Now more than ever, Scouting trains boys in important life skills. A boy-led program provides good practice at both teamwork and leadership. In addition, Scouts in boy-led programs are responsible to carryout the plans they themselves set down.
Teamwork and leadership practice takes a group, yet in today’s world, youth are increasingly spending too much time in isolation. Too much television, video games, mobile-apps, and online-time all work against a boy’s ability to work in a group and lead. Scouting is the practice a boy needs which helps him prepare for his life ahead where teamwork and leadership skills are critical, especially in employment settings.
From the Scoutmaster Handbook, Chapter 3 on “The Boy-Led Troop”
“Empowering boys to be leaders is the core of Scouting. Scouts learn by doing, and what they do is lead their patrols and their troop. The boys themselves develop a troop program, set goals and then take responsibility for figuring out how they will achieve their goals. ”
We organize Scouts by patrols, which are groups of 8 – 10 Scouts ranging in age from 10 to 14 years old. The patrol is led by an older, more experienced Scout, who is the Patrol Leader. The Senior Patrol Leader is the Scout who is responsible for planning and conducting the troop activities.
Twice a year, the Scouts vote to fill these important positions. After being elected to one of these positions, the Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader choose an assistant(s) to help him. Several other older Scouts in staff positions assist him, and together they provide most of the planning, organization and leadership of the troop. These include Quartermasters who maintain and distribute troop gear such as tents, cooking equipment, and food. The Chaplain Aide is responsible for the invocation at Court of Honors and for a small nondenominational service at camp. Instructors are used in the training of both new and older Scouts in various Scoutcraft areas, both at the weekly meetings and campouts.