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Troop JLT Course Page One


Author:  Gary Malicki

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:

  1. You must attend each class & scheduled JLT experience in Full Class 'A' uniform. Failure to do so will result in a "missed class".
  2. You are allowed to miss up to (4) classes or a combination of (4) classes & campout training experiences.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 # ____________________

ETC.



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

  1. 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.

WHY THE SPECIAL RULES?

Two reasons. One, in order for you to absorb all of the material presented, you have to attend as many classes as possible. Since the course lasts all year, we understand that you may not be able to attend every class for one reason or another. It's important for you not to fall out of the loop. And two, YOU WERE SELECTED to attend the course and JLT, no doubt, will make you better Scouts. It doesn't hurt to maintain a higher level of discipline when we meet. Being involved in the course has ALREADY elevated your status with the Troop. Experience tells us that JLT makes a difference. Scouts who completed the course in the past perform better in certain situations than IF THEY WERE NOT trained. You will get a deeper understanding of what the BSA is all about


WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

LEADERSHIP CONCEPTS THAT WILL RELATE TO THE TROOP AND YOUR LIFE.
TROOP OPERATION
PATROL METHOD
COMMUNICATION SKILLS
THE 11 SKILLS OF LEADERSHIP-AS THEY RELATE TO YOU & THE TROOP
THE LATEST CAMPING & OUTDOOR TIPS
TEAMWORK-AS YOU'VE NEVER EXPERIENCED IT BEFORE
HOW TO TALK TO ADULTS
THE ART OF PERSUASION
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING A BOSS & BEING A LEADER
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
...AND MUCH MORE

A TYPICAL LESSON PLAN MAY LOOK LIKE THIS


OPENING - Scout Law (We always begin by reciting the Scout Law, slowly & deliberately-we do it so much that later we tell them that we do it because, now, they'll remember it for the rest of their lives no matter what)

READING - Brownsea Island (Here we'll allow a youth Staff member to read a short, 2 or 3 paragraph on Scouting history) I now know that when I was a Boy Scout I wish I would have learned more about Scouting History.

"WELCOME TO TROOP JLT" - (Or which ever subject matter we may be covering. Ths is delivered as a lecture with the use of some visual aids like a dry erase board or a large pad on an easel)

TEAMBUILDING EXERCISE - (Taken from either 'Woods Wisdom' or a variety of other sources, some of which we'll provide links to, we do some sort of Team Building Exercise here) Here is a link to an experimental education team-building exercise page you may find useful http://www.du.edu/~citin/activitypage.html

PATROL LEADER HAND-OUTS - (We prepare a hand-out for the PL's and one to each candidate with the subject matter covered. The PL hand-out usually has some information about a later class or some information that we slowly reveal about the graduation campout as the year goes on)

I hope this helps you learn how to format your own course. If you need a further explanation, please email me and I'll get into it in more depth.

RETENTION is so important!

One 'side-benefit' of doing an elborate course really does help retain Scouts in your Troop for longer periods of time. Another thing we've seen happen is that the first-year Scouts actually look forward to their second year because they know they'll be in the course. We've had the good fortune of creating a mystique about our course. When we go on a regular weekend campout, we house the Troop in a cabin and might reserve a lean-to or another smaller cabin exclusively for our JLT group. We then hold short (30-40 min.) leadership classes before bed. But the next morning, we may re-join the rest of the Troop before breakfast, singing perhaps, and the younger ones see this. They are wondering...where do they go? What's it like over there? This works for us and subsequently Scouts STAY in the Troop longer passing by that vulnerable period of time where many drop for a variety of reasons.

 

BEFORE YOU START THE COURSE
Here's a few tips and ideas you may want to use. What you just read (above) is the Lesson Plan for the first Class. We usually decide by Summer Camp which boys are going to be 'invited' into the course. We actually send them a letter which resembles an application with a little form they fill out. We keep it pretty simple because, after all, we are dealing with 2nd year Scouts. We throw in questions like; What is your definition of Leadership - and- What have you learned in Scouting so far that you didn't expect to learn -and- What do you do in your life to live up to the Oath & Law. We usually end up getting some pretty interesting answers that we use in a later class. We don't let them know but the letter is really just a formality but they always fill it out and return it to the Scoutmaster by the date indicated. This is a really unique idea that prepares them for taking the course.

COMMENTARY ON TEACHING A JLT COURSE/WORKING WITH YOUTH

Let's say you're an adult Scouter dedicated to the ideals of the 'movement'. OK, now you've decided to teach Junior Leader Training.

As an adult, it's easy to have certain expectations from the group of boys you chose to be in your course. And why not? You are just used to things getting done, working out smoothly. When you work with adults you usually get the results you'd expect from the reliable ones you count on TO BE THERE TO HELP. But now you're working with kids in, what you hope to achieve, a controlled atmosphere.

You expect a lot from them because, after all, they are your future leaders. You must not forget that they are kids FIRST and not every task or class will be to your liking.

Some are smarter than others, some are lazy, some are Super Scouts and some day dream too much. DON'T LOSE YOUR PERSPECTIVE. Think about your life. You're holding down a job, making a marriage work, paying bills, hoping your car starts in the morning and maybe taking care of little ones while the wife works...whatever. The biggest things that may be weighing on their minds is homework deadlines, beating the newest video game and "will she say yes" when I ask her out to the dance? These are real-life crisis situations in the lives of those you teach, unimportant to you but the whole world to them.

Try to never require any written work in your JLT course, they get enough of that in school. Offer them hand-outs on material covered but don't insist they read them only suggest. The ones who take the time to do that in their own private moments are the ones who will turn into your true leaders. GET TO KNOW THEM, FIND OUT WHAT MAKES THEM TICK, their favorite music, TV shows & movies. You can teach them about B-P's times, but we don't live in B-P's times.(A nice ice-breaker exercise is to go around the room at a class and have everyone "say something about themselves that you don't think anyone else knows"...you'd be surprised at what you can find out about what's on their minds).

STAY AS CONTEMPORARY AS POSSIBLE WHILE TEACHING THEM TRADITIONAL THINGS.

And one more thought, as suggested by a Scouter from our JLT E-mail group...

MAKE IT FUN...IT'S OK FOR ADULTS TO MAKE IT WORK BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND...MAKE IT FUN FOR THEM. "If You Build It They Will Come"!
---January 8, 2002---

 

In Conclusion


Our JLT Training meets & exceeds National BSA standards. The 2 main differences between our program and a Council program is that you train over a period of months instead of all of it in a week. Also, you're doing it with Scouts that you know...and you will get to know each other a lot better.

OUR COURSE ALLOWS YOU TO CUSTOMIZE THE MATERIAL
TO FIT THE NEEDS OF YOUR TROOP

Good Luck-we hope you follow through to its conclusion. It'll make you think of Boy Scouting in a whole new light. (Here's another thing we tell our JLT candidates)-We encourage you to share your JLT experience with your parents but please don't discuss information about the course with younger Scouts who are not yet in the program. This will keep the material fresh and the mystique alive. Most of all HAVE FUN!


Other Pages you May Like
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Troop JLT Course Page Five
More Training Tips
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Troop JLT Course Page One
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