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Mentoring Troop Program Feature

The Mentoring troop program feature for Scouts BSA is a valuable resource that focuses on nurturing leadership and personal growth in Scouts. This program encourages experienced Scouts to share their knowledge and skills with newer members, fostering a culture of learning and mutual respect. Through various activities and discussions, Scouts engage in practical leadership experiences, learn the importance of positive role models, and develop skills in guiding others.

By participating in the Mentoring troop program feature, Scouts not only enhance their individual skills but also contribute to the overall troop dynamics. This program promotes a supportive environment where everyone can thrive and grow together. It aligns perfectly with the core values of Scouting, emphasizing responsibility, teamwork, and the development of strong, capable leaders.

Troop program features, such as the Mentoring troop program feature, not only engage Scouts but also promote personal growth, teamwork, and a sense of accomplishment. By utilizing program features, youth leaders can create a dynamic and impactful program that caters to the diverse interests and needs of their Scouts. The Mentoring program specifically focuses on developing leadership skills and fostering meaningful relationships within the troop. Through this program, Scouts have the opportunity to learn from experienced mentors and become mentors themselves, creating a cycle of continuous growth and development within the troop.

Overall, the Mentoring troop program feature is an essential component of Scouts BSA, providing Scouts with valuable experiences and opportunities for personal and leadership growth.

Coaches and Mentors

The distinct roles of coaches and mentors are explored in the Mentoring troop program feature. While a coach focuses on developing specific skills and capabilities through formalized methods like discussion, lecture, and guided practice, a mentor takes on the role of a guide and counselor. Mentoring goes beyond Scouting skills, delving into values, beliefs, and feelings, forming a natural and trusting relationship with the mentee.

In both coaching and mentoring, the EDGE method (Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable) is a valuable tool, especially when teaching complex skills like leadership. This method ensures that Scouts understand the concepts, see them in action, receive guidance, and eventually become proficient themselves.

A good mentor possesses key traits such as open-mindedness, patience, listening ability, availability, honesty, and support. These qualities enable them to create a safe and supportive environment for Scouts to grow and develop.

The Mentoring troop program feature in Scouts BSA emphasizes a holistic approach to personal growth and leadership development. It recognizes the importance of forming meaningful relationships within the scouting community, where Scouts can learn from experienced mentors and become mentors themselves. By fostering these connections, the program promotes a culture of learning, mutual respect, and continuous development among Scouts.

Group Instruction Ideas for Meetings

Group instruction for the Mentoring troop program feature focuses on four areas.

Understanding Each Other

To promote understanding among Scouts, have an expert lead a discussion about how youths change and develop over time. This discussion can be based on the ages and stages information found in the Troop Leader Guidebook, volume 1. By understanding the different stages of development, Scouts can better empathize with and support their peers.

Listening—What Makes a Great Mentor

Listening is a crucial skill for mentors. Invite a speaker to discuss the importance of active listening in the mentoring relationship. Emphasize key points such as the idea that we have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Honest and attentive listening is at the heart of building a trusting relationship between mentors and mentees.

What Went Well, What Didn’t Go Well, and What Can Be Improved

Teach Scouts reflection techniques to improve their group performance. Explain that after attempting a challenge, a high-performing group will always ask themselves three questions: What went well? What didn’t go well? What can be improved next time? Encourage Scouts to use this technique to evaluate their performance and identify areas for growth and improvement.

Attributes of a Good Mentor

Discuss the learning continuum with Scouts, highlighting the different levels of skill acquisition. Level one involves reading about a skill, level two involves being taught by someone, level three involves learning through hands-on experiences, level four involves becoming proficient through practice, and level five involves teaching the skill to others. Differentiate between coaching and mentoring, emphasizing that mentoring goes beyond skill development to encompass personal growth and support. Discuss the attributes of a good mentor, including open-mindedness, patience, listening ability, availability, communication skills, honesty, and support.

By focusing on these group instruction ideas, Scouts can develop essential skills and qualities needed for effective mentoring within the troop program.

Skills Instruction Ideas for Meetings

In the Mentoring troop program feature, skill instruction is divided into three different experience levels: essential, challenging, and advanced. These levels provide Scouts with a progressive learning experience that helps them develop important skills for effective mentoring within the troop program. See the meeting plans for more details.

Essential Skills

At the essential level, Scouts are encouraged to explore the topic of judging people based on appearance. One activity idea is to look at photos of different people in magazines and discuss the initial judgments we make about them based on their appearance. This activity prompts Scouts to reflect on how they form these judgments and whether it is right or wrong to do so. By engaging in this discussion, Scouts can develop a greater understanding of the importance of not judging others based on superficial factors.

