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RE: [Scouter_T] Absolute Training requirements

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  • Teresa Hall
    You know, Sean, one would not have to read very hard between the lines to find this an insulting post. I suspect that anyone who bothers to be on this list is
    Message 1 of 18 , Sep 6, 2002
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      You know, Sean, one would not have to read very hard between the lines to
      find this an insulting post. I suspect that anyone who bothers to be on this
      list is just as dedicated and gung-ho about training as you are.

      Your question was "What are the current absolute training musts?" with a
      subject line of "Absolute Training requirements." I submit that the answers
      you were given are perfectly correct -- there ARE no absolute training
      requirements. An absolute requirement would be a nationally imposed
      requirement, in this forum. A council might also impose a absolute
      requirement for its members. But nationally no such REQUIREMENT exists.

      In accreditation, for example, one differentiates between "must" statements
      and "should" statements. A must statement is an absolute minimum standard.
      If that standard is not met, the accreditation is pulled or the program is
      closed. A "should" statement reflects best practices. "Every boy deserves a
      (well)-trained leader" is a "should" statement. Otherwise it would read
      "Every boy must have a trained leader in order to participate in the
      program."
      A team "should" consider 100% trained as a minimum acceptable number -- also
      a best practice goal.

      I am a literalist. I interpret the rules as rules, and that goes just as
      much for ones I agree with as ones I disagree with. I would no more tell a
      leader that BSA says there is an absolute training requirement than I would
      tell a new Tiger leader they could go den camping. Your statement "I think
      that if your training team doesn't want to train people, and they want a way
      out of doing it, you could say that there isn't a hard and fast rule about
      training a leader" is obviously the way you see it, but I would consider it
      dishonest. I tell people in my district WHY they SHOULD be trained, then
      make it fun and convenient for them to meet my expectations. I would never
      tell someone they MUST be trained, because it just isn't so. (I do spend
      plenty of time telling Cubmasters they MUST have a BALOO trained leader
      before they do a pack overnighter, however!!)

      But what SHOULD BE the absolute training requirements? What do we, as
      trainers across the nation, **consider** the best practice before one leads
      a program? What are our goals as training team members? Entirely different
      questions. Entirely different answers. But I don't think that's what you
      asked, and apparently none of the other respondents did either.

      Yours in Scouting gung-ho spirit,
      Teresa Hall

      ps - You were going to tell us more about the diamond-shaped Webelos badge
      not going away! Could you expound on that, when you have the time? I've been
      very grateful for your Philmont posts and information. TH

      *****************************************
      Teresa Hall
      Pack 321 CC, Bluff Park UMC
      Vulcan District Cub Training Coord.
      Greater AL Council
      *****************************************


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Sean Scott [mailto:sscott@...]
      Sent: Friday, September 06, 2002 11:23 AM
      To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Scouter_T] Absolute Training requirements


      I'd say that National does have, in a roundabout way, a mandate of training.

      "Every Youth Deserves a Trained Leader"

      Of course, I prefer the modified, "Every Youth Deserves a WELL Trained
      Leader," and there is a difference, but this isn't the subject of this
      post...

      If you look in the Training Committee Handbook, the last few pages are
      devoted to the idea of training 100% of Scouting's leaders. They present
      methods and techniques for achieving this in your district.

      If I recall, the new training material itself includes mention of this.
      Training Development Conference emphasises it. My Philmont conference, "New
      Directions in Training" drilled it into our heads that 100% was the minimum
      acceptable number.

      I think that if your training team doesn't want to train people, and they
      want a way out of doing it, you could say that there isn't a hard and fast
      rule about training a leader. To do certain things, leaders must have
      certain training.

      But if your training team is gung-ho about it, they want an excuse to get
      lots of training in, and just need a justification to do it, well...

      "Every Youth Deserves a (WELL) Trained Leader!"

      YiS,
      Sean




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    • Sean Scott
      Teresa (and all), I had no intention of posting something that was insulting, or could be inferred that way. If anyone interpreted it as such, please accept my
      Message 2 of 18 , Sep 6, 2002
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        Teresa (and all),

        I had no intention of posting something that was insulting, or could be
        inferred that way. If anyone interpreted it as such, please accept my
        apologies. As Teresa said, we're all here because we're gung-ho about
        Scouting and training, and I wouldn't imagine that anyone member of this
        forum would be anti-training (by nature of the purpose of the list).

