What does youth leadership mean?

Ideas, approaches, material, etc. to develop our senior youth into leaders of the movement.
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Scouter Richie
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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Scouter Richie » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:50 am

[quote="Kaylee]If a 16 year old can earn their Woodbadge, doesn't their WB I woggle identify them as a leader just as much as any badge would?[/quote]
I would say so. And like I mentioned above I prefer the woggle to a badge. We just need to add one for Activity Leaders.

Does anyone have ideas for the design of an Activity Leader woggle? Also do we want a woggle to go with the Keeo/Kim neckers for consistancy?

Edit: Replaced AL with Activity Leader
Last edited by Scouter Richie on Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Deputy Council Youth Commissioner - Youth Training & Special Events
Saskatchewan Council

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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by alexkillby » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:52 pm

Hi Scouter Richie;
My feelings on the badge/woggle discussion is that perhaps ranking amongst leaders has been important, but in today's section I dont' think it's something that needs any sort of importance placed before it. The plain situation is that anyone that has been certified by completing a Woodbadge course has earned the woggle whose certification it indicates - in this way all leaders wearing that woggle are indeed equally trained.
In terms of visually differentiating a section leader as opposed to assistant leaders, I just don't think it's necessary today. Section leaders typically take on their roles in a purely behind-the-scenes administrative sense, and will coordinate the section leadership team's ongoing work. This is usually signified quite clearly by the title of Akela, etc.
I can envisage situations where although there are more qualified leaders, the section leader is a younger member that has received their Woodbadge training, and would be in the position (supported by other members of their leadership team) to practice and polish their leadership skills.
Alex Killby
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Scouts Canada - National Service Centre

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akillby@scouts.ca

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Scouter Richie
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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Scouter Richie » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:45 pm

By AL I meant Activity Leaders not Assistant leaders.

I completely agree that the only difference between an assistant leader and section head is that the section head has the added responsibility of making sure that everyone follows through on what they say they are going to do. I personally don't use the term assistant leader as all section leaders are equal and sometimes the assistant leader does more of the work then the person with the title. They are all section leaders.

Activity leaders have not taken the woodbadge course so they can't were the WB1 woggle but they should have some form of woggle.
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Deputy Council Youth Commissioner - Youth Training & Special Events
Saskatchewan Council

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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Scouter Richie » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:52 am

I was reading the BP&P today and noticed that Activity leaders are now elagible to take wood badge 1. I'm not sure how much they would get out of it. But if they are planning to fill leadership rolls I agree they should be allowed to take the training.
4008.4 – Activity Leaders: Revised November 2010
Activity leaders are registered members, 14 or 15 years old, who work with a Beaver colony
or a Wolf Cub pack as part of its leadership team of the Section. Activity leaders assist with
the conduct of activities and serve as instructors or helpers as members of the Beaver colony
or Wolf Cub pack leadership team. They must be willing to participate in a development
program to equip them for the job. As such, AL’s are eligible to take Wood Badge Part I and
receive the appropriate recognition. They are not part of the Scouter : youth ratio.
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Saskatchewan Council

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Liam Morland
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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Liam Morland » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:44 pm

Allowing non-adults to take Woodbadge training is a huge mistake. The training needs of a 15 year-old are very different from the needs of a 45 year-old. We need good youth leader training. This should include how to interact effectively with adults who may not be accustomed to being on the same team as youth and taking ideas from them. An adult Woodbadge course needs to be at a high level, a level above what most teenagers are ready to get the most out of.

If you think that youth ought to take Woodbadge courses, where would you draw the line? Should sixers take Pack Woodbadge so that they are better equipped to provide leadership to their sixes? No, there are sixer camps for a reason: Appropriate training for their age and abilities. Teenagers deserve the same consideration.
Liam Morland, Scoutmaster
21st Waterloo Scout Troop
CSA 1990, QVA 1994, WB2-T 1995

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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Angus Bickerton » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:19 pm

I had the pleasure of taking my WB I Colony with a large group of adults that included five youth, three of whom were 14 and were becoming Activity Leaders, and two of whom were over 16. The WB I material is hardly challenging, especially for kids with a long experience in Scouting. The ones in my course either had their CSA, their CSA and well on the way to their QVA, or in one case their Canada Cord from Guiding. A fifteen year-old who has earned their CSA is perfectly capable of understanding the basic kind of information that is imparted in WB I. Let's face it, a live WB I, especially for the junior sections, is just as much about getting adults to relax in front of kids as it is program content, and it is also about brainstorming planning ideas and networking with other Scouters in your section area. There is no reason why a 14 or 15 year old can't do this too, and giving them this kind of opportunity is both important and recognizes them as no longer being children, but on the way to adulthood. However, reserving Wood Badge II to 16 year olds is a good idea, as it does speak to both a more mature standard, and also having completed leadership experience (even adults are not supposed to do a WB II in a section until they have a year under their belts). There is a big difference between a 14 year-old and a 17 year-old.

