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The Patrol Method

Lessons and questions of Scout leadership and operating troop program

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  1. weird patrol names

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  2. Patrol cooksets

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Good thing they are keeping the name "Boy Scouts of America" then.... I guarantee nobody is going to stop calling boys in khaki shirts and green short Boy Scouts, even if the program name changes.
    • Wow, do I feel old! I agree, the BSA was paving the way towards coed, and the Scout BSA was a hint, prepping the battlefield, if you will.  I don't recall hearing about a merger (interesting to mull over now) back then, but I definitely remember conversations at the unit level, and letters to Pedro in BL, about the possibility of letting girls join. 
    • Sorry to mis-lead you two.  I joined as a Bear Cub in 1987. The uniform shirt I shared belongs to a recently-retired Scoutmaster from our area. Yes, @desertrat77, our Scout Executive shared that with us a few days before we all learned of this lawsuit. I think BSA was trying to pave the way for merger in the 1970s and "Scout BSA" was a way to make it easier? 
    • True, it doesn't equal, but the campfire scuttlebutt and hints in official literature indicated that indeed, the BSA was leaning to going coed at that time. 
    • @LeCastor, you raise excellent points.  Not too long ago, I was looking at the Patrol Leaders Handbook, 1967 edition (the ISP '70's era edition is utterly worthless).  Though I came up through scouting during the ISP/'70's era, my scoutmasters ran the various troops I was in by the old style of scouting, focusing on the patrol method. I was amazed as I thumbed through the '67 edition.  I had forgotten many of the things I was expected to do as a patrol leader.  Collect dues.  Sit on the monthly troop leaders council as well as the yearly TLC planning meeting.  Train my patrol on the skills required for the next camporee.  Organize the purchase of my patrol's food for camp outs.  Etc. Alas, I rarely see the patrol method used today.  Scouting has largely been reduced to parents and scout leaders running everything.  The scout's sole responsibility, most of the time, is to get into the van and just amble through an event.  Campouts?  Patrols?  When many troops actually go camping, everyone is huddled around one dining fly, with the adult leaders calling all of the shots.  (Yes, I'm painting with a broad brush.) The BSA got a reprieve when Green Bar Bill came out of retirement in '79 and re-wrote the handbook.  The anti-outdoor and anti-patrol method crowd, the pro-ISP folks of '72 - '80, failed in their initial effort to "revolutionize" the BSA.  But they were patient.  Their desire to reduce the outdoor element, and diminish the independent patrol/gang (well said, @qwazse), worked in the long run. Why any anti-outdoor/anti-patrol method adult would join the BSA is beyond me.  But join they did.  Indeed, they were cordially invited.  And were subsequently promoted to the highest levels, pro and volunteer. 
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