Re: Patrol Names
Marc Solomon (msolomon@TEK1.TEKNIQ.COM)
Thu, 29 Feb 1996 14:31:22 -0600
At 06:02 PM 2/28/96 -0600, Rob R. Hathaway wrote:
>This is a tradition I carry forward from my youth, where incoming
>Patrol Leaders would award old patrol flags to outgoing Patrol
>Leaders in an informal meeting ceremony. As a youth, I was a
>member of the Panthers, the Raccoons, the Flaming Arrows,
>and lastly the Chiefs, still not very original.
I, personally, do not like your tradition. I was a member of the Buffalo
patrol for most of my years in Scouting and I was always proud to be a
Buffalo. The patrol had a history and a reputation to uphold. Our flags
(we remade it only once while I was in the patrol) was embellished with our
accomplishments (and also some of our more humorous failures). We passed
these stories on to those who entered the patrol so that they, too, can
share in the pride we took in being Buffaloes.
Renaming a patrol every year strips the patrol of its continuity. While,
nowadays, I see some troops that still have some amount of pride in the
troops history, I see almost no more patrol pride. Pride in a patrol helps
patrols work as a team. Since one of the major lessons Scouting taught me
was how to work in a team, I am upset by the lack of patrol pride I see
I guess this feeds into another pet annoyance of mine brought up by another
post on Scouts-L I read today. Someone wrote to ask if it was okay for the
new Scout patrol NOT to be disbanded after its very successful first year.
While I belive that if that is what the Scouts want, let them have it, I
also believe that patrols should include Scouts of different ages. This
prevents the stratification of patrols and increases the average capability
and enthusiasm of every patrol.
I have never been thrilled with the whole New Scout Patrol program. The
main reason for that is that I learned most from my patrol leader and the
more experienced Scouts in my patrol than I did from anyone else in
Scouting. I believe that today's Scouts are deprived of learning about
teaching skills due to the fact that the older Scouts are not involved (as
much) in teaching the newer Scouts. I see more and more troops where the
only ones who sign off on advancement are Scouters and not other Scouts (as
when I was a Scout).
It might seem that I have gone off on a tangent, but the point I am trying
to make though this lengthy dissertation is that we need to get back to the
basic unit of Boy Scouting being a patrol not a troop! There are many
lessons that Scouts can learn from participating in a troop made up of
strong patrols instead of a troop made up of strong Scouters.
Marc W. Solomon Unit Commissioner
firstname.lastname@example.org Sycamore District
email@example.com Blackhawk Council, IL
I use to be a wise old owl . . . Now I am just old
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City