How to train youth leaders

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Troops and crews  often face problems of teaching youth how to become leaders.  Some scoutmasters rely on resources like scoutmasterCG.com.  Some rely on official BSA training courses.

The unofficial resources do a good job of giving a fresh perspective of the problems that you run into with youth training.  They tend to focus on training within the troop.   The emphasis is on informality, effectiveness, practicality, and fun.

The official resources allow youth to continue to follow official BSA training continuum.  Most important part of the BSA training regimen is the ability for senior youth leaders to have an opportunity to learn with their peers. Senior patrol leaders have an opportunity to go learn with and from other senior patrol leaders.  The emphasis is a broader understanding of the BSA program.

The BSA youth leadership training continuum begins with Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops.  This should be taught by council. Once a senior patrol leader has taken the course, he is expected to offer the course at his own troop.  The preferred time for the training is immediately before the new youth elections. This allows the new candidates to better understand the positions they are looking to take on.   This course is required, in theory, before a scout moves on to National Youth Leadership Training. Locally we refer to this as White Stag. This takes place in two sessions in June and July at Camp Redwing. Graduates can then become camp staffers in following years.

Graduates of White Stag then can pursue training at Philmont, and the other national centers, called National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience. Here they will put NYLT lessons to use.

Are your youth leaders looking to have leadership challenges beyond this? Look into the Kodiak Challenge. It can be offered at the unit, district, or council level, with Council’s Training Department approval.

You want to keep your older scouts engaged? Promote this leadership training continuum and watch how boys refuse to leave scouting.

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