The Historical Background
of Leadership Development in Scouting

The story of leadership development in Scouting has roots at Brownsea Island and Gilwell Park. From the very beginnings, the first Scout camp at Brownsea in 1907, and the first Scoutmasters’ Course at Gilwell in 1919, the development of leadership has been an essential part of Scouting. To this day, the development of youth leaders continues to be the particular challenge of adults in the Scouting program.

This page traces the historical background of leadership development from the perspective of the week-long junior leader training experience.

  The White Stag program was the source of new directions in leadership development in the Boy Scouts of America. The Heritage of the White Stag dates back to the 1933 World Jamboree, to several young Hungarian Scouts, and to a challenge made there by Baden-Powell to the Scouts of the world.
  For the historical background of White Stag, Brian Phelps has contributed excerpts from his chronology of the original White Stag program: A History of the White Stag Leadership Development Program.
  One of the founders of White Stag and the designer of the leadership development model used in Scouting today is Bela H. Banathy. He was one of the young Scouts who met B-P and received from him the challenge of the White Stag at the 4th World Jamboree at Godollo in 1933. Bela begins the story of his journey in Scouting in Hungary, 1925-1937.
  In 1969, the World Bureau (WOSM) published the findings of the Boy Scouts of America’s research and testing of a new approach to leadership training in a monograph written by Bela H. Banathy entitled: Leadership Development: World Scouting Reference Paper No. 1. Dr. Banathy presented the results and an excellent summary of "Learning by design" to a meeting of the World Scout Conference in Helsinki, Finland.
  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.
  In 1976, after several years of testing an updated Scouting program, the BSA introduced a "back to basics" initiative called "All Out for Scouting." The key activity was a week-long course for senior patrol leaders, Brownsea Double-Two.The Brownsea program placed the emphasis on Scout skills, campcraft and Scouting traditions.
  Both Troop Leader Development and Brownsea Double-Two continued in use for several years. Many councils experimented with combining the best features of both programs into a single youth training event. In 1979, based on these experiences, the BSA introduced the Junior Leader Training Conference replacing both Brownsea and TLD. This site is under construction.
  From 1990 to 1993, the Junior Leader Training Conference program received an intensive review. A new Junior Leader Training Conference Staff Guide was published in 1993. Comments on the 1995 Revisionstakes a close-up look at the most recent changes published in the 1995 printing.
  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.
This site is under construction.

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Lewis P. Orans

Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 1997
Last Modified: 9:02 AM on June 17, 1997