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Outstanding Patrol Characteristics

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What are specific characteristics that you feel makes an outstanding Patrol "stand out" in the crowd?


When I ask this question, I get a lot of "I'll know it when I see it", but I'd like to hear from our experienced members - what are specific qualities you would say make an "Outstanding Patrol" what it is?


Of course, I have the National Honor Patrol Award list, but I'm looking for something a little more concrete, and I know you folks have seen the best and the worst...



(This message has been edited by bilgerat)

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There are a lot of opinions out there, but here are my thoughts.


1) Uniforms. The look like Scouts, which in turns helps them to remember to act like Scouts.


2)Good age mix. I do not like NSPs as I would like to "older" folks in the patrol help teach newer scouts. NSPs usually have no one who knows their scoutcraft, except the troop guide, and that leads to more adult involvement INHO. That leads to


3)Good mix of Scoutcraft Skills. Again I like folks to learn form one another. I like a Tenderfoot help someone learn the Oath and Law. I like a 2nd Class teaching T-2 first aid skills to those workign on them. I like the idea of the PL signing of on advancement after making sure the folks can do the requirement.


4)Teamwork. Every scout knows what needs to be done and does it. No slackers.


5) Capable of being on their own. While you may have newer scouts who are still learning, overall the patrol is capable of doing it all on their own without assistance, b/c the olde rscouts are capable but also are looking out and helping the newer guys.


6) Growth. Every member of the patrol is growing physically, mentally, and morally. They are gaining confidence and skills.


And I am sure I am forgetting things.

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It may sound too obvious, but I would say an outstanding patrol consists entirely of boys who want to do scouting - learn skills, journey outdoors, serve others,...If we keep our promise to our scouts, this is the end product of methods of scouting.


But realistically, IMO "outstanding patrols" more often result (temporarily) from an all-star selection of the best scouts from across units to attend Philmont, NYLT...


My $0.02



(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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Philmont and any other opportunities where the patrol has a chance to "gel together" prior to a trip are probably the best examples.


But in my experience having patrols meet for the first time at a week long training like NYLT, may not work. Having gone through Brownsea 22 and staffing JLTC, I've noticed that some patrols do work out, and some are absolutely horrible.


The Cocky Curlews I regret to say was one of those. Yes we learned a lot. Yes almost all of us mastered the basic scout craft skills. But we were not a team. We had slackers in the patrol who didn't want to do their fair share of the work. We had one who didn't want to go backpacking, so he deliberately got a blister and infected it so he couldn't go backpacking, forcing his buddy to carry his load as well.



One of the patrols at JLTC had the almost the exact same problems. Instead of getting blisters, some of the kids mixed berries into their food known to make them sick, so they had to go home.


The one thing both patrols had in common was the ages. Both patrols had 13-14 yos in them. The patrols that worked together usually were 15-16 or 16-17. Don't remember the age break out at BA22 as I had limited contact with the other patrols, but I think they were broken down by the ages above. As SPL of the JLTC, I know the patrol that had problems were 13-14yos, the two patrols that h ad fun and rocked were the 15-16 yos, and the 16-17 yos just did what they had to do.


BUT when I went to Canada, we had 13-17 yos in the patrol, and everyone looked out for each other. We met periodically for 18-24 months prior to the trip going over skills and working together.

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Eagle92 is right on with all his post in this thread. I couldnt add anything to his list except that my observation of an outstanding patrol is they are a happy patrol. Happy to the point of sticking out in fact.


I also agree with him on the NYLT or any district or council JLT coruse. Simply having the best of the best together isnt enough to guarantee an outstanding patrol. Our JLTC (previous to NYLT) was so condensed with activities, the scouts had little time to bond and really become a team. I also agree that the happiest patrols by my observation are the mixed age patrols because the scouts bond by serving each other.




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Simply having the best of the best together isnt enough to guarantee an outstanding patrol. Miami Heat, need I say more?


Maturity helps with patrol/teamwork. Sometimes maturity comes with age, sometimes not. I'm not a fan of mixed aged patrol if they are not truly peers. A 12 year old doesn't really have much in common with a 17 yr old boy. If they do, one is usually a little "unusual."


When faced with a challenge - i.e. challengine backpacking such as Philmont, Double H, etc. groups either thrive or dive. When a volunteer event - they thrive. When "forced" upon all, they dive.

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