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BSA Patrol Leader Handbook Covers
and Other Junior Leader Handbook Covers

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It took the BSA almost two decades to release a handbook for patrol leaders. And there have been two periods since then (20 years total) when there was no Patrol Leader Handbook, the BSA instead offering a much more general troop leadership guide. The covers of all youth leadership books are shown below, including all Patrol Leader Handbooks, the two troop leadership books, and the recent Senior Patrol Leader and Outdoor Ethics Guide Handbooks.

1st Edition, printings 1-4 1st Edition, printings 5-18 1st Edition, printings 19-34
Handbook for Patrol Leaders, First Edition, printings 1-4, 1929-35 (left)
Handbook for Patrol Leaders, First Edition, printings 5-18, 1935-50 (middle)
Handbook for Patrol Leaders, First Edition, printings 19-34 (somewhat revised), 1950-67 (right)

2nd Edition
Patrol Leader's Handbook, 1967 Edition, 1967-72 [new edition, never labeled as "Second" Edition]

Patrol and Troop Leadership
Patrol and Troop Leadership, 1972-80
There was no handbook specifically for patrol leaders during this period, only this much more general leadership book with limited information on how to run a good patrol.

3rd Edition
The Official Patrol Leader Handbook, Third Edition, 1980-90
Cover is 1979 Joseph Csatari painting "Eagle Service Project".

Junior Leader Handbook
Junior Leader Handbook, 1990-2002
Again, there was no handbook specifically for patrol leaders during this period, just this general leadership book.

Patrol Leader Handbook, 2002 Edition Patrol Leader Handbook, 2017 Edition Patrol Leader Handbook, 2019 Edition
SPL Handbook, 2002 Edition SPL Handbook, 2017 Edition SPL Handbook, 2019 Edition
The Patrol Leader Handbook, 2002/2017/2019 Editions, 2002-present (above)
The Senior Patrol Leader Handbook, 2002/2017/2019 Editions, 2002-present (below)
[BSA ceased labeling Handbook editions after 1990 (except for the Boy Scout Handbook). These would count as the PLHB 4th Edition and the SPLHB 1st Edition. The cover changes included minor content updates, but probably not enough to be considered a truly new edition.]
The 2017 editions use the same cover background as the 13th Edition of the Scout Handbook. The 2018/19 editions switch to the plain background w/ logo that BSA is using for all its current handbooks. The 2019 PLHB has a green background with lettering, large patrol leader emblem, & two corners in tan. The 2019 SPLHB has a tan background with lettering, large senior patrol leader emblem, & two corners in green.
These books are spiral-bound, which lets them be conveniently folded flat and avoids the problem of pages falling out of a well-used book. The Senior Patrol Leader Handbook is the first leadership manual specifically for the SPL.

Outdoor Ethics Guide Handbook, 2017 Edition Outdoor Ethics Guide Handbook, 2018 Edition
Outdoor Ethics Guide Handbook, 2017 Edition, 2017-present (right)
The Outdoor Ethics Guide is new as of late 2017. Like the other junior leader handbooks, the 2017 edition had the same background as the 13th Edition of the Scout Handbook, and the 2018 edition has a tan background with lettering, large outdoor ethics guide emblem, & two corners in green. The Outdoor Ethics Guide handbook is only available online.

HISTORY OF PATROL LEADER HANDBOOK

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