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  • PLC for a one-patrol troop?

    So, it looks like our new troop will initially have one patrol of 10 scouts. Given that, I'm trying to figure out what our PLC should look like. We hadn't planned to elect a SPL for a one-patrol troop, but if we don't we end up with just a PL and TG in a room doing all the planning.

    My initial thoughts were to go ahead and elect a SPL. But now I have 9 guys in one patrol and the SPL off on his own (so maybe I leave the SPL in the patrol)?

    Another idea is to split the 10 into two groups of 5, but I'm expecting some attrition, so that would be a temporary solution at best.

    Also, we could elect some other troop level positions (QM, Scribe) and have them attend (and maybe even vote), which could give the PLC a few more members so there could be some actual discussion.

    Maybe I'm worried about nothing and it would be ok to have the PL and TG running the show?

    Any other ideas?

  • #2
    The PL should be running the show. No need even for a TG. Definitely not an SPL. Who would he lead?


    • #3
      PLC council of one????

      I don't think you need a SPL even with two patrols. We have two patrols and if we are at an event that requires an SPL the Program patrols patrol leader is the man.

      My understanding is the PL and SPL are elected and the rest of the positions are appointed by the PL and the SPL appoints his staff.

      Congrats on getting enough boys to get the Troop chartered.


      • #4
        Only the SPL and PLs are elected. All other positions are appointed.

        With the current size of your troop:
        1 PL/SPL who is in charge. He assigns tasks to the other scouts to make sure everything gets done. No TG needed. Maybe a scribe.

        Annual program planning conference- all scouts participate

        Planning troop meetings and monthly campout program details- set aside one troop meeting a month (or part of a troop meeting) to plan the specifics for the following month. You could have everyone participate until you have enough scouts for 2 patrols, but I would recommend the PL assign 2 or 3 scouts each month to work with him to plan the troop meetings and campout for the following month.


        • #5
          Gotta agree with the others, No need for an SPL and the entire patrol works together to plan things.


          • #6
            Our troop is in that condition. We elected an SPL (Single Patrol Leader), and have him meet with one APL and quarter master from the patrol to plan things. Not exactly a plc, but it is a decision making body, and the current leaders in those positions I expect to be on a true PLC when our troop grows big enoug hto have one.


            • #7

              Baden-Powell designed Scouting to work without an SPL: The position is purely optional even in B-P's ideal Troop of 32 Scouts.

              B-P's minimum standard for the Patrol System is a monthly Patrol Hike without adult supervision, and 150-300 feet between Patrols when camping as a Troop (in your case between your one Scout Patrol and the adults).

              The Patrol Hike can be held on your Troop's monthly campout: The purpose is to provide the opportunity for the Patrol Leader to teach practical Scoutcraft for advancement (as opposed to a "Troop Guide" doing that in a Troop setting).

              A number of how-to resources on how a Scoutmaster can guide a single Patrol to meet B-P's minimum standards can be found at:


              Yours at 300 feet,



              • #8

                You must have that stuff ready to cut and paste!


                • #9


                  So it sounds familiar?

                  Baden-Powells' Patrol System is the solution to 90% of the BSA's problems (the remaining 10% being caused by poor reading comprehension)

                  However, the "Real" Patrol System remains a mere historical curiosity until an adult first recognizes some aspect of it as the most practical solution to a problem that the "Troop Method" causes him or her at that moment in time.

                  Pure Cognitive Dissonance: Otherwise why do thousands of volunteers fail to implement Wood Badge's 300 feet between Patrols (as it still remains in some courses) and the "adult-free" (no Staffers) Wood Badge Patrol Hike?

                  Yours at 300 feet,

                  (This message has been edited by Kudu)


                  • #10
                    First split into two patrols. It allows you to have patrol competitions. This can include best patrol site, best dessert. Patrol competitions should be a part of every meeting and camp out.

                    Yes have a PLC of the SPL and the PLs. It will get them used to making decisions. This is to be a boy lead troop.

                    If the patrols seem small, have them recruit their friends.


                    • #11

                      If you plan to recruit new Scouts and improve retention, you are better off starting with one "Real" Patrol of ten Scouts, under your most mature Scout as Patrol Leader.

                      A trustworthy Patrol that camps a football field away from the adults and hikes independently of "adult association" provides Scouts with an immediate sense of adventure (and a wider choice of tent-mates) than membership in a tiny Patrol of four Scouts at best.

                      If you have access to a public school, the following presentation can recruit 15 Scouts per year:


                      Yours at 300 feet,



                      • #12
                        Great recruiting method Kudu.

                        I'd agree. No need for two patrols or any troop leader jobs. With 10 kids, you'll have campouts with 6 kids, no need to over think.


                        • #13
                          >> If you plan to recruit new Scouts and improve retention, you are better off starting
                          >> with one "Real" Patrol of ten Scouts, under your most mature Scout as Patrol Leader.

                          This sounds great. I'm going to try that and we expect to get another 4-6 boys in the winter. At that time, we can look at where we are numbers-wise and stick with one or split into two.


                          • #14
                            Basement, what's wrong with a PLC of one?

                            What's the point of a PLC in the first place? IMO, one of it's most important functions is to be the firewall between the adults and the boys. A PLC of one doesn't stop the patrol from planning activities as a group, but it does set the precedent that the adults go to the young man wearing the green bars. When the boys see that their PL is the "go to guy" for the adults, they will certainly see him as the "go to guy" for themselves.

                            I agree, the SPL is unnecessary until the troop has multiple patrols.


                            • #15
                              Well I'm of a different opinion. If the long range vision of the troop is going to use an SPL, then I would, and have, used an SPL with one Patrol. Its hard enough for adults and scouts to adjust to major changes in the troop that they can't control, developing a program around what you expect the future troop to eventually look like is just that much less to adjust.

                              NOW NOW, that being said, you would see very little difference in a single patrol with the SPL to the single patrol troop without the SPL. That's how I did it and it worked fine.