Boy Led Troop         

Empowering boys to be leaders is the core of Scouting.  Scouts learn by doing, and what they do is lead their patrols and their troop.  The boys themselves develop a troop program, then take responsibility for figuring out how they will achieve the goals.  One of our most important challenges is to train boy leaders to run the troop by providing direction, coaching and support. The boys will make mistakes now and then and will rely upon the adult leaders to guide them. But only through real hands-on experience as leaders can boys learn to lead.

Here is a great statement from an unknown scouting source about a boy led scouting program:

“A boy run program requires a lot of work from both the adults and scouts, but the rewards are worth bragging about. For the Troop to be successful, both the adults and scouts have to grow in the program. Real growth is slow and unexpected.  One day you are looking at a confused boy wondering how he can manage his Patrol of yelling, rambunctious boys. Then it seems like all of a sudden, a much taller version of the same scout is inviting you to attend his Eagle COH. "How in the world?" you wonder. But while we give all the credit to the will of a boy, let's give a little credit to the adults who had the courage to stand up and get out of his way.”

Patrol Leaders Council

The Patrol Leader's Council (PLC) is the planning and coordinating body of the troop.   It is composed of the SPL, ASPL, PLs, Troop Staff Positions, Scribe, and the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters.  The SPL chairs all PLC meetings.  The PLC is responsible for the advance planning of all troop activities, and also serves as a Scout forum for the resolution of all questions and problems that may arise within the troop.  PLC meetings are held monthly, and take place at Holy Cross Church.  Scouts who are interested in leadership positions in Troop 342 must be prepared to make the commitment required of the Patrol Leader’s Council.

Boy Scout Leadership

The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is the principal Scout leader of the troop. He chairs meetings of the Patrol Leader's Council (PLC), which meets monthly to plan the troop program and to assign responsibilities for action. The SPL also presides over the weekly meetings of the troop, leads the troop during outings and activities, appoints other scouts to troop staff support positions, and assists the Scoutmaster in Junior Leader Training. The SPL is elected by the Scout members of the troop and be approved by the Scoutmaster.

The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) is appointed by the SPL with the approval of the Scoutmaster. He helps the SPL run meetings, coordinates the troop-support staff (Scribe, Librarian, Historian, Quartermaster, Instructors, Bugler, Chaplain Aide, Den Chiefs, etc), and leads the troop in the absence of the Senior Patrol Leader. To be considered for ASPL, a Scout must be approved by the Scoutmaster.

The Patrol Leaders (PL) are elected from among the members of each patrol and report directly to the Senior Patrol Leader. The PL appoints the Assistant Patrol Leader, represents the Patrol at PLC meetings, plans and steers patrol meetings, helps scouts advance, acts as a chief recruiter for new scouts, keeps patrol members informed, and knows what his patrol members can do. To be considered for Patrol Leader, a Scout must have achieved the rank of First Class and be approved by the Scoutmaster.

The Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) is appointed by the Patrol Leader.   The APL reports to the Patrol Leader and substitutes for the Patrol Leader in his absence.  To be considered for APL, a Scout must have achieved the rank of Second Class and/or be approved by the Scoutmaster.


Troop staff positions include: Scribe, Librarian, Historian, Quartermaster, Instructors, Bugler, Chaplain Aide, Den Chiefs and other staff positions as may be created from time to time by the Troop Committee in response to the needs of the troop. All of these are appointed positions. The SPL, with the approval of the Scoutmaster, is the appointing authority, and these positions all report to the SPL. To be considered for a Troop Staff Position, a scout must be approved by the Scoutmaster.

