Scoutmaster’s Conference Preparation (With Example Questions!)


While preparing for an upcoming Scoutmaster conference, it’s easy to feel a little intimidated. Answering one-on-one questions from an authority figure is tough! However, Scoutmaster conferences present a great opportunity to get to know your Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster a bit better, and these meetings are much less scary than you’d expect. The key to success lies in your preparation!

PS. This article is based on the experiences and research of Eagle Scout, Kevin A and Cole 🙂

While your Scoutmaster might ask you questions to prepare you for your Board of Review, what Scoutmasters really want to talk about is your experience in Scouting thus far (But you can also check out my other article on preparing for an Eagle Scout BOR). They not only want to learn about your Scouting life but also how Scouting has affected your daily life! 

While on my own trail to Eagle, I went through several Scoutmaster conferences, as they’re required when advancing from one rank to the next. During those chats, I learned so much and was better able to understand my role in the troop. Use these talks as an opportunity to have an interesting conversation with your Scoutmaster, and you’ll have a great time!

In this article, not only will I be providing you with the questions you’ll likely be needing to answer during your next Scoutmaster’s conference. I’ll also be giving you a few tips to better hone your communication skills! After reading each question, I’d recommend you really pause to think about your answer. I’ll wait!

This article has 3 sections: Tenderfoot-First Class, Star-Life, and Eagle. I’d suggest reading all of them, as any of the listed questions are fair game. However, if you’re short on time, skip over to the section on your rank to find a few of the questions you’re most likely to be asked.

Remember, there’s no need to be too nervous! Just think through your answers carefully, and be yourself. As long as you have a thoughtful discussion with your Scoutmaster or assistant Scoutmaster, you’ll do a great job and complete your conference with flying colors!

What is a Scoutmaster Conference? Why Are They Important?

A Scoutmaster’s conference is a short chat with their Scoutmaster that each scout must complete before they’re able to rank up. It’s usually a one-on-one meeting (while following BSA youth safety regulations) between yourself and the Scoutmaster of your troop. However, in some cases, a meeting with your Assistant Scoutmaster could also satisfy the requirement. 

Typically, Scoutmaster conferences last around 15 – 20 minutes (with the exception of your Eagle Rank Scoutmaster conference, which could be 30 minutes or more). These ‘conferences’ are relatively short chats, so really use this time to discuss topics that are important to you. Remember, your Scoutmaster acts as a guide and will ask you questions to help you more critically think about your Scouting experience! 

Protip: Although you don’t need to be nervous about your Scoutmaster conference, make sure to arrive in full uniform! While this may not be the case in your troop, in mine we needed to be in fully prepared in ClassA uniform or we’d need to reschedule.

To avoid making any other big mistakes in Scouting, check out my free downloadable cheat sheet on the 5 deadliest mistakes to avoid if you want to earn your Eagle rank!

Scoutmaster conferences are a very important part of your journey through Scouts BSA. They’re one of the only times where a Scoutmaster can directly guide and assist you on your Scouting journey. That’s why it’s important that you be open and yourself during these meetings!

During a Scoutmaster conference, you’ll often have the opportunity to set goals and reflect on how Scouting has affected your morals. Plus, you and your Scoutmaster will have a chance to learn about each other’s lives outside of Scouting! 

Tenderfoot to First Class Scoutmaster Conference Prep

When advancing through your Tenderfoot to First Class ranks, you’re mainly focusing on learning the basics of Scouting. These basics include activities like knot tying, camping, cooking, first aid, and more!

As a Tenderfoot to First Class scout, your Scoutmaster conferences will be spent mainly talking about your experiences learning new skills and connecting with your patrol. Additionally, you’ll also likely be asked your opinions of Scouting thus far. 

Some of the questions I’ve included in this article are official BSA Scoutmaster questions, while others are ones that we’ve (Cole and Kevin) heard or even created, ourselves. By asking yourself these questions, your mind will come up with some amazing answers, which I hope will help you out a ton in your Scouting journey!

