Court of Honour (COH)
The Court of Honour (COH) is a meeting of the Troop Scouter (TS), Patrol Leaders (PL), and sometimes Assistant Patrol Leaders (APL). It is the brain that guides the whole Troop. The COH teaches responsibilities, leadership and how a Troop is run. The COH members are pledged to secrecy where Troop members are discussed as to discipline or ill conduct. The COH guards the honour of the troop (the good name and standards set).
What is the COH
In practice the COH does five main things:
- Guards the honour of the Troop
- Sets and maintains standards
- Plans future Troop programmes, competitions and camps
- Deals with the training of Patrol Leaders
Do remember that when you attend the COH you will have to present to the other Patrol Leaders and your Troop Scouter, your Patrol's point of view. Normally when there is a decision to make you will hold a Patrol Meeting just to find out the views of your Patrol. Then you must present that view to the COH even if it is not one you entirely agree with. That is your role as a representative of your Patrol.
The honour of being a member of a COH is a very real one - not to be taken lightly. The decisions are binding, but it will be sure to give the Scouts the kind of Troop they really want to belong to.
Who are the members?
The COH is made up of the Patrol Leaders and Troop Leader - who have power to vote and make decisions - and your Troop Scouter who has a right to say No to any final decision (what is called a right of veto) but who normally does not vote.
APL's may be invited. The TS is there to advise, make suggestions and guide. There must be a chairman (often the senior PL) and scribe to record minutes and decisions. The SGL and any DC never attends unless by special invitation.
When does it meet?
Once a month at your Scout Hall, or PL's house or any suitable venue. A short COH should be held after every Troop Meeting to discuss the meeting - what was good, bad, or improvements - and to arrange duties for the next Troop meeting.
What does the Court of Honour do?
Quite simply it plans the activities of the Troop:
- service projects,
- parents evenings,
- special projects,
- points system,
- Scout advancement,
- Troop uniform, etc.
Jobs are delegated out with report-backs on progress. The TS can also use the COH to train his PL's in a training session.
How do you participate?
By bringing up points for discussion raised by your patrol, expressing your opinion fully on matters raised, full participation in any job of work to be done, making suggestions for the good of the Troop.
Setting the Agenda
Every COH meeting needs an agenda, which should be contributed by all Patrol Leaders, and set a few days in advance of the meeting.
Suggested agenda for your COH
- Welcome and opening
- Minutes of previous meeting read and confirmed as being true
- Matters arising from minutes (report backs, further attention)
- Patrol reports by each PL
- Appointment of new PL's / APL's
- Complaints, improvements, advancement and general discussion
- Programme planning [ Year / quarter / month / week - using charts ]
- Year - Planned start of year with themes, projects to do, dates.
- Quarterly - At start of each term for the term ahead.
- Monthly - Finer detail plans of the month ahead.
- Weekly - After Troop meet to organise duties.
- Closing off
The Court of Honour Code
It is the responsibility of each member of the Court of Honour to:
- Set a good example in living the Scout Promise and Laws.
- Uphold the honour and tradition of the Troop.
- Consider the wishes of the Patrol before those of themself.
- Be fair and just in making all judgements.
- Abide cheerfully by the decisions of the majority.
- Assist the Scouter in the operation of the Troop.
- Respect the secrecy of the COH discussions when appropriate.