By Darryl Alder
Nov 17, 2016

Varsity Scout Leaders Day Book–Day 12: Team Leadership Meeting

Day 12The Task: Understand the purpose for and importance of the team leadership meeting.

Team Leadership Meeting is usually held monthly. In LDS units it is part of the Teacher’s Quorum Presidency Meeting. Since, “Aaronic Priesthood quorum presidents hold the priesthood keys to direct the work of the quorums over which they preside(see Handbook 2 – 8.3.2),” this is the place the quorum president/captain makes assignments and takes reports regarding weeking team meetings and monthly outdoor adventures. Together with his counselors and other youth who have been assigned to be program managers, this meeting puts into motion the details of the program for the upcoming month.

A simple agenda like this might be used to plan the meeting:sample-team-agenda

This same group may also assemble after a team meeting or activity to evaluate the meeting and plan the next one.

Considering what you know already about team structure and how it offers opportunities for the youth to select and lead their own program, several points should be clear:

  • Planning is critical to the success of a team and its program. We have already seen several examples of planning, including the Varsity coach meeting with the team captain days before a meeting and a subsequent discussion with the captain as a team meeting is beginning.
  • The commitment of the young men to the team and the program is also critical. One way to ensure that commitment is for the captain to give them real responsibility for doing the planning.
  • Meetings of the team leaders are opportunities for longer range planning. The team’s youth leaders can determine the activities of a team for the weeks and months to come, and they can determine who will make them happen and how.

Team leaders’ meetings allows the team captain, co-captains, squad leaders, and program managers to plan the team’s program and to assess the progress of the team’s current activities. It is also an opportunity for squad leaders to present the ideas and concerns of squad members to the team’s leadership. The team captain conducts these meetings with the guidance and support of the Varsity coach. Those attending team leaders’ meetings recognize that their decisions are subject to final approval by the Varsity coach and the team committee.

The important thing to keep in mind, though, is that Varsity Scouts who are given the responsibility, resources, and support to plan and run their own team meetings are learning extremely important lessons in leadership. Their growing confidence and advancing leadership abilities are a direct result of the efforts of their Varsity coach to provide support and guidance and then, for the most part, stay behind the scenes.

We are nearly two weeks into your Day Book Quest;  the Varsity coach’s role in supporting and guiding the youth leaders ought to be pretty clear by now. Among the most important points we’ve covered are these:

  • The role of a Varsity coach brings with it high expectations and requires a willingness on the part of a Varsity coach to be, know, and do certain things.
  • The team is organized with team members deeply involved in planning the program and making it a reality.
  • Team meetings are the glue that holds a team together. They should be fun, fast-paced, productive, and meaningful.
  • Through careful listening, Varsity coaches can determine the development level of individual Scouts and of each squad and the team as a whole. Depending on the needs of the Scouts, Varsity coaches can use the most appropriate style of leadership—directing, coaching, supporting, or delegating.
  • Team leaders’ meetings are the engine that powers the youth led team. They provide Varsity Scouts with a structure in which to learn and practice leadership skills as they plan the team’s program and figure out how to bring it to life.

How are you going to help your captain operate the next Team Leader’s Meeting?

You can read other parts of this blog series here:

Week 1 Week 2

The month ahead:

MOnth one

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 Varsity Scout trainer when the program launched.

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