Of course logistics of geographic concerns play into the model, but the one thing I do like about it (and it does work after proper training) is that the scouts need to step up and take possession of the process. Even when I got up to about 30 scouts, things went quite smoothly. The SPL (former APL of one of the patrols) did a great job of taking care of his PL's who were focused on their patrol QM's and each of the 4 areas where the patrols were collecting personal and patrol equipment. The storage area wasn't that far into the building so it was easy for 2 patrols to form a bucket brigade of stored equipment to the pickup and trailer. The other 2 patrols were assigned one to the pickup and one to the trailer and they were guided by their patrol QM's on how to load. A patrol QM on each end of the bucket brigade line kept things flowing.
Once the stored equipment was loaded the line would move to each patrol area and clean that up pretty quickly.
If everyone showed up on time and staged the equipment properly, the could load in about 15-20 minutes and another 10 minutes to throw a tarp over the trailer and tie it down. Late arrivals had their equipment stored in the passenger vehicles and they were responsible for it by themselves. We didn't have a Troop QM, the Patrol QM took turns coordinating it. It kinda spread the learning out to more boys.
Upon arrival (and after many attempts) the process was reversed at the activity and the gear was unpacked and put into patrol locations with the PL's making sure the got all the equipment for their boys. Then in the middle of camp, the stored equipment was unloaded and the patrol QM's were responsible for sorting through it to get the stored equipment needed for their patrol. Once that was done (usually quite quickly) the boys were then to set up camp.
At first I was there to teach, but eventually the boys figured it out and kept to the process quite well. There were a lot of "tense moments" when certain equipment wasn't divvied up according to what the boys thought fair so I ended up being a referee. The SPL eventually took over that process. If Patrol A got the good stove and Patrol B got the bummer stove, there was nothing wrong with Patrol B raising funds to buy a new stove and put their patrol logo on it and that eventually ended the hassles.
I try and incorporate the patrol method into everything the boys are responsible for. I always go with an adult is not to do anything in the troop the boys are capable of doing for themselves. While it doesn't take as much time and effort as it does to put together an Eagle project, each of these little processes goes a long way to prepare the older boys for those Eagle projects.
If the adults are doing it all for the boys, I see down the road to the Eagle candidate never having the opportunity to plan, develop and lead is going to find the Eagle project a new experience instead of "old hat".
As SM it's my job to create opportunities for the boys to learn and grow, not take them away and do it myself.
By the way, the convenience factor doesn't bode well with me. I want my scouts to have hands on elbow grease in the process. It's how they learn.
Edited by Stosh, 13 July 2017 - 02:51 PM.