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captnkirk

Patrol Names: Creative or Traditional

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So in another thread, Mike F. was asking for lists of creative patrol names, and several of us supplied names that we had run into. This got me thinking. When I was a Scout, we were allowed pick whatever patrol name we wanted, and quite often we picked the strangest, silliest, or cleverest name we could think of. And every once in a while the SM would encourage us to change the name if he felt it was inappropriate. But a few years ago, the adult leadership decided that all Patrol names had to be a traditional one (Panther, Cobra, stuff like that.)

 

Personally, I see Patrol Names as free expression on the part of the boys. The name expresses the personality of the Patrol. The Pyro Patrol is probably pretty good with fire building, and the No-Name Patrol probably has a hard time deciding on things. While I admit, many of the more creative Patrol names aren't politically correct, is it really fair to say "You must pick your name off this list"?

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I wasnt aware adult leadership's position was to determine what patrol's could name themselves. (Within reason of course, there has to be some control over unsavory names)

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The troop I was in as a youth used the stock patrol name and changed them every year when we mixed up rosters of the patrols. The troop I serve as ASM at present starts with the stock list of patrol names but embelish them such as the Soaring Eagles or the Flaming Lightning Bolts. The advantage to this is there are patrol patches available.

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Let the Scouts pick the names as long as they don't pick an inappropriate name like "Butchers of Girl Scouts". We had a "Dead Squirrel" patrol for a while.

 

I don't understand why some troops insist on reforming patrols every year. Let the patrols exist with members coming and going, that way traditions get carried on and later when an old Scout talks about having been in the "Giant Anteater" patrol he and the new Scout in that patrol have a common bond.

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I agree with the Fat Old Guy..build traditions within the troup but you may also need to allow the boy to change names as THEY see fit...however does need to be scout appropriate

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I really like the traditional patrol names that have been modified. That way you do have room for uniqueness and originality, yet it keeps ties to the longer traditions of scouting and it lets you use stock patches. My troop decided to give the boys the option of designing their own patch instead of a stock patch last time patrols were reorganized. This lead to the unique "Soda Can" and "Highway" patrol patches. However, it took us a couple of months to get the patches made and cost several times more. Then most of the boys didn't wear the patches. It certainly didn't help patrol identity because most couldn't tell you if they belonged to one patrol or the other. To hold elections we had to look up the patrol membership in the roster. Now it is a moot point because we just have a single patrol. (This may have changed again if there are new recruits.)

 

For those troops that don't have truelly permanent patrols I would suggest keeping old patrol flags and the like and recycling them after the original incarnation of a patrol has faded away. In that way you could have a pool of patrol names with some history to offer to a newly formed patrol. If they chose to take up one of the old patrol names they could then modify the adjectives or other descriptive words attached to make it just a bit different from the original. Troops with more permanent patrols could change the descriptive terms attached to the name over time as the membership changed without losing the identity of the patrol.

 

Those are just my suggestions.

 

I was I member of the "Black Widow Patrol" (never liked that name) and the "Falcon" patrol. My troop also had a Sharks (sometimes with adjectives such as: swift, silent, deadly; usually without), the Bloodthirsty Woolverines, and legend has it there were far more complex names in the years before I joined, but memory of those has been all but lost as those who knew of them have gone on to other things.

 

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I'm for giving them the option, but let them know the expense of making their own patches.

 

As to leaders redesignating patrols every year, my experiance has been that in those cases the patrols are just in name only and the troop isn't truly boy run. They don't have a cheer, yell, patrol flag or compete as a patrol. The only espirit de corp they have is they usually are in the same grade together.

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When I mentioned mixing up the patrols every year or so it is done more to even up the patrols and add to a patrol that has lost the majority of it's active members to the 3p's(perfume,petroleum and paycheck). A patrol does not get much done if only 2 or 3 pre-1st-class members attend troop meetings on a regular basis.

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I realize that tradition allows boys to imagine all kinds of things about the past history of a troop/patrol and that is certainly a good idea. It is also neat to have ready made flags and patrol patches, so that boys can jump right in and not worry about those particular problems.

 

When I was a Scout I was in the Lion patrol. We had the official patrol patch and the flag. We won the Honor Patrol flag on several occasions and were well respected. Other patrols followed our example and began to win the Honor Patrol flag. We had ribbons that we had won and had started a good history for the Lions. Our yell came right out of the Patrol Leaders Handbook, (this is probably only part of it) Tuti fruiti, Punch and Judy, The Lion patrol will do it's duty. Don't you worry and don't you fret, the Lion patrol will get you yet!

 

As our patrol aged, we decided that we wanted to become the Flintstone patrol. Out yell was, yaba daba do! We made our own flag with a picture of Bedrock and several of the characters from the TV show on it. We even cut fringe around the edges of the flag. We tried to make patrol patches but that was a disaster but we learned a few things about sewing and making patches. We even went so far as to make our own neckerchiefs and tried our hand at a crude silk screen technique. I still have the flag. It has yellowed with age and has gotten pretty fragile over the years.

 

Later, I became a Scoutmaster and the patrol name issue was discussed at a PLC. We reviewed the options and each patrol shared with their members the conversation. They understood about the idea of being Clean and about history and being respectful because we all had agreed to live by the Scout Law in our lives and we had discussed the history of the troop.

 

I reviewed with them my history with the issue and brought out the old Flintstone Flag. I even shouted out the yell. They were quite amused about my past efforts. I know that they thought that they certainly could do much better. I told them it was up to them to make their own history with their friends and to write it well.

 

They all made excellent choices and I was very pleased with their ability to do so.

 

Yaba, daba, do!

Fuzzy Bear

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