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  • #16
    richard I don't get my tour permit or plan from national......

    So why or how are the courses you mention required???

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    • #17
      Richard and Fellow Scouters,

      I somewhat agree.
      Scouter.org forum members have gotten into this same discussion here in this forum several times. Required vs Recommended. On the district and council level it is frustrating, that Quality Unit, Centennial Unit and now Journey to Excellence is hinged on trained leaders and quality of program, when so much of the training is recommended (and not required).

      Weather Hazards, Safe Swim, Safety Afloat, Climb on Safely, CPR / AED, WFA should be taken. They are highly recommended! But I don't see National BSA saying mandatory. Recently, they are required to receive a positive endorsement and permission from a council to conduct certain outdoor activities. But what if a unit does not conduct these activities?

      At least the WH, SSD, SA are required to receive the endorsement on a tour plan for the appropriate activity. But if a troop doesn't go outdoors; they may never complete them(and sadly, some troops just do not venture outdoors). Now how these Scouts make Eagle without their camping days I don't have a clue, families probably send their boys to two summer camps to equal 14 days in two years. Trust me, occasionally I've met a few mothers whom thought the outdoors was dirty, while I'm meeting a 16 y/o Tenderfoot. Secretly, I thinking "REALLY?" Wondering why some parents wants their son(s) in Scouting, but won't let them outdoors.

      A few years ago. The G2SS discussed the previous Tour Permit before there was the Tour Plan. The only Permit that was required a few years ago was the National and International Tour Permit. A local Tour Permit was recommended, but even the local Tour Permit wasn't required. All it did was endorse that a unit's leadership actually planned out a trip safely (dotting all the I's and crossing all the T's, making sure the plan was complete).

      So... I endorse the training BSA publishes. It has been well researched and developed. Outdoor Adventurist, Doctors, Lawyers, Safety Experts and Teachers have assembled the BSA training.

      But when a Scouting Buddy ask me "What is really required?" Maybe they want the absolute fastest "short-cut" to achieve the minimum. Maybe their spouse has given them a limited time "kitchen pass". I got to be honest and tell him/her "Not much is required, but you are doing a disservice to your Scouts and possibly dangerous things if you don't take the recommended training"

      Scouting Forever and Venture On!
      Crew21 Adv

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      • #18
        There are two things that are a bit frustrating about the training requirements. One is the constant hokey-pokey dance that National does with what is "required." It seems like the protocol is just to mandate stuff and leave it up to the front line folks to figure out how to meet the mandate instead of, you know, planning and organizing an effective solution. Then when the requirements can't be met and units will fold, the requirments get relaxed or delayed. Or maybe it's just lousy communication. Both explanations are exampls of poor management. Irving might want to hire some management consultants to train them on how to avoid these common mistakes.

        The second thing that bothers me is the one-size fits all approach to training. IOLS is no where near enough training for someone wthout much outdoors experience. It's a waste of time for a SM with 20 years experience and a solid outdoor background, and it would be better if they spent that time doing something else (accompanying their unit on an outing, taking WRFA classes, teaching folks who would benefit from the instruction, maybe even spending time with their family). Somehwere in the middle are Scouters with solid outdoor experience but no experience in leading youth's in the outdoors - they benefit from IOLS. Can we fix the training to target IOLS at those folks? Give the vets a functional test-out option that doesn't require an entire weekend? Maybe it's something we can do at RT? Seriously, there is no real testing in IOLS. If someone has been a SMASM for several years, can we give them a written test and sign them off?

        Can we deputize experienced SMASMs to take on "apprentices" and let the apprentices become "trained" through association with these experienced folks? Seems that's more likely to instill the skills and knoweldge to run a safe and effective program.

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        • #19
          "The second thing that bothers me is the one-size fits all approach to training. IOLS is no where near enough training for someone without much outdoors experience. It's a waste of time for a SM with 20 years experience and a solid outdoor background . . . ."

          One can qualify out of IOLS, at least in the councils in this part of the U.S. No rigorous examination, and as you noted there is no testing as such at IOLS. I was simply told "forget it" when I asked if I should take IOLS. I

          "Somewhere in the middle are Scouters with solid outdoor experience but no experience in leading youth's in the outdoors - they benefit from IOLS."

