Patrol Leadership2


Senior Patrol Leader (SPL)
The junior leader with the most responsibility in a troop is the senior patrol leader. He is elected by all members of the troop. Each troop sets its own requirements and schedule of elections, though senior patrol leaders are usually chosen at six-to-twelve-month intervals and can be re-elected. During a Scout’s tenure as senior patrol leader, he is not a member of a patrol. The senior patrol leader of an established troop is often selected from among experienced Scouts of a certain age and rank. In a new troop or a troop without older members, boys are still likely to choose a Scout whom they respect and believe will provide the best leadership. The patrol leaders’ council might offer an opportunity for those in the running to make short presentations to the troop, explaining their qualifications and reasons for seeking the office. This provides good practice for the candidates and enables those who do not know them well, younger Scouts in particular, to gain a better sense of what they propose to do for the troop. The senior patrol leader is in charge of troop meetings from beginning to end. He chairs meetings of the patrol leaders’ council as they plan troop activities and programs. In short, the senior patrol leader’s job is to see that the troop runs in an orderly and timely manner. The relationship between a senior patrol leader and his Scoutmaster is often one of friendship and mutual admiration.

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL)
With the approval of the Scoutmaster, the assistant senior patrol leader is appointed by the senior patrol leader, serves as his assistant, and takes his place when the senior patrol leader is absent. Among his specific responsibilities are training and providing direction for the troop quartermaster, scribe, historian, librarian, and instructors. During his tenure as assistant senior patrol leader, the Scout is not a member of a patrol. Large troops may have more than one assistant senior patrol leader.

Patrol Leaders
One patrol leader is elected by the members of each patrol. He takes responsibility for the patrol’s activities and represents the patrol as a member of the patrol leaders’ council. Each patrol leader appoints an assistant patrol leader to serve with him.

Troop Guide
The troop guide is both a leader and a “mentor” to the members of a new Scout patrol. He is an older Scout, at least First Class in rank, who helps the patrol leader of a new-Scout patrol in much the same way that a Scoutmaster works with a senior patrol leader-providing direction, coaching, and support as determined by the skill level and morale of the patrol leader and members of the new-Scout patrol. The troop guide is usually not a member of another patrol, but may participate in the high-adventure activities of a Venture patrol.

The quartermaster is the supply and equipment boss. He keeps a current inventory of troop equipment and sees that it is in good condition. He works with patrol quartermasters as they check out equipment and return it, and reports to the patrol leaders’ council on equipment in need of replacement or repair. In carrying out his responsibilities, he may work closely with a member of the troop committee.

The scribe is the troop’s secretary. He attends meetings of the patrol leaders’ council and keeps a logbook of their discussions, but is not a voting member. During troop meetings he records attendance and dues payments and maintains troop advancement records. He may be assigned to a member of the troop committee to help him with his work.

The historian collects and preserves troop photographs, news stories, trophies, flags, scrapbooks, awards, and other memorabilia. He might also collect and organize information about former Scouts and leaders and make materials available for Scouting activities, media contacts, and troop history projects.

The troop librarian oversees the care and use of troop books, pamphlets, magazines, audiovisuals, and merit badge counselor lists. He checks out these materials to Scouts and leaders and maintains records to ensure that everything is returned. He may also suggest the acquisition of new literature and report on the need to repair or replace any current holdings.

Den Chief
A den chief works with a den of Cub Scouts and with their adult den leader. He assists with den meetings, encourages Cub Scout advancement, and serves as a role model for younger boys. Serving as den chief can be a great first leadership experience for a Scout. Webelos Den Chief A Webelos den chief meets each week with a Webelos den and helps their adult leader guide Webelos Scouts in their program. He can plan and assist with den meetings and field activities, lead songs and stunts, and encourage Webelos Scouts to progress into the Scout troop.