One the best gifts you can give to Scouting is that of your time. Whether you are volunteering directly with Scouts or helping out behind the scenes, you can make an impact on the lives of Scouts by volunteering your time. Even just a few hours can make a difference.
Scouting volunteers come to Scouting from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Plumbers, lawyers, housewives, teachers, doctors, janitors and even parents—people from just about every occupation imaginable—are involved in leading youth to become responsible and caring citizens. They also quickly discover that Scout volunteering enables them to learn new skills and build lifelong friendships while having fun. And while you're at it:
- Develop a greater level of pride in your community.
- Have the opportunity to demonstrate moral and ethical decisions.
- Build a closer bond with your children and other children in the community.
- Become a better role model image for youth in your community.
- Develop a more personal relationship with God.
You can volunteer with the BSA even if you don't have a lot of time to commit. Help supervise a field trip, prepare lunch at a day camp, work at an event registration table, or do any number of small tasks to help Scouting in your community.
Contact Your Local Council
Share your expertise and special talents. Councils are always in need of active and engaged board members, unit committee members, merit badge counselors, and special event committee personnel.
Contact Your Local Council
Scout leaders serve in one of the BSA's most important roles. Our Cubmasters, Scoutmasters and Crew Advisors directly mentor youth and make a difference in the lives of millions.
Please note: The BSA is committed to child safety and ensuring that every youth has a positive experience in Scouting. Before assigning an adult to a leadership position, a background check is required.
Visit the Training Sections for more details.
The Benefits of Leadership
Volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America is a way for adults to work with youth to build a better future for everyone. Besides giving valuable service to youth in their communities, volunteers find that they reap many personal benefits from being a leader in Cub Scouting.
Parenting Skills. Scout volunteering helps adults develop closer connections with children. Volunteers agree that their experience in leading youth has helped them learn to relate to young people and inspire them. Almost nine of 10 volunteers say Scout volunteering has helped them become better parents.
Ethical and Moral Character Development. Scouting promotes ethical and moral character development in youth. Volunteers become role models for these traits as they lead and participant in activities with youth and other adults. Through their leadership, volunteers enhance their own ethical and moral decision making. They feel the experience makes them more honest and trustworthy.
Management and Leadership Skills. In member recruitment, fund-raising, leader recruitment, and program planning, volunteers get opportunities to set and achieve goals. Volunteers say these experiences carry over into their work life, making them better managers and employees.
Conservation. Scouting teaches young people and adults to live by the Outdoor Code. Be clean in one's outdoor manners, be careful with fire, be considerate in the outdoors, and be conservation-minded. Many volunteers come to Scouting with a strong commitment to the environment, and most indicate that through volunteering they have heightened their environmental awareness and developed or improved their conservation skills.
Community Spirit. Volunteers agree that scouting encourages them to become involved in other organizations. Two-thirds (66 percent) of Scout volunteers also volunteer for other youth groups. Scout volunteers give time to religious youth organizations, youth sports associations, parent-teacher associations/organizations, Girl Scouts, 4-H, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Citizenship. Volunteering leads to greater participation in community service activities that range from collecting food and clothing for local shelters, to planting trees, to picking up trash in local parts. Scout volunteering also builds leaders' pride in their communities and in being Americans. An overwhelming majority (90 percent) feel that volunteering for Scouts has helped them become a better citizen.
Communication Skills. In their many roles, volunteers are called upon to communicate with Scouts, other volunteers, community leaders, and parents. Not surprisingly, many volunteers say this experience has helped them become better listeners and communicators.
Physical Fitness. Scout volunteers believe the activities they do in Scouting help their overall physical health. Volunteers report that they have developed or improved their camping, hiking, and swimming skills because of Scout volunteering.
Enjoyment. Scout volunteering is just plain fun: "you get to be a kid again in a way," said one volunteer. More than a fourth of the volunteers agree that their Scouting activities help them reduce stress and anxiety in their lives.
More than 1.2 million adult volunteers give their time and skills to the development of youth through the Boy Scouts of America. An overwhelming majority (96 percent) of these volunteers say their experience has been so positive that they would recommend volunteering for the Boy Scouts of America to others.
Any parent or chartered organization member is usually welcome to pitch in and help with the pack, and there are no formal requirements for periodic or temporary assignments. But to serve in an ongoing role, you must register as an adult volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America by submitting an adult leader application.
This application must be approved by the pack, the local council, and the national office. The requirements are fairly straightforward:
- You must be 21 years of age or older. (For some positions, such as assistant Cubmaster or assistant den leader, the minimum age is 18.)
- You must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
- You must agree to abide by the Scout Oath and Law and subscribe to the Declaration of Religious Principle
- You must be a person of good moral character and satisfactorily pass a criminal background check.
In some cases, being highly active in the pack or chartered organization, having experience working with youth, and having specialized skills can also be beneficial, but are not strictly required.