Let’s Discuss the Questions Helpful Advice  

But first lets understand that this is just a quiz and the scores are only a guestimate based on your responses to the questions posed.The answers are not cast in stone and in many cases, may be subject to some interpretation. However, on a broader scale they do give you some indication of where you might stand in relation to where you could or should be.The purpose is help you find out where you may have room for improvement and to offer some help so that you can become a better Patrol Leader.If you did not do well, do not despair…we all have room to grow.

Be a Leader

Be a Friend

Be Ahead

— The PL’s Manual


Questions (1) to (4)

Relate to the kind of example you set as a Patrol Leader
“Do as I do not as I say ” is a good guidepost…
If you do not wear your uniform, all the time, properly, you cannot expect them to do so; if you are not participating in meetings and activities, you can bet they won’t be there either.
If you do not advance in rank, they probably will not either.

If it is not important for you, you can be quite certain that it will not be important for them.
The higher the standard you set, the better the results will be from the Scouts in your patrol.
You cannot expect more of them than you expect of yourself.
So your standards of conduct must be much higher than those of your Scouts because consciously and unconsciously they will mold their standards on yours and if yours are low, theirs will be lower still.

There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go – if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit  

Questions (5) to (7)

Attendance!(at troop meetings, patrol meetings, campouts, and other activities)is not only the easiest but the best measure of how much your Scouts enjoy their Scouting. If they don’t like it, or don’t feel welcome, or don’t feel that they are getting anywhere, they won’t show up…
and their patrol leader has more to do with it
than any other person in the Scout troop.
So good attendance usually reflects good leadership and vice versa.

To use punishment as a club is to admit failure as a leader

–US Navy



Questions (8)

This is also a good measure… but of your program.
This is more than just “showing up”, it tells you what they learn when they are there.
If the program is good and you encourage them then good results will occur. The patrol leader is particularly important to Scouts going for Tenderfoot, 2nd and lst Class since he passes them on these requirements.
In conclusion:
good advancement (particularly TF, 2nd, & lst)
is a good indicator of a good Patrol Leader!

Be Fair

Be Firm

Be Friendly



Question (9)

This is the real “test” —
whether your Scouts like it in your patrol.
If they want out… why?
Occasionally there is a good reason.
On the other hand,
Do other Scouts in the troop want to be a part of your patrol?
If you’re a great patrol leader,
they will want in not out of your patrol!

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others.
It is the only thing.”

— Albert Schweitzer


Question (10)

Do you keep your word?
Do you live up to the Scout Oath & Law?
Do they trust you?
Do you practice what you preach?
Do you “walk the talk?”

These aren’t just words….
It’s how you should live and act!
Both inside and outside of Scouting.

Scouts want leaders who are credible. They want to believe in them. They want to know that their word can be trusted.

Because if they do not believe in the you,
they won’t believe in what you’re telling them!

“Taking the initiative means…recognizing our responsibility to make things happen.”

— Stephen R. Covey


Questions (11) to (13)

Do you wonder whether your Scouts “like” you?
And is that important?
It helps, of course!
A lot!
No one wants to be disliked!
And you can do a much better job if they like you.

But even more important question is…
“Do they respect you?”
Being “liked” and “respected” are NOT the same thing.

Are you more than just a “boss” to them?
Do they think you know what you are doing?
Do they want to be like you?

Being a leader is not always easy.
Being a leader can mean having to make tough decisions…
decisions that someone may not like.

Or you may have to get them do things they should do
or things they don’t want to do;
or tell them things that they don’t like to hear.
Or you may have to choose between two of your guys for something…
and they may sulk and pout.

But that’s part of being a leader sometimes.
Are you up to it?

Simply having power and responsibility does not make a real leader

–Father Matthew Conlin

Questions (14) to (15)

Scouts in your patrol are people just like you
with the same feelings and hopes.
They are probably a little younger
(and not as experienced as you are)
and may have a few problems and concerns that are different from yours —
But they still need help and encouragement.
Try it… you’ll be amazed and what some encouragement will do.

(for additional guidance, check out the Junior Leader’s Toolbox item: How to correct someone

If the leader can’t control himself, how can he ask others to control themselves.

The players don’t want to see me rushing around and screaming. They want to believe I know what I’m doing.”

— Tom Landry




Questions (16) to (17)

Patrol meetings is where you can shine… where you have the opportunity and challenge of doing your thing without help or supervision… of trying things!

But you have to hold the meetings…
and have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. For example:
pass some advancement requirements…or
practice the Inter-patrol competition for next week…or
teach a new skill…or
clean out and paint the patrol box…or

Patrol meetings should not be a “sit and talk” session
You need to have a plan to do something… and then DO it!

Scouts need to have a reason for coming
and not feel that their time was wasted

That which is hardest earned is most appreciated.”
— West Point

Question (18)

Think about it!(1) Your Assistant Patrol Leader can be one of your greatest helps in getting things done without wearing yourself out.
(2) one of the surest way to get ahead and be promoted is to have a good APL ready to take over…
it makes the decision to move on easy for both you and your troop leaders.

But you have to take the time and effort to show him what you do, how you do it — and then, give him a chance to do it.
Let him teach something at a patrol meeting…
let him plan and run one…
put him in charge when you are away…
treat him special
— like he is very valuable to you and your patrol —
Because he is!

Have a happy tomorrow…

Do today’s work today!

— Anonymous


Question (19) to (20)

It is your responsibility as a patrol leader to make every activity (meeting, campout, etc.) a success. Reminders are an example of things you need to do to “make things happen” Make sure… a plan is prepared… the equipment list is made…. a menu is written out… food is purchased, etc., etc. Then you won’t be known as “someone who makes excuses” but as “someone who gets the job done!!”

Management fuels the body…
Leadership fuels the soul!

