Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Do Patrol Boxes Work?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    I think the patrol boxes work great. I think one of the main benefits of the patrol box is that it adds to the experience of camping in the outdoors. I feel that the use of plastic tubs really takes away from the historical realism of being in the outdoors. It also promotes the use of plastics, which is something that "green" groups are trying to shy away from these days.

    I take a lot of pride in the way that I camp. I have a period canvas tent, and carry a lot of hand forged equipment with me. I also tend to teach scouts using a lot of old methods, such as flint and steel to start fires. The use of wooden camp boxes fits right in with this style of camping, and gives the scouts more of a true outdoor experience.

    As for whether they work, of course they do. They offer great organization and keep everything together in one kit. I feel that it also gives the quartermaster a good base of operations for working with the troop kitchens. It's much easier to open a patrol box and see if something is out of place, than opening a plastic tub and digging around to make sure everything is there.

    The other bonus with the boxes are the fact that they act as a station to work at. It allows us to have scouts preparing meals, cooking, or cleaning without having to pack an extra table along.

    The boxes are bulky and weigh a lot, but I wouldn't trade them for anything else.

    It's nice to see the Boy Scouts evolve with the times, but it's also really nice to give the boys an "Earthy" experience, and I think patrol boxes help to do that.

    Our troop is in the Western United States, so it might also be easier for us to adapt to these. I would imagine it would be more difficult for inner city troops to pack these around, but it would be worth the effort to even make smaller boxes that could be stacked to work.

    Sincerely,
    Hates to see Plastics at a Scout Camp Out

    One thing I forgot to add, is that the standard patrol box with legs also helps to keep out those pesky little critters that like to get to your supplies. We just recently returned from summer camp where we had shared our camp with another troop. The other troop kept their foodstuffs in plastic containers, where all of ours where kept in the patrol boxes. Needless to say, our food survived, theirs didn't.(This message has been edited by jdsherlock)

    Comment


    • #17
      Yah, what an interestin' thread to be resurrected!

      I confess to likin' jdsherlock's historical-reenactment campin' style. There is a certain romanticism in such things which can appeal to boys. I think usin' more primitive equipment in a car-campin' troop is a fine way to up the interest and challenge for boys. Not sure the boxes are necessary for that. Maybe canvas packs and bedrolls would be more in the nature of a true Voyageur. (Yeh out there, le Voyageur?)

      On the flip side, classic gear is a relic from before we became Leave No Trace outdoorsmen in da BSA. When I'm campin' on my own, I confess I always dread a trailer-towin' troop pulling in with a mess of patrol boxes and gear and such. Tend to trample everything, stay up late, and perform poorly in bad weather. I'm always friendly, but it's a hit or miss experience. When a troop pulls in with just packs and lightweight gear, though, I've yet to have a bad experience. Those lads really know how to live and travel properly in the outdoors.

      When folks ask me this question, I always point 'em at a few different troops to compare. Mostly, though, I've been won over by the thrifty versatility of lightweight LNT camping instead of patrol boxes.

      Beavah

      Comment


      • #18
        We have an "action packer" which is basically a heavy duty rubbermaid type box for each patrol that contains a coleman stove along with pots skillets and utensils. Then each patrol also gets their own propane. And then we have troop gear in the trailer. Plus the stuff people bring in their trucks.

        The SM and some of us are trying to change the culture from 100% truck camping with a trailer + more gear that won't fit into a trailer to a mix including "haul your own gear" campouts so scouts can backpack our gear into backcountry and teach scouts to plan ahead and be self sufficient.

        The boys have been more willing that the parents to go this route. Some folks just won't camp without massive amounts of gear per person.

        When you have to carry it all in yourself you learn to figure out what you really need and to identify items that can serve a dual purpose.(This message has been edited by knot head)

        Comment


        • #19
          What about a Craftsman Sit/Stand/Tote Truck?