Challenging Skills

Moving on to the challenging level in the Mentoring troop program feature, Scouts are encouraged to discuss the topic of prejudice. This includes exploring how people react to others based on factors such as race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and nationality. Scouts can also discuss whether being part of different groups changes one’s perspective and how these perspectives can influence interactions with others. This activity helps Scouts develop empathy and understanding towards individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Advanced Skills

At the advanced level in the Mentoring troop program feature, Scouts are encouraged to take a standardized test to discover their own traits. This could range from a fun quiz like “What Cartoon Character Are You?” to a more formal assessment like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality assessment. Scouts can then compare their results among group members and discuss areas of similarity and difference. This activity promotes self-awareness and encourages Scouts to appreciate the unique qualities and strengths that each individual brings to the group.

All Skill Levels

In addition to the specific skill instruction at each level, there are also activities that can be done at all levels. One such activity is “The Story You Heard.” Scouts can read a short story and then paraphrase it, noticing how each member chooses to interpret and prioritize certain information over the rest. This activity helps develop listening and communication skills.

Another activity is “Ignore This,” where Scouts are paired up and one person discusses a hobby or passion while the other person is instructed to ignore them. Afterward, Scouts can discuss the frustration that comes with not feeling heard or acknowledged, and review the body language and verbal remarks that a good listener should practice. This activity emphasizes the importance of active listening and being present in conversations.

Lastly, the activity “Where I Want to Go” involves pairs of Scouts, where one member discusses a type of location they would like to visit, giving only subtle hints as to the specific place. The listener then has to pick up on these subtleties and recommend somewhere suitable for the speaker based on their explanation. This activity encourages Scouts to be attentive listeners and to pick up on cues that can help them play a more vital role in discussions.

After each initiative game or activity in the Mentoring troop program feature, it is important to evaluate what went well, what did not go well, and what could be improved. This reflection process allows Scouts to learn from their experiences and continuously improve their mentoring skills. Leadership tasks also involve purposeful activities with specific goals and learning processes, but with a focus on evaluating the performance of the leader.

By incorporating these skills instruction ideas into troop meetings, Scouts can develop essential communication, empathy, and self-awareness skills that are crucial for effective mentoring within the troop program.

Game and Challenge Ideas

Two specific games are suggested as part of the Mentoring troop program feature: “Popcorn” and “Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.”

Popcorn Game

For the game “Popcorn,” each group of four to eight Scouts will need one lightweight, inflatable beach ball. The objective is for the group to hit the ball in the air from team member to team member without it touching the ground. They should count each time the ball is hit, and if it hits the ground, they must start their count over. After a couple of minutes, the game is stopped, and each group discusses what went well, what didn’t go well, and what could be done differently next time. The group that shows the most improvement from the first to the last attempt wins.

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

The game “Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock” is played in groups of two to four players. The rules are similar to Rock Paper Scissors but with additional options:

  • scissors cuts paper
  • paper covers rock
  • rock crushes lizard
  • lizard poisons Spock
  • Spock smashes scissors
  • scissors decapitates lizard
  • lizard eats paper
  • paper disproves Spock
  • Spock vaporizes rock
  • rock crushes scissors

The game can be played for a set time, and the Scout with the most round wins is the winner. This game can also be played as a tournament, with winners advancing to higher brackets.

See the meeting plans for more details.

These games provide Scouts with opportunities to work together, communicate effectively, and learn from their experiences. By incorporating these game and challenge ideas into troop meetings, Scouts can develop important skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking, which are essential for effective mentoring within the troop program.

Main Event

The main event of the Mentoring troop program feature offers three different ideas based on experience level: essential, challenging, or advanced. These events provide Scouts with opportunities to further develop their leadership skills and prepare them for the role of a mentor within the troop program.

Essential: Introduction to Leadership Skills Course

This Mentoring troop program feature event is considered foundational in learning leadership skills and is highly recommended for those who have not yet completed the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troop or Crews (ILST or ILSC). It is also encouraged for those who have completed the course to attend as staff members and assist with the training. The Introduction to Leadership Skills Course is conducted at the unit level, ensuring safety and effective learning for all participants. By attending this event, Scouts will gain a solid understanding of leadership principles and techniques, setting them on the path to becoming effective mentors.

