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RE: [Scouter_T] Re: Misinformation

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  • Mike Marks
    Gerry, You ve either come in late on the discussion or missed the point. No one stood tall and shouted loudly about things not being required . This has
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 14, 2006
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      Gerry,

      You've either come in late on the discussion or missed the point. No one
      "stood tall and shouted loudly about things not being required". This has
      been a discussion about "just the facts".

      No need to wonder about the people on this list. it's ALL ABOUT THE
      TRAINING with us! We'll stand tall and shout loudly to everyone who will
      listen (and louder to those who won't) about the need for everyone to be
      trained.

      You sound like the frustrated trainer who is getting resistance from
      Scouters about attending training. All other logic doesn't work and you
      need to resort to "sitting in underpants" argument. Most of us have been
      there and feel your pain.

      If the question to the list was "SHOULD all leaders take ____ training" you
      would see either silence because it was a stupid question or a resounding
      "yes!"

      But when it comes to what "MUST" be done - there's a variety of opinions and
      misinformation. For instance - if you ask must the World Crest be worn on
      the uniform, the answer is "NO!". But if you ask SHOULD the World Crest be
      worn, the answer is absolutely. why wouldn't we show our pride in the
      worldwide brotherhood of Scouting?!

      It can become a little more "gray" when you ask other questions that have
      common misconceptions. For instance - "MUST" we take youth protection
      training every 3 years? The answer unequivocally is NO. With an asterisk
      or footnote that says - unless your specific Council requires it -and- if
      you are serving on a National event staff there's additional YPT
      requirements.

      It can become even more gray when you ask questions that relate to Scout
      skills. For instance - MUST a Scout say "thank-you" or "I got it" when
      receiving a pocket knife. The answer is NO! There are no written rules in
      Scouting that require this verbal response - yet there are old time Scouters
      who will cut the corner off your card if you don't say it. This a common
      misconception that dates back to the days when you would pass a knife with
      the blade open. The BS Handbook "rule" says you must close the knife before
      handing it to another - so if it slips, no one is cut. But ask the question
      differently, "SHOULD" you say thank you? Of course, it's the polite and
      correct response! We should be teaching courtesy.

      Hang in there Gerry. We understand.


      mm





      _____

      From: Gerry Moon
      The thing that puzzles me is how we stand up tall and shout loudly
      about something NOT being required - like Youth Protection. I have to wonder
      at that point whether the individuals making the claim feel
      that since it's not REQUIRED that they would not make a point to not
      have it in place ANYWAY. Things are not dictated solely by
      legislation - as leaders we should have the where-withall to be able
      to look at the big picture and and "commonsense" a lot of right and
      wrong.

      If YP isn't specifically mandated by some chapter and verse, is it
      totally unnecessary in that situation? Would it not be to everyone's
      benefit to have it in place anyway? The course takes, what, 30 to 45
      minutes online, and you can do it sitting at home in your underpants
      if you like. I can't understand the resistance to doing what is
      procedurally and ethically "proper" regardless of how it's mandated.
      It's not like you get a disease from training and paperwork (an
      addiction to it, perhaps, but it's usually not fatal or disabling).

      Same thing for leader training. NOT MANDATORY but recommended. And
      hundreds of leaders ignore the recommendation and just "wing it". At
      least there is a better justification for this - it's like, what, an
      ENTIRE DAY (eight hours or so) of training? Eight hours out of your
      life that can impact your son's ENTIRE LIFETIME and those of his Den-
      mates? That doesn't seem prohibitively expensive to me, but then I
      really do want my son to think of me when he's grown up and remember
      the good times we spent in Scouting together.

      Gerry Moon
      Orlando, FL





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Sean Scott
      I have found that quite often, the cause of misinformation is trainers themselves. As trainers, we need to remember that we are responsible for the accuracy
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 14, 2006
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        I have found that quite often, the cause of misinformation is
        trainers themselves. As trainers, we need to remember that we are
        responsible for the accuracy and clarity of our words, and qualify
        what we say.

        On this list, it is critical that we remember the difference between
        local and national policy, and clearly state what we write as opinion
        or fact. For example, your local council may require BALOO as a
        prerequisite for resident camp. There are several ways you might
        share that information in a discussion about resident camp
        requirements. As a member of your council, you might say:

        A. Our council has added BALOO as a requirement for resident camp,
        but that's not the national policy.
        B. My understanding is that BALOO is a requirement for resident camp,
        but I can't find an official reference to confirm that.
        C. BALOO is required training to take boys to resident camp.