          This sit, stand and tote consists of a large bottom tub for bulk storage and one large tote for additional storage of parts boxes and smaller hand or power tools. It also incorporates a unique hand truck design with a retractable pull handle assembly (that extends to 36 in. high) for easy maneuvering. Includes two 5 in. transport wheels, comfort-grip top handle and two side latches that can be locked with a padlock (not included) for added security. 5,081 total cu. in. of storage. 25 x 17.5 x 18 in. 16.2 lbs.

          I know mine worked great for crafts storage (supplies, consumables, tools, glue guns, etc.) when I was a den leader in cubs. Our troop uses wooden patrol boxes so I never considered using it in such an application before. IMO, this would be a very good "little bear" resistant container. I'm just not sure if it has enough volume. The main consideration I think would be is how much room would be have left after stocking it with your largest pieces of patrol gear. For us, it would be the equivalent of the Trail Chef Aluminum Cook Kit (Scoutstuff item # 01011) and Chef's Tool Kit (Scoutstuff item # 01153). I think that's the key to figuring out your "patrol box needs."

          First determine what equipment a patrol needs at every campout and provide suitable storage for it.

          The tote truck is $60. How much does a patrol box cost?(This message has been edited by MarkS)

          Comment


          • #20
            >> Some folks just won't camp without massive amounts of gear

            Comment


            • #21
              I have a small plastic storage unit that holds everything I need for a kitchen except for a Dutch oven. Bowls, spoons, sponges, tablecloth, etc. and the whole thing fits into a BSA canvas Yucca Pack. A boy can strap it on his chest and still wear his backpack. Works great for me and it floats when the canoe tips.

              Stosh

              Comment


              • #22
                jdsherlock writes:

                I think the patrol boxes work great. I think one of the main benefits of the patrol box is that it adds to the experience of camping in the outdoors. I feel that the use of plastic tubs really takes away from the historical realism of being in the outdoors...I have a period canvas tent, and carry a lot of hand forged equipment with me. I also tend to teach scouts using a lot of old methods, such as flint and steel to start fires. The use of wooden camp boxes fits right in with this style of camping, and gives the scouts more of a true outdoor experience.

                What Beavah describes as the "historical-reenactment campin' style" is the difference between the admittedly "certain romanticism in such things which can appeal to boys" and the "Traditional Scouting" or "Baden-Powell Scouting" movement that I admire.

                Traditional Scouting is defined as strictly based on the rules of Scouting as it was played at an arbitrary date such as 1938 (the year of Hillcourt's 3rd edition of Handbook for Scoutmasters and the last version of the rules of Scouting that Baden-Powell himself edited)...EXCEPT for changes in:

                1) Health & Safety;
                2) Environmental Concerns; and
                3) Lightweight Camping technology.

                For Traditional Scouting the most important thing is to get the Patrols separated to encourage the strong Patrol Leadership that was "The ONLY Method of Scouting" before the introduction of Leadership Development in 1972.

                For Traditional Scouting then, lightweight "backpacking" equipment distributed to Patrol Members and carried to individual Patrol sites in their backpacks (NOT Patrol Boxes) is the way to go.

                See Lightweight Camping Equipment at:

                http://inquiry.net/outdoor/equipment/lightweight_camping.htm

                Stosh, Knot Head's experience with adult resistance to minimal equipment is almost universal. What are your plans for Patrol Equipment given your anticipated influx of new Scouts (and their parents)? Given this explosive growth, I believe that more than anything else, the weight of your equipment will determine the future of the Patrol Method in your Troop.

                Kudu

                Comment


                • #23
                  BLUF: Patrol Boxes have their place in the full spectrum of camping.


                  Kudu, get a grip!!!!

                  There's nothing wrong with "plop" camping as there is nothing wrong with "lightweight" or "extreme-lightweight" camping. I think it's great to share all styles of camping with my boys and show them the skills and equipment involved in both.

                  I want my boys to be able to have the skills to bake in a dutch oven as well as to know how to boil water to re-hydrate their trail meal. I want them to know how to erect a canvas wall tent and/or patrol fly as well as knowing how to set up a bivy shelter.

