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Bob White

Patrol Activities

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The Boy Scout Handbook promises scouts that if the adventure of patrol activities. The handbook goes on to say that with the permission of the SMand parents or guardisns the patrol (not a troop) can do these hikes, camps,and activities, "on their own" which means without adult supervision.

 

Patrol activitities were a big part of my youth days in scouting and is a tool I have used with patrols for over 25 years.

 

The key is in the training and planning prior to the activity. I will share what we have used and am curious as to how many others have had patrol activities without adults. by the way we have never had a safety or behavior problem on any patrol activity.

 

As I said the key is in the training and planning. The PLC is told of the opportunity as offered in the BSA handbook. We then asked them to create their own guidelines for such an activity. Here is what they came up with.

 

> Activities can be a single day or an overnighter of no more then one night.

> The destination must be within a days hike or bike ride from the patrol leaders home.

> All scouts in the patrol must be first class or over

> all scouts in the patrol must exhibit scout-like behaviour for the patrol to qualify.

> a written plan approved by the SM and SPL must be submitted.

> The plan must include

* the purpose for the outing (service or advancement)

* There must be an emergency plan

* permission from the site owner or controlling authority if applicable.

* a travel plan showing routes to and from and location of activity site.

* written permission from parent or guardian acknowledging that they know no adults will be present.

* specific list of gear to be drawn from quartermaster.

* who is going/ who is in charge

 

> SM and SPL had the option to approve the plan without leaders or to approve plan providing two deep leadership was within eyesight.

 

Because of the rules (set by the PLC)and the amount of planning required not all patrols qualified and not all patrols went every 6 months. The ones that did usually only did 1 or 2 outings every 6 months. The big payoff was the amount of growth that scouts gained from this activity; planning skills, advancement motivation, leadership opportunities, character development. The best junior leaders we had came from patrols that planned their own events. By the time a scout got elected to SPL he understood planning and responsibility. The scouts often elected the PL who had the best patrol activities to SPL. Patrol activities is where real scouting takes place. Troop meetings are where they learn. the Patrol Method is where they DO.

 

Bob

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"on their own" which means without adult supervision All good points but Im not sure the adult supervision thing has been resolved here or come to a consensus. I agree that the patrol should be able to plan and execute such trips without adults, but then theres the tour permit debate here and here and...

 

 

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Patrol outings without adults does not require iur consensus. It is an element of scouting adventure that is promised to the scoouts in every Official Boy Scout Handbook, and has been since the beginning of the movement. The question remains (and it is the same question asked at the opening of Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster job specific training) "Are you keeping the promise?"

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Bob

I think that this is one of those "murky" situations. The Scout Handbook says one thing. The Tour Permit says another. I just read a blank permit and it states:

 

Boy Scouts of America Policy requires at least two adult leaders on all camping trips and tours. The adult leader in charge of this group must be at least 21 years old.

 

Also, under the Mode of transportation there is a block for hiking and a block for other.

 

My understanding is that a tour permit is required for all activities.

 

Like I said "murky".

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Forgot this one. Under the Our Pledge OF Performance section number 17. it states:

 

We will notify, in case of serious trouble, our local council service cneter, our parents, or other local contact.

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Local tour permits are for troop, pack and crew activities. A patrol activity is boy lead and does not have adults or motor vehicles and does not require a tour permit. Once you have adults on the activity all two deep leadership rules must be followed.

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Our oldest Scouts are under 15 y/o. I still have patrol activities without adults. The Patrols are more limited than Bob's in that I have them camp within three minutes run when in a flat out panic of responsible adults who are briefed by me. I also visit as often as I think I should given the activity and personality combinations - almost always only the once at evening meal time (over night camps are the longest event possible).

 

For more isolated Scout only camps I make an ad hoc grouping of the most experienced. At this point the requirments are pretty much the same as Bob's.

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Bob, Im on your side on this one. If you read the other links youd see I asked exactly the same questions. I also asked exactly where in the regs does it say no adult supervision or tour permit is needed for patrol activities? Can you cite the page and book?

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Dedicated Dad,

Page 35 of the troop committee guide book, says that the Tour Permit is for the troop. The patrol is not a troop. the troop is a gathering of patrols.

 

In the Guide to Safe Scouting it says tour permits are for scout units. A patrol is not a scout unit. Unit designates a pack, troop or crew. Only multiple patrols form a unit.

 

In the Boy Scout Handbook it says that Patrol activities require permission of the SM and parents. The information we require (as developed by the PLC) far exceeds the information required on a tour permit.

 

Since a patrol without adult supervision would not have use of motor vehicles, would not be able to get permission to camp overnight in state or national parks or government facilities, and would have to overnight on private property with permission from the owner, the tour permit has no purpose.

 

Bob

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