Saturday was TLT…Troop Leadership Training for those that aren’t into using a lot of acronyms. The event was well attended…actually, the entire PLC was there, and they were really excited.
One of the first things that we did was the ball-toss game. Everyone gets into a circle, and tosses the ball to each other. There are a couple rules that go with the game.
1. You have to throw the ball to the same person.
2. You have to receive the ball from the same person
3. You can’t toss the ball to the person on either side of you
4. You can use any tossing method to get the ball to it’s destination
So, they started in a circle. One ball…lot’s of goofing, lot’s of time “wasted” on just one ball. I italicize the wasted, as at the time, they thought it was a waste. After about 5 minutes, I introduced the 2nd ball, and they still struggled with it. They didn’t even get a chance to get to 3, as the frustration set in, and it was time to actually get started.
In all, we had an 86-page PowerPoint presentation to get through. Whew, this was a bit more in depth than the last time. I was armed with my bag of mini-candy bars, my buzzers and a cup of coffee…I never got to the buzzers, but it was fun to have them anyways.
We went through the slides, talking about the 8 methods, the structure of the troop, how to handle conflict, Start-Stop-Continue, Vision and a lot of good materials. They listened, I spoke. They had questions, I answered them. They may not have understood some of the verbiage, but I would try to explain it to the younger scouts.
One thing that impressed me, was the amount of notes they took. Their pens and pencils were flying, writing everything down that I was saying and copying everything from the PowerPoints. I would ask questions, guided-learning questions of course, and the first one to belt out the answer would get a piece of candy. Talking out of turn or taking someone’s candy (think interception) would result in push-ups. “Drop and give me 15″…and then count 1, 3, 9, 13, 15…and we would all laugh about it. This worked for the argument that the Scout uniform wasn’t comfortable…if you could do push-ups in the uniform, you can do anything.
We started by 9 and finished by 12:30…just as the pizza lunch arrived. While the Scouts were in one room, eating their pizza and watching YouTube videos on the SPL’s laptop, my Scoutmaster Team and I sat in another room and ate our pizza and got to know each other a bit more. Now, mind you, 2 of my 3 ASMs, I have known for 8 and 5 years, respectfully. Jay, I haven’t known for more than 3 months.
We talked about the program, some of the fun that we have and other things, all while just enjoying a couple pieces of pizza. Mark and I talked about what we have done, Joe and Jay talked about what we could do. In all, we knew what we need to do, to be successful mentors.
After lunch, we had a PLC…once again, very fruitful. The SPL did a great job handling it all, the ASPL learned, the PLs understood, and the TG was ever so diligent in his duties of helping. All in all, I was very happy at the end of the day.
I came home, checked some things on the computer and got a call from a Scout who has been away from the troop since last fall, with sporting commitments. Well, last weekend, I got a text from his Dad saying that he wasn’t coming back. I had thought it was due to all the sports, but during training, the PLC let me know that he may not come back due to some issues that happened a few weeks after summer camp with a Scout and his Dad.
So, I asked him to come back for a meeting or two…he needed to see how much the troop has changed in the last 6 months. I couldn’t guarantee that he would love the results, but I know, as well as the rest of the PLC knows, that our troop isn’t the same one that we were 6 months ago. The unruly Scout’s behavior, changed. The adult…removed. The problems with the charter org…fixed, as we moved both night and location, and got a great new CR.
And then to wrap it all up, I threw in the “100% attendance” for TLT and how the Scouts are truly running the program now.
All in all, great day for 1363. We are only going up right now, and that’s what happens when you let the Scouts do what we talk about doing…letting them lead.