Announcement Module
No announcement yet.

PLC Campout

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
Conversation Detail Module
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • PLC Campout

    I've had a couple of other posts about this. I'm having a campout for the PLC -- SPL, 2 ASPL's and 5 PL's. I'm not sure exactly I should be doing with them (Troop hasn't done this before). What I really want them to do is to take more ownership of the program. In the past it has been more the SPL working with the SM, with not much input from the PLC. My ultimate goal is for them to embrace taking control of the Troop.

    We have a very sketchy annual calendar, so that is going to get addressed. Also, the meetings have been planned last minute. I'm going to have them look at the program guide and set meetings for the next couple of months. What else should I have them be doing? What does your PLC do?

  • #2
    Have you done Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops with your leaders?

    Frankly, if you get a more complete calendar, you'll be way ahead of the game.

    This might also be a good time to fit in SM conferences. Rather than focus on advancement, focus on hobbies, academic interests, their favorite teacher, girlfriends, siblings. Stuff that doesn't always come up in "business" meetings. Maybe meet with two boys at a time for a change.

    I often ask the boys (and girls in my crew) "Two summers from now, where do you see yourself?"

    You can ask it in terms of what rank they will be. What trip you all will take. How many new boys will be in the troop.

    Ask what they might do differently about Courts of Honor, your meeting place, etc ...

    You might want to challenge them on one thing for the weekend. It might be a song the troop will sing at camporees and summer camp, a skit for new scouts about how to earn MB's, a sharper flag protocol, a design for a gateway the boys might like to build, be your council's fastest catapult builders, best BSA barbecuers.

    That will take up more than a day of your time.


    • #3
      Yah, make it fun, eh! Do somethin' special only for da PLC. Set aside at least half of each day for fun and scoutin', (which can also serve as a skills refresher and idea generator ).

      Then mix da other things in. Remember, them doin' is better than someone blah blahing at 'em.

      Yeh can check out some of da stuff on Kudu's site ( or other postings here or other places.



      • #4
        I am just throwing out thoughts.

        First off, the problem we found with Simi annual PLC activities like training, teambuilding and annual planning campouts is that after the scouts have done it once or four times, they didnt look forward to it the next. Its a big problem for experienced scouts who are on the PLC for a couple years.

        And campouts were the worst because they take up a whole weekend without getting all that much accomplished, plus they are all that much fun from a boy perspective.

        We through the years evolved from campouts and whole weekend planning/training sessions to short two hour training sessions or overnight lock-ins. The scouts typically to the annual planning with a lock-in. They spent the first few hours doing the planning, then the rest of the night playing computer games. Its short and fun. Some of the scouts think its one of the best benefits of being on the PLC.

        We also did a one night two hour training session the week before or the week after the lock-in. That training required all members of the PLC and all adult mentors. We spent the first hour reviewing the Aims, Methods, boy run and the hierarchy of CO down to the new scout. The intent was showing everyone our vision and how we work toward that vision. The adult mentor and scout for each PLC position reviewed the scouts job responsibilities during the second hour as well as setting some realistic goals for the socuts next six months with his responsibilties.

        What we found is that by condensing the planning, training and job review into just a few hours, we didnt have the problem of scouts dreading the activity after they had done them several times before. Instead they looked forward to getting the specific information without spending a whole weekend. Bascially we asked the scouts how to make these things fun and this is the result.

        As I said, I am not expecting folks to follow our example, I just wanted to throw other ideas out there. Since you are going to do the campout, I would set the goal that the scouts come home basically knowing the schedual for the next year, their job responsibilities, your goals for the program, and how they fit in that plan. Truth of the matter is most scouts could really care less with your vision or aims or methods, but reviewing those things show them that there is a method to the madness.

        As for your PLC not taking ownership yet, I remember when our troop was stuck there and for us it was the adults that were in the way. We were still taking on too much responsibility of the activities. The scouts didnt feel the ownership because they were taking feeling the responsibility of the troop performance. We started asking the scouts to review the program at the end of each night whether it was the Troop meetings or campouts. The idea was getting them to give ideas to what they could do better the next time, then push them to make those changes. Its a bit of a slow process with the hardest part holding the adults back. If you see a crash about to happen, its best to let it happen so the scouts feel the burn of failure. The burn should be motivation to change. Implementing change that improves the program develops ownership.

