Patrol Hikes




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From Handbook for Patrol Leaders by William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt:



At one of the very first Patrol meetings you have with your Scouts, one of them will ask: "When do we go on a hike" and in a moment the rest will join him in a multi-voiced chorus.

Boys, and especially Scouts, want to go hiking. The out-of-doors fascinates them. The woods, the rivers, the "wide open spaces" call them. And they obey.

As soon as you are able you will want to take your boys on Patrol Hikes. You want your Patrol to be a real one, and only a hiking Patrol is a Real Patrol....

Degree of Responsibility

The most conspicuous difference between the two [Patrol Meetings and Patrol Hikes] is the different degree of responsibility that goes with each.

There are usually not very many dangers in running an indoor meeting. It is when you start to take the group out in the open that the danger moment may creep in. There is traffic to be encountered, cliffs and rivers and swamps to be avoided; there is the danger than an innocent camp fire will blow up into a forest fire if care is not taken. And a lot of other unforeseen things that might happen which would put you in a severe test.




The outdoor part of Scouting fascinates the boys. The hikes that bring them out into nature have their absolute approval, but, after all, the experience which they are most looking forward to from the day you start the Patrol is --Camp.

Camp is a word filled with adventure to every real boy. It stands for freedom, fun and adventure. Unlucky is the Scout who hasn't had his taste of camp life.

One of your greatest services as a Patrol Leader is to try to make your Patrol into a Camping Patrol trained in the ways of the experienced campers. This takes time. It takes also patience and perseverance. But it can be done, and you are well under way toward doing it, the day you have made your boys into real hikers as described in the previous chapter.

The official BSA policy that "Real" Patrols require real adult-free hikes and campouts was crystal clear to adult leaders before 1972. For instance, on page 118-119 of the Handbook for Scoutmasters (fourth edition):

Patrols are ready to go hiking and camping on their own just as soon as the Patrol Leader has been trained, and the Scouts have learned to take care of themselves....It should be your goal to get your Patrol Leaders qualified for hike and camp leadership at an early stage.

The official training course to train Patyrol Leaders how to take Patrols out hiking and camping without "adult association" is Intensive Training in the Green Bar Patrol. 


From Scouts Canada's The Patrol System:

You want your gang to become a real Patrol—and only a hiking Patrol is a real one (The Patrol Out of Doors)


From Gilcraft Gleenings:

When the Patrol Leaders are trained enough they should be encouraged to run camps on their own (Gilcraft Patrol System)







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Object of Camping ] Patrol Camping ] [ Patrol Hikes ] Gilcraft Patrol System ] The Patrol System ] Court of Honor (PLC) ] Gilwell PL Training ] Philipps' Patrol System ] Golden Arrow PL Training ] Patrol Leader's Creed ] PL's Promise Ceremony ] Patrol Competition Awards ] Informal Scout Signals ] Ten Essentials ] Story Telling ] JLT Skits: Leadership ] Master & Commander ] Patrol Activities ] Patrol Motivation ] Troop Meeting Hints ] Troop Meetings ] Patrol Leader Training ] Essays ] Patrol Flags ] Training Patrol Leaders ] Troop Brainstorming ] Menus ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.