Green Bar Bill recounts the qualities of good patrols.
A TROOP’S BEST patrols exhibit enthusiasm, teamwork, and camaraderie—that special spark known as patrol spirit.
How do your patrols measure up? Here are some tips for building patrol spirit and a way to reward success:
- Choose a good name. This is a key step toward building patrol identity. Use descriptive words, like Roaring River Rats or Fearless Falcons.
- Create a distinctive patrol yell.
- Make a patrol flag. Draw the design on canvas or heavy cloth and mount it to a wooden staff. Carry the flag wherever the patrol goes.
- Develop members’ talents. Does anyone have a specialty? Maybe some are great cobbler cooks or outstanding actors for campfire skits.
- Team up for patrol competitions. These contests are fun and strengthen bonds of friendship and cooperation needed to achieve group goals.
- Show off patrol quality by earning the National Honor Patrol Award, which requires fulfilling the following requirements over a three-month period:
- Have a patrol name, flag, and yell. Put the patrol design on equipment and use the patrol yell. Keep patrol records up-to-date.
- Hold two patrol meetings each month.
- Take part in at least one hike, outdoor activity, or other Scouting event.
- Complete two Good Turns or service projects approved by the patrol leaders’ council.
- Help two patrol members advance in rank.
- Have at least 75 percent of members in full uniform at troop activities.
- Have a representative attend at least three patrol leaders’ council meetings.
- Have eight members in the patrol or experience an increase in patrol membership.
Each unit leader determines if a patrol qualifies for the National Honor Patrol Award, an embroidered gold star (BSA No. 00367) worn under the patrol emblem and purchased at Scout shops or council service centers. There is no application form.
Methods for improving patrol teamwork, adapted from material by the late William (Green Bar Bill) Hillcourt or from other sources, appear periodically in this column.