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Senior Patrol Leader Description and Self Evaluation

About the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) Position

The Scouts BSA Senior Patrol Leader position is one of the most important leadership roles within the Boy Scouts of America organization. This position is responsible for leading a group of scouts within a troop and ensuring that all activities and events are organized and run smoothly.

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

As a Senior Patrol Leader, one must possess strong leadership skills, effective communication abilities, and an unwavering commitment to the principles and values of scouting. The Senior Patrol Leader must also be able to inspire and motivate scouts to achieve their goals while fostering a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

One of the key responsibilities of the Senior Patrol Leader is to plan and organize troop meetings and activities. This includes developing an agenda, assigning tasks and responsibilities, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. The Senior Patrol Leader must also work closely with other troop leaders, such as the Patrol Leaders, to ensure that all scouts are involved and engaged in troop activities.

In addition to organizing troop meetings and activities, the Senior Patrol Leader is also responsible for ensuring that the troop adheres to the principles and values of scouting. This includes promoting a sense of community and teamwork, encouraging scouts to follow the Scout Oath and Law, and ensuring that all activities are conducted in a safe and responsible manner.

Another important aspect of the Senior Patrol Leader position is to serve as a role model and mentor for other scouts within the troop. The Senior Patrol Leader must demonstrate strong leadership skills, be knowledgeable about scouting principles and practices, and be able to guide and support other scouts in their personal growth and development.

Finally, the Senior Patrol Leader must also be able to work closely with adult leaders within the troop, including the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters. This includes communicating effectively, seeking input and feedback, and collaborating to ensure that the troop operates effectively and efficiently.

The Scouts BSA Senior Patrol Leader position is a challenging and rewarding leadership role that requires a strong commitment to the principles and values of scouting, effective communication skills, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. If you are a scout who is passionate about leadership and community service, this position may be the perfect opportunity for you to grow and develop as a leader while making a positive impact on the lives of others.

The description below represents an example of the requirements and 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 (not a BSA requirement)
  • 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) (not a BSA requirement)

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

What does SPL stand for in Scouting?

SPL stands for Senior Patrol Leader. The Senior Patrol Leader is elected by the other scouts to represent them as the top youth leader in the troop.

Is there a minimum age or rank requirement for Senior Patrol Leader?

There is not a minimum set by BSA. However troops may set their own qualifications based on the size of their troop and the maturity of their troop. For example, in many troops a Tenderfoot would not be considered to have the experience needed to be SPL.


4 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]

    1. Ethan Smith Avatar
      Ethan Smith

      It’s all relative to the unit and the Scout. This may be what they do at their troop. It’s not necessarily misleading if it says it’s a sample

  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
      Scouter Mom

      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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