Patrol Meeting Elements

  1. FOCUS: The Focus portion of the patrol meeting is to provide an academic or instructional element. This is the emphasis of the patrol time together to lay a foundation that the other F's will build upon. These lessons have an emphases built around the Monthly themes and Meeting Chart listed above.
  2. There are two simple guidelines to help Trail Guides preparing to teach a FOCUS segment:

    • Be Creative: Be visual in your teaching if at all possible. Always teach with something in your hands. Any object is a great tool to use to teach the lesson. Use pictures when an object is not the right tool for the lesson. This will help capture the attention of the Trailmen and make the lesson interesting to them. There might be an opportunity to use a poem or song where they can learn the month's lesson.
    • Keep it Simple: Think about your audience and their age. Think about how they will receive what you are communicating. When there are history lessons or lessons about characters from the Bible, the Trail Guide doesn't need to teach "above" the Trailmen's knowledge with language or concepts they may not understand. Remember, you want them to leave the meeting with the sense of learning something that they can recall later in life. This is why this segment is labeled FOCUS.
  3. FINGERS: This portion of the meeting is to offer an opportunity for the Trailmen to experience a project with "hands-on" learning. This should be based from the Focus teaching segment. It is understood that boys learn to apply a lesson better when they can see and build or make something that would remind them of what is being taught. If the fingers project or activity needs to be changed, feel free to develop your own ideas.
  4. FUN: This portion of the meeting is to allow a time where Trailmen can burn off some energy. This is the time of the meeting for the Trailmen to play games or participate in a physical activity. Some of the games or activities may need to be played indoors due to the weather in your area. If the game or activity is not appropriate for the season in your area, feel free to develop your own ideas and lead something that is more appropriate.
  5. There may be a few items needed to gather for the game(s) before the meeting, so be sure to check the Necessary Resources section and or the lesson plan carefully. This is a great opportunity for one of your assistant leaders to be responsible for and lead.

  6. FAMILY: The Family portion of the meeting is simply the family emphasis for the principle taught. As he Trailmen learn throughout the years, it is the desire of Trail Life USA and the Woodland Trails Program to inform and involve the family in the learning process as much as possible. Each handout is provided for Trail Guides to print out and copy to send home for each core lesson plan.
  7. FOREST BADGE: The Forest Badge portion of the meeting is to help identify the Branches taught and Leaves earned during a meeting for each age group. After the meeting, the Leaves earned should be recorded. The Woodlands Trail curriculum is designed so each age group has a two-year structure. Each meeting is a piece of the two year program toward earning the completed Branch awards and, therefore, the Forest Badge for each particular age group.
  8. FAITH: This portion of the meeting is the final segment of the meeting. This portion of the meeting communicates pertinent biblical truths, values, and wisdom corresponding to the lesson. The Trail Guide will close the patrol meeting with prayer and a custom or tradition they would like to include. The Trail Guide is welcome to ask a member of the patrol or an adult to lead the closing prayer. The Trail Guide is to use the version of the Bible used by the Charter organization. If a different version is to be used, then permission is to be obtained by the Troopmaster. What a great example of opening God's Word, placing this on our laps as we teach Trailmen godly principles and values to build "workmen who are not ashamed." Trail Life USA purposely desires to share God's truth and to learn to apply these truths to our lives. This is a core value behind our motto "Walk Worthy."