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

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

    I hope my topic made sense but if not let me clarify. If I want to take the boys on a road trip I have to fill out all the paperwork on who's going, what kind of vehicle, insurance info, etc... also does everyone going (adults) have all the required training. I've had some parents initially seem interested in helping until they hear about all the training/paperwork that's required. Thoughts???

  • #2
    First of all training for one's position in the unit is not such a bad idea. Would you want some guy doing surgery on you that doesn't have the training? Extreme example, but it does apply for a lot of other smaller issues. Why would we expect anyone, even the boys, to do a job that they are not trained to do. After all BSA is a training ground for boys. Surely one would expect qualified instructors leading the program.

    All the other "stuff" is to keep having to talk to lawyers and judges. It's kinda like "due diligence". Would you want your son being driven around the countryside by someone who doesn't have a license or insurance? Is the vehicle a pickup truck where the boys are expected to ride in the back? Are there enough seat belts for the number of riders? etc.

    Sure, there are a lot of common sense people out there that would check all that stuff out before a trip, but then not all people have common sense and even some of them do could have a tendency to cut some safety corners here and there.

    I think it's a hassle, no doubt, but requiring everyone to cross all the t's and dot all the i's might just catch something for the 1% who cut one too many corners.

    I just think of it as a self-protection issue. If I have done everything right, it protects me down the road. After all, I really don't think 2-deep leadership issues is to protect the scouts. But I really think it's in MY best interest to have backup when some scout with a beef with me goes and tells his parents I "touched" him improperly. If it comes down to your word against a kid's, you're gonna lose!


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    • #3
      Randy, let me answer this question in a little more detail: Yes!

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      • #4
        Yes, I think all the hoops we have to jump through are turning some people off, and driving them away.

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        • #5
          Yes, I do. I think that the attention to safety and details also attracts some parents, and gives additional peace of mind.

          I've heard that training resistance is especially a problem in Roman Catholic units where the volunteers have to do diocesan training along with BSA training.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the replies. I recently had a parent who was willing to help drive a group of boys to summer camp (> 5hrs away). When I started asking about her insurance limits, etc... She said well maybe I won't. I understand that the BSA is trying to Cover their butt or covers yours but as complicated as everything else is in life all this training/paperwork just turns people off, myself included.

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            • dlearyous
              dlearyous commented
              Editing a comment
              Other than providing info on her vehicle what training and paperwork is she required to do? I'd be worried if a parent that was driving my child did not want to share that info!

          • #7
            Consider it an effort to "be prepared". Same reason you pack a poncho during a drought. Help at all?

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            • #8
              Originally posted by RandyPrice View Post
              I hope my topic made sense but if not let me clarify. If I want to take the boys on a road trip I have to fill out all the paperwork on who's going, what kind of vehicle, insurance info, etc... also does everyone going (adults) have all the required training. I've had some parents initially seem interested in helping until they hear about all the training/paperwork that's required. Thoughts???
              I think the training is a dual edged sword. On one hand, it allows us to recruit more scouts, with the assurance that the leaders are checked out and know the rules. On the other hand, it is offputting to new leaders. To me, the bigger problem is the loss and slow processing of records by the Council. I've submitted a MBC form 4 times, and am not approved. This is despite having been a Scout leader with the Council for 7 yrs. When asked why, they told me they have no idea why I haven't been approved.

              Comment


              • sasha
                sasha commented
                Editing a comment
                I recently learned that the MBC apps in our district fall into a black hole created by a district volunteer who doesn't like to do paperwork. Wonderful. So much disregard for the volunteers willing to step up and the work I've put into recruiting them, not to mention the scouts looking for a counselor in our district. The person in question was just awarded a Silver Beaver which makes me cynical about any change happening soon.

            • #9
              Can it be a pain in the buttocks, absolutely. But as other have stated it's important.