                  There's merit in knowing how to do things along the full spectrum of camping. Years ago, scouts wouldn't have needed a Wilderness Survival merit badge as those skills were a fundamental part of the scouting program. Be Prepared!!!!!!

                  All that said, I love my Patrol Box. I designed it but had a real carpenter build it. Yes, it's heavy, but everyone who has seen it, wants one. It's 12 years old and looks as good as it did the day it was made. Made of 3/4 inch plywood, it sports three separate storage areas (large, medium, and small), has two drawers, and a drop down-laminate cutting surface.
                  I love to use it when I "plop" camp but I also pass it by when I'm headed out on a backpacking trip.

                  Diversity, try it!!!!!!!!(This message has been edited by Eagletrek)

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    We have a patrol box for our Cub Scouts. I love it and it makes for a good working area when it comes time to make chow. I think that they are great to have. But as some of you are saying, there is backpacking camping. If we all just agree that they have a place on some trips and not on others then everyone can see where we are coming from. I love our patrol box, but I would still love to go lightweight one day, but that is just not reasonable at this time, due to the age of our Cubs.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Eagletrek writes:

                      I love my Patrol Box...had a real carpenter build it. Yes, it's heavy...I love to use it when I "plop" camp but I also pass it by when I'm headed out on a backpacking trip.

                      The point of Lightweight Patrol Camping is NOT to buy TWO sets of equipment, but to use good quality "backpacking" equipment for "plop" camping.

                      This about the relationship of the Patrol Method to weight.

                      The heavier the equipment, the closer together the Patrols will be forced to camp and the more distracted the Patrols will be by outside forces.

                      Nothing prevents a Patrol from dragging along Dutch ovens.

                      See Lightweight Patrol Camping at:

                      http://inquiry.net/outdoor/equipment/lightweight_camping.htm

                      Kudu

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I've been lobbying for a patrol box bonfire. So far I have been unsuccessful. I really think they are a bane to good camping, at least the way I see them used.

                        SWScouter

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Hey Kudu I did read the article on lightweight camping but I didn't see where it was an authoritative scouting document.

                          Now for a logic check.

                          1. You say, "The point of Lightweight Patrol Camping is NOT to buy TWO sets of equipment, but to use good quality "backpacking" equipment for "plop" camping."

                          Who says? Can't a scout/leader have various kinds of camping equipment to fit his certain camping needs? Can't a patrol have a two burner Coleman gas stove while at summer camp to prepare their own meals vs. using two or three Whisper-Lites? Better yet, can't they use a Sheep Herder stove? Silly me, why should I be discussing preparing meals at summer camp when now most folks don't cook and eat in dining halls. If we're really concerned about the Patrol Method, let's burn down every dining hall before we burn our Patrol Boxes.

                          When at summer camp why not sleep on a cot in a wall tent? Am I concerned about how much I'll have to carry on my back the next day? I don't think so. In the summer camp "camping environment" the boys are there to get the most out of the program offered and to have fun.

                          Now if we're off on a backwoods trek for a couple of days, let's haul out the ultra-lite stuff and leave those creature comforts we use for "plop" camping home.

                          2. You address "the relationship of the Patrol Method to weight." Please explain to me how they are related. Are you telling me that you can't employ the Patrol Method effectively if you camp "heavy?" I don't buy that. In fact, when I was a kid, my troop was very effective at employing the Patrol Method, in fact much more so than I see in most troops today, and we were far from being lite-weight campers most of the time. We gathered wood, fired up our sheep herder stoves, prepared our own meals, used and maintained our patrol boxes, properly cleaned our gear, etc., etc., etc..

                          We did all of this using boy-led patrols while following the duty roster we developed. Did we ever go on treks? You bettcha'!!!!! Did we drag all that heavy gear? No. We took what was appropriate and we employed the same patrol method that we did while camping heavy.

