Senior Patrol Leader elections were last week with an 8th grade Life scout taking the reins for the next 6 months. The troop elects a new SPL in Sept. and March - then a mad flurry of training occurs. It's pretty fun and the training of scouts is one of a Scoutmaster's main goals.
Since we have elections mid-September and the new leadership team takes over on October 1, we have about 2 weeks for initial training. And, it goes something like this:
- The troop elects an SPL.
- On the same night of the election, everyone desiring a leadership position checks their 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices on a sheet and turns that in.
- The SPL and I meet to decide who gets which position. At that time, we also do our initial training that lasts about 45 minutes - filling him in on his duties, expectations, and upcoming responsibilities. One big responsibility is scheduling the Troop Leader Training and Troop Planning sessions. TLT is usually right around the first day of their term.
- The SPL then contacts the troop (using the mail blast on TroopKit.com) to let them know the new leaders and when TLT will happen.
- The SPL, ASPL, and I meet. The SPL and I do initial training of the ASPL and we go over the agenda for TLT. We divide up duties, having the SPL and ASPL do as much of the presentation as they can, depending on their past experience.
- Over the next week, the SPL does initial training of each patrol leader while the ASPL does initial training of the scouts that report to him. This training is to go over responsibilities and takes about 15-30 minutes.
- TLT happens as a culmination of the training bombardment.
We use the small Troop Leader Training package from BSA and give out position cards. But, we also include other topics that have been fairly helpful. The day lasts about 3 hours plus 1/2 hour lunch and goes something like:
- Intro to Training - parents are asked to stay for 15 minutes to hear what 'scout-led' means, the SPL's vision, the SM's vision, and their role in ensuring their son fulfills the minimum duties of his position.
- Troop Positions - identify traits of a good leader, show troop org chart, each scout describes his position and duties.
- Troop Processes - confirm the rank advancement and merit badge processes, discuss how these leaders will help the newer scouts succeed.
- EDGE Instructing - explanation, demonstration, and then practice of using EDGE in all our skills training.
- Position Goals - each scout defines personal goals for their term and writes them on their wallet card.
- Special Topics:
- Campfires - having a theme, soliciting content, and MCing a successful program.
- Games - preparing, knowing the rules, enthusiasm, and fair play.
- Meetings - prepare agenda, materials, goals; start on time and stay focused; make it fun.
- Skills - have expertise and materials ready, use EDGE, teach small groups, and use helpers.
- Reflection - feedback on the training and how to improve next time.
The Troop Planning session has the SPL and Patrol Leaders deciding on activities for a 6-month period 12 months out and putting them on a calendar. This is following the 18-month calendar plan from the BSA so they are planning activities for next year.
Each patrol leader present volunteers his patrol to plan and organize one of the campouts.
They also brainstorm high adventure ideas for 2 and 3 years out to make sure we're doing the Philmont and SeaBase lotteries.
This planning session can happen any time in the first month or so, but the new SPL chose to do training and planning today. In the past, we've done training on a campout or at our meeting location. But, the scouts' favorite spot is my basement so I'm off to vacuum the cobwebs and shove the Wii into a corner.
Posted: 6:31 09-26-2009 444 Previous Post Next Post
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