For the last several years Boy Scout Troop 68 of Melrose was holding on to life with a small group of Scouts, only about 8 of them. The Cub Scout Pack has also had a rough time recruiting members which meant that the troop has only had 2 Webelos Scouts transfer to the troop during the last 7 years. Due to that low number there has only been one patrol.
The Boy Scouts really went out this year and tried to recruit their friends into the troop, and they have been quite successful. They have brought six more boys into the program. The troop now has 13 members. That means there is too many for one patrol so for the first time in seven(?) years we have two patrols, which the Scouts formed last month.
The patrol with most of the older boys decided to keep the existing patrol name, the Border Patrol. The mostly younger boy patrol has decided to call themselves the Striking Cobras. Last week I presented the patrols with a competition. A patrol needs a patrol flag, of course, so I gave them the challenge to come with the best patrol flag. The flags will be judged at the court of honor to be held on December 23 by myself and two committee members. The patrol with the best flag will be presented with the Best Of Flag prize, which will be something they can eat.
During the troop meeting tonight the patrols spent their patrol meeting time working on the designs of those flags. It looked like both patrols are taking the competition seriously. If fact, the members of the Border Patrol did not even want me to see the various rough drafts of their flag design. I just smiled to myself as I walked away.
Having more then one patrol in the troop has been a learning experience for both the Scouts and the new scoutmaster. The boys have learned very quickly that patrols can be used as teams for game time during troop meetings. It will be interesting to see how menu planning and patrol campsites will be done on the next camping trip. I have to admit that it is nice to have one more patrol leader attending the patrol leader council meetings.
I promise that in December, after the court of honor, I will post pictures of the two patrol flags. Maybe I will have you readers be the judges of an online vote for your favorite flag.