Norman Rockwell's Boy Scout painting

What Is a Scoutmaster Conference?


One thing which sometimes throws new Scouts (and their parents) off guard is the Scoutmaster Conference. What in the world is a Scoutmaster Conference? Am I going to have to tie knots? What if I get nervous and forget how?!!!

At a Scoutmaster Conference, the Scoutmaster and Scout find a place to sit where they can have an uninterrupted conversation but still be in plain sight of others – to meet the BSA Youth Protection requirements. A typical Scoutmaster Conference lasts about 20 minutes.

The Scoutmaster Conference makes use of one of the methods of Scouting – adult association. Adult association provides a way for the Scout to have a variety of positive adult role models in his life. The Scoutmaster Conference is not a retesting of Scout skills. Instead, it is a discussion where the Scoutmaster and Scout get to know each other a little better and can discuss how Scouting values apply to their everyday lives.

These are some examples of the types of questions which are typically asked during a Scoutmaster’s Conference. But don’t forget, it is a discussion, not an interrogation. The Scoutmaster should be sharing his or her own experiences with the Scout also.

  • Can you give me an example of how you have lived one point of the Scout Law in the past week?
  • Are you having a good experience in the troop?
  • What has been your favorite troop activity in the last six months?
  • How are things going at school?
  • Are you playing any sports or participating any activities other than Scouting this spring?
  • Is there anything about the troop which you would like to change?
  • Have you considered being a Patrol Leader?
  • Do you enjoy teaching skills to the younger Scouts?
  • Have you seen any good movies lately?
  • I remember that last time we spoke, you were having trouble getting along with your little brother. How is that going?
  • Tell me something about yourself which I probably don’t know.

The Scoutmaster and Scout might spend several minutes talking about a point. The Scoutmaster can take the opportunity to bring up how the Scout Oath and Law fit in with the Scout’s everyday experiences.

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