Patrol Leaders' Council

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The Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC) selects, plans, and leads Troop activities, and is the key to having a Boy-Led Troop.

Typical Boy Scout troop organization chart, including the Patrol Leaders' Council (click to zoom)
Typical Boy Scout troop organization chart, including the Patrol Leaders' Council (click to zoom)


The members of each patrol elect one of their own to serve as patrol leader. The troop determines the requirements for patrol leaders, such as rank and age. To give more youths the opportunity to lead, most troops elect patrol leaders twice a year. Some may have elections more often.


“The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”
Robert Baden-Powell

Boy Scouts is "Boy-Led." The Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC), not the adult leaders, is responsible for planning and conducting the troop's activities. The Scoutmaster (and assistant Scoutmasters) provide direction, coaching, and training that empowers the boy with the skills he will need to lead his troop. The Troop Committee provides resources to help the PLC.

Some Scoutmasters have struggled with the idea of allowing boys to lead the troop. They wonder whether a boy of 12 can keep a patrol in order or if a 14-year-old senior patrol leaders can organize and manage a successful troop meeting. In the short term it might seem easier for adults to make all of the decisions and direct the action. However when you invest your energy in training boys to run the show, you will find that you can watch with great satisfaction as junior leaders thrive in fulfilling the responsibilities they have been given.
Scoutmaster Handbook p. 12


Through the Patrol Leaders' Council, patrols share the responsibility for the patrol's success. They gain confidence by serving in positions of leadership. The Patrol Leaders are elected by their patrols to representative them at the PLC meetings. Each Patrol is always represented at each monthly PLC meeting. If the Patrol Leader is not able to attend, the Assistant Patrol Leader or another Scout from the patrol will attend the PLC. The Patrol Leaders present the ideas and concerns of their patrols and in turn share the decisions of the patrol leaders' council with their patrol members.

PLC Members

The patrol leaders' council is made up of the Senior Patrol Leader, who presides over the meetings; the Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, all Patrol Leaders, Troop Guides, and others as determined by your PLC. The patrol leaders' council plans the yearly troop program at the annual troop program planning conference. The PLC then meets monthly to develop plans for upcoming meetings and activities.

PLC meetings used to be called "Green Bar" meetings because of the green bars on some of the youth position patches.

The PLC is composed of the following voting members:

  • Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) - Elected by boys in the troop, SPL runs the Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC) meetings.
  • Patrol Leader - Elected by his patrol, the PL represents his patrol PLC meetings and the annual planning conference. Reports PLC decisions to his patrol.
  • Assistant Senior Patrol Leader - Serves as a member of the patrol leaders' council and fills in for the SPL as needed.
  • Troop Guide - Attends patrol leaders’ council meetings with the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol.
  • Scribe - Attends and keeps a log of patrol leaders’ council meetings. The scribe is a non-voting member of the PLC; however in the practices of some troops, scribes have been granted voting privileges.

At its monthly meetings, the PLC organizes and assigns activity responsibilities for the weekly troop meetings. The troop committee interacts with the patrol leaders' council through the Scoutmaster.

Some troops' PLC includes others who may be assigned tasks and may be voting or non-voting members such as:

  • Instructors - May be assigned training tasks or report on previous training
  • Quartermaster - May report on condition and availability of equipment and needs
  • Librarian - May report on condition and availability of the troop library and needs
  • Historian, Chaplain Aide, Bugler, etc.

The PLC is guided by the Scoutmaster and has direct support by key Troop Committee members:

See also

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