        One way in which the BSA and GSUSA differ is in their training. In the BSA,
        training is recommended but optional. In GSUSA, it's required. That may be
        one reason that BSA has so much more membership--it's easier to become a
        leader, and the overhead isn't as great.

        What I was suggesting is that BSA is placing a greater and greater emphasis
        on the need for leaders to be trained. Some councils do require certain
        training. At Philmont, I overheard someone saying that YPT would become a
        requirement, but I was involved in another conversation and only
        eavesdropping, so I can't quote you specifics, or even if it was a serious
        remark. If not as a requirement, there is certainly a move towards increased
        training of leaders.

        Where the confusion may have come in is what I read in the original post:
        That a large group of trainers got involved in a discussion about training.
        I translated this to my experience. We, unfortunately, have folks in my
        council that are trainers, but don't see the need to train well, often or
        completely. At our RT last night, I could not convince our Boy Scout trainer
        that he shouldn't be running the old Scoutmaster Fundamentals course.
        November will mark the first NLE/Boy Scout Specific training our council has
        offered. It will also mark the council's first *COUNCIL* sponsored BALOO
        training (three districts have so far run nine BALOO trainings, though). We
        have yet to run TDC.

        What I pictured was a conversation we had here two years ago, prompted by
        some volunteers and council people who see training as a secondary concern.
        They suggested less training, more centralized. They want to make a certain
        profit from a training event, or cancel it outright. The opposite of what
        I've seen work for successful training in our district and other councils,
        and certainly contrary to National's tone on training.

        I could imagine a negative conversation where those people said, "If
        training isn't mandatory, we shouldn't be providing it." On the other hand,
        I could envision the positive side of the coin, where the "100% Trained"
        argument was played. Not being the original poster, I don't know the context
        in which this came up, so I was trying to present both sides. If that poster
        was fighting against a group that was saying that "training isn't required,
        so why offer it so much," the best argument may be the stated goal of 100%
        trained leadership.

        If it was my "Every Boy Deserves a WELL Trained Leader" remark that was seen
        to be insulting, well, like everyone here I've seen good training and bad. I
        started saying this after the introduction of the Pack Trainer, when I
        suggested to my district committee that untrained was better than poorly
        trained. I can train the untrained, but I have to overcome the reputation
        and authority of poor or improper training to re-train someone. My concern
        over the PT role is that you could conceivably have someone registered in
        the position, who doesn't have the skill or knowledge to do the job properly
        and might work unsupervised in a unit. I didn't mean the remark to suggest
        that dedicated trainers would do a haphazard job of training, or that the
        training itself is substandard. (Room for improvement? Always!)

        True, the rules don't require any general training, only specific training
        for specific activities like float trips, climbing, Cub Overnights, etc. Nor
        is BSA training (except Wood Badge) accredited or verified. I can go to
        training and sleep through it and still get a card. It's being there,
        nothing else. You get out of it what the staff and students put into it.

        I agree with you that the rules are the rules, whether I agree or not, and
        like you I follow them as such. Case in point campfire content--I think that
        there are some harmless songs that don't meet the BSA criteria. Still,
        that's the criteria, and I abide by it. I hope I didn't suggest that we tell
        people they _must_ be trained, and that it was a rule, or that we deceive
        people into thinking they need to be trained. What I did try to emphasize,
        though, was that the goal of every trainer, district and council is to
        achieve 100% trained leadership.

        Like you, I believe that it should be fun and convenient for people to be
        trained. I make it competitive between units if I have to. I give out
        rewards if I have to. I go to the unit themselves if I have to. If they'd
        let me, I'd make training free in our council and district, but fighting a
        profit hungry council is like spitting into the wind. And I suspect that all
        that makes me nothing more than a typical member of this list.

        But I do approach people about training more as a foregone conclusion, as in
        "Which of these training events will you attend?" instead of "Do you want to
        take some optional training?" We teach that when recruiting leaders to
        expect the 'Yes' and consider a 'No' to mean 'Not right now.' Is that
        deceptive? Perhaps. I'm not telling them they don't have to go, but I'm not
        telling them they do. I don't misrepresent training as mandatory, except in
        the cases where it is required for program to take place.

