This is something
to think about. Is your patrol really using the Patrol Method? Read the two examples and you decide.
Troop A -
This Troop has Patrols. The Patrols have flags and the Scouts in the Patrol all wear the same Patrol patch. The Patrols sit/stand together during the Troop opening and then again during the
Troop closing. All skill sessions are done as a Troop, attended by those boys
needing to learn that particular skill (and anyone else with nothing better to do).
These sessions are taught by Troop adults or visiting experts. Games played
during/before the meeting are based on individual participation.
Campouts are done as a
Troop. The boys tent with a buddy (from any Patrol) and use gear that the Scouts
own (or borrow) themselves. Cooking and cleanup is done in one large group. Outing fees are collected from the parents by the Troop Committee and food purchase
is done by a group of Scouts who need that activity for advancement (helped by adults).
The Troop sends all new
Scouts to the "First Year Camper" program at their summer camp. The expectation
is that many (all?) of the requirements of all the ranks up through 1st Class can be earned this first year. The new Scouts are put into a "New Scout Patrol" and stay in it for a year.
After the first year, the group continues as a Patrol under a new name. The
Patrols tend to be age-stratified.
Troop A has an active Scoutmaster,
he runs the PLC meetings, and has a fair amount of general help from Assistant Scoutmasters and Troop Committee. All youth Troop jobs are elected and there are no performance standards.
Almost nothing in the Scout's
environment is based on teams.
Troop B -
This Troop has Patrols. The Patrols have flags and the Scouts in the Patrol all wear the same Patrol patch. The Patrols sit/stand together during the Troop opening and closing. Skill sessions are done by Patrol and are usually taught by the older Scouts in the Patrol. Sometimes special skill sessions are done by invited experts and sometimes other Patrols are invited to
join in. Games played during/before the meeting are based on Patrol teams.
The Troop has a mixed schedule...some
months have Troop outings and some have Patrol outings. If it is a "Troop outing"
month, the Patrols travel to the site, camp, cook, cleanup, do most program, pack up, and travel home by Patrol. Some special times are set aside during the outing for the Patrols to get together (Patrol vs. Patrol games,
campfire program, assembly, etc.). If it is a "Patrol outing" month, each Patrol
does its own thing (sometimes two Patrols might share an outing). Fees are collected
by the Patrol, the food is bought by the Patrol, and the group camping equipment is "owned" by the Patrol (Patrol name is
written all over it).
The responsibility for
doing all the skills-training up through 1st Class rests on the shoulders of the Patrol Leader. He either uses his older Patrol members to teach the new guys (during games, camping trips, while getting
ready for camping trips, etc.) or he invites help from the Troop's older Scouts. The
skills taught are exactly the skills used during Patrol activities. New Scouts
are put into a "New Scout" Patrol until they either earn Tenderfoot or two months have elapsed. They are then graduated into one of the "regular" Patrols for the rest of their career with the Troop. The Patrols are a mix of all ages found in the Troop.
Troop B has an active Scoutmaster
(whose main job is to train the SPL and the Assistant Scoutmasters). The SPL
runs the PLC and the Troop does (or doesn't do) whatever the PLC comes up with (after appropriate blessings by the Troop Committee). Each Patrol has a permanent Assistant Scoutmaster assigned to it. The Patrol's SA and one/more of the parents make up any needed adult presence on Patrol outings. Sometimes the SM is invited along on a Patrol outing, sometimes he isn't.
The PL is elected by his
Patrol, he appoints all other Patrol jobholders. The SPL is elected by the entire
Troop, he appoints all other Troop jobholders. The PL and all Troop jobholders
each have their own adult who works with them. The PL and all Troop jobholders
have a written detailed job description and get with the SPL (and their adults) to write up a "contract" based on it. They get reviewed by the SPL and if they are not doing their job (per their contract)
they either spiff up or they get replaced. The SPL (and their adult) has to agree
before they can get advancement "credit" for any job held. They can keep trying
out different jobs until they either find one they can do or they get old/gray and become Scoutmasters....
Almost everything in the
Scout's environment is based on teams.
both Troops using the Patrol Method?