The 14 things every Boy Scout troop library needs

Show me a well-read troop leader, and I’ll show you a well-run troop.

No, I’m not talking about a Senior Patrol Leader or Scoutmaster versed in Tolstoy or Twain.

I mean a leader who has read up on all things Scouting. So today, let’s do an inventory of your troop library. Is it fully stocked with the 14 Scouting essentials I list below?

Your library could be physical, or it could be virtual. Either way, a well-stocked one helps make your troop the best it can be.

1. Boy Scout Handbook


The primary resource for Boy Scouts (and for Scout leaders who need to learn basic Scouting skills).

$12 (perfect-bound) or $17 (coil-bound) at Scout Shops and

2. Fieldbook


A companion volume to the Boy Scout Handbook that covers advanced outdoor skills.

$20 (perfect-bound) or $27 (coil-bound) at Scout Shops, or Amazon.

3. Troop Leader Guidebook (Volumes 1 and 2)


The primary resource for Scoutmasters, assistant Scoutmasters, committee members and involved parents. Volume 1 is out now, and Volume 2 is due out this winter.

$13 at Scout Shops and

4. Troop Committee Guidebook


The primary resource for troop committee members. Topics include the organization of Scouting, recruiting adult leaders, troop finances, running committee meetings and more.

$7 at Scout Shops and

5. Troop Program Resources


Games, ceremonies, Scoutmaster’s minutes and more

Free, via this PDF.

6. Program Features (Volumes 1, 2 and 3)


Complete monthly program features, including meeting plans, outing ideas and resources. I previewed these here.

$15 for Volume 1 at Scout Shops and Volumes 2 and 3 are expected later this year.

In the meantime, you can use the existing Program Features: Volume 1Volume 2 and Volume 3.

7. Boy Scout Requirements (current year)


Requirements for ranks, merit badges, and special awards. Updated annually.

$6 at Scout Shops and or available online.

8. Guide to Awards and Insignia


A comprehensive guide to wearing uniforms and badges correctly.

$7 at Scout Shops and or available online.

9. Guide to Advancement


The official source for administering advancement in all Boy Scouts of America program phases. (Read about the big changes in the 2015 edition.)

$12 at Scout Shops and or available online.

10. Guide to Safe Scouting


The primary source for information on conducting Scouting activities in a safe and prudent manner.

Regularly updated and available online.

11. Patrol Leader Handbook


The official guide for patrol leaders.

$12 at Scout Shops and

12. Senior Patrol Leader Handbook


The official guide for senior patrol leaders and other troop-level youth leaders.

$12 at Scout Shops and

13. Scouting magazine


The official magazine for Scout leaders; published five times a year.

Registered adult leaders automatically get Scouting magazine. We publish five times a year on this schedule: January-February, March-April, May-June, September-October and November-December. You can also read our stories online.

14. Boys’ Life magazine


The BSA’s official youth magazine; published monthly.

Scouts can get Boys’ Life for just $12 a year. That’s a dollar a month! Contact your council for details.

Those who aren’t members can get Boys’ Life for just $24 a year, or $2 a month. Still a great bargain.

Subscribe here.

What’s missing?

What did I leave off the list? Let me know in the comments section below.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.