Leadership Positions


The Scoutmaster is responsible for training and guiding the youth leaders in the operation of the Troop and for managing, training and supporting his/her Assistant Scoutmasters in their role.

Duties of the Scoutmaster:     http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/18-981.pdf

Conduct the Boy Scout program according to the policies of the BSA

Train youth leaders by conducting at least yearly an introduction to leadership and team building workshop

Conduct an annual troop program planning conference to assist youth leaders in planning the troop program

Conduct a monthly patrol leaders' council meeting to plan weekly troop meetings and conduct troop business

Conduct through the patrol leaders council, weekly troop meetings

Provide a minimum of 10 days and nights of camping yearly including participation in local council resident camp

Assist in selecting and recruiting assistant Scoutmasters to work with the new-scout patrol and the venture patrol for older scouts

Work with the troop committee chair in developing a monthly meeting agenda that will address the needs of the troop

Conduct SM Conferences for all ranks

Participate in Boy Scout Leader Fast Start Training, New Leader Essentials, Scoutmaster Leader Specific training and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills training

Provide the necessary framework using the BSA Youth Protection program for protecting the young people in your troop from abuse

See that activities are conducted within BSA safety guidelines and requirements

Assistant Scoutmasters

To fulfill his obligation to the troop, the Scoutmaster, with the assistance of the troop committee, recruits assistant Scoutmasters to help operate the troop. Each assistant Scoutmaster is assigned specific program duties and reports to the Scoutmaster. They also provide the required two-deep leadership standards set by the Boy Scouts of America (there must be at least two adults present at any Boy Scout activity). An assistant Scoutmaster may be 18 years old, but at least one in each troop should be 21 or older, so he or she can serve in the Scoutmaster's absence.

Types of assistant Scoutmasters include  but are not limited to:

  • Assistant Scoutmaster - New Scouts
  • Assistant Scoutmaster - Venture
  • Assistant Scoutmaster - Varsity

Getting the most from Junior Assistant Scoutmasters (JASM) 

ScoutingSeptember 2001  Edited by Robert Peterson, Illustration by Bill Basso
When Scouter J.H. asked how to best use a troops 16- and 17-year-old leaders, readers cited many ways JASMs can contribute, while in the process gaining experience for a future role as an adult Scout leader.
As a Scoutmaster for 20 years, I have always felt the job description for a junior assistant Scoutmaster [JASM] was left intentionally vague to give Scoutmasters freedom in assigning duties and responsibilities to these highly skilled and experienced Scouts.
I have used JASMs as new Scout patrol advisers and teachers of such advanced skills as backpacking and rock climbing. They also serve as special advisers to the patrol leaders' council [PLC]. JASMs can instruct patrols in a variety of Scout skills, run special programs at camp, and aid in the PLC's annual program planning conference by sharing their experiences in camping and program activities.
Besides being a resource person, the JASM's greatest value is as an example for both older and younger Scouts.
Chartered Organization Representative H.T.B.
Hemet, Calif.
Please remind readers that junior assistant Scoutmasters are just that—"juniors" who are 16 and 17 years old. At age 18, a young man must register as an adult assistant Scoutmaster to maintain membership in a troop.
The JASM position is a great way to utilize the troop's former senior patrol leaders, assistant senior patrol leaders, instructors, and troop guides. The duties, which can include working directly with the Scoutmaster, prepare older Scouts for future roles as assistant Scoutmasters.
The Scoutmaster may assign JASMs important responsibilities, depending on their abilities and interests as well as on the needs of the troop. For example, a JASM might be assigned as liaison with the troop's brother Cub Scout pack. He might manage the Webelos-to-Scout transition by overseeing Webelos den chiefs, maintaining communication with the pack's adult leaders, and including Webelos Scouts in some troop activities. Another excellent assignment for a JASM is working with first-year Scouts by supervising their troop guide and patrol leader.
Scoutmaster J.A.T.
Webster, N.Y.
The Scoutmaster Handbook states that a junior assistant Scoutmaster is at least l6 years of age and can become an ASM on his 18th birthday. In our troop, JASMs are young men who have reached Eagle Scout rank, or older Scouts who have a few Eagle requirements to finish. They have demonstrated leadership, and their knowledge is especially helpful to the troop.
JASMs can answer questions posed by Scouts and parents alike, and they help out wherever needed. Usually the senior patrol leader—but sometimes the Scoutmaster—assigns them tasks that range from running an activity to helping a young Scout with advancement requirements to helping an assistant Scoutmaster with an unruly group. They are excellent role models for the younger Scouts.
Assistant Scoutmaster M.M.
Penfield, N.Y.
Our JASMs are 16 and 17 years old and are mostly Eagle Scouts. They work under the Scoutmaster in one specific area, such as teaching outdoor skills or coordinating service projects. Each of them has served as senior patrol leader.
Spring Hill, Fla.
Top of Page
Current Issue | Archives
September 2001 Table of Contents
Copyright © 2001 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.
The Boy Scouts of America BSA http://www.scouting.org