Fundamentals of a Patrol Leaders Council

There are three important components to a successful Boy Scout troop: organization, planning, and execution. While it is often tempting for adult leaders to step in and take control of one or more of these components, it is important to remember the fundamentals of scouting and its structure. 

“The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”

-Robert Baden-Powell

Scouting is a boy-led program where the adult leadership provides direction and empowerment. A troop is separated into at least 2 or more patrols. Each consisting of their own elected leadership that includes a Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leader.  The troop as a whole elects additional troop wide leadership including a Senior Patrol Leader.

Once a month a troop holds a Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) meeting.  The PLC is comprised of the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL), Patrol Leaders, Troop Guide, and Scribe.  

Lead by the SPL, the PLC organizes the weekly scout meetings and assigns responsibilities for activities.  Typically the council will plan a general activity list for the upcoming year.  They will then formulate a more detailed plan for events and activities in the upcoming quarter, refine plans for the next two months, and finalize the details for every event in the coming month.  Each member of the PLC, with the exception of the Scribe, is a voting member.

Following the PCL meeting, the SPL presents the decisions and requests from the PLC meeting to the Troop Committee.  The committee then advises on any financial, technical, and safety concerns they may have and supports the troop in carrying out their requests.