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Who goes in what patrol?

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What is the best way for a patrol to form?

 

Should the SM & ASMs have any say in who should be in a certain patrol or should the scouts make the decision? Should, for example, two friends who like to make trouble when together be in the same patrol?

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If you get sufficient numbers of crossovers, they should form a New Scout Patrol. If your Troop demographics and "culture" make it feasible, you can assign your older Scouts to a Venture patrol. Every Troop's different, your mileage may vary.

 

Beyond that, patrol formation and alignment should start with the Scouts' preferences. BSA literature recommends asking the Scouts to list six (or so) Scouts they'd like to be in a patrol with. The results will give you the affinity links you're looking for. That's nowhere near a 100% solution however, because the most popular Scout will be on everybody's list, and the least popular on nobody's. That's where the adult leaders come in. Yes, they do have a say. Keeping natural enemies apart, ensuring there are size, experience, and rank balances, and so on. Brothers may want to be in the same patrol, or may not want to be. And so on, and so on. Most important in my opinion, is to vet any patrol alignment proposal through the PLC, especially the SPL/ASPL. Those two know all the Scouts and their personalities better than anyone else, and will give the most brutally honest and brutally accurate feedback.

 

KS

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The last time it was done in our troop the SMs and ASMs took the lists the scouts put together and decided who would be in what patrol, PLC was not involved, and some guys were not happy. Should we allow them to switch patrols with the approval of the patrols and the PLC?

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When time to redo the patrols, the troop specifies a date and on that date, the scouts form patrols. Scouts who cant attend may send a proxy for them. Scouts who do not attend and dont send a proxy are placed in patrols by the PLC. Used to have a limit on size as well, but we lost that as well. Rather have 12 scouts who chose to be together than 8 scouts who really would rather be in the company of "those guys over there". Hasnt been a problem. The PLC used to have requirements, one life scout, no more than 3 Star, stuff like that. Got dumped the first time out. The only requirement is that each patrol select a patrol leader and the PL names an assistant. The PL and APL must attend a training week end and they are off.

 

If you have "trouble makers" the answer isn't putting them in separate patrols. Its sitting each one down and having a frank and honest discussion of what is expected of a scout and what nehavior must be exhibited while on a troop event.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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KS's point regarding each unit's needs varying is true. So, I'll just tell you what we do.

 

If we're migrating boys into existing patrols, we typically ask for preferences from the scouts being migrated first. Then, we turn it over to the PLC. As SM, I may provide my "advice" on a boy, if I see a potential issue. I've found, however, that the Patrol Leaders have typically already made the same observations before I ever have to open my yap. This last time, there were two boys out of six that they intentionally placed. After that, they flipped a coin.

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To answer the original question: cohesively!

 

Boy, boys boys! The Scouts should determine their patrol mates. If an adult assigns the boys, trouble is lurking. I had a den of 12 Webelos join our troop this spring. They were adamant about staying together as one patrol. I didn't think it was a good idea. I relayed my thoughts, very low key, to the adults and let the boys do what they wanted. Now, after three months I'm hearing some grumbling from the boys that "our patrol is to big!" We have another NSP with seven boys. Right after summer camp I'm going to present to the boys a chance to re-organize the patrols. I'm hoping for three patrols of 6-7 Scouts.

 

A similar question is how does one form patrols for a troop contingent for the National Jamboree? Many of the boys don't know each other. Our solution (somewhat different that what is done in our "regular" troop) is to have each boy pick a buddy. There is an even amount of boys so that is no problem. After that is done, the boys are guaranteed to have his buddy in his patrol. The SM and SAs then arrange the patrols from there. It is somewhat of a compromise between the boys and adults deciding.(This message has been edited by acco40)

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