Challenging: Council Leadership Training

This Mentoring troop program feature event suggests courses such as Trainer’s EDGE or Kodiak X, with a focus on enhancing teamwork, brainstorming, and innovative thinking skills. Scouts who have previously completed these courses are encouraged to join as staff members, contributing to the learning experience of others. It’s important to note that the activities in Kodiak X may be physically demanding, so participants are advised to be mindful of their personal limitations to ensure safety. The Council Leadership Training is structured to promote leadership development within a Scout’s journey, emphasizing hands-on learning and personal challenges. By participating in this event, Scouts will further develop their leadership abilities and gain valuable experience that will benefit them as mentors.

Advanced: Advanced Leadership Training

This Mentoring troop program feature event suggests week-long courses such as the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE), or Kodiak. These courses are designed for individuals who are seeking to deepen their leadership skills in a scouting context. Prerequisites are in place to ensure that participants are eligible for the specific course they choose. For example, NYLT must be completed before attending NAYLE. Scouts who have already undergone such training also have the opportunity to apply as staff members and contribute to the mentoring process. By participating in the Advanced Leadership Training, Scouts will further refine their leadership abilities and gain valuable insights and experiences that will make them effective mentors within the troop program.

See the main event planner for more details.

These events provide Scouts with opportunities to develop their leadership skills and prepare them for the role of a mentor within the troop program. Whether attending the Introduction to Leadership Skills Course, Council Leadership Training, or Advanced Leadership Training, Scouts will gain valuable knowledge and experiences that will benefit them as mentors and contribute to the overall success of the troop program.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Mentoring Troop Program Feature

What is the Mentoring troop program feature?

The Mentoring troop program feature is a comprehensive opportunity for Scouts in the Scouts BSA program to develop their leadership skills and prepare them for the role of a mentor within the troop. It offers a series of events and courses tailored to different experience levels, allowing Scouts to choose from essential, challenging, or advanced options to further refine their abilities.

Who can participate in the Mentoring troop program feature?

The Mentoring troop program feature is open to all Scouts in the Scouts BSA program. Whether you are new to leadership roles or have already acquired a solid foundation in leadership skills, there are events and courses available to suit your needs and help you grow as a leader.

What are the benefits of participating in the Mentoring troop program feature?

Participating in the Mentoring troop program feature offers numerous benefits for Scouts. It provides an opportunity to develop essential leadership skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making. By engaging in mentorship roles, Scouts also learn how to guide and support their fellow troop members, fostering a sense of responsibility and camaraderie within the troop.

Are there any prerequisites for participating in the Mentoring troop program feature?

There are no specific prerequisites for participating in the Mentoring troop program feature. It is designed to help Scouts of all experience levels.

Can Scouts earn any recognition or awards through the Mentoring troop program feature?

While the Mentoring troop program feature itself does not offer specific recognition or awards, the skills and experiences gained through participation can contribute to a Scout’s overall advancement and leadership development.

How does the Mentoring troop program feature contribute to the overall success of the troop program?

The Mentoring troop program feature plays a crucial role in the overall success of the troop program. By developing strong leadership skills and fostering a culture of mentorship within the troop, Scouts are better equipped to guide and support their fellow troop members. This creates a positive and inclusive environment where all Scouts can thrive and grow as individuals and leaders.

Lead the Way

The Mentoring troop program feature offers Scouts a comprehensive opportunity to develop their leadership skills and prepare them for the role of a mentor within the troop program. Through a series of events tailored to different experience levels, Scouts can choose from essential, challenging, or advanced options to further refine their abilities.

For Scouts new to leadership roles, the Introduction to Leadership Skills Course provides a foundational understanding of leadership principles and techniques. This course is highly recommended for those who have not yet completed the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troop or Crews (ILST or ILSC). It is also encouraged for those who have completed the course to attend as staff members and assist with the training.

Scouts looking for a more challenging event can participate in the Council Leadership Training, which offers courses such as Trainer’s EDGE or Kodiak X. These courses focus on enhancing teamwork, brainstorming, and innovative thinking skills. Scouts who have previously completed these courses are encouraged to join as staff members, contributing to the learning experience of others.

For Scouts who have already acquired a solid foundation in leadership skills, the advanced event is the Advanced Leadership Training. This event offers week-long courses such as the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE), or Kodiak. These courses are designed for individuals seeking to deepen their leadership skills in a scouting context.

In conclusion, the Mentoring troop program feature provides Scouts with a range of events to develop their leadership abilities and prepare them for the role of a mentor. By participating in these events, Scouts gain valuable knowledge and experiences that will benefit them as mentors and contribute to the overall success of the troop program. For more details, visit the BSA website.

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