The BSA Mission


The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.


The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.


The Scouting program has specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, leadership development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Leadership development is also one of Scouting’s eight methods contributing to both good character and good citizenship.

The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.

Ideals – The ideals of Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Scout measures themselves against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and, as they reach for them, they have some control over what and who they become.

Patrols – The patrol method gives Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches Scouts how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives.

Outdoor Programs – Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Scouts gain an appreciation for God’s handiwork and humankind’s place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.

Advancement – Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Scout plans their advancement and progresses at their own pace as they meet each challenge. The Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps them gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

Association with Adults – Scouts learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to the Scouts, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.

Personal Growth – As Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Scouting. Young people grow as they participate in community service projects and

Scout Leadership

Troops in BSA are intended to be Scout led. Although adult leaders are in the background assisting and advising the older scouts and senior leaders; the meetings, campouts, and planning are driven by the senior troop leadership. Scouts define the meeting agendas, what events we attend and campout activities. The senior group consists of the officers in the Patrol Leaders' Council. Elections for these positions occur every 6 months so scouts can rotate and develop experience with a variety of responsibilities.

Youth leaders receive training for leadership positions. Scouts begin with ILST, and potentially move on to the Top Gun NYLT camp.

Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC) - The patrol leaders’ council plans the yearly troop program at the annual planning conference. It then meets every other week to fine-tune the upcoming plans. The PLC is made up of the senior patrol leader, who presides over the meetings, the assistant senior patrol leader, all patrol leaders, and the troop guide. The troop scribe also attends to take notes and keep the minutes.

Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) - BSA 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.

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) – Serves as Senior Patrol leader in SPL’s absence

Patrol Leader - 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.

Troop Guides - Serve as both a leader and a mentor to the members of the new-Scout patrol. They should be an older Scout who holds at least the First Class rank and can work well with younger Scouts. The troop guide helps the patrol leader of the new-Scout patrol lead their patrol, so they can develop into a well-functioning group, working together harmoniously and productively.

Quartermaster - Serves as the troop’s supply boss. They keep an inventory of troop equipment and see that the gear is in good condition. They work with patrol quartermasters as they check out equipment and return it. At meetings of the patrol leaders’ council they report on the status of equipment in need of replacement or repair. In carrying out their responsibilities, they may have the guidance of a member of the troop committee.

Scribe - Troop’s secretary. Though not a voting member, they attend meetings of the patrol leaders’ council and keep a record of the discussions. They cooperate with the patrol scribes to record attendance and dues payments at troop meetings and to maintain troop advancement records. The troop scribe may be assisted by a member of the troop committee.

Chaplain’s Aide - Assists the troop chaplain (usually an adult from the troop committee or the chartered organization) in serving the religious needs of the troop. They lead the troop in opening or closing prayer and mealtime blessings. Chaplain aides ensure that religious holidays are considered during the troop’s program planning process and promotes the BSA’s religious emblems program.

Den Chiefs - Scouts who assist a Cub Scout den leader or Webelos den leader. They are selected by the senior patrol leader and Scoutmaster and approved by the Cubmaster and the pack committee for recommendation to the den leader. Den chiefs help Cub Scouts advance through Cub Scout ranks and encourage Cub Scouts to join a troop upon graduation.

Adult Participation

Each unit in BSA is affiliated to a Chartered Organization: Troop 72's Chartered Organization is Bethel Presbyterian Church. Each year the Troop (and Pack and Crew) renews the charter with blessing from Bethel Presbyterian and BSA. The two units associated with Bethel Presbyterian Church are the Cub Scout pack and the Boy Scout troop.

Each Chartered organization must include a Chartered Org Representative who is also a member of the district committee and the local council. In addition to a Chartered Org Rep each Troop requires a Troop Committee Chair, Scoutmaster and at least one ASM.

BSA requires background check and training for each adult leader, whether a direct contact leader (Scoutmaster) or volunteer (Committee or Merit Badge Counselor). BSA also requires no one on one contact with youth and adults. Every conversation and meeting requires two-deep leadership.

Adult Troop Position Descriptions

Chartered Organization Representative (COR) – Direct contact between the unit and the Chartered Organization. Serves as the organization’s contact with the District Committee and the Local Council. The chartered organization representative may become a member of the district committee and is a voting member of the council. The Chartered Organization Representative appoints the Unit Committee Chairman.

