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Assistant Patrol Leader and Rank Advancement

Elise sent in this question:

For the rank advancement leadership requirement can the scoutmaster require the scout to lead an approved troop outing to qualify the leadership position ? Our scoutmaster says unless they lead an approved troop activity the leadership role (asst patrol leader) doesn’t count towards rank advancement. Can you help us understand ? Thank you.

First, let’s look at the requirement. For Star requirement 5 it says:

While a First Class Scout, serve actively in your troop for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-approved leadership project to help the troop):

Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or outdoor ethics guide. *

Venturing crew. President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, den chief, historian, guide, quartermaster, chaplain aide, or out-door ethics guide.

Sea Scout ship. Boatswain, boatswain’s mate, purser, yeoman, storekeeper, crew leader, media specialist, specialist, den chief, or chaplain aide.Lone Scout. Leadership responsibility in your school, religious organization, club, or elsewhere in your community.

*Assistant patrol leader is not an approved position of responsibility for the Star rank.

For Life the leadership requirement is basically the same, For Eagle Scout, the requirement is also similar, with this change to the note:

Assistant patrol leader and bugler are not approved positions of responsibility for the Eagle Scout rank. Likewise, a Scoutmaster-approved leadership project shall not be used in lieu of serving in a position of responsibility

If you look at the list of positions, you will see that assistant patrol leader is not listed there. So in this case, the Scoutmaster is giving the Scouts in that position an opportunity to fulfill the requirement by leading a troop activity, which would be a “Scoutmaster approved leadership project”.  This is a good way for a Scout who is not in one of the listed positions to complete the requirement.


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