Youth Leadership & The Patrol Method
Troop 58 is a “boy-led” troop and as such, we intend to allow them as much freedom and privacy as conditions dictate.
Our troop is divided into patrols. The patrol method permits the Troop to meet various Scouts’ interests and advancement needs; to organize outings and campouts; and to have each patrol on a campout address its own needs (equipment, food, etc). The patrol method also provides a new Scout the opportunity to meet others, learn everyone’s name, and shed the feeling of “getting lost in the crowd”. In a patrol, a Scout can quickly grow comfortable and reach out to make new friends.
Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC) is made up of the Scout leaders of the troop. The PLC is the backbone of any troop. It meets monthly, or as needed, to plan, develop, and execute the Troop’s program. Patrol Leaders bring the interests of the Scouts in their patrols to the discussion at the PLC meetings and receive guidance from the Scoutmaster and his assistants.
The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is the one Scout who is ultimately in charge of the Troop and carries the most responsibility. He is typically an older scout, more mature, elected by a majority of the boys in the troop and, with the help of his appointed Assistant Senior Patrol Leader(s) (ASPL), presides over the PLC. To be an SPL in Troop 58, a Scout must be at least the rank of Star, should have two years’ tenure in the Troop, have completed Junior Leader Training and should have served as a Patrol Leader, SPL, or ASPL. The ASPL is chosen by the newly elected SPL.
Each Patrol Leader is elected by the Scouts in his patrol. The Patrol Leader, and his appointed assistant, have the responsibility of seeing that every Scout in the patrol has the opportunity to participate in the Troop’s programs. He makes sure that all scouts are treated equally, and share in the patrol’s responsibilities during outings. He also represents the boys in his patrol at the Patrol Leaders’ Council. When he is unable to carry out his responsibilities, his appointed assistant fills in. Any Scout with at least a year’s tenure in the Troop, and who also carries the rank of First Class or higher, can be a Patrol Leader. The Troop expects that all Patrol Leaders to complete Junior Leader Training.
Other youth positions, appointed by the Scoutmaster, include:
The Quartermaster keeps track of all troop equipment and is responsible for checking it out to patrols, and checking it back in.
The Librarian maintains a volume of troop literature including copies of all current merit badge books, Scout Handbooks, etc.
The Scribe attends to Troop correspondence and maintains Troop records.
The Historian maintains the troop records including a log of past members (including alumni directories), past activities, and a photo album of troop and patrol events.
Other positions are appointed by the Scoutmaster to fill Troop needs such as, Bugler, Chaplin’s Assistant, Webmaster, etc.
The Scoutmaster is chosen by the Committee Chair on the recommendation of other committee members to be the key adult role model in the Troop. This position requires mandatory BSA training before an adult may accept this position and assume the responsibilities of Scoutmaster.
His jobs are many and varied, but include: advising, guiding, and training the Senior Patrol Leader and the rest of the PLC, reviewing each Scout’s advancement progress, delegating some tasks to his Assistant Scoutmasters and to be a trusted friend and a teacher to all Scouts in Troop 58. The Scoutmaster makes a major commitment of time and effort in order to make the Scouting experience come alive for all Scouts in Troop 58
Working to support the Scouts and Scoutmaster is the Troop Committee.
This is a group of adults, at least 21 years old, who meet monthly to deal with many of the administrative issues of running the Troop. Among their many responsibilities is annual re-chartering of the Troop, managing Troop finances, long-range planning and approval of the Troop’s annual program, planned by the PLC.
1. All interested adults are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the Troop 58 Committee.
2. Troop 58's Committee meets on the third (or last) Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Post 1040 American Legion Hall, Elsmere, NY.
3. The chief responsibilities of the Troop Committee are to assist the Scoutmaster in the development and operation of the Troop program to ensure its success.
4. The Troop Committee meeting will conduct business that includes, but is not confined, to Chair’s report, Secretary’s report, Scoutmaster’s report, and Treasurer’s report. Sub-Committee reports, as necessary, and reports such as pop corn sales, rank advancement, membership, outdoor program, leadership issues, equipment and facilities may be presented, together with and old and new business.
5. Committee business will be conducted at the regularly scheduled monthly meetings. A minimum of three Committee members are required to conduct committee business. Decisions will be made by a majority vote of the members present. All Committee members will be notified in advance of meetings held outside the regularly scheduled time.
6. All Troop expenditures are to be pre-approved by the Troop Committee. For camping, a petty cash reserve may be set up for use at the Quartermaster’s discretion. All other requests must be supported by pre-approval or receipt. Only the Treasurer, and his/her approved alternate, may sign Troop 58 checks.
7. All receipts should be submitted with 45 days after purchases are made so that an accurate budget may be determined. Reimbursement for approved expenses will be made at the monthly committee meeting.
8. The Committee Chairman is responsible for running the committee, presiding over all monthly meetings, delegating certain administrative tasks to other committee members, and, above all, appointing a Scoutmaster.
9. The Advancement Chairman maintains all the advancement records for every Scout. Periodically, this person files the advancement reports with the council and purchases the awards and certificates. When a Scout is ready to advance in rank, the Advancement Chair arranges for a Board of Review.
10. The Treasurer is responsible for receiving income from dues and fund raisers, making payments as needed for equipment, program, etc, and maintaining all troop accounts, reporting periodically to the committee on the status of available funds, and aids in the development of an annual troop budget. The Treasurer is also the trustee of our memorial funds, and is responsible for keeping track of Individual Scout Accounts.
11. The Fund Raising Chair is responsible for operating fund raisers during the year to finance the Troop’s program, promoting the fund raisers, and enlist everyone’s cooperation (Scout’s and parents). Fund raising may also be the responsibility of a group of people, and directed by the chairperson.
12. The Eagle Scout Advisor works with the Advancement Chair, and guides a Life Scout, and his parents towards the rank of Eagle. The advisor assists the Scout to complete all necessary paperwork correctly and on time, coaches the Scout on the completion of his service project, arranges for an Eagle Board of Review and assists in planning the Eagle Court of Honor.
Troop Charter & Council
The Nathaniel Adams Blanchard Post #1040, American Legion, is our Chartered Organization. The Post holds the ownership of Troop 58 and is charged with seeing that the Scouting program is conducted appropriately and effectively in our community.
The Post appoints a Chartered Organization Representative (CR) who assumes the ultimate responsibility for the Troop and is a vital link between the Troop, the Post, and the local council. His responsibilities include approval or denial of the appointment of all adult leaders in the Troop and removal of any adult leader should the need arise. In addition, the CR holds a seat on the District Committee, votes on all district-related issues and reports to the Post on the status of the Troop.
The Twin Rivers Council, under the auspices of the BSA, covers a 12-county area: from the City of Hudson to the Canadian border, west through the Mohawk Valley, and the Eastern half of the Adirondacks. The Council supports all the Scouting units in its territory, has many different functions, and their charter is jointly held by the National Council of the BSA and the United States Congress.
Our council is divided into 7 distinct Districts. Our district, The Fort Orange District, covers all of Albany County. The District Executive, a paid employee of the Council, oversees the operations of the district. The District Chairman presides over the District Committee, which plans and executes an annual program to support the troops, packs, and Venture crews in the district. The District Commissioner is a volunteer who organizes a staff of volunteers to serve as a resource for the individual units. Our troop is assigned a Unit Commissioner from that staff who visits us periodically, advising on leadership issues, training opportunities, district events, and the annual charter renewal process.