“ I want you Patrol Leaders to go on and train your Patrols, in the future entirely yourselves, because it is possible for you to get hold of each boy in your Patrol and make a good fellow of him. It is no use having one or two brilliant boys and the rest no good at all. You should try to make them all fairly good.”
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What does it take to be a good patrol leader?
1. Be a good communicator. You do not have to have a commanding voice to be a good leader, but you must be willing to step out front with an effective “Let’s go!” A good leader knows how to get and give information so that everyone understands.
2. Keep your word. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
3. Be fair to all. A good leader shows no favorites. Don’t allow friendships to stand in the way of being fair to all members of your patrol.
4. Be flexible. Everything won’t always go as planned. Be prepared to shift to “Plan B” when “Plan A” doesn’t work.
5. Be organized. At patrol meetings, record who is responsible for each task, and gave the duty roster filled out prior to going on a camp-out.
6. Delegate. Some leaders assume the job will not get done unless they do it themselves. Most people like to be challenged with a task. Let them try doing things they haven’t tried before.
7. Set the example. Whatever you do, your patrol members are likely to do the same. Having a cheerful attitude can help keep everyone in good spirits.
8. Be consistent. Nothing is more confusing than a leader who is one-way one moment and the opposite a short time later. If your patrol knows what to expect from you, they will more likely respond positively to your leadership.
9. Give praise. Often, “Nice job!” is all the praise necessary to make a Scout feel he is making a worthwhile contribution.
10. Ask for help. When confronted with a situation you don’t know how to handle, ask someone with more experience for some advice and direction.
Patrol meetings should be well-planned and businesslike. Typically, the patrol leader calls the meeting to order, the scribe collects dues, and the assistant patrol leader reports on advancement. The patrol leader should report any information from the latest patrol leaders' council meeting. The bulk of the meeting should be devoted to planning upcoming activities, with specific assignments made to each patrol member.
Patrol spirit is the glue that holds the patrol together and keeps it going.
Creating a patrol identity and traditions will help build each patrol member's sense of belonging.
A patrol flag is the patrol's trademark, and it should be a good one. Have a competition to see who comes up with the best design and who is the best artist. Make the flag out of a heavy canvas and use permanent markers to decorate it. In addition to the patrol name, the patrol flag should have the troop number on it as well as the names of all the patrol members. Mount the flag on a pole, which also can be decorated. Remember, the patrol flag should go wherever the patrol goes.
Every patrol has a patrol yell, which should be short and snappy. Choose words that fit the patrol's goals. Use the yell to announce to other patrols that your patrol is ready to eat or has won a patrol competition. Some patrols also have a patrol song.
As a patrol leader, you have many resources available, including your Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmasters, senior patrol leader, and the troop committee. Other resources include your teachers, religious leaders, and community leaders.
The above information was obtained from www.scouting.org where you can find lots more information about being a patrol leader.