        A and B qualify the statement. C is accurate from your perspective,
        but misleading to everyone else. Although C will cause a flurry of
        "No it isn't" responses, there are undoubtedly people out there who
        will see only the "BALOO is required" post and not the corrections,
        and start quoting the misinformation as fact.

        As a trainer, the hardest job I've ever had was re-training leaders
        who had received bad information. For some reason, the first thing
        that people hear, no matter how unreliable the source, seems to stick
        with them. What's worse is that, as trainers, we're all volunteers,
        so none of us is more reliable or credible (at least on the surface)
        than any other. This makes it especially easy for a leader to pick
        and choose what the rules are based on what they want them to be.

        For example, say one trainer tells a leader that the upside-down
        Bobcat is OK, and another later tells them it isn't. That leader may
        think that the upside-down Bobcat was cool when he was a kid, and
        that the BSA rule is stupid and reactionary. They may rationalize
        that, since one trainer said it was OK, that they're going to hear
        the version they want, and perform the ceremony anyway, since they
        can later tell people that so-and-so told him it was alright.

        I have seen too many situations where a trainer gave opinion as fact,
        or clouded a discussion with their own personal ideas of what should
        or shouldn't be policy, instead of clearly stating the rules as the
        BSA has written them. That includes a presenter at powwow telling
        people how to "get around" the BSA policy on upside-down Bobcat
        ceremonies after discussing at length why the BSA policy was (in his
        opinion) absurd. I've also seen trainers apparently make things up,
        rather than admit that they don't know the answer to a question. It's
        OK to say, "I don't know, but let me find the answer for you."

        Opinion and fact shouldn't be confused when talking about what isn't
        required, either. Leaders can decide for themselves whether it's best
        for them. Yes, as trainers, we see the benefits of training, and it's
        perfectly acceptable to share those benefits in order to give people
        a clear picture of why something may help them, but to imply or
        present opinions as facts when they aren't is deceptive. Encourage
        them, yes, but don't mislead people into something by rationalizing
        that the ends justify the means.

        While the quality of training may vary for each training team, the
        content (and message) shouldn't. BSA publishes training materials so
        that leaders receive a consistent message no matter where they take
        training, be it in Alaska or Florida. Our responsibility as trainers
        must be, first and foremost, to present the facts, so that leaders
        can make sound judgments based on accurate information--regardless of
        whether we personally disagree. We are role models for the leaders we
        train, and as such we must demonstrate integrity, and abide by both
        the letter and the spirit of BSA policy.

        YiS,
        Sean
      • Mike Marks
        Gerry, You ve either come in late on the discussion or missed the point. No one stood tall and shouted loudly about things not being required . This has
        Message 3 of 21 , Nov 14, 2006
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          Gerry,

          You've either come in late on the discussion or missed the point. No one
          "stood tall and shouted loudly about things not being required". This has
          been a discussion about "just the facts".

          No need to wonder about the people on this list. it's ALL ABOUT THE
          TRAINING with us! We'll stand tall and shout loudly to everyone who will
          listen (and louder to those who won't) about the need for everyone to be
          trained.

          You sound like the frustrated trainer who is getting resistance from
          Scouters about attending training. All other logic doesn't work and you
          need to resort to "sitting in underpants" argument. Most of us have been
          there and feel your pain.

          If the question to the list was "SHOULD all leaders take ____ training" you
          would see either silence because it was a stupid question or a resounding
          "yes!"

          But when it comes to what "MUST" be done - there's a variety of opinions and
          misinformation. For instance - if you ask must the World Crest be worn on
          the uniform, the answer is "NO!". But if you ask SHOULD the World Crest be
          worn, the answer is absolutely. why wouldn't we show our pride in the
          worldwide brotherhood of Scouting?!

          It can become a little more "gray" when you ask other questions that have
          common misconceptions. For instance - "MUST" we take youth protection
          training every 3 years? The answer unequivocally is NO. With an asterisk
          or footnote that says - unless your specific Council requires it -and- if
          you are serving on a National event staff there's additional YPT
          requirements.

          It can become even more gray when you ask questions that relate to Scout
          skills. For instance - MUST a Scout say "thank-you" or "I got it" when
          receiving a pocket knife. The answer is NO! There are no written rules in
          Scouting that require this verbal response - yet there are old time Scouters
          who will cut the corner off your card if you don't say it. This a common
          misconception that dates back to the days when you would pass a knife with
          the blade open. The BS Handbook "rule" says you must close the knife before
          handing it to another - so if it slips, no one is cut. But ask the question
          differently, "SHOULD" you say thank you? Of course, it's the polite and
          correct response! We should be teaching courtesy.

