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Troop Elections

Why do we hold troop elections…wouldn’t it be easier if the Scoutmaster just appointed someone? As the Scoutmaster, the answer to that question is “no.”

We hold elections because it gives the youth a chance to practice a lot of what they’ve learned for rank requirements and various merit badges – and to continue using the Scout Law as a guide.

In order to campaign and get elected, a Scout has to balance friendliness, bravery, cheerfulness, etc., with what he or she has learned about planning, communicating and leadership. Getting in time as the Patrol Leader or the Senior Patrol Leader also helps pave the way for a Scout to be more successful when it’s time to lead their Eagle project.

So let’s be enthusiastic as we head into this election cycle. More importantly, let’s make sure that the newly elected Patrol Leaders work with their peers to invest time and energy in patrol outings. This is one issue I hear about in my Scoutmaster conferences and I’d like us all to help fix it. Patrol outings are a great way for Scouts to get requirements done together, to work as a group on a unique merit badge, or to goof off as only a bunch of kids should. The patrol method, as developed by Lord Baden Powell, is the most basic function of Scouting which helps to create a group identity and build character in the Scout who leads it. Let’s make the most of that opportunity.


Jon C Strauss
SM, Troop 640

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