Leadership Roles for Scouts
Every Scout volunteers for leadership roles in the troop to advance in ranks. Here are tips about being a better leader and patrol member.
Learn the Names of Your Patrol Members
When my son was a first-year Scout, I asked, “What is the name of your patrol leader?” He did not know. I asked again, week after week. It took two months to get the answer. Then I asked, “What is the name of your assistant patrol leader?” and the process continued again.
My son is now a second-year Scout, and he knows his patrol leader’s name. But I asked him this week, “What are the names of the first-years in your patrol?” and he did not know.
Some Scouts naturally learn everyone’s names, but many do not. The first step to building strong patrols is for patrol members to learn each other’s names. The Patrol Method is one of the building blocks of Scouting. Patrol members share responsibility for the patrol's success. They serve in various leadership roles as part of a team.
Strong patrols mean better Monday meetings. Each Monday meeting’s activity is facilitated by a patrol. Everyone will have more fun when patrol members take turns contributing.
So let’s learn each other's names! The challenge for this week is to learn the name of at least one Scout who you do not know – ideally in your patrol, but it can be outside your patrol if you know everyone in the patrol.
Next, patrols can exchange phone numbers or emails so patrol members can coordinate during the week.
Parents – let's learn each other’s names as well!
Patrols Can Have Fun Outside of Monday Meetings
The Patrol Method is one of the building blocks of Scouting. When a group of Scouts feels like a team, they can help each other and they will have more fun. One way to help a patrol gel as a team is to do activities beyond Monday meetings.
Any Scout can ask his patrol for help working on a requirement to earn his ranks or merit badges. Any Scout can organize an outing with his patrol.
What would your patrol like to do?
• Take a hike?
• Climb a ropes course?
• Swim at a pool?
• Solve puzzles at an Escape room?
• Do a fun merit badge?
• Cook a meal over a fire?
Some requirements for rank, Cyber Chip or merit badges involve a Scout or patrol giving a presentation. Usually that presentation can be given to a patrol, rather than the whole troop. That is less intimidating. It also allows the Scout to plan for a more interactive presentation since he only has to gather visual aids for 7-9 people instead of dozens.
To summarize: Not every activity needs to be coordinated with the whole troop. The challenge for this week is to think of one activity you would like to do with your patrol and share it with your patrol.
If you have questions about the Patrol Method or how your patrol can organize activities, ask any ASM (Assistant Scoutmaster) or Mr. Medvid.