National Youth Leadership Training
Summer camp starts in just about 90 days. Is your unit signed up? Do you have a scout who wants to go but can’t go the same week as your pack or troop?
There are promotional materials that you can use with your unit. You can use a YouTube Video (Cub Day Camp or Adventure Camp). You can request a presentation team to come in and help promote summer camp. You can print out Commitment Cards to hand out at a meeting with deposit information included.
You will need a current health form (same form for all levels of scouting), so get those appointments scheduled now before the doctors’ offices get swamped.
Campership financial aid is available for all eligible scouts. Inability to pay is no reason for a scout to miss summer camp. Speak with your unit chair to assist with this process.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
Camp Belzer Day Camp. Camp Belzer is here in Indianapolis, hidden behind Lawrence Central High School and across Fall Creek and its namesake boulevard from the Scout Center. This makes Camp Belzer a great place for a day camp. For some families it is a hop, skip, and jump away from Washington Township. For others it takes more thought, but is do-able.
It is available from June 11, 2018 to July 21, 2018. You can register your pack here. (Please make sure that you have one parent in charge of this process to avoid confusion or duplication of effort.) You can get more information on the Camp’s website.
This year is Camp Belzer’s Centennial, so you don’t want to miss the celebration! They will kickoffwith a Firecrafter Kick Off with Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb. They will have a Beler Staff Reunion on June 30, 2018 at 1:00 pm. They will have a July 4th celebration open to the public.
This is highly recommended for Tiger through Bear Cub Scouts (based on the badge they will pursue in September 2018). A Webelos option is available, too.
Camp Kikthawenund’s Adventure Camp. Adventure Camp is an overnight camp held at Camp Kikthawenund in Frankton, Indiana (north of Noblesville by 15 minutes). Adventure Camp supports and utilizes the aims and methods of Scouting as an integral part of the camp program. Adventure Camp will provide an opportunity for Wolf, Bear Webelos, and Arrow of Light Scouts to go camping at the region’s premier Cub Scout Camp. No Tag-a-long program. The eleven different sessions begin on June 10, 2018 and end on July 21, 2018. This is a 3-night/4-day program with overnight camping expected. This is highly recommended for Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts.
Other District Day Camps. Some of our neighboring districts offer day camps. The one that might have the most potential is Sugar Creek District at Camp Cullom in Frankfort, IN the week of June 25th. If you talk real sweetly to our District Executive Jessica Hofman, she might be able to persuade her former district to allow you to participate. If there is interest in holding our own District Day Camp in the future, contact Jessica about your thoughts.
Camp Belzer Day Camp. Yes, Belzer has programming for Boy Scouts, too. There is a Baden Powell program that focuses on merit badge classes and Dan Beard program that focuses on completing First Class Rank. This is a great way for individual boy scouts to complete some of their required merit badges for First Class and Eagle done so that they can truly dive into the elective merit badges with their troop at Camp Ransburg or wherever else the troop goes.
Camp Ransburg. Troops can sign up and have the parents pay the camp directly and schedule the merit badge classes online. This is a week-long resident camp with the troop on Lake Monroe. If an individual scout cannot go with his troop or wants to do additional weeks, we can work with that scout to have him participate with another troop. North Star troops have been very cooperative with this “contingent scout” method of camping.
Camp Krietenstein. In Center Point, IN, near Terre Haute, Krietenstein offers a more intimate summer camp setting for scouts. It is similar to Ransburg in allowing troop options and contingent scout options.
National Youth Leadership Training (“NYLT”). Formerly known in our council as “White Stag,” NYLT is a program for youth in a troop to prepare for senior leadership in their home troop. It is “Wood Badge for Youth.” The participants spend a week in the summer (or weekends during the school year’s Spring and Fall Sessions) participating in a temporary troop. They experience each role in the life of a troop. At least two troops in the District require this training to an Senior Patrol Leader or Assistant Senior Patrol Leader: Troop 358 and Troop 56 (beginning this year). Talk to their scoutmasters about the impact of this training on their experience in managing the troop. The brochure is available here.
For older scouts, you can even work at summer camp. You won’t get rich, but you will have an enriching experience. Apply now!