— Robert J. Danzig 



Question (21)

Keeping an up-to-date Patrol Record Book is a great asset!It helps to know what your Scouts need to do to advance… and you can’t call them if you don’t have their phone #

but is not the only tool
— notes and lists are also a great help!

For example: Write down your plans for the meeting, the equipment list for the campout, the menu, etc.
Don’t try to commit everything to memory
You can’t remember everything.
A pencil & paper is stronger than anyone’s memory.

Planning is the next best thing to being Superman

— Anonymous



Question (22)

It is important for your guys to feel a part of the patrol and that what they think, feel, and want is considered when plans are being made. It doesn’t doesn’t mean you always have to do what they suggest, but you do have to give them a fair hearing. Listen to what they have to say…
they can have good ideas also.

Discuss your ideas and plans with them…
get their input and opinions. It’s their program and patrol also.

It’s hard to be a leader unless you have some kind of passion for something… Inspiration and passion usually go together… If you’re inspired yourself and you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to succeed at it, and you’re more likely to get others to come with you.

— Ted Turner



Question (23)

A patrol leader who tries to do it all by himself won’t get very far. Although at times it may be easier to do it yourself, that isn’t your job.

The patrol that shares the jobs is usually a lively group that gets things done. Sharing the jobs means that everyone helps but no one has to do too much.

When they have a common goal, your Scouts will be glad to do their part.

And it’s your attitude that sets the pace.
When you want the guys to do something, how you say it is just as important as what you say.

“Positive people attract others,while negative people repel.”
— Reader’s Digest


Question (24)

It is a known fact that people perform better if they know what they are trying to accomplish and why.By explaining the “Why” of a situation or of a job that needs to be done, you’ll eliminate difficulties or friction before they start.If your guys don’t know what is expected of them, you’ll soon be pestered with “Why should I do it? — why can’t Joe do it?”, “Why don’t we do this, that, or the other thing, instead of what we are doing?”A little attention to “Whys” in advancewill save an avalanche of “Whys” later on.

The wise patrol leader takes his boys into his confidence and, in turn, earns theirs.

Check the Junior Leader Toolbox for other tips at:
How to give out instructions

“If the going is getting easier, you aren’t climbing.” 
— Bob Goddard

Question (25)

Always check.. and it is NOT a matter of trust.
If they did it — and especially if it is right or done well —
be sure to notice and compliment them.
If they didn’t, then you can see to it that they finish it or do it right and they’ll know that they won’t be able to get away with anything the next time.

“A leader without some vision of where he wants to take his organization is not a leader.”

— Warren Bennis

Question (26)

For both yourself and your ScoutsMake things challenging in the program; lots of obstacles to overcome produce challenges that hold interest.

A program without challenges creates discipline problems.

If you set standards that are too low, they will be bored.
So don’t accept failure, don’t accept sloppy work, don’t accept excuses!
And no “social promotions” when it comes to your guys knowing their stuff!

When someone works hard to earn something and does it right, he is proud of what he has accomplished!

“A man cannot be a leader unless he is an optimist.”

— J. P. Morgan, Jr
Question (27)

If you don’t, you’ve got a very unusual situation.
There will almost always be an unruly or hyper Scout… or two!
Your real challenge, as a patrol leader, is being able to handle them…
If it was easy anyone could be a patrol leader…
The really good patrol leaders learn to handle them.

Cooperation, not discipline is the key.
There are some Scouts who might insist that “discipline” is the thing — that the patrol leader should see to it that his fellows are disciplined to do the right thing at the right time.
Don’t let yourself be fooled. Discipline is getting work done by outside pressure, by pushing. Cooperation is getting it done because each fellow is willing to do his share — there’s something inside him that makes him want to do it.

If you can get your boys to the point where they do the right thing in the patrol, not because you make them do it, but because they want to do it and see the sense of doing it, you’ve taken an important step toward successful leadership.

“… leadership requires persuasion,not giving orders…
The only power is the power of persuasion or inspiration.”
— Gloria Steinem

Question (28)

One of the most important traits of a good leader is a positive outlook on things.(See the glass as half full not half empty!)

Enthusiasm is infectuous
and if you’re “up” it will rub off on everyone else and you will have an exciting, enthusiastic patrol.

But if you’re “down”, you can cause everyone else to be grouchy and unhappy.
And no one likes being around a grouch.
Do you want a patrol full of sour faces and grumblers? Of course not…

So remember…
You generate the enthusiasm.
and patrols with good spirit are a direct result of the enthusiasm of their patrol leader.

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”
— African proverb

Question (29)

Blaming others is usually a “cop-out” and unproductive.

Don’t fall victim to the trap of blaming others for your problems. The world is essentially neutral; besides, in reality, the only person we can truly effect anyway is ourselves. Therefore, logic dictates that we work on ourselves first.

Pointing fingers may make us feel better
but is hardly a solution.

“People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.”
— Lee Whistler


Being a patrol leader should be (and is) a fun job!If you don’t like your job as a PL or are having problems,try to figure out why so you can fix it.For example… is it because it’s too much work or you have problem Scouts?A good leader is a good problem solver and you wouldn’t be in the job if your troop leaders didn’t think you could handle it.For help, you can see your SPL, SM, or other leader you feel comfortable with…they want you to succeed.

“We value initiative here.

Don’t wait to be told to do something you know needs to be done.


In Summary… Most leaders are not “born leaders”. We grow as we go through life. And… Leadership is a skill that can be learned.

“There is no “I” in the word T-E-A-M
— Anonymous

“You must believe in yourself or no one else will believe in you.Be self-confident! Be self-reliant!”

— Douglas MacArthur’s  mother

The acid test of leadership –

If you were stripped of your title and the ability to punish or reward people, could you still get results with them?

— Mark Sanborn