Re: [Scouter_T] Absolute Training requirements
- 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%
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... :)
- 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.
Blue Water Council
Council Training Chairman
--- 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
> 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
> 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!"
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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!
Pack 321 CC, Bluff Park UMC
Vulcan District Cub Training Coord.
Greater AL Council
- David wrote:
> A question came up that I thought would be best posed to you.I think a lot of good advice has already been given upthread, and
> What are the current absolute training musts?
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
* If you don't have the Basic Training for your position [NLE,
position specific, also IOLS for SM/ASM] you can't wear the
* 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,
Troop 290, Manchester NH
- 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
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.
- 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.
Chattahoochee District Commissioner
Northeast Georgia Council
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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
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
Just like we do with our youth.
- --- In scouter_t@y..., "Dan Smith" <dansmith@d...> wrote:
> From: Dan Kurtenbachsome kind, but for a lot of people those benefits do not outweigh the
> "Almost everyone will acknowledge that training has benefits of
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.
SW Florida Council, BSA
- 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.
- --- In scouter_t@y..., "Dan Kurtenbach" <danielkurtenbach@h...>
> 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
> reverse that? Why don't we try to find ways to put training wherethe
> incentives are? Why not identify the meetings and events andactivities
> that Scouters will want to go to, and structure them so that in theWe are starting to do some adult training during the troop
> natural course of participating, Scouters become trained.
meetings...keeps the adults out of the kids' hair.
- Bill Nelson wrote:
> We are starting to do some adult training during the troopand
> meetings...keeps the adults out of the kids' hair.
>I know a lot of us at the Philmont Council Admin course reallyAt our Troop meeting tonight, between the preliminary business and the
>didn't need the course, but really got a lot out of the interaction
>in the course.
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.