The Mustache patrol of Troop 242 has it figured out.
They’ve found a patrol name that’s Scout-created, clever and a little bit wacky. With a name that great, it doesn’t matter that nobody in the Mustache patrol has his own mustache.
The Mustache patrol has even taken the concept beyond a name and emblem and come up with the impressive patrol flag seen above.
This patrol, of which my magazine colleague Bryan Wursten’s son is a member, illustrates that Boy Scouts are limited only by their imaginations — and, we hope, Scout-appropriateness — when it comes to naming their patrol.
For today’s Tuesday Talkback, I’ll share some ideas to help Scouts select the perfect patrol name and open up the discussion in the comments section. Lots more after the jump.
Consider something that unites the patrol
Maybe the patrol with a bunch of strong swimmers calls themselves the Sharks. The guys into scary movies could be the Zombies or Vampires.
And those Scouts with a seemingly endless supply of snacks could become the Corn Chips patrol, Rice patrol or Spicy Taco patrol.
Again, there’s no limit to a Scout’s creativity here.
Add an adjective to a “standard” patrol name
Patrol emblems sold directly from the BSA at Scout Shops and at ScoutStuff.org include a mix of critters and historic characters.
You can add a dash of spice to those names by including an adjective before the standard name. Use alliteration to help make the new names really soar.
Instead of the Dragons, why not the Daring Dragons? The Scorpions could add Stupefying to their name. And the Owls? Well they’re simply Outstanding. (But then again, I used to be one.)
Check out what BSA licensees offer
At least two official BSA licensees offer officially licensed patrol patches that expand the emblem selection.
Some of my favorites:
From top left: Tiki, Basset Hound, Ninja Monkey, Burnt Toast, Bacon, Pedro, Duct Tape, Carabiner, Abominable Snowman
An emblem’s name is only a suggestion
Remember that just because the product page calls it the “Abominable Snowman patrol” doesn’t mean that a patrol must pair that name with that patch. They might prefer the shorter-named Yeti patrol. Nothing wrong with that.
Keeping that in mind opens the name possibilities into the realm of infinity.
Find a blank canvas and create your own
Speaking of … Are your Scouts still not satisfied with all these options?
That’s where the blank patrol emblem comes in. With this powerful patch, Scouts can create any design they want and wear it with pride, knowing they have a patrol emblem unlike any other.
Let Scouts have the final say
While you might not be the biggest fan of a patrol’s chosen name, as long as it’s Scout-appropriate and not in use by another patrol I can think of no legitimate reason to veto one.
Even if the name is extremely silly and seemingly unsustainable, wouldn’t it be better to let them use the name and tire of it themselves? If they decide to change it later, they’ve learned an important lesson the proper way.
What do you think?
What are some of the best patrol names you’ve seen? Have you ever had to veto a name? Why? How do Scouts in your troop decide their patrol’s name? Make a name for yourself in the comments.
Mustache patrol photo courtesy of my magazine colleague Bryan Wursten