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Re: cub scout training "expectations"

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  • Fred Goodwin, CMA
    ... That s fine -- nothign wrong with that. ... I agree with that -- but if they are expecting NLE to train them in how to run a den meeting, they are
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 12, 2007
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      > Posted by: "Faun Guarino" fguarino@...
      > Date: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:52 am ((PST))>
      >
      > And we will have to agree to disagree.

      That's fine -- nothign wrong with that.

      > Brand new leaders have the "expectation" that they are going to get
      > the training they need when they are sent to ANY course by unit,
      > district, and council leadership.

      I agree with that -- but if they are "expecting" NLE to train them in
      how to run a den meeting, they are expecting the wrong thing. I think
      your suggestion (and one in which National belatedly agreed) to switch
      the sequence of PST and NLE is a good one. And hopefully that will
      help.

      > That applies to Pow Wow and Roundtables as well as basic training.
      > Cub Leaders in particular are very nervous when they first start and
      > have a lot of questions. They have a right to "expect" the answers
      > at these trainings.

      Agreed again -- and PST is where they can ask those questions. The
      tight 90-minute syllabus for NLE doesn't leave much room for the
      give-and-take that PST allows.

      > I'm glad it's worked so well for your trainings. Perhaps it was our
      > then district training leadership failing these people. After our
      > very first NLE course and the emotional outbursts following it in
      > the parking lot, I started telling new leaders to switch the
      > sequence. It's helped a lot.

      And National apparently has seen the wisdom in that approach. But
      while it may help new leaders get some answers to their questions about
      how to run a den meeting, merely swapping the order won't change the
      content of NLE. NLE was never intended to provide that level of
      detail. And if anyone expected that, then they were misinformed.

      > Many are viewing Fast Start. But in a vacuum, it's like reading
      > Program Helps. It's all there, but it can be overwhelming and
      > confusing. Fast Start, while important, does not do the job you are
      > apparently "expecting" it to do, especially when viewed alone.

      The sole purpose of Fast Start is to get a new leader through their
      first meeting or two. Combined with the hand-out that lays out the new
      leader's first month of meetings, and if the pack provides the
      "emotional support" of more experienced leaders, the new leader should
      be well-equipped to lead those fist few meetings.

      I agree that many new leaders are lost for the first few meetings until
      they get their footing. I don't try to kid new trainees that they will
      leave knowing all the answers -- hopefully they will leave knowing
      where to *look* for answers, which is something they didn't know when
      they came.

      That's especially important in the case where a leader is so new, they
      don't even know which questions to ask -- the training will help them
      with contacts and resources to turn to when they *do* come up with the
      inevitable question(s).

      But even the best training will never provide the comfort level to a
      new leader that they might want. "OJT" is invaluable and irreplaceable
      in covering how a specific pack does things -- the best that classroom
      training can do is explain how National generally intends things to be
      done, but cannot possibly cover every possible nuance of life "in the
      trenches".

      > That was why, ten + years ago, commissioners were responsible for
      > that training on a unit level. It's been pulled from their
      > responsibilities and left at the feet of the pack leadership, via
      > the pack trainer specifically. Sadly, in our council, we do not have
      > too many registered pack trainers.

      Units have been asking new leaders (or should have been) to take Fast
      Start from the time it was first rolled out. I understand that not
      many packs have a PT; for those that don't, the CC, CM, or other
      experienced adult leader should be reminding new leaders to watch the
      video (or CD / DVD) and answering any questions they might have.

      Admittedly, many packs can't spare one of the few available adults to
      be dedicated to the PT-position, even though we all know how important
      that position is (much like the den leader coach it replaced).

      But not having a PT is no excuse for failing to have new leaders watch
      the Fast Start training. Sadly, I think far too many packs simply send
      the new leader to training w/o FST thinking all their questions will be
      answered there. Its no wonder new leaders leave anxious and
      frustrated.

      > (Fortunately, our council still holds Youth Protection Training four
      > times a year in an open forum; view the tapes, discuss, ask
      > questions, move on to the next section. I think Scouters get more
      > out of it than just sitting at the computer.)

      Agreed -- our council also offers it four times a year, but for those
      who can't (or won't) take time to go to yet another training, the
      convenience of online means that some may take it who otherwise might
      not.

      Please don't get me wrong -- I believe in training and wish it could
      make everyone a super DL when they leave, but we all know that won't
      happen -- I can think of darn few trainings that actually equip anyone
      to step right into a new job w/o missing a beat, but I supose they
      exist. I know telephone company operators take up to 16-weeks of
      training to do what they do -- I suppose Scout new leader training
      could also be made that detailed, but how many people would actually
      take it?

      As it is, many complain that the current half-day of NLE + PST is
      already too long (just wait til they take SM / ASM training!).

      I don't know what the answer is, but hopefully, swapping the order of
      PST + NLE will help. Unfortunately, it will have zero imapct on
      getting new leaders to do Fast Start, and I think that's where the a
      big part of the problem is.

      As for my expectations for FST, I don't expect new leaders to get
      anymore out of it than what it is intended to cover. If they have
      additional questions, that's what OJT and PST (and to some extent, NLE)
      is for.

      YiS,

      Fred
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