Ten Essentials of Scoutmastership

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What does it take to be a good Scoutmaster? Many years ago, legendary Scouting author William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt suggested 10 attributes. Here they are:

  1. A belief in boys that will make you want to invest yourself and your time on their behalf.
  2. A zeal focused upon one point—the boy’s happiness through his formative years—”A happy boy is a good boy, a good boy is a good citizen.”
  3. An immense faith in Scouting as the program that will best serve to mold our youth into fine men.
  4. A realization that to the boys Scouting is a game—to you, a game with a purpose: character building and citizenship training.
  5. A knowledge that to your boys you are Scouting. “What you are speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say!”
  6. A steadfastness of purpose to carry out a planned program with energy and perseverance, patience and good humor.
  7. A willingness to submerge yourself and make boy leaders lead and grow through an effective application of the patrol method.
  8. A desire to advance in Scoutmastership by making use of training offered and material available on the subject.
  9. A readiness to work hand in hand with home, church, sponsoring institution, school, local council, and national council for the good of the individual boy and the community as a whole.
  10. A love of the outdoors in all its phases and a vision of the hand that created it.

There’s a lot of wisdom in that list. How does it strike you? What’s missing? And, most importantly, how do you and the other leaders in your troop stack up. Scouting is the program that will best serve to mold our youth into fine men, but only if we are up to the task.

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One thought on “Ten Essentials of Scoutmastership

  1. Thanks Mark. I’ll say as a new Scoutmaster I hit on all 10, which is a good thing, but look at them as being on a scale. Some days I’m all 10’s, other days I have to remind myself of a couple – usually after dealing with adults. All in all I can’t think of a better use of my time and I think Green Bar Bill had it right. Timeless wisdom.

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