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Boy/Varsity Scout Insignia Right Shoulder National Honor Patrol Star

National Honor Patrol Award

National Honor Patrol Award
(Formerly called the Baden-Powell Patrol Award)

The BSA established the Baden-Powell Patrol Award at the insistence of Bill "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt. Hillcourt wanted a special award to recognize patrol team building and togetherness.

In the past, Patrols were identified with special banners proclaiming them as "Honor Patrols" but that really did not mean much to the members other than yet another thing to carry around on their Patrol flag or display in their Patrol Den or corner.

Hillcourt wanted something meaningful which could be added to the Patrol medallion, to remind members that they have earned it together as well as to provide a simple way for the award to be displayed on the field uniform. After much discussion within the Boy Scout Division, Hillcourt got his way and the Award, named for the founder of Scouting, was brought out in the start of the 1986 program year.

In 1999, the name of the Award was changed to National Honor Patrol Award for some reason. I don't know why, but it was changed.

The Award is a small yellow star on a khaki green background. It is designed to be worn in one place: around the Patrol medallion. National Honor Patrol Award location The location - top, bottom, side - does not matter as long as it is attached to go around the Patrol emblem. Once earned, as long as the person is a MEMBER OF THAT PATROL, it is worn continously. When a member changes Patrols, he removes the Patrol medallion AND the Star(s).

The requirements have only been modified to reflect the program changes within the Boy Scout Division over the years. Only Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts may earn the Award.

The Award is NOT earned by WEBELOS Cub Scouts.

The requirements are as follows:

Spirit: Have a patrol flag and rally around it. Put your patrol design on all your equipment. Use your patrol yell or cheer and patrol call. Keep patrol records up to date for 3 months.

Patrol meetings: Hold two patrol meetings each month for three months.

Hikes, outdoor activities, and other events: Take part in one of these within 3 months.

Good Turns or service projects: Do two patrol leaders' council approved Good Turns or service projects within three months.

Advancement: Help two patrol members advance one rank during 3 months.

Uniform: Wear the uniform correctly (at least six scouts).

Patrol leaders' council: Represent the patrol during three patrol leaders' council meetings within 3 months.

Tee asked (and no, it is NOT a "dumb question"):

Once a patrol achieves National Honor Patrol, how long do the members get to wear the award?

They wear it as long as they are members of that Patrol.

Let's say you have a Patrol called the Rockin' Raven Patrol. The Patrol consists of four members: Bill, Will, Red and Ed. All four members met the requirements for the National Honor Patrol Award when it was called the Baden-Powell Patrol Award last fall. Three months have passed and now the Rockin' Ravens have picked up Steve and and Mark. The Patrol has to meet the requirements for the new National Honor Patrol Award in order to earn a second star. They do.

So Steve and Mark wears one star and the rest of the Patrol receives a SECOND star to go around the Patrol emblem. Three months later, Bill becomes the Senior Patrol Leader. He has to remove his Patrol emblem because he's no longer a member of a Patrol. The Rockin' Ravens once again meets the requirements for the National Honor Patrol Award and everyone receives another star, except for Bill.

Even though Steve and Mark were not members of the Rockin' Ravens for the full three month period, they are still entitled to wear the Star because they helped the Patrol meet the requirements. And if Bill was still in the Patrol, he too would be able to wear the Star.

Nine stars can go around the Patrol emblem...which means (according to my non-math brain!!) that a Patrol can technically win this thing again and again for two years and one quarter of a third year. The BSA doesn't give a limit on how many times a Patrol has won this thing, and because nobody bothered to tell the Boy Scout Program Division if they've had a Patrol to win this thing more than four times, that's the current "stat".

BTW, the latest version of the Boy Scout Handbook says that, to earn National Honor Patrol, at least 75% of the patrol's membership have to wear the full uniform correctly. It doesn't say where the uniform has to be worn correctly, or how often, or even if the 75% have to wear it all at the same event. (Going to the ridiculous extreme, I suppose the patrol members could pitch in and buy one full uniform and each one wear it a different day.) Is there some other reference that elaborates on the National Honor Patrol Award or is what appears in the handbook the sum total of the requirements?

Nope. The requirements were listed that "vaguely worded way" to allow individual Troops and Teams the chance to "cinch up" those requirements. It's a Troop/Team program, Tee...not a national program. Therefore, each unit can concentrate on those areas that they are weak in and tighten up those requirements to fit their needs. To *me* however, the uniform standard is firm: 75 percent of the Patrol's membership must own and wear a full uniform. Now, what's a "full uniform"?? Is that the same as a "complete uniform"?? That's up to the Troop or Team to decide.


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