Positions of Responsibility – The New-Scout Patrol
With the transition of Scouts from Cub Scouting to Scouts BSA, troop leaders (adult and youth) need to “Be Prepared” to give their new Scouts opportunities for leadership responsibility. The first such opportunity comes when these new Scouts are brought together in their very first patrol.
As the name implies, a new-Scout patrol serves Scouts who have just joined the troop. The patrol elects its own leader, just like other patrols, but usually for a shorter term—perhaps one month instead of six months. An older Scout called a troop guide works with the Scouts to help them get acclimated to Scouting and to reach the rank of First Class. Backing up the troop guide is an assistant Scoutmaster whose main responsibility is to work with new Scouts.
The goal of this patrol is to help the Scouts achieve First Class in 12-16 months. We have found that more Scouts stay in the troop when they achieve this goal. It makes sense, because to achieve First Class the Scout needs to stay active, go on activities, and learn camping skills.
Scouts typically remain in a new-Scout patrol for their first year in the troop or until they reach First Class rank (whichever comes first), although the transition happens sooner in some troops. At that point, members can either choose which regular patrol they want to join or opt to stay together as a regular patrol.
In some troops, Scouts join a patrol together and stay together throughout their time in the troop.