              Can it be frustrating? Yep. When I did SM Fundamentals way back when, only useful thing was the paperwork section. Running meetings, Outdoor skills, etc was stuff I did in Scouts and had taught previously. Glad they allow a "test out" option for IOLS now b/c there are some folks who have the knowledge, skills, and abilities and don't need another weekend away from the family. One example I can give is the 3 time Philmont, Eagle Scout who was untrained because he didn;t do IOLS. Best example I can give is the Eagle Scout, former camp staffer, multiple outdoor MBC, WB 3 beader who, becasue he did not do IOLS, was considered "Untrained."

              Can you get really ticked off when the training records are screwed up, or, as was my case, the information you were told by the national SCOUTNET director was incorrect and your records did not follow you around. YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT . Yep I was told SCOUTNET would allow records to follow you around, only to learn 12 years later "nope, it never did." And trust me, you don;t want to tell the PTC staffer that according to council, he is not "trained" in the subject he taught at PTC.

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              • #10
                Originally posted by RandyPrice View Post
                Thanks for the replies. I recently had a parent who was willing to help drive a group of boys to summer camp (> 5hrs away). When I started asking about her insurance limits, etc... She said well maybe I won't. I understand that the BSA is trying to Cover their butt or covers yours but as complicated as everything else is in life all this training/paperwork just turns people off, myself included.
                Then she probably doesn't have insurance and she should be in jail.

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                • koolaidman
                  koolaidman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It could be she does have insurance and carries her proof (like we have to in TX), however doesn't want to go through the hassle of figuring out her coverage limits.

                • Eagledad
                  Eagledad commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Asking about insurance makes us aware of the responsibility and whether we want that responsibility or not. And training is keeping a lot of adults out of the program. Scoutmaster Specific was a 24 hour class. Ssometimes adults just can't fit a course in their schedule which prevents them from participating at all. I redesgined our District training program just so we could provide more training for the average working person.

                • ramblinrosey
                  ramblinrosey commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Not all states require car ins., New Hampshire is one of them...it's optional. But I will say the premiums are real affordable so there should be no reason not to have it. I have politely declined an offer of a parent because they did not have that ins. but found her something else we could use her for.

              • #11
                So new parent is going to send scout off to a campout with some unknown to them adult.......

                Training, even weak as it is, gives them a small guarantee that their scout will be returned in one piece.

                tour permits that require Adults to have basic understanding of CPR, water safety and first aid protect everyone.


                Yes it is a pain, I don't like it either....But is part of being an adult and serving my youth.

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                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'm not that bothered about the training issue. But ...

                  The MBC paperwork that they lost multiple times.
                  The CPR class that I took at University of Scouting, including the test I passed, but never get a certification.
                  The attempt to get us to fill out a tour plan every time we met outside of our meeting place.
                  The massive medical form -- seems to be the only thing growing in the BSA.
                  The online tour plan that my youth leaders cannot access.
                  The monkey-shine about no tour plan, no insurance.
                  The revised national camp school guideline that says lifeguards shouldn't have whistles.
                  The "blue card or bust" mentality.

                  Folks, these are NEW things that my SM and his committee of 3 never had to deal with. If they did, would they have been scouters? These were can-do people -- journeymen, business men, college department chairmen, senior care providers, church builders, friends of jungle missionaries. If someone said "Wait, there's a form for that" at every turn and half the time nobody really cares about that form, do you think they would have maintained their Christian character?

                • Pack18Alex
                  Pack18Alex commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It would be nice if you could create multiple designated meeting places that don't require tour plans. However, how about a push to create PDF Fill-in Forms for all the forms available as PDF? I have a Mac program, PDF Signer, that lets me type anywhere, but it's a pain in the butt. None of us have type-writers.

                  Florida we have standardized medical forms (blue and yellow forms) that all youth programs use, except BSA. So I show up to camp orientation with B&Y forms and was told to come back with the BSA forms...

                  The awful Charter/Advancement web software that rather than being a standardized web form, is instead a mess of Internet Explorer 6 specific Javascript.

              • #12
                I'm not so sure from my perspective that we are loosing people solely because of the paperwork and training, but I'm sure that it's a factor that turns some folks off.
                I'm all for training, and I guess I can't help but to agree with CYA paperwork....
                but there needs to be a serious re-visit of this stuff in the BSA for sure.....

