First look: ‘Troop Leader Guidebook’ Vol. 2, designed for experienced Scouters

Troop-Leader-Guidebook-Volume-2-coverOnce you’ve mastered the basics of Boy Scouting, it’s time to level up.

That’s the goal of Volume 2 of the Troop Leader Guidebook, the BSA’s publication for experienced leaders that addresses topics like self-evaluation, succession planning, leadership styles, high adventure, working with older Scouts, working with Scouts with disabilities, counseling, conflict resolution and more.

It’s due in Scout Shops and at ScoutStuff.org by the end of June.

Volume 1 of the Troop Leader Guidebook — which I blogged about last year — covered the nuts and bolts of Boy Scouting. Topics include troop meetings, uniforms and insignia, community service, awards and recognition programs, and more.

Volume 2 addresses the needs of experienced troop leaders — mainly people who have been involved in Boy Scouting for a few years. That’s notable because it’s the first time the BSA has created a publication exclusively aimed at seasoned Scouters.

Eagle Scout and longtime Scouting magazine contributor Mark Ray — who also wrote the new Boy Scout Handbook and Volume 1 of the Troop Leader Guidebook — says he adapted material from a range of lesser-known BSA publications. Things like Passport to High Adventure and the Guide to Working with Scouts with Special Needs and Disabilities.

One of the things we learned in the focus groups we did in each region — back in 2011 — was that the BSA has too many ancillary publications that contain good information but that nobody’s ever heard of,” Ray says. “This book brings a lot of that information together in one place.”

A look inside Volume 2

Here are some more reasons for seasoned Scouters to get excited:

  • You’ll learn how visioning, evaluation and continuous improvement (Section 1) can make your troop better. There are several assessment instruments, including a 75-question troop assessment.
  • You’ll expand on the skills you learned in Wood Badge (Section 2) and find examples of games to play at each stage of team development (forming, storming, norming, performing). Plus, you’ll see examples of ways to use EDGE (explain, demonstrate, guide, enable) in the troop setting and with youth leaders. Then you’ll learn about the fifth stage of team development and the step that comes before the E in EDGE.
  • You’ll see common ways Scoutmasters make the patrol method fail (Chapter 9) and how to avoid those pitfalls.
  • You’ll help your youth leaders make troop meetings and outings extraordinary (Chapter 10). There are some “meeting-in-a-box” ideas and tips on adding spice to campouts and summer camp.
  • You’ll clear up advancement misconceptions (Chapter 16) and learn to put advancement in perspective.
  • You’ll learn to work with older Scouts (Chapter 17), including thoughts on rites of passage and helping older Scouts flourish.
  • You’ll learn about the Order of the Arrow, Venturing and Sea Scouting (Chapter 18) and how to harness their power to benefit the troop.
  • You’ll learn to work with special needs Scouts (Section 6), something every Scouter needs to know.
  • You’ll learn to work in a unique troop (Section 6), including new troops, large troops or small troops. Not every troop is the same, and Section 6 embraces that.

Troop-Leader-Guidebook-overview

About Bryan Wendell 2868 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.