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I would like to find out where your PLC meets for their monthly meetings. Is it at the same place that the troop meets? Is it the SPL's decision? Is it the Scoutmaster's decision? Does the Scoutmaster even have to be present? Can the PLC have a meeting on a conference call?


In general, how should the "boy led" PLC function and coordinate the meetings with the Scoutmaster?

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Our PLC meets the same place as the troop on the same night as the committee. SM or ASM is always in attendance mostly as an advisor. It's part of the troop calendar and has been for years. The SPL controls the agenda with input from the SM.


I don't think a conference call or Skype would be nearly a useful due to the availability of distractions at home.



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To put things in perspective, you might want to read how a model PLC meeting is run in Baden-Powell's version of Scouting where "Boy-Run" means that the Patrol Leaders actually do RUN the Troop (so there is no "Troop Committee" of mommies and daddies, no "Boards of Review," no "Scoutmaster Conferences," and no "Scout Spirit" or "Position of Responsibility" advancement requirements):




Note that B-P's term "Patrol System" means that most Scouting activity takes place at the Patrol level: Patrols organize their own regular Patrol Hikes (similar to the BSA's "Patrol Method" before the invention of "Leadership Development"). So the PLC Meeting is where the Patrol Leaders inform the adult leaders as to which of their Scouts are now Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.


Yeah, really: "Boy-Run." :)


Yours at 300 feet,





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I've been in troops where they met quarterly wherever the SPL could arrange it. Sometimes at the troop's location, sometimes elsewhere. And one time it was planning session w/ a cookout and pool party celebrating the completion og making a troop calander and dealing with 12+ individual school calanders.


I've been in a troop where the PLC met before the committee meeting at the troop's meeting place.


I've been in a troop that met before SM's meeting.


I've read of PLCs doing a separate planning campout.


So your SPL can do it any way that is convienent with his PLC.

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Eagle is right, it can depend on what works best for your scouts. Our PLC met 30 minutes before each troop meeting. They might meet an hour before the troop meeting once in a while if they needed some extra time for planning. Usually the SM brought the pizza.



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Our PLC puts the monthly PLC meeting on the calendar during the planning process.

It also meets as needed, before troop meetings.

It meets very briefly after each troop meeting for the Start, Stop, Continue questions.

It meets at other times, at the SPL's discretion.

They meet wherever the SPL or the group wants to meet. Sometimes it is where the troop meets, sometimes it is during an outing, sometimes it is at the SPL or SM house, etc.

I am sure they have "met" online without me present. I don't think they have had a phone meeting yet, but give them time, they'll find that resource eventually.


Our PLC is run by the SPL. He develops the agenda with assistance from me as the SM. He conducts the entire meeting. Occasionally, I suggest ways to get back on track. He gives me a minute at the end.


Could I run a better meeting. Of course.

Could I run a quicker meeting. Certainly.

Could I task each of the members before the end of the meeting. No doubt.


But then he would never learn.




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Our PLC meets on a separate night from the troop meetings at my home. We found more gets done on a different night than after a troop meeting. We get to have refreshments and a good deal of camaraderie. Oftentimes after the meeting is over, the kids stay around chatting with each other for a good long time.

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I would have a hard time believing that the boys could run a decent meeting via conference calls. And - how boring is that? What boy signs up for scouting thinking "oohhh, I'll get to be on a conference call when I'm PL someday?" For that reason alone, I'd strongly encourage face to face PLCs.


As for location, it could be most anywhere. Son's former troop met at the SM's home, which was nice in some ways (but put the SM in charge, de facto, and also imposed on his family a good deal). Son's current troop holds PLC in their regular meeting place at same time as committee meetings (gets hovercraft parents out of the PLC & into the committee meeting, at least). That is convenient for most people, but with occasional scheduling issues. In one or both troops he has also experienced PLC planning camp outs, held PLCs at a local diner, done a PLC day hike & meeting, etc. I think it might be nice for the SPL to feel he could hold the PLC on his own turf, but I would not want to impose that expectation on the SPL's family without their approval.



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I'm with Kudu on this one.


SPL calls his PL's together where and when he wants to conduct the business he feels is necessary. No adults need be present they have no function or role in the process. The SPL supports the function of the PL's. The patrols are autonomous and function independently of each other. When there is need for inter-patrol communication, the SPL pulls together the PLC so the PL's can work things out together mentored by the SPL.



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The Scoutmaster Handbook explains the PLC quite well on page 14.

It says the scoutmaster does attend PLC meetings.

It says the PLC does meet each month and possibly more often.

It does not say where the PLC meets. If the SPL wanted to try a conference call, I think that would be fun to see how it goes once and then evaluate his success.


Our PLC normally meets the first Monday of the month where the troop meets, but the SPL has occasionally moved the meeting.


Someone uploaded a PDF of the SM handbook at:



Scout On

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Our PLC dedicates the first Meeting night of each month to a PLC meeting. The troop does not meet that night only the PLC. The committee is supposed to meet the week after to learn and discuss what the scouts voted on at the PLC. The PLC usually takes over an hour to get through all the stuff. I sit in on the meeting and offer advice and assist the SPL in maintaining order. Many scouts just are not ready to take leadership seriously. Bright boys who have been in the program for years and have attended NYLT will allow or even worse encourage the discussion to drift into computer gaming or other issues. So I nudge it back to our agenda.


Our program which the troop selected at our annual planning meeting is pretty advanced. Given a chance to camp at a county park and work on scout skills or travel 180 miles to an old fort or the Ocean, the scouts will pick the greater of the two adventures. Hence the PLC is responsible for setting up the program and managing the calendar. It's real work.







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The Troop and Pack chartered by the school PTA and meet in the school cafeteria each Monday. The Pack meets on the 3rd Monday of the month, and the Troop on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th. The PLC meets off site at the local community pool clubhouse on the 3rd Monday. The Troop Committee meets directly afterward. The SM attends the PLC then reports to the Committee immediately afterward.


On the occasion when the 3rd Monday is a holiday, the PLC will meet at another time. On occasion they have met in one car on the way back from a campout. Great way to utilize a 2 hr trip sometimes. Another time they met at Fuddruckers while the clubhouse was under renovations. Happened to be the only ones in their at the time and the staff was quite supportive.


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As a rule we had our Annual Planning meeting late in the summer or early in the fall.

The PLC met at the Scout HQ once a month on a Saturday afternoon, unless we were at camp when the PLC would meet where ever we were at.

The meeting lasted most of the afternoon as we went over the stuff that the Patrols would be doing at the Troop meetings and at the up and coming weekend Camp out.

If we were going to be going over camp stoves the PLC would make sure that all the P/L's were comfortable with passing their knowledge to their Patrols, if we were playing with a Spanish-Windlass then we'd go over that.

Easter Camp was just for the members of the PLC when we would visit where we would be camping for summer camp and we'd make the plans for the summer camp program.

Having a good annual plan made things a lot easier as the PLC really only had to fill in the details.

I kept a fairly detailed list of every Troop Meeting, what games were played, what skills were covered with my notes about how I thought it had gone.

The PLC often looked at this sometimes just for ideas sometimes to avoid too much repetition.

The sit down meeting part of the meeting didn't last very long and I tried to reward the guys by having the meeting part in a fast food restaurant or by just having ice cream and soft drinks.

Our situation may have been a little different as we had a very large Troop with as many as 14 Patrols.


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