                Required training such as BALOO. I've been trying to find a course for going on two years now. Not many are available, and the ones that are conflict with pack outings. how am I supposed to check that off?

                Tour permits. They make sense as they are for a troop where you have a SM and ASM taking a bunch of boys in one or two cars or vans.
                Make absolutely no sense when you have a pack with maybe 30 or 60 different families heading to an event. Each boy has at least one parent or guardian with him and that parent is driving, 30 or 60 different vehicles.... and that parent is holding complete responsibility for that kid during the whole of the trip.... The requirement just looks kinda dumb.

                Ditto the medical forms..... kinda dumb when mom &.or dad are standing right there beside little Jr.

                Oh, and I will say that we have had multiple... like in more than I can count on one hand.... issues of lost or misfiled applications at council in my year and a half of adult scouting.

                and then there's the nightmare of on-line recharter.

                Comment


                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  A time or two thru the recharter it isn't that big a deal.

                  Missing apps and stuff like that are issues with horrible council service centers.....Absolutely take it up with your DE and SE.

                  Our council only requires tour permits if we leave the council boundaries or for high adventure.

                • jc2008
                  jc2008 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Medical forms are for EVERYONE that is attending your event, not just little Jr.

                  Is little Jr going to be able to tell you all of Dad's allergies/insurance info/medical conditions if its Dad laying on the ground passed out or in trouble and unable to tell you himself?

              • #13
                True, I have experienced many intances of the computer programs leaving much to be desired, and heard about many more.

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                • #14
                  Here's what it boils down to: People do what they want to do. Some things are a hassle but I've never been so put off by any of them that I've showed my butt and quit. If someone has time to be a SM, they have time for the training. If someone has time to drive 5 hours to summer camp, they've got 5 minutes to find their insurance limits. We had a guy whinge, whinge whinge over ASM training because "he joined scouts to spend more time with his son, not get taken away for a weekend." Fine, then quit, this isn't Indian Guides, anyway.
                  People will do what they want to do.

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                  • #15
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • dlearyous
                      dlearyous commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Number one, if a parent wants to go on a weekend campout with their kid they should do it on their own time. I don't know when it happened, but why is the boy adult ratio almost 2 or 3 to1 at campouts these days? Also, if parents are attending shouldn't they be trained on unauthorized situations to keep them out of trouble (one hour of Youth Protection)?

                    • Khaliela
                      Khaliela commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Where the heck are you coming up with 2 or 3 to 1???? In Cub Scouts possibly because cub have to have a parent with them.

                      Why shouldn't we allow parents to come to events? If we excluded them they may never see their kids. Just look at a typical week for a 13 year old during the school year.

                      6:30 AM Weight Room Opens for Jocks Lifting
                      7:30 AM Study Hall opens for Jocks Study Hall
                      8:10 AM School starts
                      3:10 PM School Dismissed
                      3:15 PM to 6 PM After school events (Music, Sports, Drama, etc.)
                      7:00 PM to 8:30 PM Scouts/4-H/Private Lessons/(Youth Group for Christians), etc depending on the night
                      9:00 PM to 10:00 PM Homework

                      Then you add weekends:
                      1 Weekend a month for 4-H/Youth Group/any other event
                      1 Weekend a month for Scouts events
                      1 weekend a month for Sporting events
                      1 weekend a month to keep your sanity

                      Many families have multiple kids all running in different directions causing even more chaos in the schedule.
                      Makes absolutely no sense to be running parents off by expecting them to have several hours of training (Think safe swim; safety afloat; hazardous weather, etc) just because they want to spend time with their kid.

                    • dlearyous
                      dlearyous commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I come up with ratio from experience. Troops that don't turn away parents end up with that many Scouts to parents ratio. It is ridiculous. Adults are there to supervise the Scouts not to have parent/son time, that is what BSA Family Camping is for and home life. Any kid that has a schedule like you described needs to learn to say no and schedule in some down time.
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