       Adult Leadership     

The Scoutmaster (SM) is the adult leader responsible for the image and program of the troop. The Scoutmaster and his assistant Scoutmasters work directly with the Scouts. The importance of the Scoutmaster's job is reflected in the fact that the quality of his guidance will affect every youth and adult involved in the troop. The Scoutmaster can be male or female, but must be at least 21 years old. The Scoutmaster is appointed by the Troops Committee and approved by the chartered organization. The Scoutmaster's main duties are to provide a safe environment and include performing Troop Training, Meetings, Guidance, and Activities overview:

- Train and guide boy leaders, work with other responsible adults to bring Scouting to boys, and use the methods of Scouting to achieve the aims of Scouting;

- Meet regularly with the patrol leaders' council for training and coordination in planning troop activities, attend all troop meetings or, when necessary, arrange for a qualified adult substitute, attend troop committee meetings, conduct periodic parents' sessions to share the program and encourage parent participation and cooperation, take part in annual membership inventory and uniform inspection, charter review meeting, and charter presentation,

- Conduct Scoutmaster conferences for all rank advancements, provide a systematic recruiting plan for new members and see that they are promptly registered, delegate responsibility to other adults and groups (assistants, troop committee) so that they have a real part in troop operations, supervise troop elections for the Order of the Arrow;

Activities Overview
- Make it possible for each Scout to experience at least 10 days and nights of camping each year, participate in council and district events, build a strong program by using proven methods presented in Scouting literature, conduct all activities under qualified leadership, safe conditions, and the policies of the chartered organization and the Boy Scouts of America.

Assistant Scoutmasters (ASMs) The Scoutmaster is the principal advisor but will require assistance from the ASM to carry out all the above SM duties.  The Assistant Scoutmasters may, if required, serve as advisers to the SPL and PLC.  Each assistant Scoutmaster is assigned specific program duties and reports to the Scoutmaster. They also provide the required two-deep leadership standards set by the Boy Scouts of America (there must be at least two adults present at any Boy Scout activity). An assistant Scoutmaster may be 18 years old, but at least one in each troop should be 21 or older, so he or she can serve in the Scoutmaster's absence.

Troop Committee
 The Troop Committee is responsible for conducting the business of the troop, setting policy, and helping the Scoutmaster and Scouts with the outdoor program and other planned activities. The committee also has the responsibility to provide adults for boards of review. This is an important responsibility and is one area where help is always needed and appreciated. The committee consists of parent volunteers who fulfill various roles on the committee. The committee may contain positions as follows:

    Chartered Organization Representative

The Chartered Organization Representative is the direct contact between the unit and the Chartered Organization. This individual is also the organization's contact with the district committee and the Local Council. The chartered organization representative may become a member of the district committee and is a voting member of the council. The Chartered Organization Representative appoints the unit committee chair.

     Troop Committee Chairman

The unit committee chair is appointed by the chartered organization and registered as an adult leader of the BSA. The unit committee chairman appoints and supervises the unit committee and unit leaders.

     Troop Secretary

The unit secretary is appointed by the committee chairman to keep minutes and records, send notices, and handle publicity.

     Troop Treasurer

The unit treasurer is appointed by the committee chairman to handle unit funds, pay bills, maintain accounts, coordinate the annual Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaign, and supervise fundraising.

     Troop Advancement Chair

The unit advancement chair is appointed by the committee chairman to ensure that the unit has at least monthly boards of review, quarterly courts of honor, and that the unit has goals of helping each Scout advance a rank each year and for new Scouts to reach First Class rank during their first year. The advancement coordinator is also responsible for record keeping and submitting advancement reports.

     Troop Equipment Coordinator

The unit equipment coordinator is appointed by the committee chairman to work with the youth Quartermaster and is responsible inventory, storage, and maintenance of unit equipment.

      Troop Outdoor/Activities Chair

The unit outdoor/activities chair is appointed by the committee chairman to secure tour permits and permission to use camping site, serve as transportation coordinator, ensure a monthly outdoor program.

     Troop Membership Chair

The unit membership chair is appointed by the committee chairman to help ensure a smooth transition of new Scouts into the unit and orientation for new parents.

   Troop Training Chair
The unit training chair is appointed by the committee chairman
to ensure training opportunities are available, maintain training
records and materials, and is responsible for BSA Youth Protection

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