How Troop 586 Functions


Adapted from "How A Scout Troop Works" by Hal Daume.


A Boy Scout Troop is a microcosm of democracy-in-action. Its key leaders are elected by their peers, and then provide direction through the Troop’s essential operating units: Its PATROLS.


The Patrol Method is not “a way of running a Scout troop; it is the ONLY way of running a Scout Troop. Without The Patrol Method, there is no Scouting.
- Lord Robert S.S. Baden-Powell of Gilwell


Scout's form themselves into Patrols, plan the Troop's annual, monthly, and inidvidual meeting programs, and bring these to life. The Scoutmaster guides these actions.


Troop 586 relies on scouts serving in key positions of leadership to participate in the Patrol leaders Council (PLC). The PLC is the primary operational/program decision-making body of the Troop.



The Patrol is the fundamental unit of the Boy Scout program; the troop is the “umbrella” under which the Patrols operate.

A Patrol is a grouping of approximately six to never more than eight Scouts who work together. Each Patrol elects its own Patrol Leader, who then chooses his assistant (APL). Within the larger community of the troop, the Patrol is a Scout’s family circle. The patrol helps its members develop a sense of pride and identity, and encourages increasing level of responsibility.


The object of The Patrol Method is to give responsibility to the Scout. - Lord Robert S.S. Baden-Powell of Gilwell
Never do for a boy what he can do for himself. - The Scoutmaster’s Handbook



The Patrol Leaders Council (PLC), not the adult leaders or Troop Committee, is responsible for planning and conducting all troops activities. The PLC is composed of these key decision-makers: SPL and ASPL, and all Patrol Leaders (the Troop Scribe may be requested to attend the PLC to take notes, but he is not a voting member; neither is the Scoutmaster; ASMs do not attend PLC meetings). At the PLC’s monthly meetings, these key youth leaders plan, organize and assign activity responsibilities for the weekly troop meetings for the coming month. The PLC also plans the troop’s annual calendar of activities.

The Scoutmaster guides and mentors but does not lead or control PLC meetings and program-planning, and then informs the troop Committee of the PLC’s plans and decisions. The Troop Committee may offer suggestions to the PLC through the Scoutmaster, but neither the Scoutmaster nor the Committee votes on, approves, vetoes, or otherwise disapproves what the PLC has decided, except in the event of a potential safety or youth protection violation.

Besides the Patrol Leader, other positions within the patrol are: Assistant Patrol Leader, Scribe, Quartermaster, Grubmaster, Cheermaster. Depending upon the situation, patrols may have other types of duty positions such as Fireman, Cook, etc. The Patrol Leader leads the selection for these positions.

The Troop’s patrols do everything TOGETHER. They meet together, plan outings together, camp and hike together, learn skills together, come to troop meetings together – The Patrol members are inseparable and each is responsible for and accountable to all others members in his Patrol.