        As for the SHOULD of training? I think every leader SHOULD be basic trained
        for their position, and every non-leader parent of every boy registered in
        the program SHOULD have YPT. I think that most basic training should expire
        after a set amount of time, and that there should be an option to test or
        retake a class to recertify, just like YPT, Safe Swim and Safety Afloat. I
        think it would be an extremely interesting thread.

        Again, my apologies if anyone took my prior post to be insulting or rude.
        The shortcomings of email... :)

        YiS,
        Sean
      • leslie (in Michigan)
        I have read and re-read Scott s post and I can t find anything insulting in it at all. Maybe it is because I agree with all he said. ... Leslie Herman Blue
        Message 3 of 18 , Sep 6, 2002
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          I have read and re-read Scott's post and I can't find
          anything insulting in it at all. Maybe it is because
          I agree with all he said.
          ---
          Leslie Herman
          Blue Water Council
          Council Training Chairman
          http://www.powwow-online.net


          --- Sean Scott <sscott@...> wrote:
          > I'd say that National does have, in a roundabout
          > way, a mandate of training.
          >
          > "Every Youth Deserves a Trained Leader"
          >
          > Of course, I prefer the modified, "Every Youth
          > Deserves a WELL Trained
          > Leader," and there is a difference, but this isn't
          > the subject of this
          > post...
          >
          > If you look in the Training Committee Handbook, the
          > last few pages are
          > devoted to the idea of training 100% of Scouting's
          > leaders. They present
          > methods and techniques for achieving this in your
          > district.
          >
          > If I recall, the new training material itself
          > includes mention of this.
          > Training Development Conference emphasises it. My
          > Philmont conference, "New
          > Directions in Training" drilled it into our heads
          > that 100% was the minimum
          > acceptable number.
          >
          > I think that if your training team doesn't want to
          > train people, and they
          > want a way out of doing it, you could say that there
          > isn't a hard and fast
          > rule about training a leader. To do certain things,
          > leaders must have
          > certain training.
          >
          > But if your training team is gung-ho about it, they
          > want an excuse to get
          > lots of training in, and just need a justification
          > to do it, well...
          >
          > "Every Youth Deserves a (WELL) Trained Leader!"
          >
          > YiS,
          > Sean
          >
          >
          >
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          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >


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        • Teresa Hall
          Scott (and Leslie) - I took Scott s comments I think that if your training team doesn t want to train people, and they want a way out of doing it, you could
          Message 4 of 18 , Sep 6, 2002
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            Scott (and Leslie) - I took Scott's comments "I think that if your training
            team doesn't want to train people, and they want a way out of doing it, you
            could say that there isn't a hard and fast rule about training a leader."
            Since that's what some of us were saying - that there is no hard and fast
            rule - I thought the comment was directed to us.

            Now that Scott has given the history behind his comments, I can see that is
            not what he meant, and I apologize for "getting bowed up" as my husband
            would say. (If you've never heard that phrase, imagine a cat...)

            As for being insulted about the qualification that every boy deserves a
            WELL-trained leader - never!!! I agree completely. I want my training staff
            to be prepared, experienced, articulate, likeable, enthusiastic, and on the
            cutting edge of what's happening in Cub Scouting. (So my staff is not huge,
            but it's growing!!) To the last qualification, Scott, your posts and scans
            from Philmont have been invaluable, and I've been sharing them with my
            training staff so they will be "in the know" when we have our biggest
            training session of the year on 9/28. Thanks.

            Have a great weekend, everybody!
            Teresa
            *****************************************
            Teresa Hall
            Pack 321 CC, Bluff Park UMC
            Vulcan District Cub Training Coord.
            Greater AL Council
            *****************************************
          • nsmith1105
            ... I think a lot of good advice has already been given upthread, and it s clear to me that national wants all leaders at least basic trained for their
            Message 5 of 18 , Sep 7, 2002
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              David wrote:
              > A question came up that I thought would be best posed to you.
              > What are the current absolute training musts?

              I think a lot of good advice has already been given upthread, and
              it's clear to me that national wants all leaders at least basic
              trained for their position. I face this same question in trying
              to get the leaders in our Troop trained - they ask, "So what if I
              don't get trained?"

              So perhaps that is the way to approach the question "what are the
              training musts?". Ask it this way:

              "What are the consequences of not having a given training?"

              (And I would limit that to *direct* consequences, as we could all
              write volumes about the effect of untrained leaders on a unit's
              program.)

