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RE: [Scouter_T] Combining New Leder Essentials and Position Specific training

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  • west660@pacbell.net
    We do it the same way in Oakland (New Leader s Essentials and Cub Leader Specific together). It seems as though we are able to keep it quick and exciting and
    Message 1 of 15 , Oct 18, 2002
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      We do it the same way in Oakland (New Leader's Essentials and Cub Leader
      Specific together). It seems as though we are able to keep it quick and
      exciting and they do not register that the length is excessive. We try to
      keep the examples, songs, handouts, skits, etc flying through the course.
      It makes for a long morning for the staff, but the participants have a good
      time. It might just be the temperment of your leaders that they can only
      take a couple of hours rather than spend a morning or afternoon in training.

      Hope that helps. If you would like to talk more offlist, I'd be happy to
      share more information.

      YIS,
      Kevin Simpson
      San Francisco Bay Area Council


      Original Message:
      -----------------
      From: Chris Jacobi jacobi@...
      Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 11:19:15 -0700
      To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Scouter_T] Combining New Leder Essentials and Position Specific
      training


      Combining New Leder Essentials and Position Specific training

      We were thinking that our cub leaders don't want to spend
      two days for training and have put "New Leader Essentials"
      and "Cub Leader Specifics" back to back... (Same Staff, same
      room, almost same participants)
      Now on the course evaluation several participants
      wrote that the training is too long.

      What are your experiences or advice about combining these?
      Chris


      Chris Jacobi
      jacobi@...
      Stanford District Training Chair
      Pacific Skyline Council



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    • Dan Kurtenbach
      I think you have two separate issues: (1) Should you combine NLE and PST? In my view, yes -- whenever you can, because a lot of the folks who need PST also
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 18, 2002
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        I think you have two separate issues: (1) Should you combine NLE and
        PST? In my view, yes -- whenever you can, because a lot of the folks
        who need PST also need NLE. Scouters who already have NLE can come a
        little later. (2) Is training too long? In my view, yes -- training is
        *always* too long when it is designed to be an endurance test. In our
        training system, the criterion for success is the ability to sit there
        and stay awake for the requisite number of hours.

        Dan Kurtenbach
        Fairfax, VA
        Bring your Scout uniform ideas to
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BSA-Uniforms
      • Dan Kurtenbach
        While I m at it, let me complete the thought. Not only is a Scouter s status as Trained measured by his or her endurance rather than skill, knowledge, or
        Message 3 of 15 , Oct 18, 2002
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          While I'm at it, let me complete the thought. Not only is a Scouter's
          status as "Trained" measured by his or her endurance rather than skill,
          knowledge, or experience; generally under our system the success of a
          basic training course is measured by how much the attendees enjoyed it,
          rather than how much they learned. And so, ironically, a "good" course
          is one where the *trainer* has worked hard and demonstrated skill and
          knowledge, without regard to whether the *trainee* has done so.

          Dan Kurtenbach
          Fairfax, VA
          Bring your Scout uniform ideas to
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BSA-Uniforms
        • west660@pacbell.net
          This is the quandry we are always going to be in. As students and employees we can be tested for competency, drilled, and reviewed all others want to. We are
          Message 4 of 15 , Oct 18, 2002
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            This is the quandry we are always going to be in. As students and
            employees we can be tested for competency, drilled, and reviewed all others
            want to. We are now dealing with volunteers. We have to make the material
            enjoyable so that they attend, pay attention, and absorb at least some of
            the material. If it isn't they won't come, the program then suffers even
            more. To then discuss testing them, would drive down the number of people
            willing to attend the course, causing even more damage. It becomes another
            vocation, rather than a hobby or a labor of love that it has to be for us
            to be bearable.

