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SPL and ASPL in Patrols

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We are a small troop of about 14 active scouts. The SPL and ASPL have not been in either of our 2 patrols. They are in what is called the Leadership Patrol. It is made up of them and 2 others who are no longer active. They were JASM's. My thought is to put the SPL and ASPL back into PAtrols. Otherwise everytime we have a Troop SPL election or ASPL selection the patrols have to be revised so the number is somewhat equal. My question is, Is there a purpose to a "Leadership Patrol" or should SPL and ASPL's be in regular patrols?

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I would keep them separate. If the SPL and ASPL are in a patrol, they and the patrol leader will find many awkward positions. As a patrol member they are subordinate to the Patrol Leader, whom they outrank in the troop.


I like the idea of the Leadership Patrol, you may consider adding Quartermasters to it as well

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During their tenure as SPL/ASPL, they shouldn't be members of permanent patrols. In our troop, we don't erase them in TroopMaster, though, and after the next troop elections, they go back to their permanent patrols.


I don't really understand the point of creating a "leadership patrol" for them. They're already at PLCs, program planning conferences, etc., by virtue of their positions. Maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake, I don't know.


In only one of our three patrols is the PL the Scout with the highest BSA rank. This shouldn't matter, as the authority of the PL comes from the green bars, not the patch on his pocket. Frankly, I don't know how you avoid it, unless your highest-ranking Scouts are always going to be your SPL, ASPL, and PLs...nobody does that, do they? The Scouts almost universally understand the leadership experience requirements, and support the PLs in their position regardless of their rank. The older Scouts have all been there, done that. And, only once have I had to have a conference with a 2nd Class Scout because he thought he was entitled to give orders to any Tenderfoot.



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In our Troop, our troop youth leadership is almost always boys from our "honor patrol". This patrol is made of of older scouts who have distinguished themselves. Usually it is by participating in High Venture activities, or being exemplary scouts, or having served well as a patrol leader, then moved to the honor patrol. This patrol does exist as a real patrol: They have a P/L, APL, a ASM who acts as a mentor. They plan their own events, create their own duty roster for campouts (their duty roster includes a rotating schedule for each of them to spend a couple of hours of the campout teaching and / or testing younger scouts). There usually are between 6 and 10 guys in this patrol at any one time, although with the older guys, other commitments tend to keep attendence at campouts to 5 - 7. Membership is by invitation (which I have to say, I was against when I joined the troop, thinking it was a recipe for cliques and hurt feelings. But it really works well. Most boys use potential membership to motivate themselves.) The only problem comes up when their PL is elected to a troop position, but either that person serves in both jobs (P/L and APL for this patrol are fairly simple jobs: The older guys pretty much run themselves by consesus), or a new P/L is elected within the patrol.

We have 12 guys in the patrol now, but 3 are staring at their 18th birthday, so the population will be going down soon. It is likely 1 guy will be added in Feb. and 2 more in September.

It isn't the only way to handle this issue, but it works great for us.

Good luck!


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A hundred years ago, in my old Troop, the SPL was a member of the Troop "Staff" and camped with the adult leaders. (I don't recall boys and adults ever sharing tents, even though this was in pre-YP days.) Once you reached Eagle, you became a JASM and also joined the staff patrol.


Our staff patrol isn't exactly the same as your leadership patrol, in that it was more about the Eagles/JASMs that the SPL. We had a large number of Eagles for a troop our size and I think the staff patrol was more about moving them up and out of the way to give the younger boys a chance to lead the patrols.


While the SPL had pretty much the same job as they do now, becoming a JASM was a huge perk and great incentive to reach Eagle. We were exempted from participating in patrol competitions and inspections while on camporees. We did a lot to help the younger kids with skills and advancement, serving somewhat the same function Troop Guides do now.


We also did most of the cooking and camp work for the adult leaders. Looking back on it, it was a lot like Tom Sawyer getting people to whitewash the fence for him.


I always thought it was a good system, but the rules were different then, without the emphasis on the PLC running things.

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