When it comes to running a Scouts BSA Troop, the adults are there to guide and advise, but the real leaders are the youth themselves. This is a fundamental principle of the Scouts BSA program, which aims to help young people develop leadership skills, self-reliance, and a sense of responsibility. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various youth leadership positions in a Scouts BSA Troop and what each role entails.
In all of these youth leadership positions, the youth leaders are supported by adult leaders such as the Scoutmaster and members of the Troop Committee. The adults provide guidance and resources to help the youth leaders carry out their program, but they do not run the Troop themselves. This is an important distinction, as it helps ensure that the Troop is truly youth-led and that the Scouts themselves are responsible for their own growth and development.
By giving young people the opportunity to lead by serving in youth leadership positions, Scouts BSA helps prepare them for a lifetime of leadership and service. Whether they go on to become CEOs, elected officials, or community volunteers, the skills and values they learn in Scouting will serve them well throughout their lives. So the next time you see a Scouts BSA Troop in action, remember that it’s the youth leaders who are making it all happen.
See below for some suggested guidelines for explaining the various Scouts BSA youth leadership positions. Please note these are only an example. Adjust them to fit your unit’s needs.
List of Scouts BSA Youth Leadership Positions
- Senior Patrol Leader
- Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
- Patrol Leader
- Assistant Patrol Leader (does not fulfill leadership requirement for Star, Life, or Eagle)
- Troop Guide
- Order of the Arrow Troop Representative
- Den Chief
- Troop Historian
- Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
- Chaplain Aide
- Outdoor Ethics Guide
- Bugler (does not fulfill leadership requirement for Eagle)
Related Resources for Scouts BSA Youth Leadership Positions
Find helps and ideas for your youth leadership and the adults who support them below:
Learn about the EDGE method and how it can be used to instruct others.
What about a troop full of brand new Scouts? How can any of them be leaders?
Patrols can have their own activities and campouts separate from the full troop.
Does a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster need to be registered as a leader?
A reader sent in this question about the troop committee planing all of the activities: “What if the troop committee board is planning everything and the Scoutmaster is out of the loop?” A video explanation is also available.
What do you do when the adults won’t let the youth lead the troop?