            YIS,
            Kevin Simpson
            San Francisco Bay Area Council

            Original Message:
            -----------------
            From: Dan Kurtenbach danielkurtenbach@...
            Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 14:31:49 -0400
            To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [Scouter_T] Training Cynicism


            While I'm at it, let me complete the thought. Not only is a Scouter's
            status as "Trained" measured by his or her endurance rather than skill,
            knowledge, or experience; generally under our system the success of a
            basic training course is measured by how much the attendees enjoyed it,
            rather than how much they learned. And so, ironically, a "good" course
            is one where the *trainer* has worked hard and demonstrated skill and
            knowledge, without regard to whether the *trainee* has done so.

            Dan Kurtenbach
            Fairfax, VA
            Bring your Scout uniform ideas to
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BSA-Uniforms



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          • Dan Kurtenbach
            ... We have to make the material enjoyable so that they attend, pay attention, and absorb at least some of the material. If it isn t they won t come, the
            Message 5 of 15 , Oct 18, 2002
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              Kevin Simpson wrote:
              --------------------
              We have to make the material enjoyable so that they attend, pay
              attention, and absorb at least some of the material. If it isn't they
              won't come, the program then suffers even more. To then discuss testing
              them, would drive down the number of people willing to attend the
              course, causing even more damage.
              --------------------

              Kevin is absolutely right -- if the objective is to get people to come
              to training courses. The underlying assumption is that the best way to
              train people is to haul them in to a classroom for six hours on a
              bright, beautiful Saturday when all three kids have soccer games. That
              is because under our system, the objective is to *present the
              information.* Our training system is focused on the trainer, making
              sure an audience is assembled and the information goes out to them. In
              that sense we are not really "trainers," we are broadcasters; our job is
              done when the information is pumped out to the audience. The most
              efficient way to do that job is to put the audience in a confined space
              where we can be certain the information is directed toward them.

              If, on the other hand, the objective was to produce leaders who knew and
              understood the program, then "training" would have a whole different
              meaning, and a whole range of options, not just sitting through a day of
              class with a test at the end.

              Dan Kurtenbach
              Fairfax, VA
            • west660@pacbell.net
              Ah, but Dan, that is where we differ. There is more than one way to train. I have done sessions on weeknights. I have worked with unit committees and leaders
              Message 6 of 15 , Oct 18, 2002
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                Ah, but Dan, that is where we differ. There is more than one way to train.
                I have done sessions on weeknights. I have worked with unit committees and
                leaders while the scouts are doing other things in camps. There are a
                number of options. The new training makes it even more flexible the the
                "old days" when it was a full day dedicated to training. I have done 1:1
                and 1:3 sessions. It is not the one cookie cutter approach you present it
                to be. Training can be done in an assortment of ways. It presents
                absolutely rigid flexibility. By the way, it is not 6 hours. It can
                happen in a morning (8-12 or 12:30).

                I must also disagree with the philisophical concept that you present as
                well. Training is not just about pumping information. It is about sharing
                experiences, giving ideas, and developing the knowledge of who and where to
                go to for answers. It is about developing community knowledge. The
                training chair sets the tone for that and ensures that their staff carries
                that vision forward to the participants. If you hate the trainings
                offerred in your council, don't necessarily blame it on the national
                product as so many have. The fault rests with the training leadership
                (chairs and directors).

                Kevin Simpson
                San Francisco Bay Area Council


                Original Message:
                -----------------
                From: Dan Kurtenbach danielkurtenbach@...
                Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 15:43:39 -0400
                To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [Scouter_T] Training Cynicism


                Kevin is absolutely right -- if the objective is to get people to come
                to training courses. The underlying assumption is that the best way to
                train people is to haul them in to a classroom for six hours on a
                bright, beautiful Saturday when all three kids have soccer games. That
                is because under our system, the objective is to *present the
                information.* Our training system is focused on the trainer, making
                sure an audience is assembled and the information goes out to them. In
                that sense we are not really "trainers," we are broadcasters; our job is
                done when the information is pumped out to the audience. The most
                efficient way to do that job is to put the audience in a confined space
                where we can be certain the information is directed toward them.

                If, on the other hand, the objective was to produce leaders who knew and
                understood the program, then "training" would have a whole different
                meaning, and a whole range of options, not just sitting through a day of
                class with a test at the end.