Example Tenderfoot to First Class Scoutmaster Conference Questions 

  1. Who is your patrol leader? What do you think of them? 
    • Here, you could talk about how you’ve interacted with your patrol leader and the experiences you have had with them. Are they a good leader? What are the signs of a good or bad leader? 
    • You could also talk about your personal opinions you have of them, good or bad. It’s okay to talk about things your patrol leader does that you don’t agree with! Just as long as you say it in a way that’s constructive and not hurtful. 
  1. Have you had any difficulties in Scouting so far? 
    • Feel free to discuss any difficulties, big or small. Whether it be trouble setting up tents to not knowing if you want to go for your Eagle Rank, anything is okay!
  1. What have been your favorite parts of Scouting so far? Are there any activities you particularly enjoyed?
    • This is your opportunity to let your Scoutmaster know what’s been working so far! Before your upcoming Scoutmaster conference, consider which kinds of activities you’d like to see more of. 
    • Although most troops are scout-led, letting your Scoutmaster know what you’ve been enjoying can help to make that activity happen again. For instance, in my case, a troop bowling night!
  1. How have you progressed in your first aid skills? 
    • Don’t worry, you won’t have to demonstrate actual first aid skills. This question is more so asking how much you think your first aid skills have improved or not improved. This helps your Scoutmaster to see how effectively you’ve been learning!
    • Talk about times you‘ve performed first aid on someone. It could’ve been an easy task, like properly bandaging someone, or even a more serious first aid task. The important thing is to highlight what you learned from that experience. 
  1. What are your goals for the next few months? Can they overlap with advancement requirements? 
    • Come up with a few goals ahead of time. They don’t have to be fully fleshed out, as your Scoutmaster will give you advice on how to refine them or come up with more definite plans. 
    • Even consider some of your goals outside of Scouts BSA. Scouting may be a big part of your life, but it is not your entire life. Think of academic and other extra-curricular goals as well! 
  2. If you had any suggestions to improve the troop, what would they be?
  3. How do you get along with the older scouts in the troop? How might you make things better if they’re not 100% perfect already?
  4. What does Scout Spirit mean to you? Why is it important to show Scout Spirit?
  5. What do you like to do in your free time? Why do you enjoy it so much?
  6. What makes a good leader? In what ways could you begin to step up to become more of a leader in our troop?
  7. How are you prepared in your everyday life? Why is it important to be prepared?

Also, be prepared to talk about any significant achievements you’ve accomplished in your daily and Scouting life, as well as any community service projects you have been involved in! Your own success is what your Scoutmaster will care about most, so share with them some of your wins, whenever possible!

While you’ll most likely need to answer a few of the above questions, remember that your Scoutmaster conference most likely won’t be run like an interview. Instead, it’ll be like you’re having a nice chat with a friend! So, relax and feel free to talk about what matters to you. 🙂

Star & Life Rank Scoutmaster Conference Prep

As you rise through the Star and Life ranks, you’ll be charged to take on more leadership roles. Instead of learning skills and completing tasks, you’ll instead be teaching the skills and delegating the tasks to less experienced scouts! 

Your Scoutmaster conference for the Star and Life ranks will focus more on your leadership. However, you’ll also have the opportunity to continue talking about what you’ve been enjoying as a scout in your troop. Since you’re now an older scout and leader within your troop, be prepared to share your plans and recommendations with your Scoutmaster!

Example Star&Life Scout Scoutmaster Conference Questions 

  1. Tell me about your experiences in the leadership positions you’ve held.
    • Talk about your first impressions of being in a leadership position. Had you acted as a leader before? If you had, how was that experience different than in Scouts BSA? How has it been similar?
  2. Did you feel like you accomplished a lot in the position?
    • Recall a story of a time you felt like a very accomplished leader in Scouting. What did you learn? 
    • What lessons can you take away from this achievement so that you’re more likely to be successful when leading others in the future?
  3. What was frustrating about being in your leadership position?
    • Recall a story of a time you felt frustrated while acting as a leader in your troop. What did you learn? Why was it frustrating?
    • Then, consider ways of solving the problem. In the future, what can you do differently to avoid having these issues reoccur?
  1. What merit badges have you most enjoyed earning? Why? 
    • Talk about fun or valuable experiences you’ve had while getting your merit badges! How are you remembering and using the knowledge you’ve learned?
    • Tip: Stories are simple but engaging ways to talk about what you’ve learned from different experiences!
  1. What merit badges have you gotten the most out of? Why? 
    • This is a good chance to talk about how your merit badge experiences have translated into your daily life. Also ask yourself, “What was the hardest merit badge I’ve earned? Why was it so difficult?”
    • The merit badge you describe doesn’t necessarily have to be an Eagle-required merit badge. Talk about the badges that you’ve personally learned the most from, whether it be first aid or fingerprinting!
       
