Charles Batteau (B3ZAATN@CPSLSOPS.BELL-ATL.COM)
Thu, 17 Aug 1995 11:56:32 -0400
Our troop has the same problem as yours. The problem seems to be
twofold: (1) lack of time (for separate patrol meetings) and (2) lack
of patrol spirit. The first can be solved by having a time at each
troop meeting for patrol meetings, rather than expecting separate
meetings. Here are some things that I'm working on with our PLC for
the second part:
1. Get the support of your SM and ASMs on this. Since, in their SMF
training, the "patrol method" was emphasized, this should be easy.
You really need to sell the PLC on the concept, too.
2. Make certain that all camping, cooking, etc. is done BY PATROLS,
not as individuals or other groupings. Boys should tent with
others in their same patrol except in rare circumstances. On
hikes, have each patrol a few minutes apart. (That goes along
with "low impact" procedures.) In meetings, they should sit
in patrol groupings.
3. Patrols should plan their menus AS A PATROL. The best way to do
this (for starters, at least) is to set aside a portion of each
troop meeting for patrol meetings. This also means that patrols
need other offices beyond PL & APL, ie, grubmaster, quartermaster,
chief cook, etc. Check the PL handbook for particulars.
4. Start to build patrol spirit by having inter-patrol competitions.
Also, make sure each patrol has a patrol flag and patrol yell.
(To get Tenderfoot, a scout must describe his patrol flag and
patrol yell, so the patrols pretty much HAVE to go along ...).
The patrol flag should be with the patrol at meetings, campouts,
etc. (but NOT hikes!)
5. At inspections, make sure each scout is wearing his patrol
patch. If you make inspection a competition too, with some sort
of reward for best-uniformed patrol (like, SM cooks a meal for
patrol at next campout), this should be easier. We also require
boys to be in FULL uniform for a Board of Review -- this includes
the patrol patch.
That's about as far as we've gotten in our troop. Perhaps some others
can offer additional tips. It's still a rocky road for us -- you may
leave office before it's completely turned around. That's another
reason to have the SM & ASMs buying in: they can make sure your
successor continues to work on this problem. Best of luck, and keep
us posted on how it's coming.
Chuck Batteau -- SM, Troop 751, Glen Allen VA
maybe they meant an hour a DAY! :-)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City