My first leadership position was Troop Quartermaster. Cleaning our Troop trailer and organizing all our gear was no easy task; things were a real mess and it took hours! It paid off, though; it was amazing how much easier we could find what we needed. Meal preparation time was practically cut in half! I was proud to be able to serve the Troop in such a significant way.
When I left the position the Troop had no Quartermaster for a time. It was astonishing to see how quickly everything descended back into chaos! Quartermaster is a full-time job.
If your Patrol is like most you have designated stoves, tarps, ropes, pots, pans, utensils, you use when you go camping. Maybe you even have a box of stuff you use at meetings. Somebody has to be sure it all stays in order and is maintained well (otherwise it will turn into the mess that our Troop trailer once was!). That somebody is the Patrol Quartermaster. Whatever you call the position; Gear Guy, Equipment Chief, or Quartermaster, it’s an important and necessary responsibility and they have a big contribution to Patrol teamwork.
The Quartermaster leads the whole Patrol to use and maintain gear properly, and to keep things clean, and organized. He is in charge! When it’s time to go camping he makes sure the Patrol checks everything before you go. When you are setting up camp he directs the Patrol on doing it properly. During the camping trip he oversees the safe and appropriate use of Patrol gear. When it comes time to pack everything up, he makes sure everyone has cleaned everything thoroughly and says where the stuff goes.
The Patrol Quartermaster maintains a written inventory of all the Patrol’s equipment. He may suggest the Patrol buys new camping and meeting gear. If you’ve got a Patrol Den or Patrol Corner, he makes sure everything stays organized and ready to be used.
Choose your Quartermaster carefully, it’s a big job! Which Scout in your patrol is good at organization and respectful of gear and equipment? Someone who’s campsite looks like a yard sale because their water bottle, jacket, snacks, and shoes all spread all over the campground may not the be the ideal Scout for the job! You are looking for a Scout who keeps his gear neat without being told and returns anything he borrows.
A good Quartermaster can make the difference between a sharp, organized Patrol and a sloppy, stressed-out one. It’s your job to train and assist the new Quartermaster in every way possible. Be patient, be helpful, and hold a high standard. You will learn a lot, and your Patrol will be well on its way to being a top-notch team!
Have you ever been a Quartermaster? How difficult did you find the job? What did you learn from it? Leave a comment below or sign into the GreenBar Life Forum and let me know! I’d love to hear about it!