JLT Staff - The Best Kept Secret
Bill & Beth Reiller (reiller@EMAIL.MSN.COM)
Mon, 17 Aug 1998 07:12:53 -0400
We just wanted to share with this list an experience we had recently in
It's Called JLT.
Back last year we were talked into being the quartermaster staff for the
1998 week long council JLT course. The SM for the course is a good friend
of ours so we agreed. We spent months putting together menus for the
patrols and the rest of the staff. We were told that our responsibility was
to issue all the equipment the participants would need (tents, cots, chuck
boxes, etc...), plus their food supplies (and make it generous because you
don't want the only thing they remember was being hungry), plus cook for the
22 member staff, plus put on a cooking demonstration on day 2. OK, this
sounded doable. In the spring, at a staff development weekend, all the
equipment was inventoried and a list was made of additional items we would
We arrived at camp 2 days before the participants were due to check-in.
The makeshift kitchen I was to use (a store room that had a sink, stove, ice
machine, and refrigerator put in) was filthy. Most of the first day we
spent cleaning. The equipment that we had inventoried a few months earlier
was not all there and the oven was broken. Luckily we had brought several
things from our own kitchen because all we had in this kitchen was a pot, a
fork, and 8 meat forks. We were able to put together enough chuck boxes for
the patrols with the help of the camp director. He ran out to the store and
bought the missing items needed.
As the week progressed we had to make several substitutions on the menus
because the camp director who was bringing us our supplies everyday was
sometimes late. I can't blame him though, he was being pulled in about a
thousand directions. Summer camp was still going on on another part of the
property (Camp Thunder) as well as the high adventure program.
The JLT program was held the first week of August. And here in Georgia
that means it was hot, sticky, and with an abundance of ticks and other
At the end of the week the SM, who had already committed to put the
program on again next year, asked us if we would also serve on staff again
next year. It did not take long to decide our answer.
MOST DEFINATELY YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This was probably one of the most uplifting things we have done in
Scouting. You know that wonderful feeling you get when one of the boys in
your troop finally gets it and you can actually see the light bulb come on
over his head? Imagine watching a group of 40 boys as they go through their
classes with several of them getting it. It is almost like you died and
went to Scoutmaster Heaven. Most of these boys are the leaders of their
troops and only a couple were problem children. The youth staff simply
amazed us. We sat and watched several of them as they taught their classes.
It was awe inspiring. Our own son was on staff (for the 4th time) as his
second year as youth director. We have seen him teach several times at
troop meetings but this was certainly different. It was like someone had
taken over his body. We watched in awe as he taught his classes (and this
was a kid who used to throw up at the mere thought of having to speak in
front of a crowd) but, there he was, strong, confident, teaching with humor
and obviously knew his material well. All we could think of was "Thank God
Anyway if you ever get the chance to serve on staff for your council's
week long JLT course I would recommend you jump at the chance. It is
definately a lot of hard work but worth every bit and more.
Bill and Beth Reiller
Flint River Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City