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

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The Boy-Led Troop

David Mitchko

Mercer Area District Commissioner

why is it important
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.
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

Signs that your Troop is Boy-Led
the scoutmaster s role
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
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

Scoutmaster’s Pitfalls
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.

What Can the Other Adults Do?
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.

How Boy-Led Can Go Wrong
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

Failure is an Option