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Adamcp

National Honor Patrol Award

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Greetings. Having assumed the role of Scoutmaster in September 2014, I have been trying to learn ways to facilitate the best Scouting experience for the boys in the Troop.

 

I think that the Troop (after falling from grace for a while) had made a good return to a "boys leading boys" mindset prior to last year and before my time as SM.  I hope I continued that emphasis when I became SM, and this year's Senior Patrol has been good in assuming leadership. It really has been nice.

 

While we have boys leading boys, my assessment is that the Troop still has not achieved as much in Patrol Development.  The troop (led more by the Senior Patrol), rather than the patrol, was the focus prior to my time as SM.  I am trying to find some balance there.

 

Four boys achieved FC this Spring and were good PL material (the fact that two of them were my own sons had nothing to do with that assessment!)  The former PLs had been in the position for 18 months or so, since there was an age gap between them and these next four coming up the ranks.  The SPL and I talked, and he suggested that those older boys move up to Troop Guide and that the new FC scouts assume the role of PL if they were elected.  I loved the idea (especially since it was his) and we've started this new process along about two months ago. Having solid Troop Guides to help the new PLs has been a good combination to keep more of a patrol focus (or at least the beginning of one).

 

Here's the question. Googlin' and searchin', I came across the National Honor Patrol Award. Would it be considered appropriate to bring this award to the new PLs' attention to inspire this Patrol emphasis and inspire the patrols to work together towards the award? Has anyone done something similar, either with this award or in another (more) effective way?

 

Thanks much. I appreciate the collective Scouting wisdom here and look forward to any ideas you all may have.

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Here's the question. Googlin' and searchin', I came across the National Honor Patrol Award. Would it be considered appropriate to bring this award to the new PLs' attention to inspire this Patrol emphasis and inspire the patrols to work together towards the award? Has anyone done something similar, either with this award or in another (more) effective way?

 

We did the same thing years ago to jump start a sluggish PL group. We started with a few months of meetings designed solely to promote patrol rather than troop esprit de corps. The games and skills were patrol-based competitions. We instituted several patrol competitions at camp outs (first to set up correctly, first done with KP and passed QM inspection, best dinner/dessert) or troop meetings or other events (shooting sports, archery, etc.). Developed a patrol points system and, at first, found ways where each patrol could win something. This was necessary to spread the success around so that patrols would not get discouraged. After four-six months of this we encouraged the PLs to work on the national honor patrol. Some did, some didn't. Eventually every patrol has earned it once in the last few years. Once patrol has taken it on themselves to win it EVERY year...but that's unusual.

 

Here's how the PLC advised the PLs on how to complete the award. The SM only gets involved with the final sign off. The JASMs and the PLs work with the SPL to make sure everything is documented. The onus is on the PL and the patrol to document, schedule and complete everything. Hope this helps. (NOTE: Below is NOT a BSA outline, rather what our PLC came up with to guide our PLs to know when the requirements were met)

 

 

 

Requirement #1: Have a patrol name, flag, and yell. Put the patrol design on equipment and use the patrol yell. Keep patrol records up-to-date.

 

Create or update your patrol flag. Create or update your patrol yell or chat. Develop a patrol design or logo. Work with your Patrol QM and the Troop QM to put the patrol design on your gear boxes. It does not have to be a permanent design; you may use printable stickers as well. For your patrol records, make sure your Patrol Scribe is keeping weekly attendance. This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following: 

  • Displayed your patrol flag at 4 troop meetings.
  • Demonstrated your patrol yell or chant at 1 troop meeting and used your patrol yell or chant at one troop camp fire.
  • Developed a patrol design or logo and shown it to the Troop QM.
  • Keep your patrol attendance for 6 consecutive troop meetings.

Requirement #2: Hold two patrol meetings each month.

 

Holding regular patrol meetings is a great way to develop patrol spirit. Patrol meetings can be held during “Patrol Corners†during troop meetings, during camp outs or any time on your own where you have a majority of patrol members present.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Held at least 3 patrol meetings during troop meetings in any two month period.
  • Held at least 1 patrol meeting outside of normal troop meetings (camp outs would count).
  • Using either the first or second bullet point above, make sure that you have a minimum of two patrol meetings in a consecutive two month period.

Requirement #3: Take part in at least one hike, outdoor activity, or other Scouting event.

 

During the period your patrol is working on this award, have a majority of your patrol members take part in any outdoor troop activity other than at troop meetings. This can be a camp out, shooting sports activity or even a patrol hike or outdoor event (e.g. such as hiking at Arbor Hills or going to soccer game together). Remember the Scouting event does not need to be outdoors and could include a climbing event or even a bowling event held by the troop, District or Council.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Have the majority of your patrol members attend one Scouting event or outdoor event. Patrol events such as patrol hikes will count. Have your Patrol Scribe record attendance.
  • Show your attendance record for this event to your Scoutmaster.

