The key, of course, is trusting them to lead, helping them understand expectations, teaching the doctrine and then training them how to take the lead (so you can feel that trust) . A great place to begin is the Introduction to Leadership skills for Troops course but a more immediate solution is to get them into this great new website: Troop Leader Resources. They explain this on the site:
“It’s been said that the weekly troop meeting is the glue that holds your troop together. From beginning to end, there should always be something happening creating a focus, capturing and maintaining your Scouts’ attention, and providing the grounds for rewarding experiences. There should be a period set aside to learn new things that are useful and relevant, moments that are amusing and entertaining, and opportunities to put skills into action in ways that are challenging and fun. Troop members should leave the meeting feeling invigorated, feeling good about Scouting, and feeling good about themselves.”
When I was a Scoutmaster, I’d have each boy with a part in the troop meeting come by, and my wife and I would coach them. Now, when I train boys, I like to use this site. You can teach youth to lead by letting them watch other youth. I especially like how they break things down for your Senior Patrol Leader and the Patrol Leader’s Council to learn:
Key to making this happen is planning and preparation. The Patrol Leaders’ Council will find the Troop Meeting Planning Sheet to be an invaluable tool to keep the meeting organized and productive, and Program Features along with the Troop Program Resources website will serve as a useful source of specific troop meeting, program ideas.
If you’d rather show them the whole meeting from beginning to end, then click this:
After you get them to run the meetings, you will have more time to be with them. Adult advisers should give serious and continued thought on how to facilitate strong, genuine relationships between each boy and one or more adults, not on what the next activity is.
Being with your deacons implies that we put time into these assignments, faithfully attending every activity. It is our love, confidence, encouragement and personal testimony that we want to expose them to, as well as, our experience and expertise.
Remember, if you camp, hike or hold a troop meeting, you must find a way to connect them with heaven. The purpose of everything we do is to help a young man develop a relationship with his Heavenly Father and the Savior.
Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. He become a Scoutmaster at 26 which lead him to discover the value of the Scouting program.