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Is the BSA required trainings/forms turning off/loosing people

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  • #16
    I think it also causes one of two things to happen:

    1. Leaders take their boys on less trips because the paperwork is too cumbersome (Sometimes great opportunities come up, but the deadline to submit a tour permit has already passed.), or
    2. The boys go on the trip anyway, without the paperwork.


    • Scouter99
      Scouter99 commented
      Editing a comment
      In the old days I sometimes faxed tour permits on the day we were leaving; never got a nasty phonecall or even heard a peep about it.

  • #17
    Originally posted by Khaliela View Post
    I think frustration is that everyone who wants to go on a weekend campout with their kid now has to be trained. When we filled out the trip permit for the 50 miler the question were "Do all adults have Youth Protection?" and "Do all adults have Swim Defense & Safety Afloat?" Not everyone wants to be a leader or has time to be leader. I have no problem with BSA requiring training of it's leaders, but we have had parents would have been happy to attend a weekend event change their minds when they realized they would have to put in 2 or 3 hours of training first.
    Less than 2 hours, actually. Anyone that says they don't have 1.5 hours for 3 training modules is either the President of the US or a liar, anyone that won't didn't want to go in the first place.


    • Scouter99
      Scouter99 commented
      Editing a comment
      The part where I lived in a rural area for 2 years and the library had cable. Does the mail run in your rural area? Maybe the service center could mail things to you. The rural area where I lived had mail service, so if yours doesn't I may not understand that part of rural, either.

    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow. That is seriously rural. Do the Police and Fire Dept. have dial up also? Has your community looked at satellite ?

      I can't believe you can even use this forum with dial up. It is slow.

    • Khaliela
      Khaliela commented
      Editing a comment
      KDD--Our community does not have Police or Fire. (Population is 738 people, so there isn't a tax base to support those services.) The Sheriffs office responds out of the County seat (45 min response time) and if you have a fire you'd better call the forest service because they will respond if it's brush/grass/trees; otherwise you'd better have insurance.

      I work 75 miles from home--we have better internet here. (Unfortunately it's in the opposite direction from the Council Service Center The council covers are area that is 350 miles long by 420 miles wide.) I check the forums when I'm stuck on hold on the phone and can't start another task. I don't have internet at home; seems like a waste of money.

      Just remember that this is large and very diverse country. In some areas you drive 60 miles and find yourself in another state; around here you drive 60 miles just to get your groceries.

      SCOUTER99; Post office is only open from 10 AM to 2 PM Monday thru Friday; no Saturday service. If you need something shipped it needs to come FedEx or UPS, otherwise you won't get it unless you arrange to take day off work. Council does mail things, but won't pay for FedEx. It took 3 weeks for me to arrange a day off to pick up my packet for Wood Badge because they sent it in a packet that was too big to fit in the mail box.

  • #18
    I'll agree that the BSA training is off-putting to some. Would we have more leaders without it? Sure, but as the BSA we've already found out what happens when you don't ask enough questions.

    I recently joined a unit chartered to the local Catholic Church. I was already a Scouter, but still had to take the Church's training. It is required all [i]ALL[\i] volunteers and employees who work with youth in the Church. The training consisted of:
    • A three-hour in-person lecture series
    • A signed pledge to keep all Church youth safe
    • A state police ($20) and FBI ($10) background check that I had to pay for and submit with my volunteer application
    I took the 3-hour course on a snowy night last winter. There were over 100 people in the room for the course. The archdiocese offered the course once a week throughout their area. It was offered in my county every month. So even with that onerous requirement, there was no shortage of people taking this course.

    Personally, I think that the BSA is just selling the training the wrong way. As a parent, I'm glad to have taken YPT. I think if the MyScouting system were more user-friendly (I've had several cases with my until leaders where it has taken weeks for a MyScouting account to activate. One required me to call the National Helpdesk to get things straightened out.)

    My council currently doesn't allow a unit to recharter unless all unit leaders have taken the full compliment of online training courses. That always creates problems for me at recharter time. This year, by the time I got all the new leaders up-to-date, one of my existing leaders had their YPT expire before we could get the paperwork to take.

    I went to a recruiting session this weekend, and the Council was promoting that during member drives, we should be telling the adults to fill out an Adult Application at the same time that they fill out their son's Youth Application. The Parent's Guide they've prepared tells them that they should be taking YPT and giving the certification to the unit leader.


    • #19
      Training IF you have decent net access is pretty simple. I give a special t-shirt to any parent who does 4 training courses (Intro to Scouting, Serving on the Committee, Youth Protection and Weather). Those 4 are the required ones to be an adult on a campout as well - no parents allowed, just trained volunteers. Now IOLs could always use a tweak or two, and personally I didn't learn anything (instead I helped teach the class).

      We offer CPR at the Troop once per year (It took one phone call to set it up).

      Paperwork, however, is different.

      Medical: We have solved the medical form issue by having everyone file a new set every year. We keep a set scanned, and a hard copy binder as well. That binder goes on every campout, and makes it easy for us to submit the documentation for summer camp. Parents are regularly reminded to take the forms to their doctor and keep them updated annually. So that one was solved thanks to a parent on medical form duty.

      Auto: When parents join the Troop, we get them to submit all of their auto details. It goes into a spreadsheet, and that spreadsheet is used for the creation of tour permits. Same issue - we have the parents check their information annually.

      Tour Permits. Those things are poorly built, and could use a revamping by a combination of risk specialists who are ALSO Scouters. It should be online, and easy to copy and paste from the spreadsheets that we keep. Luckily I have a parent who "owns" tour permits for me.

      Now the adult applications should be online like AYSO, with the requirement for an annual update. They should also be used for multiple positions - making cross checking much more efficient and effective.

      I do think that some "off of the books" trips happen because an opportunity comes up and the paperwork/process gets in the way. I am pretty sure I have had more than one hike and campout where the permit was sent in, but never received back. But that is also due to issues with reduced staffing and the use of volunteers checking data. Again, an online system would solve a lot of that as well.


      • #20
        Bring a laptop to a meeting with internet access. While the boys go off and do whatever it is that they're going to be doing anyway, have the parents spend the hour running through Youth Protection, This is Scouting, Fast Start: whatever. Offer cookies and other refreshments in between each internet class because adults who have to sit there doing that internet stuff for too long get cranky (seriously). Hey presto, they're done and they can go on every campout, etc.

        Then you all walk outside to the parking lot. Don't surprise anyone, in case they changed providers recently and don't have the form (or don't have insurance, but don't bring that up), and everyone goes to their glove compartment, grabs their insurance form, and brings it over. It'll have the make/model/year of the car and CA minimum is 15k for injury/death to one person, 30k for injury/death to more than one person, 5k for property damage. That's all you fill out on your trip form. If there is an accident and it turns out that they have more insurance than you wrote down, great for them and everyone else but it's really not important.

        Then you go back inside, the boys will be finishing up with whatever they were finishing up with, and you let the boys partake of whatever is left over from the refreshments after the internet session. And you hopefully won't have any problems with any future tour permits.

        If any adults want to earn the "trained" patch, then next week they can do the troop committee challenge on the same laptop, and they're done. Anyone who wants to be an Assistant Scoutmaster just needs to take a couple weekends, and the District has them on its calendar at, yadda, yadda. Make sure that everyone who's trained wears their trained patch. Unfortunately, there is no trained patch for the people outside the troop that troop members are most likely to see regularly (unit commissioners and district committee people running friends of scouting drives and summer camp staff), but at least the adults in the troop can feel proud that they have a trained patch.