              Examples:
              * If you don't have the Basic Training for your position [NLE,
              position specific, also IOLS for SM/ASM] you can't wear the
              "Trained" strip.
              * If you don't have Basic Training, you can't go to Wood Badge.
              * If you don't have Basic and YPT, you can't earn your Training award.
              * If you don't have a trained unit leader and assistant, your unit
              can't earn the Quality Unit Award.
              * If you don't have certain trainings for outings, your Tour Permit
              will not be approved (which should mean you don't take the outing)
              - BALOO for pack overnighters
              - OWL/WLOT for Webelos den overnighters
              - Safe Swim / Safety Afloat for appropriate water activities
              - YPT and/or Risk Management (council specific variations)
              * (From Stu's post) In certain councils, if you don't take the
              training, your registration is dropped next recharter.

              ... and so forth. I think once you say a training is mandatory, you
              start having to explain what mandatory means. Once you put concrete
              consequences down, you are on firmer ground; but you also start to
              notice that there aren't strong consequences (on a National level)
              for an individual who doesn't value training.

              Since we want all leaders to be trained, it's up to us to sell the
              value of the training they get.

              Yours In Scouting,
              Neal Smith
              Troop 290, Manchester NH
            • Dan Kurtenbach
              I think it is ironic that a program built on the idea of Fun with a Purpose to teach young people doesn t apply the same theory to teaching adults. The
              Message 6 of 18 , Sep 7, 2002
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                I think it is ironic that a program built on the idea of "Fun with a
                Purpose" to teach young people doesn't apply the same theory to teaching
                adults.

                The biggest obstacle to getting people trained is that for most trainees,
                training is boring and training is work (regardless of how well or how
                dynamically the course is actually presented). The Scouter who can easily
                find time for a weekend campout just can't seem to squeeze a 5-hour course
                into his or her schedule. Almost everyone will acknowledge that training
                has benefits of some kind, but for a lot of people those benefits do not
                outweigh the inconvenience, annoyance, and tedium of sitting in a classroom
                all day hearing a lot of material they already know (or think they know).
                And the kicker is, for most courses, you don't actually have to learn
                anything! It's merely an endurance test for your tush -- sit through the
                whole thing, and you are trained! Now again, most people will acknowledge
                that they pick up at least one or two things they didn't know before, but
                that doesn't make the "loss" of the whole day "worthwhile" for them.

                Now, we do things to try to make training less tedious, more interesting,
                more interactive; but we're still working from the "Purpose, with some Fun"
                model. We can have great success that way. But I'd still like to see a
                training system for Scout leaders actually built on Scout training theory.

                Dan Kurtenbach
                Fairfax, VA
              • Dan Smith
                From: Dan Kurtenbach Almost everyone will acknowledge that training has benefits of some kind, but for a lot of people those benefits do not outweigh the
                Message 7 of 18 , Sep 8, 2002
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                  From: Dan Kurtenbach
                  "Almost everyone will acknowledge that training has benefits of some kind, but for a lot of people those benefits do not outweigh the inconvenience, annoyance, and tedium of sitting in a classroom all day hearing a lot of material they already know (or think they know). And the kicker is, for most courses, you don't actually have to learn anything! It's merely an endurance test for your tush -- sit through the whole thing, and you are trained! Now again, most people will acknowledge that they pick up at least one or two things they didn't know before, but that doesn't make the "loss" of the whole day "worthwhile" for them."

                  How about periodic testing to weed out those unwilling to be trained or too stubborn to refresh their knowledge and stay current? If you can't pass the test, you can't work with the boys. Oh, I can hear the gnashing of teeth now but a person should have some qualifications before the boys are subjected to them.

                  YIS,
                  Dan Smith
                  Chattahoochee District Commissioner
                  Northeast Georgia Council












                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Dan Kurtenbach
                  ... Auntie Beans wrote: I expect it s because they [BSA] either have so little confidence in their materials that people will refuse to sit for them, or they
                  Message 8 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
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                    --------------------
                    Auntie Beans wrote: "I expect it's because they [BSA] either have so
                    little confidence in their materials that people will refuse to sit for
                    them, or they are afraid that requiring training will scare people away
                    from volunteering in the first place."

                    And Neal Smith wrote: "So perhaps that is the way to approach the
                    question "what are the training musts?". Ask it this way: "What are the
                    consequences of not having a given training?" . . . [Y]ou also start to
                    notice that there aren't strong consequences (on a National level) for
                    an individual who doesn't value training."

