Troop 880 Handbook

Section 2 - Leadership



A. Troop Organization


Troop 880 uses the "Patrol Method."  Patrols are the building blocks of the troop. Our troop is generally divided into eight to ten patrols of six to eight Scouts in each.  When a boy joins the troop, he will be assigned to a specific patrol, generally with the other scouts that entered with him.  Each patrol has a Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leader. The new patrols will have more senior scouts assigned as patrol leaders for the first two years to provide the experience that the incoming scouts lack. Troop Guides (Older Scouts) will also help to provide guidance.


Each patrol meets, on the average, twice every month, usually during a block of the regular Thursday evening troop meetings. This enables patrols to work on rank advancement or merit badges, to prepare for troop activities, or to plan their own activities or outings as a patrol.


Troop 880 is run by Scouts, notably the Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, and Patrol Leaders.  A Troop Committee, made up of parents, provides overall guidance and policy for the troop.  Adult leadership and oversight is provided at all Troop 880 activities by the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters, as well as former Scouts or parents.



B. Youth Leadership


With the guidance of the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters, the Scouts of Troop 880 plan the troop's programs, conduct meetings, and provide leadership among their peers.


There are a number of Youth Leadership Positions in the troop. Holding some of these positions is required for advancement. A Scout is selected or elected to a position for a term of six months. The troop holds elections twice a year, generally in March and September. The major positions are: Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL), and Patrol Leader.


1.  Troop 880 Youth Leadership Positions (Descriptions and Duties).



C. Adult Leaders


1. Uniformed Positions - If you would like to become more active as a registered adult leader (a "Scouter") you must also complete an Adult Application form.


2. Committee Positions - The Troop Committee consists of parent volunteers who fulfill the roles of Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Outdoor and Equipment, Newsletter, Cub Pack Liaison, Advancement, Chartered Organization Representative, Fund Raising, Order of the Arrow, and others. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings. Parents are always needed to serve on the troop committee or sub-committees in various capacities. 

All parents are encouraged to attend troop meetings, but are particularly encouraged to attend the Parent Committee Meeting that is generally held the second Wednesday of every month (Please check the latest calendar).  This gives every parent an opportunity to learn more about the Boy Scouts of America, keep up on troop activities and to provide input to our Scouting program.  To better understand the program, parents are also asked to read the Boy Scout Handbook along with the other Scouting resources and to encourage their sons to do the same.


3. Program Opportunities - Troop 880 is a relatively large and very active troop and all efforts in behalf of our sons are done by volunteers. Therefore, we ask that parents plan to do their part to help the troop function.

It takes numerous adult drivers, hikers, and campers to transport and supervise our Scouts on their various outings. Whether you would like to join the troop on a hike or campout, or just want to drive to/from an activity, adult volunteers for activities are always needed. Participation in these outings provides parents opportunities to observe and/or share their son's Scouting experiences, as well as, occasions to get to know the other parents in the troop.

Parents are asked to participate in troop activities, get their boys to the meetings and activities on time, and encourage their sonís progress on rank advancement and merit badges.





D. Chain of Command


1. What is Chain of Command?  For the Patrol System to work (i.e. scouts leading scouts), the correct rank sequence in the Scouting chain of command is:


Troop Committee

Scoutmaster (SM)

Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM)

Junior Assistant Scoutmasters (JASM)

Senior Patrol Leader (SPL)

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL)

Patrol Leader (PL)

Assistant Patrol Leader (APL)



Typically, the senior scouts lead the younger scouts.  Commands flow down from the SPL to other leaders of the troop (ASPLs and PLs).  Only on rare occasions would a SPL direct an individual scout.  Questions, requests for clarification or issues flow up from scout, to PL, to ASPL, to SLP, to Scoutmaster.


Just to be clear, there is a difference between advancement or skill ranks (Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life, Eagle) and Command/Leadership positions.  In most troops, this confusion between chain of command versus skills competency becomes apparent when it leads to challenging the Patrol Leader's authority because (for instance) a Star Scout may "outrank" a First Class Patrol Leader in skill but the Patrol Leader is the one giving direction and leading.  Skill rank does not mean that you are the leader.  Only your leadership position (APL, PL, ASPL, SLP) is considered.


2. What is the chain of command if a Scout has an issue with another Scout, etc.?  A scoutís most important leader is his Patrol Leader.  If there is no satisfaction at the Patrol Leader level, then the Senior Patrol Leader should be involved.  If no satisfaction is found within the youth leadership, the issue should be escalated to either the Scoutmaster or one of his assistants.  The final escalation point is the Troop Committee.  This same escalation process also is in play when disciplinary action needs to be involved.  We always try to have the youth leaders police their own issues, if possible.


If any issue ever involves conduct that endangers personal safety, involves harassment (or other non-scout behaviors), the process skips directly to the adult leaders.



E. Training


1. Adult Leaders -Troop 880 strongly encourages all adult leaders to take advantage of training offered by Hockanum River District.  Uniformed leaders are provided an annual opportunity to complete Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Specific Leader training (AKA Ė Scoutmaster Fundamentals or Scoutmaster Basic Training) that includes both classroom training on the scouting method and basic outdoor skills.  Committee members, not otherwise serving as uniformed leaders, are encouraged to take the classroom portion of SM & ASM Specific Leader training.  Training costs will be reimbursed from Troop funds.  In addition, uniformed leaders are encouraged to participate in advanced training (Wood Badge) provided by Connecticut Rivers Council.  The cost of this training is shared 50/50 by the troop and the individual leader.


2. Junior Leaders (Scouts) - From time to time, training for scouts holding or planning to hold leadership positions is provided by District or Council.  WEBELOS den chief training which equips a boy scout with the skills to assist a Cub Scout WEBELOS den leader is an example of District level training.  National Youth Leader Training is offered by Council to train the top boy leaders in the skills of leadership.  The troop share of any costs associated with youth training will be determined by Committee at the time that troop members apply for the training.


Select below for another Handbook section

Table of Contents


Section 1

Troop Information


Section 3



Section 4



This page last modified: May 01, 2021