Troop 35 is a scout-led or boy-led troop. That said, sometimes it looks messy as they find out what works and what doesn’t. The role of the adult leaders – scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster, and other adult leaders is to allow the scouts to learn by doing – just as they did; and sometimes learning the hard way hurts. Learning to be a leader does not happen without a lot of planning and hard work and mistakes.
Each December and June, the troop holds leadership elections and scouts run for office. They hold elections and the scouts elect who will be their next senior patrol leader (SPL). After the SPL is elected, the scoutmaster, the outgoing SPL, and the SPL-elect meet to discuss which scouts will fill out the remainder of leadership positions – ASPL, troop guides, quartermaster, and other positions. Once they have been selected the troop holds a leadership seminar to train the new leaders – much like a company or corporation would for incoming managers and executives.
Troop 35 held its Winter Troop Leadership Training Friday (1/20) night and into early Saturday at Winfield Community United Methodist Church –an affiliate of our sponsor church Gary United Methodist Church. It was snowing and the grounds were covered. Most of the scouts were more interested in shoveling and playing outdoors, but once we had uncovered the driveway and sidewalks it was time to get down to learning about leading. It all starts with a vision and Mr. Whitlock opened with a question – What do you want your troop to look like?
Friday evening was spent with the vision and what each scout was expected to do as their part in moving the troop to that vision. Of course, we stopped and played, too. Friday was our area’s second snowstorm and it dropped about 6-8” depending on where you were. It left plenty of snow outdoors and the scouts constructed a quinzee – pronounced quincy – a snow shelter. It was great fun. We began Friday night and finished Saturday.
As you can see from the pictures below, being outdoors was more fun than being inside – but that is the way it for most of us. Most importantly, the scouts shared their vision and when the new leaders take office in February, they will be ready to guide the troop for the next six months. During that time, we’ll welcome new scouts, go camping, go rock climbing, earn merit badges, celebrate our 100 year anniversary, and attend summer camp. Mistakes will be made and lessons learned – and that is what scout-led means.