                          3. Lastly, you state, "The heavier the equipment, the closer together the Patrols will be forced to camp and the more distracted the Patrols will be by outside forces." I don't buy this either. Some adequate prior planning, you know it's a "Be Prepared" kinda thang, should allow you to move your "heavy stuff" easily enough to give the patrols as much separation as possible.

                          I don't know how big your troop is but most scout camps today don't have adequate room to provided the desired distance between patrols. When camping at a local scout camp you've got to request the largest campsite and do the best you can as far as separation of the patrols is concerned. The "footprint" of a Patrol Box is not going to weigh to heavily in how far the patrols will be separated.

                          Now when out on a backwoods trek and mother nature is kind with the space she provides, by all means use the max distance to keep your patrols separated and most definately use all the lite-weight gear you have available. Ahhhhhhh, remember the days we could really be lite-weight by not having to drag around a stove and its fuel?????

                          Like I said before, I like to experience the entire spectrum of camping; from heavy to lite. That said, I'm not trying to convince anyone that this is the way that they have to experience camping but please don't tell me that guys who may camp heavy occassionally can't effectively employ the Patrol Method.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Eagletrek writes:

                            Hey Kudu I did read the article on lightweight camping but I didn't see where it was an authoritative scouting document.

                            Remarkably the current BSA Boy Scout Handbook presents Lightweight Patrol Camping as the way to go, "From your first Tenderfoot campout...." The first photograph of the "Camping" chapter features all lightweight equipment, and the Patrols appear to be well separated.

                            Significantly the "Patrol or Group Overnight Camping Gear" list on page 226 lists "Backpacking stoves and fuel."

                            On page 230, "Loading a Pack" reads "In addition to your own gear, you might carry some patrol or group equipment. You share might include several pots, part of a tent, a camp stove, and some food."

                            "Selecting a Campsite" on page 232 indicates that a Patrol selects its own camping site, rather than setting up a few feet from the next Patrol as is the custom in Troops that camp heavy. Note that the food is hung in trees not stored in boxes (although backcountry practice in bear territory should be to use backpacking bear barrels--required by law in some areas) "A site must be large enough for patrol members to pitch their tents and cook their meals. When hanging food to keep it away from animals, find the trees you need at least two hundred feet (seventy-five steps) away from where you will be sleeping."

                            Note that the illustration on page 233 for "Camp Stove" is a MSR WhisperLite, as is the one on page 253 which presents lightweight stoves as the way to go for ALL camping trips, "Many Scouts use lightweight stoves on all their camping trips. Stoves are clean, quick to heat water and food, and easy to light in any weather Best of all, they leave no marks on the land. A stove in your pack can make it simpler for you to camp without leaving a trace.

                            Eagletrek writes:

                            You say, "The point of Lightweight Patrol Camping is NOT to buy TWO sets of equipment, but to use good quality "backpacking" equipment for "plop" camping." Who says? Can't a scout/leader have various kinds of camping equipment to fit his certain camping needs?

                            I own my own Dutch ovens, which I bring to Troop campouts and to the District training events that I Staff. The idea that you NEED heavy equipment for car camping is mistaken.

                            Eagletrek writes:

                            Can't a patrol have a two burner Coleman gas stove while at summer camp to prepare their own meals vs. using two or three Whisper-Lites?

                            Suggesting that a Troop buy two sets of stoves is irresponsible. Most Troops do not have the budget for that.

                            When everyone cooks on WhisperLites and uses Lightweight Patrol Camping as the Handbook suggests, then parents are more likely to move from Walmart camping to a comfort level where they might even try backpacking. Most Troops do NOT backpack.

                            Eagletrek writes:

                            Silly me, why should I be discussing preparing meals at summer camp when now most folks don't cook and eat in dining halls. If we're really concerned about the Patrol Method, let's burn down every dining hall before we burn our Patrol Boxes.

                            We agree on that

                            Eagletrek writes:

                            When at summer camp why not sleep on a cot in a wall tent?

                            Sure, as long as a Troop doesn't go out and buy cots and wall tents.

