Scouting Forums

Scout Leadership Roles and Permissions

I am the District Scoutbook Chair for Shelby District, GAC 001. I have been using Scoutbook for almost 5 years now, and I have been asked a question I do not know the answer to, nor able to find in the forums.

Is there a permissions matrix for the youth-led leadership positions, such as what position is required to be able to record the Troop’s attendance? What rights/permissions do each of the youth leadership positions have? This is similar to the existing matrix for adult leaders found at

The specific situation I am encountering is that our boy-led troop has each of the Troop level leadership positions filled, and the scouts are inquiring as to what they are able to record/create within Scoutbook.

For instance, the scribe is attempting to record attendance for the troop, yet he does not have the option available to him that I do as an adult leader.

Do positions such as SPL allow the scout to create/update events and the agenda for the events (visible only to admins).

Given the nature of their positions, the scouts need the ability to make the updates necessary without having to rely on an adult to complete those updates for them.

Is there a matrix of the youth position permissions available, and if not, when could we expect one to be created?

Tim McPhail

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Scouts can do nothing in SB to other scouts other than message the scout IF the other scout has an SB Account. Using the Scouting APP certain scouts can take attendance using the APP itself for events with invitees. I think SPL, Webmaster and Scribes can.

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ASPL can record attendance as well.

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True, and we would not want scouts to be able to change/edit another scout’s information, as that is outside the parameters of any responsibilities they may have.

Is there a reason they would have to use the app instead of the website? I was under the impression that the app simply removed a lot of redundancy for users that were not in a leadership position.

Are the scouts themselves not able to create/update events their position is responsible for? Seems to be lacking in allowing a boy-led troop actually lead the troop under the guidance of an adult. From what I’m seeing, the scout is more of an observer than leader, and the scouter is not so much providing guidance than actually completing the task.

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the app allows it the site does not - the limitation are how the site was built years ago

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Don’t confuse “desired state” with “current state”. Ultimately what you’re asking for here requires a complete re-write of Scoutbook’s permissions, which isn’t a trivial matter (and also is low on the priority list).

With that said, I don’t agree that Scouts are being made into observers because they don’t automatically have access to do some random administrative task on the computer… Adding “Camp Out at Hudson Lake” to the online calendar is not the same as planning and carrying out a camp out.


Steve, these are not “random” tasks on the computer. The scribe is assigned the responsibility of recording attendance, and that task is complete when attendance is recorded in the database.

If a scout has been entrusted by both their parent and the troop leadership to have access to their own account and that scout has leadership responsibilities, that scout should have the ability to fulfill their responsibilities under the GUIDANCE of an adult. That doesn’t mean the adult leader should sit over their shoulder as attendance is recorded every time, nor should the scout complete a paper copy and hand it over to the adult to “record” into the database- it is the scout’s responsibility.

There are plenty of other “administrative tasks” that are all part of learning leadership and organizational skills the scouts have been assigned. My job as the scout leader is to GUIDE or ENABLE the scout to complete the task they have been assigned. If I cannot follow the EDGE method (Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable), then there is something that needs to be revised to accomplish the goal.

Essentially it appears as though the “Admin” role needs to be split into youth and adult admin roles. Adult admins would have the ability to change scout’s accounts and other sensitive information, while the youth admins would be able to fulfill the non-sensitive administrative tasks in the system such as creating/editing calendar events/agendas/attendance/etc. The meeting type could dictate which role has permission to edit, such as committee meetings only editable by adult admins, and troop/patrol meetings being editable by youth admins.


And the scribe can do that with no issue using the Scouting app. No need to mess with Scoutbook.

I don’t disagree, but that’s not how the Scoutbook permissions are configured right now, and we’ve been told that making that kind of change essentially requires a full re-write of a significant portion of Scoutbook. I don’t expect it will happen any time soon.

You’re correct, but I would argue that not a single one of those administrative tasks needs to be done on a computer or a smartphone. And, part of learning to lead is learning to delegate tasks to people with the correct skills and/or permissions to do them. I think it’s perfectly in line with the Scribe’s leadership responsibilities to say “Here are the meeting minutes from our PLC, Mr. C. Would you please send an email of them to the troop committee?”

No disagreement here, other than what I pointed out earlier about the complexity of this task…

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Steve, it appears we are in agreement with the changes that are necessary for Scoutbook, however I would disagree with your statement that a scout can delegate a task to an adult. That’s not how leadership flows. In this particular case, telling an adult “here’s my notes, can you be my scribe and enter them for me” does not mesh with teaching the scout how to be responsible for their work. The adult volunteers do NOT have the extra time to be doing the scout’s job for them and recording items on behalf of a scout that are not of a sensitive nature.

So far the app has been fairly unsuccessful, and the scribe STILL cannot record attendance, either on the app or in scoutbook. The app seems more geared towards tracking a single scout’s progress, and is not an effective leadership tool. Until there are some major overhauls to the app, we are going to continue to use Scoutbook, being accessible from ANY device through a web browser.

It seems as though for now, the scribe cannot complete their duties and we will have to go the route of inefficiency to keep our records straight.

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When I tested the Scouting app previously, a troop Scribe was able to record attendance. The event has to already have been created and the Scouts have to have be added as invitees to the event in Scoutbook. If this is not working, please let us know (best if you post in the Scoutbook: Scouting Mobile App category in the forums).

