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Junior Leader Training -- White Stag Leadership Development

A Contract for Personal Growth

We require all participants to write a contract for applying at home what they learn during camp. This can be within the family, at school, within their religious education or church, or in a sports or youth group.

We call this a "Leadership Growth Agreement" (LGA). This is the learner's contract to apply what he learns. Every member reviews their LGA with a staff member and prepares a copy that we give to their youth leader.

Our goal is to motivate candidate participants to take home their newly acquired skills, knowledge, and abilities and apply them in a helpful, productive way immediately, while they are still fresh.

Benefits of the Leadership Growth Agreement program

It is clear that the learner can benefit from LGAs. He will realize that leadership development does not end when he gets in the car to go home. Learning is increased because LGAs are a written application and a follow-on evaluation. There are many other benefits to LGAs:

  • Individuals who complete their LGA can able to take pride in an exceptional achievement and should be appropriately recognized, perhaps during the next year’s program. This would have the added benefit of establishing a model for the current year’s candidates. Because the learners are applying the leadership competencies in the home unit, the program gains positive responses from the leaders.
  • The leaders develop a better understanding of the program's methods, content and purposes, and thus the learner can experience yet greater success. The program and the home unit will experience increased benefit.
  • Because of the service nature of an LGAs, other Scouts become aware the program, potentially increasing the number of candidates attending the program. This gives you a more stable, mature, experienced and knowledgeable group to draw on for staff positions, which enriches your program even further.
  • You can increase the number of candidates attracted to your program by strengthening your relationships with interested and supportive unit leaders. Attracting and retaining participants requires less effort.
  • You will influence more people for good and spread the ideals of your program since candidate and staff LGAs will demonstrate the validity, vitality, usefulness, and purposefulness of the program.
  • You will keep the unit leader's awareness of your program higher during the rest of the year.
  • You will provide yourself with documented evidence of your program’s success.

Preparing an Leadership Growth Agreement

At the conclusion of the presentation of each competency during staff training or the summer camp, the Manager of Learning asks the learner how he might apply the competency in the position held back home.

The Manager of Learning then asks each learner to write down for later use in the LGA one or two ways the competency might be used.

The staff or candidate has an individual counseling session with the coach counselor. They:

  • Agree on an application that is realistic, challenging, and can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Plan that application so that the LGA is oriented towards service, or helping others.

At the end of camp, the candidate participants meet with their youth staff leader and select the best example of how they can take home a leadership competency and start to use it right away. The member makes a copy or the LGA for their leader.,

The LGA may apply to any position in or out of White Stag. We do have an obligation to the learner's home unit who has typically sent the participant; our priority ought to be to develop applications in that area.

Motivating Learners to Complete Leadership Growth Agreements

It is helpful if you can come up with an effective "carrot" that will motivate learners to complete their LGA. Suggestions include a special patch, neckerchief, or a special sticker that can be added to the certificate to indicate completion.

The purpose of an incentive is to encourage learners to complete the application and to give them recognition. In addition, it is important for the learner to realize that leadership development is not a “one-shot” deal, and that learning is ongoing.

Fulfilling an Leadership Growth Agreement

The LGA helps the learner to apply his learning using real-life service opportunities. They are experiences planned in advance that demonstrate application of a leadership competency in some way. For example, helping the patrol plan a menu, organizing the purchase, and directing the cooking of a meal successfully could be a LGA for Planning.

The complexity of the LGA depends on the learner's level of knowledge and ability. A Phase I LGA might read, "I will apply 'Communications' by taking notes at Patrol meetings." A Phase III LGA might read, "I will apply 'Communications' by presenting a session on the competency to my Leadership Corps and Patrol Leaders."

No one single action, event or accomplishment ought to be used for fulfillment of more than one part of an LGA. A follow-on or succeeding action could be, providing each can be identified and acted upon independently.

Applying one leadership competency may introduce the use of another competency. However, each part of an LGA ought to be primarily oriented towards one subject.

Evaluating Candidate LGAs

Evaluating LGA completion is done jointly by the learner and his leader (a candidate or staff member and his home youth leader). Fulfillment is based on performance, not on a person's ability to write it down. Oral conferences and evaluation is suitable. A copy of a youth member's or participant's LGA should be given to their home youth leader.

The LGA evaluation should answer the following questions:

  • Was the goal accomplished?
  • How were people served by the application?
  • Can anything be done to improve?

The amount of knowledge a youth can acquire and retain during one week of camp is limited. One way we can help them they learn and remember is to help them write realistic, challenging, and flexible LGAs.

Learn more about leadership. Find out which phase is right for you or apply for camp today.