Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

Youth Leadership

With three green bars behind the Scout emblem, the senior patrol leader’s shoulder patch symbolizes one of the oldest leadership positions in Scouting. The Boy Scouts of America has long recognized the senior patrol leader as the highest youth leadership position in a troop. They are the primary link between a troop’s Scouts and its adult leaders. They shoulder the responsibility for leading meetings of the troop and the patrol leaders’ council and provide valuable leadership in planning and carrying out the troop’s program of outdoor activities, service projects, and events.

  • The assistant senior patrol leader is the second highest youth leadership position in the troop, working closely with the senior patrol leader to help the troop move forward. The assistant senior patrol leader acts as the senior patrol leader in the absence of the senior patrol leader or when called upon, and provides leadership to other youth leaders in the troop. The assistant senior patrol leader is appointed by the senior patrol leader under the guidance of the Scoutmaster.

The patrol leader is the patrol’s key leader, representing the patrol at all patrol leaders’ council meetings and the annual program planning conference, and keeping patrol members informed of decisions made. Patrol leaders carry out planning, leading, and evaluating patrol meetings and activities, and assure patrols are prepared to participate in all troop activities. They keep their patrol intact so they can work together and share responsibilities to get things done. It is incumbent upon them to be a good example for the members of their patrol and the rest of the troop

A Scout at least 16 years of age who has shown outstanding leadership skills may be appointed by the Scoutmaster to serve as a junior assistant Scoutmaster (JASM). The junior assistant Scoutmaster functions just like an assistant Scoutmaster (except for leadership responsibilities reserved for adults 18 years of age or older). In this capacity, junior assistant Scoutmasters (a troop may have more than one) follow the guidance of the Scoutmaster in providing support and supervision to other youth leaders in the troop. Upon their 18th birthday, a junior assistant Scoutmaster will be eligible to become an assistant Scoutmaster.

Other youth positions of responsibility:

  • Troop Guide Usually an older scout that helps mentor a new member of the troop
  • Quartermaster A scout in charge of inventorying the troops equipment
  • Scribe Keeps track of troop records and attendance
  • Den Chief A scout who goes to cub scout meetings and helps out the den leaders
  • Chaplain Aide assists the troop chaplain in serving the religious needs of the troop
  • Historian Collects pictures and other memorabilia
  • Instructor A troop member proficient at a skill, and teaches younger eager to learn scouts
  • Librarian Keeps all of the troop merit badge books
  • Outdoor Ethics Guide Helps scouts improve their outdoor ethics decition making skills