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How Many Count as a Patrol?

A Question about How Many Count as a Patrol

Karen asked this question:

How many from a Patrol does there need to be to qualify as doing “anything” as a Patrol? I was told 3 or more.

Check with the Youth Leadership

It is normally up to the Senior Patrol Leader and patrol leader with the Scoutmaster to interpret requirements and pass that information along to other leaders and in turn the rest of the troop.  So first your Scouts should discuss this with the SPL and patrol leader.

The Rule of Four

If you are talking about an activity which only involves one patrol, you would still have to meet the Rule of Four (at least two Scouts and at least two adults) so there would have to be at least two Scouts. We have some small patrols in our troop, so they will sometimes pair up to do patrol activities which will ensure that they have four or five participating.

Readers, what are your thoughts? Add them to the comments below.

Related Resources

Inactive Scouts in Patrols

A reader is involved in a large troop, but due to low participation from scouts it is difficult to have patrol leader elections and a youth led program.

The Patrol Method

The methods of Scouting are the ways that Scouting’s aims of developing character, citizenship, and fitness in youth are achieved. The patrol method is very important to this.

What Is Active Participation?

Active participation in the Scouting program is required for advancement. So Scouts who are not participating in patrol activities might have difficulty advancing. See section of the Guide to Advancement for details.


2 responses to “How Many Count as a Patrol?”

  1. Jerry Schleining Avatar
    Jerry Schleining

    It is important to remember what we have the Patrol Method for and why we use it. 2 can not be an effective Patrol as it does not meet the needs of working the Patrol method.
    Teaching, Learning, and practicing Leadership. Learning to be a good follower and working within a small community.
    The Patrol method does not stop at a flag and a name, it is the method that allows Scouting to work.
    I would concern myself less with requirements and focus more of the method.
    This is not about youth protection, this is about Scouting and delivering the promise the right way.
    If you have a patrol of less than four, I would consider consolidating patrols until such a time as you have enough to practice the Patrol method. (adults do not count in the number for a patrol as adults are not part of the patrol)
    Just a few thoughts to consider.

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar
      Scouter Mom

      Yes, this is always a difficult balance. We tried larger patrols of about a dozen each for a short period to ensure that four or five from each patrol would show up at each event but it really didn’t work out well. They went back to having patrols of about six per patrol. The patrols are tight, but due to the number of extracurricular activities they are involved in, about 30% attendance does happen frequently. I really don’t have a problem with patrols teaming up rather than cancelling, especially when they take the initiative to arrange it themselves.

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