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Bugler, what is his role in YOUR troop?

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Do yo have the bugler announce the opening of every troop meeting? Just at campouts? just once a month troop meetings? just award ceremonies?

 

I've seen little as to exactly what the bugler "should" be accountable for. Other than he announces the opening of meetings. What is the general thoughts on when the bugler should be bugling? Previous to me taking over as SM, the previous SM only had the bugler announce taps and revele during campouts, this doesn't seem like it's adequate for a POR to me, but if that is what's expected then so be it.

We only have one scout who can play the bugle, or any thing even remotely like it, he's asked to remain bugler and I've allowed it. I'm turning over most of the items that the previous SM did to th eSPL where appropriate, but I have to get a handle on it myself ;-)

 

Is there a training course I missed that specifies in detail what the bugler "should" be responsible for?

 

thanks again all!

Mike B

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We had a scout apply for and then withdraw from this POR in our last election cycle. We may have it again starting in April. So we started thinking about what the position should be. We are looking at it as a sort of sergant-at-arms. A bugle/trumpet may not work in our meeting place but we may go to a whistle there and then a horn on campouts. It seems a lot of the position is about being there when needed and helping to draw attention and helping make the transition between one activity and another. The best way we can think of it is that he is there to help the SPL to bring some order to the chaos.

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The position of bugler seems to have taken on the image of a passe/historic relic that has hung round for a bit too long.

 

However, if one were to review what the bugler actually did 100 years ago, it would renew a bit of interest once more. The bugler was pre-radios, walkie-talkies, and cell phones. These new forms of communication have taken over in the past 50 years. However, how does one communicate in a non-electronic outdoor world. Bugle of course. But we don't do that. We yell, we send runners, we do all sorts of things that would be facilitated by a better organized outdoor communication system and the bugle fits the bill better than anything else.

 

It used to be that a PL was identified by the whistle he wore on a lanyard. It wasn't just a pretty thingy he wore around his neck, it was how he communicated to his patrol members. The bugler was used to communicate to the troop. Bugle calls carry further than whistle calls.

 

Unfortunately the position has fallen by the wayside. Now we have sirens and such at camps to be used in emergency situations only. Other than that, how does one get the boys down at the beach back to camp? Send someone down there and tell them to head back. How efficient is that?

 

Bugling has become nothing more than a ceremonial relic of the past.

 

Historically the bugle was used to get the boys up in the morning, call them to meals, church, flag ceremonies, get them to bed at night, etc. Now, only two or three calls are even identifiable and then they are used (except for reveille) are used at inappropriate times.

 

A few on the forum may know and have heard reveille in the morning and taps at night. But taps is also inappropriately played at closing flags. Ever hear anyone play Assembly? Here the troops are to collect up their boys and get ready for flags, about 15 minutes before flags. Then To the Colors, and the troops proceed to the flag field.

 

Your troop is scattered all over camp and it's time to eat, anyone know what mess call is?

 

Today's bugler, plays a couple of ditties a day and gets POR credit. However, an operational communicator/bugler just doesn't fit into today's world because most people have forgotten what the POR is really supposed to be doing.

 

Whenever I attend a Civil War reenactment where the boys do know what these calls are, the first thing I do as adjutant of the regiment is find out if I have a functional bugler for the weekend. If I do, I know my job is going to be a ton lot easier.

 

The bugling MB has these calls as do many military bugle manuals. BSA used to produce a pamphlet that has all these calls in them and when to use them.

 

If I'm a SM sitting at the campfire drinking my coffee and the boys need to be back in camp, all I do is say, "Bugler, get the boys back in camp." or "Grubmasters have the dinner ready in 10 minutes, call the patrols in." A good bugler will immediately cut, at least, in half the time to get the boys back to camp. Sending a runner or relying on watches the boys don't look at anyway, means a 5 minute job can turn into a half hour ordeal of looking all over the place without a functional bugler.

 

Stosh

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Depends on the Bugler. We just changed positions and our new bugler only knows assembly, mess call and taps, so that's what he uses. This kid is a pretty good trumpet player, so I have great hope.

 

Our last bugler knew assembly, mess and spent his entire term learning To the Colors. He finally got it, sorta, if you already knew the tune and could pick it out.

 

The primary call we use is assembly, which we use even during troop meetings to get everyone inside and settled.

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A good Bugler is hard to find. A former post mentioned that Bugling is a "ceremonial reclic of the past". Good bugling inspires and motivates.

 

Our current Bugler cannot play a lick. To fulfill his POR duties, his job on campouts is to wake the Scouts in the morning, announce lights out, gather the Troop together for any meetings, and anything else that the SPL might need him to do. It's not a hard job, but it's important and serves a helpful function for the SPL and the Scoutmaster.

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