          Hang in there Gerry. We understand.


          mm





          _____

          From: Gerry Moon
          The thing that puzzles me is how we stand up tall and shout loudly
          about something NOT being required - like Youth Protection. I have to wonder
          at that point whether the individuals making the claim feel
          that since it's not REQUIRED that they would not make a point to not
          have it in place ANYWAY. Things are not dictated solely by
          legislation - as leaders we should have the where-withall to be able
          to look at the big picture and and "commonsense" a lot of right and
          wrong.

          If YP isn't specifically mandated by some chapter and verse, is it
          totally unnecessary in that situation? Would it not be to everyone's
          benefit to have it in place anyway? The course takes, what, 30 to 45
          minutes online, and you can do it sitting at home in your underpants
          if you like. I can't understand the resistance to doing what is
          procedurally and ethically "proper" regardless of how it's mandated.
          It's not like you get a disease from training and paperwork (an
          addiction to it, perhaps, but it's usually not fatal or disabling).

          Same thing for leader training. NOT MANDATORY but recommended. And
          hundreds of leaders ignore the recommendation and just "wing it". At
          least there is a better justification for this - it's like, what, an
          ENTIRE DAY (eight hours or so) of training? Eight hours out of your
          life that can impact your son's ENTIRE LIFETIME and those of his Den-
          mates? That doesn't seem prohibitively expensive to me, but then I
          really do want my son to think of me when he's grown up and remember
          the good times we spent in Scouting together.

          Gerry Moon
          Orlando, FL



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Margo Mead
          Amen, Sean. How many of us have had trainers who have insisted that two-deep leadership is REQUIRED at all times? (Before anyone argues with me, it is required
          Message 4 of 21 , Nov 14, 2006
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            Amen, Sean. How many of us have had trainers who have insisted that two-deep
            leadership is REQUIRED at all times? (Before anyone argues with me, it is
            required for trips and outings, per the guide the Safe Scouting. The
            applicable rule for regular meetings is "no one-on-one contact" which can be
            met by having one leader and at least 2 boys. And as Sean would say, "SHOULD
            we have 2-deep all the time?" Sure, it's always a good idea to have a 2nd
            leader. But it's not required, and you can have a meeting without a 2nd
            leader if circumstances lead to that.)



            And our Roundtable commissioner over Cub Scouting keeps stating that Tour
            Permits are required for all trips and outings, but our council's policy is
            that they are only required for trips over 50 miles. I struggle to keep my
            mouth shut every time she says that, because I don't want to argue with her
            in front of everyone.and then I forget to pull her aside at the end and ask
            her why she keeps saying that. She also thinks that 2-deep leadership is
            required at all times. I know she was a Girl Scout leader too, so I know
            where some of that comes from, but she was probably told that by whoever
            trained her too.



            That's why I like to have citations for rules that I state. Not only because
            then I can prove it to others, but because I like to have proof myself.
            (Ideally, I like to know WHY, but that's not always possible.)



            Regards--

            Margo Mead

            Portland, Oregon

            meadclan@...

            www.beadiecritters.com

            www.geocities.com/meadfamily

            www.geocities.com/worldkrahenbuhl



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Gerry Moon
            I may have come in late on the discussion, but my comments were merely general observations about a behavior and not an accusation. I look at a lot of groups
            Message 5 of 21 , Nov 15, 2006
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              I may have come in late on the discussion, but my comments were
              merely general observations about a behavior and not an accusation.
              I look at a lot of groups and see this in a lot of places. My
              comments were not pointed to this thread specifically nor to anyone
              on this list, and I apologize if it came off looking that way. It
              was just a vent about seeing people comfortable with providing the
              absolute minimum. While we seek 100% trained leaders I am confident
              that there are units out there providing a good program that fall
              far short of that benchmark.

