This is the basis of the Scout Section and the principal means by which young people are trained to become responsible citizens. Baden-Powell, the Founder of Scouting, recognised that young people delight at forming themselves into small gangs or cliques each under its own leader whether for work, fun or mischief. He made use of this natural organisation and called it the Patrol System.
Boys and Girls are formed into stable Patrols of four to eight members. A Patrol Leader is appointed as head of the Patrol and is responsible for the training and development of the Patrol, setting and achievement of goals, fostering the group life of the Patrol, and the well- being and advancement of the Patrol to name but a few.
The Patrol Leader also chooses an Assistant Patrol Leader subject to the approval of the Troop Council and Scout Leader. The Assistant Patrol Leader takes the place of the Patrol Leader when they are absent and otherwise assists in running the Patrol.
Pamphlett has Albatross, Penguin, Seahawk and Swift patrols
The value in the Patrol is that it provides:
- The basic unit for activities and training
- Opportunities for leadership experience for the Patrol Leader
- Opportunities for the Patrol members to gain leadership training through observation of the Patrol Leader and by accepting responsibilities within the Patrol
- The opportunity to belong to and work in an autonomous group within the overall structure of the Troop
- A secure environment in which members can test their physical, social and mental abilities
- Opportunities for practising and expressing concern for others
- The opportunity to manage and administer Patrol property, finance and other resources
A Troop is a group of Scouts who meet together on a regular basis. A Troop is composed of approximately four Patrols and should not contain more than 36 Scouts.
The Troop Council is composed of the Patrol Leaders of the Troop who meet regularly in the presence of the Scout Leader. The Troop Council is responsible for the broad program planning, routine Troop management and for the policies and operations of the Troop which are within the capacity of the experience of Scouts. It is also responsible for the expenditure of Troop funds. Training of Patrol Leaders is also partly carried out through the Troop Council.
As well as regular Troop meetings, Patrol meetings entirely on their own are encouraged and may take place at private homes and as expeditions. Troop Council meetings also occur monthly.