Norman Rockwell's Boy Scout painting

Review Part 5: A Scout Leader’s Guide to Youth Leadership

Today, I am concluding my review of A Scout Leader’s Guide to Youth Leadership Training: Working the Patrol Method. This excellent book really addresses some of the challenges of having a boy led troop. You can see the previous parts  of this review at

Review: General Format, Introduction, and Section 1

Review: Sections 2 and 3

Review Sections 4 and 5

Review Sections 6, 7, and 8

Today I am reviewing Sections 9 and 10. I will also discuss some important material found in the appendix.

I have enjoyed reading this book and reviewing it in depth. While many of the ideas in the book are not easy to implement, they are an important “roadmap” for us to follow to really implement a true Boy Scout program.

Section 9 – Techniques That Support the Patrol Method

This section really gets to the heart of the matter. It ties the patrol method in with other Boy Scout methods, including the uniform and advancement.  It also discusses ideas like leading by example and working as a team. The leadership yarns in this section would be really helpful if you are doing a leadership seminar to train the youth leaders in your troop. There is a lot of good solid information in this section.

Section 10 – Create Your Own Personal Legacy of Leadership

This section is only a few pages long. It basically gives encouragement to use the ideas presented in the book. By training others to lead, we can leave a lasting imprint on a unit which will benefit the troop long after we are gone.

I remember that a few short years ago we were trying to figure out if we would have five registered youth to put on the charter. Now we have several times that, with about 15 being really active.  We have to keep thinking long term. It would be a shame if we invested all of this time and energy in to the troop and it just dwindled away again after we have moved on. I do agree that having strong youth leadership is the way to keep the unit thriving.

Epilogue and Appendix

The epilogue is BP’s last letter to scouts. It is worth reading.  In the appendix you will find a basic outline for troop leadership training. It is a good start for troops who do not already have a troop leadership training program in place. It is designed for a weekend program.

Of all of the things at the end of the book, I found the section “Difficulties in Working the Patrol Method” the most interesting. Sometimes in our troop there is resistance to implementing one aspect of the patrol method or another, often from the parents. “It would be easier if we just …” or “We can’t do it that way because …”. This last bit of the book is a reminder that no matter what the reasons we are not fully implementing the patrol method, the troop – and therefore the youth – would be better served if we made the effort.

If you are interested in this book but you don’t have a copy yet, it is available on Amazon.  If you have read the book and have some thoughts on it, feel free to comment below.

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