Female Scout Leaders for Boy Scouts BSA Troops?

A Reader Asks a Question about Female Scout Leaders in Boy Troops

Margaret sent in this question about female Scout leaders:

Are single moms allowed to be assistant scoutmasters and go along on outings and campouts with boy scout troops as long as there are separate bathroom facilities?

Thanks for the question Margaret. The BSA does not ban women, single or otherwise, from serving in any adult leadership roles in the Scouts BSA program.

Shower and Latrine Accommodations

I have been an Assistant Scoutmaster in a boy troop and I have been on many campouts.  And I have participated when only unisex facilities were available. When separate facilities are not available for women, I ensure that youth know the latrine is occupied. Our troop used a system of hanging a red ribbon across the door.  Our scouts knew this meant the latrine is occupied and the person inside needed privacy.  This information from the Guide to Safe Scouting gives practical information about how to handle this situation:

If separate shower and latrine facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted for showers. Likewise, youth and adults must shower at different times.

The buddy system should be used for latrines by having one person wait outside the entrance, or provide “Occupied” and “Unoccupied” signs and/or inside door latches. Adult leaders need to respect the privacy of youth members in situations where youth members are changing clothes or taking showers, and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults also need to protect their own privacy in similar situations.

So being a woman does not bar you from participating in boy troop events or being a female Scout leader in a boy troop as far as the BSA is concerned. Of course, you will still need to be approved by your chartered organization and do the appropriate training.

Girl Troops Must Have at Least One Registered Female Scout Leader

Also from the Guide to Safe Scouting:

There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth.

So for camping involving female youth, there MUST be at least one female Scout leader present. There can be male leaders in a girl troop also though.

What About Role Models?

I have heard the argument that women shouldn’t serve in leadership roles in male Scouts BSA Troops because the boys need male role models. I don’t disagree that male role models are very desirable. But having women along does not diminish the men’s ability to act as role models. And I feel that our young men will also benefit from learning how to interact appropriately with female Scout leaders. As they grow into adulthood, they will have women as colleges, employees, and bosses.  It is beneficial for them to learn how to behave appropriately with both genders.

Readers, what do you think? Add your comments below.

girls in scouts

Girls in Scouts – My Opinion

In October, 2017, BSA released this still controversial policy about girls in Scouts. “The Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. ” First, let’s get the facts straight.

Camping With a Coed Venturing Crew

Coed Camping with a Venturing Crew

Venturing Crews are can include young men and young women and many enjoy camping. Coed camping with a Scouting unit presents its own set of concerns and challenges


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One response to “Female Scout Leaders for Boy Scouts BSA Troops?”

  1. Dustin Tarditi Avatar
    Dustin Tarditi

    Positive adult interaction is one of the methods of scouting.
    YPT is required and position-specific training is so highly needed it shouldn’t be considered as optional. Other than that, perfectly able to serve in the role. Be a good role model, take care of the scouts and let them learn and lead.

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