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Re: [Scouter_T] RE: BSA Training: Model vs Reality?

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  • Dan Kurtenbach
    Regarding Troop Program Features, the point was that, for whatever reason, troops don t seem to use them. I can only give you my own opinion of them, and
    Message 1 of 39 , Dec 11, 2010
      Regarding Troop Program Features, the point was that, for whatever reason,
      troops don't seem to use them. I can only give you my own opinion of them, and
      speculate about why other troops don't use them.

      My opinion -- (1) They are written for a big troop with multiple patrols,
      including patrols of all three types (New Scout, regular, Venture). (2) The
      campout program plans assume good weather. (3) The meeting plans assume that
      everything listed there gets done within the time allotted and everyone knows
      about and does everything they are supposed to. Yes, the plans could be adapted
      for each troop's circumstances, but that would be as much work as just coming up
      with your own plan.

      Speculation on why other troops don't use them -- (1) Poor initial impression.
      Taking a look at the list of features right inside the cover (and on the back
      cover), what are energetic, adventuresome, outdoor-oriented boys going to see?
      Program features for Business, Citizenship, Communications, Cultural Awareness,
      Forestry, Health Care, Hobbies, Leadership, Mechanics, Nature, Physical Fitness,
      Public Service, Safety, Science, Special Cooking, and Wildlife Management.
      That's nearly half of the Program Features. Who wants to do a month-long Boy
      Scout program (and campout) on the theme of Business, or Health Care, or Safety?
      Booooorrrrrriiiiiinnnnnnngggg. (2) The programs, especially the campouts, are
      over-scheduled. A typical campout program has boys scheduled from 6:30 AM to
      10:00 PM. That looks like work, not fun. (3) The Program Features look like
      they would take a lot of work and advance preparation and planning to pull off.
      Why can't we just go camping, cook some food, play some games, and have a
      campfire? (4) Most troops already have lots of resources to draw ideas from
      without needing Program Features; things like past troop activities and things
      that leaders hear about from other leaders and ideas for activities that the
      boys come up with themselves. Really, the problem in planning a troop program
      is not coming up with ideas, it is whittling down the ideas to a manageable
      number. Program Features aren't needed for ideas.

      Dan Kurtenbach
      Fairfax, VA

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    • Jamie Niss Dunn
      Message 39 of 39 , Jan 3, 2011
        <<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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