on time-close on time.

ACTION-VARIETY-PURPOSE-The Three Musketeers of all Troop activities.

Recipe for a good meeting:

Something old (a couple of the old favorite games)

Something new (a brand-new game; a new song; a new Scoutcraft trick)

Something surprising (a special visitor; a treat; a Scout movie)

Something true (a story based on the Scout Law; a story of a hero)

Boys have a thousand muscles to wiggle with and only one dozen to sit still with.  That dozen gets mighty tired mighty quickly.

Keep every moment busy.  Crowd things along, and you will have no discipline problems, no uncontrolled rough-housing.

As a general rule, allow no more than twenty minutes to any one activity.

Plan for more than can be accomplished rather than too little.  Better leave some good things undone than to have the meeting "peter out" a half hour early.

Shift to something else before the boys tire of what they are doing.

If the planned program doesn't work, be resourceful.  Throw some out, if necessary, to suit conditions.

Encourage members of the Troop Committee to attend regularly.  When they come, have something definite for them to do.

Keep visitors on the side lines.  Most of the time visitors come to see what is happening.  Don't let them interrupt the meeting.


Now that we have discussed the general idea behind the Troop meeting and the planning of it, let's follow the progress of a full and well-rounded meeting.

In the following pages you will find a great variety of suggestions from which your Patrol Leaders' Council can select the features that will best suit your Troop.

Well, let's say it's Troop meeting night tonight, and let's see what may happen:

See: Before Opening






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
[ Meeting Ingredients ] Before the Meeting ] Opening Exercises ] Troop Formations ] Scoutcraft ] Patrol Corners ] Scoutcraft Games ] Recreational Games ] Council Fire Period ] Closing Exercises ] After the Meeting ]

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 ]

The Inquiry Net Main Topic Links:
 [Outdoor Skills]  [Patrol Method [Old-School]  [Adults [Advancement]  [Ideals]  [Leadership]  [Uniforms]

Search This Site:

Search Amazon.Com:

When you place an order with Amazon.Com using the search box below, a small referral fee is returned to The Inquiry Net to help defer the expense of keeping us online.  Thank you for your consideration!



Amazon Logo



Scout Books Trading Post

Dead Bugs, Blow Guns, Sharp Knives, & Snakes:
What More Could A Boy Want?

Old School Scouting:
What to Do, and How to Do It!

To Email me, replace "(at)" below with "@"

If you have questions about one of my 2,000 pages here, you must send me the "URL" of the page!
This "URL" is sometimes called the "Address" and it is usually found in a little box near the top of your screen.  Most URLs start with the letters "http://"

The Kudu Net is a backup "mirror" of The Inquiry Net.  

2003, 2011 The Inquiry Net,  In addition to any Copyright still held by the original authors, the Scans, Optical Character Recognition, extensive Editing,  and HTML Coding on this Website are the property of the Webmaster.   My work may be used by individuals for non-commercial, non-web-based activities, such as Scouting, research, teaching, and personal use so long as this copyright statement and a URL to my material is included in the text
The purpose of this Website is to provide access  to hard to find, out-of-print documents.  Much of the content has been edited to be of practical use in today's world and is not intended as historical preservation.   I will be happy to provide scans of specific short passages in the original documents for people involved in academic research.  


Last modified: October 15, 2016.