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BSA Methods – Leadership Development

The methods of Scouting are the ways that Scouting’s aims of developing character, citizenship, and fitness in youth are achieved. One of the methods is “leadership development”.

Exercising leadership skills is an essential part of the Scouts BSA program and the Venturing program. Scouts BSA must serve in leadership positions to advance. Leadership skills are best learned through practice.

How do the Scouting programs encourage youth to develop leadership skills?

  • Through youth leadership positions
  • By allowing the youth, not the adults, to plan the program
  • By giving the youth real opportunities to succeed and to fail

Scouts BSA troops and Venturing crews elect their own leaders. I think that being elected by their peers is meaningful to many of our youth. The role of adults in these units is to train the youth leaders and mentor them for leadership development.

Some youth will seem to be more natural leaders than others, but sometimes it is the quiet, more reserved youth who is capable of getting things done. They all deserve a chance and proper training. That is why leadership development is an important aspect of Scouting.

Note: While leadership development is one of the methods for both Scouts BSA and Venturing, some of their methods are different. See the differences.

Leadership Resources

Scouts BSA Youth Leadership Positions

A Scouts BSA Troop is actually run by its youth leaders. The Scoutmaster and adults on the Troop Committee provide advice and resources to help the youth carry out their program.

How Can You Have a Youth Led Troop When the Scouts Are All New?

What about a troop full of brand new Scouts? How can any of them be leaders?

Problem – Scouters Too Involved in Meetings

What do you do when the adults won’t let the youth lead the troop?

Venturing Crew Officers

The leadership structure in a Venturing Crew is much different than in a Scouts BSA Troop. Venturing offices are President, Vice President – Administration, Vice President – Program, Secretary, and Treasurer.

National Youth Leadership Training

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is an intense week long leadership training class for youth. It is offered for both Scouts BSA and Venturers. Normally Venturers will have a separate program than Scouts BSA.

Kodiak Challenge

Kodiak is designed to be an adventure that pushes the boundaries of every participant – one that will encourage you to try new things that may be out of your comfort zone.

Venturing Crew Officers Orientation

Like other BSA training modules, this can be completed through a account.

Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews

This ILSC facilitator guide will help your youth leaders train other Crew members.

Goal Setting and Time Management for Venturing Crews

This Goal Setting and Time Management facilitator guide will help your experienced Crew leaders train newer members.

Leadership Development Quotes and Social Media Graphics

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Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
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A leaders is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
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The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.
follow voluntarily
Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.
servant leader
The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.
unlock potential
Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.
look ahead
As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.


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