Some Comments on the 1995 Revisions
Junior Leader Training Conference Staff Guide

The following is a summary of the 1995 revisions to the 1993 edition of the Junior Leader Training Conference Staff Guide. The comments are my own and do not seek to represent the policies or opinions of the Boy Scouts of America. Readers are directed to the most recent printing of the Junior Leader Training Conference Staff Guide for the "official" syllabus and policy for this program.

Staff Organization

This is just a reemphasis of the original (1993) staff organization design. No changes. Just testimony that experience has shown that in spite of cost and logistics (and sometimes recruiting problems), courses that follow the recommended model (one Patrol Counselor or Troop Guide per patrol and enough Scoutcraft Instructors totaling one per patrol) are just more likely to be successful. The Instructor position is often a first year or younger staffer while the Patrol Counselor or Troop Guide is a second year or more mature youth. This is based on my own experience, and the experiences of other JLTC leaders around the country. "Been there, done that, and have several T-shirts."

When operating with this staff organization, Patrol Counselors each may be assigned two leadership skills (typically, Resources of the Group and Needs and Characteristics of the Group), Instructors, two skills (typically Evaluating and Effective Teaching). Quartermasters might each be assigned Planning and one other skill. All of these are presented in a patrol setting. Communicating works well when presented by the Senior Patrol Leader (with assistance) to the whole troop; Counseling with the whole troop, although it involves breakouts by patrol (usually with Patrol Counselors). Representing the Group requires several patrols for an effective discovery–consider three to four patrols at a time rather than the whole troop. Sharing Leadership and Controlling Group Performance can be done at the patrol level (if you have the staff capability). They might also be done in several patrol groupings. Finally, Setting the Example is done in a troop setting, led by the Scoutmaster, assisted by the Senior Patrol Leader and appropriate members of the youth staff.

"JLTC is a special place"

This is found in a similar context in Wood Badge (1995 revision) and in the 1995 revisions to Fundamentals. It is about creating an environment of learning and fun to achieve "Scouting at its Best."

Complete revision of Effective Teaching

Same skill. Objectives-Discovery-Teaching/Learning-Application-Evaluation. More thought has been given to the method of presentation. More information provided to those who are trying to learn this critical skill. The objective is never teaching. It is learning. And as I have been known to say "Teaching is effective only when learning takes place."

Major revisions to Setting the Example

Basically the incorporation of "Scouting is a special place" as part of the staff’s example. Most of it will be quite familiar.

Revisions on Controlling the Group

A little more thought and learning to help participants absorb a skill that is often taught and "thrown away."

A Note on Reflection.

A significant amount of the new material is focused on suggested questions for reflections. The 1993 printing had perhaps half the skills covered. We got feedback that it was often difficult to get started on developing questions and sometimes was more of a challenge than was worth the time–hence the experience was shortchanged. So now there are suggested questions for every reflection. They are a good place to start, or they can be just what you do.

One point of value from my own experience. When a staff member finishes a presentation to a patrol, he sits down with them in a circle or around a table to lead the reflection. Certainly, he should feel free to read the questions directly from the syllabus or from note cards. This is not a presentation but processing learning and understanding. As boys gain experience, some will develop the skill to be somewhat more spontaneous. Many do. (It seems that often the boys catch on before the adults. I have seen it work really well at JLTC and seen a real struggle at Wood Badge.).

I recommend you proceed with your development based on the available syllabus even if it is the 1993 printing. You can adapt the new or revised leadership skill content and add the reflection questions from one copy of the new one if that’s what fits your budget. I would seek out the Scouting is a Special Place material form Wood Badge or Fundamentals (beginning of the first session–discussion on values. At the least, at the very beginning of staff development–early in the very first session, gather the staff in a circle of the adults and youth. Have several staffers read individual sentences out loud to the group, and ask: what do you think that means? why is it important to us as a staff? why is it important to the participants? How will doing things this way help us do a successful course? What specific things can we do to create a special place in our course and reach Scouting at its Best? (and so forth. A 10-15 minute discussion. Get everybody’s thoughts. Go around the circle and ask for a comment from every staffer, youth and adult).

Additional Material

Added a detailed "Table of Contents" and "Alphabetic Index" to help make the Staff Guide more accessible and easier to use. (You can actually find page references to every activity, leadership skill, reflection and so forth. This material has been available as part of the "Update to JLTC" at the Regional Wood Badge Course Directors’ Conferences and to participants in NJLIC at Philmont in 1993-1995.

Minor Edits, Corrections

Typographical errors and some page reference problems were corrected.

Staff, Participant and Patrol Evaluation

Materials on evaluation of staff, participants and patrols were not included in the 1993 or 1995 printings of the Staff Guide due to editorial and production limitations. Some suggestions are provided in Resources for Evaluation at JLTC adapted from the Staff Handbook for Pine Tree Camp, the Junior Leader Training Conference of the Viking Council in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These materials were developed as part of the field test of the new syllabus.

Additional Resources

Many of the concepts behind the 1993 revisions to the Junior Leader Training Conference were discussed in the article "A Winning Formula for Junior Leader Training," by Terry Wolkerstorfer, in the January-February, 1995 issue of Scouting Magazine. The article explains the focus on Scouting as a special place (a safe haven), the use of the reflection process, and a renewed emphasis on learning versus teaching. It is a valuable resource for adult and youth staff preparing for the conference.

  "Learning About Leadership" is adapted from Patrol and Troop Leadership, the handbook on leadership development written for Patrol Leaders and published by the Boy Scouts of America in 1972. It provides some excellent background and insight into the BSA’s approach to the subject of leadership.
  The Troop Leader Development Staff Guide (1974) presented a short history of leadership development and how elements of the White Stag program were incorporated into the leadership development efforts of the BSA in The Historical Background of Leadership Development
  Since the first experimental leadership development courses at Schiff and Philmont in the 1960’s, the National Junior Leader Instructor Camp has set the standards for Junior Leader Training courses in councils across the country. A unique experience in leadership and learning, NJLIC leads the way by providing the most up-to-date training for those junior leaders selected to lead their local council courses.

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Last Modified: 8:05 AM on 1-24-2011