                Dan Kurtenbach
                Fairfax, VA


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              • Dan Kurtenbach
                ... and ... But Kevin, aren t those the exceptions, rather than standard practices? And when you conduct training in those situations, aren t you just
                Message 7 of 15 , Oct 18, 2002
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                  Kevin Simpson wrote:

                  > There is more than one way to train.
                  > I have done sessions on weeknights. I have worked with unit committees
                  and
                  > leaders while the scouts are doing other things in camps. There are a
                  > number of options. . . . I have done 1:1
                  > and 1:3 sessions. It is not the one cookie cutter approach you present it
                  > to be.

                  But Kevin, aren't those the exceptions, rather than standard practices? And
                  when you conduct training in those situations, aren't you just adapting the
                  standard syllabus in some way, rather than teaching in a fundamentally
                  different way?

                  Kevin continued:

                  > I must also disagree with the philisophical concept that you present as
                  > well. Training is not just about pumping information. It is about
                  sharing
                  > experiences, giving ideas, and developing the knowledge of who and where
                  to
                  > go to for answers. It is about developing community knowledge.

                  Well, isn't that really just adding more information -- good stuff, to be
                  sure -- to what the syllabus calls for? We still aren't really asking
                  anything of trainees other than to show up.

                  You see, my philosophical concept is that in our training system, leaders
                  can be "Trained" without really learning anything. Our job as trainers is
                  to make information available, to provide it to Scouters, sometimes even to
                  present it in different venues and different formats. But then our job is
                  done. We can't *make* them learn any of it, of course. But we don't even
                  have any way to find out if they have learned the minimum necessary to
                  successfully do their jobs. We don't have any way to find out if we
                  actually taught them anything. But in this system, that isn't important.
                  All that really matters is that *we* did a good job making the information
                  available.

                  Dan Kurtenbach
                  Fairfax, VA
                  Bring your Scout uniform ideas to
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BSA-Uniforms
                • west660@pacbell.net
                  You see, my philosophical concept is that in our training system, leaders can be Trained without really learning anything We can t *make* them learn any of
                  Message 8 of 15 , Oct 18, 2002
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                    You see, my philosophical concept is that in our training system, leaders
                    can be "Trained" without really learning anything We can't *make* them
                    learn any of it, of course. But we don't even have any way to find out if
                    they have learned the minimum necessary to successfully do their jobs. We
                    don't have any way to find out if we actually taught them anything. But in
                    this system, that isn't important. All that really matters is that *we* did
                    a good job making the information available.

                    Of course we can find out. We can find out through the commissioner's
                    system to see what their doing and how they are doing. We can see it in
                    the questions they ask and who they ask from. We can see in the way they
                    utilize the information presented. It is incredibly easy to see if we are
                    a success or failiure in most cases. It is a matter of observation and
                    questioning. I can't show you a set of scores from a test, but I can see
                    it in the way they perform their duties. We can only control what we
                    control. We can control our performance. It is much more difficult to
                    control someone else's learning.

                    Kevin Simpson



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                  • Dan Kurtenbach
                    ... Three comments: First, it sounds like you d be keeping a dossier on everyone you trained, and checking up on each of them regularly after training.
                    Message 9 of 15 , Oct 18, 2002
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                      Kevin Simpson wrote:

                      > Of course we can find out. We can find out through the commissioner's
                      > system to see what their doing and how they are doing. We can see it in
                      > the questions they ask and who they ask from. We can see in the way they
                      > utilize the information presented. It is incredibly easy to see if we are
                      > a success or failiure in most cases. It is a matter of observation and
                      > questioning. I can't show you a set of scores from a test, but I can see
                      > it in the way they perform their duties. We can only control what we
                      > control. We can control our performance. It is much more difficult to
                      > control someone else's learning.

                      Three comments: First, it sounds like you'd be keeping a dossier on
                      everyone you trained, and checking up on each of them regularly after
                      training. Commendable, but unrealistic. Second, under this theory, there
                      is really no way to tell if what they learned came from your training, or
                      from independent study, or from going to the experienced guy in the unit to
                      get the real scoop on how things work after getting nothing from the
                      training course. Third, if they don't perform well, there is nothing we can
                      do about it -- they are already "Trained."

