GETTING STARTED - Letter to our JLT candidates prior to the course:
WELCOME TO OUR JUNIOR LEADER TRAINING COURSE! These classes feature material from the Boy Scouts of America, JLT course outlines from various internet sources and outdoor tips from contemporary outdoor magazines like "Backpacker".
THERE ARE CERTAIN RULES BY WHICH WE PLAY THIS GAME WHICH YOU MUST FOLLOW:
- You must attend each class & scheduled JLT experience in Full Class 'A' uniform. Failure to do so will result in a "missed class".
- You are allowed to miss up to (4) classes or a combination of (4) classes & campout training experiences.
- It's more important than ever to live up to the Scout Oath & Law. Severe un-Scout-like behavior will result in dismissal from the course. Also, there will be stricter rules to follow throughout the year when we separate from the Troop and live in different lodging.
- You must bring all of your designated materials to each scheduled JLT experience (folders, pens, pencils etc.)
THIS MAY SEEM LIKE AN ELEMENTARY IDEA BUT DON'T TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT THE PATROLS IN YOUR COURSE WILL COMMUNICATE 'AT WILL'...YOU HAVE TO TEACH THEM TO DO THAT:
A GOOD PATROL LEADER KNOWS HIS PATROL AND COMMUNICATES WITH THEM OFTEN
PATROL RESOURCE SHEET
1. Name____________________Phone # ____________________
2. Name____________________Phone # ____________________
3. Name____________________Phone # ____________________
There are times throughout the JLT course when you will be required to communicate with each other. Patrol Leaders will be required to be in telephone-contact with its members when those situations arise. COMMUNICATION IS AN IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITY.
THIS IS A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF OUR FIRST LEADERSHIP CLASS FROM THIS YEAR'S COURSE:
October 4, 2001.
Our Troop meets in a school so we have the good fortune of having other areas of the building available to us. When we do training on a Scout meeting night we take the JLT candidates to a separate area to eliminate distractions.
We called out the names of the boys in the course and walked them (in silence) to a training room upstairs and lined them up. We have a home-made wooden stand (like a pole with various badges of offices of rank tacked to it with a piece of wood at the top where we light 3 candles for each session of training) The 3 flames represent the 3 points of the Scout Oath. We are lucky to have many assistant Scoutmasters, so myself, my training partner, the Scoutmaster and about 12 other assistant adult leaders and the SPL came into the room and encircled the candles and together we (the leaders) recited the Scout Oath and then all but myself & training partner exited the room silently. (the boys seemed really impressed by this and a really good atmosphere was created)
After the leaders left, I led the group in the recitation of the Scout Law (we open EVERY CLASS with that). I then asked for a group representative to help with a leadership exercise and gave them 30 seconds to choose one. I then gave the boy they chose a piece of paper that only HE can look at which read the following:
"A Simple Task"
You have 3 minutes from right now to accomplish this simple task
- Get the Scouts lined up from left to right according to height
- In a bag behind you by the gym doors you'll find a plastic bag containing candles and a box of matches give each Scout a candle and ask them to hold it in their left hand. Get one for yourself as well.
- Light the candle the Scout on the far left is holding and ask him to light the candle to the left and the next Scout on the left and so on until all of them are lit but they must stay in a straight line
- When the last Scouts candle is lit, light your candle from the flame of the last boy in line and face the group.
We then reviewed what they learned from the exercise:
COMMUNICATION BY A GROUP LEADER / COMMUNICATION BY WAY OF READING INSTRUCTIONS / RELAYING DIRECTIONS TO A GROUP / WORKING TOGETHER TO ACCOMPLISH A TASK / HELPING EACH OTHER-This is the main theme & idea in Junior Leader Training.
We then had everyone in "Scout Arms" & a leadership prayer was read.
There are 12 boys in the course this year so next we assigned (2) 6 boy patrols and had them both elect a PL then issued the PL a separate binder to keep extra hand-outs in.
We then issued Patrol Flags-blank material attached to two long staves (they were expected to paint their flags accordingly)
We then handed out their Junior Leader Handbooks and folders which they keep all year long to save various hand-outs they get throughout the course.
Next we presented a short lecture on most of the basic concepts that they will learn in the course and presented a "Team-Building" exercise called "All Aboard" which is found in "Woods Wisdom". (This is a really great first one to do, It really gets them all involved and one of them inevitably emerges as leader suggestion the best way to do it).
Next we did a quick inspirational reading (like a Scoutmaster's minute) recited the Scout Law again and went over the next training date before dismissal.
So that's a typical class in our JLT course.
I'M A BIG BELIEVER IN THE 'REFLECTION PROCESS' WHICH I LIKE TO USE AFTER DOING A TEAM BUILDING EXERCISE WITH THE GROUP. THE FOLLOWING IS A NEAT ARTICLE & SOME TIPS ON DOING A GOOD REFLECTION:
Leading The Reflection
- Lay the Ground Rules for Discussion
- Have participants sit so they can see each other
- Ask them to agree not to interrupt or make fun of each other
- Let them know they are free to keep silent if they wish
Facilitate the Discussion
As a leader, avoid the temptation to talk about your own experiences. Reserve judgment about what the participants say to avoid criticizing them. Help the discussion get going, then. let the participants take over with limited guidance from you. If you describe what you saw, be sure your comments do not stop the participants from adding their own thoughts. Above all, be positive. Have fun with the activity and with the session.
Use Thought-Provoking Questions
- The following types of questions are useful in reflecting: Open-ended questions prevent yes and no answers. "What was the purpose of the game?" "What did you learn about yourself?"
- Feeling questions require participants to reflect on how they feel about what they did. "How did it feel when you started to pull together?"
- Judgment questions ask participants to make decisions about things. "What was the best part?" "Was it a good idea?"
- Guiding questions steer the participants toward the purpose of the activity and keep the discussion focused. "What got you all going the right direction?"
- Closing question help participants draw conclusions and end the discussion. "What did you learn?" "What would you do differently?"
Remember, reflecting on an activity should take no more than ten to fifteen minutes. The more you do it, the easier it becomes for both you and the participants. Remember that the value and the values of Scouting often lie beneath the surface. Reflection helps you ensure that these values come through to Scouting participants.
A Model for Reflection
Discuss what happened. Direct openended questions toward specific incidents. For example, you might ask, "Who took leadership? What did they do to make them a leader?" or "How did decisions get made?"
Make a judgment. Ask the group to decide if what happpend is good or bad. Try to focus on the good things first, Direct your attention toward specific skills. For example, you could ask, "What was good about the way decisions were made?: Then you could ask, "What didn't work so well about the way you made decisions?"
Generalize the experience. Try to get the participants to see the connection between the game or activity and regular Scouting experiences. You could ask, "How can we use the ideas we learned today in our own units?" If you can. be more specific. "How can we use what we learned about decision making on a unit campout?"
Set goals. Begin with the positive. Ask the participants what skills they used today that they would like to keep doing. Then ask what things they need to change to work together better.