                            Eagletrek writes:

                            Are you telling me that you can't employ the Patrol Method effectively if you camp "heavy?" I don't buy that. In fact, when I was a kid....

                            Everyone has a different definition of "Patrol Method." Scoutmaster specific training now defines it as adults running around bypassing Patrol Leaders if that is what the group "needs." Well, ALL parents arrive in Scouting thinking that is what any group of boys "needs." Likewise, if you camp with heavy equipment, most parents are going to decide that the group "needs" to camp close together because NOBODY wants to lug all that stuff very far from the cars.

                            Baden-Powell's standard for Troop camping was to separate the Patrols by 300 feet. But in the olden days Patrols used trek carts to transport their equipment, and training was based on the real Patrol Method, not the theories of indoor business managers.

                            Eagletrek writes:

                            I don't know how big your troop is but most scout camps today don't have adequate room to provide the desired distance between patrols.

                            I hear this excuse all the time, although your version is unusual because the wording usually indicates that the writer's Troop camps at commercial campgrounds, where the parents' desire for electricity, flush toilets, hot showers, and water hook-ups at every site has a much higher priority than the "Patrol Method."

                            I use the term "excuse" because such observations are NEVER accompanied with examples of actually trying to separate the Patrols in a Scout camp and being told it was "against the rules."

                            Such problems can be solved if you know your way around your local Council office.

                            At the very least, EVERY Scout Camp has areas to which you can "backpack" a short distance and spread out at least as far as the Patrols on page 217.

                            With Lightweight Patrol Camping you are limited only by how far you want to carry the water. Some camps have unspoiled streams that allow you to trade the weight of water filters for water, as on page 256.

                            Likewise, all National Forests allow Patrol Camping, provided that you camp more than 300 feet from the parking lot, trailhead, or established pay-campsite.

                            Eagletrek writes:

                            The "footprint" of a Patrol Box is not going to weigh to heavily in how far the patrols will be separated.

                            Sure it does: LITERALLY!

                            Eagletrek writes:

                            Like I said before, I like to experience the entire spectrum of camping; from heavy to lite.

                            Most Troops camp heavy. Loading motor vehicles and trailers down with too much stuff is NOT an endangered art

                            Your last post closed with a plug for "diversity." Lightweight Patrol Camping offers an alternative to the heavy camping that is the instinct of EVERY parent unfamiliar with the superior alternative now promoted in The Boy Scout Handbook.

                            Once in harmony with the laws of gravity, a Troop can learn how get away from crowded campsites and experience the freedomm of the backwoods pictured throughout the Scout Handbook:

                            The Promise of Scouting that is all too often broken.

                            Kudu

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Well Kudu once again you miss the point. I never said that scouts shouldn't do lite-weight treking. That said, I think that scouts should also be allowed to "plop" camp when they desire. If done correctly, both can be done using the Patrol Method. I'll never limit the spectrum of camping for my scouts.

                              From your posts, it appears that one cannot properly execute the Patrol Method and to some degree the program if they don't go lite-weight. On that point, I guess I'll just have to disagree with you.

                              Back to the OP's question; Yes, Patrol Boxes work well for me and my boys. Do we always use them? No. They're only used when the situation/event calls for them.

                              OBTW, I'd love it if every camping trip we ventured out on took us to those majestic places potrayed in the Scout Handbook but being from Central Texas that isn't always possible.(This message has been edited by Eagletrek)

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                When we started the Troop a year ago, we inherited 4 wooden Patrol boxes, along with a trailer to store and haul them. We have used them twice so far - at the District Camporee and at Summer Camp (where we cooked our own meals). There are times for heavy camping, and times for light camping. I personally prefer light camping, and backpacking, but not all the boys do. Some of them really enjoy learning how to cook, more so than just warming food or boiling water. So we find ways to do little of both throughout the year. I don't see this as a "right or wrong" issue, just different types of camping.

                                Brent
                                Prayer - is it your steering wheel or your spare tire?

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X