YOUTH Leader Positions

What is Youth Leadership?

Although the word “leadership” doesn't appear in the Scout Oath, Scout Law or the BSA mission statement, developing leaders is an important aspect of Scouting. In the Scouts BSA advancement program, showing leadership is a key requirement for the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle. While in the rank of First Class, Star, and Life, every scout must serve in a leadership position as one requirement for advancement to the next rank. These are the positions that count for advancement: Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster or outdoor ethics guide.

What are elections?

We encourage you to talk to your Scout before elections about her vision in the troop. Elections are held twice a year to elect a Senior Patrol Leader and then a Patrol Leader for each Patrol. All other leadership positions are appointed. The information below provides has a thorough description of each elected and appointed position. Please understand that the descriptions below do NOT explain the time commitment for each position.

What do Parents need to know?

Since parents are also committed to the position (usually as the chauffeurs), everyone needs a clear understanding of the time involved.

  • The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL), and patrol leaders serve on the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) which meets once a month to plan the month’s troop meetings and camping program. Depending on how prepared they come to the meeting, it could last a minimum of 1 hour. They will have to decide what day and time of the week works best for them.
  • The PLC also must arrive approximately 30 minutes early to each troop meeting to prepare the room and get the pre-opening activity set up. The PLC needs to be committed to being at most or all of the meetings and camping trips during the 6 months they serve their term. Two reasons 1) this counts as a leadership position for rank advancement and 2) they need to be there to lead. Obviously, none of us can make everything every time. This is the real world we live in which is why we have assistants for each of these roles.
  • Patrols will be asked to lead pre-opening activities, or it may be their responsibility to set-up or clean-up after the meetings. Just because the meeting runs from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. doesn't mean everyone is there for that time allotment ONLY.
  • It is the responsibility of ALL Scouts to be at troop meetings before 6 p.m. so the meeting starts promptly at 6 p.m. A pre-opening activity is provided to keep the scouts engaged in an activity before the actual meeting. Sometimes it could be a skill that is being taught, sometimes a team building game that scouts can join in as they arrive.

Patrol Leader's Council

Senior Patrol Leader

The senior patrol leader (SPL) is elected by the Scouts to represent them as the top youth leader in the troop. She runs all troop meetings, events, activities, the annual program planning conference, and the patrol leaders' council meeting. She appoints other troop youth leaders (except for junior assistant Scoutmaster) with the advice and counsel of the Scoutmaster. MORE INFO

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader

The assistant senior patrol leader (ASPL) is the second highest-ranking youth leader in the troop. She is appointed by the senior patrol leader with the approval of the Scoutmaster. The assistant senior patrol leader acts as the senior patrol leader in the absence of the senior patrol leader or when called upon. She also provides leadership to other youth leaders in the troop. MORE INFO

Patrol Leaders

The patrol leaders are the elected leader of each patrol. She represents her patrol on the Patrol Leaders’ Council and the annual program planning conference, and keeping patrol members informed of decisions made. She appoints an assistant patrol leader to run the patrol in her absence. Patrol leaders carry out plans and activities, and assure their patrol is prepared to participate in all troop activities. They work together to keep their patrol intact and share responsibilities to get things done. It is their duty to be a good example for the members of their patrol and the rest of the troop. MORE INFO

Other troop leadership positions

Assistant Patrol Leader

The assistant patrol leader is appointed by the patrol leader and leads the patrol in her absence. She represents her patrol at patrol leaders’ council meetings when the patrol leader cannot attend. The assistant patrol leader position does not count towards leadership requirements for Star, Life, or Eagle Scout. (Appointed by the PL)


The quartermaster keeps track of troop equipment and sees that it is in good working order. She keeps records on patrol and troop equipment, makes sure equipment is in good working condition, and issues equipment and makes sure it is returned in good condition. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO


The scribe keeps the troop records. She records the activities of the patrol leaders’ council and keeps a record of dues, advancement, and Scout attendance at troop meetings. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO


The historian preserves troop photographs, news stories, trophies, flags, scrapbooks, awards, and other memorabilia. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO


The librarian oversees the care and use of troop books, pamphlets, magazines, audiovisuals, and merit badge counselor lists. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO


The instructor teaches Scouting skills. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO

Troop Guide

The troop guide works with new Scouts in a troop. She helps them feel comfortable and earn their First Class rank within 12 to 18 months. She teaches basic Scout skills and works with the patrol leader at patrol leaders’ council meetings. MORE INFO

Chaplain Aide

The chaplain aide works with the troop chaplain to meet the religious needs of Scouts in the troop. She also works to promote the religious emblems program. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO

Den Chief

The den chief works with the Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, and den leaders in the Cub Scout pack. She helps Cub Scouts advance through Cub Scout ranks and encourages Cub Scouts to join a Boy Scout troop upon graduation. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO

Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

The junior assistant Scoutmaster (JASM) serves in the capacity of an Assistant Scoutmaster except where legal age and maturity are required. She must be at least 16 years old and not yet 18. She is appointed by the Scoutmaster because of her leadership ability. Most often, this is someone who has already earned Eagle Scout. MORE INFO

Order of the Arrow Representative

The Order of the Arrow Representative is a youth liaison serving between the local Order of the Arrow (OA) lodge or chapter and her troop. In her unit, she helps meet the needs of the unit and will serve as a communication and programmatic link to and from Arrowmen, adult leaders and Scouts who are not presently members of the Order. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO


The webmaster is responsible for maintaining the troop’s website. They make sure that information posted on the website is correct and up to date and that the privacy of youth and adult troop members is protected. A member of the troop committee will assist them with their work. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO

Outdoor Ethics Guide

As the troop outdoor ethics guide, your primary duty is to help your unit members take steps to reduce impacts of their outdoor activities. To start, meet with your troop outdoor ethics advisor or another designated person, and identify the actions you will complete during your term. Fill out the Outdoor Ethics Guide Goals and Evaluation form with your advisor. (Appointed by the SPL) MORE INFO and HERE


The Bugler should be able to make appropriate bugle calls, as requested, at troop activities. Serving as Bugler can apply towards Positions of Responsibility requirements for Star and Life but not Eagle Scout. (Appointed by the SPL)


Boy Scouts or Venturers who are members of bands, drill teams, or drum and bugle corps affiliated with a unit or a local council may also wear the musician badge special insignia. The musician position does not count towards leadership requirements for Star, Life, or Eagle Scout.