Section III

Troop Organization and Rules

III.1 Troop Organization

Troop 4673 is a youth run organization.  When a Scout joins our Troop, he is assigned to a "new Scout Patrol."  The Patrol is comprised of 6 to 12 young men, generally the same age as your son, who are also new to the Troop.  The Patrol is led by a Patrol Leader (PL) whom they elect.  The Patrol also elects an Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) to aid the PL.  The new Scout Patrol will be assigned an Assistant Scoutmaster (and possibly a Troop Guide) who will work almost exclusively with the Patrol as the new Scouts advance through the first few ranks.  Once your son has been with the Troop about a year and/or is at or near the rank of First Class, he may be moved to another Patrol composed of more senior Scouts like himself, thus making room for the next round of new Scouts.

Patrols make up the Troop.  The entire Troop elects their youth leaders, the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL).  The SPL, ASPL, Scribe, PLs, APLs, Order of the Arrow Representative, and Troop Guide make up the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC).  These Scouts are the central youth leaders of the Troop.  The ASPL directs other junior leaders such as Instructor, Quartermaster, Librarian, Historian, Scribe, Chaplain Aide, and others.  (See APPENDIX A, Table 2, Troop Organization).  These Troop leaders still belong to Patrols but the SPL and ASPL do not.

Adult leaders provide guidance and support for the youth leaders.  Adult leadership is comprised of the Scoutmaster (SM) and Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM).  At times there may also be a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM), a youth sixteen years or older.  Troop meetings are planned and carried out by the Patrol Leaders Council.  The Patrol Leader assigns all duties for Patrol activities.  Understanding the concepts of "leadership" and "followership" will help your young man more easily accept the leadership of others and teach him to grow into a more responsible adult.

Backing up the Scoutmaster is a Troop Committee, led by a Committee Chairperson.  The Committee is in charge of approving the Troop program and ensuring the program is of the highest caliber.  Above the Committee is the Charter Organization, which in our case is the American Legion Post 176 Springfield, 6520 Amherst Ave, Springfield, VA, 22150.

The Troop, including the Committee and Charter Organization are a part of the Old Dominion District (See APPENDIX A, Table 1, Council Organization).  The District in turn belongs to the National Capital Area Council (NCAC), which in turn belongs to the North East Region.  The North East Region is a part of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).  Finally, the BSA is a part of the World Organization of the Scouting Movement (WOSM) based in Switzerland.

At times, it is difficult for our young men to work with each other on equal ground and you can imagine the difficulties of having one boy lead his peers or even boys older than him.  Please, remind your Scout that age, rank, or tenure in Scouting do not dictate who listens to who.  The Scouts are responsible to their Patrol Leader.  Other youth leaders are also responsible to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.  The Patrol Leaders and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader are responsible to the Senior Patrol Leader.  The Senior Patrol Leader is responsible to the Scoutmaster.

III.2 Communication

Communication is a good thing.  Your son will often receive a phone call from his Patrol Leader, or if he is a Patrol Leader, from the Senior Patrol Leader.  At this time, your Scout will be made aware of news and upcoming events.  If a message is left, make sure your Scout reads the full text of the message back to his leader to make certain the message was properly received.  If your son is in a leadership position, be certain he calls those to whom he is responsible and ensures they too get the message properly.

You will also often receive e-mails and mailings from the Scoutmaster and members of the Committee with loads of useful information about upcoming events.  Please read this information, respond in a timely manner when asked, and make your plans accordingly.

The Troop also is fortunate to have an official web site where upcoming events are listed along with other useful information, including this guide.  Please visit our web site for updates and reminder often:  Although the Scoutmasters are available to all, please work through your young man and his chain-of-command.  This teaches personal responsibility and will help keep confusion and misunderstanding to a minimum.

III.3 Troop Rules

Our rules are designed to make Scouting a safe, fun-filled, and enjoyable experience for all.  Please take some time to familiarize yourself with these rules and discuss each with your son.

III.4 Standards of Conduct

We also have a few standards of conduct.  Please take some time to familiarize yourself with these standards and discuss each with your son.