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.
The more I see of Troops which are successful, the more I realize the value of patrol spirit, the system of making the Patrol the responsible unit of the Troop, and the treatment of the Patrol Leader as a responsible being, just as if he were grown up.
As a further step in this direction, and one which I think will be helpful to Scoutmasters, we are getting out a Patrol Report Form which the Patrol Leader can fill in weekly and hand to his Scoutmaster. It gives the attendance and performance of each Scout during the week at Scout exercises, rallies, games, church, etc. The percentage of such attendances can then go to the Patrol score for deciding the order of merit of the several Patrols in the Troop.
Such competition cannot but be useful to the boys, and puts life into their everyday work. In some Troops each Patrol has its motto, which is an excellent device in the same direction for developing the Patrol spirit. The motto is, as a rule, selected or composed by the Patrol itself, and usually applies in some way to the Patrol animal. Thus, for instance, the Lions Patrol might have as their guiding phrase, “Brave as the Lions”; the Frogs, “We are not croakers though we croak”; the Hounds, “Alert as watch dogs”; or “Faithful Friends,” and so on.