The September/October 2012 issue of Scouting magazine had an article titled “Shared Wisdom. The New Leader Guide: 50 Tips To Get You Started.”

This is a good read for any new and old leader alike. If you are a new leader you will learn quickly that you don’t know everything and you may be a little desperate to find answers to questions or advice. We lean on each other in our units. Old leaders are helping guide the new ones and new leaders end up teaching the old guys a thing or two. We pass along information and share books and manuals. We encourage each other to get trained and to go to roundtable.

Here are a few tips from the article that stood out for me.

3. All in the Timing. Get all your Scouting dates on your family calendar and fix any conflicts. Nothing’s worse than having to cancel a den meeting on your wedding anniversary (except not canceling a den meeting on your wedding anniversary).

12. Less Taxing. If you itemize your taxes, you can deduct the cost of your uniforms and the miles you drive as a volunteer. You’ll need good records, so start a receipt file and mileage log. For more information, visit or consult your tax adviser.

22. Catch Up on Some Reading. Read the appropriate youth and adult handbooks that relate to your position. If you’re a Wolf den leader, get the Wolf Cub Scout Handbook and Cub Scout Leader Book. If you’re an assistant Scoutmaster, get the Boy Scout Handbook and Scoutmaster Handbook. If you’re a Venturing Advisor, get the Venturing/Ranger Handbook and the Venturing Leader Manual. If you’re a … Well, you get the idea.

33. Stick to your schedule. Families will come to understand it’s easier to work into a planned schedule than to pull things together at the last minute. —from Scouter Laurie Good Kautz

50. In volunteering, you are truly receiving a gift. The more time and effort you set aside for your Scouts, the greater the gift you’ll receive in return. —from Scouter Anthony Daniel Thorne

There are 45 other tips and I encourage you to go out and read each one of these. New ones are added to the comments section every day. Just one tip might make the difference between you being an adequate volunteer and an exceptional leader.