Three ‘Secret Weapons’ Every Scouter Should Have

secret weapons

Every Scouter has been there. You’ve been there, and so have I.

Your fellow Scouter, a parent, or Scout has a question. You think you know the answer. After telling them what you think there’s a little shadow of doubt in your mind;”did I get that right?”.

That shadow grows, and you go looking for some resource that backs you up. You try the Scoutmaster Handbook, you look over your training notes (you do have training notes, don’t you?), but there’s no answer. A Google search later you’ve turned up three dozen forum posts, a website from 1997, two Troop Policy Manuals, and maybe even someone like me. One source says this, one source says that, and you are still not sure if you have it right or not.

Based on the email I receive about 95% of the arguments, divisions and bad feelings we experience in Scouting come from easily resolved misunderstandings about advancement, what Scouts are allowed to do, and how the uniform is worn.

When you have the answers conflicts, arguments and misunderstandings get resolved. These three “secret weapons” answer 95% of the questions! And they are free!

I regularly refer to these three publications (having them as searchable PDF files makes finding answers easy!). Every Scouter should have all three and know what is in each.

I use the term “weapon” advisedly. These are powerful resources, they have a potential for making things better, but they can be misused; these are not weapons to wield against people! We use them to eliminate  the difficulties caused by ignorance , doubts, and misunderstanding.

Don’t use these resources destructively, use them wisely! For instance don’t take the Insignia guide and run around telling people how to wear their patches, wear yours properly and politely answer questions if asked. Share what you know, but always in the spirit of the Scout Oath and Law.

Guide to Awards and Insignia

Uniform and insignia

The following pages contain our uniform policy as taken from the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America. The chapters contain applications of the regulations to each program area. Neither the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, the policy, nor the program applications may be added to or changed in any way unless approved by the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America through its Program Impact Department.

 Download a PDF file of The Guide to Awards and Insignia
Section 1 

  • Contents
  • Official Policy
  • Excerpts from the Rules and Regulations
  • Special Regulations

Section 2

  • Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos Scout Insignia
  • Boy Scout Insignia
  • Varsity Scout Insignia
  • Venturing Insignia
  • Sea Scout Insignia

Section 3

  • Training Awards
  • Scouting Honors and Special Recognitions
  • Universal and Nonunit Insignia
  • Religious Emblems
  • Flags

Section 4

  • Guidelines for District and Council Committees
  • Index

Guide to Safe Scouting

guide to safe scouting cover

The purpose of the Guide to Safe Scouting is to prepare members of the Boy Scouts of America to conduct Scouting activities in a safe and prudent manner. The policies and guidelines have been established because of the real need to protect members from known hazards that have been identified through 100 years of experience. Limitations on certain activities should not be viewed as stumbling blocks; rather, policies and guidelines are best described as stepping-stones toward safe and enjoyable adventures.

 Download a PDF file of The Guide to Safe Scouting

The Guide to Advancement 2013

guide to advancemnt 2013

The current edition of the Guide to Advancement is the official source for administering advancement in all Boy Scouts of America programs: Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. It replaces any previous BSA advancement manuals…

 Download the Guide to Advancement 2013

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