Youth leadership goes through developmental stages. As youth become more capable and adults more comfortable with these capabilities higher levels of youth leadership are possible. Can you find your troop on the ladder? Where would you like to be? What do you need to do to get there?
Scouting places the responsibility and authority to lead on the Scouts , we need to keep out of their way, and supply the resources they need to get to the top rung.
The table above is based on Adam Fletcher’s adaptation of Roger Hart’s ladder
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Frank Maynard says
This is a very good illustration of the progression of youth leadership.
However, I would flip #3 and #4 and say that no troop should be lower than step 3 for more than a short period of time unless it is a very young troop.
I’d also add some finer steps between #1 and #2, such as “Scouts leading, adults advising” in which adults accept and support the youth decisions without question when they are clear-cut and appropriate but are close enough to know when the boys get stuck and offer clues (but not direction) as to how to get back on track.
If you’re at 6 and below, you’re basically an older Cub pack.
Alex Adkins says
Great graphic and a good discussion topic could be centered on a fourth column titled “How Long To Use”. In my own experience, I think it is possible to go up and down the ladder with the rotation of unit membership. But, I think some troops end up using a low rung as a perch because the unit leader can’t envision moving up quite yet “because the boys aren’t ready.”
I’d postulate #5,6 and 7 should last no more than a few weeks each and #2,3 and 4 no more than a few months. Anything longer than that and I would surmise that the SM’s expectations of “being ready to lead” mean being an actual adult.
Clarke Green says
Yes, great idea – “how long this should take” – Keep those ideas coming!
Mike Rossander says
This is an interesting graphic but the wording, especially the right-most column is very Boy-Scout centric. The lower levels come across as absolute “bads” that should be universally avoided. But those levels of leadership are entirely appropriate for Cub Scouts. Remember that one of the core principles of Cub Scouting is that it is age-appropriate. The Cub-scouting layers line up quite well with this model. With some tweaking, the connection could be made more explicit.
Level 7, for example. Rather than leaving the words ambiguous (because I first read it to mean a Troop’s first-year patrol), say that this leadership model is appropriate for young Cub Scouts.
Level 6 – That is a frank and accurate description of the Wolf/Bear Denner position. Not very complimentary wording but it is honest.
Level 5 is a good target for a Webelos Denner. I strongly disagree with the description of it as “limited usefulness” – it would be of limited use if applied in a Troop but age-appropriate in a Den.
You could stretch the model further and argue that levels 4 and 3 are the appropriate targets for most Den Chief relationships. (Having said that, I do like the current wording for those layers because it makes clear that those levels would be less than ideal for general troop leadership.)
Clarke Green says
Excellent critique Mike. I am close to what I want with this infographic – my aim was to try and paint more of a picture of several levels, not that they are good or bad in themselves, but that they are there and each has their usefulness, good points and bad. You’ve challenged me to do a better job of incorporating the whole program (this one is more aimed at troops) and i think that’s an excellent idea!
John Nelson says
Nice graphic. It’s funny in how accurate it is. Love the blog Clark. Keep up the good work!
Chris P. says
What a great, thought-provoking graphic. I plan to share this at my committee meeting next week and try to figure out how to get our Cub Pack off rung 7 and started up this ladder. I’d really like to have my guys at rung 5 by the time they cross over into a troop.
A follow-up post/podcast (or two) would be great to explain your techniques for getting adults to let go and move up this ladder would be enjoyable.
I really like your site and what you’re doing with it. It’s become one of my regular Scouting reads. Good luck, and maybe see you again at an HSRAA function sometime.
Clarke Green says
Hey Chris, thanks for the kind words!
The HSRAA reunions have ended up on the Saturday before our week at camp the past couple years so I haven’t been able to get to them.