Charlie Thorpe (charlie2@RO.COM)
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 16:18:34 -0600
Hello Bill -
> ...use a long weekend JLT which we call PIne Tree. We ran
> Brownsea for 2 years and went to the shorter course to increase boy
> participation, reduce expense and manage the adult staff needs better...
Our Council currently uses the full JLTC format (Sun am to Sat noon) and
has experimented with adding an extra day in the past (Sat am to Sat noon).
I really like having another day, but we usually stick with just 7 days
due to numerous conflicts (Troop hi-adventure trips, summer camp, summer
jobs for the boy staff, etc.).
I am interested in how your Council managed to trim down the busy JLTC
syllabus to fit 3 days. By any chance do you have a course schedule
(agenda) handy? I would love to see what you decided to keep!
We are doing a round-robin of our Roundtable's now to dig for suggestions
on how to make our JLTC and Wood Badge programs even more responsive to the
needs of the Troops. We might get some requests for a shorter JLTC and I
would like to have an idea of what might be involved in doing a good job at
it. There is currently no pressure for us to go with less that a full week
here because we have had such good luck with the JLTC the way it is
It often takes the first few days for the boy staff (especially the new
ones) to settle down and be really comfortable in their role as Troop
leaders (we don't have the adults do any of the presentations unless
explicitly called out in the staff guide).
We seem to get more than a few participants who have zero camping survival
skills 8^( Sometimes a Troop Guide and the SPL need the first few days to
get a particularly green Patrol over the hump on being comfortable in the
woods. We try to salt all the Patrols with experienced campers, but often
it is hard to tell who is REALLY experienced without us seeing them in
We choose to go with 100% uniforming throughout the course (we build the
cost of uniform t-shirts into the JLTC fee). There is often a Scout (or
two) who takes a while to get into the uniform spirit. This never seems to
last longer than a few days, but it DOES crop back up the first time they
needed to do laundry in our hot/humid climate (about the third day...<g>).
About the third or fourth day nobody thinks about uniforms any more...they
are completely taken for granted.
We have a "Whitefire" song that we sing a LOT. Like the "OnceIwasa" Wood
Badge song, it takes a few days for everybody to learn it and to feel good
with the simple challenge of making a joyful noise in public. About
midweek, the Patrols often pop up with their own verses to the Whitefire
song or with brand new songs for their Patrol. By the end of the week it's
hard to get them to quiet down!
About the third or forth day all the above starts to come together and a
LOT of Patrol cohesion/teamwork/spirit starts to kick in. It's at this
point that the kids start to FEEL how neat the grand game of Scouting can
be. It gets to be just plain fun to watch the JLTC Troop do Scouting when
everything is clicking like it usually does in the second half of the week
(I try to stall the visits by the participant's Scoutmasters until they can
see this spirit in action <g>).
I would love to know how to get past the sometimes slow first part (pulling
teeth!) and into the hi-spirit second half of the week (everybody grinning
most of the time!) all in just three or four days. Maybe we can use some
of your secrets to get our JLTC perking a little faster!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City