Based on the first key element of The Canadian Path, Youth-led, Scout’s programs are directed by their youth members, not their Scouters. In a practical sense, this means that participating Scouts in each Section make decisions for themselves on their activities and the planning and preparation that go into making each activity a fun and meaningful adventure. At the same time, there’s no doubt that every level of member—from the youngest Beaver Scout through to the most mature Rover—can stand to benefit from the experiences of the thousands of Scouters that provide guidance, advice, and support to our Scouts every year.
With this in mind, we’ve put together some suggestions on how to get the most out of their Section Leadership in the Adventures to come. Consider using these recommendations to empower new and fun Youth-led Adventures among your Scouts in the months to come:
|Beaver Scouts||Cub Scouts||Scouts||Venturer Scouts||Rover Scouts|
Beaver Scouts White Tails’ Council: Made up of third-year Beavers, the White Tails’ Council leads the Colony’s Lodges (the small teams that make up the Colony), but they also get together without the younger Beaver Scouts to plan Adventures for the whole Colony. And while it may seem like a tough task to get a team of 5–7 year olds to plan their own activities, you’ll likely experience the exact opposite! White Tails have great ideas and just need some encouragement and guidance to bring them to fruition.
5 ways to build White Tails’ Council engagement among Beaver Scouts Lodges:
- Help them to choose a name they wish to call themselves as a Lodge.
- Hold meetings regularly as part of the Plan-Do-Review process, and to gain the best results, limit the length of these meetings to no more than 10 minutes long.
- Always think of the Beavers as the heroes of the story, and as a Scouter, you are the Narrators. Tell the tale of what they’re planning on doing, help them to imagine it, and to better plan it.
- Brainstorm themes for Adventures and plan linking activities each year with other Sections.
- Encourage all White Tails to be take on leadership roles as effective delegates for their Lodges, collecting ideas from their Lodges to share with the Council and sharing decisions of the Council with their Lodges.
Cub Scouts Howlers’ Council: Made up of the Pack’s third-year Cubs, the Howlers are the leaders of the Pack’s Lair (the small teams that make up a Pack), but they also get together without the younger Cubs to plan Adventures for the whole Pack. The Howlers’ Council provides input, makes decisions, and offers feedback to Scouters on the Cub Scout program. It also serves to develop leadership skills among the Howlers.
5 ways to encourage leadership and participation among Cub Scouts Lairs:
- Lairs are important places for Cubs to find and develop their own personalities among their fellow Wolf Cub members. Take steps to make it a safe place to interact, play, and build confidence in themselves and their abilities.
- Encourage them to brainstorm ideas and make decisions by consensus, so that once final decisions are reached, every Howler can live with the decision.
- Promote participation among all Cub Scout members, especially of those who may be more reluctant to offer ideas or take leadership roles.
- Empower them to brainstorm themes for Adventures and plan linking activities with other Sections, encouraging input from all Howlers.
- Encourage all Howlers to be take on leadership roles as effective delegates for their Lairs, collecting ideas from their Lairs to share with the Council and sharing decisions of the Council with their Lairs.
Scouts Troop Leadership Team: This group is made up of Patrol Leaders and Scouters, and is led by a Troop Leader—an experienced and accomplished, but not necessarily the oldest, Scout—who will ideally have already spent some time on the Troop Leadership Team (TLT) and served as a Patrol Leader and/or participated in Scouts Canada’s FAST Leadership training to prepare for the role. The Troop Leader is selected in the fall from among the final-year Scouts by all of the Scouts in the Troop. He/she chairs the meetings of the TLT, invites contributions from all Patrols Leaders, and builds consensus from among participating members.
5 way to promote leadership and adventure among Troop Leadership Teams:
- As a Scouter, support the Troop Leader so that the Troop is effectively Youth-led.
- Be patient and let the Troop Leader grow into the role.
- Give the TLT plenty of time to generate its own ideas, and offer good advice to help the youths’ goals become a reality.
- Always take five minutes before the start of the Troop meeting to revise the plan with the TLT, and remember to take another five minutes after the meeting to review and solidify what has been decided upon over the course of the meeting.
- Encourage the Patrol Leaders to be effective delegates for their Patrols, by collecting ideas from their Patrols to share with the Troop Leadership Team and sharing the decisions of the Team with their Patrols.
Want to run a more effective TLT? Check out these Scouters tips here.
Venturer Scouts Expedition Teams: These work a bit differently than Lodges, Sixes and Patrols. These work like ad-hoc Patrols, but exist for as long as it takes to Plan-Do-Review a given activity or project. Expedition Teams are essentially the organizing committees for Company events; the entire Company is welcome to participate, but members of the Expedition Team make the big decisions and take on most of the preparatory work. And despite the name, an Expedition Team isn’t just about planning outdoor Adventures. Rather, the Team may come together to coordinate and run any activity that fulfills The Canadian Path’s program areas and elements.
5 ways to encourage the Venturers in your Company:
- As a Scouter, support the Company Leader so that the Company is effectively Youth-led.
- Be patient and let the Company Leader grow into the role.
- Encourage Venturers to take on different roles for different Expeditions, so that each Venturer has an opportunity to be an Expedition Leader or Co-Leader (the primary organizers for Expeditions).
- Empower them to join as many Expedition Teams as they like, but encourage them to prioritize the Expeditions they are most excited about and to reflect on how much time and energy they can commit to others.
- Remind them that Venturers can take part in all of the Adventures that have been organized by Expedition Teams for the entire Company, even if they weren’t involved in the planning.
Rover Scouts Crew Leadership Teams: Formerly known as the Crew Executive, this team provides a forum for Rover Scouts to make decisions regarding their program and Adventures. Teams are made up of elected members (such as Secretary, Treasurer, and Quartermaster, as determined by the Crew), Team Leaders, and Scouters, and is chaired by the Crew Leader (formerly known as the Crew President). Ideally, the Crew Leader is an experienced and accomplished Rover Scout, but not necessarily the oldest member of the crew, and he/she will have served as a Team Leader for more than one project or Adventure, so that he/she will be well prepared for the role and responsibilities that come with being a Crew Leader.
5 steps to managing a high-functioning Crew Leadership Team:
- Be patient and let the Rovers on the Leadership Team grow into their roles.
- Give the team plenty of time to make reports to the Crew and pose questions of one another.
- Support Team Leaders, ensuring that they are effectively coordinating projects and Adventures.
- Encourage members of the Leadership Team to be supportive of Team Leaders, keeping in mind that this may a Rover Scout’s first time serving as a Team Leader.
- Serve as a resource for advice, coaching, and direction, supporting the Patrol (Team) System, thereby ensuring great, safe Scouting Adventures for the Crew.