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This patrol stuff might just work....

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Thought I'd share a moment from my troop here in the UK that made me smile yesterday and really made me appreciate the patrol system.

Bit of background, it was only last week that we were allowed to meet face to face again since November, and even in November we'd only been back a few weeks. Not much real scouting been happening! Naturally we lost a few kids along the way including 3 of our APLs. Alas!

Anyway that meant that one of the first things to do was appoint new APLs and the PLC went ahead and chose them (we tend to do that collectively here rather than each PL appoint their own), so far so good. They made some good choices and interestingly overlooked a couple of older boys who are perfectly old enough to get the gig but who to be honest hadn't behaved very scout like in recent months and I was somewhat pleased to see the PLs making some wise choices, picking younger scouts who would make a much better job.

That though isn't the main thing....

At the troop evening last night one patrol was missing both its PL and APL, both away sick. It happens. This happens to be the patrol with one of the overlooked boys. I was curious to see what would happen. He immediately took control of things, was helpful, polite, got everyone involved and made a genuine effort to include a 10 year old who is only just up from cubs and looking a bit lost. It was like watching a totally different kid!

One thing I am curious about is whether I would have seen the same reaction if it had been adults picking the PLs and APLs like some troops do. I suspect I wouldn't, I genuinely think it's the fact his peers overlooked him that has made him buck his ideas up and the fact he took the opportunity to lead when unexpetedly handed it did make me think of that quote from BP about what do we do with the hooligan?

This patrol stuff. It might just catch on!

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I've seen similar things. Elections are great way for a scout to get some good feedback. Adults can say anything they want and it might not soak in but watching someone else get elected by one's peers for something a scout wants can be very inspiring. I also learned voting is much more useful than adult decision making. Once I asked some scouts why one scout didn't get elected and the response was very elegant. "Well, Mr R, some scouts act very differently when no adults are around." Pure gold.

Glad you're having fun.

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