How about a few tips to help the brand spanking new Patrol Leader to organize a really great event?
1. Merit Badge Activites
BSA has created over 135 Merit Badges - each one covers a subject of significant interest to young scouts such as yourself. Each one is educational yet challenging. They form the core of activity in the Scouting, Varsity and Venturing Programs.
2. Pick Your Theme First
Ask your leaders and patrol for their suggestion from the list of those 135 Merit Badges. Many of these have an option to create extra-ordinary campouts, hobbies and service projects. Consider also:
- Alternate activities between Eagle Required Badges and Elective Badges
- Does your group like a particular sub-group such as outdoors, aquatics, STEM, athletics, etc?
- Each Merit Badge is a learning experience
- Each Merit Badge includes fun activities
- Each Merit Badge is unique
- Their tools and people ready to help you for each one.
- Make a Plan
You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn these merit badges.
3. Plan Ahead
A key element for success as a leader is to plan ahead. Great projects and great activities require great planning.
The rewards are great - adventure, fun, earning a new badge, service, helping each other, making new friends, doing cool things that others miss out on and so much more.
4. Plan to Win
5. Merit Badge Helps
There are many resources to help you plan a great merit badge themed scouting activity. Look all of these over to help you make a great plan.
- MainTour Merit Badge Guide - Helps for Patrol Leaders
- MeritBadge.org - latest list of requirements
- Merit Badge Workbook - PDF Forms - choose between paper printouts or fill online with your mobile device (environment friendly). Workbooks are optional but frequently helpful.
- BSA Merit Badge Booklet - This official publication created by BSA to help scouts learn this subject fast. (Scout Leaders frequently have a copy already.)
- Merit Badge Blue Card - home printer version.
- Your Adult Scout Leaders - They have experience and they know some great people, places and equipment that will help your plan grow. They can recommend a great Merit Badge Counselor. They may also suggest themes that are best suited to your talents and interests.
- Your Merit Badge Counselor - Contact him before you start your plans. He/She usually access to some key features to make this activity extra cool.
- Your Patrol - They need to be a part of this. Include them in the planning. Give them assignments. Their Good Turn of the Day will be to help you.
- Ask Questions - Great leaders ask lots of great questions in building their plans.
6. MainTour Merit Badge Patrol Guide
Here is what to look for:
- Activity Outline - Quick overview of the merit badge - breakout of homework, group study, activities, field trips and more.
- Sample Plan / Flyer - Prepare a draft of your plan. Use this for discussion with your fellow scout leaders.
- Meet the Merit Badge Counselor - he needs to approve your plan and may make some useful improvements.
- Tell Your Patrol - Send out the final version of your activity flyer (plan). Include dates, locations dress codes. Detail any homework or other preparations they need to do.
- Activity Setup - Before each event, review carefully equipment and supplies needed. Make assignments as needed.
- Merit Badge Final - After completion of all activities and requirements, you will have a final meeting with the merit badge counselor to report on your results and discuss what you learned.
7. Extra Credit Activity
While only optional - we strongly encourage your group to consider doing some of the "Extra Credit" scouting activity optionals available such as camping, service work, doing the field trip tour, or earning a related scouting patch.
Combining the merit badge work with a related fun scouting activity will make this activity extra fun and memorable. It will impress others with what a clever patrol leader you are.
8. Invite A Friend
Running fun activities, visiting wild places, doing unique activities are just the type of things many of your friends were wishing they could do to. Be sure to invite them and help your troop grow.
9. More Patrol Leader Tips
Your Duties as Patrol Leader
When you accepted the position of patrol leader, you agreed to provide service and leadership to your patrol and troop.
No doubt you will take your duty seriously, but you will also find it fun and rewarding. As a patrol leader, you are expected to do the following:
- Plan and lead patrol meetings and activities.
- Keep patrol members informed.
- Assign each patrol member a specific duty.
- Represent your patrol at all patrol leaders' council meetings and the annual program planning conference.
- Prepare the patrol to participate in all troop activities.
- Work with other troop leaders to make the troop run well.
- Know the abilities of each patrol member.
- Set a good example.
- Wear the Scout uniform correctly.
- Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
- Show and develop patrol spirit.
The MainTour Merit Badge Patrol Leader Activity Guide is designed specifically to help you, the Patrol Leader, to succeed in every category listed above.
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