          IOLS is not intended to be leadership training. It is simply intended to teach Scoutcraft to adults up through First Class level. It does not even explicitly cover Scoutcraft teaching technique (say tips and tricks in teaching knife-sharpening), although one can pick stuff up by paying attention to how IOLS staffers teach the skills.

          If a Scouter could pass the Scoutcraft portion of the requirements for First Class, he should qualify out of IOLS.


          "Can we deputize experienced SMASMs to take on 'apprentices' and let the apprentices become 'trained' through association with these experienced folks? Seems that's more likely to instill the skills and knowledge to run a safe and effective program."

          Interesting idea. That would require a time commitment on both sides of the process. The "student" must have a desire to learn, and in a volunteer organization that desire has to come from within.

          Anyone with that desire will find there are more resources from which to learn than time to learn more than a fraction. One can be a student for life.

          Example: CDC Guide to wild water treatment in which it is revealed that the current Handbook and Wilderness Survival MB pamphlet are both unreliable on water treatment: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/travel/backcountry_water_treatment.html B.S.A currently is thinking about what this means.

          Comment


          • #20
            Actually the use of a mentor is a viable option, provided the mentor is a trainer. I know when I did Explorer Basic Leader Training way back in the day, it was the self study course. I was given a bunch of materials to read and learn. Then I had a nice long meeting with the Exploring Exec where we went over everything, and I became a trained AA.

            An aside, EMB, I was told that trained Explorer leaders were grandfathered in regards to being trained Venturing leaders, and this was Holmes predecessor saying this at NLTC if memory serves. However I'm now being told that I would not be considered a trained Venturing leader, despite keeping up to date in the program. So what's the deal? PM if ya want.

            Comment


            • #21
              One can qualify out of IOLS, at least in the councils in this part of the U.S.

              I recall a thread here a while back where one of our members was trying to put together a reasonable test-out for IOLS and to the best of my recollection it didn't seem to be working out - the test out would require nearly as much time as the class. I may have missed a follow-up that solved the problem though, seems like it was a year or so ago. How do the test outs work in your neck of the woods, TAHAWK?

              IOLS is not intended to be leadership training. It is simply intended to teach Scoutcraft to adults up through First Class level. It does not even explicitly cover Scoutcraft teaching technique (say tips and tricks in teaching knife-sharpening), although one can pick stuff up by paying attention to how IOLS staffers teach the skills.

              Ah, but I did not say they were the people IOLS was intended to help. I just said they were the people who benefit most from it. The two aren't always the same thing...

              People who know how to get by in the woods but haven't been out there with a gaggle of teenagers and who haven't internalized Patrol Method stuff and haven't seen the official BSA way of doing this, that and the other outdoor thing get the most benefit from IOLS, at least from what I've seen. They have the T-2-1 skills, but need to relate those skills to youths. I think IOLS does that, or at least gets them thining in that direction. The single comment that sticks with me the most from my IOLS course was the CD, late afternoon on a chilly November Saturday, asking if any of us were a bit cold. Quite a few hands went up. He reminded us the Scouts are smaller, skinnier, often don't have the fancy clothing we do, and probalby aren't used to being outdoors all day long. It reminded me that as a young Tenderfoot I got hypothermia because I quite literally didn't know about it, and it was up to my PL, SPL, and SM to look out for me (which they did). It was a good remider that I wasn't going to be camping with my old Climbing buddies who had plenty of experience in taking care of themselves. Got me thinking about how I was going to need to be constantly planning for how I would step in to save the situtation, without actually constantly doing it - just being ready in case. That's a tough skill. I'm still working on getting the balance right.

              But IOLS certainly doesn't teach T-2-1 skills. My goodness no, not if you didn't already have them. I respectfully think it's a bit mad to believe a previous outdoor novice is qualified to take youths out into the woods after a single night "camping" in an unheated cabin surrounded by several dozen experienced outdoorsmen. It takes longer than that to learn the skills, especially to the point where you can use them while also keeping an eye on the youth program going on around you.