        Hope that helps at least a little.



        • #5
          Since I cannot create my own thread currently I will piggy back on this one.

          This is my first go round training the new PL. Old SM would complain the boys didn't know or do their jobs.....Well he never conducted a TLT campout or event. He handed them the position specific book and expected them to know their job the following week.

          Well it never happened.

          So I am looking at doing this for the first time. So please share your successes and failures. I read Barrys thread an may use that approach. Do a Friday night lock in with video games after the training.

          But share how you do it and the results..... I am trying my darnedest to move from a mostly adult led program to boy led and this is my first big step.


          • #6
            The key to efficient training is to give the scouts only what they need to grow to the next step. Just identify exactly what your scouts are not doing well and build the TLT around that. There are a 1000 ways to do training sessions and a campout is one of them. Actually a campout for the first time may work well because it is something new and different. Its your follow on TLTs that may require something different. But we found that if you train basically only what the scouts need to ease the burden of their responsibility, then you will have a successful TLT. Repetition is the killer of motivation.

            Also help the PLC feel special for giving their little extra for the program. Maybe give them treats that the other scouts don' t normally get. I brought a cooler of pop, chips and nuts on campouts for the PLC while they held their PLC meetings in the evening. Pizza delivered on a TLT campout?

            When I trained units in designing training courses, I ask the SM's to sit down with the SPL and write a list of specific problems that training could attack. A lot of leaders (most) just seem train some agenda they find on the Web without thought to if the activities were actually teaching their scouts anything. Prioritize the list and then simplify it to a few basic areas. Remember the basic rule is that young adults typically obsorb around 20 percent of everything you throw at them. The more items on the list you throw, they less specific skill they take home.

            Good luck, and have fun. TLT eventually became the olders scouts total responsibility that they took on with pride.



            • #7
              I think we're going to do our first ITLS session in the next couple weeks. The first part is going to be a hiking/camping overnighter to weed out the few kids that feel they should get PORs despite their aversion to Scoutcraft and campouts. The second session is likely to be a lock-in with pizza as suggested above.

              In the coming years I can see TLTs being organized around different kinds of outings to keep them fresh. Theme park visits, a day at the lake, skiing or winter sports day at the local fake mountain. Plenty of opportunities to try new environments for the training. Just a matter of making sure the business priorities are covered before the fun parts get a full head of steam built up.


              • #8
                Why should scoutcraft be a prerequisite? Please show me where it says so?????

                I will hopefully have a tenderfoot, probably a scout as the new scout patrol patrol leader........He will not know his woodcraft yet, so should he be immediately disqualified????

                Locally most troops do not do it....But I suspect they are not boy led, like I hope our troop will be in the future. I have talked with the SM's of troops who look like they have a solid program....No TLT, But they have a 17 year old SPL and their patrol leaders are 14-16 and they do not use a new scout patrol or single age patrol. While efficent, I don't want to plan all the outings, activities and meetings......nor buy all the groceries.


                • Giltweasel
                  Giltweasel commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Seems that one of the requirements for post-1C rank is teaching certain skills via EDGE method. You might be familiar with this fact, I don't know. Maybe "Scoutcraft" isn't a prerequisite for a leadership position, but there have been plenty of threads and posts on this forum that complain about older Scouts with rank that can't tie the basic knots or start a fire. It makes sense to have the skills if you're expected to teach the skills, right?

                  The point is not that the younger Scouts should have the Scoutcraft skills, but that the older Scouts, who would otherwise waste their tenure(as they have in the past) in the POR--and by poor example pollute the future leadership, not be encouraged to attend unless they are on board with the program. Making the first phase of the training a campout will effectively disqualify them by their own refusal to take part.

                  I'm talking about Star and Life Scouts who are on the Eagle and out plan that are extremely reluctant to camp, do not want to participate in the various derbies, and generally show poor Scout spirit. They've had a chance in the PL/APL SPL/ASPL continuum and did nothing other than open meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance for 6+ months. I was not in a position then to guide them towards acceptable leadership practices, and now that I am in that position and have asked them if they can see a better way to get involved, they don't feel they need to participate since their POR is fulfilled.

