Greg Smith (G88Smith@AOL.COM)
Tue, 31 Oct 1995 00:24:33 -0500
I beg to differ with some of the points made by Mike Walton on the "failure"
of the Leadership Corps.
As I have noted in recent postings, I am fairly new to scouting. So new, in
fact, that I was unaware that the LC program had failed. It is even more
surprising to me in my role as advisor to our troop's LC patrol. Whether you
call the group of older boys with leadership qualities LC, Varsity, Senior
Patrol, etc. is irrelevant -- what you do for these boys and what they do for
the troop is what's important.
On the point of making these senior boys into a patrol, in our troop, it is
the boys (not the scoutmaster) that want to have their own patrol. The LC
Patrol not only gives these boys an identity, but also provides a basis for
team work to meet the demands of leadership and guidance to younger scouts.
The effectiveness of the LC was threatened when their activities were
focused on helping other patrols without allowing them time to themselves.
Operating as a separate patrol also gives them the chance to "lead by
Membership in our LC comes from nominations by the current LC based on
specific criteria (age, rank, participation, scout skills and demonstrated
leadership). True, the boys in LC hold the highest leadership positions;
however, these boys are in the LC because they are leaders, not the other way
As far as having suitable LC experiences, I wouldn't necessarily blame the
national organization. You can find "suitable" experiences where you look
for them. At our summer camp, the LC is given the opportunity for an
out-of-camp trek for which other scouts are not eligible. Even in day-to-day
activities for our LC boys, it is surprisingly simple to give them the
"extra" treatment that makes them feel their efforts are appreciated. For
example, we just held an "induction" weekend where four new boys were
welcomed into the LC patrol. We stayed at a local transportation museum for
one day and two nights. The working part included running get acqauinted
exercises and doing service projects which helped forge a "new" LC our of the
"old" and "new" boys. In exchange, the boys got free tours of the museum and
a neighboring train museum, a train ride and the right to stay up late
watching movies. This was no trip to Philmont, but, in the boys eyes, it was
special (and affordable).
To quote Dennis Miller: "That's only my opinion. I could be wrong."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City