Become an Adult Leader

Post date: Jun 14, 2017 4:58:51 PM

Boy Scouting relies on volunteers to be troop leaders. Volunteers come from all backgrounds and experiences. Plumbers, lawyers, homemakers, teachers, doctors, janitors, and scientists - people from just about every occupation imaginable - are involved in leading youth to become responsible, caring, and competent citizens. They also quickly discover that Scout volunteering lets them learn new skills and build lifelong friendships while having fun.

Leadership Roles

There are, essentially, four Adult Leadership roles at the Troop level. Other leadership roles exist in the Scouting program, but within the Troop an adult can choose to be one of the following;

• Scoutmaster/Assistant Scoutmaster

• Committee Chairman/Committee Member

• Merit Badge Counselor

• Unit Scouter Reserve/Unit College Scouter Reserve

The following is a summary of each role;

Scoutmaster/Assistant Scoutmaster

In short, the Scoutmaster and his staff of Assistants Scoutmasters are responsible for delivering the Scouting Program. They provide skills instruction and leadership training, guidance on rank requirements and mentorship for the boys. Only Assistant Scoutmasters and the Scoutmaster can sign off completed requirements in the Scout Handbook. The Scoutmaster or his designee conducts the Scoutmaster Conference once all other rank requirements are completed and just prior to the Board of Review. Only the Scoutmaster can issue Merit Badge cards and assign Merit Badge counselors.

Committee Chairman/Committee Member

The Committee, though its members, provide the administrative, logistical and financial support for the Troop as well as executive oversight. Every parent/guardian of a youth registered with Troop 355 is welcome and encouraged to attend Troop Committee meetings. Committee Members are able to vote on motions made during meetings. The Committee ensures that the Troop has capable leaders in place and manages the administrative tasks required to enable the Troop to operate. The Committee is also responsible for conducting Boards of Review and Eagle Boards of Review officiated by registered Committee Members. Every adult leader application must be approved by the Troop Committee Chairman.

Merit Badge Counselor

A Merit Badge Counselor works with Scouts on Merit Badges that the counselor has registered to teach. Only the assigned Merit Badge Counselor may sign the Merit Badge Blue Card, the nationally recognized official record of completion of Merit Badge requirements. Counselors are both a teacher and mentor as the Scout works on a merit badge and learns by doing. Registered Merit Badge Counselors can hold other leadership roles and can be counselor for multiple Merit Badges.

Unit Scouter Reserve/Unit College Scouter Reserve

The Scouter Reserve role allows an adult to go on camping trips.

The Benefits of Leadership

Volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America is a way for adults to work with youth to build a better future for everyone. Besides giving valuable service to youth in their communities, volunteers find that they reap many personal benefits from being a leader in Boy Scouting. Scouting is a context to interact with your boy and do things together that might, otherwise, not occur. It provides opportunities to work together, grow together, explore together, and go on adventures. Scouting makes memories.

Parenting Skills. Scout volunteering helps adults develop closer connections with youth. Volunteers agree that their experience in leading youth has helped them learn to relate to young people and inspire them. Almost nine of 10 volunteers say Scout volunteering has helped them become better parents.

Ethical and Moral Character Development. Scouting promotes ethical and moral character development in youth. Volunteers become role models for these traits as they lead and participate in activities with youth and other adults. Through their leadership, volunteers enhance their own ethical and moral decision making. They feel the experience makes them more honest and trustworthy.

Management and Leadership Skills. In member recruitment, fund-raising, leader recruitment, and program planning, volunteers get opportunities to set and achieve goals. Volunteers say these experiences carry over into their work life, making them better managers and employees.

Conservation. Scouting teaches young people and adults to live by the Outdoor Code: Be clean in one’s outdoor manners, be careful with fire, be considerate in the outdoors, and be conservation-minded. Many volunteers come to Scouting with a strong commitment to the environment, and most indicate that through volunteering they have heightened their environmental awareness and developed or improved their conservation skills.

Citizenship. Volunteering leads to greater participation in community service activities that range from collecting food and clothing for local shelters, to planting trees, to picking up trash in local parks. Scout volunteering also builds leaders’ pride in their communities and in being Americans. An overwhelming majority (90 percent) feel that volunteering for Scouts has helped them become a better citizen.

Communication Skills. In their many roles, volunteers are called upon to communicate with Scouts, other volunteers, community leaders, and parents. Not surprisingly, many volunteers say this experience has helped them become better listeners and communicators.

Physical Fitness. Scout volunteers believe the activities they do in Scouting help their overall physical health. Volunteers report that they have developed or improved their camping, hiking, and swimming skills because of Scout volunteering.

Enjoyment. Scout volunteering is just plain fun: “you get to be a kid again in a way,” said one volunteer. More than a fourth of the volunteers agree that their Scouting activities help them reduce the stress and anxiety in their lives.

More than 1.2 million adult volunteers give their time and skills to the development of youth through the Boy Scouts of America. An overwhelming majority (96 percent) of these volunteers say their experience has been so positive that they would recommend volunteering for the Boy Scouts of America to others.


To serve in any role that interacts with youth, including attending camping trips or troop outings, you must register as a volunteer with Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish and as an adult volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America.

There are four steps to registration:

Instructions for completing each step are spelled out in the Boy Scout Troop 355 Adult Leader Handbook. A link for the handbook is provided below.

Once submitted, the application must be approved by the troop, the charter organization, the local council, and the national office. The requirements are fairly straightforward:

    • You must be 21 years of age or older. (For some positions, such as assistant Scoutmaster, the minimum age is 18.)
    • You must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
    • You must agree to abide by the Scout Oath and Law and subscribe to the Declaration of Religious Principle.
    • You must be a person of good moral character and satisfactorily pass a criminal background check.
    • In some cases, being highly active in the pack or chartered organization, having experience working with youth, and having specialized skills can also be beneficial, but are not strictly required.

How to Volunteer

If you are highly active in the troop or its chartered organization, a time may come when the troop approaches you to fill a leadership position. However, you may wish to make your interest known to the troop leaders (the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair). There's no guarantee that you will be appointed to a leadership position right away. The selection process is fairly comprehensive including interviews with key leadership and, perhaps, the charter organization.

To download the Troop 355 Adult Leader Handbook, click the link below. The handbook contains information about troop leadership, what trainings are required for each role, rules and guidelines set by the Troop Committee which all leaders must abide by as well as instructions for completing each step.

To download and fill out an adult application, click the link below.