Jump to content
TAHAWK

Which came first Patrol or Troop?

Recommended Posts

Citing historical validity at my age is always a questionable practice and I rely on others to offer corrections.

1) is it true that the first full traversing of the Appalachian Trail was accomplished by 4 Eagle Scouts that did so without any adult supervision?

2) is it true that the 1936 World Jamboree had two Boy Scouts that hiked from Argentina to the Jamboree in Virginia without adult supervision?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, blw2 said:

I think this is a very interesting thread.  Points to a fundamental failing me thinks.

Semantics in a way, sure....

    but I'd guess that near 100% of us scouters joined a troop when we were young.  Boys today also join a troop. 

    Patrols are usually the afterthought

but

I think that this thinking is fundamentally wrong,

and points to one of the largest failings in the BSA today. 

If we would all twist our thinking around on this, to much of what has been written here in the thread....patrols as a core, sometimes coming together as a troop to compete etc... with a scoutmaster overseeing just enough to keep the patrols out of trouble (the trespassing example) and on track, etc....
 

 

This written regrettably, as my tenure as a registered scouter is coming to a close in about 8 weeks time, because my son lost interest in scouting and quit.....and I just don't have the gumption to keep on with it given that i see it as a broken system that I alone can in no way fix.

My dad joined his troop with his gang of friends (15 and 16 year olds) as a whole.  They told the Scoutmaster (who they also knew in the neighborhood), we want to join the troop as a patrol, together, or we don't join at all.  There was hemming and hawing by the senior scouts about how that's not how it's done and who the F do these guys think they are, but they were allowed to join.  Almost instantly became the best patrol in the troop winning patrol awards at all the events... much to the chagrin of the senior scouts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MattR said:

No, because I can't even imagine 1) scouts that would walk that far (our town isn't that small), 2) anyone that would allow them on their land, 3) any parents that would allow their kids to walk on a road with all the cell phone based car accidents I've seen.

 

Our troop actually gave this a try. Our scouts met at a church about five miles from a local lake with camping grounds. They set out that afternoon and set out to camp. An adult met them there because the camp required adults with the scouts. However, the scouts were given freedom to do what they wanted and the adult was instructed to sit back. All went well until one of the scouts (a problem in the past) decided to get up in the middle of the night and hike home. I got a panicky call from the adult (only one with a cell phone back then) that a scout was missing. No idea where or how. As soon as I hung up, the scouts dad called and said his son just got home. 

That little incident didn't stop us from letting other patrols go on their own campouts, but that was the only one where the scouts chose to hike out of town on their own. 

Our troop requires (back when I was SM) for each patrol to organize two patrol campouts each year. Although the scouts enjoy those camp outs, they rather go with the troop for a couple of reasons. 1. Our troop plans pretty good camp programs that the patrols want to do. 2. Planning a camp out in this day and age is a lot of work because of logistics, and boys of this age in general like the path of least resistance. 

Each patrol is responsible for arranging transportation to the camp at a time they choose to go. So they have full independence to do whatever they want. But, if the troop is going on a rappelling camp out, that is what they want to do. And while they can leave when ever they want, it's easier getting the gear out of storage with the other patrols and following the group to camp. 

I can't see where that is really a bad thing. We push the patrols to be independent, but we also allow them to make choices. How much of one should we push over the other?:unsure:

By the way, I asked my dad why they didn't drive to camps, he reminded me that fuel was expensive and hard to get back then. Otherwise they would have "gone the path of least resistance".:laugh:

Barry

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gasoline was $.19 to $.25/gallon when I was a first a PL in 1957.  That's the same nominal price as 1918 and cost the same in 1957 as 2 - 2.5 loaves of store sandwich bread  (all taken from campout budget, Eagle Patrol) .  Adjust for inflation, and gasoline today is about the same as at the high end ($.25) back when I was first a PL. 

In Southern Calif it was a long drive to any decent camp site and longer to decent backpacking - like 85 miles to the nearest trail head at San Gorgonio Wilderness.  So we needed adults to drive --  and then leave us be.  They volunteered to do the former and were carefully trained to do the latter.  Any who proved unable to keepa' da' hans' off, were not drivers in the future unless one of our Marine noncom Asst SMs were along to maintain order - among the adults.  Master Gunnery Sgt. Stearns was particularly valued in that role, and later became my second SM. (We were also told we were being issued adults and needed to turn them back in unbroken.)

