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Troop Leadership Training questions

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I've segued from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts with my son. I'm privileged to now be an Assistant Scoutmaster, and I've been challenged to help reorganize our troop, starting with Troop Leadership Training (TLT). Our troop has two patrols with approximately a dozen to sixteen boys attending meetings.

I've read the section on TLT in the Scoutmaster Handbook (Chp.7

Training Youth Leaders) and appreciated the recommendation to hold TLT after each change in youth leadership (approximately every six months).

I have several questions.

(1) Do we invite the entirety of the youth members to attend the three training sessions, or just those who have been elected into, or assigned, positions of responsibility (POR)?

(2) Assuming this training will review the responsibilities of each POR in our troop, will the boys who attend be eligible to wear the "Trained" patch for each subsequent POR they hold for their entire career in our troop? Or, must a boy attend another TLT when he assumes a new POR?

(3) Do we tailor subsequent TLT sessions to address only the areas that we, the adult leaders, see as needing improvement? We would hand out new Position Description cards at these subsequent TLT sessions and review responsibilities.


Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.


Best regards,

Eagle '77


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Don't do this in a classroom. Get in the bloody field. Do it on a camping weekend.


Ask your outgoing SPL to be their patrol leader for the weekend (as well as the Troop QM).


Build the course content into the separate patrol meetings leading up to the camping weekend.


If at all possible, find a copy of the old unit "Junior Leader Training" package was TLT's predecessor. Use that instead.


AND STAY THE !@#$ !@#$ @#%& &^%$# away from powerpoint!


Keep it simple, make it fun. It applies to Boy Scouting as well at times.

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I agree with John. Look for a older version of the training. It comes with a videotape straight out of the early 1980s but it is still helpful.


I have been doing TLT in my troop every 6 months and have included the new youth leaders that are assuming their poisitions. It is a mandatory event for all new leaders, even if thy have been to TLT before. We try to hold it on a campout weekend but out of necessity have had to hold it indoors once.


The training we provide is a mix of the old training format and the new TLT material ( which is lacking). The agenda is a mix of the traditional Be, Know, Do training and we mix in 3 of the video segments from the 1980s version. I have added a more detailed section on servant leadership and also some extra material on the patrol method.


At the end of the training session we hold a PLC meeting that is also a "trainign" to familiarize each member with how the PLC should run.


My one slight disagreement with John is his his objection to powerpoint. We do have slides that we print and place in a binder as a follow along guide for the scouts that are in the session. As long as you mix it up with a few games and activities that get them up off of their butts then you will be just fine.


I have developed the material and agenda and would be happy to send you or anyone else a copy. Just send me a message.

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If you google Troop Leader Training Syllabus, Junior Leader trainng syllabus, or event sxcout syllbqaus, you may be lucky to find older syllbi to usein conducting training.


OR get a copy og the 3rd ed. SM Handbook, both volumes, as it does list a training regime that may me modified to meet today's scouting.



I also echio what others have said: Keep it outside, keep it hands on, and avoid electronic. remember "Outing is 3/4s of ScOuting."

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There are three annual training/requirements for ALL my boys. Even if they weren't holding an office, they should know what leadership is and how it is demonstrated in the patrols/troop. If they aren't trained, how can they ever step up to a position when they haven't been trained? How can they think they can do the job if they don't know what it entails? A little too much cart before the horse thingy for me.


1) Annual swim test (twice)


2) Toten Chip


3) Leadership training. TLT/JLT and the Green Bar Bill material.


The swim test is done twice a year. Once when they go to the local school pool in the winter for a swim outing and again at the beginning of summer camp. They are all tested to make sure their skills haven't slipped since the last test.


Too many safety issues to think that the Toten Chip is a one time training event.


Too much leadership training has never been a problem. Not enough, is.



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Yah, great advice from da crowd. The new TLT is really pretty lame. Get in the field, use segments of the old JLT and Green Bar Bill material.


IMHO, da best TLT is when you tailor it to the lads that you have participating. Got a young group? Review and challenge basic skills. Got an older group? Review and challenge how to teach younger fellows, or run safety. Had troubles with planning recently? Dream up and plan some outings together, or have 'em plan a weekend just for the junior leaders and go do it!


To answer your specific questions:


(1) Usually yeh just invite those who are going to be serving as junior leaders. That allows you to focus on their needs, and push 'em along. That way when they turn around to lead their patrols, they know something/are more confident than the rest of their patrol, and can be an effective leader.


(2) It's really up to you. As others have mentioned, if yeh do an effective TLT program instead of the canned current syllabus, the boys will learn something new each time they take it. And being an SPL is just different than being a PL or QM or Scribe, so makin' them do it again is probably the norm for most troops.


