Active SIT/LIT Programs?

Ideas, approaches, material, etc. to develop our senior youth into leaders of the movement.
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John Simpson
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Active SIT/LIT Programs?

Post by John Simpson » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:27 pm

Turns out that Chinook has been running what they call a "Leader in Training" program for the past three years. I only just found out about it, which is unfortunate because when it was time to build the Scouter in Training Course in Northern Lights we couldn't find anyone who knew of any other SIT programs that were running. This is unfortunate because short of working together we should at least all be sharing what we are doing.

So, my question is this:

What youth leadership courses are currently being offered in councils across Canada?

(Note that as far as this question is concerned FOCUS doesn't count unless it is part of a larger program and WBs don't count unless they are specifically designed and delivered for our youth members)

Information on Chinook's 2009 course can be found at ... mp-lit.pdf.

Information on Northern Lights' 2009 course can be found at ... enDocument.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." ~Aristotle

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Re: Active SIT/LIT Programs?

Post by andrewpaterson » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:55 am

Would the Chinook and Northern Lights training programs be open to youth from other Councils? (Assuming that transportation could be arranged.)

If we wanted to start something similar in other Councils, what would the best way be to go about that? I often find that there's no substitute for seeing a successful program first hand. All the documentation in the world doesn't seem to help... sometimes it only makes things worse.

You must show (them) by Your action that you consider (them to be) a responsible being. ... but in any case leave (them) alone and trust (them) to do (their) best. Trust should be the basis of all our moral training.
~ Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Aids to Scoutmastership, 1920

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Mark Milan
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Re: Active SIT/LIT Programs?

Post by Mark Milan » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:03 am


For SIT's, are you considering WB I as an SIT training program? I have trained many WB I (both Pack & Troop) where we had SITs taking the course. As trainers, we must work within the confines of the CTS, but there are some SIT-specific concerns that can and should be addressed.

The feedback that I received from the other participants was extremely positive, especially ones that had never worked with SITs before.

I had a look at your HEROES course. I think I have to look at it a bit closer, but here's what I got from a first read.

In scope, it looks like a Family WB II course, but the focus is very broad and does not cover the program and leadership team aspects of a WB II. BP&P defines an SIT (Scouter-in-Training) as a 16-17 year old that works with C/P/T. I didn't see that there was a great deal of emphasis on developing the skills that would help SITs become valuable members of the section leadership team. To me, it comes across as a team-building and leadership course for SIT-age youth. That's my perception, though I was heartened to see that the feedback from parents and friends stated that the youth were "stronger" and more confident when they returned home. I feel that the goal of training SITs is so that they have the skills required to effectively deliver program to their section youth, which is not that different from a WB I or WB II course.

I'm interested in hearing what you have to say, and letting me know if I'm totally off the mark (I've been known to be wrong before).


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Re: Active SIT/LIT Programs?

Post by Chris Dougherty » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:10 pm

Chinook's program is open to youth from other councils, so long as they are able to be on site at camp to complete both weeks of the program.

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John Simpson
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Re: Active SIT/LIT Programs?

Post by John Simpson » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:51 pm

Andrew: We'll take anybody who cares. Long term I'd even like our program to be a recruiting tool INTO senior sections (crazy, I know!). I'm even pushing for a way to get some Guides onto the courses. I agree entirely with your "seeing things first hand" comment:


Mark: No, I wouldn't consider a WB-I course an SIT course unless it was specifically designed to meet the needs of the Senior Venturers/Junior Rovers. These participants bring a TON of stuff to the table that most adults taking the courses do not because they have grown up with the program and are still living the program. The way they interact with the youth will be totally different and so will their role within the leadership team. Chances are they will still be participating in a Venturer/Rover program and this needs to be taken into account/supported/encouraged as well. I haven't seen the Chinook Course in action, but my understanding is that they do something like this with their course.

I agree with your assessment that the goal of an SIT program is to give them skills so that they can effectively deliver a program to the youth within the sections that they are working with. Now, just what are those skills...

Clearly many of these are covered in a WB-I course. Knowing who section aged youth are, proper way to carry out an opening, badge program review, paperwork, etc. These are the skills that we believe define our section leaders. In a WB-II course we take this even further covering things like advanced ceremonies, volunteer recruitment and development, advanced risk management, etc. These are the skills that we believe define our senior section leaders. All important skills and all skills that we expect our adult section leaders to have. Should we expect our SITs to have this same set of skills? I don't think so, not unless we (mistaenly) think that the role that they play in a section leadership team is the same as every other leader. In 99% of cases I don't think that a given 16-17 year-old would want these roles and all the administration that goes along with it. So, what do they want? What skills do they need? What does Scouting need from them?

We built HEROES around answering these questions. One thing that became clear was that they did NOT need a WB-I (although many people thought that they did, including some of our potential participants). At the end of our searching we decided to target the course at providing only one thing through multiple avenues: a vision of Scouting as a life changing and world changing movement and to let them experience/participate in that change. There are lots of places where section programming is touched on or reviewed, but sessions like "badge program" were ultimately back burnered for more important things like "Working With Adults" or giving them the opportunity to develop and practice their own programming (like themed campfires). It's a split between the survival skills necessary to make it in a world of (misplaced?) adult expectations and reminding them how to play so that they can bring, nay, BE the magic of the program. At the end of the day they'll get the nuts and bolts of being a traditional "adult" section leader through mentorship with the other section leaders and in WB-I or II courses if they stick around long enough to take them. It is our hope that this course gives them that reason. To achieve this we've packed the course with lots of opportunities for participants to discover the vision of Scouting and find their place in it so that they can go home and share the vision they have constructed with others.

This said, there are going to be LOTS of changes to this year's course cuz I don't think we've got the method right just yet. Feedback so far is that the vision is bang on though.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." ~Aristotle

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Re: Active SIT/LIT Programs?

Post by craigske » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:42 pm

Contact Pacific Coast Council and ask them about FOCUS training. ... fault.aspx

FOCUS (Future Of Canada United in Scouting) is a for-youth-by-youth leadership program aimed towards Scouts, Venturers and Rovers. It was first developed by the National Youth Committee in 1997 and presented to a delegation of young people in the Scouting movement from all across Canada at a conference in ‘97. Those youth that participated in the event, were given all the necessary materials to bring it back to their local communities; they helped spread their knowledge throughout the country. That’s what makes FOCUS so special—it’s designed such that any member of our older sections can pick up the trainer’s manual, read it, and feel confident enough to present the material to their peers.

* 6-8 November 09 - FOCUS for Scouts/Venturers/Rovers - Camp Barnard - Liaison KC Carr

I can put you in touch with KC if you like.
Yours in Scouting,

Craig "Hawkeye" Skelton,
Group Commissioner for 1st Okanagan Mission Scouts

Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child. -someone wiser than I.

Check out our website at
Scouting Now!
New Leaders, check out the New Leader Welcome Kit: ... fault.aspx

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