Re: Sixer Training
Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Sat, 26 Nov 1994 19:35:22 GMT
My British Cub Scout pack is planning a weekend leadership training course
for present and potential Sixers. It will probably take place over a
weekend in February/March and run from Friday to Sunday. We will have indoo
accomodation on a Scout Camp site with facilities for some adventurous
activities. ( Obstacle course , maybe air-rifle shooting )
What follows is my initial thoughts on the course, with some rather more
detailed explanatory notes for what I know is primarily a BSA audience.
I would greatly appreciate your comments , ideas, suggestions and
>>> Yes, our UK Cub Scout program is very different to BSA's. <<<
We will probabably have twelve to fifteen boys aged nine to ten and a staff
of maybe four adults and four to six Scouts. ( Hopefully some of the Scouts
will be from BSA Troop 401 in London.)
I would like to plan this as a formal course , i.e. from the adults point o
view we will write objectives and plan it in exactly the same way as any
other leader training event ...
*** But as far as the kids are concerned it must - and will -
be a FUN weekend for the boys selected.
The areas I have identified at the moment as needing some development are
* Team building - fostering healthy inter-six competition
* Communication - getting the Sixers to talk with their boys and
representing a range of views back to the Sixers' Council
* Bullying - there has been a problem at school , though fortunately
not noticeable in the Pack. The aim is to make the Sixers aware
of the issue and empower them to intervene. I have already done
some work with the pack on this issue. (About 3/4 of the Cubs
go to the same school, so our program will have a major impact
on the problem in the school setting.)
* Discipline - although primarily an adult responsibility, the Sixer has
to get his kids organised for games etc. and I am trying to teach
some simple skills of " Cub management. " - their first instinct
is to push/drag kids into line !
* Instruction Skills - how to teach simple skills in a one-to-one
or small group. Typically we would ask one of two Sixers to teac
simple skills to new boys joining the pack. The other situation i
on camp , where a Sixer may be teaching first-time campers.
* Ethical Values - living the Law and Promise . This could link to
personal choices, e.g. we are aware that a lot of the younger
Scouts have started smoking. Drug and alcohol education needs
to come into the Cub Scout program.
* Leading / Following - Adair Model of Action Centred Leadership and
the needs of task / group / individual. Styles of leadership
boys prefer and why ?
I have seen what <appears> to be very good material for Webelos , but I hav
very little experience with it. The BSA " Ethics in Action " program looks
promising and could probably be adapted without too much difficulty.
I would also like to set up a challenge course where the kids have to
achieve a task against the clock - crossing the river or whatever. Apart
from being a fun activity it will enable us to identify strengths and
weaknesses in the group. Would it be putting too much pressure on the kids
to say that they will be graded on this exercise ?
Boy leadership is very important in our junior programs, not just the Scout
Troop. From the time a boy joins Beaver Scouts at age six he is in a Lodge
with one of the other boys as Lodge Leader. At that age the position is
nominal and rotates. Basically it determines who will sit up the front of
the line when they form up for team games. But it does mean that most of th
boys joining the Pack will have had two years to get used to the concept of
teamwork and boy leadership.
Many of the Sixers will have had three years' Scouting experience , will
have maybe six to eight nights' camping experience and a fair amount of
basic Scouting skills. I would expect one of my ten year olds to be able t
put up a tent, light a fire and cook a simple meal with minimal supervision
For those unfamiliar with the UK program the Sixer is a boy leader who is
responsible for a Six which consists, not surprisingly, of about six boys
aged eight to ten and a half. (Not age/grade split as in BSA) We have a
Senior Sixer , an unofficial appointment of one of the older boys who leads
the opening and closing and will cover if any of the Sixers is absent.
The Sixers suggest ideas for programs etc. at the Sixers Council , a sort o
scaled-down Patrol Leaders' Council. Although the Leaders do the actual
organisation, the Sixers' Council suggests badges they want to work on ,
will come up with ideas for the menu on camping trips etc.
The Sixers are also responsible for their kids on camp. The Cubs sleep in
six-boy tents and the Sixer is the one who is responsible to the Leader for
his Six. At age ten they take this responsibility very seriously , but ofte
lack the skills. We tend to take Scouts on Cub Camp to support the Sixer ,
much as in the BSA a Troop Guide would work with a New Scout P/L.
It happens that in our Pack the prime leadership consists of four adults,
only one of whom has a son in the Pack. The parent is actually warranted a
an Assistant Scout Leader but helps with the pack too. His lad is Senior
Sixer and will be joining the troop next year.
Scouts help regularly with the meeting as instructors and will run badge
classes. ( They are authorised to sign off requirements etc. ) Not only do
we have Scouts from our own troop , because I have links with BSA Troop 401
I occasionally use selected BSA Scouts as instructors on Cub Camp ; one of
the Scouts from Troop 401 came on our last camp and tested the swimmer
badge. Merit Badge counselor before his 13th birthday ... but he knew the
syllabus, had the skills and had very good control over the class of five
boys he was teaching.)
The last indoor camp we held was one that I organised, and on the Saturday
I involved the boys in an evaluation - what went well , what could have gon
better etc. , so they have some experience of this. I was pleased that they
could begin to give and take constructive criticism. They have now worked
out that if they talk and read until 2.00 am they don't feel like getting u
for breakfast at 7.30 , so they miss the first morning activity. It's calle
Thank you for reading this rather lengthy posting. I look forward to your
comments, ideas and suggestions.
Ian N Ford
Asst Group Scout Leader
25th Greenwich scout Group , London UK
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City