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patrol and den flags

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As we ease into the new scout year with new scouts and dens, I'm not seeing many den or patrol flags.  At one time we used to make patrol flags around the time we selected our patrol names.  I've visited a few cub packs and don't see any den flags, if there are any, they are the ones provided by the scout shop.  Has the patrol and den flag concept moved on a back burner or died all together?  I've also encouraged the adult patrol/den to create there flag too.  In woodbadge, we had one that was awesome and very well protected from other critters experiencing jealousy.

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As Webelos bridge into troops, they are expected to learn about the patrol method for requirement 3 for their Scout rank ---- 3b specifically includes a patrol "name, emblem, flag, and yell" and we have a patrol meeting with the new guys to work on these things.  The boys are always expected to make their flags from scratch. No scout shop kits or pre-mades, no moms designing and sewing a beautiful embroidered flag, no anything you can buy at a store.  Thankfully, most of the boys adopt silly mascots like "flaming nuclear mutant bacon ninja poodles", which don't exactly lend themselves to mass-market flags (but are still in stock and ready for immediate delivery through suppliers like ClassB.com).

We tell the boys that their flag should be something they are proud of, and that it should be something they are happy to brag about when they go to Camporee, where the District always has a "best patrol flag" competition.

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I worked with a troop in the past few years that I think had a good system for flags.  They did an excellent jobs maintaining patrols throughout the boys tenure (patrols didn't change much). They had forgone handmade flags and had the boys design a real flag.  They worked with a local print shop that made them 2x3 flags.  They boys did the sketches and provided design feedback with the company. They also raised the money for the flag. I think it usually took them 6 months or so to get it all done but they had some really cool flags that were flown all the time and taken on every trip.   It was cool to see them at camp with the flags up in each group of tents. 

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@mds3d, That's a great idea. We have the scouts material but they had to do the rest themselves. Helping them might get them over the hump. A 2x3 flag also sounds great.Ours are smaller. This is a good place for bling.

Edited by MattR

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We’re bringing back the den flags this year!  

Going to Walmart getting some white cloth and a packet of grommets (have the install tool). Each den gets one with the rank name on it for the kids to decorate with fabric markers. 

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38 minutes ago, Momleader said:

with fabric markers. 

Acrylic paint works well, too,  if you happen to already have that in your craft supplies.

Turned the scouts loose with the scrap fabric box, the paints, the beads, the yarn, the entire set of craft supplies.   Those scouts who were interested came up with a really nice flag as a collaborative project after an afternoon's work on a school holiday afternoon.   (Probably helped that it was an older crowd . . .11-13-year-old girls.)   Since then they've taken the flag on most camping trips,  to summer camp,  and (as a one-patrol troop) used it as a stand-in for the troop flag we don't yet have.

The worst patrol flag I saw was one made at NYLT.  Admitted it only needed to last a week.  But they used washable markers!  My daughter said it was a blurry mess after the first rain.  When I saw it end of the week it was completely unrecognizable.

 

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The concept only dies if you let it! We have amazing flags from Wolves all the way up to the older boys' patrol. I'll try to take some good pics to share tomorrow during their meetings!

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Capture the flag using patrol flags becomes much more meaningful when the patrols use their flag!

I still have one of my patrol flags from when I was a kid.

.

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