This post introduces a new contributor to Scoutmastercg.com; Walter Underwood. You can learn more about Walter by reading his profile. I really like the idea of a regular, brief and focused discussion amongst the adult leadership to air any concerns or ideas; we’ll be having one of these discussions in our troop pretty soon! – Clarke
A couple of times a year our adult leaders sit down to discuss the troop program. Like most troops we are always discussing the program but once in a while we all get together without any of the Scouts and concentrate on an evaluation of how things are going.
We don’t make program decisions or plans, that’s up to the Scouts. Our discussions give everyone the opportunity to discuss concerns and to get on the same page about how they can be addressed. Our most recent discussion was based on the eight methods of Scouting.
The Scoutmaster wrote the eight methods out on an easel pad and asked us to chose three methods we considered the troop applied well and three that we thought needed some work. Once we had done this we went around the room and talked about our choices. I recorded them:
This discussion really helped define what we needed to work on, eh?
Our patrols have been strong but a recent reorganization from three patrols to five resulted in five first-time patrol leaders. Our evaluation reflected that we really need to pay attention to developing these new leaders.
We discussed possible ways the patrol leader’s council could leverage the strength of our outdoor program to improve our leadership development and application of the patrol method. We’ll encourage uniforming as part of a patrol competition and put more emphasis on our scheduled youth leader training day.
The exercise served as a reinforcement of how Scouting works (the methods), helped us establish a common language for discussing things and set priorities for developing the program.
That’s a lot for a 20-30 minute discussion!
The Scoutmaster will share our discussion with the senior patrol leader and encourage him to do the same exercise at the next patrol leader’s council meeting. It’ll be interesting to see the results of their discussion and compare it to ours.