              Gerry Moon
              Orlando, FL
              --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Marks" <MikeMarks@...> wrote:
              >
              > Gerry,
              >
              > You've either come in late on the discussion or missed the point.
              No one
              > "stood tall and shouted loudly about things not being required".
              This has
              > been a discussion about "just the facts".
              >
              > No need to wonder about the people on this list. it's ALL ABOUT
              THE
              > TRAINING with us! We'll stand tall and shout loudly to everyone
              who will
              > listen (and louder to those who won't) about the need for everyone
              to be
              > trained.
              >
              > You sound like the frustrated trainer who is getting resistance
              from
              > Scouters about attending training. All other logic doesn't work
              and you
              > need to resort to "sitting in underpants" argument. Most of us
              have been
              > there and feel your pain.
              >
              > If the question to the list was "SHOULD all leaders take ____
              training" you
              > would see either silence because it was a stupid question or a
              resounding
              > "yes!"
              >
              > But when it comes to what "MUST" be done - there's a variety of
              opinions and
              > misinformation. For instance - if you ask must the World Crest be
              worn on
              > the uniform, the answer is "NO!". But if you ask SHOULD the World
              Crest be
              > worn, the answer is absolutely. why wouldn't we show our pride in
              the
              > worldwide brotherhood of Scouting?!
              >
              > It can become a little more "gray" when you ask other questions
              that have
              > common misconceptions. For instance - "MUST" we take youth
              protection
              > training every 3 years? The answer unequivocally is NO. With an
              asterisk
              > or footnote that says - unless your specific Council requires it -
              and- if
              > you are serving on a National event staff there's additional YPT
              > requirements.
              >
              > It can become even more gray when you ask questions that relate to
              Scout
              > skills. For instance - MUST a Scout say "thank-you" or "I got it"
              when
              > receiving a pocket knife. The answer is NO! There are no
              written rules in
              > Scouting that require this verbal response - yet there are old
              time Scouters
              > who will cut the corner off your card if you don't say it. This a
              common
              > misconception that dates back to the days when you would pass a
              knife with
              > the blade open. The BS Handbook "rule" says you must close the
              knife before
              > handing it to another - so if it slips, no one is cut. But ask
              the question
              > differently, "SHOULD" you say thank you? Of course, it's the
              polite and
              > correct response! We should be teaching courtesy.
              >
              > Hang in there Gerry. We understand.
              >
              >
              > mm
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > _____
              >
              > From: Gerry Moon
              > The thing that puzzles me is how we stand up tall and shout loudly
              > about something NOT being required - like Youth Protection. I have
              to wonder
              > at that point whether the individuals making the claim feel
              > that since it's not REQUIRED that they would not make a point to
              not
              > have it in place ANYWAY. Things are not dictated solely by
              > legislation - as leaders we should have the where-withall to be
              able
              > to look at the big picture and and "commonsense" a lot of right
              and
              > wrong.
              >
              > If YP isn't specifically mandated by some chapter and verse, is it
              > totally unnecessary in that situation? Would it not be to
              everyone's
              > benefit to have it in place anyway? The course takes, what, 30 to
              45
              > minutes online, and you can do it sitting at home in your
              underpants
              > if you like. I can't understand the resistance to doing what is
              > procedurally and ethically "proper" regardless of how it's
              mandated.
              > It's not like you get a disease from training and paperwork (an
              > addiction to it, perhaps, but it's usually not fatal or
              disabling).
              >
              > Same thing for leader training. NOT MANDATORY but recommended. And
              > hundreds of leaders ignore the recommendation and just "wing it".
              At
              > least there is a better justification for this - it's like, what,
              an
              > ENTIRE DAY (eight hours or so) of training? Eight hours out of
              your
              > life that can impact your son's ENTIRE LIFETIME and those of his
              Den-
              > mates? That doesn't seem prohibitively expensive to me, but then I
              > really do want my son to think of me when he's grown up and
              remember
              > the good times we spent in Scouting together.
              >
              > Gerry Moon
              > Orlando, FL
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Kathy Bourassa
              In my unit- basic training is required- not recommended- this can be done by the committee with the approval of the Charter Org. We studied the units health
              Message 6 of 21 , Nov 15, 2006
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                In my unit- basic training is required- not recommended- this can be
                done by the committee with the approval of the Charter Org. We studied
                the units health and found that our biggest retention loss (youth and
                adults) was through untrained leaders. Just because something is
                recommended does not make it less than something that is required. I
                have always wondered about this- as a GSUSA Leader, Den Leader, and BSA
                Leader- why GSUSA can require training and BSA just recommends it- I do
                understand that this is the charge of the charter org- but most of our
                charter orgs are less than involved with our units and do not understand
                the importance of training unless they are educated about it. Our best
                bet is to educate our charter orgs on the importance of training- this
                filters down to our units and in the end- we are healthier for it
                Kathy
                NVC Training Chair- MA
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