In Boy Scouts, when a Scout completes all the requirements for his next rank, he sits down for a chat with the Scoutmaster. This is a requirement of every rank and gives the Scout and the Scoutmaster a chance to talk one-on-one.
The Conference is also one of the few times that we can get to know each other better. It’s a great chance to make a connection that wouldn’t otherwise happen. Of course, every Scoutmaster Conference is done in full view of the rest of the troop, but is done in a confidential manner, in keeping with the Youth Protection Guidelines.
The Scoutmaster Conference is not a re-test of the Scout. The person who signed his book indicating completion of the requirement does the testing. The Scoutmaster Conference is designed to check on the learning that took place, but more importantly, to better understand how the Scout is progressing in the troop and how he feels about his membership.
Since every Scout in the troop needs a Scoutmaster Conference for each rank, there are times that the schedule can get really busy. For example, when all of the new Scouts join, we see a big increase in Scoutmaster Conferences since everyone is excited to get their first ranks.
In order to schedule a Scoutmaster Conference, a Scout can ask at a troop meeting, send me an email or call on the phone. The Scout needs to take the initiative. I schedule them in the order requested. Scoutmaster Conferences vary in length, but typically last about ten minutes for the first ranks, and longer for the higher ranks.
I like to tell Scouts that a better name for a Scoutmaster Conference might be a Scoutmaster Conversation. Our meeting is a chance to talk about Scouting, the troop, and his progress and plans.