You Know You Might Be A Scoutmaster If …

I’m scoring well below 50% on this test, but I do have several hits. Here they are:

  • You hoard tent stakes.
  • You cannot walk by a piece of trash without picking it up. (ever since I was a Scout …)
  • You carry a duffle bag size first-aid kit in your car. (meatloaf size, really)
  • You know all the words to “Little Bunny Foo-Foo”, but can’t remember where you left your briefcase. (I know where my briefcase is, but I misplace plenty of stuff)
  • You always cook enough food for twelve. (but this comes from growing up around Cajuns; if you are cooking something good, why wouldn’t you invite all your friends? Adults don’t cook for Scouts anyway, so this is a bogus one.)
  • You open letters with a pocket knife. (only when the sterling letter opener isn’t handy; I was raised in the south)
  • You know 365 one pot meals. (maybe only 30 or so)
  • You really do use those emergency sewing kits. (but they never have buttonhole twist, and sewing buttons back on is #1)

On a more serious note, I finally found the job description for Scoutmaster. It isn’t in the BSA Scoutmaster Handbook (a real Dilbert Moment); it’s in the Troop Committee training materials. It isn’t even in The Scoutmaster’s Other Handbook. For the uninitiated, the Troop Committee hires the Scoutmaster. The Dilbertness is for the hiring manager to know the job description and never tell the new hire. Geez. Hello Bob Mazzuca, put this on page one of the Scoutmaster Handbook.

So, here is the job description. I’ve tweaked it for our troop, changing Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) to “Greenbar” and adding notes about Scoutmaster conferences.

Scoutmaster (excerpted from BSA Troop Committee Guidebook, 1990):

  • Train and guide boy leaders
  • Work with other responsible adults to bring Scouting to boys
  • Use the methods of Scouting to achieve the aims of Scouting
  • Meet regularly with Greenbar for training and coordination in planning troop activities
  • Attend all troop meetings or, when necessary, arrange for a qualified adult substitute
  • Attend all troop committee meetings
  • Conduct periodic parents’ sessions to share the program and encourage parent participation and cooperation
  • Take part in annual membership inventory and uniform inspection, charter review meeting, and charter presentation
  • Conduct Scoutmaster conferences for all rank advancements (in T-14, for Scout, First Class, and Eagle ranks, others are by patrol liaison ASMs)
  • Provide a systematic recruiting plan for new members and see that they are promptly registered
  • Delegate responsibility to other adults and groups (assistants, troop committee) so that they have a real part in troop operations
  • Supervise troop elections for the Order of the Arrow
  • Make it possible for each Scout to experience at least 10 days and nights of camping each year
  • Participate in council and district events
  • Build a strong program by using proven methods presented in Scouting literature
  • Conduct all activities under qualified leadership, safe conditions, and the policies of the chartered organization and the BSA

Kinda big for a volunteer, spare time position, eh? The only saving bit is that you are required to delegate.

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