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  • Patrol Yells

    Yah, in da previous thread there were some questions from Brewmeister about patrol yells and flags.

    Does your troop have these for real? Or do they just make ones up for the boys goin' for Tenderfoot?

    How do yeh make that work?

  • #2
    While we try to push for patrol flags and yells, in reality, the only time and place they are regularly used is at Summer Camp. The Patrols give a yell after grace when meals are ready to eat, and their flag is on display in their patrol dining area.


    • #3
      They just don't seem to take. They do even worse than Patrol Flags. Only one Patrol used it and it was very corporate "Fly to Excellence" or something like that. Maybe if it was based on a video game or sometime...too much appealing to adults or something.

      Maybe it is something that needs to just happen on a good patrol outing--you know the sort of shared experience that becomes an inside joke--like the nicknames boys get after a multi-day hike. One boy got the handle "Dingleberry" --I really don't want to know. If a Patrol had the cry "We need a Cat Hole!" I would be happy.


      • #4
        The problem with patrol yells is that they are no longer functional. It used to be used as a communication tool to gather up the patrols. If you wanted to gather up your patrol, the PL would raise up the patrol flag, give the yell and the boys were to locate the yell and flag and assemble.

        I have seen this process work well in other groups. I was with a tour group once that functionally used the "patrol" yell system. It was a bus tour group and once everyone got off the bus and out into the crowds, sometimes there would be an individual or small group that would be "lost". At that point all they would do is yell, "Ziggy, ziggy, ziggy!" and wait for the response, "Hoya, hoya, hoya!" By calling back and forth they could zero in on each other and get "found". When the tour guide needed everyone back on the bus he would give the yell, and everyone would gather back at the bus.

        The patrol flag is yet another marker for the patrols. At National Jamboree our contingency of 35 boys were trying to make it out of the arena and back to camp, but the crowds were horrendous. I carry a 6' walking stick with my flag on it. I simply lifted it up and headed back to camp. My boys kept a visual on it until the crowds thinned and by the time we got half way back to camp all 35 boys were in a group.

        If the flag and yell are nothing more than a routine at camporee competition activities, they will soon be lost in the shuffle. Functionally? Well if they are working properly, then there shouldn't be a problem.

        When I had my troop, we functionally used our patrol flags. When summer camps line up their boys for flags, it is usually SPL at the head of the line and everyone lines up behind him. That way when they salute the flag, they basically can only see the guy in front of them.

        My SPL would not line up on the camp's prescribed spot but would instead stand back 20' and stand. He had an SPL flag. The ASPL with ASPL flag would line up 4' to the left of the SPL. Then each PL with the patrol flags would line up behind the SPL 4' apart. The patrols would gather to the left of the PL 1' apart with the APL's on the left end of each patrol line. This block of boys could easily see the flag and salute properly.

        Once the SPL found his spot, the other leaders could quickly find their and the boys could then all form up neatly and orderly.

        The first time the boys did this, the MC of the Friday evening flag ceremony of the camporee suggested each of the other troops line up this way. It was quickly obvious that most of the boys of the other troops didn't even know what patrol they were supposed to be in and there wasn't a patrol flag in sight. It if isn't functional, it won't last and becomes just a historical tradition. Kinda like the patrol method.



        • #5
          T#8 - Know your patrol name, give the patrol yell, and describe your patrol flag.

          We encourage Patrol Identity, and use the yell for things like "who goes first" is the loudest, or a way to bring that Patrol back from an activity... sometimes the Patrol puts the yell right on the flag, or use it to start a Patrol Corner session.

          I'd like to see more Patrol identity in the Troop meeting.

          Especially useful for new Scouts introduced to the Patrol that did not "cross over" with the rest.


          • #6
            Funny thing: Just the other day, I asked my son what his patrol ( Pythons) yell was since I never heard one person speak of it or yell it.

            He says: "SQUEEZE THE BUNNY!"

            Next meeting, I asked another scout in the patrol what their yell was. They ( bunch standing together) yelled SQUEEZE THE BUNNY!!!

            So, short of having to have one, I didn't know if they would ever use it.


            • #7
              Yah, I agree with jblake, eh? The stuff that sticks is the stuff that's functional.

              I'm not sure that flags are functional anymore, save in the odd Jambo situation described. Flag signaling and identifying regiments by flag on the field have long since gone by the wayside.

