Leadership Positions

Troop Leadership

Leading the way…

What does that mean?

Think about being a Cub Scout. You came to den meetings and did a lot of different and fun things. But who decided what to do and who planned the activities? The Den Leaders, right?

Sports teams are a lot of fun, too. But who decides who plays what position, who’s on the starting lineup and when to substitute? The coach, right?

There is one thing that makes Scouting different from all other youth groups. Do you know what it is? It is not the uniform. Every soccer, basketball, and baseball team has a uniform. It is not the fun activities. There are a lot of other things that are fun. And it certainly isn’t cleaning dirty pots and pans on a campout!!

What makes Scouting special is that YOU make the decisions!

YOU run the troop. Baden-Powell made it very plain in Aids to Scoutmastership when he wrote, “The best progress is made in those Troops where power and responsibility are really put into the hands of the Patrol Leaders.”

This is real decision-making power. And not it’s not just Patrol Leaders. All of the troop leadership positions have a hand in making the Troop run.

As a troop leader you will:

  • Plan and run troop meetings,
  • Pick troop outings, where to camp, what to do,
  • Plan advancement opportunities for all troop members
  • Select High-Adventure programs
  • Determine troop policy
  • Help other Scouts along the trail to Eagle. 

Sound cool? It really is! The adults are there to provide support but YOU will be making the decisions.

Because being a leader is more than just sewing on a patch we have put together job descriptions for the troop leadership positions. They will give you a good idea of what each job is all about and what you will be required to do.

Here’s how to be considered for a position. First read the job descriptions, qualifications, and job responsibilities. Then decide what you want to do and talk it over with your parents. You can also talk it over with other Scouts who have served in that position. Finally, get a troop job application form, fill it out, have your parent(s) read and sign it and turn it in.

So, are you ready to “Lead the way”? We sure hope so!

Skills of Leadership

Leadership is not magic. It is skill. The leader needs to know how to get the task done and still keep the group together. The leadership skills you will want to learn and practice include:



Nothing happens without clear two-way communications (verbal, written, acted out, etc.), until everyone shares & understands an idea

Knowing and Using the Resources of the Group

Knowing who can do what and be able to effectively use the different skills and knowledge that each group member has

Understanding the Needs and Characteristics of the Group

Understanding what group members want to accomplish, individually and as a group, and then being considerate of all of these objectives

Representing the Group

Representing the needs and interests of your group to others

Setting the Example

Showing others a better way to be, by how you think, speak, and act


Establishing goals, and agreements between group members on who does what, when, where, how, and how well the task is to be done

Effective Teaching

Engaging learners in activities that helps them gain knowledge, improve their skills, and develop productive attitudes

Controlling Group Performance

Coordinating individual efforts and encouraging the cooperation of group members so that the group’s task gets done well and on time

Sharing Leadership

Encouraging group members to take on various responsibilities according to the situation and their specific abilities and willingness


Improving group effectiveness based on their progress / results


Helping group members identify and overcome personal challenges

Being Responsible

Using your position as leader appropriately to get the task done, and being accountable for the success or failure of your group’s effort


Improving group effectiveness based on their progress / results

(From “A Design for Leadership Development”, by Bela Banathy, The Leadership Development Project, Monterey,CA, 1963.)

Being a leader in a Scout Troop is like being a leader anywhere else. When you lead in Scouts you will do many of the same things as any leader anywhere. Scouting gives you the opportunity to start being a leader now. You can learn how to lead in Scouting. You can practice leadership in Scouting. Then you will be prepared to lead other groups, too. Leadership skills you learn and practice in Scouting will serve you for the rest of your life no matter what field or profession you choose. Leadership is a life skill that will always be valuable.

Ten Tips for Being a Good Leader

A good leader, regardless of position or organization, can improve their likelihood of success by following these 10 tips:

  1. Keep Your Word. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Be Flexible. Everything doesn’t always go as planned. Be prepared to shift to “plan B” when “plan A” doesn’t work.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Being a leader is more than just wearing a patch. The detailed job descriptions for our troop positions will give you a good idea of what each job is all about and what you will be required to do.