Monday, June 24, 2013

Senior Patrol Leader

Offering a real-life training ground for leadership skills is one of the key features of Boy Scouts.  Our Life Scout, Joseph (15), currently holds the title of senior patrol leader for his troop.  An elected position, the senior patrol leader is the top junior leader of the troop.  Under the direction of the Scoutmaster (who happens to be his dad), Joseph takes charge of troop meetings, the planning meetings (PLCs), and the outings and adventures.

Joseph demonstrates lighting a camp stove before fixing dinner at Eight Mile Campground in the North Cascades.
With the title of senior patrol leader (SPL) comes heightened expectations for setting a good example for all the Scouts in the troop.  Practicing leave no trace on outings, wearing the uniform correctly and living the Scout Oath and Law are responsibilities of the SPL.

Joseph as exhibit A
Joseph's natural comfort zone does not include being on center stage or drawing attention to himself, yet as the senior patrol leader he has the opportunity to stretch his comfort zone a bit.  Not normally known as a morning person, Joseph as SPL holds the responsibility of rallying the troop for camp activities, including an early morning departure for river rafting on a recent camp-out.  Stalking near the tents where Scouts lay sleeping, Joseph clanged the pots and pans as an alarm bell and early warning system.  Prank-like yet necessary, this duty may go down as the highlight of his term!
Joseph on the shores of Icicle Creek
SPL Joseph serves as MC for the flag retirement ceremony at a recent campfire.
Following a script and enlisting assistants for important ceremonies in Scouts, the SPL takes charge.
Holding the key junior leadership position in the troop, Joseph has many opportunities to learn from his successes and from not-so-successful experiences.  Hopefully his six month term will prove to be fun and rewarding as well as challenging and effective.  May Joseph the SPL leave a lasting mark on the troop, as the troop leaves a lasting mark on our Scouts.

No comments: