A New Patrol Leader Handbook
Do you have boys in your troop who have been elected patrol leaders but don't quite know what to do? Now a new tool is available that can help them learn the skills of effective leadership. The Patrol Leader Handbook (BSA No. 32502A, $7.95) provides proven methods for leading the small groups of boys that form the bedrock of every Scout troop.
"Fewer than 10 percent of Scouts attend a junior leader training course," said Joe Glasscock, associate national director of Boy Scouting. "This new handbook will enable the other 90 percent to become better patrol leaders."
The handbook begins by spelling out the duties and expectations of a patrol leader. For instance, he represents his Scouts at all patrol leaders' council meetings and at the troop's annual program planning conference. He encourages work to complete advancement requirements. He also sets a good example by wearing the full Scout uniform and living by the Scout Oath and Law.
Other chapters explain how to plan and run a meeting and develop patrol spirit. But the real meat of the handbook comes in the chapter "Being a Good Leader." Here junior leaders learn about the differences in leadership styles, the importance of team-building, how to communicate well, and ways to resolve conflicts.
"Many of the leadership skills in this handbook reflect the same methods taught in adult leader Wood Badge training, but they're geared to the boy level," said Glasscock. "Everything in Scouting begins at the patrol level, and an effective, trained patrol leader is essential to a troop's boy-run, boy-led program."
Troop program ideas and 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.
March-April 2002 Table of Contents
Copyright © 2002 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.