The formation of youth into patrols of from six to eight and training them as separate units each under its own responsible leader is the key to a good Troop.
The Patrol is the unit of Scouting always, whether for work or for play, for discipline or for duty. An invaluable step in character training is to put responsibility on the individual. This is immediately gained in appointing a Patrol Leader to responsible command of their Patrol. It is up to them to take hold of and to develop the qualities of each boy or girl in their Patrol. It sounds a big order, but in practice it works.
Then, through emulation and competition between patrols, you produce a Patrol spirit which is eminently satisfactory, since it raises the tone among the youth and develops a higher standard of efficiency all round. Each scout in the Patrol realizes that they are in themselves a responsible unit, and that the honor of their group depends in some degree on their own ability in playing the game.
- Aids to Scoutmastership by Baden Powell (translated to update some archaic terms)