How to be a Leader – a review of ILST

What its like to spend a weekend learning how to lead in scout troops.

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I drove into camp at about 2:30 P.M. on Friday the 5th. I arrived early enough that the only people there were myself and a couple of my scoutmasters.

Since I was one of the only people there I was able to drive up to my campsite and set up my gear. I hung my hammock between two trees the perfect distance apart and got all of my gear set up the way I like it. After all of my gear was set up I decided to go and check in with my scoutmasters.

Mr Keene was busy setting his hammock up and we discussed hammocking for about an hour ’til people started showing up. I helped direct people where to go to set up and then I went up to the lodge for dinner.

After dinner I left the group from ILST (Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops), and went with the adults to their pressurized fuel training. Because I am about to age out of scouting, the scoutmasters decided that they would just give me the training card for adults.

I then went back to the youth group and joined in their team building exercises.

After we finished the games we went inside and sat for about two hours while the staff talked at us.

That night I slept better than I had while camping in awhile. I had put two zero degree sleeping bags in the bottom of my hammock then put my sleeping bag on top. The night was fairly mild and warm but I was glad for the extra padding when the wind started to pick up.

The next morning I got my patrol up and ready before anyone else had even gotten out of their beds. We had breakfast and then got talked at for about three more hours. Most of it was about how to include everyone in activities. After that we went outside and played some games. One of the people in my patrol made a bet that if he could do a back flip then we would gain extra points.

After a few more hours of being talked at, we finally prepared our skits for that night’s closing campfire. Out of all the skits and songs, my patrol’s were by far the most successful. Most of that was probably due to my experience with improv at school.

Overall, the camp was a success and I enjoyed most of it. There were some people I didn’t get along with but that is always the case. It really made me remember why I joined scouts and why I keep trying and encouraging others to join.