If your troop is not participating in High Adventure or you cannot make your schedule coincide, an individual scout or small sub-group of scouts can participate in High Adventure through individual programs, Order of the Arrow Programs, or as a “contingent crew member” joining another under-sized contingent from somewhere else in the country. Learn more at the individual high adventure base websites about all the options available. It’s not too late! Yes, camperships are available here, too, although travel costs are usually excluded. (Talk to us to learn how scouts overcome these problems!)
Our District’s highest performing units put a heavy emphasis on the senior members of the Patrol Leaders Council having complete National Youth Leadership Training.
This course is open to Venturers, too. The Spring 2018 NYLT Course Director Brian Spellman of Del-Mi Troop 199 told me last week that he will be putting a heavy emphasis on recruiting Venturers. Put a bug in their ear for Spring, if they can’t go in the fall.
For future planning, remember that NYLT students are highly encouraged to complete Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troop or for Crews.
In 17 days, we will be offering Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops. This is an introductory class for youth. They do not need to be patrol leaders or members of your PLC. RSVPs at the link above by troop headcount, not necessarily name are requested but not required. We need to have sufficient handouts available.
The class will be taught two of the district youngest Assistant Scoutmasters and recent Senior Patrol Leaders, Aryman Gupta of Troop 56 and Tony Ketner of Troop 69.
This class is a prerequisite for White Stag/National Youth Leadership Training.
Graduates of this class will be authorized to run this training at their own troops.
Help us spread the number of youth in the district with this training.
At the spring camporee, District will be offering Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops. The facilitators will be Aryman Gupta, Troop 56, and Tony Ketner, Troop 69. These young men will teach patrol leaders and senior patrol leaders and future leaders the basic of troop leadership on Saturday, April 23rd.
Please recruit your scouts to participate.
This class is a prerequisite for White Stag/NYLT. We plan on having a SPL from the summer White Stag course and may be a course director come and visit to discuss what White Stag offers them in June and July.
Did you know that National Youth Leadership Training, locally known as “White Stag,” is available three times in 2016?
Here is the information from Council’s website:
NYLT (White Stag)
NYLT is a six-day course patterned after a month in the life of a unit. Content is delivered in a group and team outdoor setting with an emphasis on immediate application of learning in a fun environment.
The NYLT course integrates the best of modern leadership theory with the traditional strengths of the Scouting experience. Through activities, presentations, challenges, discussions, and audio visual support, NYLT participants will be engaged in a unified approach to leadership that will give them the skills and confidence to lead well. Through a wide range of activities, events, games, and adventures, NYLT participants will work and play together as they put into action the best that Scouting has to offer.
If you have any scouts who would be interested in the spring session, make sure they are signed up soon!
Some of the most successful troops in our district require that their SPLs and ASPLs attend White Stag, the National Youth Leadership Training, each spring or summer.
Some troops are not aware that attendance at White Stag requires a prerequisite class: Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (or for Crews).
BSA states on this webpage:
ILST is the first course in the series of leadership training offered to Boy Scouts and is a replacement for Troop Leadership Training. Completion of ILST is a prerequisite for Boy Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). It is also required to participate in a Kodiak Challenge Trek.
Once a youth attends ILST and has taken the first phase of train-the-trainer, “Fundamentals of Training,” the youth is eligible to offer this same training at his home unit.
North Star District will be offering ILST at the Spring Camporee. The lead instructor will Aryaman Gupta a recent Eagle Scout and SPL, who has just joined the scoutmaster corps at Troop 56. We are seeking another former or current SPL to assist Aryaman in his efforts. Please contact Jeff Heck with any volunteers.
Plan now to recruit your best candidates to attend White Stag so that they can get their prerequisites done.
Participants can (a) pay $5.00 to have their materials provided for them or (b) pay nothing and print out their own materials from the website as posted at a latter.
Reservations can be made at this link.
As Thanksgiving arrives this year, we begin considering more time with extended family and friends. Scouting tends to be put on the backshelf. Even so, Thanksgiving is a great time to think about the philosophy and lessons of scouting. (While this article is focused on boy scout troops, the same lessons of unit cohesion apply to Cub Scout Dens and Venturing Crews, too.)
The history of Thanksgiving is not often as it is represented in the media. To truly learn the lessons of Thanksgiving, we need to return to the the true story of Thanksgiving.
