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Boy Scouts attend leadership course

Boy Scouts from across central Minnesota are taking part in a weeklong training course at Parker Scout Reservation this week. 36 scouts from several Boy Scout troops in the Central Minnesota Council and a few from outside the council are taking p...

Boy scouts participate in a weeklong National Youth Leadership Training course at Parker Scout Reservation. (Contributed photo)
Boy scouts participate in a weeklong National Youth Leadership Training course at Parker Scout Reservation. (Contributed photo)

Boy Scouts from across central Minnesota are taking part in a weeklong training course at Parker Scout Reservation this week.

36 scouts from several Boy Scout troops in the Central Minnesota Council and a few from outside the council are taking part in the National Youth Leadership Training course this week.

According to a release, the training course is designed for councils to give youth members leadership skills and experience they can use in their home troops and in other situations requiring leadership of self and others.

The course focuses on the concepts of what a leader must be, what a leader must know and what a leader must do. The course then teaches scouts how to achieve these goals.

Skills are integrated during the week as the patrol goes on a "Quest for the Meaning of Leadership."

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Many of the scouts taking part in the course are new leaders in their troops and are looking to grow their leadership skills so they can better lead their fellow scouts.

"I'm really hoping to learn how to be a very good leader and how to lead my patrol and eventually troop, so everybody has a fun time," said Christopher Boucher, 13, a scout with Troop 45 in Brainerd.

Eric Weis, 12, Troop 14 in St. Cloud, is the youngest scout at the training course and is quickly moving through the scouting ranks, having achieved the rank of Life Scout, just one rank advancement away from his Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.

"I want to be a leader that people respect," Weis said. "This is a great experience and I think it's awesome that we are all from different troops because we meet new people and learn how to work together and find each other's strengths."

The course uses a peer instruction form of teaching. The classes, discussions and team building activities are led by scouts who have been through the program and returned to teach. Scoutmasters and adult leaders are present, but only to guide the scout-run program.

"Having the other boys teach the classes helps to show the boys they can be leaders in scouting even though they are not adults," said Ursula Hoppe, Clearwater, who is serving as Scoutmaster for course. "I am really looking forward to seeing these boys come together and work as a team. These are Boy Scouts so I have high expectations for them, higher than what I would have for typical teenagers."

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