Patrol – the basic unit of the scout organization
Any large scouting group usually consists of patrols – 6-8 boys or girls who work as a small group. At the meeting of the patrol, its leader is elected, patrol programs are determined and developed.
The Patrol method is a universally unique Scouting method. Let us dwell in particular on the activities of the newly created patrol.
The new scout patrol has its own specifics – it consists of newcomers – children who have joined the old (former) detachment, which imposes additional duties on the “old men” and at the same time provides them with the opportunity to prove themselves again. It is necessary to introduce new guys into the life of scouts, to help them acquire skills. The guys are in this patrol until they reach a certain level of skills, and only after that they join the regular patrol. You can start patrol work with three scouts, but if you have more than eight, you will have to create two patrols at once. If there are only one or two novice scouts, it is necessary to transfer them to regular patrols, while attaching separate instructors to them who will work with them.
The new Scout Patrol elects its leader, he attends meetings of the Patrol Council and has the right to vote. During his stay in the lead, even if it is not so long-term, he needs to accumulate leadership experience.
Each New Scout patrol is under the supervision of an old Scout, who is called a Squad Guide and is appointed by the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster. The curator bears full responsibility for the young replenishment and at the same time must be interested in every possible way in the success of his business. His role is to liaise with the patrol leader and teach the members of the patrol basic scouting skills. The Squad Leader sits on the Patrol Leaders’ Council together with the New Scout Patrol Leader, speaks to the New Scouts as a big brother, guides them gently and flexibly, contributing to the fulfillment of the tasks of the Scout program. He acts, trying to create a comfortable relationship of new scouts with the entire squad, with its leaders and to interest them in the program itself. The curator of the new scout patrol works for at least a year, so that by the end of it, newcomers can take their place in the squad already trained and experienced scouts.
Each Patrol Leader, along with the new Patrol Supervisor and the Chief Patrol Leader elected at the general meeting, form a Leadership Council that plans large group activities.
As a rule, the main patrol leader is in the rank of scoutmaster.
The Scoutmaster is the key figure in the Scout organization. What does a scoutmaster do? All! This is a person who effectively and clearly organizes scouts for joint activities, trains children, helps them to develop comprehensively and become worthy citizens of their country.
First of all, he educates Scouts with a sense of mutual understanding, which allows them to know themselves, and then other people. Scoutmaster trains scout leaders to lead a patrol, detachment, organizes all kinds of activities for them and provides them with comprehensive assistance and support. As the leader of a large group – a detachment, he alone is connected with the basic small group (link, patrol, crew, etc.) by a chain of detachment activities, actions and operations. As the scouts say, the scoutmaster makes a squad, which means he
• trains children’s leaders,
• works with adults in order to involve them in cooperation with Scouting,
• helps children grow up, learn to explore the world,
• guides the guys in their work on planning squad affairs,
• assists the squad committee in selecting assistant scoutmasters,
• manages the conference.
One of the leading roles in the scouting organization belongs to the assistant scoutmaster, or, as he is called, assistant. He has certain responsibilities, in particular, he is responsible for working with new scouts. As a rule, new scout patrols, which are created from guys who do not have skills, merge into existing squads. An assistant is usually attached to these units, who helps the guys in their work on the program, which is already focused on newcomers. But the help of an assistant, sometimes, is also needed by senior scouts, who, being quite experienced, act quite independently, without a scoutmaster; but in developing these programs, where great importance is placed on sports, outdoor work, etc., they may ask for the help of an assistant scoutmaster. The number of assistant scoutmasters is determined by the needs of the squad. During the absence of the Scoutmaster, all his duties are performed by his assistant.