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White Stag is the Crossroads of America Council's very own National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). White Stag is based on the standard national Boy Scouts of America NYLT syllabus. The White Stag program teaches youth leaders the skills necessary to provide effective, quality leadership to their home units. Currently, White Stag operates two sessions per year. The June and July sessions are held at Camp Redwing in southeast Delaware County, Indiana, near Muncie.
The White Stag Junior Leader Training Conference was founded in the Crossroads of America Council in about 1972 by the father of White Stag, Mr. Rex Hatch. The program, originally known as Silver Bars, representing the bars on the BSA Leadership Office patches, became White Stag under the leadership of Mr. Hatch From about 1972 through 1996, the White Stag program in the Crossroads of America Council consisted of only one course. This course was held in mid June at Camp Redwing, near Muncie, Indiana. In 1997, the White Stag course was moved to Ransburg Scout Reservation in southeast Monroe County, Indiana, because of complications with Camp Redwing. In 1998, however, it was decided that White Stag would return to it's home at Camp Redwing, and a second session, to be held in July, would be added. In 1997, at Ransburg Scout Reservation, White Stag consisted of four troops, each on a ridge at Ransburg. The size of the program at that time probably contributed to the launch of the two session program in 1998. The initial July session was to be held a month after the June session, and was initially run exactly the same way. July, however, eventually took on it's own flavor. New staff was hired as usual every year to replace those youth staff who had aged out the year prior, and the staff that remained of the 1997 course was split up between the two sessions. New adult staffers were hired to fill any absences that existed. The creation of the second session in July created a division in the White Stag program.
Both sessions of White Stag ran in June and July in 1998 and 1999. In 2000, a new adaptation to White Stag was developed and launched. This session was known as the White Stag Woods and Water session. Woods and Water was an adaptation on the classic White Stag method for a high-adventure environment. White Stag Woods and Water drew it's staff from the returning staff of the 1999 June and July sessions, and new staffers were also hired who had attended White Stag the previous year. Most staff members of the initial Woods and Water session held in 2000 were experienced, returning staff members. White Stag Woods and Water session was based out of Adventure Point at Ransburg Scout Reservation in southeast Monroe County, Indiana.
In the summers of 2000, 2001, and 2002, White Stag operated three sessions. These were White Stag June, White Stag July, and White Stag Woods and Water. June and July were the traditional static sessions, and Woods and Water was our high-adventure session. In the summer of 2003, however, more change came to the White Stag program. The Woods and Water session was dropped, partly because of the establishment of a similar White Stag course operated by the Hoosier Trails Council in southern Indiana. Added to the White Stag calendar in 2003 was the second July session. This session was first held in late July and early August of 2003 at Camp Krietenstien, which had been acquired by the Crossroads of America Council when it merged with the Wabash Valley Council in western Indiana. The June and July sessions at Camp Redwing and the second July session at Camp Krietenstien absorbed the staff of the disbanded Woods and Water session. Additionally, new staff were hired to supplement all three sessions.
The White Stag Krietenstien session no longer exists. White Stag June and July sessions absorbed the staff remaining from the Krietenstien session. In 2006, the new National Youth Leadership Training course syllabus was adopted, replacing the Junior Leader Training Conference course syllabus that the White Stag program had great success with for many years. The program may have changed, but the spirit of White Stag JLTC will live on with those who staffed and participated in the classic White Stag JLTC program in the Crossroads of America Council. In 2007, I decided to return to White Stag Staff as a Food Quartermaster for Troop 070, a decade after attending the conference as a youth. It is my small contribution to what I hope will continue to be a successful leadership skills training program for scouts across Indiana and the midwest.
White Stag needs your participation! The 2007 June Session trained only 46 scouts! A full course consists of 96 scouts. Spaces are available on the White Stag 2008 July Session and enrollment is going on now, so sign up today! To attend White Stag, you must be at least a First Class Scout, at least 13 years old, and must be a current or aspiring youth leader in your home troop. Attend White Stag and learn leadership skills for life! You won't regret it!
For information on attending a White Stag session, visit http://www.crossroadsbsa.org/FunctionsofScoutingMenu/Training/CouncilTrainingEvents/WhiteStag/tabid/139/Default.aspx.
I believe that one of the best skills scouting has the potential to teach to youth members is leadership. White Stag best presents youth leadership in scouting, and makes scouting's teaching potential a reality. Scouting is meant to be a youth-run program. Involvement of adult leadership is an absolutely necessary part of the process to insure health, safety, and legality of youth activities. However, the actual program and activities of any scouting unit are to be planned and executed by the youth leaders of that unit. This is where skills learned at our conference come in. White Stag presents scouting at it's best, and teaches over a hundred scouts in central Indiana leadership skills every year. The skills we teach can not only be used as a youth in scouting, but throughout life! In fact, the skills learned at White Stag are the same as those taught by many corporations in their leadership training. White Stag teaches leadership for both scouting and the real world.
If you are a scout or know a scout who might be interested in attending one of the White Stag sessions in 2008, please visit the Crossroads of America Council's White Stag page at http://www.crossroadsbsa.org/FunctionsofScoutingMenu/Training/CouncilTrainingEvents/WhiteStag/tabid/139/Default.aspx for more information. If you attend and make the best of the course, you will not be disappointed!
© 2004-2008, Dennis M. Boyle. All rights reserved.
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