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.