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Need Scoutmaster Candidate Interview Questions

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Is this an existing Troop?

I'd ask the current Scoutmaster for his input on questions first. Then any past Scoutmasters who have worked in your Troop.


As to interview questions - "Is the Committee fully staffed and/or trained?" Will it be?


spelling edit - sorry(This message has been edited by Gunny2862)

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The correct (for you) answers to these will vary depending on how your Troop runs. The answers should run closer to the script if all parties understand the program as BSA lays it out.


Are you a "run the whole show" kind of leader?


Have you asked for help from an organization you've worked for? Or, Do you try to handle all situations you have to deal with yourself?


In what other positions you've held were you responsible for the character development of others?


How would you handle a youth who was putting other Scouts or himself in danger? You may need to provide a hypothetical here that you and the interviewing panel have previously discussed.


Are you prone to frustration when seeing people(adults or youths, ask both questions at different times) not act as you think they ought to? How do you deal with that frustration, if any?


Do you value teamwork with other adults?


Do you think organizational guidelines exist for a reason or are they just unnecessary burdens on leaders?




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Need to first ask if the guy has ever had any mental issues in the past ;)


Assuming you already have a good feel for his personality shows patience, communicative, shows patience, delegates, shows patience, follows through, shows patience, open mind, shows patience, lives by the law, shows patience, lives by the oath, shows patience. He will be recognized as SM all through the community, 24/7 wherever he is and wherever he goes.


The bigger issue your committee needs to define is the role for him. What kind of troop does your committee expect he operate? Ie boy lead vs. adult lead; does he have a grasp of the patrol method? is he willing to commit to attending roundtables and additional training that will add to his abilities? Is he willing to educate himself through additional sources such as internet websites/forums, books, the biggest issue is making sure you all are on the same wavelength of how we do things and what is expected of him, and what he expects from the committee. Can he deal with PIA parents - helicopter or snow plow parents and difficult children? Children with varying disabilities - eventually there will come a Scout that has Aspbergers or Autism, they can be very trying for a person that has no understanding of how to deal with them. Is he willing to sacrifice vacation time away from his family for summer camp or high adventure:: is his wife on board? Will his work be an issue with getting to meetings, in time for campout departures, etc... Will he be supported by the committee in ways such as recruiting ASMs, providing back up and coverage for when he cannot make a campout or meeting, is he expected to attend every campout, if not how many is acceptable for him to miss before people start rumbling about it.

Just off the top of my head...


Prepare the poor guy as he has no clue what he is getting into!


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Some of the questions I would ask are:


1) What do you consider to be a "good" Troop? What are the characteristics of a good troop?

2) How will you judge if you are doing a good job as Scoutmaster? How should the Committee judge if you are doing a good job as Scoutmaster? Can we lay out a list of checkpoints so we can measure progress?

3) What will your priorities be in taking over as Scoutmaster? What activities will you do first?

4) Do you enjoy camping? Do you go camping on your own? Where? What kind of camping do you enjoy?

5) Are you comfortable training 11,12 and 13 year old boys to be leaders and then truly letting them plan and lead. Are you comfortable if they lead into a less than great situation and then your having to take the responsibility/heat from parents and others because adults could have done better? Are you willing to let boys "fail" and watch them fail?

6) Do you enjoy working with boys? Which age range do you like better, 11-12 or 16-17?

7) Do you enjoy selling the Troop and recruiting boys and parents? How would you convince a boy to join and his parents to let him join? Do you prefer a smaller Troop of 5-10 boys, a medium Troop of 20-30 or a large Troop of 50+?

8 Is your spouse completely on board with your becoming Scoutmaster? How 'bout your employer and employment?

9) No one is perfect, but is there anything about your personal history that might reflect negatively upon you and the Troop if they were known?

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I like the question above about "selling" the troop. It's something that many might find unpleasant, but in the long run, it's important to make it a part of the things you do: getting the word out that scouting exists in your community.


I'd check into how much experience the scoutmaster has with small organization finances. I'm of the opinion that when your finances are in good sound shape, a lot of unexpected nice positives will follow.

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One question I would ask is:


Are you ready to have about one hour a week left for your family?


This isn't a joke question, but one that asks how much time a week the candidate is willing to give to the troop. We all know that it isn't one hour a week is all it takes to be a scout leader, I mean, the troop meetings alone are 90 minutes long.


Something for the candidate to think about.



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Ask your candidates questions that cover all of scouting.


Training, what do they have and will they seek more and update skills as needed. Can they attend Woodbadge, pow wows, etc...


Program, do they understand boy lead and the patrol method. Do they understand the roles of the SPL and the PLC.


Camping and other outtings, can they attend summer camp and make most of the weekend campouts. Can they attend district events such as camporees and klondike derbies.


Recruiting new scouts and leaders, What kind of rapport does the candidate have with the local Cub scout packs and their leadership.


Also be prepared to answer a few question of his as well.


Are all the committee members trained?

What shape are Troop finances in?

What shape is the Troop equipment in?

What support does the Chartered Organization give to the troop?


Etc, etc, etc...


This should be a two way conversation from the start.






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