Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
thrifty

patrol time ideas

Recommended Posts

So my son will most likely be a PL for a 3rd time (not in a row).  One of the things he does not like about troop meetings is how patrol time works.  Patrol time is something that patrols do when nothing else is going on.  For example, a 1.5 hour meeting to do a 10 minute camping meal plan would result with no other plans for the evening and the patrols would have patrol time.  Because patrol time isn't planned and all of it is spontaneous, it results in the patrols just sitting around talking about the latest video games, etc..  Sometimes they review younger scout books but this isn't needed all the time.  There's nothing wrong with sitting around bonding but it happens often enough to discourage him from wanting to go to meetings because they are boring.  He can't change a lot of things because it comes from the adults but I've encouraged him to change what he can if he doesn't like it. 

Does anyone have suggestions or recommendations on how to find patrol time ideas that can be spontaneous?  He won't be able to have gear ahead of time or be able to plan something specific in advance and most of the time everything is indoors.  I'm hoping for ideas that he can have written down in his day bag and just pull something out when they have patrol time and the 5 or 6 scouts can have some fun or do something different.  I appreciate any assistance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Excellent question!

Patrol time was traditionally utilized in two ways:  planning for the troop or patrol outdoor activity that month, or sharpening scout skills that were based on the theme of the month, and the competitive game that followed patrol time.

Outdoor activity planning:  menu, food list, duty roster, looking over patrol gear for cleanliness/accountability/good repair, arranging transportation, and such.  If the event was a camporee, the patrol leader reviewed the camporee package, discussing special requirements, competition, expectations, etc.  Patrol leaders were expected to organize all of this, working with the patrol members and their parents.  If there was an issue, the PL talked to the SPL. 

Theme of the month:  if the troop's theme for August is first aid, every meeting emphasized a different aspect of FA.  If week two the focus was on splinting, the patrol time would be dedicated to practicing splints, because you could count on the fact that as soon as patrol time was over, the patrols would be competing against each other in some kind of splinting contest (time, quality of splint, patrol spirit, etc).

My thoughts may be quite dated, but as a patrol leader and then as an SPL, this was how we organized patrol time, and troop meetings.  It was difficult for me at first, but once the light came on, it got easier and I learned a great deal.  Best wishes.

Edited by desertrat77
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, get a list of ideas, have the scouts vote on what they'd like to do next, and bring that much gear around to every meeting until it's used.

How about the old Morse code or signaling requirements?

Get some dowels and do a drum circle on whatever can be found. Chairs, floor, tables, other scouts ....

A board game.

Some form of basketball or soccer that requires moving via a crab walk.

Do this in the parking lot, but starting a fire with a hot spark and different types of kindling (dryer lint with accelerent works well) in a pie pan.

All of the low cope/teamwork games. The human knot thing requires nothing.

As desertrat77 said, practice skills for the next campout. Since it's likely that there are no skills required, brainstorm some skills they might want to learn.

Learn the fast version of a clove hitch, the Japanese square lashing, and the other version of a diagonal lashing.

Make a patrol woggle.

Learn how to do an eye splice.

Learn how to do a bunch of fishing knots.

Find a bad pun and figure out how to make a skit out of it - so the pun is the punch line.

If it's dark, go outside and find some constellations (next weekend is supposed to be the height of a meteor shower)

That's all for now. Good luck.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... Memorize the directions to the next campout ...

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get a copy of a 1950s Patrol Leaders Handbook. There are a ton of games and patrol activities. And much better info re: Patrol Method too.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 9:52 PM, desertrat77 said:

Patrol time was traditionally utilized in two ways:  planning for the troop or patrol outdoor activity that month, or sharpening scout skills that were based on the theme of the month, and the competitive game that followed patrol time. Outdoor activity planning:  menu, food list, duty roster, looking over patrol gear for cleanliness/accountability/good repair, arranging transportation, and such.  If the event was a camporee, the patrol leader reviewed the camporee package, discussing special requirements, competition, expectations, etc. 

Thanks 'rat.  I like what you've described but unfortunately the troop and therefore the patrols don't usually work like that.  Too much adult interference.  There's no theme and most things are left to the last minute.

On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 10:05 PM, MattR said:

First of all, get a list of ideas, have the scouts vote on what they'd like to do next, and bring that much gear around to every meeting until it's used.

I think this is a great idea.  This is the kind of leadership qualities that the wife and I emphasize to him and it would give him time to prepare.  When he joined the troop a bunch of the older boys played cards at camps.  When the older boys aged out the card games stopped.  I'll suggest that.  He also has some small travel type dice and camping games that don't get used.  I am concerned the adults will decide a game is disruptive but its up to him if he wants to try it.  A lot of his work will be convincing adults that meetings don't have to be boring where you sit around and try to stay awake. 

On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 9:02 AM, DuctTape said:

Get a copy of a 1950s Patrol Leaders Handbook. There are a ton of games and patrol activities. And much better info re: Patrol Method too.

I think I found a PDF version.  http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/patrolleader.pdf.  I forgot there was a PL Handbook.  He had a new version but it belongs to the troop and is passed down each election.

Edited by thrifty
add ideas
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

edit:  I've also had the idea to look into adult team building games and share those with him.  He's been to NYLT and I know they've done some stuff there.  I usually roll my eyes when I have to do this kind of team game as an adult but I have to admit I recently did a few that were fun.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, thrifty said:

Thanks 'rat.  I like what you've described but unfortunately the troop and therefore the patrols don't usually work like that.  Too much adult interference.  There's no theme and most things are left to the last minute.

 

Thrifty, alas, it seems many troops nowadays operate that way. 

Thanks for the link to The Dump, lots of good stuff there!

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
Sign in to follow this  

×