848 Policy – Scoutmaster Conferences (Why, How to Initiate, What’s involved, etc)

Completion of a Scoutmaster Conference (SMConf) is necessary for each scout to complete each rank.  You can see the SMConf requirement in the sign-off sections for each rank that are in the back of the scout handbook.  SMConfs can be completed by the Scoutmaster or any of the Assistant Scoutmasters (ASMs).  The one exception to this is for the Eagle Scout rank.  The significance of the Eagle Scout rank requires that the either the Scoutmaster or Steve Willis conduct that SMConf. During the SMConf the ASM/SM will interview the scout as to his progress, whether he has really learned the stuff in the book, and how the troop is doing.  If the scout is not able to demonstrate the knowledge required for the rank, he will be given recommendations on where to focus additional attention and be asked to schedule another SMConf when he is ready.

The scout (not a parent) shall be the one to initiate a Scoutmaster Conference.  He sets it up by either:

  1. walking up and asking an ASM/SM at a troop meeting for a SMConf AT THE NEXT troop meeting OR
  2. calling an ASM/SM up on the phone to schedule one at the next troop meeting


  1. We emphasize scheduling the SMConf during the NEXT scout meeting.  They can also be conducted at the next camp out.  (This is convenient because everyone is in full Class A Uniform.)  There are special cases that can be accommodated if it is impossible for the scout to meet the above options.  However, to avoid adult leader burn-out and respect the adult leader’s responsibilities outside of scouting, the scouts are asked to avoid being the “special case” that requires a separate meeting.  
  2. A Scoutmaster cannot do a Scoutmaster conference for more than one rank at a time. 
  3. Scoutmaster conferences for Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class should be performed by different Scoutmasters.  This allows the young scout to get to know other Scoutmasters and vice versa.  It is encouraged that Star and Life SM conferences be with different ASM/SM, if possible.  However, these are performed by the more senior Scoutmasters, so the choices will be more limited.
  4. An ASM/SM should not conduct a SMConf with their own son.
  5. You must have your Scoutmaster conference before you fill out the Jotform to get a Board of Review.  That means that you should plan to have a SM conference at least a week before the BOR.  It is too difficult on the advancement committee to make last minute changes as they prepare all the paperwork and scheduling for the BOR’s.
  6. A scout can find a list of scoutmasters in the troop along with their contact information from the Adult Leader Contact list, which can be found on the Troop website under the “Adult Leaders” tab.  
  7. At this time, former Scoutmaster Steve Willis is the main Eagle Scout SMConf guy.  Save the best for last.