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The Boy-Led Troop David Mitchko Mercer Area District Commissioner.

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Presentation on theme: "The Boy-Led Troop David Mitchko Mercer Area District Commissioner."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Boy-Led Troop David Mitchko Mercer Area District Commissioner

2 Why is it Important? Empowers boys to be leaders Boys plan and participate in the activities that they want to do Keeps the older boys interested in the program Integrates 5 of the 7 methods of the BSA: Patrol Method, Association with Adults, Advancement, Personal Growth and Leadership Support Scouting’s Mission: To prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law The more choices you allow a boy to make, in scouting’s safe environment, the more he will learn how to make the right ones.

3 Signs that your Troop is Boy-Led Youth Leaders and NO ADULTS telling other boys what to do Meetings and Activities planned and run by the SPL Youth leaders know who is in what position of responsibility Scoutmaster or his assistants giving advice and direction to the Youth Leaders only – no other adults giving directions. Boys are fast-start trained by their Scoutmaster when they first receive their position of responsibility New Youth Leaders receive timely TLT from their SM Every boy has access to a written description for each position Troop has monthly PLC meetings run by the SPL All activities on the troop calendar are decided by the PLC

4 The Scoutmaster’s Role Training the Youth Leaders – a never ending job What their job is What is expected of them What type of leaders the BSA expects them to be Evaluate the skills, abilities and morale level of the PLC members Provide a level of direction, coaching and support based on this evaluation, mainly with the SPL/ASPL On-the-job training – “the teachable moment” Provide positive reinforcement of leadership behavior Encourage the PLC to hold Reflections What went well? What can we improve on? Hold non-advancement Scoutmaster’s Conferences with Youth Leaders as needed to discuss their performance as leaders

5 Scoutmaster’s Pitfalls Taking over when things are not going well Not training the Youth Leaders Not providing direction, coaching nor support Not letting the boys know that they are “in charge” Not communicating with the “scout in charge” Not allowing the Youth Leaders to fail and see the consequences of their failure Being too emotionally involved with the program Not understanding why the scouting program exists Measuring success by how organized his troop is

6 What Can the Other Adults Do? The Troop Committee Supports the Program –Conduct Boards of Review and Courts of Honor –Process advancement paperwork and keep records –Make reservations for campsites and other activities –Organize fundraisers –Purchase troop equipment and supplies Parents provide drivers, support for activities, adult supervision at campouts, etc. Adults can do skills instruction, make announcements or lead an activity in a Boy-Led Troop. The Scoutmaster sometimes has to run interference to keep the other adults from doing the boy’s job.

7 How Boy-Led Can Go Wrong Scouts elect an SPL or Patrol Leader who does not perform, even after much training, coaching and direction from the Scoutmaster An SPL gives a boy a position of responsibility which he does not what or cannot do. The PLC picks an activity and date which none of them intends to participate in. The PLC makes plans for a meeting and the boys assigned to run the activities don’t attend or show up unprepared If the youth leader’s poor performance if affecting the program, the Scoutmaster must take action – not by taking over for the boys, but by working with them.

8 Failure is an Option A Scoutmaster’s biggest challenge is to learn to deal with the failure of the youth leaders Always insist that the boys have a backup plan and that they should always be prepared to switch to it The backup plan does not have to be perfect The Youth Leaders will learn how to manage risk and who they can rely on The Scoutmaster must strike a careful balance between allowing the youth leaders to learn from their failures and running a good program. Steer the scouts away from the big mistakes that can spoil the fun

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