Boy Scout Troop 31
Rochester, New York
Patrols are the building blocks of Scouting. As a member of a patrol, you plan together, learn together, and you all pitch in to turn exciting plans into action. Patrols, generally made up of 6-8 boys, are such an important part of Scouting that a part of a troop meeting (called Patrol Corners) is usually set aside for each patrol to meet by itself. Every patrol has a name and every Scout in the patrol wears a patch on their right sleeve with their patrol's emblem. Each patrol has a flag they design and make that they carry at troop meetings and at campouts. Every patrol has a yell, too. You give the yell when your patrol wins a contest or performs well at any other event.
Patrol Leader Your patrol will elect one of its members to serve a Patrol Leader. The Patrol Leader is in charge of the patrol at troop meetings and during outdoor adventures. He will also represent the patrol on the Patrol Leaders' Council. While there is only one Patrol Leader, every member of a patrol shares the duties of leadership. If you're not the Patrol Leader, you could be the one who finds the way on a hike, is the chief cook at camp, or who teaches other Scouts how to tie a knot.
New Scout Patrol The New Scout Patrol is a group of boys who have just become Scouts. They are helped by a Troop Guide -- an older, experienced Scout who can help show them the way. Members of a New Scout Patrol choose their Patrol Leader, plan what they want to do, and take part in outings and troop meetings just like any patrol. They also learn the basic skills they need in order to enjoy hiking, camping, and other Scouting adventures. Before long, members of a New Scout Patrol will discover that they are completing many of the requirements for the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.
Senior Patrol Leader This is the top boy leader of the troop and is elected by all of the Scouts. With guidance from the Scoutmaster, he is in charge of planning and running troop meetings as well as the Patrol Leaders' Council, and does all he can to see that the patrols succeed.
Patrol Leaders Council The activities of your troop are planned by a Patrol Leaders Council (PLC). The PLC is made up of your Patrol Leaders, Senior Patrol Leader, Scoutmaster, and other troop leaders. The PLC discusses future meetings and outings for the whole troop. Your Patrol Leader's responsibility is to share the ideas that have come from you and other Scouts in your patrol to the PLC and to report decisions made by the PLC back to you and the patrol.
Scoutmaster The Scoutmaster is the primary adult leader of your troop. He is in charge of training the Senior Patrol Leader, advising the Patrol Leaders' Council, meeting with each boy as they are ready for advancement (Scoutmaster Conference), and directing the activities of the various Assistant Scoutmasters.
Troop Meetings Unlike Cub Scout packs, most troops meet every week during the school year. Troop 31 meets every Monday (whenever school is in session) from 7:15 to 8:45 pm at Third Presbyterian Church. In addition, there may be separate patrol meetings to prepare for an activity, such as building a Klondike Derby sled, a monthly outdoor activity such as a campout, and any number of service projects.