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RE:Trainer Qualifications / Recognition

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  • James Gallo
    Chris, et al... From my experience in the Greater New York Councils, the Trainers on any course we run are always recognized by the Course Director or Training
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 1, 2002
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      Chris, et al...

      From my experience in the Greater New York Councils, the Trainers on any
      course we run are always recognized by the Course Director or Training Chair
      at the close of the course. On courses that span more than a few hours, such
      as the old SMF/SLT, ITOLS, OWL/Webelos Woods, WB, etc..., we usually make
      some special trinket for the staff as well as the thank-you's at the end. It
      may be a bolo, a slide, patch, armband or something along those lines. This
      not only identifies them as staff, but allows for a feeling of a special
      uniqueness. But, in reality, they are just adept interpreters, translating
      the rules of the program into terms other leaders can understand.

      We've had trainers that have less actual experience than those they are
      training, but they are exceptional at conveying the concept of a particular
      aspect of the scouting methods. One example we had was an 11 year old
      demonstrating the safe use of wood tools, and fire making techniques, during
      an ITOLS course, to veteran leaders who never really learned these things,
      no less how to teach them to their own units. Others are the people who
      complete their basic, and are on that courses staff next year.

      I myself avoided training as a CM for several years. When I finally was
      coerced into going to Cub Leader Basic, I was hooked. I saw the dedication
      in those running the course, and how committed they were to helping the
      students understand the ways of Cubing. I jumped in head first after I
      completed SMF. That was some time ago, and I have been a proponent of
      developing good leaders ever since. I try to be a part of every course I
      can.

      My opinion on the qualifications for a trainer, in any realm, is someone
      that is able to translate the details of a skill or procedure in a way that
      affords easy learning in a comfortable environment, remember, KISMIF. Those
      with this ability should be recognized by their peers and usually are, by
      way of being asked to continue! Sure, the trinkets and doodads are nice, but
      after a while they just become part of the collection or another thing on
      the wall. The "Old Timers'' on our training team get their satisfaction when
      they see someone come back as a staffer and bring friends as participants.
      That is when you know you are doing a good thing, when the students come
      back to help you.

      Usually people who are really good at something want to help others. It is
      our task to find them and bring their talents to the surface. We Can do this
      with ease if we keep our eyes open and forget about the "elitism" Chris
      Finnegan mentioned.

      Good trainers / teachers are important and elite, but in the most humble
      way. They are the key to the youth getting the program as it was designed,
      and the leaders they help to do this are the real special people. It is much
      harder to be a unit leader than it is to be a trainer. Those that we teach
      are the real shapers of tomorrows leaders.

      I find being an SA in an active troop very stressful, but I am at complete
      ease on a training course. I once heard an old adage, "Those who can, Do -
      Those who can't, Teach". Luckily, I am a good translator.

      Sorry about the lengthy diatribe, but this is something I believe in.

      YiS & B
      James Gallo
      SA, T-20
      Leadership Development
      Brooklyn Council, GNYC
      (and a Fabulous Fearless Fox too)
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