Being a Scoutmaster

🕓Jan 3, 2019 · ☕5 min read
  • #adult
  • On Being a Scoutmaster in Troop 843

    While the main focus of the Boy Scout program is youth leadership, adult leadership is necessary to provide guidance and direction to ensure the program adheres to the aims and ideals of Scouting. In addition, adult leaders are responsible for ensuring that all Troop activities follow BSA safety and youth protection guidelines. Thus, while Scouts run the troop, the Scoutmaster is the only adult who can change Troop plans or rules. Men and women 18 years of age and older are invited to participate as Troop leaders. There are a number of ‘official’ as well as ‘unofficial’ leadership opportunities available within the Troop.

    The Scoutmaster (SM)

    The Scoutmaster is appointed by the Troop Committee to be responsible for the program and image of Troop 843. The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters work directly with Scouts.


    1. Train and guide youth leaders
    2. Help boys learn for themselves
    3. Attend all troop meetings or, when necessary, arrange for a qualified adult substitute
    4. Enable each Scout to experience at least ten (10) days and nights of camping each year
    5. Conduct Scoutmaster Conferences with all Scouts who are advancing and not advancing
    6. Meet regularly with the Patrol Leaders Council to plan, train and coordinate troop activities
    7. Approve all service projects
    8. Supervise troop elections of Order of the Arrow
    9. Work with other responsible adults to bring Scouting to boys
    10. Help the Committee Chairperson plan Committee meetings
    11. Attend all Troop Committee Meetings
    12. Recruit uniformed adult leaders, specifically, Assistant Scoutmasters
    13. Delegate responsibilities to other adults
    14. Conduct periodic parent meetings to share the program and encourage parent participation
    15. Participate in District and Council activities and events
    16. Take part in annual charter review meeting, and charter presentation
    17. Conduct all activities under qualified adult leadership, safe conditions, and the policies and procedures of Troop 843, the chartered organization and the Boy Scouts of America.

    Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM)

    The main function of Assistant Scoutmasters is to support the Scoutmaster in achieving the responsibilities outlined above by providing qualified adult leadership, safe conditions and the policies and procedures of Troop 843, the chartered organization and the Boy Scouts of America. Assistant Scoutmasters help guide the program of the troop and are often assigned specific duties by and reporting to the Scoutmaster. In addition, Assistant Scoutmasters provide required ‘two-deep leadership’. Successful troops have several, even many Assistant Scoutmasters. Troop 843 tries to recruit at least two Assistant Scoutmasters per patrol, and welcomes as many as possible.

    ESA (also known as Assistant Scoutmaster – Events)

    Before the event

    1. For District, Council or other BSA-planned events, serves as Troop’s liaison with the event organizers
    2. For Troop-planned events, provides the adult planning and preparation
    3. Creates a notebook or secures previous year’s notebook, if available, to document the event with contents to include (but not limited to):
      • Copies of all forms submitted or used for the event
      • Notes taken preparing for and during the event
      • Suggestions for future improvement
    4. Identifies Scout learning and leadership opportunities within the event
    5. Works with the PLC to plan, promote, and prepare for the event
      • Who will serve as SPL?
      • What patrols will attend?
      • Do “event patrols” need to be formed to more evenly distribute resources?
      • How will Scouts be trained and prepared?
    6. Documents expenditures within Troop 843 Guidelines
    7. Reports regularly at preceding ASM meetings
    8. Ensures enough qualified adult leaders participate in the event, designates their role(s) during the event
      • Meet ‘two-deep leadership’ standards
      • Meet BSA Trained Leadership standards
      • Meet minimum standards First Aid, Water Safety and CPR trained adults on hand
      • Meet minimum standards for qualified vehicles and adult drivers
    9. Ensures all forms for the event are identified, properly completed, and filed
      • Outing Permission Form (Troop 843 form)
      • Event-specific Permit (provided/required by site/organization hosting event)
      • BSA Tour Permit
      • BSA Medical Exam Forms for all attendees
      • Event Planning Guide (Troop 843 form)
      • Campout Duty Roster (Troop 843 form)
    10. Seeks counsel and advice of peers.

    During the event**

    1. Serves as Acting Scoutmaster for the event
    2. At departure…
      • Matches permission forms with all Scouts in attendance
      • Matches medical forms with Scouts and adults in attendance
      • Documents all monies received
      • Ensures SPL conducts roll call
    3. Guides Scout leaders in helping to ensure the event goes off as planned
    4. Helps make sure all Scouts are given opportunities to achieve success at the event
    5. Serves as Adult Patrol Leader
    6. Ensures Adult Patrol acts as a model for the Scouts
    7. Conduct all activities under qualified adult leadership, safe conditions, and the policies and procedures of Troop 843
    8. Takes notes for future improvement
    9. At departure for home…
      • Ensures SPL has seen to it grounds are policed
      • Ensures QM has seen to it trailer is properly packed
      • Ensures QM has identified and signed-out gear to be taken home, cleaned
      • Ensures SPL has taken roll
    10. Upon arrival, ensures all Scouts are reunited with parents or guardians.

    After the event

    1. Files Reimbursement for Expenditures (Troop 843 form)
    2. Reports at the next meeting of ASMs the outcomes of the event, including:
      • An assessment of achievements vs. objectives
      • Suggestions for improvement for similar events
    3. Files event notebook in Troop Library
    4. Forwards photos and event documentation to webmaster
    5. Turns in all permission forms with the Troop Committee for filing/record keeping.
    6. Returns the Medical Notebook to the Troop Medical Officer.

    Timeline Template (Use as a guide; modify to meet specific need)

    1. When assigned as ESA, sketch timeline and identify markers
    2. T -2 or 3 months: Submit plans to ASM meeting
    3. T -2 or 3 months: Begin promotion
      • Presentation, forms and sign-up sheets to Scouts at meetings
      • Key information and forms forwarded to Troop webmaster
    4. IMPORTANT! T -2 weeks: BSA Tour Permits must be filed on-line at
    5. COMMENT: Required to ensure BSA insurance policy covers the Troop and its participants
    6. T -1 week: Secure Medical Notebook from Troop Medical Officer Determine final count of Scout participation
    7. Meeting before:
      • Determine final count of Scout participation
      • Ensure enough adults have secured to cover transportation and ‘two-deep’ requirements
      • Hold quick Adult Patrol meeting for final assignments

    Troop 843
    Troop 843