                  Anyway, enough of the snarky exchange you seem to favor.

                  I think a campout for TLT is a fun idea and it's new to this Troop. I can not turn back the clock and train the older boys from scratch, but I can work with the new and enthusiastic boys going forward. Incidentally, the current PLC is populated by two Life Scouts, two 2Cs, and one Scout. The 2Cs and Scout are more competent and excited than the Star and Life mentioned above. I DO consider enthusiasm a prerequiste. Whether it's stated in a manual or not.
                  Last edited by Giltweasel; 02-28-2013, 10:48 AM. Reason: spelling

              • #9
                I handle the ILST(TLT) for our troop. Over the course of the last 4-5 years the course has progressed both by my individual efforts and the updated training material published by national. One of my WB ticket items was to take the current ILST and tailor it for our troop and present it.
                Currently we have a syllabus which takes 4-5 weeks of one hour meetings culminating in a weekend campout for those participating in the year's course. Every year we have more and more scouts return to help out with the program after they have "finished" the course. we have added a lot of practical stuff not in the official course such as meal planning, event and campout planning, and lots of stuff about the nuts and bolts of the patrol method.
                When presenting I am very careful to keep it fun and have lots and lots of help from the past graduates in presenting the material. Anymore I am only there to keep things on track and make sure the older scouts who are presenting are covering the material. We finish off the course with a campout they have planned and executed. I'm proud of what our course has become and even prouder of how our junior leaders have embraced the importance of training the up and coming leaders.


                • #10
                  I'm a little old school, so bear with me, I grew up in a mixed-age patrol troop as Basementdweeller describes: 15-17 yo SPLs and 13-15 yo PLs. We didn't do TLTs but did take advantage of district TLT training when offered, and Brownsea 22 and JLT offered by the council But the adults didn't do much we did.

                  How did the PLs leanr what to do? Using the Patrol Method, we observed the youth leaders we were responsible to, and imitated them when we be came responsible for the patrols and troop. Also a lot of mentoring in SMCs, and peer to peer mentoring too. One on one instruction I guess you could call it.


                  • #11


                    • #12
                      Hi Spiney, I'd be interested in seeing your syllabus for scout leadership training. I've struggled with using the standard syllabus because it seems too vague for a scout. How to set up a duty roster is concrete. The importance of communication doesn't really help with a scout that doesn't want to help clean dishes. The vague concepts are important but there are some common situations that a patrol leader should know how to handle.


                      • Spiney Norman
                        Spiney Norman commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hi Matt,
                        I can send you the documnets we use to run the course. As for the nuts and bolts of operation the Patrol Leaders guide is a good resource. I also have older experienced scouts present this portion.

                        Send me your e-mail addy to and I will forward you the attachment
                        Spiney Norman

                    • #13
                      >>The vague concepts are important but there are some common situations that a patrol leader should know how to handle.<<

                      How do you think they should handle it? There is certainly nothing to prevent modifying your syllabus to enhance certain aspects of the training to meet your current needs. But the more difficult problem for a lot of us is just figuring out the skill that will help the scout in those situations. Motivating stubborn scouts is a difficult skill to master even for adults.



                      • #14
                        Hi Barry, I'm asking because I'd like to modify the existing syllabus. Mostly I want to extend some of the ideas with concrete examples. The duty roster is an example of making delegation easier to do.

                        When I ask PLs what their biggest problem is it's almost always dealing with a scout that won't help out. There are lazy kids, self centered kids, and kids that want to check the boundaries. Fortunately it's not many but even one, for a 14 year old PL, is hard to deal with and it ruins the cohesiveness of the patrol. The average teenager doesn't want to rock the boat so his first tendancy is to back off and avoid confrontation. That's what I see anyway. That's the easy solution but does nothing for building a team or learning leadership. There are better ways for the PL to solve the problem and ways to teach that is what I'm looking for.

                        Leadership is about gaining respect. It's part servant leadership and part Machiavellian. Confrontation done the right way is a useful skill. Confrontation done the wrong way can be seen everywhere. This isn't described in the ILST. Respect is barely mentioned and how to confront self centered scouts in a positive manner is nowhere to be seen.


                        • #15
                          >>There are better ways for the PL to solve the problem and ways to teach that is what I'm looking for.