                      The real issue is this: after they sit with us for a few hours, we certify
                      Scouters as "Trained" and send them out to work with youth and other adults,
                      whether they have learned what they need to know or not. We can't control
                      someone else's learning, but we should be able to control what we tell the
                      world about that person's qualifications.

                      1. We should have a system where we don't certify someone as "Trained"
                      until we can be reasonably certain that they actually know the information
                      BSA wants them to know and have the skills BSA wants them to have.
                      2. We should have a system where it doesn't matter how, where, or when they
                      acquired the knowledge and skill that qualifies them as "Trained."
                      3. We should have a system in which "Trained" status has to be renewed at
                      regular intervals.

                      Dan Kurtenbach
                      Fairfax, VA
                      Bring your Scout uniform ideas to
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BSA-Uniforms
                    • Fred Goodwin, CMA
                      Dan, I note that you offer many criticisms of the current training philosophy but darn little in the way of constructive suggestions. So how exactly would
                      Message 10 of 15 , Oct 19, 2002
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                        Dan, I note that you offer many criticisms of the current training
                        "philosophy" but darn little in the way of constructive suggestions. So how
                        exactly would you change the program? Have you offered any of your
                        suggestions to National?

                        >Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 23:21:49 -0400
                        >From: "Dan Kurtenbach" <danielkurtenbach@...>
                        >Subject: Re: Training Cynicism
                        >
                        >The real issue is this: after they sit with us for a few hours, we certify
                        >Scouters as "Trained" and send them out to work with youth and other
                        >adults,
                        >whether they have learned what they need to know or not.

                        If that's a problem, how would you change it?

                        >We can't control someone else's learning, but we should be able to control
                        >what we tell the world about that person's qualifications.

                        So what should we say about the person after they've attended training?

                        >1. We should have a system where we don't certify someone as "Trained"
                        >until we can be reasonably certain that they actually know the information
                        >BSA wants them to know and have the skills BSA wants them to have.

                        Sounds good in theory -- how do you suggest I do that? How do you measure
                        the "skills" attainment of a volunteer without removing their incentive to
                        attend training in the first place?

                        >2. We should have a system where it doesn't matter how, where, or when
                        >they
                        >acquired the knowledge and skill that qualifies them as "Trained."

                        Again, great in theory -- how do I implement that? What standards do you
                        suggest (if any) that BSA should follow in deciding whether or not to accept
                        "OJT", for example?

                        >3. We should have a system in which "Trained" status has to be renewed at
                        >regular intervals.

                        Not a bad idea -- but since many parents stay in the DL position for just a
                        couple of years and move on, what would be the point of recertification? If
                        they move to a new position, recertification is already required. So it
                        sounds like you're talking about the CM "lifer"; I agree that man or woman
                        probably ought to get a refresher now and then.

                        So how do I enforce that requirement on someone who's been a CM for ten
                        years or more and feels like: (1) he already has all the experience he needs
                        and (2) feels like he doesn't need to be trained again?

                        Again, have you discussed this with the national office?

                        I'm not trying to be critical of your criticisms or mindlessly defend the
                        current philisophy -- I merely point out that it is often easier to
                        criticise than it is to come up with constructive alternatives.

                        I you have some and I've missed them, I apologize. If you do, why not share
                        your ideas with the rest of us?

                        Fred Goodwin
                        Cub Training Chair
                        Seneca District, NCAC

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                      • Wendell Brown
                        ... In scouting the vast majority of training IS going to be field work. I don t think any trainer expects that any participant is going to come out of one of
                        Message 11 of 15 , Oct 20, 2002
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                          On Fri, 18 Oct 2002 23:21:49 -0400, Dan Kurtenbach wrote:

                          >The real issue is this: after they sit with us for a few hours, we certify
                          >Scouters as "Trained" and send them out to work with youth and other adults,
                          >whether they have learned what they need to know or not. We can't control
                          >someone else's learning, but we should be able to control what we tell the
                          >world about that person's qualifications.