I don't get Liam's point, which seems to indicate that ALs and SITs are not quite capable of getting the "WB material". It's okay for a 16 year old to get a learner's permit to operate a deadly machine (a car), but it is not okay to give them a Gilwell necker and WB beads for completing a six-day class room course and a two day outdoor skills course? I agree that youth learn differently than adults, but the format of the Wood Badge I and II programs that I took, which included youth both times, seemed to suit both adults and youth quite nicely, and I'd love to get our own senior Scouts and Venturers active as ALs and SITs training. The training was at a high level, at least at WB II, and teenaged youth are perfectly capable of doing it. I would have been, had I been offered the opportunity at 14 or 15. I do not support the idea of ALs or SITs getting their WB I on-line, as the live course imparts much more than the simple information (I am not a big fan of the e-learning, recognizing it as a necessary evil. It is better than nothing, which was the previous standard for a lot of Scouters, but it amounts to about the same thing as reading your section's leader book).

All the above being said, some teenagers are not able to process this kind of learning (let's face it, a few of them are pretty goofy, and are not the best youth leaders), which is why Group and Area Commissioners shouldn't sign the Training Application without a bit of background information first, and a recommendation from a Troop Leader or Company Advisor as a minimum.

Drawing the line has been done: age 14 for WB I and age 16 for WB II, as stated in B.P. & P. Suggesting that it be lowered to sixers is mere hyperbole.
Angus Bickerton
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Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

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Liam Morland
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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Liam Morland » Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:40 pm

Being a highly effective Scouter is more difficult than driving a car. A Woodbadge course ought to be aimed at people with adult maturity and experience. If it is not, it's not going deep enough. It sounds like that is the problem, since you describe the course as "hardly challenging".
Liam Morland, Scoutmaster
21st Waterloo Scout Troop
CSA 1990, QVA 1994, WB2-T 1995

Angus Bickerton
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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Angus Bickerton » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:56 am

Liam, Wood Badge I is an introductory course. As such, I found it "hardly challenging", because I already had a year of Colony leadership under my belt, plus 8 years as a youth member, when I took my WB I course (just before e-learning started), plus almost a decade of post-secondary education. The course was fun and informative, but did not challenge my abilities to take it, nor should it. Not everything in Scouting has to be a challenge. Wood Badge I is the course we want newbie leaders to take AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, even if they have no Scouting background. Perhaps those with no Scouting background did find it challenging, but let's face it, this is basic training, not Wood Badge II. WB I is not about making a "highly effective Scouter", it is about starting them on that path, and there is no reason why youth who are interested and who are achievers can't also embark on that path. Your view that they need a different course to suit their stage in life seems strangely paternalistic. Had I been told the same when I was 15, my reaction would have been negative, to say the least. :x

Training is not the only thing that makes a 'highly effective Scouter". It is a big part of that process. The most important aspect is that the aspiring leader wants to give of themselves to the benefit of youth, and shows a willingness to improve themselves and their programs by training, planning, building excellent programs, investing in their youth members and in their community. Not every volunteer will be highly effective, no matter the content of the course, but hopefully they will be at least effective. Not everyone can be an uber-Scouter, and we are not training the Wehrmacht (despite our brown shirts ;) :lol: ), but everyone can be asked to meet a basic minimum standard.

Conversely, WB II IS challenging. Prior to taking mine, I had read my Beaver Leader's Handbook a few times, the WB II course standards, the Field Guide, and as much other material as I could. There is a lot of material in the course itself, there are planning assignments that undergo peer review, and then there is the Outdoor Skills weekend, which for some is a really difficult challenge. Mine was April 16-17, and we had the worst possible weather: cold, miserable, wet: 3C and driving rain. One of our group of 53 trainees actually got hypothermia. I would have rather had -15C, as I would have been warmer. All told, an excellent training weekend, as we got the worst that Nature had to offer. Fourteen and fifteen year-olds are not allowed to take this course, as they do not have the requisite experience in leading. A 16 year-old can, but only with the blessing of their GC and in my council, our AC also. Again, I see no reason why a motivated, achieving 16 year-old can't take WB II. There are many Venturers who have done more challenging outdoor activities than most of the leaders in Colony, Pack and Troop put together. Why can't they also take a Wood Badge II? I continue to fail to see your reasoning. :?

A fourteen or fifteen year-old with a solid background in Scouting will have no difficulty with Wood Badge I, nor should they. Wood Badge I is about teaching new leaders, SITs and ALs the basics of running a meeting and some basic program planning so that they can assist the Section Leader and so that they can step in and run a meeting if they need to. The hope is that the Section Leader has the newbie leaders doing just that a lot more as the year progresses. As I mentioned above, all of the youth in my WB I had a CSA or the equivalent award from Guiding. A youth with a CSA should have no difficulty with WB I.

