Senior Patrol Leader

Senior Patrol Leader Description and Self Evaluation

The Senior Patrol Leader emblem which is worn on a Scout uniform.

About the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) Position

Scouts BSA Troops are led by the youth members. If you are new to Scouts BSA, it is important to understand what the different positions do. For youth members, understanding the various positions will help them understand who they should look to for assistance. And for new parents, knowing what the responsibilities are for each position will help them understand the program better.

The Senior Patrol Leader is the top youth leader in the troop. He or she is elected by the scouts in the troop. The description below represents an example of the expectations for this position in one troop. Specifics can vary from one troop to another.

The printable copy also includes a self evaluation form for the position on the second page. Youth leaders might benefit from self evaluating during their term. If you use this, then keep it positive with them. It should only be used to help them recognize areas they should be working on.


Senior Patrol Leader Qualifications and Duties

This is just an example. Adjust as needed to meet the size, customs, and needs of your unit.

The SPL is elected by the scouts to represent them as the top youth leader in the troop.


  • First Class rank or higher
  • Must be approved by the Scoutmaster
  • Elected by the youth members of the troop
  • May not serve two consecutive terms (Exception: May run for a consecutive term if there are only one or zero candidates)

Reports to: Scoutmaster

Senior Patrol Leader Duties

  • Preside at all troop meetings and activities. Attendance expectation 80%
  • Chair the monthly Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC). Attendance expectation 80%
  • Participate in outings. Attendance expectation 65%
  • Appoint Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) with the advice and consent of the Scoutmaster.
  • Assign specific duties to other youth leaders.
  • Assist the Scoutmaster in training youth leaders.
  • Delegate tasks to the ASPL. Make sure ASPL attends any meeting/function he will not be able to attend.
  • Oversee the planning efforts of scouts for all troop events.
  • Set a good example.
  • Wear the field uniform (class A) correctly to all regular troop meetings and religious services.
  • Wear the activity uniform (class B t-shirt) to all outings and other troop activities.
  • Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Show Scout spirit.

Frequently Asked Questions

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3 responses to “Senior Patrol Leader Description and Self Evaluation”

  1. Dustin Tarditi Avatar
    Dustin Tarditi

    Even though you said that this is a sample, it’s misleading to assert rank requirements for positions of responsibility – troops may make such requirements on their own PORs, but please make sure this is not interpreted as canon BSA regulation. JASM has an age requirement, and some other PORs have implied requirements due to the nature of the responsibilities (i.e. OA rep needs to be an OA member, therefore incurs the prerequisites of OA) [same comment as PL help page]

  2. Tom Braunstein Avatar
    Tom Braunstein

    Can a scout who is 15 years old and an Eagle Scout can he be a senior patrol leader

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar

      That would be up to the unit. The Scoutmaster can steer a youth to the positions he or she thinks is most appropriate for that individual.

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