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  • Squad Names and Flags

    Hi all!

    I am a leader for my daughter's American Heritage Girl Tenderheart (1st-3rd grades) unit. With a boom in interest in AHG in our area, the unit grew to 30 girls this program year, so we've broken the girls up into squads (the AHG lingo for patrols, or maybe dens given the age range.) In any event, we'd like to have the girls come up with squad names and make squad flags for them. I was wondering how the BSA folks do this. Do the boys pick their own names and make their own flags? Do the names change each year, or do the patrol names get handed down within the troop? Thanks!

  • #2
    Yes yes and yes.
    The boys pick their patrol name. My troop has one legacy patrol name, and the boys are proud of that fact, too.
    Each NSP (new scout patrol) chooses their name, and they keep it. They can change it, but rarely do. If they can keep their patrol numbers up, they'll keep their patrol name. If not, they're absorbed into older patrols.

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    • #3
      The boys picked them but now we have permanent patrols and patrol names. They do modify them--The Blue Sharks have been the Screaming Sharks and are now the Mellow Nursing Sharks. They have a base color for the equipment marking and flag thought that gets modified too. The Shark Patrol flag now has a baby bottle.

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      • #4
        I don't know that want to ask us. Ask HQ. You've got some very large troops out there. Find out what they do, and see if national likes your idea, or maybe they'll have some suggestions. Opinions here are strong, and you're objective shouldn't be to have your troop end up looking like a Boy Scout troop.
        BDPT00

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        • #5
          BDT00,
          I doubt most Boy Scout troops rock pink rain ponchos while camping, like my Tenderhearts, but appreciate your concern!!! :-)

          ,

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          • #6
            I've been in troops where patrols are regularly changed and one where they'd had the same patrols as long as anyone could remember. I like continuity, but since this is the first round, let them pick and decide on the need for change when there is a need.

            Not sure how it works with AHG, but the BSA has a large number of stock patrol patches, so they tend to be the most common for patrols with a few modifiers.

            There was a time when the flying eagle patrol patch looked like a banana with wings, so our troop had a "Flying Banana" patrol.

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            • #7
              Don't copy us. Figure out what your girls want, and go with it. If AHG has no rules, you have a lot of freedom. And realistically, there are so many differing practices on this on the BSA that you'd get 10 different answers from 10 different people.

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              • #8
                Wow. Not copying...many AHG troops are doing this already, just not in our area. The precise reason that I'm asking is because if you ask 10 different people, I'll get 10 different answers, which, in my mind is the benefit of a discussion forum. In fact, logic would dictate that the very fact that you're saying that everyone does it differently would indicate that it would be very difficult to "copy" BSA practices in this area.

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                • #9
                  Second Class, Tampa, and Cito:

                  Thanks for your feedback!!! Many of the AHG squad designators that I've seen in the past revolve around the Red, White, and Blue theme, so you could have, for example, The Blue Belles, The Red Riding Hoods, and the White Diamonds, or something like that. I can see the argument for keeping them consistent, but also think that the girls should have some say.

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                  • #10
                    There are stock patrol patches maintained by the scout shop, and there are a bunch of online sites that market unique ones. There is also a blank patrol patch. We've encouraged the boys to consider them all.

                    If you have a parent with the craft materials, the more you produce by hand, IMHO, the better. If there is a site to register your squads' designs, consider doing so. (It may make for patch-trading fun down the road.)

                    Contrary to some of the above posters, I advise: DO NOT ASK HQ for a policy. If they have publicly offered something, then avail yourself of it. If you ask for a rule, someone will make it, and a bunch of folks will be miserable thanks to you. You don't want that.

                    I think it's very wise of you to ask what BS and GS do and improvise from there.

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                    • #11
                      qwasze,
                      My thoughts exactly. Asking for a policy is inviting someone to invent one. No thank you. As far as making flags, I'm thinking that, at the Tenderheart level, it might be sufficient just to let the girls go at it with some home craft materials. In my view, the more that the girls can do for themselves, the better, and the more pride that they'll have in the finished product.

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                      • #12
                        AHGnBSAMom wrote: "I doubt most Boy Scout troops rock pink rain ponchos while camping, like my Tenderhearts, but appreciate your concern!!! :-)"

                        (chuckle) You'd be very surprised by the Pink Flamingo Patrol that showed-up at our 2011 Klondike Derby (winter scouting event where scouts pull equipment from station to station on a homemade dog sled with the scouts acting as the musher and dogs).

                        They had pink everything: pants, jackets, knit hats/mittens. Their flag was pink. Their SLED was pink. At lunch, they served their cooking judge on pink flamingo themed plates with pink plastic ware and pink hot cups.

                        Suffice it they got the best patrol spirit award for the event.

                        As to your original question: Yes, most patrols make-up their own or recruit help from a parent/mother. There are basic patrol flags that can be purchased from BSA national, but I've only seen a handful of those over the years and usually in a memorabilia display rather than in actual use.

                        The patrol I was in (and founding member) as a scout, was handed down for a decade, before the troop adult leadership forced it to be retired. The last members of the patrol tracked me down and gave me the flag. Very touching as my mother made it for the patrol. I've still got it and bring it out now and then when people ask for an example of a "fancy" patrol flag.

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                        • #13
                          Well, no, you asked for how BSA did it. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what we say. The squads will rise and fall based on the desires of the girls. So try asking them!

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                          • #14
                            shortridge,
                            Yes! Definitely. We will talk to the girls about it. I'm sure they'll have a dozen creative and interesting ideas that I can't fathom. :-)

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