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NYLT Recruitment

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Treflienne said:

Hi Barry ( @Eagledad ) and company,

I realize this is resurrecting a very old thread. 

But do you have any advice for the adults on how to help the scouts take advantage of and use the new skills they have learned at NYLT when they come back to their troops?   I have three scouts going to NYLT later this summer . . . and yes I really don't know what the scouts are going to learn there.

 

First thing: 

Wood Badge can be well worth your while because it will teach you the same material they learned at NYLT. I found Wood Badge helpful and I'd already been to NYLT.

Otherwise: I like Eagledads advice. Ask them what they learned and want to try in the Troop. NYLT talks a fair amount about creating visions for yourself and your team and creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time set) goals to accomplish that. If they are SPL or ASPL's ask them what their vision is for the troop, what goals they want to set, and as they go along, help them refine their goals and objectives. If they are Patrol leaders, same thing applies, just at the patrol level. If you are a Scoutmaster, you need to create your own vision for the Troop. You can find some sample ones to help you brainstorm by Googling "Scoutmaster Vision Statement." 

To summarize NYLT as best I can: Each Scout is divided into a patrol of relative strangers. They will each take turns being a patrol leader while the Staff will model all the of the Troop level positions. They'll do by-the-book flag ceremonies, troop meetings and PLC's. Throughout the day they'll attend presentations on leadership skills, communication, values ethics, servant leadership and more. Between and sometimes as part of those presentations they'll play games or complete patrol challenges that force them to grow as a patrol and lead one another. 

NYLT is not a silver bullet however; Last December I "retired" from my Troop. New Scoutmaster took over in May. I had helped get him up to speed and was pivoting to focus on graduate school. Things have been shaky since because we've done a terrible job recruiting new ASMs for about 4- 5 years and I didn't do nearly as useful a job preparing the new Scoutmaster as I thought I had. Folks have been approaching me and complaining about the state of things, so I've dragged myself back off the bench. The Scoutmaster needs others to handle logistics, communications and other things so he can really focus on the SPL and the PLC. Hopefully the Scoutmaster, CC and I can build and train up that team, so in a year or so I can "retire from the Troop" for good. Last weeks Troop meeting, I was substitute Scoutmaster while the SM was on vacation, I chatted with the SPL and ASPLs. Each had been to NYLT and each had staffed NYLT. I asked two questions. "What problems have you noticed?" and "What changes do you want to see to the troop?"

I was encouraged when one pulled out his phone and said "I have a list." They have all these great ideas and goals, but need some help getting from where we are now to where they want to go. Sometimes all they need is encouragement and "If you get stuck come find me." Sometimes they need some direct guidance. The way I try to describe it, my job as a Scoutmaster/ASM is to help the Scouts create a structure. Right now, my troop's youth have a leadership structure of POR's, but no communication structure or practical structure for how tasks get done. When they figure that out, their execution skills thanks to NYLT will be great. My NYLT staff always amaze me at how fast they figure things out, but the SPL's a typically copying the structure they've seen before, and it's a good one. In my Troop, the structure has grown and decayed over the years. 

I tell that cautionary tale from my Troop not to discourage you from sending your Scouts to NYLT, but to stress that it's not a silver bullet to make your troop. NYLT Scouts still need a structure to operate in and some guidance from the SM and ASM's. When they have it, they'll be exceptional if you let them. 

Edited by Sentinel947
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On 8/3/2019 at 8:01 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

Here is a link to the 2014 Syllabus

Thanks.  That was very helpful.

On 8/3/2019 at 8:01 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

1. Make sure the PLC is meeting on a regular basis to plan and prepare. You would be surprised at the number of troops that do not do this.

The troop  has been having a 1x/month PLC meeting. Seems not enough.  We may need to add the 15-minute mini-meeting ("huddle"?) prior to each troop meeting.  And also the post-troop-meeting brief PLC meeting.  Opinions?  

On 8/3/2019 at 8:01 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

go through Wood Badge

Am signed up for one in about half a years' time.   But there will be a few months until then.

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On 8/3/2019 at 12:22 PM, Eagledad said:

Ask each scout 3 things they learned at the course that they would like to try in the troop.

In your experience, does this work best to ask each scout individually,  or to get them all together (the scouts from the troop who went through NYLT together) so that they can hear each others' answers?    Negatively, all together, and the quieter ones might just follow the lead of the more dominant.  Positively, all together and they may build on each others' ideas.

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7 hours ago, Treflienne said:

In your experience, does this work best to ask each scout individually,  or to get them all together (the scouts from the troop who went through NYLT together) so that they can hear each others' answers?    Negatively, all together, and the quieter ones might just follow the lead of the more dominant.  Positively, all together and they may build on each others' ideas.

They should be asked to come up with their own personal list. We ask our scouts to create the list during their classes as the idea pops in their head. So, your scouts might need some time to reflect on their course. I have only talked to my scouts individually because we only sent one scout at a time. You could do that or work with them as a team helping each other. I would be curious to learn how that worked.

Barry

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8 hours ago, Treflienne said:

The troop  has been having a 1x/month PLC meeting. Seems not enough.  We may need to add the 15-minute mini-meeting ("huddle"?) prior to each troop meeting.  And also the post-troop-meeting brief PLC meeting.  Opinions? 

We have allocated 15 minutes after each meeting for PL's to review the meeting and make plans going forward. The need for those meetings has become less this year.

I suspect it varies with the type of youth that you have, the facilities available, and the communication methods used. It seems to me that the old-school methods (bulletin boards, totems, and flags) required fewer meetings to remind folks of who's responsible for what.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, qwazse said:

We have allocated 15 minutes after each meeting for PL's to review the meeting and make plans going forward. The need for those meetings has become less this year.

I suspect it varies with the type of youth that you have, the facilities available, and the communication methods used. It seems to me that the old-school methods (bulletin boards, totems, and flags) required fewer meetings to remind folks of who's responsible for what.

We started working with a PLC meeting one hour before the Troop meeting for a few reasons. First, even companies would struggle updating action items every four weeks. One small meeting each week is a lot easier for young adults than one long meeting once a month. Action items are just easier to process and report every week. Second, the scouts practice the discipline of doing the the process of meetings efficiently. The SPL gets very good at making agendas and getting through meetings efficiently. The PLs learn the process simply by attending. I found myself bored to death with Troop Committee meetings because the members drove what should take 15 minutes to two hours. And finally, I found by accident that they PLC bonds faster and functions better as a team when they meet each week. 

The PLC only took 3 months to trim that 1 hour meeting into 30 minutes, and really only needed 20 minutes. The scouts much preferred those additional 30 minutes once a week to the 3 hours once a month. 

One other thing that came from those early meetings is turning the 30 minutes before meeting as a time for scouts to meeting advisers, teachers and testers for advancement and skills learning.

Edited to add: The adults (SM) also preferred the 30 minutes a week to the 3 long  hours of once a month. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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