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Re: [Scouter_T] Absolute Training requirements

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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 1 of 18 , Sep 6, 2002
      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 2 of 18 , Sep 6, 2002
        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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      • 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 3 of 18 , Sep 6, 2002
          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 4 of 18 , Sep 7, 2002
            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 5 of 18 , Sep 7, 2002
              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 6 of 18 , Sep 8, 2002
                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 7 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
                  --------------------
                  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 8 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
                    --- 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 9 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
                      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 10 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
                        --- 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 11 of 18 , Sep 9, 2002
                          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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