By Darryl Alder
Jun 02, 2016

The Varsity Vision—Team Coach Position-Specific Training

This is part one of the online Varsity Vision—Team Coach Position Specific Training. Other sessions include:

  1. Varsity Scouting, a Tool for the Quorum
  2. Aims of Scouting and the Varsity Scout Program
  3. The Captain and the Five Fields of Emphasis
  4. Making an Annual Plan
  5. Executing the Annual Plan
  6. Planning Team Meetings
  7. Planning Team Events

15-year-old boys get a bad rap; it is easy to not see past the occasional bad temper and the smelly feet, but what we don’t celebrate is the brilliance of young men.  As they mature and become kind, loving, sensitive and caring people, it is a real joy to see all your hard work pay off.—

When Varsity Scouting launched, I jumped in with both feet. Our ward bishop allowed, asked, or was inspired to give me chance to work with these wonderful older boys; I served as a team coach for three great years.

At 15, Varsity Scouts are two-thirds of the way to manhood, but still boys. It is a great time in their lives and can be in yours too, especially if you get trained and learn how to work with them. This new series is designed to help you do that. It is here to help you build your teachers quorum through Varsity Scouting.

In the next few weeks we will:

  • Explain the nature of the Varsity Scouting program and its value to youth
  • Outline the specifics of the Varsity Scouting program
  • Identify the aims and methods of Varsity Scouting
  • Identify Varsity Scouting’s five fields of emphasis
  • Know how to conduct a safe Varsity Scouting program
  • Explain the relationship between team youth leaders and team adult leaders
  • Identify the main functions of Varsity Scout team leaders
  • List some resources for Varsity Scout team leaders

“Learning by doing” rather than by lecture moves training closer to the action-centered methods used by Lord Baden-Powell in the earliest days of Scouting at Brownsea Island. Training in those days not only gave Scouts information in short bursts but also provided immediate opportunities for its application. This “experiential learning” is still deemed by educators as among the best ways for learning to occur.

The “Varsity Vision” is designed to be conducted at the council, district, or chartered organization level on an overnighter with both youth and adults present.

It is primarily for Varsity Scout coaches, assistant coaches, and team youth members, but any interested Scouter would benefit, especially team committee members and Varsity Scout team commissioners. However, if your district or stake does not have one of these group courses scheduled, we invite you to continue reading to learn the basics.

Varsity Scouting—a Tool for Your Teacher’s Quorum

Quorum President

The Varsity Scout program is the teachers quorum activity program of the Church.— LDS.org

Through Varsity Scouting, teachers quorum members encounter new growth tasks, learn greater self-reliance, take on additional responsibility for value choices, and accept the challenges of leading, teaching, and serving others. Written and tested by teachers quorums, the Varsity Scout program is native to the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood, its values, its resources, the needs of its youth, and the size and makeup of the local youth population your quorum serves. The Varsity Scouting program should harmonize with and not compete with your quorum and Duty to God programs.

Scout Youth FamilyVarsity Scouting fills an important place in the family of Scouting programs alongside Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Venturing. As its own segment of Scouting, it supports the sustained development of youth in the Teacher-age group, but not with the same type of Scouting as is conducted in a Scout troop. It is different.

Varsity Scouts are organized as a team and function as a team. Every member has a job to do. There are no spectators. Because it is a boy-designed program based on quorum member interests and needs, it tends toward more adventure, risk and challenge. Each adventure is organized around these key program features: High Adventure/Sports, Service, Personal Development, Advancement, and Special Programs and Events.

The Varsity Scouting program is designed to serve the needs and values of any team’s chartered organization, which in this case means your LDS ward. The program is run by young men with the help of a coach, assistant coaches and a committee of adults. Both adult leaders should attend quorum meetings and events as well as Varsity team activities. A counselor in your bishopric is probably serving as your chartered organization representative (COR) and member of the stake young men’s presidency as a commissioner, so both should be great help to you. In fact, you may find having them with you during this course helpful.

Summary

There you have you have it, the main gist of the program. These basics will get you started as a team coach. Now it’s time to take some action on your part.

Materials You Need Soon

You should buy and peruse the content of the Varsity Scout Guidebook. The Guide to Safe Scouting is a reference for the safe conduct of your team’s activities. For teams chartered to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Scouting Handbook for Church Units in the United States and “Safe Church Activities” on LDS.org should be reviewed and referenced,

Get started here and next week we will cover the Aims of Scouting and the Varsity Scout Program.

ADarryl head BWuthor: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. He was a Team Coach for three years during the pre-pilot phase of Varsity Scouting and then became a trainer when the program was launched.

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