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 unit for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the unit):
Scouts BSA Troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, Venture patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, troop Webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.
Varsity Scout team. Captain, cocaptain, program manager, squad leader, team secretary, Order of the Arrow troop representative, librarian, historian, quartermaster, chaplain aide, instructor, den chief, team Webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.
Venturing crew/ship. President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, den chief, quartermaster, historian, guide, boatswain, boatswain’s mate, yeoman, purser, storekeeper, crew/ship Webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.
For Life requirement 6 is similar:
While a Star Scout, serve actively for six months in your unit in one or more of the troop positions of responsibility listed in requirement 5 for Star Scout (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the unit).
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. This is a good way for a Scout who is not in one of the listed positions to complete the requirement.
It is interesting to note that the similar Eagle requirement does not allow for a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project.