Wearing the Uniform
How does Scouting Work?
In this game, we still use traditional Scouting
activities, such as camping, hiking, canoeing, and all the details
that go with them, as tools to teach good citizenship. In addition,
we "spice up" the program with other activities that are educational, fun,
and help develop our Troop into a cohesive unit. These activities
might include trips to national landmarks, computer or radio conversations
with Scouts around the world, pizza parties, and more. B-P said ,
"The program of the Boy Scouts is a man's job cut down to boy's size."
As noted above, Scouting is under the leadership
of boys. We use something called the "Patrol Method" in Scouting.
The most basic unit of Scouting, a Patrol is comprised of six to eight
boys. B-P felt that this was a natural and workable size "fraternity-gang"
that a boy could feel comfortable in. A Troop is made up of two or
more Patrols, with the ideal number being four. Quoting B-P again,
"The Patrol System is the one essential feature in which Scout training
differs from that of all other organisations, and where the System is properly
applied, it is absolutely bound to bring success. It cannot help
Each patrol is lead by a "Patrol Leader", a more
senior boy elected by it's members. He chooses an Assistant Patrol
Leader, and the Patrol's members also elect a Patrol Scribe and Patrol
Quartermaster. The Scribe keeps track of any Patrol records and takes
care of any correspondence. The Quartermaster is in charge of the
Patrol's equipment and it's condition.
All the boys in the troop elect a Senior Patrol
Leader (SPL) to lead the entire Troop, as well as a Troop Scribe and Quartermaster.
The SPL then appoints his Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL).
The SPL and ASPL must be at least First Class Scouts. The Troop Scribe
and Quartermaster should be as well.
The SPL, ASPL and the Patrol Leaders form what is
known as a "Patrol Leader's Council", who meet frequently to plan and oversee
the Troop's activities. They do so under the quiet, but firm guidance
of the Scoutmaster and his assistants.
The Patrol system is designed to give the boys maximum
responsibility for planning and carrying out the program, within the guidelines
set by the BSA National Council, the Troop Committee and the Scoutmaster.
The Scoutmaster and his assistants act as mentors and teachers to the boys,
and provide constant guidance to the Patrol Leader's Council. While
the boys are truly "in charge", they do not have absolutely free reign.
The Scout program is the basis for all activities. They must fit
into it in a balanced way, and no activity may violate the Scout Oath or
B-P saw the Scoutmaster and his assistants acting
in the capacity of a "big brother" rather than as a "parent" or "teacher"
"Like the true older brother", he wrote, "he has
to realise the the traditions of the family and see that they are preserved,
even if considerable firmness is required."
He listed the following guidelines for Scoutmasters:
"He has simply to be a boy-man, that is:
- He must have the boy spirit in him; and must
be able to place himself on a right plane with his boys as a first step.
- He must realise the needs, outlooks, and desires
of the different ages of boy life.
- 3. He must deal with the individual boy rather than
with the mass.
- 4. He then needs to promote a corporate spirit among
his individuals to gain the best results."