              That's one reason I like the apprentice idea. Yes, it is a time commitment, but honestly, I don't think the necessary skills can be fast-tracked. The phrase is usually rendered as "experienced woodsman" rather than "skilled wooodsman." It does take a little time out there to have some idea what you're doing. But while someone's learning, they don't have to be a useless third-wheel or sequestered in an adults-only training class. They can be helping the Troop while they learn if they have a mentor, so the time commitment really shouldn't be anything more than what they would be doing as an ASM anyway. Someone who spends a year camping with a good Troop with a solid core of SMASMs is going to be far better trained than an IOLS graduate who is on his own after the course ends.

              BSA of course needs some kind of documentation that the adults are "qualified" for liability reasons, and as regretable as that may be, it's reality and I accept it. But it seems like there has to be a way to provide that documentation other than just a course.

              (queue minor rant about creeping credentialism in today's society - we're more impressed with a piece of paper than with actual experience and knowledge.)

              -edited to fix typo(This message has been edited by JMHawkins)

              Comment


              • #22
                "I recall a thread here a while back where one of our members was trying to put together a reasonable test-out for IOLS and to the best of my recollection it didn't seem to be working out - the test out would require nearly as much time as the class. I may have missed a follow-up that solved the problem though, seems like it was a year or so ago. How do the test outs work in your neck of the woods, TAHAWK?"

                Ah, but I did not say there was a test. ^___^

                As I have witnessed it, the Camp staff member handling the "qualification" asks the applicant Scouter about his training and experience. There were a few pointed questions about Scoutcraft (For example, one Applicant was asked to describe the official BSA method of washing dishes - the dangerously incorrect one in the 11th Edition Handbook that put the chlorine in the single, hot rinse. The applicant said Hot wash; hot rinse; cold sanitizing rinse. After some harrumping, that answer was accepted - solely on the grounds that it was manifestly correct, if contrary to BSA standards, and also because the applicant was a Phd in Microbiology.) The "qualification" I have seen is the furthest thing from methodical and never took even an hour. It clearly helped to be an Eagle Scout.


                "Ah, but I did not say they were the people IOLS was intended to help. I just said they were the people who benefit most from it. The two aren't always the same thing... "

                The doctrine of unintended consequences is alive and well all over the world.

                Think what might happen if there was actual training in teaching outdoor skills -- tips from old farts about time-tested ways to teach.

                "But IOLS certainly doesn't teach T-2-1 skills. My goodness no, not if you didn't already have them. I respectfully think it's a bit mad to believe a previous outdoor novice is qualified to take youths out into the woods after a single night "camping" in an unheated cabin surrounded by several dozen experienced outdoorsmen. It takes longer than that to learn the skills, especially to the point where you can use them while also keeping an eye on the youth program going on around you.

                That's one reason I like the apprentice idea. Yes, it is a time commitment, but honestly, I don't think the necessary skills can be fast-tracked. The phrase is usually rendered as "experienced woodsman" rather than "skilled wooodsman." It does take a little time out there to have some idea what you're doing. But while someone's learning, they don't have to be a useless third-wheel or sequestered in an adults-only training class. They can be helping the Troop while they learn if they have a mentor, so the time commitment really shouldn't be anything more than what they would be doing as an ASM anyway. Someone who spends a year camping with a good Troop with a solid core of SMASMs is going to be far better trained than an IOLS graduate who is on his own after the course ends."

                Like almost every BSA syllabus, there is not nearly enough time to teach the material described - especially in an interactive (i.e. effective) way with actual application immediately after E and D. A few good questions, one or two war stories, and a couple of good ideas from the "participants" and the session is WAY behind.

                All you can hope for is that a few ideas stick and you have given the "participants" resources for further learning in the form of websites, books, and people they meet through attending.

                This IS an important addition to their "tool box" because BSA literature does not supply the needed information. For example, the Handbook does not contain enough information on woods tools to pass Tot 'N Chip and the current, soon to be gone, "Fieldbook," which formerly supplemented the Handbook on Scoutcraft topics, has almost no Scoutcraft in it --- no information on woods tools except for a single reference to a sheathed rescue knife for watercraft use.

                There is no great demand for better. Those that don't know also largely don't know what they are missing. And that group includes the policy makers at the corporation.

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