Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, toward achievement of a goal. (Forbes Magazine, April 2013)
A few weeks ago, five Boy Scouts from our local region attended a challenging two-weekend leadership course, known in our area as Great Medicine.
The event was held at Goose Pond Scout Reservation in Lake Ariel.
This action-packed (sun-up until hours after sun-down) National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) course administered by Boy Scouts of America is designed to teach youth members leadership and team-building skills.
Upon completion, the youth can take back their new knowledge and expertise to their home troops and employ it in any situation (in or out of scouting) that demands leadership of self and others.
The NYLT course focuses on concepts of what a leader must BE, what a leader must KNOW and what a leader must DO.
The youth participate in a “quest for the meaning of leadership” as they are taught these elements and learn how to set them into action.
The scouts are separated into groups, known as patrols in scouting, of approximately six members who are not acquainted with each other at all.
The patrols must become familiar with each other through activities, adventures and deciding on daily events such as meal planning and cooking, camp set up, games and discussion of ethical situations.
Each patrol also has a team guide, whose duty is to help coach, mentor, and monitor some sessions and activities.
For two weekends, my peers and I participated in numerous team games and activities designed to teach us how to plan events, understand different communication styles, team development, educating others through unique teaching methods, leadership styles, goal setting, and problem solving skills.
We competed in various events as a group to learn how to create a vision of what success looks like, listen to others, teach, and understand the needs of others first to ensure effective leadership.
Throughout the weekends, we were faced with opportunities to test these skills and make difficult decisions using the tools of the Scout Oath and Law.
The challenging, but fun program helped us develop confidence and knowledge, and above all powerful leaderships skills and techniques taught through team work, sharing ideas and experiences, and strengthening relationships and bonds among our patrols.
There are many different definitions of leadership and many ideas of what makes a good (or bad) leader, however I feel Queen Elizabeth II summarizes leadership well in her quote, “I know of no single formula for success.
But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.”
Congratulations to the boys of Troop 132 on another great accomplishment.
See you ‘round the Korner,