Book Review Part 4: Developing Teen Leadership

I was recently asked to review a book on teen leadership. The book is called Developing Teen Leadership: A Practical Guide for Youth Group Advisors, Teachers and Parents. It is written by Dan Appleman who has 20 years of experience working with youth.

Today, I am reviewing Part 4 of the book – Topics. You can read my review of the first three sections here:

I will review the other parts of the book in later posts. You can learn more about the book on Amazon.

The first chapter in this part of the book, Communication, is a very good primer on promoting effective communications skills in the youth. Much of the rest of this part deals with issues which most of us probably hope we won’t be getting deeply involved in, such as confidentiality, alcohol, troubled teens, etc..  (See the complete list at the bottom of this article.) But the honest truth is, that if you are working with teenagers you will probably come across at least of few of these issues.

It is better to be prepared beforehand than to just wait and then have to come up with a plan of action on the spur of the moment. So if nothing else, read this section of the book just for the sake of awareness. And it is important to know how your charted organization expects you to handle some of these tough situations. So if you are thinking about these issues and you are not sure about what your chartered organization expects of you, now is the time to ask.

The chapter on taking care of yourself is also worth noting. It is really easy to get caught up in the program, throw yourself into it, and then burn out. The suggestions in the chapter are good ones. A burned out adult advisor really doesn’t help your unit in the long run.

As an additional note, you should be aware that BSA has specific rules about youth driving. You can view them in the Transportation section of the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Here is the complete list of topics covered in the fourth part of the book:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Sex, drugs, and rock & roll
  3. Driving
  4. Bad kids and troubled teens
  5. Confidentiality
  6. Playing favorites
  7. Dealing with crisis
  8. Life skills
  9. Working as a team
  10. Taking care of yourself
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