How to Make Friends in Scouting: A Guide To Troop Friendship Building

Whether you’re a newly-joined Scout or well along the path to Eagle, making friends in a BSA troop can often feel like a challenge. However, it doesn’t need to be! While many friendships develop spontaneously, it’s also important for Scouts to take initiative if they want to forge stronger bonds with their fellow Scouts.

A troop and its patrols offer a built-in way to make friends, but getting those friendships kicked off may feel daunting. I know when I started Scouts I definitely felt this way. You may feel like you don’t fit in, or that others may not want to expand their friend groups. All of this is normal, and can be overcome!

How Do You Make Friends In Scouting? The best way to make friends in your troop is to be a friend. This means being kind, thoughtful, and helpful towards the other Scouts. Strike up conversations, remember personal things, and help others whenever you can. By doing this you’ll build great friendships in no time!

PS. This article is a collaboration between Eagle Scouts, Chandler M, and Cole 🙂

In this article, we’ll teach you some of my best tips for getting closer to your fellow Scouts and becoming well-liked in your troop. Plus, you’ll also learn how to make Scouting more fun for everyone involved! By putting what you learn into practice, you’ll be making Scout friends left and right, putting you in a great position to step up as a leader!

Be a Friend to Others

The best way to make a friend is to be a friend. That’s why is so crucial to always treat your fellow Scouts with kindness and respect. Smile when you see people you like, greet others by name, and be supportive whenever possible. Your fellow Scouts will enjoy being around you and want to get to know you better!

From there, you’ll be in the perfect position to start building deep friendships! So, in this section let’s talk about friendliness. Being friendly, although somewhat of an abstract concept, isn’t too hard once you get the hang of it. Here are a few things to keep in mind for being more friendly and outgoing in your troop:

  1. Initiate conversations
    • This is much easier than it sounds. Most Scouts are wanting friends too, so all you need to do is put yourself out there. Try and initiate conversations with Scouts you may have not talked to much before.
  2. Ask interesting questions
    • People are much more willing to tell you about themselves if you ask good questions. It can always start with a “how are you” but you’ll need to dig deeper after that. Try asking what their favorite hobbies are, what their favorite Scouting experience is, or what they hope to become one day.
  3. Discover common interests
    • Whether you’re asking them directly or overhearing that they have a common interest as you, this is a great jumping point off to begin a friendship. Common interests are a great way to create a strong connection with someone and enjoy that interest together.
  4. Remember that everyone is unique
    • It can be easy to see other people you don’t know as background characters in your own story. In fact, they may even think of you that way. However, be curious! Understanding that each person has a unique story to share is essential for building lasting new friendships.

Because of my interest in gaming, I was able to meet others who were also passionate about the games I played. We quickly became great friends and even started our own gaming group that met outside of Scout meetings! These were some of the best friendships I forged with fellow troop members, and a highlight of my time in Scouting.

“A Scout is friendly” is something you probably recite pretty often during the Scout Law, and for good reason. Acting as a friend to others is the #1 way to be accepted into your troop and to have a blast. So, start taking an interest in your fellow Scouts today. In no time, you’re bound to make some better friendships!

Hopefully, these tips make getting out there and becoming a great potential friend less daunting. Building new friendships is a skill you have to practice, and Scouts is the perfect place to do it! Now for my next tip for making friends in Scouting…

Participate in Troop Activities

This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you want to build friendships, attend as many troop activities as possible. Interpersonal bonds are strengthened through time spent together, so campouts, meetings, and events are perfect for growing closer to your troop buddies. Go the extra mile to participate and make your presence known in the troop.

Over time, people will learn who you are, feel more comfortable opening up, and from there a great friendship can bloom! While you obviously don’t need to attend every outing, make an effort to sign up even if you’re hesitant. I made some of my closest friends that way because it gave us a chance to talk and get to know each other.

There were plenty of troop trips that I felt like skipping but attended anyway. More often than not, they’d turned out to be fun adventures because I’d always get to learn new things about my Scout buddies or the world! Even some of the more miserable trips, like the time our tent flooded, turned out to be a rewarding experiences in the long run.

