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Question on Leadership

Can we have positions like quartermaster, chaplain, librarian etc be under a the patrol and not directly under the Sr Patrol Leader and will their time count towards their leadership time?

No - Positions of Responsibility are Unit based.

Thank you. for your prompt response, we were questioning this right before elections.

One more question. Can we have more than one Den Chief? We are a small town with 1 troop and 3 packs. Can we have a Den Chief for each Pack?

The SPL & Scoutmaster can select multiple Den Chiefs.

Depending on the size of the troop, the SPL might want appoint more than one Scout to some positions (for example: a troop can have more than one ASPL, Instructor, or Bugler, and could have a Troop Guide for each new Scout patrol).

The troop-level positions (such as Scribe, Librarian, etc.) usually fall under the supervision of an ASPL - not the SPL.


While you can have patrol-level positions appointed by Patrol Leaders (such as Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Scribe, Patrol Quartermaster, Patrol Grubmaster, etc. as described by the Patrol Leader Handbook), those patrol-level positions do not count towards the leadership positions of responsibility (POR) for rank purposes. The only patrol-level leadership position that counts as a POR for rank purposes is Patrol Leader.

A Den Chief normally works with one den, not a whole pack. So, if each pack has 6 dens (one for each level), then you might have 18 Den Chiefs for all 3 packs.

Our pack has 12 dens and would love to have a Den Chief for each one.


One more comment on Den Chiefs: I see no problem with having multiple Den Chiefs for the same den (with Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, and Den Leader approval of course). I haven’t found any reference or requirement that it’s one Den Chief per Den.

Anyone have anything different?

Nothing in text on one DC per Den - BUT what I have seen is if there are 2 DC’s they often huddle together by them self

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Technically, Den Chiefs are not part of the program for Lions and Tigers, since they have adult partners. But if you have enough interest, I wouldn’t stop it.


I try to keep this simple by hewing to the Boy Scout Handbook and PL/SPL leader’s guides, in summary they say:

  • The PoR’s as described for rank advancement are troop positions. They exists to help a scout contribute to the well-being of scouts in both his and the other patrols.
  • The patrol elects a PL who appoints an assistant; the troop, an SPL who appoints an assistant and, in cooperation with the SM, the other PoR’s.
  • PoR’s do not exist for rank advancement, they exist for the good of the troop. They should be assigned based on talent and the willingness of the scout to put a good-faith effort into fulfilling them.
  • They should be removed based on the failure of a scout to put a good-faith effort into fulfilling them.

The last two points are what I gather from a simple read of the handbooks, and what’s been spelled out in the Guide to Advancement over the past few years.
Any specific within-patrol titles are up to the patrol, but do not serve the intent of PoR’s. That’s a good thing, because until a PL knows what job a scout is really good at, he should try to keep giving him different jobs.

The details can vary from troop-to-troop and by class of scouts. I have nothing against patrol titles. I just wouldn’t lock a patrol into having them. It’s a suggestion I might give at the PLC if one PL says they are having a tough time being organized, but not something I’d foist on a patrol that’s running well without it.


@Qwazse that’s all really good insight. Our unit is pretty small, and (sadly getting smaller – we’re going to contract from 3 patrols to 2 patrols when we recharter) – the only patrol positions we have are Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leader. None of our patrols have enough stuff to need a patrol quartermaster, and they don’t have their own MB libraries,etc.

One thing that we do a little different, though, is that at each election, the current ASPL moves to SPL, and the troop elects a new ASPL. This started when we had a large number of young, inexperienced scouts. Putting the noob in as ASPL gave him six months to shadow a more experienced Scout before taking over the troop. It’s been pretty effective for us, and the Scouts like to run it this way.

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Yeah, I grew up with that kind of system. It works if the scouts get along. What do you do if the scouts want to retain a good SPL? In my troop growing up, the SPLs bumped up to JASM, and nobody seemed to mind. In our current troop, the troop elects the PL’s and patrols reform every year. I’m not a fan.

PoRs are like backpacking, you’re always adjusting a strap somewhere! Now, when our troop goes “off book”, I do diligence to keep our PLC informed about it. That gives them the opportunity to run elections differently if they want.

The nice thing about a small troop as that it’s pretty obvious that everyone has a job (sometimes two) and it becomes really obvious who’s upping their scouting game and who’s slacking. As a result, elections happen based on who’s getting the work done.

On the other hand, now that our troop is fielding three patrols again, I love seeing our scouts do their speeches for office! Lately the boys have been picking top-notch leaders. I’ve seen winners of popularity contests get in. Those are rough years!

Yeah. Our demographics are weird, so the JASM position isn’t of much use to us. We have 4 15-year olds and 10 scouts between 12 and 14. We just lost a huge group that turned 18 in 2018 or 2019, and that really hit us hard from a youth leadership perspective – over a quarter of our troop, and all of them Eagles. Now, even though a couple of those guys, who are going to college locally, signed on as
ASMs, it’s a big struggle for the remaining youth.

On top of that, we had no new Scouts join in 2018, and 2019 is looking weak, so we’re setting up for another youth leadership gulf in a couple of years…

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My advice on Den Chiefs is that they maintain the perception that they’re their Youth Leaders, NOT their peers. If they run around and play with them during lulls at Meeting, then the Cub Scouts will view them as equals and will resist listening to them. There’s a reason sion why in the military officers, non-commissioned officers, & enlisted keep a level of personal separation between them.

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One last thing I would point out is that if your troop is large enough you might have more than one troop level Quartermaster. In my area there is one troop with 200 scouts. I would think there is plenty of room for more than one. All the same, if a troop is small enough it may not make sense to have one (or expect the position to serve additional roles such as Librarian and Scribe).

I consider that the point is to learn responsibility and leadership. Thus if the job is big enough it works. If it isn’t, then perhaps make it big enough. Not all leadership is standing in front of a group. Sometimes it is getting stuff done so the program functions well.

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That is insane. Any idea why they haven’t been divided up into 3 or 4 smaller Troops?

Edit: (Having worked at the District level in the past, I’m surprised Council hasn’t said something…)

Maybe nobody has said anything because the troop is successful, the kids are having fun, and the kids are advancing.

Yes, I’m sure that’s the case.

Still though, I’d love to know the logistics of how this works. Like, is it 20 10-scout patrols, or 4 50-scout patrols? How many ASMs does the SM have? What are campouts like with 200 scouts? How long is a CoH? How many new scouts bridge over every year?

I had a 65+ Cub scout pack once. That was taxing, so I couldn’t imagine a 200-scout unit.

My son is in a 100 + kid troop. It has 12 patrols of 6-12 kids and 26 Asist. scoutmasters if which i am one. It runs similarly to my 9 scout troop of girls