The Scout Patrol Method and Leadership

Patrol Leader’s Council Meeting, Glacier National Park

LEICA M9, ZEISS BIOGON 35/2.8C, JUNE 2010

The Patrol Method, and Leadership Development, are the two Methods of Scouting that are sometimes the hardest to implement because parents’ instincts are to foster an environment where these methods are hijacked.

This is one of the big reasons why Scouting has evolved into a retraining organization rather than an organization that reinforces what’s already going on in the home: there’s a lot that has to be undone in order to even reach a foundation from which the Patrol Method and Leadership Development can be implemented.

When an 11- or 12-year old is given the chance to lead a group of peers, and when that group of peers has both responsibility and accountability, they can do great things as kids and become the right types of leaders as adults: leaders that serve, not bark.

Both responsibility and accountability have to be real, however, not contrived – and this is the primary difference between how responsibility and accountability is implemented in the contemporary American Home vs. the Traditional Baden-Powell-esque Scout Patrol.

That’s why today, I’m handing the boys a new map, and asking them which trailhead they’d like us to drive them to tomorrow, and which trails they’d like us to follow them on, and which camps they’d like us to pitch our shelters near.

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Great Bear Wilderness Trip Planning, Glacier National Park

LEICA M9, ZEISS BIOGON 35/2.8C

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