Besides backpacking and teaching skills for the outdoors, my favorite subject in Scouting is leadership. I know that leadership is but a small part of Scouting, but leadership when done correctly requires the leader to be of good character. Leadership asks of the Scout to develop good citizenship, and of course being a good leader encourages a Scout to be physically fit.
Leadership is tested in Scouting. It is a requirement for rank, a Scout must demonstrate his ability to lead others culminating with the Eagle project. To be an effective leader, the Scout must first learn to be a follower. Leadership starts early in a Scouts life with following. The implication is that the Scouts needs to see other Scouts leading. This is where leadership develop starts to take root.
Scouts that develop strong leadership habits and skills work wonders in a Scout led Troop. They show what “right looks like” and are examples for others to follow.
Leadership does not require a patch. Every Scout can start leading. Being a great example is the best leadership tool. Every Scout will have an opportunity to develop leadership through active participation in shared and total leadership situations.
Through the leadership development method a Scout see’s how leaders effect the over all good. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership roles of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting. This is why leadership development is important. It takes time and energy to become a leader. Leaders are not born, they are made and Scouting helps get them moving as an effective leader. He will have skills and tools that will continue to be practiced and tested throughout his life.
Units should provide opportunities to develop Junior leaders. Troop Junior Leader training, sending Scouts to the National Youth Leadership Training, the Eagle Scout service project, The Order of the Arrow, and various High Adventure base opportunities give the Scout a wide variety of leadership training. Along with holding positions of leadership in the unit the Scout can find many ways to develop his skill sets and leadership tool box. Aside from holding unit positions of leadership staffing at Summer camp is one of the greatest experiences that a Scout can have to demonstrate and practice leadership. Unit leaders should encourage Scouts to take advantage of all of the leadership opportunities that Scouting has to offer.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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