Scouts BSA Troops are “youth led”, so what is the role of the Scoutmaster?
Well, most 11 to 13 year old youth (which is the age of the leaders in our troop) are going to need a little guidance. A Scoutmaster’s primary job is to train those youth leaders. This includes things like teaching them how to work with and motivate other youth and helping them learn how to plan ahead.
A Scoutmaster is a mentor to the youth leaders. He presents them with ideas and information and provides support. One of the most difficult things a Scoutmaster has to do is to allow the youth to lead, even when he can see failure looming on the horizon. A Scoutmaster might say things like “Have you considered …?” and “What do you thing might happen if …?”, but the youth don’t always take the hint. The rule of thumb I’ve heard is, “If its not illegal, immoral, or dangerous, then let them try it their way.” Failure is a good teacher and most youth will rebound from it with a positive attitude.
A Scoutmaster has Scoutmaster conferences with troop members. He shows an interest in them and talks to them about what is happening in their lives. He uses the Methods of Scouting to work toward achieving the Aims of Scouting for the youth. (See Methods and Aims of Scouting)
The Scoutmaster works with the Troop Committee to make sure the youth have the resources they need for a strong youth program. A good working relationship with the committee is essential.
The Scoutmaster may be male or female and must be at least 21 years old. He or she is appointed by the head of the chartered organization.