The Patrol Leader’s position is central to scouting. The scout program is based on the troop being organized into patrols which are led by the scouts themselves. In order for the program to work and be fun, patrols have to function well. The Patrol Leader’s objective is to make this happen. The Patrol Leader supports the SPL in trying to ensure that his patrol’s activities are fun, safe, and consistent with Scouting’s ideals.
The Patrol Leader is a vital link in the leadership chain. He, more than any other leader, has direct contact with the scouts in the troop. It is very important that he set a good example for his patrol members. The Patrol Leader’s most important functions are; helping the patrol work together, communications, leading the patrol on camping trips, and helping the younger scouts learn. He also plans patrol meetings and activities.
It’s the Patrol Leader's job to see that things are running smoothly, that the patrol has fun, is well behaved, is prepared for activities, has the right equipment, and works together to get things done. Of course, delegation is important; the Patrol Leader needs to delegate responsibility to others. However, the Patrol Leader is ultimately responsible for everything that happens in the patrol even when he has delegated some portion of his job to someone else. Do not delegate a task unless you are confident the person is able to do it.
Information gets to the scouts in the troop through their Patrol Leader. He is the one who attends leadership meetings and carries the information to his patrol members. He is the key person in the telephone chain for his patrol. On outings, he is responsible to know the schedule and have his patrol ready for everything that happens.
At troop meetings the Patrol Leader works with his patrol members to prepare for weekend activities. A well functioning patrol will hold patrol meetings on occasion for special reasons such as preparing for a Klondike Derby or First Aid meet. The Patrol Leader organizes and runs patrol meetings.
On camping trips, the Patrol Leader makes sure his patrol's campsite gets set up, meals get cooked, cleanup gets done, and that the patrol is prepared to participate in the rest of the troop's activities.
Participation is essential for a Patrol Leader. If he isn't there his patrol won't function properly. This spoils things for everyone else in the patrol.
1. Be First Class or higher (except for 1st year patrols)
2. Have at least a 75% attendance record at both meetings and activities.
1. I will strive to not miss more than 3 meetings and 1 activity during my year as Patrol Leader.
2. If I am forced to miss a meeting or activity, I will arrange to have one of the ASPLs work with my APL fill in for me and will make sure that he has everything he needs to do a good job.
3. I will devote at least one hour a week, in addition to time spent at troop functions, to my role as Patrol Leader.