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ILST-Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops.

The purpose of the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops course is to teach Scouts with leadership positions about their new roles and how to most effectively reach success in that role. It is intended to help Boy Scouts in leadership positions within their troop understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops is the first course in the series of leadership training offered to Boy Scouts and is a replacement for Troop Leadership Training.

Completion of Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops is a prerequisite for Boy Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). It is also required to participate in a Kodiak Challenge Trek.

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Posted By: Samuel Dirr

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Scoutmasters Getting Trained

Scoutmasters Getting Trained - Click pic for more pics

Greg, Rodney, Tom, Steven and I all ventured out one Saturday to spend most of the day at Riverchase Church of Christ to attend the Scoutmaster Specific Training course.  This is the first of two courses that allows Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters to wear the TRAINED patch.  The second course is Outdoor Leader Skills (OLS)  I had taken it last year and it was a lot of fun.  The Scoutmaster Specific Training course wasn’t quite as much fun.  First off it was only one day so we didn’t get to go camping.  Also there wasn’t anything concerning food or cooking so we had to go get our own lunch.  However we did learn a lot of valuable information that will help us to be better leaders for the Scouts in our Troop.  As the Shelby District trainers like to say and I fully agree with, “Every Scout deserves a trained leader.”

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Dutch Oven Cooking - Click picture for more pics

Dutch Oven Cooking - Click picture for more pics

This was a really great training course that I would recommend for every Boy Scout leader.  It’s not just an opportunity to sit and listen to someone teach but an opportunity for sharing ideas, knowledge and experiences.  It was truly a dynamic learning experience for all involved whether teacher or pupil.

We began by setting up flapping tents in a windy sprinkle on a dark and dreary Friday evening at Camp Tranquility in Oak Mountain State Park.  Then the real fun began.  We sat in on a great Leave No Trace (LNT) presentation by three of the best LNT instructors in the Shelby District.  Okay, I could be just a bit biased.  🙂  We were then instructed by the Master Chef himself on the proper way to use one hand to break and egg into a ziploc bag.  A very nice recipe for eggs-in-a-bag was then presented.  Then since our appetites had been whetted it was on to a cracker barrel of Oreos and cheese popcorn.  At least those were my choices.  There were plenty of others.

We roused our achy bodies from a snuggle warm sleeping bag  to an overcast morning with a hint of anticipation in the nippy air.  I could hear the soft whisper of aromatic coffee and delectable eggs-in-a-bag coming from the kitchen area as they called me from my slumber.  Then the real fun began.  We cranked up the flames for boiling water.  One for the coffee and one for the eggs.  What a breakfast we had.  Then it was on to the classes.

We learned all about the flag and what to do and not to do with the flag.  We learned about tracking animals and identifying trees and plants.  We learned about sharpening, handling and carrying for axes and knifes.  We learned about lashing, whipping, fusing and knot tying.  We then learned about cooking with a trash can, a Coleman oven, and a Dutch oven.  We then partook in a most excellent feast of garbage can turkey, vegetables and Dutch oven biscuits.  It was awesome.

Afterwards we learned about how to build different types of fires, safety involved in properly putting out a fire, tinder, kindling, flaming balls of death and the fabulously flaming Fritos.  We then learned about maps and compasses and how to orient them with ourselves and where we were.  We then got to do a small orienteering course.

It was then free time to come up with and practice skits for the evening fire.  We also began the process of preparing for dinner.  We had planned on Hobo dinners so we need to utilize our newly learned fire making skills and come up with a roaring fire to make some hot coals.   Our skills were up to the task and we soon had a bonfire going.  I thought we were going to have to practice our skills on how to put out a forest fire.  Our Hobo dinners turned out great though.

The fire and skits were a lot of fun.  The instructors laughed a lot at our ridiculous skits and we all had a fun time doing them.  We then sat around the fire and watched it mirror the night sky.  We then doused the final sparkles and drifted back to our tents and another blissful night under the stars.

The next morning we chased down some more eggs-in-a-bag with some coffee and began the task of breaking camp.  Halfway through it was time to go learn about a Scout’s own service.  We walked down to a very nice location overlooking Lake Tranquility.  It was a little on the cool side sitting in our chairs but made for a comfortable walk down and back.  Since we were all of the same faith it was a little different to have some of the other faiths as part of the service.

After our walk back we finalized the camp breakdown, said our goodbyes and thank yous and headed back to our homes and a shower.  It was truly a very good experience.

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Troop & Adult Leaders in TLT

Troop & Adult Leaders in TLT - Click picture for more pics.

Troop 220 conducted its semi-annual Troop Leadership Training at Area 51.  Area 51 is the building that the Youth Group of Westwood Baptist Church meets in.  Something interesting to note here is that 7 of the 11 boys present for training are also in the Westwood Baptist Church Youth Group.  The Troop got permission to hang out there on Friday evening, spend the night and then work on training in the upstairs play room.  It was a really nice place to hold the training.  The Troop had elected its new leaders just the Monday before and it was time to get them up to speed before they took office the Monday following next weekend’s campout.

Friday night they just ran wild and free and played a lot of games on the inside and on the outside.  It was hard to get them to do lights out at 11pm.  The leaders slept in the foyer downstairs and I heard whispering and footsteps upstairs all night long or at least it seemed like it.  They were still up earlier the next morning than I wanted to be so I had to scramble to get packed up before they came down and ran me over like a herd of stampeding wildebeests.

The Scoutmaster is a super duper great guy and brought in egg-sausage biscuits and OJ for everyone and coffee for the adults who drank coffee.  The Scouts came downstairs and scarfed down some biscuits.  You would have thought they had been on an over night hike as hungry as they were.  Maybe it was because they had been up all night.

After breakfast we got down to the Troop training.  It was good to see the lights start coming on as the boys began to understand their roles in the Scouting program.  The boys elected some really good leaders and I am excited about what the next six months holds for our Troop.

That evening the Scouts gathered around the ping pong table and decided on their camping plans for the next year.  I still don’t know what they decided on as they were doing such a good job by themselves that I fell asleep on the couch across the room.  The clicking of cameras is the only thing that woke me up.  🙂

Once the planning was done we cleaned up the place, packed our stuff, called the parents and hit the road.  It was a very successful and fun training event.

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