                          In scouting the vast majority of training IS going to be field work. I
                          don't think any trainer expects that any participant is going to come
                          out of one of our classes knowing everything there is to know. If they
                          come out of the class with a basic understanding of what BSA expects
                          and the knowledge of where to look for information and who to talk to
                          about questions, we have succeeded. We don't try to drill and test
                          them on every part of the Guide To Safe Scouting - we tell them that
                          it's there, give them a few examples and hope they "get a feeling" for
                          what kind of things aren't allowed. The goal is if they "get a
                          feeling" we hope they go pick up a g2ss and check for themselves.

                          >1. We should have a system where we don't certify someone as "Trained"
                          >until we can be reasonably certain that they actually know the information
                          >BSA wants them to know and have the skills BSA wants them to have.
                          >2. We should have a system where it doesn't matter how, where, or when they
                          >acquired the knowledge and skill that qualifies them as "Trained."
                          >3. We should have a system in which "Trained" status has to be renewed at
                          >regular intervals.

                          This is a wonderful goal.... but until training is REQUIRED it isn't
                          going to happen. A person who volunteers to give up their time to
                          attend training isn't going to do the same thing over and over. Also,
                          if the "red tape" required to pass the class is too much people won't
                          even do it the first time. Isn't it better to have the vast majority
                          of leaders PRESENTED the material than a small fraction of that number
                          who are "certified" trained?
                          Wendell Brown - Scouting The Net - <http://www.arkie.net/scouting/>
                          Scout Training E-Mail List - <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scouter_t/>
                          Quapaw Area Council - Cub Camping Chairman - Webmaster
                        • Dan Kurtenbach
                          Yes. You ll find them at the BSA National Task Force on Training website, www.jltbsa.org , in the Scoutmaster training forum. Dan Kurtenbach Fairfax, VA ...
                          Message 12 of 15 , Oct 20, 2002
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                            Yes. You'll find them at the BSA National Task Force on Training website,
                            www.jltbsa.org , in the Scoutmaster training forum.

                            Dan Kurtenbach
                            Fairfax, VA


                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Fred Goodwin, CMA" <americas_team@...>
                            To: <scouter_t@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Saturday, October 19, 2002 10:57 AM
                            Subject: [Scouter_T] Re: Training Cynicism


                            > Dan, I note that you offer many criticisms of the current training
                            > "philosophy" but darn little in the way of constructive suggestions. So
                            how
                            > exactly would you change the program? Have you offered any of your
                            > suggestions to National?
                          • Dan Kurtenbach
                            ... Thanks, Wendell -- exactly my point. Most training (that is, learning) does take place in the field, or through self-study, that is, through experience
                            Message 13 of 15 , Oct 20, 2002
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                              Wendell Brown wrote:
                              > In scouting the vast majority of training IS going to be field work. I
                              > don't think any trainer expects that any participant is going to come
                              > out of one of our classes knowing everything there is to know. . . .
                              > We don't try to drill and test
                              > them on every part of the Guide To Safe Scouting - we tell them that
                              > it's there, give them a few examples and hope they "get a feeling" for
                              > what kind of things aren't allowed. The goal is if they "get a
                              > feeling" we hope they go pick up a g2ss and check for themselves.

                              Thanks, Wendell -- exactly my point. Most training (that is, learning) does
                              take place in the field, or through self-study, that is, through experience
                              and reading and asking questions and tracking down the answers. So why do
                              we call someone "Trained" just for spending a few hours listening to
                              lectures and watching videos? Why does someone who has been doing the job
                              for a couple of years, reading the publications, and going to Roundtable
                              have to attend a training session in order to be "Trained"?

                              Wendell also wrote:
                              > If they
                              > come out of the class with a basic understanding of what BSA expects
                              > and the knowledge of where to look for information and who to talk to
                              > about questions, we have succeeded.