You can hear more about this adventure in my newest eBook, 7 Secrets for Scouting Success! 📖

As an added bonus, showing up and building friendships gives you a chance to practice leadership! This is a super-important skill for the “real world.” Scouts who show up are much more likely to be elected as Senior Patrol Leaders because their troop members (the people who are voting) know who they are. 😀

Spread Cheer and Positivity

Another tenet of the Scout Law, cheerfulness (and positivity!) can help to improve troop morale on tough trips or through boring meetings. It’s easy to complain and be negative when you’re not feeling 100%, and that’s normal.

However, if you try to look on the bright side and make the other Scouts happier too, your positivity will be infectious. Then, people will want to be around you even more! As an example, you and a group may be struggling through a difficult hike, but you could always crack a joke or offer some words of support to make the situation better. 🙂

Gathering some friends of mine during an outing and telling funny stories was a quick way to boost morale. We always had fun listening to each others’ weird stories and sharing a laugh. Other Scouts we weren’t as close with always joined in and had a great time as well.

Sprinkling in some humor or positivity in a tough situation is a foolproof way to make friends. Plus, you’re helping push others to get through whatever they’re struggling with. Obviously, there are times when jokes are inappropriate, but you can still always stay positive despite any negatives.

Try to be the Scout who is cracking jokes and keeping the troop together, and you’ll be sure to attract others. After all, people want to be around other people who make them feel good! So, because positivity spreads, try and be the person who starts the fun and spreads some encouragement around.

Help Out With Eagle Projects

Even if you’re pretty new to Scouting, you’re probably already aware of the importance an Eagle project holds. And, you’d want people to show up to your Eagle project, right? What I’m getting at is to always do your best to attend Eagle projects and support the leaders in your troop.

Although the Scouts holding their projects are likely a bit older than you, they’re still trying their best and would truly appreciate your support. So, show up and talk to them! Even try to learn a thing or two, as they have plenty of wisdom about Scouting and life that they’d be happy to share. 🙂

During my first year in Scouts, I participated in several Eagle projects. These projects gave me new skills and allowed me to meet both Scouts and leaders that I may not have had the chance to meet otherwise. This was a very valuable experience as a new Scout, and helped prepare me for the day I held an Eagle project of my own!

Not only will you have the chance to work closely with older Scouts, but you can also get some of your service hours finished. Plus, older Scouts will be extremely impressed if a younger Scout goes out of their way to help out in an Eagle project. You just have to take the first step and volunteer to help.

Making some older friends in the troop is extremely useful for a multitude of reasons. As I said above, older Scouts can also help you advance in your Scouting career, share life advice from a wiser perspective, or even introduce you to more people in the troop. Don’t just hang with the Scouts your age, help with Eagle projects and talk to everyone!

Be Inclusive and Kind

Relating to our last point, include new people in activities and try your best to connect with everyone. While you may like spending time with some people more than others, it’s important to treat everyone with kindness. Even if your troop has a strange kid who always brags and picks their nose. 😛

Also, be open to trying new things to get other members of your patrol or troop involved in fun camp activities. By planning games and inviting others to play, you’ll create fun hotspots wherever you go! Whether it’s a pickup game of soccer, or an impromptu requirement study sesh, start doing interesting things and invite others to join in!

At summer camp, I always spent time wandering around to see what the others were doing. Even if they were up to something I didn’t necessarily enjoy, I made it a point to hang out with them for a while and show them that I was interested in the activity. Then later, I’d start doing something I liked and invite them to join in!

Try to out of your comfort zone when you join in on activities too! Even if you may not be super interested right away, by letting yourself get interested you could have a ton of fun. Best case scenario, you could learn new skills, start enjoying the activity, and make some friends with differing interests. 😀

Don’t be shy to try new things to get new people involved. In the long run, it will definitely help you to expand your interests so that you can relate to more people in your troop, patrol, or even your community.

Get to Know Others by Being Outgoing

This may be hard for some people, myself included, but being outgoing will help you to thrive in Scouting and life in general. As a Scout, you may not normally work with members of other patrols on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t expand your horizons and mingle!

Having friends in other patrols is extremely helpful when you need some assistance with a requirement, need voters in a troop election, or are just looking for new people to tent with. So, try to have a great conversation with each person in your troop at least 2 or 3 times by getting out of your bubble.

When I was still a young Scout, I was a pretty outgoing (loud) kid. Because of this, when SPL elections came around, many of the older Scouts pushed me to run because they had the chance to talk to me and knew what I was all about. Their encouragement helped me to step up as a leader even before I felt 100% ready.

