use of many skills….
A patrol leader sent two
Scouts on an errand from camp. Rusty and Bruce did fine
until they came to a stream.
"He said turn
"He did not. He
said turn right here."
"No, that was back
there. By the clearing. He said when we get to the
stream, we turn left."
"No he didn’t. But
go ahead, wise guy. I’ll see you there."
So Rusty turned right
and Bruce turned left. They were soon out of sight of
each other. Bruce followed directions and reached their
destination in a few minutes. When he arrived there, he
found no Rusty. Half an hour later, still no Rusty. Bruce
finally raced down the trail back to camp, got help, and
they began searching. It took 2 hours to find Rusty. He
had taken the wrong turn at the stream, soon lost the
trail, and couldn’t get back.
Why did this happen?
Here are some possibilities. Which do you think was the
- Rusty didn’t listen
to the patrol leader’s instructions.
- Rusty thought he
understood the directions when he really didn’t.
- The patrol leader
gave poor directions.
- The patrol leader
should have made sure both boys knew the
Now let’s consider each
of these statements.
Rusty didn’t listen.
This may be true. But the patrol leader didn’t know that
Rusty didn’t listen or, at least, he didn’t find out
whether he did or not.
Rusty thought he
understood. This is probably true. He was pretty
convinced when he argued with Bruce. But we must ask how
the patrol leader managed to let him go away with the
The patrol leader
gave poor directions. Bruce got them right, so they
were OK to him. But since only one of the two boys
understood the directions, we have to suspect that they
might not have been perfectly clear.
The patrol leader
should have made sure. This is certainly true. If
he had made Rusty repeat the directions, he would have
found where "right" replaced "left."
Whatever happened, we
need look at the results.
Information wasn’t given
and received properly. The job didn’t get done. (And the
search for Rusty prevented some other jobs from getting
done.) Besides, the confused information began to affect
the way members of the group felt about each other. This
kind of thing threatens the group’s morale and
How could this
misunderstanding — of one word have been prevented?
Check any of the following that would have helped if the
patrol leader had done them:
- He made sure both
boys were paying attention before he gave
- He spoke slowly and
- He had Rusty and
Bruce — make a diagram and write the directions
in a notebook.
- He had the boys
repeat their instructions.
You probably checked all
of them. And you are right. Any one of them might have
prevented the misunderstanding.
Notice that leaders both
give and get information. Communication happens both
How can you apply these
ideas in your leadership tasks? Easy. To improve your
skills in getting information, follow these rules:
- Pay attention and
- Make notes and
- Ask questions and
repeat your understanding of what was said.
To improve your skills
in giving information, there is a similar set of
- Make sure the
others are listening before you start giving
- Speak slowly and
- Draw diagrams and
pictures and have those receiving the
instructions make notes.
- Have the others
repeat back their understanding of the
From time to time you
can check yourself to see whether you are improving in
the skill of getting and giving information. Ask yourself
- Are your Scouts
- Do they take notes
- Do they ask
questions when in doubt?
- Do you take notes
yourself and review them to be sure you don’t
makes use of many skills…." 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.
Much of the original leadership development material
contained in the Handbook, including the eleven
skills of leadership, remain at the core of today’s
leadership experience in Scouting. Patrol
and Troop Leadership covered nine of
the skills presented at the Council Junior Leader
Training Conference and other leadership development
programs in Scouting.
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
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
Revisions takes a close-up look at
the most recent changes published in the 1995
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
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
||Conducting a Council
Junior Leader Training Conference. Offered
for the first time this year at Philmont, this
program covers all aspects of conducting a
successful Junior Leader Training Conference. It
will be conducted during the Boy Scout
Conferences, from June 22-26, 1997.
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