Resources for Evaluation at JLTC

The following materials are adapted from the Staff Handbook for Pine Tree Camp, the Junior Leader Training Conference of the Viking Council in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are offered as resources appropriate to any Junior Leader Training Conference based on the JLTC Staff Guide.

Evaluation at Pine Tree

At Pine Tree we use evaluation in a variety of ways. We evaluate the performance of participants, patrols, staff members, and the staff as a group.

The process of evaluation helps to set and maintain standards of performance, to measure progress, to identify areas for improvement, to recognize achievement, and to motivate. At Pine Tree, evaluation lets the staff know how they are doing. If a participant or a patrol receives a low evaluation, that should prompt staff members to examine what they need to do to help the patrol or participant improve. The staff should focus on evaluation from this perspective to assure the ongoing success of the conference, each patrol and each participant.

Staff Evaluation

The staff is evaluated throughout the staff development process, and during the conference itself. During staff development a major focus is on presentation skills. Several staff peers evaluate each presentation by a staff member on a Scoutcraft or leadership skill using the Evaluation of Skill Presentation form. They provide direct feedback to the presenter at the conclusion of each presentation and give him a copy of the written evaluation to assist him in identifying strengths and weaknesses in his presentation skills.

Individual Staff Member Evaluation.Individual staff members are evaluated using the Individual Staff Member Evaluation form. Each staff member is asked to evaluate his own performance and to comment on anything pertinent to his progress. The individual evaluations are then reviewed by the Scoutmaster, Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Scoutmasters and Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders as a group. They develop a composite evaluation and written comments for each staff member. An adult staff member then meets individually with each staff member and shares the staff evaluation with him. These evaluations are generally completed two or three times during staff development. The final evaluation is done at the end of the period and includes comments on individual goals for each staff member during the conference. A less formal process is conducted with the staff during the conference.

Evaluation during the Conference. During the conference, the daily staff meetings include a strong element of evaluation. In addition to a review of patrol and participant evaluations, a major part of each meeting is the evaluation of the staff’s performance for the past day. How did we do? What went well? What did not go well? Why? How are the participants doing? Are we getting the message across? Do they hear? What can we do better to help them learn? Are they all on board? How are we doing as a group? Are we setting the example? By design, these evaluations also include a strong element of reflection.

Staff Evaluation of the Course.On two or three evenings, staff members are asked to evaluate the performance of the staff, the patrols, the participants, and their own progress using the Staff Evaluation of the Conference. This evaluation provides written feedback for the staff to consider outside of the pressure of daily staff meetings. These evaluations are reviewed by the Scoutmaster, Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Scoutmasters and Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders as a group.

Participant Evaluation

Daily Participant Evaluation.Each day, the Patrol Counselor is responsible to evaluate the performance of each participant in his assigned patrol using the Daily Participant Evaluation form and the Notes and Comments on Daily Participant Evaluations along with a written summary for each participant.

Staff input to participant evaluations. Each staff member is responsible to provide written input to the Patrol Counselor on any action by a participant which is particularly noteworthy. This input may be positive or negative. It is the Patrol Counselor’s responsibility to incorporate this information into the daily evaluation in a balanced manner.

Patrol Counselor Meetings. The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader-Patrol Counselors meets with the Patrol Counselors each day after they have completed their evaluations. They review each evaluation as a group and discuss any problems or issues. These meetings provide a means to assure that the standards for evaluation are comparable from patrol to patrol, and that each Patrol Counselor is using a common yardstick in evaluating participants.

Daily review of participant evaluations. Every evening, at the Staff Meeting, the Patrol Counselors report on the participant evaluations. They indicate any problems, and highlight the outstanding participants. By identifying the "highest" and "lowest" evaluations for the staff, each staff member is made aware of individual participants and is on the lookout to get to know them and contribute to their success at Pine Tree.

Low Evaluations. A low evaluation is not a participant problem. It indicates that the staff is not successful in getting the message across to the participant. If a participant is not "on board," then the staff needs to identify a course of action that will help him to get there.

Evaluations and Recommendations for JLTC Staff. The evaluation process is the key method for selection of potential staff members. The staff learns about participants through their day-to-day contact at the conference and through discussion of participants at the evening staff meetings. Several times during the conference, the Patrol Counselors present the evaluations of all participants to the staff. This provides some insight into the overall level of participant performance and looks beyond the "highest" and "lowest." It also gives the staff a sense of how they are doing in getting the message of Pine Tree across to each and every participant.

The Senior Patrol Leader and a designated Assistant Scoutmaster should review the Notes and Comments on Daily Participant Evaluations on a daily basis. In order to track individual participant evaluations, the Patrol Counselors update the Summary of Participant Evaluations form each day and submit a copy to the Troop Scribe. Copies are distributed to the Scoutmaster and the Senior Patrol Leader.

Final Participant Evaluation of the Conference.At the conclusion of the conference, each participant is asked to complete a Final Participant Evaluation of the Conference. This evaluation has been designed to give each participant an opportunity to provide direct feedback to the staff on their personal view of the Conference. These evaluations are provided to participants during the final Scoutmaster’s Reflection. They are returned directly to the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster prior to the Banquet on Day Seven.

Patrol Evaluation

Daily Campsite Inspection.Each morning after the Troop Assembly, the Quartermaster Staff inspects each patrol site and evaluates the work of the patrol using the Daily Campsite Inspection form. Copies of the completed inspections are submitted to the Troop Scribe and the Senior Patrol Leader. The Senior Patrol Leader reviews the inspection results with the Patrol Leaders at the daily Patrol Leaders’ Council Meeting. Each Patrol Leader receives a copy of the inspection to review with his patrol.

