As you progress through the Australian Guide Program, you will gain leadership skills. This is encouraged through the Patrol System.
The aim of the Patrol System is to develop the skills to be an effective member of the team.
The Patrol System was introduced by the Founder, Baden-Powell. It is used to train Guides in the skills of self-government, communication, group-management and leadership.
The Patrol System encourages:
Leadership skills , Teamwork , Responsibility , Peer support , Learning ,Cooperation , Confidence , Fun and Friendship.
When you become a member of a Guide Unit you will join a small group called a Patrol. A Patrol is made up of girls of different ages, interests, schools, cultures and backgrounds who work together. A Patrol has between four and eight members. A Unit usually contains two or more Patrols. Patrols are self-governed, led by a Patrol Leader and her assistant called the Patrol Second. Many activities are carried out in Patrols and planned by Patrols. As your leadership skills develop, you and your Patrol will take a greater responsibility for regular meeting activities – organising games, opening and closing ceremonies, planning, carrying out and evaluating Patrol activities. It is by working together that Patrol spirit develops. The more experienced Patrol members will teach skills to the less experienced members of your Patrol.
You and the other members of your Patrol can create your own Patrol identity by choosing your Patrol name and emblem, decorating your Patrol box or hall space, creating a Patrol flag or Patrol gear. This patrol had a lot of fun designing and making their Patrol gear for camp.
In some Units the Patrol names become a tradition over the years, while in other Units the Patrol name may change with a new Patrol Leader and members. If your Patrol is changing it’s name then take a look at the list below which shows the Patrol name badges that are available from Guide retail outlets. A blank badge is available for Guides to design their own if they choose. Retail outlets do not necessarily carry the full range of badges.
- Flowering Gum
- Kangaroo Paw
- Sturt Desert Pea
- Blue Wren
- Red Robin
- Lyre Bird
- Blank – own choice
As a Patrol Leader or Patrol Second you will be responsible for Patrol time. The amount of responsiblity you will have for Patrol time with vary with your age and experience. This is something to discuss with your Leaders. Check out the Girl Guides Australia Fun Ideas page for ideas of things to do. The Planning Patrol Time page will help you with your role.
As a Patrol Leader or Second, you will be able to attend a Leadership skills training. In some places, the training will be held in your local area, by your Guide District or Region or State Guide organisations. Ask your Leaders when you are able to attend a Leadership skills training or contact your State Office to find out what’s available in your State. If you are 16 yrs or over, then Leading Edge is a Girl Guides Australia Leadership skills training event held every 3 years specifically designed for you to hone your leadership skills.