Requirement #4: Complete two Good Turns or service projects approved by the patrol leaders' council.

 

During the period your patrol is working on the award, the majority of your patrol should take part in two (2) service projects. These can be any of the troop-based service projects listed on the troop calendar. Such projects include but are not limited to Scout Sunday, Flag Placement Project, Scouting for Food, the SAUMC Fun Run, any Eagle project, Join Scouting Night, Webelos Open House, etc.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Have the majority of your patrol members attend two (2) troop-based service projects. Have your Patrol Scribe record attendance.
  • Show your attendance record for this event to your Scoutmaster.

 

Requirement #5: Help two patrol members advance in rank. During the period your patrol is working on the award assist two (2) patrol members advance in rank. This can be obtaining Scout, Tenderfoot or any rank. As of 2015, the Scout badge is considered a rank.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • When two Scouts have been awarded a new rank, make sure this is recorded by your Patrol Scribe.
  • Show your record to your Scoutmaster.

 

Requirement #6: Have at least 75 percent of members in full uniform at troop activities. This requirement does not have an established number of troop activities where the patrol is required to be in full uniform. Troop 380 infers that the number of activities for this requirement will be three (3) and should include troop meetings, service projects or any activity where full Class A uniform is required.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Have your Patrol Scribe record attendance for three events where your patrol was in full Class A uniform. Class A uniform is considered complete with the following criteria:
    • Class A shirt, pants/shorts and socks are worn. The uniform is clean and in good condition.
    • The troop neckerchief is properly worn. Proper shoes are worn.
    • Patches and badges are in their proper location. See the Uniform Inspection Sheet.
  • Have an JASM or Assistant Scoutmaster review your patrol and confirm everyone meets the uniform requirement. It may be best to have this done before the troop meeting by requesting a meeting with an ASM for uniform review.
  • Take a picture of your patrol at each of these events.
  • Show your record to your Scoutmaster.

Requirement #7: Have a representative attend at least three patrol leaders' council meetings. During the period your patrol is working on the award have the PL, APL or their designate attend three (3) PLC meetings.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • The Troop Scribe sends your PL a copy of your patrol’s attendance once you have attended three PLC meetings. 
  • Show your record to your Scoutmaster.

 

Requirement #8: Have eight members in the patrol or experience an increase in patrol membership. During the period your patrol is working on the award, show that you have at least eight members in your patrol or show that your patrol has increased in membership.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Have your Patrol Scribe record your roster. This can be the same roster used for recording troop meeting attendance.
  • Show your record to your Scoutmaster.
Edited by Bad Wolf
  • Upvote 1

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We did the same thing years ago to jump start a sluggish PL group. We started with a few months of meetings designed solely to promote patrol rather than troop esprit de corps. The games and skills were patrol-based competitions. We instituted several patrol competitions at camp outs (first to set up correctly, first done with KP and passed QM inspection, best dinner/dessert) or troop meetings or other events (shooting sports, archery, etc.). Developed a patrol points system and, at first, found ways where each patrol could win something. This was necessary to spread the success around so that patrols would not get discouraged. After four-six months of this we encouraged the PLs to work on the national honor patrol. Some did, some didn't. Eventually every patrol has earned it once in the last few years. Once patrol has taken it on themselves to win it EVERY year...but that's unusual.

 

Here's how the PLC advised the PLs on how to complete the award. The SM only gets involved with the final sign off. The JASMs and the PLs work with the SPL to make sure everything is documented. The onus is on the PL and the patrol to document, schedule and complete everything. Hope this helps. (NOTE: Below is NOT a BSA outline, rather what our PLC came up with to guide our PLs to know when the requirements were met)

 

 

 

Requirement #1: Have a patrol name, flag, and yell. Put the patrol design on equipment and use the patrol yell. Keep patrol records up-to-date.

 

Create or update your patrol flag. Create or update your patrol yell or chat. Develop a patrol design or logo. Work with your Patrol QM and the Troop QM to put the patrol design on your gear boxes. It does not have to be a permanent design; you may use printable stickers as well. For your patrol records, make sure your Patrol Scribe is keeping weekly attendance. This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following: 

  • Displayed your patrol flag at 4 troop meetings.
  • Demonstrated your patrol yell or chant at 1 troop meeting and used your patrol yell or chant at one troop camp fire.
  • Developed a patrol design or logo and shown it to the Troop QM.
  • Keep your patrol attendance for 6 consecutive troop meetings.

