What is the “Patrol Method”?

The Patrol Method is the strategic technique that provides scouts the opportunity to share leadership and responsibilities in a way that contributes to the achievement of goals and the self-esteem of the scouts. Using this approach, the scouts in the patrol work as a team where the strengths of individual scouts are combined to create a strong operating unit and teach the younger members the Scouting and leadership skills they need to be successful.

As an example, while camping the boys prepare all meals with their patrols. The patrol leader prepares a “duty roster” which is a posted list of the essential tasks of the members of his patrol during the campout. The duties that are delegated on a rotating basis are as follows:

Cook: in charge of preparing the meals and correctly handling the ingredients, decides who needs to be in the kitchen area while food is being prepared.

Assistant Cook: gets the ingredients that the cook needs, monitors whatever needs watching while on the fire, and does anything else that the cook might need help with.

Fireman: prepares the fire for the cook and makes sure that the fire is out when the cooking is done and we leave the camp.

Assistant Fireman: retrieves the water for the cooks and fireman and helps gather wood to keep the fire going.

Kitchen Patrol (KP): scrubs the equipment that the cooks use to prepare the patrol’s meal. THE KP DOES NOT CLEAN OTHER PEOPLE’S PERSONAL EATING UTENSILS such as plates, forks, bowls etc.

Assistant KP: gets the water heated for the KP. Dumps the water out of the KP buckets when all of the equipment has been cleaned, scrubs the buckets, and picks up the area where the KP was done.

These duties are rotated to different people for different meals to provide opportunities to learn new skills and ensure that the same person isn’t doing the same chore for every meal.