Scouter Portal

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An Adult Leader is anyone registered as an Adult in the Boy Scouts of America. The term "Scouter" typically refers to an Adult Leader who has actively served for at least 1 to 3 years and would qualify for a Scouter Award. The term "Volunteer" sometimes can mean Adult Leader depending upon context but can also refer to non-registered adults who help a unit such as unregistered parents.

There is an old saying in Scouting:
Volunteers work for free,

Professionals are paid,
and Scouters pay to volunteer.

Different divisions of the Boy Scouts of America use a variety of terms that all mean a registered Adult Leader including: Adult Member, Adult Scouter, Volunteer Leader, Adult Volunteer, and leader. A Professional Scouter is a paid employee of the BSA such as a Distrcit Executive or council Scout Executive.



Adults may register with the Boy Scouts of America in any capacity if they agree to abide by the Scout Oath or Promise and the Scout Law, to respect and obey the laws of the United States of America, and to subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle. All leaders must be 21 years of age or older, except assistant Scoutmasters, assistant den leaders, assistant Cubmasters, assistant Webelos den leaders, and assistant Varsity Scout coaches, who must be 18 or older.
No one may register in more than one position in the same unit, except the chartered organization representative (who can multiple only as the committee chairman (CC) or a committee member (MC)) and the Scout Parent unit coordinator (who may multiple as chartered organization representative (CR), assistant den leader (DA), assistant Webelos den leader (WA), assistant Scoutmaster (SA), assistant Varsity Scout Coach (VA), mate (MT), and leader of the 11-year-old Scouts).
Adult Application

Leadership Requirements

The applicant must possess the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. The applicant must also be the correct age, and subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle, and abide by the Scout Oath or Promise, and the Scout Law.
Adult Application


Only persons willing to subscribe to these precepts from the Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of leadership. The applicant also agrees to follow the Youth Protection guidelines.
Adult Application

Adult leaders are registered with the Boy Scouts of America using the Adult Application. They are then rechartered each year with a unit, council, or national council. As a part of their registration, all adult leaders receive Scouting magazine.

Youth Protection Training

All volunteers are expected to complete Youth Protection training. It is available online on the Web site and each local council provides training to leaders on a regular basis throughout the year. As a volunteer, you are expected to complete the training within 90 days of assuming a leadership position.
Adult Application

Unit Leaders

Unit leaders are registered in Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Varsity Scout Teams, or Venture Crews. They are approved each year by the unit committee chair and chartered organization. Each Tiger Cub Scout must be registered with his Adult Partner.

District and Council Leaders

District and Council Leaders are registered with their local council. Their registration and recharter is approved by the council Scout Executive.


Adult leaders may earn or be awarded a number of different Scouter Awards.

See also

  • Cub Scout Pack for boys in grades 1 - 5.
  • Boy Scout Troop for boys who have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old or have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10, or who are 11, but not yet 18
  • Varsity Team for boys age 14 but not yet 18
  • Venturing Crew for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years of age

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