“The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting for boys can be carried on. It is the only method.”
—Lord Baden-Powell, Scouting’s founder
The Patrol Leaders’ Council
A Troop should always be led by its elected boy leaders. With the guidance of the Scoutmaster and his assistants, the boy leaders plan the program, conduct troop meetings, and provide leadership among their peers. The Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC), not the adult leaders, is responsible for planning and conducting the Troop’s meetings and activities.
The members of the Troop elect one of their own to serve as the Senior Patrol Leader. To give more Scouts the opportunity to lead, once a year, the current Troop 505 Assistant Senior Patrol Leader moves into the Senior Patrol Leader position and the Troop elects a new Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.
Your Role in the Patrol Leaders’ Council
The Patrol Leaders’ Council is made up of the Senior Patrol Leader, who presides over the meetings; the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and all Patrol Leaders, with the support of the Troop Scribe and the Troop Guides. As a Patrol Leader, you serve as the voice of your Patrol. During PLC Patrol Leaders should present the ideas and concerns of your patrol and in turn share the decisions of the Patrol Leaders’ Council with your Patrol.
Patrol Leaders’ Council Meetings
The Troop’s meeting programs and activities are selected and planned at the annual program planning conference. The troop’s yearly plan is then submitted to the Troop Committee for approval. The Troop Committee either approves the plan or makes alternative suggestions for the Patrol Leaders’ Council to consider. At its monthly meetings, the PLC fine-tunes the plans for the upcoming month by organizing and assigning responsibilities for the weekly Troop meeting program and planning the details of any upcoming Troop activities. The Troop Committee should always interact with the PLC through the Scoutmaster.
Patrol Leaders’ Council Position Descriptions
Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) – top junior leader in the troop. He is elected by the entire troop and leads the Patrol Leaders’ Council and, in consultation with the Scoutmaster, appoints other junior leaders and assigns specific responsibilities as needed.
Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) – fills in for Senior Patrol Leader in his absence. There may be more than one ASLP. They are responsible for training and giving direction to the Scribe, Quartermaster, Troop Historian, Librarian, Webmaster and Instructors.
Patrol Leader (PL) – gives leadership to members of his Patrol and represents them on the PLC.
Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) – is fully informed about all aspects concerning his Patrol and fills in for the Patrol Leader in his absence.
Troop Scribe (TS) – attends the meeting to support the PLC as the Troop Secretary.
Troop Guide (TG) – attends the meeting to support the PLC as an advisor and guide to the Patrol(s) and Patrol Leader(s).
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM) – an Eagle Scout, 16 years or older, attends the meeting to support the PLC, who supervises and supports other boy leaders as assigned by the Scoutmaster.