There are a couple of ways you can go about meeting others. During meetings, you can sit with different people and join in on their conversations. Helping other patrols cook during an outing is another way to make friends, as the help is always appreciated. Plus, you may even get some free food out of it! 😀

Just because you are assigned to a certain patrol doesn’t mean your friends have to be exclusively in that patrol. Branch out a little while participating in troop activities and I can promise it’ll pay off in the long run!

Be Helpful Whenever Possible

Like we mentioned earlier, being helpful goes a long way. It shows that you’re compassionate and caring, as well as willing to inconvenience yourself to support others. Below are a couple of examples of how you can be more helpful in your troop and community:

  • Offer assistance whenever you see someone in need
    • You’ll come across this often as a Scout. A fellow Scout may be struggling to put up a tent, cook something, complete a merit badge, or do a myriad of other things. If you ever come across this situation, do your best to offer some sort of assistance.
  • Join Eagle projects and service outings
    • I’ve touched on this above, but I can’t overstate how important this is. People will definitely be appreciative if you go out of your way to provide support, whether it’s an Eagle project or just a random service outing.
  • Step up and be a leader
    • I’ll touch on this more later, but offering to take on some sort of leadership within your troop or patrol is extremely helpful. Sometimes, your troop needs members to step up as leaders, so taking on this responsibility will be a big help in running a successful troop.

All three of these points are great ways to show your troop that you’re a compassionate and helpful person. People will appreciate you for going out of your way to help others, and you’ll begin to build a habit of going above and beyond. A helpful person never has a shortage of friends! 🙂

Be Thoughtful and Connect to Others

Thoughtfulness goes a long way. Whether you’re learning everyone’s name, or paying special attention to make others feel heard, it never hurts to be attentive when spending time with others. By remembering what they say, you’ll better connect and become a friend they can count on.

Active listening is a big part of being thoughtful. It may be hard to stay focused and attentive during long meetings, but it’s extremely important. Listening and absorbing what is said will give you valuable information and show others that you actually care.

Small instances of being thoughtful can mean a lot to the recipient. I know when I was a young Scout, older Scouts who went out of their way to learn my name immediately became my friend. I looked up to them because they took the time to remember who I was, even if I was much younger.

Remembering peoples’ names is another great way to show others that you’re thoughtful. You put effort into remembering who they are and they’ll always appreciate you for that. This will become especially important if you want people to help you with service or elect you for leadership!

A little bit of thoughtfulness can go a long way. By striving to connect and remember what’s being said so that you can understand the other person better, you’ll create even better relationships and become someone your whole troop can look up to.

Final Tip: Be A Leader

Many of the earlier points relate to leadership, but I can’t overstate the importance of becoming a leader. Leadership can seem tough, but it is one of the greatest gifts Scouting will give you. Personally, my leadership positions in Scouting trained me for situations in the workplace and school.

The most simple thing you can do is try your best. Give every challenge your all, no matter how hard it may be. This will set you up to be a role model for others and help you assume a natural position of leadership.

For more info, make sure to check out the ScoutSmarts article on Becoming a Great Troop Leader in Scouting!

Additionally, if you make a promise to another Scout or Scout leader, keep your word. Proving that you’re trustworthy will also earn you points with others and show you have what it takes to lead. Trustworthiness is a key trait for any good leader.

Finally, incorporate everything we mentioned above. Everything in this guide can help you become a leader, if you’re willing to put in the effort. Once you follow these steps, people will quickly look up to you and see that you care about the well-being of your troop and its members. Thus, they’ll be your friends in no time! 😀


I wanted to leave you with one last guideline for making friends in Scouting. If you’re ever having trouble figuring out how to make friends and be a better Scout, look to both the Scout Law and Slogan. These are time-tested principles to keep in your mind when participating in any Scout activity.

All of the attributes we covered will help you to quickly become a well-rounded, kind person, which are qualities people look for when making friends. So, be sure to put what you learned into practice, and you’ll have a ton of troop buddies in no time!

Thanks for reading, and for spreading positivity in your troop! If you enjoyed learning about how to make friends in Scouting, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles if they spark your interest:

Before you go, I challenge you to start being more friendly and try to make each person’s day better! Doing so will help you to even better experiences and memories with your troop. That’s all for now, best of luck in your Scouting adventures!


I'm constantly writing new content because I believe in Scouts like you! Thanks so much for reading, and for making our world a better place. Until next time, I'm wishing you all the best on your journey to Eagle and beyond!

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