I want as many Scouters as possible, and yes, ALs and SITs, to take WB I, so that every Scouter in the country is trained in the Scout Method and the basics of delivering the programs (GAMSOCS), and in the planning process, so that they are not mere stuffed shirts. The more youth we train in the live WB I program, the better, and fortunately, my Council and National agree with this view. I was a victim of Scouters not being adequately trained, which led directly to my leaving Scouting at age 16, and I did not return until I was 42. We need to have all of our leaders trained, every single one, and having a basic course like the current WB I is vital to that end.

I do agree with you that driving a car is easy, but the responsibility is huge, as there is the potential to kill and maim every time the driver gets behind the wheel. Surely the responsibility of driving a car is more serious and urgent than being an Activity Leader or a Scouter-in-Training? Particularly considering youth leaders will always be under Scouter supervision when leading other youth? The comparison hardly withstands analysis.
Angus Bickerton
Troop Scouter
Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Scouter Richie » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:24 pm

Angus I think you covered every point I had. ALs should be encouraged to take WB1 and SIT should be able to take WB2 after a year of experience and on the recommendation of the GC.

I too am a very mature youth and hate it when people assume that all youth are goofs. If I was not allowed to take WB1 I probably would not have continued past a year. Receiving my wooden woggle was great as it made me feel like an equal part of the leadership team and showed area leaders that I was not just a youth who they had to supervise.
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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Angus Bickerton » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:35 pm

Scouter Richie wrote:Angus I think you covered every point I had. ALs should be encouraged to take WB1 and SIT should be able to take WB2 after a year of experience and on the recommendation of the GC.

I too am a very mature youth and hate it when people assume that all youth are goofs. If I was not allowed to take WB1 I probably would not have continued past a year. Receiving my wooden woggle was great as it made me feel like an equal part of the leadership team and showed area leaders that I was not just a youth who they had to supervise.
Your few words make my point much better than my two multiple-paragraph posts, because they come from just the type of person we need to hear from: one of our youth member leaders. Are you an AL or an SIT, Rich? If the latter, I hope you take your WB II as soon as you can, if you haven't already. Having senior youth be SITs and ALs helps with Beavers, Cubs and Scouts so much because someone much closer to the age of the kids being led is directly involved in the program planning and execution. I am 44 and one of the youngest members of our Group's leadership, and that is just wrong. We need to actively recruit youth and Rover-aged leaders to assist with our junior sections. Leader turnover in Colony is a huge problem, as parents leave when their kids age out, and then don't lead in Pack or Troop because the time commitment increases. Simply put, we need a lot more non-parent leaders, and in the long term, the best source for this is our senior youth.

Back in 1983, I was not offered the chance to lead a junior section or be trained as a youth leader. Not one of my leaders suggested it or likely even thought of it. I was 16, had my CSA, was an NLS certified lifeguard and Red Cross certified swimming instructor, had my CPR and First Aid (with both St. John's and Red Cross), involved in sports and high school activities, but there was nothing for me to do in Scouts. Had I been offered the chance to train in WB as an SIT, I would have jumped at it, but it simply was not available at the time. That, folks, is how we lost a generation. I left in 1983, and didn't come back until 2009: 26 lost years, for me and for Scouting. We can't continue to lose youth this way. We have to get our most able Scouts and Venturers to be ALs and SITs. Training them in WB I and II, respectively, is the best way to do that, because it puts guys like Richie at the Scouter's table, where they should be: involved in planning, fundraising, growth strategies, recruiting youth and leadership members, and putting on the program. These are the guys who will be the future Section Leaders, GCs, Service Scouters, ACs and CCs. We gotta grab 'em, before something or someone else does.
Angus Bickerton
Troop Scouter
Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

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Re: What does youth leadership mean?

Post by Scouter Richie » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:53 pm

I started 4 years ago as one of the first SIT in my area. During that time I've done 2 years of cubs, and 2 years of scouts and joined a Rover crew. This year I have been asked to be a 20 year old Akala.

I have not yet taken WB2 as it is only offered every couple of years and the dates did not work out. I would defiantly like to take it. I'll have to look into another council.

Youth defiantly learn better from other youth which is why I'm excited that one of my scouts is old enough to be an AL this year.

--

The Saskatchewan Service Core is a collection of youth 14-26 that demonstrate a great model of youth leadership that we are not taking full advantage of. http://scouts.ca/skservice

They recruite members from across the council to run the spring and summer camps at Anglin lake. Members spend as much time as possible up at camp during the spring and summer learning new skills and maintaining the camp. They have their own village at the camp that they stay in. Being of appropriate age they run the program with advisers only at camp if they are using power tools or other needs.

They have their own system of earning colored beads on a bracelet to indicate what they are qualified to teach. They gain the qualification by teaching beavers and cubs under the supervision of an older youth. This is one of the best example of youth passing knowledge on that I know of.

Vocational cores seem to do better at the older ages as they have a sense of purpose and a skill that can be taught from youth to youth.
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Richie
Deputy Council Youth Commissioner - Youth Training & Special Events
Saskatchewan Council

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