Scouting Forums

Can 2 scouts hold one position?

Hello, I am Advancement Chair for our troop. It looks like 2 scouts are serving as Librarian. Is this okay? I didn’t have one boy listed, but the scout’s Dad told me the SPL said he could be the Librarian back in April and he has been working on the troop library.

It’s up to the SPL. The SPL can appoint more than one if he wants to.




You are bringing back memories. One of my Scouting community service projects was being an assistant librarian at a middle/high school.


In the Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls (2019) the troop organization chart on page 24 has one box for each position of responsibility. The librarian position is described loosely on page 423 as:

The librarian establishes and maintains a troop library. Records should be kept of literature owned by the troop,

and items should be should be added or replaced as needed.

The librarian should maintain a system to check literature in and out.


Part of leadership management is training your successor to take over when you move on to another job. This applies to both youth members and adult volunteers. So “primary and assistant” is one model for management. The other is to clearly split the job up and rotate who is responsible for what.

I, or someone else, may be able to find the BSA references.

Section titles added 2017-07-17 4:27 pm PDT (Room temperature 84 deg. F - Time to hydrate.)


Personally, I see no reason not to have multiple individuals in certain roles (Librarian, Historian, Assistant Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, Scribe, Chaplain Aide, etc.) This can be a good move for larger troops – or in the case of Chaplain Aide, for culturally and religiously diverse troops.

I would recommend each patrol only have one patrol leader (if you have multiple patrols in your troop, you’ll have multiple patrol leaders, just one per patrol) and only one Senior Patrol Leader.

I haven’t seen any “official” ruling either way…

Some would argue that the proper number of scouts to hold the position of “Bugler” is zero. Not me… but some would…


This is an extremely weak argument for anything. In short, the BSA doesn’t specify how many a troop can have. It is a discussion between the SPL and the SM.

As an SM the first thing I would want to know is if there is the work to be done. If the scout is upholding a position, then I would say give credit where due. Our troop’s library isn’t big enough to justify a single librarian. But I know of a troop with a room full of books.



We actually had two scouts who want to be bugler in the latest election cycle. The only big stumbling block was we don’t actually have a bugle. Both offered to bring their own trumpets. I don’t recall what the SPL decided about that.

Seriously, though, on @HollySutcliffe’s point, our troop often has multiple people serving in several roles: Instructor (different topics for each), Troop Guide (large influx of new scouts), ASPL (differing roles plus redundancy). We only currently have one JASM, but that’s happenstance rather than intent.

We generally only have one of each of the other PoRs, and always have only one SPL, and only one PL per patrol. Internal structure for the patrols (below PL) is 100% down the the PLs, who each have their own style. We only require that they have at least one APL so we have a scout to point at when we say “Have you asked your patrol leader?” if the PL is out sick.


Kirk, My apologies. I did not label the parts of my reply. The above was my research. My summary for the SPL to consider started with "Part of leadership management…’:


Thank you all for your insights and research to help me answer my question. I worry that if I make a mistake it has the potential to have lasting effects for the Scout. I sometimes fear a Scout will be applying for his Eagle rank and be rejected on an error that I should have caught (like 2 scouts serving in one role) and I would feel so awful if that happened. I really appreciate this forum to answer questions that I can’t answer with my Guide to Advancement book or a search on the forum.
My best, Holly

Thank you, Bill! I appreciate your Research and Opinion! Very helpful!

Not to worry. National doesn’t track how many scouts hold the same rank and the only info on the Eagle application is what the ONE Scout did.

Because or Troop had a large influx of new scouts from the Cub Scouts (18), our SPL assigned 2 scouts to serve and Troop guide to work with the 2 new scout patrols that were created so each could get more individualized supervision. It also helped out Troop guides to serve in what I think is one of the more important and possibly underutilized roles in a Troop to develop leadership skills and EDGE credits.

Before you get too many buglers, remember that Bugler is not considered a PoR for the purposes of completing Requirement 4 for earning Eagle. However, it’s pretty cool to have at least one - especially for camporees.

I would say yes for the most part. I would say for any position outside of Senior Patrol Leader and Patrol Leader i wouldn’t see an issue.


There is a video (at YouTube and other websites) of a troop from Albany, Oregon, with four Scouts performing Taps together. There is also an “echo” version of Taps that requires two buglers to perform. – More the merrier?

There was a time in Scouting when every patrol was encourage to have its own bugler.

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Thats pretty cool. I would love for my troop to have at least one bugler

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