Troop Leadership Positions and Election to Office
Introduction to the Boy-Led Troop
One of the main goals of scouting is training boys to be leaders. Scouts develop leadership by leading their patrols and leading the troop. The structure of a Boy-led troop includes junior leadership positions and other positions of responsibility. These leadership positions provide the framework for implementing their program.
The rank requirements for Star, Life and Eagle include leadership positions. These requirements are not met simply by winning an election. A scout fulfills the duties of office by demonstrating leadership, giving instruction, providing a good example for the troop and by participating in all troop activities during the time he holds the office.
Each troop leader should come to all troop activities prepared with a plan of action to fulfill the role required of his position. Junior leaders who demonstrate a willingness to learn leadership, even if they require close supervision by older scouts or adult leaders, are fulfilling the duties of their office.
Junior troop leaders who do not perform their duties nor execute the office in keeping with the scout spirit may lose part or all credit towards rank advancement. If a junior leader cannot complete his assignment due to a change in his personal situation, he should notify the scoutmaster and willingly forfeit the remainder of his term. In cases of extreme negligence, a scout may be asked to resign before the end of his term to maintain the integrity of the office and for the benefit of the troop.
The positions of leadership are considered positions of service to the troop, not power or prestige.
- Junior Leadership Positions
- Troop Positions of Responsibility
Click on the leadership role to view more about each position.
Scouts must understand and agree that troop service is required for all ranks above 1st Class and that this rank requirement is not granted automatically simply by being elected into a troop or patrol position. To fulfill the rank requirement, a scout must meet or exceed the performance requirements stated in the job description.
The Scoutmaster has the authority to modify any Troop or Patrol job description to fit the needs of the troop. This includes authority to change the qualifications, performance requirements or specific responsibilities for any leadership position.
Ten Tips for Being a Good Patrol Leader
- Keep Your Word. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
- Be Fair to All. A good leader shows no favorites. Don’t allow friendships to keep you from being fair to all members of your patrol. Know who likes to do what, and assign duties to patrol members by what they like to do.
- Be a Good Communicator. You don’t need a commanding voice to be a good leader, but you must be willing to step out front with an effective “Let’s go.” A good leader knows how to get and give information so that everyone understands what’s going on.
- Be Flexible. Everything doesn’t always go as planned. Be prepared to shift to “plan B” when “plan A” doesn’t work.
- Be Organized. The time you spend planning will be repaid many times over. At patrol meetings, record who agrees to do each task, and fill out the duty roster before going camping.
- Delegate. Some leaders assume that the job will not get done unless they do it themselves. Most people like to be challenged with a task. Empower your patrol members to do things they have never tried.
- Set an Example. The most important thing you can do is lead by example. Whatever you do, your patrol members are likely to do the same. A cheerful attitude can keep everyone’s spirits up.
- Be Consistent. Nothing is more confusing than a leader who is one way one moment and another way a short time later. If your patrol knows what to expect from you, they will more likely respond positively to your leadership.
- Give Praise. The best way to get credit is to give it away. Often a “Nice job” is all the praise necessary to make a Scout feel he is contributing to the efforts of the patrol.
- Ask for Help. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. You have many resources at your disposal. When confronted with a situation you don’t know how to handle, ask someone with more experience for some advice and direction.