Active membership of a Patrol

The Patrol Method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living towards their journey of being Good Citizens. The patrol, not the adults, make most of the decisions, including electing the patrol leader. The patrol method places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through elected representatives.

Some troops hold patrol meetings during their regular troop meetings. Others encourage patrols to meet on their own time, perhaps on a Sunday afternoon at the patrol leader’s home.

These are some activities to be carried out during patrol meetings:

  • Have the patrol leader report on what happened at the latest Patrol Leaders’ Council meeting

  • Plan upcoming outings, including food menus

  • Design patrol flag

  • Outfit and clean patrol box (Patrol corner)

  • Work on advancement requirements

  • Play a game or have fun in some way

Can patrols do activities outside of the troop, other than meet?


They may have their own day activities, as well as a service project, or working on advancement, or proficiency badges, or things like that,. If they go overnight, they need to have adult supervision,

but they can do lots of things on their own. Service projects are a great thing for patrols to do.

What’s patrol spirit?

Patrol spirit starts with the patrol name, which members choose and says something about them. Patrols can come up with a flag, a totem, a yell, a song, whatever they want, something that makes them feel part of a team, just like a sports team.

What does the patrol leader do?

  • Plans, organizes, conducts patrol meetings activities.

  • Represents the patrol as a member of the Patrol Leader’s Council.

  • Keeps patrol members informed about upcoming events and deadlines.

  • Encourages patrol members to complete advancement requirements.

  • Sets a good example by living up to the Scout Oath and Law

The patrol method is not a way to operate a Boy Scout troop, it is the ONLY way. Unless the patrol method is in operation, you don't really have a Boy Scout troop

Good Patrol Spirit

  1. Patrol members must know each other - in other words you must have a stable Patrol and not one where members from other Patrols are moved in and out every so often.

  2. There must be pride in patrol traditions - the Patrol must have and use must be frequently made of the Patrol: - Name, Call, Yell or Song, Signature, Skill (good at pioneering, cooking, etc.), Flag or Badge, Corner or Den, Logbooks, equipment, Jobs delegated, Uniform.

  3. Ensure the Patrol is successful. Somehow success brings the team together, making the members of the team glad to be a part of it. Success is not only in inter-Patrol competitions (though obviously you will work hard to win them), but also in projects you undertake. Plan well, and complete your plans.

  4. Work hard to give attention to each Scout in the Patrol. Make friends with them. Get to know them and their family. Find out their interests. Most importantly help them to progress in their tests and along the Scouting Trail.

  5. As a member of a Patrol, think of your Patrol as a team. A good tip is to think and talk about OUR Patrol, OUR den and not MY Patrol or my den. Talk with the Patrol members a lot, and try to keep them informed.

  6. Try to build traditions of high standards in your Patrol. No one wants to belong to a sloppy show - everyone wants to be part of a success story.

Patrol-in-Council / Patrol Meetings

Patrol Meetings, also called Patrol-in-Council or Patrol Council Meetings, is a meeting between the Patrol Leader and the patrol. Patrol meetings may be held at any time and place. Many patrols set aside a portion of some evening meetings for its patrol to sit together and talk. Others encourage patrols to meet on a different evening, possibly at the home of a patrol member.

What is discussed ?

  1. Programme - troop and patrol (camps, meetings, etc.)

  2. Policy (the way things are done)

  3. Problems

  4. Decisions requested by the Patrol Leaders Council

  5. Requests/suggestions made by the Patrol Leaders Council

  6. Badge advancement within the Patrol

  7. Notices (of coming events)

  8. New Scouts

  9. Planning future events & activities

Running the meeting

Meetings should be well planned and businesslike. Assistant Patrol Leaders bring the meeting to order and the PL reports on the issues discussed at the Patrol Leaders Council.

  1. Decisions reached at these meetings should be brought to the attention of the Troop Scouter, whose responsibility it is, together with Assistants and PL's to make up a suitable programme. Plan and lead some patrol meeting and activities.

  2. Keep your patrol members informed.

  3. Give each member some specific task whenever possible.

  4. Represent your patrol at Patrol Leader's Council.

  5. Prepare the patrol to participate in all Troop activities.

  6. Work with other Leaders to make your troop run well.

  7. Know the abilities of each of your members.

  8. Set a good example.

  9. Wear the Scout Uniform correctly.

  10. Be guided by the Scout Promise & Law.

Patrol Log

Maintaining and keeping logs of your meetings and activities is a way of analyzing the progress of the Patrol.

A few activities

  • Develop a secret code known only to your patrol. Use it;

  • Learn your patrol calls and signs;

  • Hold a tent pitching competition. Time your patrols. See if they can do it blindfolded with only one person instructing;

  • Practice making tea on top of a tree/in a tree hut;

  • 30) Have a patrol camp, join with another patrol where possible;

  • 34) Have regular log book inspections. Pay attention to spelling and grammar. Make sure daily logs are maintained and checked;

  • Make a patrol flag with your patrol colours. It could be used at patrol competitions, camps, and outside your tent at Camporee;

  • Learn how to change a flat tyre;

  • Make a water filter out of natural material;

  • Maintain a calendar of Troop birthdays and make a card as a Patrol and mail to the Scout;

Patrol Dens and Corners

Each Patrol should have a place of its own - somewhere it can meet and keep its treasures. The patrol corners are divided from the Troop administration. The Patrol can meet there when they wish and can decorate and furnish the place to their liking. The Patrol Corner is the core around which Patrol Spirit and tradition can be built.

The Patrol Corner should be decorated by the members of the Patrol with the records and trophies of its activities. It houses the Patrol's equipment such as signaling equipment, library, photos, games equipment, ropes, axes, first-aid kit, etc. It is the place where each generation of the Patrol can and will express its personality.

The maintenance and development of Patrol Dens or Corners can form an important training.

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