This is not meant as a "white glove" inspection but rather a check on heath, safety and general appearance. There is no need to add artificial extras (points for projects) to create additional competition. If patrol site projects (e.g. gateways, hat racks, etc.) are in order, the example of the staff in their own site should set the example. Note: The Scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader might inspect the staff site one or two times during the conference to assure a high standard is maintained.

Meals.After each meal, Staff guests complete the Evaluation of Haute Cuisine (Meals). This evaluation is designed to provide the staff with direct feedback on the quality of meals at the conference. Proper preparation, adequate quantities, use of menus and cooking instructions, health, safety and sanitation are of particular importance. Evaluations are maintained in the Quartermaster. The Quartermaster staff provides summary information on each Patrol to the Troop Scribe to include in the Daily Patrol Evaluation.

This evaluation helps keep the attention of the patrol on the proper preparation, service and cleanup of meals. It brings focus to a critical element of a happy camp. (The staff as guests also appreciate the attention to this subject).

Daily Patrol Evaluation.Each day, the Patrol Counselor is responsible for evaluating the performance of his assigned patrol using the Daily Patrol Evaluation form. This evaluation places a strong emphasis on group process. "Communication," "Use of Resources," "Group Decisions," "Sense of Belonging," and "Attention to Process" are evaluated under the category of "Keeping the Group Together." "Patrol site inspection," "Personal Appearance," "Meal quality and promptness," "On time for activities," and "General quality of work" are evaluated under the heading of "Getting the Job Done." The Patrol Counselor plots each day’s results against the "Standard for the Day" on an evaluation profile. This gives a graphic view of patrol progress during the conference.

The Senior Patrol Leader shares the daily evaluations and profiles with the Patrol Leaders at the Patrol Leaders’ Council meeting each day. The "standard for the day" for the first day is set by the staff. After the first day, the "standard" is set by the Patrol Leaders at the Patrol Leaders’ Council meeting. Patrols meeting the daily standard receive appropriate recognition at a troop assembly.

Patrol Evaluation by Patrols.After several days, the Senior Patrol Leader distributes copies of the Daily Patrol Evaluation form to the Patrol Leaders. They are asked to meet with their patrols and complete the evaluation on their own and return them to the Senior Patrol Leader at the next Patrol Leaders’ Council meeting. The results of the staff and patrol evaluations can be compared and should provide a good opportunity for a discussion of evaluation with the Patrol Leaders and with their patrols.

Patrol Evaluation of Course.On several evenings of the conference, each patrol is asked to meet together and complete the Patrol Evaluation of Course Content and Presentations. This evaluation provides the patrol with a meaningful way to contribute to the quality of their experience at the conference. It gives the staff real feedback on their performance. Results of these patrol evaluations are summarized and discussed at the daily staff meetings.

Evaluation Forms at Pine Tree Camp

A wide variety of forms were developed for evaluation at Pine Tree. If you get the impression we were "evaluation happy," you are right. It is not necessary to do all of the evaluation suggested above, but our experience suggests, the more you evaluate and feedback to staff, participants and patrols, the better the outcome of the conference. The daily participant evaluations are critical. They really help you track who you have reached and who you need to work with. You never need "lose" a boy whose attention you did not catch (and you did not notice that till the end of the conference).

This approach to daily participant evaluation was incorporated into the National Junior Leader Instructor Camp in 1992.

The following forms have been used at Pine Tree and can be adapted easily to meet the needs of any Junior Leader training Conference. If you are interested in copies, please contact the author of this site at Some background information on your JLT conference would be appreciated. The materials are in Word 6.0 format and are not available by FTP.

Staff Evaluation Forms
Evaluation of Skill Presentation
Individual Staff Member Evaluation
Staff Evaluation of Conference

Participant Evaluation Forms
Daily Participant Evaluation
Notes and Comments on Daily Participant Evaluations
Summary of Participant Evaluations
Final Participant Evaluation of the Conference

Patrol Evaluation Forms
Daily Campsite Inspection
Daily Evaluation of Meals
Daily Patrol Evaluation
Patrol Evaluation of Course Content and Presentations

About Pine Tree Camp

Pine Tree Camp, is the Junior Leader Training Conference of the Viking Council in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Beginning in 1989, Pine Tree served as the proving grounds for redesign of the Junior Leader Training Conference, the week-long leadership development program sponsored by local Councils for the top youth leaders of Scout troops. In addition to changes in program and Scoutcraft activities, a renewed emphasis on the values of Scouting was a key element. These efforts led to the revision of the Junior Leader Training Conference Staff Guide in 1993 and the incorporation of new elements in the leadership training programs of the BSA. The emphasis on Scouting as a special place (a "safe haven"), and the use of the reflection process were two of the most significant enhancements.

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Links Related to Leadership Development and Training

  "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.
  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 Revisions takes a close-up look at the most recent changes published in the 1995 printing.
  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.
  Conducting a Council Junior Leader Training Conference. Offered from 1997-2004 at Philmont, this program covered all aspects of conducting a successful Junior Leader Training Conference. It was conducted during the Boy Scout Conferences, generally in the same weeks as NJLIC for youth staff at Philmont.

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Lewis P. Orans

Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 2011
Last Modified: 8:05 AM on 1-24-2011