The Patrol

Troop Positions The Patrol Boards of Review
Courts of Honor Fundraisers Scoutmaster Conference


“The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting can be carried on. It is the only method.”
—Lord Baden-Powell, Scouting’s founder

A Scout patrol is a small team of normally six to eight members where Scouts learn skills together, share responsibilities and take on leadership roles.

Referring to his original Brownsea Island Scouting “experiment,” Baden-Powell said, “The troop of boys was divided up into “Patrols” the senior boy in each being patrol leader. This organization was the secret of our success. Each patrol leader was given full responsability for the behaviour of his patrol at all times, in camp and in the field. The patrol was the unit to work or play, and each patrol was camped in a separate spot. The boys were put “on their honour” to carry out orders. Responsability and competitive rivalry were thus at once established, and a good standard of development was ensured throughout the troop from day to day.”

In his Aids to Scoutmastership, B-P says, “The Patrol System is the one essential feature in which Scout training differs from that of all other organizations, and where the System is properly applied, it is absolutely bound to bring success. It cannot help itself! The formation of the boys into patrols of from six to eight and training them as separate units each under its own responsible leader is the key to a good troop. The patrol is the unit of Scouting always, whether for work or for play, for discipline or for duty. An invaluable step in character training is to put responsibility on to the individual. This is immediately gained in appointing a patrol leader to responsible command of his patrol. It is up to him to take hold of and to develop the qualities of each boy in his patrol. It sounds a big order, but in practice it works. Then, through emulation and competition between patrols, you produce a patrol spirit which is eminently satisfactory, since it raises the tone among the boys and develops a higher standard of efficiency all round. Each boy in the patrol realizes that he is in himself a responsible unit and that the honor of his group depends in some degree on his own ability in playing the game.”

Patrol Duty Roster

A Beginner’s Guide to the Patrol Method

Types of Patrols

Adult and Youth Scouts BSA Leaders