                    And Dan Smith wrote: "How about periodic testing to weed out those
                    unwilling to be trained or too stubborn to refresh their knowledge and
                    stay current? If you can't pass the test, you can't work with the
                    boys."
                    --------------------

                    It seems to me that we need a different approach here. Rather than
                    trying to find incentives to get Scouters to go to training, why not
                    reverse that? Why don't we try to find ways to put training where the
                    incentives are? Why not identify the meetings and events and activities
                    that Scouters will want to go to, and structure them so that in the
                    natural course of participating, Scouters become trained.

                    Put another way, we need to integrate the skills and knowledge that are
                    now the subject of what we call "training" into the normal week-to-week
                    and month-to-month activities that Scouters come for and participate in
                    and enjoy.

                    Just like we do with our youth.

                    Dan Kurtenbach
                    Fairfax, VA
                  • emb021
                    ... some kind, but for a lot of people those benefits do not outweigh the inconvenience, annoyance, and tedium of sitting in a classroom all day hearing a lot
                    Message 9 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
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                      --- In scouter_t@y..., "Dan Smith" <dansmith@d...> wrote:
                      > From: Dan Kurtenbach
                      > "Almost everyone will acknowledge that training has benefits of
                      some kind, but for a lot of people those benefits do not outweigh the
                      inconvenience, annoyance, and tedium of sitting in a classroom all
                      day hearing a lot of material they already know (or think they know).
                      And the kicker is, for most courses, you don't actually have to learn
                      anything! It's merely an endurance test for your tush -- sit through
                      the whole thing, and you are trained! Now again, most people will
                      acknowledge that they pick up at least one or two things they didn't
                      know before, but that doesn't make the "loss" of the whole
                      day "worthwhile" for them."
                      >

                      If there are people with such an attitude, they need to change it.

                      There are many times I have taken training courses where I knew all
                      the materials (and probably could teach it), but took it anyway so
                      that I could say it had taken it. While I knew it was a bit of a
                      waste of my time, I did NOT go into it with the attitude that I had
                      to 'endure' it. I went in with the attitude that I could learn
                      something from the other participants, and maybe contribute stuff
                      that would benefit others. Also, some people THINK they know it all,
                      and really don't. Going thru training hopefully will make sure they
                      do know it.

                      Michael Brown
                      SW Florida Council, BSA
                    • bnelson45
                      I know a lot of us at the Philmont Council Admin course really didn t need the course, but really got a lot out of the interaction in the course. bill
                      Message 10 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
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                        I know a lot of us at the Philmont Council Admin course really
                        didn't need the course, but really got a lot out of the interaction
                        in the course.

                        bill
                      • bnelson45
                        ... not ... the ... activities ... We are starting to do some adult training during the troop meetings...keeps the adults out of the kids hair. bill
                        Message 11 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
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                          --- In scouter_t@y..., "Dan Kurtenbach" <danielkurtenbach@h...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > It seems to me that we need a different approach here. Rather than
                          > trying to find incentives to get Scouters to go to training, why
                          not
                          > reverse that? Why don't we try to find ways to put training where
                          the
                          > incentives are? Why not identify the meetings and events and
                          activities
                          > that Scouters will want to go to, and structure them so that in the
                          > natural course of participating, Scouters become trained.

                          We are starting to do some adult training during the troop
                          meetings...keeps the adults out of the kids' hair.

                          bill
                        • Dan Kurtenbach
                          ... and ... At our Troop meeting tonight, between the preliminary business and the closing circle, we had a good 45 minutes with 6 to 8 adults just shooting
                          Message 12 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
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                            Bill Nelson wrote:

                            > We are starting to do some adult training during the troop
                            > meetings...keeps the adults out of the kids' hair.

                            and

                            >I know a lot of us at the Philmont Council Admin course really
                            >didn't need the course, but really got a lot out of the interaction
                            >in the course.

                            At our Troop meeting tonight, between the preliminary business and the
                            closing circle, we had a good 45 minutes with 6 to 8 adults just shooting
                            the breeze about summer camp, the boys, and the Troop calendar, among other
                            things. This is a regular feature of our meetings, and one of the reasons
                            adults show up. Perhaps these kinds of sessions would be "targets of
                            opportunity" for covering topics that Scouters need to know.

                            Dan Kurtenbach
                            Fairfax, VA
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