What follows is a first look at one part of a youth leadership training-mentoring program I have been working on.
I’ve imposed a few rules on myself – no paperwork, no presentations and no sitting down. In addition the adult role in this will be largely as a silent observer. As I develop the ideas I am working on ways that Scouts can first experience the concept and then discover the answers. In other words they would work their way through some sort of challenge designed to show the idea or concept at hand and then have a guided reflection afterwards where they talk about what happened.
This is not a new method – I am drawing on my experience with COPE and similar activities. ‘Four Ways to be a Leader” will sound familiar too. I have drawn on several sources for this, most directly from the National Outdoor Leadership School who have a similar set of definitions.
Four Ways to Be a Leader
We are all leaders in one way or another. There are four basic ways to be a leader: first you lead yourself, second you follow cooperatively, third you help your fellow Scouts, and fourth you shape the directions and plans for your patrol and troop.
Nobody is only one kind of leader all the time. We lead in whatever way is needed to help our fellow Scouts.
The first person you lead is yourself;
Self leadership is being prepared in whatever you do.
Do you have personal initiative and character?
Are you taking care of yourself spiritually, mentally and physically?
If you are not ready, if you are not contributing, you limit your ability to help others.
You must lead yourself before you are prepared to lead others.
Examples of self leadership:
When you go camping are you careful to bring everything you’ll need?
Have you concentrated on honing your skills and knowing what to do?
Do you depend on others or can others depend on you?
Are you focused and participating or are you just watching ?
Next learn how to follow cooperatively and contribute to the activity;
When we follow others we must look for ways to support them.
Our attitude is as important as our actions. We need to be cooperative and contribute to making whatever we are doing as good as it can be.
Examples of being a cooperative, contributing follower:
Listening attentively to directions.
Asking questions when you don’t understand.
Doing your best to make the experience a good one
Next assist leaders by helping your fellow Scouts;
How can you help your fellow Scouts succeed?
By being kind, friendly and helpful at every opportunity.
Examples of assisting leadership:
Help another Scout carry out a task.
Share your skills and knowledge with other Scouts in a helpful manner.
Help a fellow Scout when they are discouraged.
Next is leadership by direction and planning;
When you can lead yourself, follow cooperatively and help your fellow Scouts you are ready to guide your patrol and troop. You will help direct them during activities and make plans to help your troop and patrol.
Examples of directive leadership
Plan a camping trip, patrol meeting, or other activity .
Direct your fellow Scouts so they have fun and get the most out of what you have planned.
Work with each kind of leadership in every Scout.