Youth Leaders

Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) &
Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders (ASPL)

This is the boy leader elected by the troop to preside at all troop meetings and activities and to serve as leader of the Troop. With the advice and consent of the Scoutmaster, he runs the Senior Patrol Leaders Council (SPLC) meetings, appoints the Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, troop guides, quartermaster, scribe, instructors, and other leadership positions except patrol leaders, assistant patrol leaders and patrol quartermasters. The SPL serves a one-year term, elected at the end of year BBQ to serve the following Scout year.

Patrol Leader(s) (PL)

Patrol Leaders are elected by each Patrol. Each patrol leader must keep his own Patrol informed about Troop happenings, make sure that his Patrol knows what they need to do for advancement, and coach them for the annual Camporee. The Patrol Leader and his Assistant are responsible for controlling behavior of his patrol during meetings.


Eeek! My New Scout is a Patrol Leader! What Can I Do to Help?
While we strive to keep this a boy-led troop, we realize that the younger scouts need leadership and guidance in their first few years of scouting. All scouts in the patrol will take turns in being the Patrol Leader for a six-month period. The patrol meets as a group the last week of every month. Your scout might have specific activities that he wants to go on - you can help or support him in planning an outing. Here are some guidelines for new parents:
  • Help the patrol set goals and objectives for the next 6 months. Pick one or two merit badges they can work on together. Find an activity most of them need for their next rank advancement (such as 5-mile hike or orienteering course), pick one or two fun activities they all want to do.
  • Help your scout send an email to their patrol detailing a schedule for the next few months.
  • Remind your scout to call or send email reminders the week before patrol meeting week.
  • Strive to keep your patrol "meeting" on a Tuesday night since most people already have that reserved as the "Scout Night". Of course, if it is an activity for rank advancement or merit badges, they may have to shift the day of the week. But try to do something the last week of the month.
While many of the scouts bridge with friends from their cub scout troop or school, many also come into the troop knowing nobody. Building a bond and friendships within their own patrol is key to keeping them together and in the scouting program through high school. A lot of parental involvement is needed in the beginning to help foster and grow these bonds and friendships. In a few years, your guidance will pay off when you just have to simply remind your scout that a patrol meeting is coming ... with this guidance they will know what to do next!


Glossary of Scout Leadership Terms

Here's a glossary of terms of the Scout Leadership.

Senior patrol leader (SPL) Each troop has one senior patrol leader, a Scout elected by the Scouts to help all the patrols succeed. He may be assisted by one or more assistant senior patrol leaders.

Assistant senior patrol leader A troop youth leader, usually in larger troops, who helps the senior patrol leader. Appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster's advice and consent.

Patrol leader Elected by the patrol members, this Boy Scout leads the patrol and represents it on the patrol leaders' council, which plans the troop program.

Assistant patrol leader A Boy Scout who is appointed by the patrol leader to help him and to take his place in his absence.

Patrol leaders' council (PLC) Each patrol leader, representing his patrol, meets with other patrol leaders and the senior patrol leader to plan their troop program. The Scoutmaster acts as an adviser.

Scribe A youth officer who checks attendance and keeps records. The troop scribe is appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster's advice and consent. The patrol scribe is appointed by the patrol leader.

Quartermaster A youth officer in a troop, patrol, or Varsity Scout team who keeps the equipment in good shape and maintains an up-to-date inventory of it. In the troop, the quartermaster is appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster's advice and consent; in the patrol, he is appointed by the patrol leader.

Grubmaster The informal name of the Scout in charge of patrol hike and camp menus and assembling food for outdoor patrol activities. He is appointed by the patrol leader.

Scout Tripmaster The informal name of the Scout in charge of tour planning, logistics, recreation planning and safety review of the planned outdoor activities.  The Scout Tripmaster supports the adult PTO in helping pull the outing or camp trip together.

Cheermaster This Scout is in charge of leading patrol songs, yells, stunts, and campfire programs. He is appointed by the patrol leader.

Service patrol The name given to a patrol that has accepted an extra work assignment for the good of the troop.

Troop historian This youth leader records the troop's activities both in writing and visually; appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster's advice and consent.

Chaplain (1) A spiritual leader for units appointed by the faith-based community organization chartered to use the Scouting program.

Den chief A Boy Scout who helps direct the activities of a Cub Scout den. Appointed by the senior patrol leader with the Scoutmaster's advice and consent.