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APL not being a approved position

Just wondering, do you know what this was?

Once upon a time, before Varsity scouts (and the current concept of “Older Scout” Patrols), we the older scouts were part of a loose cross-patrol collective called the Leadership Corps. In my troop, we served as institutional memory for the PLC, for the most part. We had to be selected by a combination of the SPL (IIRC) and SM, upon recommendation by the scouts in our patrol. In my troop, I think we also had to have held another “senior” leadership position (including SPL, ASPL, PL or JASM, if i recall correctly). This is delving deep into the mists of time…

ETA: Somewhere I still have one of the red and gold keystone patches, as well as the round one they replaced it with in the late 80’s.

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Hmm. Very interesting history.

@scouter11 - on page 27 of the handbook from 1972:

The leadership corps is a group in some troops to help younger troop members and patrol leaders when asked. To have a leadership corps the troop must have at least three scouts who are at least 14 or 15 years of age, are First Class or above, and show that they have what it takes to be leaders. Members may wear the green uniform and a red beret regardless of the troops uniform option choice.

OH - the red beret :drooling_face:

@DonovanMcNeil - yes the red beret as opposed to the red shirt…

:boom: :boom: :boom:Zap

@Stephen_Hornak and @DonovanMcNeil, you guys are killing me. And for the record, I hated wearing those stupid berets…but they did make great Frisbees. :flying_disc:

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It happens in my troop. I make it clear that if a patrol wants to reconfigure, they can always elect a new PL. Knowing that they are just a half dozen unsatisfied scouts away from being replaced keeps them sharp and present at every PLC.

If the APL doesn’t want to leave his position, he can simple ask the SM for a project that benefits the troop. There’s always things that need to get done that fall through the cracks of other troop positions.


Your SM and committee should have extremely clear expectations (preferably written out so candidates to review them and ask questions about them) for what each POR should be doing, and the SPL and SM should be communicating with the Scouts in the PORs to make sure they’re doing what you expect them to do.

If either of these things isn’t happening, it’s not the kids in the PORs that are failing to perform, it’s the Troop leadership.

I’ve reread this thread several times. Here’s what the requirement says for the top 3 ranks:

…serve actively in your unit for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the unit):

Boy Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, Venture patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, troop Webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.

Varsity Scout team. Captain, cocaptain, program manager, squad leader, team secretary, Order of the Arrow troop representative, librarian, historian, quartermaster, chaplain aide, instructor, den chief, team Webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.

Venturing crew/ship. President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, den chief, quartermaster, historian, guide, boatswain, boatswain’s mate, yeoman, purser, storekeeper, crew/ship Webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.

While it is a head scratcher as to why APL is left out with roles like bugler being allowed. I’m guessing APL is one of the roles you will see in the very early ranks. Perhaps the BSA wants Scouts to experience several roles to have a more rounded life experience.

For the APL, I would invoke the clause “or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the unit” and give the APL the reigns to run a service project that will help the Scout prepare for his/her Eagle project. There’s always a way around things

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Well in my unit Bugler is pretty tough - as they will be (in normal years) on every monthly campout - and often play revelry before the SM makes the coffee

Yeah, if your Bugler is really doing the Bugler job, he’s responsible for sounding reville, assembly and taps at campouts and Courts of Honor. So the Bugler’s got to have good time management and organization skills, etc. to make sure the events are moving forward.

We restrict the Bugler position to Scouts that have earned the Music MB and are interested in the Bugling MB. With the number of marching band kids in our Troop, it turns out that this isn’t much of a restriction… I think my son is the only one in the Troop that’s high-school-aged and not in marching band (he performs with the Men’s Chorus instead).

Scouts BSA Advancement and Awards (scroll down for the rank requirements).

Star rank requirements:

Life rank requirements for POR are similar to Star rank, but see note 9.

Eagle Scout rank requirements:

The BSA’s Guide to Advancement section covers positions of responsibility, including: Positions Must Be Chosen From Among Those Listed. “Responsibility” and “Leadership.”