                              But we don't know if they come out of class with that basic understanding.
                              We don't assess their understanding before they take the class, and we don't
                              measure it afterward. We can't know if we have succeeded.

                              It isn't that our system isn't a good thing; it is! But our system of
                              "training," and whatever the "Trained" strip is meant to convey to Scouts,
                              parents, and other Scouters, doesn't address the question whether a Scouter
                              really knows her stuff. Our training system is about exposing Scouters to
                              information, not about whether they have a minimum level of knowledge and
                              skill.

                              Wendell continued:
                              > This is a wonderful goal.... but until training is REQUIRED it isn't
                              > going to happen. A person who volunteers to give up their time to
                              > attend training isn't going to do the same thing over and over. Also,
                              > if the "red tape" required to pass the class is too much people won't
                              > even do it the first time.

                              This assumes I'm talking about having Scouters attend training courses. I'm
                              not. I'm talking about figuring out what we want Scouting adults to know,
                              and when in their tenure we want them to know it. Then we check (test,
                              assess, evaluate, interview, observe, or whatever method is most appropriate
                              in the circumstances) to see what information a particular Scouter needs to
                              meet those goals, and we find ways to get it to him or her -- ways that best
                              meet his or her needs, abilities, and interests. Ways that will actually
                              result in a "Trained" Scouting adult. That could be asking them to read the
                              Cub Scout Leader Book. That could be handing them a video, or doing
                              interactive training on computer, or sitting down with them over a cup of
                              coffee, or hooking them up with an experienced Scouter in their own unit, or
                              even sending them to a course (there are some people who learn best in a
                              class). Then we check again, and again at regular intervals. Any Scouter
                              halfway attentive to what is in the various Scout and leader handbooks,
                              Scouting publications, and District and Council news and events can "pass"
                              the recertification check in his or her sleep. It doesn't have to be
                              burdensome at all. It can happen at a Troop meeting. It can happen at
                              Roundtable. It could happen with an interactive computer program. It could
                              happen over the phone.

                              > Isn't it better to have the vast majority
                              > of leaders PRESENTED the material than a small fraction of that number
                              > who are "certified" trained?

                              That isn't the choice. The *objective* is to have the vast majority of
                              Scouting adults knowledgeable enough and skilled enough to do their jobs.
                              That objective doesn't say anything about *how* to achieve that, and
                              certainly doesn't specify training courses. *We* are the ones with the
                              training course mentality, and that is standing in the way of achieving the
                              objective.

                              Dan Kurtenbach
                              Fairfax, VA
                              Uniform discussions 24/7 at
                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BSA-Uniforms
                            • Ida Lively
                              In our council we run NLE, CSLST and YPT all in one day. In addition, we also run Den Chief, Venture Training and Troop Committee on the same day. Typically
                              Message 14 of 15 , Oct 21, 2002
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                                In our council we run NLE, CSLST and YPT all in one day. In addition, we
                                also run Den Chief, Venture Training and Troop Committee on the same day.

                                Typically our registration begins at 8AM and runs until the class begins at
                                8:3AM. We're done by 4PM. Our last training was last weekend (read: 10/12).
                                We didn't get started until 8:50 with classes and finished at 4:10.

                                We have a 'staggered' registration and arrival time for those who have only
                                afternoon or specific sessions.

                                See the following link to see how we run the day:

                                http://perdita.lcs.psu.edu/BSA/REG/200210/schedule.htm#map

                                Hope this helps!

                                Yours in Scouting,

                                Ida



                                ======================================================================
                                > Combining New Leder Essentials and Position Specific training
                                >
                                > We were thinking that our cub leaders don't want to spend
                                > two days for training and have put "New Leader Essentials"
                                > and "Cub Leader Specifics" back to back... (Same Staff, same
                                > room, almost same participants)
                                > Now on the course evaluation several participants
                                > wrote that the training is too long.
                                >
                                > What are your experiences or advice about combining these?
                                > Chris
                                >
                                >
                                > Chris Jacobi
                                > jacobi@...
                                > Stanford District Training Chair
                                > Pacific Skyline Council
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