Troop Committee – Each chartered unit of the Boy Scouts of America must be supervised by a unit committee, consisting of three or more qualified adults, 21 years of age or older, selected by the organization with which the unit is connected. It is a cross between a board of directors and a parent support group. It sets troop policies and handles administrative functions, allowing the Scoutmaster and assistant Scoutmasters to focus on working directly with the Scouts. The Troop committee requires a Committee Chair and usually includes a Secretary, Treasurer, Advancement Chair, and an Equipment Coordinator. Parents should plan on attending Troop 72 Committee meetings when possible.

Troop committee chair is appointed by the chartered organization to see that all committee functions are carried out. Appoints and supervises the unit committee and unit leaders and organizes the committee to see that all committee responsibilities are delegated, coordinated, and completed.

Scoutmaster – Adult responsible for working directly with the scouts. Provides direction, coaching, and support. Basic roles:

  • Providing the junior leaders with the tools and skills so they can run the troop

  • Making sure the rules of the BSA and chartered partner are followed

  • Being a good mentor and positive role model

Assistant Scoutmaster – Adult leader over the age of 18 who helps the Scoutmaster deliver the promise of Scouting. Provide the two-deep leadership required by BSA. Serves in the Scoutmaster’s absence.

Troop Meetings

  • Troop 72 meets on Tuesday evenings 7:00 at the Bethel Presbyterian Church Scout Hut. Map

  • Every meeting ends with circle-up @ 8:15. Parents should be at the hut by this time each week in order to get important information about the Troop. Although parents are generally not included in meetings, circle up is a roundtable of announcements and description of what the scouts accomplished. Most of the communication to the parents happens during circle-up.

  • The scouts generally spend each meeting in between campouts preparing for and learning the skills they will need for their next campout

  • Meetings are scout-led and can often look chaotic but are an exercise in developing leadership skills and teamwork

  • The scouts learn by trial-and-error, so not all plans work as they had hoped, but they learn from them and know to prepare better for the next time

Troop Outings

  • Campouts are scheduled by the PLC at the yearly planning conference.

  • Outings generally take place the 3rd weekend each month (but may adjust due to holidays).

  • Scouts and Scoutmasters usually meet at the hut at around 6:30pm on Friday and return at 12:30pm on Sunday. SPL will announce details at circle-up that Tuesday.

  • Each patrol nominates a grubmaster, a rotating position. Grubmaster is responsible for collecting money, shopping and bringing the patrol food for the weekend. Each Patrol develops a meal plan and budget that Tuesday before the outing. Grubmaster is one of the best ways to teach a new scout to manage responsibility.

  • Outings are youth led, adults camp separately from scouts and only visit scout campsites as necessary. Adults and scouts are expected to ask permission before entering one another’s campsites.



  • Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, Eagle

  • Youth focus on scout skills in the first 4 ranks, the next three ranks focus mostly on developing leadership, service, and merit badges

  • Advancements happen at each scout’s own pace. They do not advance together as a group like in Cub Scouts. Parents should help encourage rank advancement, especially for new scouts


  • Scouts complete and get signed off by an Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) during any meeting or campout. It is the Scouts’ responsibility to approach an ASM to request signoffs.

  • Many of the requirements for the first 4 ranks are similar and can be completed at one time. Requirements do not have to be completed in rank order until working on Star, Life or Eagle.

Scoutmaster conference

  • For each rank, scouts meet with the Scoutmaster to evaluate the scout’s experience earning the rank.

Board of Review

  • Completed after the Scoutmaster conference and is the final step for rank advancement

  • Scouts should approach one of the adult BOR leaders to schedule a BOR. If a BOR adult is not available, the scout may send an email to and copy his parent(s).

  • Scouts meet individually with 3-6 committee members who make up the Board (not including a parent)

  • The Board asks prepared questions (that are provided and vary based on rank)

  • Scouts discuss their experience earning the rank and gaining new skills, as well as their favorite parts, things that challenged them, etc.

Merit Badges

  • Merit Many badges are earned at summer camp

  • To earn a merit badge outside of camp:

    1. Talk to any Scoutmaster or ASM to find out who the merit badge counselor is

    2. Let the merit badge counselor know you want to start working on the badge

    3. Read the merit badge book (many are in a file cabinet in the back room of the hut, and all can be read/downloaded for free online)

    4. Complete the merit badge requirements and workbook

    5. Discuss with the merit badge counselor

    6. Get the blue merit badge card signed off by the counselor

    7. Give the blue card to a Scoutmaster or ASM

  • Scouts will receive recognition and their merit badge at an upcoming troop meeting