August 16 Program: Al Thomas, Boy Scouts of America, spoke on "Leadership Development for Teens"
He pointed out that Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts are excellent programs for developing youth leadership skills because the activities are led by the boys. Chatham and Madison have the best Troops you can find. Eagle Scouts become leaders of a community project. All Boy Scouts are encouraged to be in service to others and they develop their leadership skills along the way.
Aside from traditional Boy Scouts, other programs are offered for teenagers that develop leadership: Venturing and Exploring. Exploring is career-oriented; for example, there is an Aviation Exploring Post at Morristown Airport. Venturing is more about hiking and camping in a high adventure activity. Venturing Crews can also specialize in arts or other areas. Both programs are led by the teenage participants, which gives them experience and the opportunity to develop and improve their leadership skills. Adult advisors help organize the youth and provide guidance along the way. Leadership training is provided. Ventures are organized into Crews - Explorers are organized into Posts. Both can be coed or single sex, as determined by the participants (most are high school age). Choice of uniforms is up to the particular group of participants. Service to others is an important part of both programs.
Venture Crew 77 sponsored by the Madison Elks Lodge emphasizes High Adventure and Community Service. Youth interested in this activity can contact John Kennedy.
Al suggested that Kiwanis consider starting a Venture Crew in Chatham. Since Kiwanis already sponsors the CHS Key Club, sponsoring a Venture Crew would be a logical extension of the club’s focus on supporting youth.
He also gave an overview of the Leadership Venturing program offered by the Patriot’s Path Council. It consists of 11 modules that can be offered in a variety of customizable packages. This could be of interest to the CHS Key Club. A program specialist could describe the program at a Key Club Meeting.
Another educational program offered by Boy Scouts is “Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience” (C.O.P.E.). Participants spend a day at Mount Allamuchy Scout Reservation building their leadership skills. Building teamwork is an important goal.
A special event at the Stanhope camp will be offered the second weekend this September: “Extreme Leadership, Climbing to New Heights”. It has been designed by and offered to members of the Boy Scouts and also to others in the community. Similar events will be offered in the future. This program could be of interest to the Key Club.
Kiwanis members thanked Al for his interesting, complete and helpful overview of the programs. For more information, go to website http://main.ppbsa.org/