  2. Have you thought about going for your Eagle Rank? If you have, do you have any ideas for your service project? If you haven’t, why not? 
    • You don’t need to be sure about your plans to earn Eagle when answering this question. Instead, just think about what it would take for you to reach your Eagle Rank! 
    • If you do have a plan, share it with your Scoutmaster and ask for their feedback. They’ve helped many past Eagle Scouts in your troop to reach their goal, and they’ll be able to help you too!
  3. Tell me about your interests outside of the troop. How has Scouting affected your everyday life?
  4. What does the Scout Oath and Law mean to you? How do you live it out in your interactions with others?
  5. What parts of Scouting do you think will be most memorable to you, 10 years from now? What makes these particular aspects of Scouting so impactful to you?
  6. What role does religion play in your life? What does “a scout is reverent” mean to you, personally?
  7. In your opinion, what’s the point of Scouting? What would you like to get out of your time in this troop?
  8. How do you help to make the younger scouts feel welcome? What has your experience been, teaching them by using the EDGE method?

Eagle Rank Scoutmaster Conference Prep

For your Eagle Rank, your Scoutmaster conference will be a little longer. Expect at least 30 minutes or more to complete this final meeting with your Scoutmaster. “Why is it so long?” you might be asking. Well, it’s because there’s a lot to discuss when it comes to your Eagle rank! 

This final Scoutmaster conference could include anything from going over your Eagle Scout application, asking questions like a regular Scoutmaster conference, a review of your Eagle Scout Project, or most likely, all of the above! However, the structure and feel of this Eagle Scoutmaster conference will be the same as your previous ones. 

Example Eagle Scout Scoutmaster Conference Questions 

  1. How did you feel about how your Eagle Project went? 
    • Think about your Eagle Project, overall. Look back on your entire Eagle Project process: the research, putting together and presenting the proposal, the execution, and how it was completed.
    • How do you feel, now that you’ve completed your Eagle project? What have you learned?
  2. Did you run into any obstacles? Were they planned or unplanned? 
    • Create a list of obstacles you had to face while carrying out your project. Which were the hardest to overcome? How did you overcome them?
  3. How was your experience working with your project beneficiary? 
    • Discuss how you met with the project beneficiary to develop your project. What was it like to meet them? What was it like to jointly decide on a project? How well did you communicate with them?
  4. If you could have another go at your Eagle project, would you do the project differently in any way? 
    • Take a look at what was difficult about your project. Was there anything you could’ve done to make these aspects less difficult?
    • Every project has room for improvement, so make sure you really think about this one!
  5. How do you think your troop is doing? Do you have any personal goals for the troop? 
    • If you are going for your Eagle, you’ve most likely been a part of your troop for a long time. Talk about your impressions of your troop.
    • As a soon-to-be Eagle Scout, you can offer a unique perspective of your troop which, to your Scoutmaster, will be extremely valuable!
  6. What are your goals and ambitions after you get your Eagle Rank?
    • By the time you get your Eagle, you’ll probably be in high school.
    • This question will have you consider your goals and dreams after graduation from high school. These can be goals related to Scouting, academics, or life in general! 
  7. What does Scouting mean to you? How might you continue living the values of Scouting after leaving our troop?
  8. In your opinion, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as a scout?
  9. How do you feel you’ve most changed during your time in Scouting? How will you continue to change?
  10. What does the word, “Citizenship” mean to you? Why is it important to be a good citizen?
  11. If you could give advice to a new scout, or yourself when you were just starting out, what would you say?
  12. What was the hardest part of Scouting for you? How did you overcome this challenge to get to where you are now?
  13. What does it mean to you, personally, to earn the rank of Eagle? How should Eagle Scouts carry themselves in the world?

Conclusion

As you attend more and more Scoutmaster conferences, you’ll actually come to enjoy them! Like I mentioned before, these talks meant to be scary and are mostly just a chance for you to chat one-on-one with an adult leader about your Scouting and life so far. Think of them as little check-ups on your Scouting career! 

Now that you’ve read through each of the questions in this article, you should be fully prepared to have an awesome Scoutmaster conference! On one final note, here are a few more tips from a current Eagle Scout to you, a future Eagle:

  • Think critically about your answers! The Scoutmaster conference won’t have as many questions as your Board of Review, so really expand on your answers here. 
  • Approach this meeting as a discussion between you and your adult leader, rather than a test. Try to be as open and invested in this conversation as you would with another parent or adult. 
  • There are no right or wrong answers! Most of the questions are gauging how you feel, and there is no such thing as a wrong feeling. Answer honestly and you’ll be fine.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like another one of my articles that goes into some of the hidden benefits of earning your Eagle rank. Until next time, I’m wishing you the best of luck on your future Scoutmaster conferences. You got this! For now, just be the best scout you can be. 🙂

Cole

I'm constantly writing new content for this website because I believe in Scouts like you! Thanks so much for reading, and for making this 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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