The requirement for Scribes is to take attendance. They do not necessarily have to enter attendance into a database (Scoutbook or other). If you want the troop Scribe to enter attendance into Scoutbook as part of their duties, they can do it using the Scouting app. Another option is for an adult leader (Secretary, for example) can allow them to use their Scoutbook account to take attendance under supervision while at meetings.


This last option here is what we’ve been doing. We have a youth that’s responsible for entering the events on the calendar after the PLC meetings, and an adult leader will log into Scoutbook for her and keep an eye on her while she does it.


Hang on a tick - you don’t allow Star or Life Scouts to sign off on Scout, Tenderfoot and Second Class achievements?

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@TimothyMcPhail since when does leadership only flow downwards? It’s an important lesson for Scouts (and often for adults) to understand that leadership goes both ways. You can be a leader by virtue of being elected. You can also be a leader by virtue of being good at what you’re doing, which is often more effective.

Which leader do you think gets a better response? The one where people say “Well, he’s the boss, do what he says” or the one where people say “She really knows what she’s doing, let’s follow her example”.

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Negative- only those who have completed IOLS and are trained Scoutmasters or Assistant Scoutmasters are who sign off on requirements for scouts of any rank within our Troop, except the BOR, which is signed off by the board.

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Steve, I understand what you are saying, but please don’t confuse leadership with authority, which may be delegated to complete a task. When someone is elected to a leadership position, it is normally because those peers have recognized the leadership qualities the person possesses, and voted to grant them the authority to make decisions and fulfill leadership tasks.

This thread is related to the permissions of the database which those who have been granted the authority to complete tasks need to be given in order to complete said task, recording of attendance.

Scouts do NOT have the authority to turn around and tell adult leadership what to do- all authority flows downward and is diluted as it is delegated- starting with God, then to the Charter Org, then to the CC, the Scoutmaster, the SPL, then the scribe.

That does not, however, preclude the possibility of recognizing a handicap the scribe would possess, which in this case is the lack of permissions from the database designers, and assigning an adult leader to help with completing the task. That assignment would come from the CC or the Scoutmaster though- not the scout. The assignment should be considered a temporary assignment until the another solution is found for the handicap.

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Interesting - my sons were in a Troop that had over 50 Scouts in it and it was so overburdened by adults it was hard for them to get things done - Scout Rank took 9 months to get through because adults were not around consistently to sign off. The current Troop we allow the SPL, ASPL and PL if Star and above to sign-off on Scout, Tenderfoot and Second Class requirements. The objective is to enable the leaders to practice EDGE (and they are already through ILST and IOLS) and take responsibility for helping Scouts grow. All of the Scouts are checked via the Scoutmaster conference and the process works pretty well (until you have to enter it into Scoutbook - then it is handed off to an Admin). We occasionally find a Scout who has moved through and might be less versed at some skill but we try not to hang on the Scouts being perfect, but more about being committed and enjoying their time working forward.


This is a request that has previously been passed along to the developers. I believe it will happen some day, but it’s unfortunately not something that is imminent.

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Positions of Responsibility for the Eagle Scout Award

Updated March 12, 2019, per the Scouts BSA Program Updates web page.

In the latest printing of the Scouts BSA Handbook, the items highlighted in bold underline below were inadvertently left off the list of qualifying positions of responsibility for the Eagle Scout Award. The requirement should read as follows:

EAGLE Rank Requirements

  1. While a Life Scout, serve actively in your troop for six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:
  • Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or outdoor ethics guide.
  • Venturing crew. President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, den chief, historian, guide, quartermaster, chaplain aide, or outdoor ethics guide.
  • Sea Scout ship. Boatswain, boatswain’s mate, purser, yeoman, storekeeper, crew leader, media specialist, specialist, den chief, or chaplain aide.
  • Lone Scout . Leadership responsibility in your school, religious organization, club, or elsewhere in your community.

For the most up-to-date Scouts BSA advancement requirements please refer to 2019 Scouts BSA Requirements No. 33216.

Scouts BSA Positions of Responsibility

From Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls, 2019 printing, pp. 422-425, Copyright 2019 Boy Scouts of America:

A requirement for Star, Life, and Eagle is to serve your troop in a position of responsibility for four to six months, depending on rank. The positions that qualify for Eagle rank are described below. For Star and Life, you can also serve as bugler or carry out a Scoutmaster approved leadership project to help your troop.

Here’s a brief description of each position of responsibility. In addition to the duties outlined here, every youth leader should set a good example, wear the Scout uniform correctly, live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and show and help develop Scout spirit.

Assistant patrol leader does not qualify as as position of responsibility for advancement. Bugler counts only towards the Star and Life ranks.

NOTE: For the brief descriptions see the Handbook. The Handbook includes the following positions of responsibility:

Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Den Chief, Historian, Order of the Arrow Troop Representative, Librarian, Quartermaster, Bugler, Scribe, Instructor, Chaplain Aide, Webmaster, Outdoor Ethics Guide, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

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Yes, and it should be a priority for the developers to create the appropriate permissions within Scoutbook to fulfill the roles of those positions. There are plenty of responsibilities & related tasks that Scoutbook may be used as the go-to tool for our scouts to use, IF they are given the appropriate permissions within the platform.

Thanks for listing these out :wink:


Which APP is the correct one for scoutbook? I would like for my scribe to take attendance and for my SPL and ASPL to see activities so that they can plan for them.

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