The Name Of The Patrol
Let’s say that a new Patrol has just been formed under a new Patrol Leader. What generally happens next? At the very first meeting the fellows get out the Handbook For Boys to look over the list of Patrol names for the purpose of picking one for themselves. And what do they pick. Usually one that “seems” all right and “sounds” OK. “Flying Eagles! That’s us!” And that’s that!
Now that you have a name for the Patrol, you’ll want to tell the world who you are.
You do this by picking an emblem or “totem” design for your gang, then using it on the Patrol flag. ..on the medallions the boys wear on their Scout shirts. ..to decorate the Patrol den. ..to mark all Patrol equipment and as a special Patrol signature.
The Patrol Flag
You can’t very well imagine a real Scout Patrol without a flag of its own-one that follows the gang wherever it goes.
If you’re a new Patrol, get busy and get yourself a flag …. Making the Patrol flag should be a Patrol job, not a one-man affair…. When you have the flag ready, remember that it does not become a real Patrol flag unless it follows the Patrol wherever it goes. The dates and place names on the staff are put there not only to show where the Patrol has been, but also so that the flag can say, “I was there too, by golly!” Before you know it, the boys will instinctively feel that something is wrong when their emblem isn’t with them
Every Scout Patrol has its own distinctive Patrol call. If your Patrol has picked the name of an animal or bird, your call, naturally, is the call or cry of that animal or bird.
If you have picked some other kind of a name, you’ll need to choose an animal or bird call to go with it. Indians usually had such tribal calls, and many explorers use them.
The Patrol call is given by the Patrol Leader to get the gang together. Besides, it is used by a member of the Patrol to let the others know where he is without telling the rest of the world.
If you’re a member of the Owl Patrol, for example, you’ll make the hoot of the owl in such a lifelike manner that the ordinary person will think it comes from a real owl-while your boys, on the other hand, will recognize the hoot as the Patrol call and will know where to look for you.
Get someone who is good at imitating animal and bird calls to teach the call to your whole Patrol- whether the grunt of a bear, the clap of a beaver’s tail, the bellow of a bison, the scream of eagle or hawk, the bark of a fox, the caw of a raven, or whatever it is.
As soon as a new boy joins the Patrol, get him to learn the call as quickly as possible.
It is a rule in Scouting that a Scout makes his own call only and never uses the call of another Patrol for any purpose whatever.
Did you ever attend a college football game? If you did, you’ll remember the way the college boys cheered their teams with thundering yells. Did you see what effect that cheering had on the players? It made them want to do their best for their Alma Mater.
The same kind of cheering works in a Patrol. A good yell puts pep into the gang and builds team spirit. So make up your own and practice it until the fellows put everything they’ve got into it.