Boy Scouts is a boy-led, boy-run organization, but the boys must be trained to be leaders. One of the Scoutmaster's most important responsibilities is to provide the direction, coaching, and training that empowers the boy with the skills he will need to lead his troop. Scouting's value to young people is clear, but the advantages of Scouting are not limited to boys. Adults also develop leadership and physical skills with every training experience.
Training: Every Scout deserves a trained leader. When leaders understand Boy Scouting, they are more effective in their roles. Every leader should take both Fast Start Training and Youth Protection Training online. Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters should then take Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Basic Leader Specific Training and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS). Troop Committee Members should take Troop Committee Challenge online. Learn more about Boy Scout leader training.
Roundtable is a monthly meeting offered by districts that gives leaders hands-on experience and provides a forum for leaders to offer and receive help from their fellow Scouters. Roundtable is open to all parents and leaders. Roundtable meetings allow you to hear directly from the district leaders on upcoming district and council events and activities. This is a great place to ask questions and meet other parents and leaders in your area. Find a Roundtable near you.
Annual Planning: A common element of strong units is they all have a good annual program planned a year in advance that is then shared with all families in the form of a calendar, trained leaders and the right leaders. Attend May Roundtable to receive a copy of the council's Program Guide, which contains valuable information on district and council programs and is an essential tool for planning. Additional resources can be found here.
Share your ideas for outdoor programs and view suggestions that others have submitted.
Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The steps in the advancement system help Boy Scouts grow in self-reliance and in their ability to help others.
The authoritative source on advancement policies and procedures and best practices for all BSA traditional programs.
Leave No Trace is an awareness of our impact on the environment that teaches us to respect the rights of other users of the outdoors as well as future generations.
Outdoor knowledge and skills are highlighted throughout Scouting literature.
Designed to help older Scouts, with guidance from their adult leaders, plan and safely carry out council and unit high-adventure treks.
Zanfel Laboratories has offered to provide poison ivy treatment brochures to troops who would like to have them. The brochures appear to be helpful in identifying the particular plants and contain related information.
This companion piece for the Scoutmaster Handbook contains resources, forms, and ideas for providing a dynamic program for Scouts.
Troop Program Features, Volume I
Troop Program Features, Volume 2
Troop Program Features, Volume 3
Uniform Inspection Sheet
Uniform Inspection Sheet - Scout Leaders
Uniform Inspection Sheet - Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts
Ensure that adult leaders and Scouts alike present themselves properly dressed in their uniforms.
In order to minimize human impact on fragile ecosystems, the Boy Scouts of America emphasizes these practices for all troops, teams, and crews planning to use wilderness areas.
Advancement for Boy Scouts
Adult Training Awards
Annual Health and Medical Record
Boy Scout Camping
eScouter (SHAC's electronic newsletter)
Guide to Safe Scouting
Guide to Awards and Insignia
Journey to Excellence
Toolkit (council handouts)
BSA National website
Scout Shop online
Boys' Life Magazine
Other Leader Resources
Varsity Scout Leader Resources
Order of the Arrow Resources
Venturing Leader Resources
Sea Scouts Resources
The district is a division of the council that helps bring Scouting to your local area. Districts focus on membership, unit support, fundraising, training, district activities and promoting advancement and camping. There are a variety of volunteers on the district committee who can help including the district training chair, district advancement chair, district activities chair and district finance chair. Commissioners are volunteers who help Scout units succeed and can be a valuable resources. Each district has a district executive who is a Scouting professional available to answer your questions and can help explain BSA polices. A good place to meet district volunteers and other leaders in your area is at the district monthly Roundtable meeting.