The Patrol Method of Boy Scouting in Troop 42
The Patrol Method is working when the adult acts as a guide, mentor, and counselor to the youth, helping them by word and example to lead one another, to influence one another, to encourage competition and excitement so that the boys grow as a group and as individuals.
The Patrol System is the one essential feature in which Scout training differs from that of all other organizations. Where the System is properly applied, it is absolutely bound to bring success. It cannot help itself!
The formation of the boys into Patrols of from six to eight and training them as separate units each under its own responsible leader is the key to a good Troop.
The Patrol is the unit of Scouting always, whether for work or for play, for discipline or for duty. An invaluable step in character training is to put responsibility onto the individual. This is immediately gained in appointing a Patrol Leader to be responsible for the command of his Patrol. It is up to him to assess of and to develop the qualities of each boy in his Patrol. It sounds like a big order, but in practice it works. Then, through emulation and competition between Patrols, you produce a Patrol spirit which is eminently satisfactory, since it raises the tone among the boys and develops a higher standard of efficiency all round. Each boy in the Patrol realizes that he is in himself a responsible unit and that the honor of his group depends in some degree on his own ability in playing the game
The Senior Patrol Leader is the youth head of the troop. All other youth positions report to him, directly or indirectly. He is elected by the troop's youth members as a whole, usually to serve a 6 or 12 month term.
The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader is the second highest-ranking youth leader in the troop. He is appointed by the senior patrol leader with the approval of the Scoutmaster. The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader acts as the Senior Patrol Leader in the absence of the Senior Patrol Leader or when called upon. He also provides leadership to other youth leaders in the troop.
The Patrol Leader is the elected leader of his patrol. He represents his patrol on the patrol leaders' council. He appoints an Assistant Patrol Leader.
The Assistant Patrol Leader is appointed by the Patrol Leader and leads the patrol in his absence.