Uniform and Flag

How Many Count as a Patrol?

Karen asked this question:

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

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.

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.

2 Responses to How Many Count as a Patrol?

  1. Jerry Schleining January 30, 2014 at 8:25 PM #

    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.

    • Scouter Mom January 31, 2014 at 8:17 AM #

      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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