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:

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
 Junior Assistant Scoutmasters (JASM)
JASMs can contribute, while in the process gaining experience for a future role as an adult Scout leader. 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. Generally JASMs
have served as senior patrol leader, have demonstrated respomsibility and a committment to Troop participation.
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.
JASMs Serve multiple roles including:
  • Scout patrol advisers
  • Teachers of such advanced skills as backpacking and rock climbing.
  • Special advisers to the patrol leaders' council [PLC].
  • Instruct patrols in a variety of Scout skills
  • Run special programs at camp
  • Aid in the PLC's annual program planning conference by sharing their experiences in camping and program activities.
  • The JASM's greatest value is as an example for both older and younger Scouts,
  • 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.
  • Working with first-year Scouts by supervising their troop guide and patrol leader.
  • JASMs can answer questions posed by Scouts and parents alike, and they help out wherever needed
  • Additional Information can be found on the JASM Page.

Troop Leadership Positions PDF on

The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL)

Just as the patrol leader is the leader of patrol members, the senior patrol leader is the leader of the troop. The senior patrol leader is responsible for the troop’s overall operation. With guidance from the Scoutmaster, he takes charge of troop meetings, of the patrol leaders’ council, and of all troop activities, and he does everything he can to help each patrol be successful. He is responsible for annual program planning conferences and assists the Scoutmaster in conducting the troop leadership training. The senior patrol leader presides over the patrol leaders’ council and works closely with each patrol leader to plan troop meetings and make arrangements for troop activities.

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader

The senior patrol leader appoints the assistant senior patrol leader with the approval of the Scoutmaster.  Among the assistant senior patrol leader’s specific duties are providing training and guidance for the troop’s quartermaster, scribe, Order of the Arrow representative, historian, librarian, and instructors. He serves in place of the senior patrol leader at meetings and events when the
senior patrol leader must be absent. The assistant senior patrol leader is not a member of a patrol but may take part in the activities of a Venture patrol.

Patrol Leader

The patrol leader plans and leads patrol meetings and activities. He represents his patrol at all patrol leaders' council meetings and at the annual program planning conference. He knows the needs and capabilities of his patrol members and works to make them successful.

Troop Guide

Each new-Scout patrol in a troop should have its own troop guide. A troop guide is an older Scout who holds the rank of First Class or higher, has strong teaching skills, and possesses the patience to work with new Scouts. As a mentor to the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol, he provides direction for the patrol leader and helps him with his patrol leader responsibilities. The troop guide accompanies
the new-Scout patrol on troop campouts and makes himself available to assist the new Scouts as they learn fundamental Scouting
skills. He usually is not a member of another patrol, but he may participate in the high-adventure activities of a Venture patrol. Along
with the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol, he is a member of the patrol leaders’ council.


The quartermaster is the troop’s supply boss. He keeps an inventory of troop equipment and sees that the gear is in good condition. He works with patrol quartermasters as they check out equipment and return it, and at meetings of the patrol leaders’ council reports on the status of equipment in need of replacement or repair. In carrying out his responsibilities, he may have the guidance of a member of the troop committee.

Troop Scribe

The scribe is the troop’s secretary. He keeps the minutes of the patrol leaders’ council meetings but is not a voting member of the council. The scribe may also keep attendance records of other troop activities, such as campouts and service projects. During troop meetings, he works with patrol scribes to ensure the accurate recording of attendance and payment of dues, and to keep advancement records up-to-date. The scribe may also be responsible for maintaining a troop Web site with information that is current and correct. An adult who is a member of the troop committee may be assigned to help the troop scribe carry out his responsibilities.

Troop Order of the Arrow Representative

An Order of the Arrow representative can be appointed by the senior patrol leader to be a link between the troop and the local Order of the Arrow lodge. By enhancing the image of the Order as a service arm to the troop, the representative promotes the OA, urges troop members to take part in resident camping, and encourages older Scouts to seek out opportunities for high adventure. The OA  representative assists with leadership skills training in the troop and supports fellow Arrowmen undertaking unit leadership roles. He reports to the assistant senior patrol leader.

Troop Historian

The troop historian collects and preserves troop photographs, news stories, trophies, flags, scrapbooks, awards, and other memorabilia. He may also gather and organize information about the troop’s former members and leaders, and make those materials available for Scouting activities, media contacts, and troop history projects. Troop displays prepared by the historian can be used during courts of honor, troop open houses, and other special Scouting occasions.

Troop Librarian

The troop librarian oversees the care and use of troop books, merit badge pamphlets, magazines, and lists of merit badge counselors. He checks out these materials to Scouts and leaders and maintains records to ensure that all items are returned. He may also suggest the purchase of new literature and report the need to repair or replace any current items.


Each instructor is an older troop member who is proficient in Scouting skills and has the ability to teach those skills to others. The subjects that instructors may wish to teach include any of the areas that Scouts want to master, especially those such as first aid, camping, backpacking, orienteering, and others required for outdoor activities and rank advancement. A troop may have more than one instructor.

Chaplain Aide

The chaplain aide assists the troop chaplain (an adult from the troop committee or the chartered organization) in conducting the troop’s religious observances. He sees that religious holidays are considered during program planning, and he promotes the religious emblems program.

Den Chief

A den chief works with a den of Cub Scouts and with their adult leader. He assists with den meetings, encourages Cub Scout  advancement, and serves as a role model for younger boys. Being a den chief can be a great first leadership experience for a Scout.
Depending on the number of dens in the Cub Scout packs of its community, a troop may have several members serving as den chiefs. Den chiefs can be a great asset to den leaders and are deeply appreciated and admired by Cub Scouts and Cub Scout leaders alike.

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