              Patrol yells / patrol cheers / patrol slogans / patrol noises / patrol songs or somethin' that resembles 'em will come about naturally in a patrol method troop where there's some patrol competition. It's natural to cheer for your team or come up with mottos or jingles.

              The reverse isn't true, eh? Requiring patrol yells will not naturally lead to patrol method.



              • #8
                Thanks for starting this thread.

                Maybe I'm just an old fashioned guy but IMO if it says do it in the book you should do it. A run doesn't count unless you cross the base, or if you decide to leave out a few measures in the solo you are performing at ensemble you're not going to get a good judges score.

                When I was a scout we were the Blue Fox patrol and I know we had a flag for sure.

                My son is assigned to a NSP. However the guidance of this patrol has not been real strong. There is no TG and the expectation is that they sort of find their own way in the world. Which they should, but right now they don't know the way.

                I feel that the NSP should be getting more guidance and meeting occasionally to orient themselves to the program and perhaps work on stuff like a flag and yell, yes to do the requirement as written, but who knows, it might spark something.

                What would you do?


                • #9
                  Have your son ask the SPL who is the NSP TG.

                  It's possible the TG is not coming to meeting or needing to be filled. Summer Camp is coming up, and maybe elections?


                  • #10
                    One is always going to have problems with troop functionality when those assigned a POR don't do their job. If they aren't doing their job, the solution is simple, get someone in there that will. Too often we are "locked" into 6 month tenures that means the troop has to suffer for 6 months before the situation can be corrected.

                    Not me, if one is not doing their job, they're out and someone who wants to do it is put in. If that screws up the calendar, too bad.

                    Servant Leadership requires leadership that cares about taking care of those to whom they are responsible. If they aren't doing that, then they aren't leading, they are sitting back on their laurels garnering up advancement credit for no work being done. A Scout is Trustworthy. If he isn't doing his job, he's not trustworthy. Plain and simple. A lot of problems in troops would go away if they accepted the premise that if someone says they're going to do a job, it is expected they do it.

                    If this concept is too difficult for our scouts and we don't take the time to teach it properly, they will get it straightened out for them the hard way when they get their first job.

                    TG is a pure servant leadership position with great responsibility. That position will make it or break it for a lot of new scouts just getting their feet on the ground in the program. It can't be taken lightly.



                    • #11
                      I guess I am just assuming there is no TG b/c I haven't seen anyone acting in that capacity and nobody is listed as such on the youth leader roster, but neither I nor my son have asked.

                      Either way, the learning curve has been very steep considering that I have a greater knowledge of the program than your average parent. I am finding myself doing more than I thought I would or should.


                      • #12
                        I was going to suggest to our new Patrol Leaders that if a Patrol wasn't using a yell it just isn't taking. They should come up with a new one when the situation warrants.

                        Another adult suggested guidelines and I said as long as it meets the scout law especially Kind, Clean, and Reverent.


                        • #13
                          As some may know, my son switched troops close to 2 years ago now, from a troop that was very adult-led with weak patrol method, to a troop that has much stronger patrol method. The boys in the patrols do things together outside of weekly troop meetings. They have independent patrol meetings. They really have bonded. All of their patrols have names and yells, some have flags.

                          As I mentioned in the other patrol yell thread, the patrol he joined when he switched troops is called the duct tapes. Their yell is "We stick together!" which has been shown to be true. They have a flag, yes, made with duct tape.

                          In his previous troop, the NSPs had flags, which were made under adult supervision at a troop meeting (adults would bring supplies, flag would get done). I think they had yells for the purposes of the Tenderfoot requirements. I don't ever, in 5 years, recall hearing those yells, though, except when I would ask a boy at a Tenderfoot BOR (and sometimes they didn't know what it was).

                          So here's my conclusion: In a troop with a weak patrol method, this stuff will only occur because the adults or the rank requirements say it has to. It won't have much meaning to the boys in the patrols. Seeing this, some adults and boys will question why we still have these outdated relics of requirements, anyway.

                          In a troop with stronger patrol method and where the older boy patrols have already adopted these things as identity symbols, new patrols will want to do the same, and the yell/flag/name will become another part of their bonding story.

                          Or maybe my son's current troop and patrol are just really special. I know he thinks they are!