By Darryl Alder
Sep 07, 2016

I’m a New Committee Chair; I Need Help

It’s been ninety days in my new troop job. I have taken the Troop Committee Challenge. I pulled together one court of Honor. This week we kick-off Friends of Scouting and charter renewal is at the end of the month. Yep! It’s about time I got some help on this committee.

The LDS Scouting Handbook, 4.3 states this about Scouting committees:

Crew COmmittee MeetingThe bishopric organizes ward Scouting committees to ensure that Scouting functions properly as a supporting activity for Aaronic Priesthood young men… The bishopric calls several capable adults (including fathers and mothers of boys and young men) to serve as committee members. One of the committee members is called to serve as the chairperson.

Qualified adults, including those who are not members of the Church, may serve on these committees. Each committee should include a member of the bishopric.

A Scouting committee can be as large as needed to carry out its responsibilities to the individual Scouting units.

Unit Key 3

key-3A unit Key 3 comprises the unit leader (Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Team Coach or Crew Advisor), the unit’s committee chair, and the chartered organization representative. The unit Key 3 meets monthly at the midpoint of unit committee meetings to address unit challenges, check on Journey to Excellence status, and adjusts program and administrative elements to strengthen service to youth.

Every unit in Scouting has this trio to help make things happen.

Chartered Organization Representative (COR)
The COR in LDS units, is usually a counselor in the bishopric, and is the direct contact between the unit, the ward and the local council. The chartered organization representative may become a member of the district committee and is a voting member of the council. The COR appoints the unit committee chair.
The Scoutmaster is the adult responsible for working directly with the Deacon-aged Scouts to help them create the program for the troop. The Scoutmaster trains youth leaders to run the troop by providing direction, coaching, and support.
Troop Committee Chairman
The committee chair is appointed by the bishopric and registered as an adult leader of the BSA. The unit committee chairman leads the unit committee to assist unit leaders. With the other member of the unit committee, the chair accomplishes the following:
  • Helps ensure quality adult leadership is recruited and trained. In case the Scoutmaster is absent, a qualified Assistant Scoutmaster is assigned. If the Scoutmaster is unable to serve, a replacement is nominated within the bishopric.
  • Provides adequate meeting facilities.
  • Advises the Scoutmaster on policies relating to Boy Scouting and the LDS church.
  • Supports leaders in carrying out the program.
  • Is responsible for finances, adequate funds, and disbursements in line with the approved budget plan.
  • Obtains, maintains, and properly cares for troop property.
  • Ensures the troop has an outdoor program (minimum 10 days and nights per year).
  • Serves on boards of review and courts of honor.
  • Supports the Scoutmaster in working with individual boys and problems that may affect the overall troop program.
  • Provides for the special needs and assistance some boys may require.
  • Helps with the Friends of Scouting campaign.
  • Assists the Scoutmaster with handling boy behavioral problems.
Even though BSA only requires a Chartered Organization Representative (COR), a Committee Chairman, at least two committee members, and a Scoutmaster, most Aaronic Priesthood Scouting programs benefit from additional help from parents and other ward and community members

Committee Positions

Troop Secretary is often the Young Men secretary. He keeps minutes and records, send s notices, and handles social media/publicity.
Treasurer handles unit funds, pay bills, maintain accounts, coordinate the annual Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaign, and supervise fundraising. In many wards, this is the Ward finance clerk.
Advancement coordinator ensures the unit has monthly boards of review, quarterly courts of honor; to help each Scout advance a rank each year and for new Scouts to reach First Class rank during their first year. The advancement coordinator is also responsible for record keeping and submitting advancement reports.
Equipment coordinator works with the youth Quartermaster and is responsible for inventory, storage, and maintenance of unit equipment.
Outdoor/activities chair secures tour permits and permission to use camping sites, serves as transportation coordinator, and ensures a monthly outdoor program.
Membership chair could be the ward mission leader or primary president. They help all boys in the neighborhood join Scouting and ensure a smooth transition of new Scouts into the troop from the pack. They offer orientation for new parents.
Training chair ensures training opportunities are available, maintain a training records and materials, and is responsible for BSA Youth Protection training.
Troop Public Relations Chair
Social media.public relations chair maintains the troop Facebook page,  informs parents of their responsibilities in Scouting and with the ward. Provides news and announcements about the unit to newspapers, bulletins of sponsors, web sites, etc. Promotes and stimulates service projects, Scouting Anniversary Week, Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath, and family participation in unit events. Promotes new membership and lets people in the neighborhood know that Scouting is available.
Friends of Scouting (FOS) chair is appointed by the bishopric to work closely with the unit committee on public relations for FOS; conducts annual FOS campaign to enroll family members and adult leaders in FOS; gives recognition to contributors and enrollees.
Scouting for Food chair is appointed by the committee chairman to coordinate an annual food drive for the unit and reports the result to the district.
Fundraising Chair, helps with approved fundraisers Fundraising and ensures that every youth has resources to earn his way to camp.
ScoutParents Unit Coordinators job is to welcome parents, keep them informed, and encourage them to help with at least one specific task or project each year. Larger units might choose to have more than one ScoutParents unit coordinator. Direct youth contact leaders
Troop Chaplain
If this is not the Bishop, he appoints unit chaplain to provide spiritual tone, guide the chaplain aide, give spiritual counseling, and promote the regular religious participation of each member.
Assistant Scoutmaster(s)
An Assistant Scoutmaster is one of the adult leaders age 18 or over who assist the Scoutmaster in delivering the troop program.

The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters are NOT formal members of the committee, but advise the committee. They may attend committee meetings to communicate program plans and to coordinate the needs of Scouts. (This factor is important to remember during Boards of Review because the Boards of Review also serve as quality checks of the Scouting program as delivered by the Scoutmaster and the Assistant Scoutmasters.)

Okay, that’s lots of people, but there is work to do, so I am sending out Troop Rource Surveys this week to parents and ward members to see who is willing to help. Wish me luck.


Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. Currently he serves as committee chair for his LDS Ward’s Crew, Team and Troop committee



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