Phase 3 - BLT Awareness and Understanding
By this time, the troop is operating from a BLT Culture and the bulk or significant culture changes completed. Although there may be some isolated areas where ongoing training or acceptance of BLT is occurring, for the most part, the scouts, adults and those involved with the troop's operations are well into understanding how BLT can best be utilized and work for the troop. From a time line perspective, the troop is in its second or third year of operating by BLT.
So if the troop is operating by BLT, what is Phase 3 and why do we need it?
Reflecting on just how busy our lives are, think back to a year or two ago and try to remember what or why your family or work decided on something? Chances are, that seems so long ago and so much has happened since then that we most likely do not remember all the details to what went on or why. The same is true with the Scout's families and leaders. During phase 1 and 2 a lot of energy, communication and energy will be put into learning about and understanding what is BLT and how it works. As the scouts progress and leave the troop, as adult leaders change roles, the BLT knowledge, best practices and lessons learned from phases 1 and 2 can be lost. This means that the troop looses sight of "why" it was important to evolve, what were the previous non-desired behaviors and why were the non-desired behaviors considered bad? In order to sustain BLT culture and not digress to the previous culture, constant awareness and education of BLT is required.
Presenting awareness for BLT (Presentation Included) - Link to the presentation - In the years following the evolution to the BLT culture it is strongly recommended that consistent BLT awareness and training be provided on an annual basis to the scouts, adult leaders and parents supporting the troop. There are many opportunities to share this presentation, below is a listing of how some Troop’s use this presentation:
- Parent Meeting – Some troops have a parent night at the start of the scouting year where the parents are required to attend the scout meeting. This presentation is presented at that meeting to review with the parents so they understand the processes and program. This provides the parents the information to support the troop at home. The parent and troop leaders are giving the scouts the same message.
- Weblo’s visit - Troops often invite the weblos dens to visit a troop meeting. During the visit, have the SPL and Scoutmaster meet with the weblos parents and present this presentation to teach them about the Troop.
- Troop’s Web Site – Troops update this on a regular basis and post on their web site
- Visiting Dignitaries, District & Council Visits – At times, the troop may be visited by community or BSA leaders. The presentation provides the Committee, SM and ASMs a foundation document to present from
- Sponsoring Organizations – At times the sponsoring organization may inquire about the troop, what is it up to and how is it doing? The presentation provides the Committee, SM and ASMs a foundation document to present from
- Recruiting – During a recruiting event or if a scout and his family are interested in joining scouting, this presentation can be used to introduces scouting and your troop, sharing the value of scouting and what would be expected of them if they joined
- When the Scout Leadership turns over - On an annual or bi-annual basis, the scouts progress in their leadership roles and responsibilities assuming new positions. This is an excellent opportunity to provide training in the form of JLT (Junior Leadership Training) to the PLC or all the scouts in leadership positions about what is BLT and how the BLT Leadership system operates. In this training, review all pieces and parts, meetings and processes documented in the BLT wiki.
Awareness, understanding and training play an important role in sustaining the BLT culture and operations. Let’s assume that no training was provided on a regular basis. Let’s assume new families are now involved with the troop and start doing things their way, different or contradicting the BLT culture. Or, let’s assume an existing family after a few years starts to do things their way, different or contradicting the BLT culture. When the troop's leadership confronts the people doing things their way, the first question or defense will be "I didn't know?". To avoid this disruption, mitigate this risk or prevent the opportunity for this situation to occur, the troop's leadership needs to maintain a consistent annual awareness training to those who support the troop's program.
Reflecting on phase three, we can call this maintenance or sustainability. Is there an end date? Simply put, No. Phase 3 is about the on-going upkeep and maintaining understanding and awareness for the cultural values, behaviors, tools and processes used to operate as a BLT Troop. For a review of these behaviors, tools and processes visit the BLT wiki site and read the pages under the section "BLT Operations".