The troop in which I Scouted for twenty-five years (We should NOT have moved!), more recently bicycled around Lake Erie and canoed the toughest part of the Voyager route from Fish lake to the Ottowa River.  The Venturer Patrol (not Venturers), canoed Isle Royale, did Philmont, backpacked the Whites (over Mt. Washington, of course), and backpacked in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Each of these activities was selected, planned, and led by the elected leaders of the troop or patrol involved.  Any coaching they got was on their request.  Typical?  No, but obviously possible for Scouts from an inner ring suburb with the right training, support, and example.  The Scouts also elect to tent out twelve months a year, but it's largely example as it has been this way since at least 1981.  It started when the troop they shared a klondike cabin with was "too" noisy in January, 1980, and they decided tenting was more pleasant, even when -17ºF nominal.  The majority of campouts ARE "troop" outings.  Some are multiple patrols less than the Troop.  Others, as indicated, involve a single patrol.  Some are with patrols from other troops. It is what they chose, having been told what the Patrol Method involves and what their roles are in patrol and troop.   Over the years, they have noticed its not the norm, and take pride in that fact.  Our SPL was SPL of the Klondike one year, and when his adult "advisor" started getting too advisy at the awards ceremony,  he gave the high sign to the ASPL (from a different troop), who whipped a tarp off a  nearby rocking chair labeled "ADVISOR."  The adult, a good guy who has led NYLT, instantly got the message and sat down and rocked with a big grin on his face.  "That," he told me after the awards ceremony ended, "is why we do this."

Troop 504, that I am hoping to join, meets twice a month, with its patrols meeting weekly.  I don't know the history, but it seems to be working viewed from outside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

Gasoline was $.19 to $.25/gallon when I was a first a PL in 1957.  That's the same nominal price as 1918 and cost the same in 1957 as 2 - 2.5 loaves of store sandwich bread  (all taken from campout budget, Eagle Patrol) .  Adjust for inflation, and gasoline today is about the same as at the high end ($.25) back when I was first a PL. 

Just so you know, the stores will slice the bread now.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baked and everything?  :eek:

Next thing you'll tell me they grind the coffee.  :confused:

 

Oh, and we paid for the gasoline for outings.  "A Scout pays his own way."   Right up there with unsliced bread.

Edited by TAHAWK
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Stosh said:

Citing historical validity at my age is always a questionable practice and I rely on others to offer corrections.

1) is it true that the first full traversing of the Appalachian Trail was accomplished by 4 Eagle Scouts that did so without any adult supervision?

2) is it true that the 1936 World Jamboree had two Boy Scouts that hiked from Argentina to the Jamboree in Virginia without adult supervision?

#1 Don't know

 

#2 Partially Correct. One Scout came from either Argentina,or Chile I thought, to New York's 1939 World's Fair by himself. I forgot how long it took, but remember he started with his Patrol. Some got sick and returned home. 1 died on the trek. All malaria if I recall. The remaining patrol members got arrested as revolutionaries and imprisoned until released. That's when the bulk went home. Read a book on him back in the day.

 

EDITED:  Ok, found the reference Stosh was talking about. 

Two men walked 8,000 miles from Caracas, Venezuela to Washington D.C. in 1937.

The men wanted to attend the Boy Scout Jamboree but didn't have the funds to pay for the trip. They departed from Caracas on January 11, 1935 and covered a distance of 25 miles a day for two years. The young men reached their destination on June 16, 1937, to register themselves for the jamboree. 

http://www.lifebuzz.com/how-far/?p=-1&utm_campaign=email&utm_source=email&utm_medium=email

Trying to find the Scout from Chile who went to New York i 1939 or 40.

Edited by Eagle94-A1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 1909 Cleveland "troop" of a dozen Scouts walked from Cleveland to the Ohio River at Marietta and back (330 miles for crows; 360 miles as they walked it), pulling a trek cart with their gear and supplies.  Nothing to the Argentinian's trek, but still pretty stout work.  The Scoutmaster and his Mrs.  looked in on them once a day.

 

B.S.A. arrived in 1912.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to be contrary but I joined a patrol back in the day. My PL lived 4 doors down and he recruited me.  No Recruitment patch nonsense, a PL recruited the members he wanted in his patrol.  When I became a PL, I did the same. Maybe that is something that has been lost from the Patrol Method or PL responsibilities over the years.

My $0.02

Edited by RememberSchiff
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad was in a patrol-sized Troop on Long Island in the late 1940's. Said he and his buddies would just walk out of town to go camping, basically just going from one guys house to another. (No adults but I think some cigarette smoking and the occasional bottle of beer might have been involved. Bacon, Bread, Beans, Beer, and cigs)

Fast forward to the 1970's and my dad would not drive me in the Troop meetings (in florida) because 'scouts was not supposed to be something you had to be driven to'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

 

Fast forward to the 1970's and my dad would not drive me in the Troop meetings (in florida) because 'scouts was not supposed to be something you had to be driven to'.

In the 1970s, my Patrol leader took me to patrol meetings IN HIS CAR. The average age of our patrol leaders was between 15 and 17 years old. Unheard of today. 

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

In the 1970s, my Patrol leader took me to patrol meetings IN HIS CAR. The average age of our patrol leaders was between 15 and 17 years old. Unheard of today. 

Barry

On a scout campout, I can recall being driven back to camp in a Patrol car, but it was not owned by my PL.  :)

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×