Adult Leadership of Troops of Boys and Troops of Girls

This is the fourth BP Pointer in “The BP 2019 List” (or: ways to Be Prepared for Scouts BSA on February 1, 2019).  This is about how adults might be registered as leaders in Scouts BSA troops of boys and troops of girls – either in one troop, or in both troops.

The basic rule is simple: any adult leader registered in a troop may register as an adult leader in another troop, at no charge (no BSA registration fee), by registering sbsa screenas a “multiple”.  On the “paper application” (an online version is here), check “multiple” to avoid transferring “out” of the first troop.  Online application should have a similar option (but, sadly, it did not exist as of spring of 2018).

The only restriction is that the two troops are not to have the same Scoutmaster, but it is OK for the Scoutmaster of a troop of boys to be an Assistant Scoutmaster in the troop of girls, and vice versa: the Scoutmaster of the troop of girls can be an Assistant Scoutmaster in the troop of boys.  It will not be unusual for two Scoutmaster to collaborate a fair deal, and may not be unusual for the more experienced of the two to mentor the newer Scoutmaster.

So:

  • A current leader in a troop of boys can, if desired, also be a leader in a troop of girls.  Or not.  It’s up to the leader.
  • A new leader in a troop of girls can, if desired, also be a leader in the troop of fireboys.  Or not.  It’s up to the leader.
  • Except for the Scoutmaster role, you can be in the same role, or a different role, in the other troop.
  • Many troops will make clear that the “multiple” registration need not result in “multiple” time commitments:
    • Most Chartered Organizations are grateful for volunteer time, whether the volunteer makes all, most, or only a few events.
    • Troops that have many joint activities (meetings and campouts) will find it most convenient to have “multiple” adult leaders on both rosters.
  • If you “multiple” in a bunch of leaders from an existing troop of boys, be sure that there is at least one female registered adult leader age 21 or older.  You’ll want multiple registered adult females, because at events that include female Scouts, at least one female registered adult leader age 21 or older must be in attendance.

A note about the Scoutmaster role:  the National FAQs include this:

  • Q: Can a boy troop and a girl troop share the same Scoutmaster?
    • A: No. Chartered organizations should have separate Scoutmasters for their boy troop and girl troop.”

troop service 2So … No you can’t.  But: why does it say “should”?  And not “must always”?  Probably because separate Scoutmasters are absolutely the optimal right answer for healthy units to enable them to grow and avoid problems (like ensuring enough attention to each troop), but there may be other reasons that may (rarely) from time to time arise in some situations.

For more, see posts here and to follow for past and upcoming items in the BP 2019 List (and for upcoming items that are not complete, shoot your comments to this Family Scouting email, as that might result in updates and clarifications).  More about what troop leaders might want to know about family scouting and girls is found on this District page of Scouts BSA resources and ideas.

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