The SM plays many roles in the BLT. Here is a breakdown for the different roles:
Looking ahead 3 months – The SM needs to be looking ahead three months to provide “time” for the scout and adult leaders to plan ahead. Working with the adult leaders, getting them assigned to outings, making reservations, collecting information for tour permits, organizing with the other adults for how to plan and execute an outing all require “time.”
Adult Advisor to Senior Patrol and JASMs – The SM is the safety net for the scout leadership as the lead the operations. Most of the effort is behind the scenes, mentoring the scouts in planning, communications and leadership skills, working with them to ensure they have the people and resources needed to be successful in planning and running an event.
Focus on the Senior Patrol – As SM, the focus is on the SPL and the senior patrol. Through “lead by example”, the senior scouts are a role model for the rest of the scouts in the troop. By focusing on the senior scouts, you are setting expectations and values for behavior living up to the scout oath and law. The younger scouts will follow the lead of the senior scouts.
Mentor for SPL – The SM is responsible for mentoring the SPL. In a BLT model, the SPL is the leader of the troop’s operations. This means your supporting him and training him to be successful.
Role Model of Mentoring Culture – In BLT, the culture highly values and is based on Mentoring. The scouts and adults exchange information and come to consensus by Mentoring. As SM, your actions speak louder than words. You want to be seen mentoring as the way you do business. Being SM, others will follow your lead.
Consistent use of Vision Technique – We found that the Vision Technique is the most effective way for the SPL and his senior patrol to execute an objective. Just like Mentoring, the SM should use the Vision Technique to support the scouts for success in executing objectives.
Lead by Example – As the senior operational adult leader for the troop, you are constantly under a microscope. Your every move, action and statement will be perceived by many people many different ways. You need to be able to maintain a steady, calm, confident and supportive persona at all times. Body language is a big factor. It has been said that 80% of communication is visual. Therefore, your body language and your actions can have a much greater impact than words.