Planning on creating a legendary new patrol, but unsure of where to start? Patrol spirit is everything, and this guide will walk you through the 5 steps of starting your new patrol. From choosing an awesome patrol name to having the best flag, I’ll guide you through the process of creating your own new patrol, the right way.
What is a great patrol? A great patrol is one that each member can be proud of. To have the best patrol possible, in addition to group spirit, you’ll need 5 elements to start a legendary new patrol:
- A Unique Patrol Name
- A Fitting Patrol Emblem
- A Beautiful Patrol Flag
- A Catchy Patrol Call
- A Memorable Patrol Yell
A spirited patrol will win more camp competitions, become closer, and have more fun while Scouting. By working on each of these aspects together as you form your new patrol, you’ll start building pride and spirit right from the start.
Patrols can be one of the best parts of Scouting if done correctly. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps of creating a great patrol name, flag, emblem, and yell. I’ll also give you ideas and examples for each of these patrol elements. I’d recommend you read through this post together as a new patrol, pausing after each section, then discussing how you would like this aspect to look in your own patrol. Let’s get started!
Naming Your Patrol
Your patrol will be together for at least six months, so you’ll definitely want to pick an awesome patrol name. The name you choose should be representative of your patrol’s spirit and it’s members. It can be one word or phrase and should be a name that you’ll be proud of. When I was a scout, my favorite patrol I’ve ever belonged to was the Bake’n Bacon Pancakes. Here are some other great names that you can use as inspiration:
- Shark Attacks
- Flaming Zombies
- Grapes of Wrath
- Purple Dinosaurs,
- Radioactive Ninjas,
- Underwater Dragons,
- Gummy Bears
Keep in mind that you’ll be getting a patrol patch as your emblem. Try to choose a name that is similar to a patch design that already exists. Here’s a quick tip for brainstorming patrol names: find an adjective and then follow that with a noun. Possible patrol name?
Personally, I think it’s better to choose a unique patrol name over one that just sounds cool. You’ll definitely remember the adventures you had as the Atomic Peanut Butter Cups over some other patrol with a generic name. Any name that you all love is bound to be good. Once you’ve settled on a legendary name for your patrol, it’s time to move on to the next section.
Choosing a Patrol Emblem
Once you have a patrol name, you should immediately find your petrol emblem to place as a patch onto your uniform. You’ll be basing your flag off of this emblem as well, so select your emblem beforehand. Here is a link to the Scout Shop where you can check out different patrol patches. Choose an emblem that you think would suit your patrol.
You’ll be placing this emblem on the sleeve opposite of your patrol position patch. There are a lot of options, but if you can’t find a patch that suits your patrol name, you can always choose a blank emblem and draw it in. You may want to place your emblem on other patrol items to show even more spirit. In that case, I would recommend ordering stickers that you can attach to your patrol gear.
Once you’ve got your patch chosen, it’s time to design a striking patrol flag.
Making Your Patrol Flag
The flag is the heart and soul of any patrol. Second to its members, of course. To create an amazing patrol flag, select a durable material (like fabric) on which you can create a design. I would recommend painting it, as that will last the longest and look better than markers. On your flag you’ll want the following elements:
- Your patrol name
- your troop number
- your patrol logo
- your member names
- Space to add your accomplishments
This flag should be able to be held up, either by a pole (like a flagpole) or as a banner. Whenever in troop competitions, at summer camps, or even jamborees, your patrol flag will represent you. Make sure it’s a great design that you can be proud of.
Working on a patrol flag can be a great bonding experience for a new patrol. Break up the responsibilities so that each person isn’t working on drawing the same thing. It will look better that way. Your flag should represent all of you, and be something that you’ll want to take wherever you go. For this reason, it should be easily portable. Once you have an awesome patrol flag, it’s time to start doing awesome patrol things.
Constructing a Patrol Call
Have you ever seen the Disney movie, UP? When Russell the Wilderness Explorer Scout does his lion-eagle call, that’s a perfect example of how to do a patrol call. Your call should be unique and quick to give. As an example, if your patrol is named after an animal, the natural option for a call would be the sound that animal makes. A lion’s roar never fails to demonstrate your unbreakable patrol spirit.
If your patrol name involves an animal like a shark or is maybe something mime related, you’ll need to get creative with your patrol call. Your call can actually be any sound you think would represent patrol spirit. The only important thing to keep in mind is that your call should be short and memorable.
Once you have the perfect call, make sure every person in your patrol knows it. Nothing looks worse than a patrol whose members can’t even give their own call. However, a well-crafted patrol call is a great way to rally members and demonstrate the type of patrol spirit that will win awards during camps.
Crafting Your Patrol Yell
Your patrol yell is the rallying cry that symbolizes your patrol spirit. It should be catchy, easy to recall, and fun to say. You don’t need to overthink patrol yells; oftentimes, the simpler the better. Typically, 4 verses is the perfect length for a great yell, but it’s fine if yours is longer or shorter. Here’s an example of a patrol yell that I just made up for the imaginary patrol, the jelly donut dinosaurs:
Ain’t got no captors, we are jelly doughnut raptors
We’re the best patrol — like jelly donuts, got no holes
Leave you wanting more, we’re the jelly donut dinosaurs!
It’s that easy. The key is to pick something that can be easily shouted and sounds good.
You’ll probably remember your patrol call for ages, so make sure its a good one. Most camps judge these calls very heavily when giving points for troop spirit. With that in mind, spend some time in your patrol getting this right. Practice a few times, make sure everyone knows it, then go out there and give it your all. If you’ve completed all the above sections, your new patrol should be prepared to win every camp spirit competition you enter!
Patrol spirit can change a normal part of Scouting into a life-changing group friendship. It’s essential, when starting any new patrol, to organize a group that you’ll be proud of. By working together to select an awesome name, emblem, flag, call and yell, your patrol is one step closer to being the best it can be.
If necessary, give this process time. Great patrols aren’t made overnight. Make sure that everyone is included in setting up the patrol, and you will all have a stronger bond as a result. For the 4 secrets to mastering the patrol method, check out my article here. You can also check out my best tips on how to run a successful patrol that people love here.
Patrols are a great way to form friendships in Scouting. Since it’s the people you’ll be spending the most time around, you’ll want to form your patrols the right way. By starting your new patrol on the right foot by understanding and using each of these steps, you’ll get much more out of your time in Scouting — not to mention, you’ll have more fun too!