Requirement #2: Hold two patrol meetings each month.

 

Holding regular patrol meetings is a great way to develop patrol spirit. Patrol meetings can be held during “Patrol Corners†during troop meetings, during camp outs or any time on your own where you have a majority of patrol members present.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Held at least 3 patrol meetings during troop meetings in any two month period.
  • Held at least 1 patrol meeting outside of normal troop meetings (camp outs would count).
  • Using either the first or second bullet point above, make sure that you have a minimum of two patrol meetings in a consecutive two month period.

Requirement #3: Take part in at least one hike, outdoor activity, or other Scouting event.

 

During the period your patrol is working on this award, have a majority of your patrol members take part in any outdoor troop activity other than at troop meetings. This can be a camp out, shooting sports activity or even a patrol hike or outdoor event (e.g. such as hiking at Arbor Hills or going to soccer game together). Remember the Scouting event does not need to be outdoors and could include a climbing event or even a bowling event held by the troop, District or Council.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Have the majority of your patrol members attend one Scouting event or outdoor event. Patrol events such as patrol hikes will count. Have your Patrol Scribe record attendance.
  • Show your attendance record for this event to your Scoutmaster.

Requirement #4: Complete two Good Turns or service projects approved by the patrol leaders' council.

 

During the period your patrol is working on the award, the majority of your patrol should take part in two (2) service projects. These can be any of the troop-based service projects listed on the troop calendar. Such projects include but are not limited to Scout Sunday, Flag Placement Project, Scouting for Food, the SAUMC Fun Run, any Eagle project, Join Scouting Night, Webelos Open House, etc.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Have the majority of your patrol members attend two (2) troop-based service projects. Have your Patrol Scribe record attendance.
  • Show your attendance record for this event to your Scoutmaster.

 

Requirement #5: Help two patrol members advance in rank. During the period your patrol is working on the award assist two (2) patrol members advance in rank. This can be obtaining Scout, Tenderfoot or any rank. As of 2015, the Scout badge is considered a rank.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • When two Scouts have been awarded a new rank, make sure this is recorded by your Patrol Scribe.
  • Show your record to your Scoutmaster.

 

Requirement #6: Have at least 75 percent of members in full uniform at troop activities. This requirement does not have an established number of troop activities where the patrol is required to be in full uniform. Troop 380 infers that the number of activities for this requirement will be three (3) and should include troop meetings, service projects or any activity where full Class A uniform is required.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Have your Patrol Scribe record attendance for three events where your patrol was in full Class A uniform. Class A uniform is considered complete with the following criteria:
    • Class A shirt, pants/shorts and socks are worn. The uniform is clean and in good condition.
    • The troop neckerchief is properly worn. Proper shoes are worn.
    • Patches and badges are in their proper location. See the Uniform Inspection Sheet.
  • Have an JASM or Assistant Scoutmaster review your patrol and confirm everyone meets the uniform requirement. It may be best to have this done before the troop meeting by requesting a meeting with an ASM for uniform review.
  • Take a picture of your patrol at each of these events.
  • Show your record to your Scoutmaster.

Requirement #7: Have a representative attend at least three patrol leaders' council meetings. During the period your patrol is working on the award have the PL, APL or their designate attend three (3) PLC meetings.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • The Troop Scribe sends your PL a copy of your patrol’s attendance once you have attended three PLC meetings. 
  • Show your record to your Scoutmaster.

 

Requirement #8: Have eight members in the patrol or experience an increase in patrol membership. During the period your patrol is working on the award, show that you have at least eight members in your patrol or show that your patrol has increased in membership.

 

This requirement is considered complete when you have done the following:

  • Have your Patrol Scribe record your roster. This can be the same roster used for recording troop meeting attendance.
  • Show your record to your Scoutmaster.

 

 

Thanks so much. Great ideas and a lot to think about.  Appreciate the ideas for competition to stimulate and promote patrol unity, and also the thought you've given to the roles of SM, SPL, JASMs to the process.  Again, much obliged.

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I'm encouraging my PLs to try this. At least one is keeping track and all of them sounded interested. It's really helping get across the idea that they can do their own thing. We also do something like patrol points to encourage adventure. So, no points for advancement but points for everything else. The points are used for competitions, buying into a cabin (sleep inside on certain winter campouts) and we're thinking of using them to upgrade gear.

 

I tried this a few years ago to encourage the patrols to do their own thing and it wasn't enough. They were clueless. There has been a lot of groundwork that has been done since. The way the patrols are going I expect within a year this won't be enough of a challenge, they'll just have to fill out the paperwork. But for now it's the perfect thing to break them away from the troop. I'll pile on the praise for the first patrol that completes it.

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