When the Plymouth colonists arrived and were moored alongside shore, they entered into the famed Mayflower Compact, effectively the first constitution written in North America. The Romans had previously had their Twelve Tables, the Swiss their agreement of confederation, and the Jamestown colony their royal charter. All of these were written agreement of government organization, but were all written in Europe. The Compact did not emphasize powers and duties like the US Constitution. It emphasized that all the colonists agreed to be subject to a common government as it was constituted from “time to time.” (That phrase is lawyer-speak for changes that occur every once in a while.) So they agreed to stick to the colony as the rules changed.
This agreeing to be part of the group and be subject to its changing rules is the first similarity between the Compact and a boy scout troop. While the rules for troop organization and management are far more detailed in the Senior Patrol Leader’s Handbook, the new Troop Leaders’ Guide Book (which replaced the Scoutmaster’s Handbook this year), and the Scout Handbook than the Mayflower Compact, neither these scouting handbooks nor the Compact define the daily rules of performance. Neither tells who cooks food, cleans, or organizes the day’s activities. Those are left for future decisions. Consequently, both systems leave lots of room for future lessons to be built into the future activities and organization of the band of people participating.
Last night, Tuesday, October 20th, Council held their semi-annual Operations Meeting. North Star was represented by Mark Pishon as District Advancement Chair, Brian Crow as District Camping Chair, District Commissioner Jeff Heck, and District Executive Con Sullivan. We were not able to cover the break out sessions for Programming, Family Friends of Scouting, Activities, or Communications due to lack of representation.
Vice President for District Operations Stroh Brann opened the meeting. As a past Wood Badge Course Director, he recognized our most recent past Wood Badge Director Jason Creighton of currently of Del-Mi District, formerly of our own Pack 358.
Carolyn Small recognized one of our recent White Stag Course Directors (whose name I did not catch).
They then had a short introduction of the STEM Scout program which is currently rolling out in beta testing in the Crossroads of America Council. One of its District Executives Zach White announced that the Council took delivery of the new Vortex truck the previous day. I had an opportunity to walk through it. The tools’ delivery is expected in the near future. The STEM DE told us a little bit more about the program. The unit in STEM Scouts is a called a “Lab.” The first “Lab Manager” position specific training is November 2nd from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Scout Center. This a great opportunity to learn the program from the inside.
Break-out Session Reports
Membership. The Council Commissioner and the Membership Committee held a joint break out to discuss recruitment and retention. Field Services Director Rob Hemmelgarn provided data on recent trends in the Council for the past 5 years. In that period of time, the retention rate has improved from 66.6% year-over-year in 2010 to 69.2% in 2014. Current projections for 2015 are 70.9%. We are doing an increasingly better job of retaining scouts once we recruit them.
The bad news is that our recruiting and market penetration is down markedly in that same period of time. In 2010, we had 903 traditional scout units. In 2014, we had 757: a loss of 146 units across the council. In 2015, we are projected to loss another 50. This unit loss has had a direct impact on scout recruitment. In 2010, we recruited 9,307 new scouts. In 2014, we recruited 6,779. In 2015, we hope to stay level, but we have only recruited 5,104 as of September 30, 2015.
Many ideas were thrown around about the cause of problems, but the numbers seem to indicate that poor Tiger Cub and other Cub recruiting is hurting all programs. Since 95% of Boy Scouts come from Cub Scouts, this Cub Scout recruiting problem is having a cascading effect on all scouting programs as the years pass.
Rob reported that nearly all youth programs from scouts to athletics are reporting similar declines. Questions were raised about financial explanations. Rob reports that the professional literature is pushing the notion that it is attributable to video games. This writer wonders whether the video game explanation is just a symptom of financial issues. Video games have a larger up-front fixed cost and smaller costs to continually upgrade or add games. It requires no additional time away from home. It allows parents who are busy at work to make sure their kids are occupied with a significant investment of time from the parent. This works well in financially struggling households to allow more work time without additional child care costs or investments in time and effort.
The question in recruitment has a marketing component, a sales component, a training component, and a first-60 days retention component. These components were all alluded to but not answered.
Upcoming Council Events
The next Council meeting is the Cub Scout Promotional Team Kickoff on October 29th at Camp Belzer. November 2, 2015 is the first day of Cub Scout Camp registration for summer 2016.
Council has meetings on November 15th and December 15th for the Activities and Training Committees and the Commissioners at the Scout Center. Start time is 7:00 pm.
The Governor’s Luncheon is December 14th at the JW Marriott hotel.
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.