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?!!!
A Scoutmaster Conference Is a Conversation
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.
Learn more about the role of the Scoutmaster in a Scouts BSA troop.
A Scoutmaster is not allowed to add requirements during a Scoutmaster conference. What does that mean in practice?
Learn more about teaching youth to lead and find out about the methods used in the Scouts BSA program.