Scouting Organization

BSA National Organization

Troop 680 is part of a large organization�the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The BSA has over one million members across the country. You can learn more about the national BSA organization at their Web site: www.bsa.Scouting.org.

BSA Council

The BSA is made up of regional councils. The headquarters for our council, called the National Capital Area Council (NCAC), is in Bethesda, MD. More information about the council is available on their Web site: www.boyscouts-ncac.org.

BSA District

The NCAC is made up of districts. Ours is called the Colonial District which covers the area south of the beltway and east of I-95 to the Potomac River. Almost all of the people who work for the Colonial District are volunteers. The district Web site is at: www.boyscouts-ncac.org.

Unit Commissioner

Trained and experienced volunteer leaders from the Colonial District, called Unit Commissioners, oversee the operations of Troops in every district. Usually, each Unit Commissioner oversees more than one Troop. Our Troop's Unit Commissioner is the best person for a parent to talk to if they are not able to resolve a problem with the Scoutmaster or the Troop Committee.

BSA Charter Organization

Troop 680 is chartered by the BSA to Saint Louis Catholic Church. The church as our Chartering Organization oversees our Troop program and has approval authority for adult leaders. The Troop's Charter Organization Representative (COR) is normally one of our parish priests.

Troop 680

Patrols are the building blocks of our Troop. Unlike Cub Scout dens, most patrols mix younger Scouts with older, more experienced Scouts. Beginning Scouts first join a New Scout Patrol to help them follow the recommended Boy Scout timeline (one year) towards First Class rank. At that point, there is often a realignment of patrols as the next set of new Scouts joins by bridging from Pack 680 and/or other packs in March. Patrol members elect their Patrol Leader.

Troop Committee

Volunteer parents, registered with BSA, make up our Troop Committee. The committee ensures our Troop has safe outings and has the resources needed to support our activities. Committee members receive training from the Colonial District in Troop leadership and in youth protection. They also require Virtus, the Diocese of Arlington youth protection training. Among its duties, the committee selects the Scoutmaster, raises and manages the money for our program, supports Troop awards and advancement ceremonies, and handles the paperwork between the Troop and the BSA council. The Troop Committee Chair is the best person for a parent to talk to if they are not able to resolve a problem with the Scoutmaster. One parent for each Scout is expected to be involved in the program as a committee member, merit badge counselor or adult Troop leader. The Troop 680 web site lists the committee members and adult Troop leaders. The Troop Committee meets the last Sunday of the month, concurrent with the monthly PLC meeting.

Adult Troop Leaders

The Scoutmaster and the Assistant Scoutmasters are BSA registered adults working directly with the Scouts. The adult Troop leaders receive Troop leadership and youth protection training from the District. They also require Virtus training (see www.virtus.org/virtus/) from the Diocese of Arlington. The Scoutmaster serves as the link between the Troop Committee, provides guidance to the Senior Patrol Leader and the other Troop leaders in running the Troop program, and selects the Assistant Scoutmasters.

Boy Scout Troop Leaders

The Troop leaders are the Scouts who run Troop 680. Members of the Troop elect the key Troop Patrol Leaders about every six months. The Troop leaders must perform their duties as specified in the job descriptions/agreements listed in the Appendix for credit toward the �Position of Responsibility� requirement. Troop leaders not able to meet all the requirements listed in their position agreement may have to repeat the time in the current position for it to count for advancement.

  • Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). The SPL is the Scout elected by the Troop to lead the Troop. The SPL leads Troop meetings, outings, and coordinates Troop operations through the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) and the Patrol Leaders.
  • Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL). ASPLs may be elected by the Troop, or may be appointed by the SPL, in either case with Scoutmaster approval. ASPLs assist the SPL and serve as Troop leaders when the SPL is absent. The ASPLs also help the SPL manage his immediate supporting staff: Troop Guide, Historian, Order of the Arrow Representative, Librarian, Quartermaster, Scribe, Instructor, Chaplain Aide, Den Chief, Leave No Trace Trainer, Webmaster, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. They also develop and lead skill-training programs for the Troop.
  • Patrol Leader (PL). Each patrol elects a Patrol Leader from among its members; the Patrol Leader for the new Scout Patrol may be appointed by the SPL and Scoutmaster. The PL leads his patrol in meetings and outings. He is responsible for ensuring his patrol carries out its duties to the Troop. He is also responsible for representing his patrol members when the Patrol Leaders' Council meets to decide on plans for Troop outings and other activities. The Patrol Leader selects his Assistant Patrol Leader (APL), the Patrol quartermaster, and the Patrol scribe. If the Patrol leader cannot make it to the PLC, he will ask the APL to attend.
  • Staff positions. In coordination with the SPL and the Scoutmaster, the ASPL oversees the work of the Troop staff:
    • Troop Guide, who works as a mentor with first year Scouts.
    • Historian, who records the Troop's history and maintains an archive of Troop photos and documents.
    • Order of the Arrow Troop Representative, who serves as a communication link between the Troop and the local Order of the Arrow lodge.
    • Librarian, who manages the Troop's library of merit badge pamphlets and other literature.
    • Quartermaster, who manages the Troop's equipment inventory.
    • Scribe, who manages the Troop's web site and documents Troop rosters and program plans.
    • Instructor, who provides training expertise in a specific area of Scout craft.
    • Chaplain Aide, who assists the Troop chaplain in serving the religious needs of the Troop.
    • Den Chief, who works with boys in a local Cub Scout den.
    • Leave No Trace Trainer, who teaches Leave No Trace principles to the troop and ensures they are followed on outings.
    • Webmaster, who maintains the Troop�s website.

Note for new Scouts: Knowledge and experience are important to succeed in Troop leadership; Scouts normally must be First Class rank or above to serve in these Troop leader positions. Star is the minimum requirement for SPL and ASPL. Service in one or more of these leadership positions is required for advancement to Star, Life, and Eagle ranks. Younger Scouts should serve in positions within their patrol to gain leadership experience.

Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC)

Led by the SPL, the PLC is made up of the Troop leaders. This group meets every month (usually on the last Sunday of each month, instead of a regular Troop meeting) to make plans for future Troop meetings and to decide on other Troop business�outings, policies, and Troop goals. Elections are held twice a year, normally in October and April. Training resources include: The Patrol Leader Handbook, The Senior Patrol Leader Handbook, Junior Leader Training (video and book), Troop-level junior leader training sessions. Each Patrol Leader should have his own copy of The Patrol Leader Handbook, and a notebook containing the Troop roster, the Target First Class report and the Target Eagle report (both reports available from the Troop advancements database). The PLC members are the SPL, ASLs, PLs and other troop leadership positions listed as staff positions above.