On last Wednesday night the Scouts and Leaders present received a printed draft copy of the 2014 Troop Calendar. This is a first pass at the important dates for the current year and it will be maintained as a Google calendar (always up to date) on our troop website. One of the changes you might notice is that on the first Wednesday of each month there is no listing for a Troop Meeting, in its place is something called a “PLC”. PLC is an acronym for Patrol Leaders’ Council. The BSA website describes it this way:
The patrol leaders’ council is made up of the senior patrol leader, who presides over the meetings; the assistant senior patrol leader, all patrol leaders, and the troop guide. The patrol leaders’ council plans the yearly troop program at the annual troop program planning conference. It then meets monthly to fine-tune the plans for the upcoming month.
The PLC is not a regular troop meeting, not everyone will attend. Yes, this does mean that we’ll have one less Troop meeting per month but in its place we’ll be providing a valuable time for leadership development and program planning. After our PLC has had time to develop, it will be up to them to decide whether or not to keep the existing schedule or not moving into 2015.
The first PLC is scheduled for February 5 and we’ll start out slowly with some training on youth leadership and the patrol method. I’ll also be engaging the boys in a discussion about how they would like to run elections for leadership positions.
If you’re looking for a little bit more depth on this topic, the BSA also states in the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops:
Empowering Scouts to be leaders is one of the core principles in Scouting. Scouting is designed to help Scouts prepare to participate in, and give leadership to, American society. A troop is a small democracy. Within the safety framework provided by the adult leaders, and with the Scoutmaster’s direction and mentoring, the Scouts plan and implement the troop program. Scouts serve in positions of responsibility to make that happen.
Participants in the patrol leaders’ council plan and run the troop’s program and activities. Composed of specific members of the troop leadership team, this group of Scout leaders meets routinely (usually monthly) to fine-tune upcoming troop meetings and outings. The senior patrol leader runs the patrol leaders’ council meeting, and the Scoutmaster and other adult leaders attend as coaches, mentors, and information resources. The Scoutmaster allows the senior patrol leader and Scouts to run the meetings and make decisions, stepping in with suggestions and guidance whenever that will enhance the program for the troop and Scouts.
Some related resources: