Re: A thought about on-line training
- I think Chuck makes some excellent points here. He's clearly given this some careful consideration.
Online training is designed to complement, not replace, classroom training. There are important benefits to both. The benefits of online training include ease of access and consistency in delivery. The majority of Scouters have full-time jobs and families. Their children are involved in numerous activities. No one would deny that today's adults lead a very hectic lifestyle. Getting to training classes has become a challenge for many, so when we only offered classroom training then the reality was that many Scouters would not get trained. I don't know the stats, but I'm willing to bet that they support this.
Furthermore, the BSA has made the important (and smart) decision to require training of all registered adults. To accomplish this, they must provide alternatives. So in this sense, online training is a very important vehicle to reaching this objective.
Consider that most of the online training is "entry-level" in nature. It's for new adult leaders. (That's why you don't see Trainer's EDGE as an online course.) We can differentiate these folks from those Scouters who have been around for years and are strongly committed to the program. The new adults represent the vast majority of our direct-contact leaders (especially in our largest program, Cub Scouting) - they are the ones delivering the program to the youth. In the past, most of those folks would do the job with little or no training at all. How effectively did they deliver the BSA's program? With online training, at least we can get them up to speed quickly and painlessly, thereby providing the youth with a program more aligned with the BSA's intent. In this sense, online training is hugely important.
The classroom-style training must never go away, for all of the important reasons that Chuck mentioned. when Scouters are able to work the classroom training into their hectic schedules, then we must encourage them to do so. Otherwise, the online training is certainly better than no training at all.
- <<Wouldn't BSA YPT efforts be more effective parents of scouts were trained? Seems to me if the parent is informed through training that there is no one on one contact with youth they would have a chance of catching Mr. Pervert Scout Leader or at least denying him the opportunity of using scouting as a venue.>>
The official title of the DVD is Youth Protection Guidelines: Training for Leaders and Parents. So BSA does want parents to take the course. It is one of the reasons you can log in and take the online training without a membership number, so parent can access it.
The challenge is to get parents to take it. We offer YPT a couple times a year in our troop for Scouts and adults (different content of course). Generally, I get the registered leaders and a couple parents, although we get parents sitting through the youth course, which is _some_ consolation. I explain two deep and no one-on-one to the Scouts and their parents. The youth sessions have good attendance.
The problem comes with parents who know the rules and ignore them. We had an incident a couple years ago in my council, SM was taking kids camping with no second leader, grooming boys for private meetings, etc. Some of the parents/committee supposedly passed it off as "That's just "Bob", he's O.K.". A Scout finally told his parents and of course the SM was expelled. It has made some of us more cognizant of the training. We have provided every unit in our district with a DVD with all five adult and youth training courses on it, and encourage its use in every unit. The council has created a mechanism on their web site for us to record every training session we present, and who attended.
I did a course in October for the pack which is associated with the troop I serve. More than 40 parents were in attendance.
Jamie Niss Dunn
Pack Trainer, Pack 512
Blaine/Coon Rapids, MN
Troop Committee, Troop 509
Ham Lake, MN
Secretary, Crew 849
Coon Rapids, MN
Cub Scout Training Coordinator
Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner
Three Rivers District
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