Re: [Scouter_T] Fresh Start
>My council has just split into two districts from one. Yes, we are thatBefore giving a few suggestions, for prospective, here is a little
>small. I am taking over the training in the new southern district (it
>doesn't have a name yet). This is my chance to really start fresh, put
>together a new training committee and training team.
>So, any suggestions, ideas, lessons learned the hard way.
>Leslie (in Michigan)
information about our council & district. Orange County Council is in the
top ten nationally in number of youth served. The population of the county
passed 3,000,000 last year, more than many states. Geographically, the
county is small, measuring approximately 40 miles north to south and 15
miles east to west. The county is bordered on the west by the Pacific
Ocean, the east by the Santa Ana Mountains, the north by Los Angeles County
and the south by Camp Pendleton Marine Base. Los Amigos District in in the
far north and one of the smaller districts in the council. There are about
60 units in the district divided between Packs, Troops, Teams, and Crews.
Here are my suggestions, based on experience.
1. Develop a large number of Scouters that you can call on. There are
about 60 on my list. Don't hesitate having trainers on your list from
other districts and even other councils, and occasionally non Scouters.
2. Request a large number of Scouters for every training and break the
duties down into small chunks. Ideally and typically 14 staff BALOO, 8
staff Cub LST, 8 on SM/ASM LST, 2 staff Troop Committee Challenge, 2 staff
NLE. Venturing and Varsity training is run by the council. Introduction
to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) is done jointly with other districts and is
staffed by upwards of 12. I also have a beautiful lady that handles
registration which is invaluable. Know the specific interests of each
trainer. (Note: I have managed 8 BALOO events and never once had exactly
the same training team nor has more than the same three trainers staffed
all eight events. The participants were between 18 and 65.)
3. Meet with the training chairman of the other district to coordinate
training dates and how to manage the training events that are high effort
and low attendance (65 wasn't low), such as BALOO and IOLS. Cooperate,
4. Advertise every training event at least three Roundtables a head of
time and by as many ways as you can develop. We use fliers distributed at
Roundtables, in the flier rack at the Scout Shop, by the commissioners,
publicized on the district (losamigos.ocbsa.org) and council
(www.ocbsa.org) web sites, handed out at every district, council, and
training event, and announced verbally. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
5. Make your fliers very specific, exciting to read, and informative. Be
sure and state very explicitly on the flier the audience that the training
is geared toward. Do NOT (did I say NO) use anachronism such as BALOO,
IOLS, SM/ASM LST, SSD/SA, etc. Be sure and use the exact official title
for the training and not pet names or names used for obsolete training.
6. Snoop around and find training events in other councils that are noted
for excellence and attend them or request to be on staff. Take lots of
notes. Incorporate the good parts and throw away the bad parts. Attend
appropriate training at Philmont whenever you can. You can get a lot of
information from the session leaders and particularly the participants.
7. You need to incorporate all of the information contained in each
syllabus. You don't necessarily have to follow the order of presentation
or necessary the time frame if a different order or time frame fits your
8. Make every training event exciting and fun. Give the participants a
lot of value for their time and money. Have lots of handouts including
everything that the syllabus requires plus any pertinent information that
is specific to your council and geographic area.
9. Be a manager of training. Frequently I do not have a major speaking
part at any given training. Support your trainers. Make it easy for them
and encourage them to concentrate on their presentation. Make the event
fun for your trainers. They are volunteers also.
10. Don't let the professional staff bully you. You are volunteering your
time and probably your finances. You, most likely, also have more
experience in running events than the profession does. Some professionals
are very supportive and knowledgeable and some don't know that Tuesday
11. Training is exciting. Every adult you train influences a minimum of
10 youth and maybe as many as 50 or more, plus numerous other adults.
Los Amigos District
Orange County Council