Scoutmaster Musings - Leader Training


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Scoutmaster Musings

Leader Training
Last weekend, the new SPL held our semi-annual Troop Planning and Leadership Training day. It's a long day, but a lot gets accomplished.

In the morning, the SPL, ASPL, Scribe, and patrol leaders meet to review the current 12-month schedule. They discuss any changes that are needed to dates, themes, and planning responsibilities. Each patrol is responsible for planning an outing and sometimes patrols swap events if the dates work better for the new patrol leaders.

After reviewing and accepting the current schedule, they tack on another 6 months worth of outings. Before this meeting, each patrol is given a brainstorming sheet to use to come up with their favorite ideas for outings. Their patrol leader is responsible to promote these ideas to the troop. Sometimes it works, sometimes its just one scout saying what he'd like to do, sometimes there's no input at all.

A challenge I gave the scouts this time was to come up with 'Adventure Themes' rather than activities. For example, one scout really wanted to ride horses. Instead of a horse riding campout, they've planned a 'Western Round-up' with horse riding, rope fusing & whipping, open fire cooking, lasso contest, and other cowboy stuff. They seemed to be more excited about it and I expect participation will be higher. They also came up with 'Amazing Race' road rally, 'Big Game Tracking', and 'Castle Caving'. The last one is just going on a cave tour while camping at a Webelos camp that turned an old barn with silos into a castle - they went there for skiing this winter and loved the castle. :-) So, sometimes, just a cool theme makes a big difference.

Around noon, after the schedule is laid out, the rest of the PLC team shows up for training. It takes about 4 hours, including 30 minutes for lunch. Each scout tells about his position and his goals for the 6-month term.
We cover Merit Badge and Advancement processes, new scout success strategies, how to lead games, how to lead meetings, and how to teach skills using EDGE.

I plan on asking a handful of Life scouts to run the Planning and Training sessions next time. We have some scouts that have been through it 3 times and even new activities each time don't freshen it up enough.

Scout On
Posted: 9:59 03-29-2007 134
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