During his lifetime Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the worldwide Scouting movement, wrote many books and articles directed to Scouters.
Each Sunday I’ll publish a selection from his writings in the hope that you’ll draw inspiration and understanding from his timeless ideas.
FROM different sources I have had interesting reports of very satisfactory results of developing the Patrol system. The sum of the whole thing amounts to this — every individual in the Patrol is made responsible, both in den and in camp, for his definite share in the successful working of the whole.
This incidentally enhances the Leader’s position and responsibilities, and develops the individual interest and civic capability of each member, while it builds a stronger esprit de corps for the group.
The Patrol constitutes itself a Council:
Patrol Leader responsible as Chairman.
|Second||Vice-Chairman and Quartermaster in charge of Stores, etc.|
|No. 1 Scout||Scribe.|
|No. 2 Scout||Treasurer.|
|No. 3 Scout||Keeper of the Den.|
|No. 4 Scout||Games Manager.|
|No. 5 Scout||Librarian.|
The Council considers such subjects as, for instance, which badges the Patrol should specially go in for, where to camp or hike, etc., football and cricket matches, athletic sports and displays, and suggests questions to be considered and ruled upon by the Troop Court of Honour.
The Scribe keeps the Minutes of this Council as record, which are read out at the following meeting as usual to be corrected previous to their signature by the Chairman (the Patrol Leader).
The Scribe also has the duty of keeping a Patrol log in which are recorded each week, briefly, the doings of the Patrol at home or in the field.
The existence of these Patrol Councils, when conducted with proper procedure, at once raises the status of the Troop Court of Honour. If carried out with the correct routine and ceremonial of a business meeting, the Court of Honour becomes a sort of Upper Chamber of considerable importance in the eyes of the boys, as they take a close interest in its findings; and the whole thing becomes a valuable and practical education to them in “civics.”
Then, in camp, a similar delegation of duties to the individual members of the Patrol has an excellent effect both on the success of the outing and in educating the boys.
For instance, the distribution of work may be made on some such lines as these:
|Patrol Leader||In supreme charge, responsible for assigning duties and seeing that they are carried out.|
|Second Leader||Quartermaster in charge of supplies of food and equipment and first aid.|
|No. 1 Scout||Cook, preparing meals.|
|No. 2 Scout||Scribe, keeping accounts of moneys and stores, keeps log of the camp or hike.|
|No. 3 Scout||Pioneer, making drains, bridges, latrines.|
|No. 4 Scout||Sanitation; keeping camp clean, incinerator.|
|No. 5 Scout||Axeman; supplying firewood. Fireman and waterman, has charge of cooking or camp fire and of water supply.”|