(3) I think it's always best to tailor a TLT to the boys, eh? But you do want to repeat key stuff. Just because you've taught it once doesn't mean that they've heard it ;).




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Nope, just a lousy speller with 3 kids running amok.



Another syllabus I found recently is the BROWNSEA 22 one that Green Bar Bill wrote and I went through. While the course was an "advance leadership" course focusing on scoutcraft, parts of it could be used.(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

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The one caution in going back to GBB training packages is the unit has to revisit many, if not most, of the individual fieldcraft skills. Some are no longer best practices in the backcountry, others are indeed medically bad practice (tourniquet, anyone?).

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Never say never! :)


John, If one has a boy with mangled leg and will bleed to death in the back country where time is vital, a tourniquet is appropriate. Sacrifice the limb, save the life. When I was taking EMT-A training, it was part of the curriculum. While those are advanced techniques for professionals, discussing it with the boys as they go through the material enhances their resources for intelligent decision making, a key component in effective leadership.


Yeah, the medical world of training changes almost daily. Even CPR has taken many changes over the past 30 years since I first learned. I used to be a CPR Instructor for professionals, now I'm just basic CPR trained. However, the references of past experiences also helps explain the current methods.


This is why I use the Green Bar Bill materials. Even though some of the stuff is not current ideology, the basic premises of leadership never change.


Would I ever consider not using it in the future? NEVER! :)



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I recently ran a weekend patrol leader training for some of the "mid-level" scouts in our troop (not the oldest ones, who are virtually done, and not the newest ones, who are still learning how to be patrol members). I did exactly what everyone has suggested (find the old course, search online, keep it outdoors, etc) and I think it went fabulously. I got tremendous assistance from Bryan Spellman on this forum, who had remapped an entire JLT (the old program) curriculum and the newer TLT into a weekend event. I learned a few things along the way -- we needed plenty of break time, just for free-form discussion, and running around. I used enough of the TLT program so that I can say "we did that", but also added practical workshops (how does one plan a weekend event? How do you plan an annual calendar? etc.).


The weekend started with a "patrol meeting" on Friday evening. They elected a scribe (for the weekend) and planned their own menu for the weekend (I went shopping very early Saturday morning, before they were up). During the weekend, the scribe kept track of everything we talked about. One thing that happened, just sort of by chance, is that I offered them, as future youth leaders in our troop, a series of challenges for them going forward. For example, we discussed "what is a patrol program?" and then the challenge was "to develop a patrol program for your patrol"...later on, for example, there was a challenge for the PLC to take back leadership of the troop, and to take back ownership of the annual program plan. Of course, it is a challenge -- it isn't going to happen overnight. But at least we have some expectations for them codified in a way.


I'm looking forward to doing this again in the future -- I'm not going to hold it exactly the same way again. I expect we'll have some repeat customers, and I want it to be a value-added weekend to what they already know and what they'll be doing, along with anyone new we pick up along the way.



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Holding TLT outdoors is a good idea, if it fits in with your troop calendar. There is more time for games and breaks if you hold it outdoors while on a campout. I've also ran TLT several times in a classroom. You can hold it in one four-hour session or break it up into single one-hour modules. This gives lots of flexibility in scheduling, which should maximize attendance. I would invite all scouts in leadership positions, plus any boys who are interested in a position.


Use the games from the old Scoutmaster Junior Leader Training Kit, but DO NOT run this in place of TLT. SJLT is obsolete, outdated and does not fit in with the next level, which is National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT).


When I ran SJLT many years ago the boys used to make fun of the outdated video. It does not teach the scouts what their job is, how they fit in, what kind of leader they should be and how they can improve their troop. I know there are some proponents of the old course and even the Green Bar Bill stuff. It's nice to wane nostalgic about the old days, but this is 2010 for crying out loud!


TLT works if you take the time to understand it and prepare - it's not a course that can be run without some sort of visual outline. Some people hate PowerPoint, but it does the job. The slides should keep things on track and spark a conversation about the topic at hand. They should pose a series of questions that the boys need to think and talk about.


The real meat of the course are the discussions that are created. The Scoutmaster should only serve to moderate and keep the conversation productive. Boys can get silly and joke around a bit, but you have to get through it and it can't take forever.


Technically, the trained patch is worn for a currently held position. Changing positions means training is needed for that new position. So, technically a scout should take the trained patch off his uniform until he is earns it again for the new position. But, nobody does that. Encourage the scout to take the TLT again; it doesn't hurt to take it more than once.


TLT works. Give it a try and you will see. Thinking about running SJLT? Good luck getting the kit at your local Scout Shop!



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Glad to see someone had the courage and know-how to use the new training material (it's not really new anymore). Yes, the old one is certainly easier(plug and play). The new one takes some thought and planning.

I guess I'll leave it at that.


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