In the last series of articles ( What is a Patrol? ) we saw that a good patrol is an active, inspired, team of leaders. How can your patrol become a team of leaders?
If a game like ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ or ‘World of Warcraft’ had only one character it would be a pretty dull game. Characters with different strengths and weaknesses to better equip them to face the challenges of the game are what makes games fun and interesting.
The same is true in real life. A team is so much better than going it alone – each member of the team has strengths that other team members may not, and everyone shares their strengths and skills with their team.
Scouting has teams called Patrols but most Scouts have the impression that a Patrol has only two types of members: the Patrol Leader and the ‘regular’ Scouts.
This is totally the wrong way of looking at it! If we think this way we miss all the fun of patrol teamwork. Any good Patrol Leader will change this misconception into something better!
A Patrol is a team not just a single character and ‘everybody else'; each Scout ought to have an essential role of their Patrol’s successful operation.
You are responsible for the whole team but don’t try to do everything yourself. Share your leadership and responsibility with everyone on the team. This is what “delegating” means; give each Scout a real role and a real job in making the Patrol a success! Delegating is really one of the most important duties of the Patrol Leader, and any good Patrol Leader gives delegating a great deal of consideration.
Keep the big picture in mind; you’re building a Patrol tradition that will last long after you and the rest of the guys have moved on. The Patrol jobs you establish, the responsibilities that come with them, and the positive attitude you create for the team builds a long-lasting tradition for the Scouts who follow you.
Think about what your Patrol really needs to get done. Do you need to keep records and plans? That’s a job for the Patrol Scribe. Do you have equipment that needs to be kept in good order? That’s the Patrol Quartermaster’s job. But don’t stop there – how about making up some more Patrol jobs to be sure that all the Scouts have a role? For example you can have a Game Master, Chief Marksman, Digital Chief, or Wilderness Pathfinder.
Talk with your Patrol about what kind of Patrol you want to become. What kind of activities do you want to specialize in? What kind of traditions do you want to build? Get their ideas, and form a vision for the Patrol, decide which Scout best fits each role. If you don’t know the guys in your Patrol very well, take time to get to know them better and become familiar with their strong points.
In the next handful of articles, we’ll go into more detail about different kinds of Patrol jobs and how to best fit the job to the Scout.
In the meantime, leave a comment below or sign into the GreenBar Life Forum and tell me how hard you think it would be to fit each Scout in your Patrol to a different job. Would it be easy? Would it be hard? Why