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It is a good position to have for our Troop. When the Patrol Leader cannot attend a PLC meeting he is required to contact the APL to attend in his place. Also it is a good way for younger Scouts who may not be willing to take on Patrol Leader to get some exposure to leadership without the full responsibility.

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if your PL is not performing his duties, he should be removed from that position. Plain and simple. The APL would then transition into that role. Or the APL can apply to be on the ballot to be voted in if you choose that method.

bottom line is, if ANY scout is not performing the duties of their position they should be removed from such position, and they do not get credit for it. The problem that comes up is that if you have a scout not performing, and remains in the position, he gets credit for that position regardless if he sat on his thumbs and did NOTHING the entire time, or if he was a stellar, Powell-esce example of what that POR should be… You DO NOT want to reward someone that is not performing…

so in your case, remove the PL… and promote the APL so the APL gets credit for the position…

ware you Scoutmaster of said troop?

Mike B

I’m guessing you would sit down and have a conference with the PL and talk about his/her shortcomings to see if improvement is possible. We should strive to put our Scouts in positions to succeed. In a conference it may be discovered the Scout may be having personal problems, or didn’t understand the responsibilities of the position. The Scout may decide her/she is no longer wants the job.


A few things to unpack here…

I’m taking it for granted you’re communicating your expectations to your Scouts clearly before booting them, right? If you aren’t, it’s not the Scouts that are failing to perform their duties.

That’s a pretty unfriendly position to take. The point of Scouts is to let the youth learn, and our responisibility as adult leaders is to give them a safe environment to lean by failure. Booting a 12-year old from his position of responsibility because you don’t think he’s doing well is the exact opposite of letting the youth fail safely so they can learn.

None of us (mostly, at least) sprung fully-formed from Zeus’s forehead with complete knowledge and experience to be a leader, and it’s unfair to expect a 12 or 13 year old to excel in a new role the first time they try it.

Nope. In the OP’s case, talk to the patrol leader. Make sure they understand the expectations of the role, and learn from them why they’re having trouble – if, in fact they are having trouble, and it’s not a case of the SM have a skewed expectation of what a young teen should be capable of. And develop a plan to help the Scout excel, instead of making it clear to them that you only care about results.

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yes, of course! ALL my scouts know what is involved with their PoR. If they are not living up to the standard that it is expected, they have plenty of guidance and opportunities to better themselves… If the scout is TRYING, that is basically all I ask… the OP said the PL is basically not doing anything and just sitting on their thumbs… I assumed that is even AFTER a conference with his SPL was had, AND a SM conference after that…
sheesh people so quick to judge others… if the scout is doing NOTHING, he deserves to be removed from his PoR…

Mike B

you are assuming a lot there and NOT assuming a lot too…you are so quick to judge, you should look inward unto yourself…

  • if a scout is NOT performing his duties, AFTER his SPL has had a conference with him, AND after a SM conference has been had, the scout is STILL not doing squat for his PoR… yes, he deserves to be removed from that position… ALL scouts get plenty of opportunity to excel in their PoR, ALL I ASK is that they at least TRY… I never once said the scout has to be Zeus’s child and be the Queen’s gift to all Patrol Leaders… wow… just WOW… I never said I would boot him because I feel he is not doing well… you can be the poorest excuse for a PL in the entire world, but if you are trying your best… hell, even if you are simply TRYING, you are fulfilling that role… the youth the OP spoke about appeared to be not even trying and the APL had to perform his duties… Keeping that PL in the Position is ONLY teaching him that he can do nothing in life because someone else will do it for him and he will still get paid…
    If a scout is doing NOTHING and not TRYING at all, you would leave him in that PoR? That is NOT helping that youth, that is harming him and rewarding him for doing NOTHING… We are building and teaching LEADERS, not slugs… sorry that you think everyone deserves a trophy, but sorry, not everyone does… you learn a LOT more from failure than you do from success…
    NOPE! I will have that youth removed from his PoR thank you very much… perhaps next time he will understand that a PoR is just that a position of RESPONSIBILITY… and yes, there will be a next time, and my SPL and I will ensure that he is aware of what the position entails… there is always a chance or two to redeem yourself in my troop…

Mike B