As a younger assistant scoutmaster with 4 years experience in a council JLT program, I am concerned about where the focus lies on leadership training.
Rod Smith has brought to light some important issues when it comes to the differences between youth and adult training. 13 and 14 year olds require much more fun and application of their skills to complete the learning process. To accomplish this in one week, this means less class or sitting time and more doing.
A lot of buzz surrounds the classic 11 skills of leadership. However, I personally believe these need far more attention and review for the younger audience. Counseling, for example, has been a very weak presentation. First, it lacks application during the week. Second, the syllabus for the skill itself may very well be confusing and even contradicting for youth. We state that the patrol "counselor" will be in the key position to help participants with problems and concerns, then immediately follow it up with the important understanding that they may not be the right person to counsel and should, in all cases, seek the assistance of a more experienced scout. Furthermore, the material significantly overlaps that from Evaluating, Communicating, and Needs and Characteristics.
Honestly, I believe the approach of perfecting an adult course, then modeling a youth program based on it is flawed. We're dealing with middle school/junior high students with little attention span for lecture style presentations. The leadership skills are a necessary cornerstone of any JLTC, but they each must include fun, application, and reflection, and such activity should dominate over classtime.