The Senior Patrol Leader or SPL reports to the Scoutmaster. Typically, the Scoutmaster will assign duties or relay information to the SPL and the SPL in turn will disseminate that information to the Patrol Leaders or entire Troop if necessary.
If there are questions or issues in the Troop, the boys should follow the chain of command, Patrol Leader then to the SPL prior to bringing the issue to the Scoutmaster. This gives the boys an opportunity to brainstorm and work out their own problems versus always going to an adult for help.
Some of the basic responsibilities of the SPL are:
- Runs all troop meetings, events, activities, and the annual program planning conference.
- Runs the Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC) meetings.
- Appoints other troop junior leaders with the advice and counsel of the Scoutmaster.
- Assigns duties and responsibilities to junior leaders.
- Assists the Scoutmaster with junior leader training.
- Sets a good example.
- Enthusiastically and correctly wears the Scout uniform (all four parts).
- Lives by the Scout Oath and Law.
- Shows Scout spirit.
The Senior Patrol Leader is top youth leader in its unit. Other top youth leaders are:
- Senior Patrol Leader - Boy Scouting
- Captain - Varsity Scouting
- Crew President - Venturing
- Boatswain - Sea Scouting
- Post President - Exploring
“The junior leader with the most responsibility in a troop is the Senior Patrol Leader. He is elected by all of the members of the troop. Each troop sets its' own requirements and schedule of elections, though senior patrol leaders are usually chosen at six- to 12-month intervals and can be reelected.”
— Scoutmaster Handbook
Is your Senior Patrol Leader performing the duties listed above? Are the adults in the Troop allowing the SPL to do his job?