By U.S. Army Maj. D. Marshall Bornn Jr.
DOHA, Qatar - On a sunny Saturday morning in Qatar, 35 boys from the ages of 11 to 17 converge on the American School of Doha seeking one thing: the opportunity to be challenged, measured and prepared for the ultimate adventure in scouting- being a boy leader in a troop.
Facilitating that end, were eight adult military volunteers from Camp As Sayliyah and Al Udeid Air Base who provided instruction, mentorship and advice through the offering of the newest Boy Scouts of America junior leader training module, "The Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops."
The purpose of the ILST course is to teach Cub Scouts who are currently in or wish to seek leadership positions in the troop about their new roles and how to most effectively reach success in that role. It is intended to help Boy Scouts understand the individual responsibilities in numerous leadership capacities within the troop and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. ILST is the first step in the series of leadership training offered to Boy Scouts. Completion of this training is a prerequisite for Boy Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses: National Youth Leadership Training, National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience and the Kodiak Challenge Trek.
This course is an innovative and interactive training that uses games, classroom instruction and discussion to open the minds of the Cub Scouts to new ideas and concepts that can make them confident leaders.
It uses these three modules: troop organization-describing each leadership position in the troop to include: roles and responsibilities, troop organization, and introductions to vision and servant leadership; tools of the trade-covering core skill sets to help the Cub Scouts lead, including communicating, planning, and teaching; and finally leadership and teamwork-incorporating leadership tools, including discussions of teams and team characteristics, the stages of team development and leadership, inclusion/using your team, ethics and values of a leader and an in-depth review of the individuals and troop vision for the future. Every module has three to five team building and leadership in action games to backstop the lessons learned in the instruction; and every game is followed by in depth discussion and reflection that ties the lessons to practical application.
The military volunteers brought a wealth of leadership experience; drawing from their time as Cub Scouts, students, teachers, mentors and of course military service members.
Scoutmaster Tim Yearout stated, "The course was a great way to lay the foundation of leadership in the boys that will help them their entire life; and our military volunteers are perfect examples of servant leadership for the boys."
At the end of the course, every boy was more confident and prepared to lead in their troop. They earned the coveted "trained" tab denoting they met all the requirements of ILST and were ready to become future leaders of their troop.
Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 970 Jonathan M. stated, "The military volunteers were a pivotal part to the development of that success."