Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Patrol Method
Tue, 27 Apr 1999 14:21:43 -0400
I am looking for advice and comments on how we recently handled a situation in
our Troop. I think we acted as the patrol method would advise, but am curious
what others would do in a similar situation.
We have a troop of 20 boys, 10 to 14 and scout to life ranks. In addition to
SPL and ASPL we have three patrols of roughly 6 boys each. One patrol was by
far the strongest, led by our current SPL. When he assumed the SPL post in
Dec., a boy who had been ASPL joined the patrol and was elected PL. The patrol
went downhill from there. One boy quit and the others began to complain of
harassment. The PL always denied the charges and was never caught red-handed.
Gradually the boys left his patrol to join other patrols. Suddenly he had only
himself and two other boys, both of whom were planning to join other patrols. I
must admit it was hard not to get involved, but I tried to let the boys solve
the problem. I pointed out that he wasn't leading well and that a patrol needed
four boys as a minimum. The next week, the PL had brought in a new boy and
convinced another boy to join his patrol. He is still somewhat unreliable, but
seems at least a little aware that he must lead and involve the other boys in
his patrol. I am sorry one boy quit, on the other hand I think he might have
found another excuse to quit since he never seemed very happy. I could have
jumped in much earlier, but as I understand the patrol method, the boys learn
if I hold back and let them solve their own problems.
Thanks for any advice.
Philip Peverada, M.D.
Glen Cove, Maine
Owls Head, Maine