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Combining IOLS and Scoutmaster Specific Training Into One Weekend?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by mozartbrau View Post
    But dumbing down a program to "train" people is not the answer either. Develop a basic course to get those who are clueless started.
    You means something like Fast Start.

    Originally posted by mozartbrau View Post
    Have an intermediate course to teach them more
    Like Position Specific course (Scoutmaster Specific)

    Originally posted by mozartbrau;n409519and have the advanced course for those who can use that.


    Giving him IOLS -- even watered down -- is akin to throwing him in to the pool in the deep end when he cannot swim. Very silly.
    Well, as I said, we have to respect the problem. I was on the district and council training committee and had a pretty good big picture of the problem. For one, not very many adults want to put that much time into training. While I'm not a big fan, more adults will do on line training than when it is presented in person.

    I don't know who does all the whining these days because I got out that side of the program, but when I was sent to units to help fix problems, practical skills was never the issue. It was organizational skills that was hurting the programs. After personal experience of teaching the old course and the new courses, I think the new courses do a much better job of getting adults to understand their goals and skills required to a minimal job than the old courses. But you need to understand, the old courses were appropriate back when 70 percent of the volunteers had a scouting experience as a youth. Its a whole demographic now.

    And please don't think I'm taking up for National, while I respect their challenges, I have little faith that they have the ability to do the job expected of them. My opinions are from my observations of working in the system. Scoutmaster Specific is one of the most dry boring courses I have ever had to give. To present it properly, we went out to find skilled presenters as well has divide the syllabus up into manageable sections. The information is good and important, but it is so long. And I don't see how it could be any shorter. And yet, that course doesn't even talk about practical skills, much less teach them. It is a difficult challenge.

    I am glad councils are trying to fill the holes and I wish them luck. I'm not sure I would want National trying to do it.



    • #17
      @Eagledad, I have been the course director for Scoutmaster Specific and I kinda like it. Sure, it can be dry but if you have fun, knowledgeable presenters it can fun. The videos that accompany the syllabus are funny in that they are so over the top. (I like to poke fun at them and always bet chuckles when I tell the participants that my Troop is exactly like the one in the video.) But my favorite training event to staff is IOLS. It's fun to get out there an be Scouts for the weekend. Yeah, some ppl are complete noobs and other should actually be teaching the course rather than being trained.

      My beef is that both courses are valuable. If we try to stuff both into one weekend I think we're cheating the participants.


      • #18
        I agree LeCaster, I think you basically repeated everything I said. The problem with SM Specific is not just anybody can present it and keep it interesting for 12 hours. The challenge for Councils is not every district has skilled presenters, or even Training Committee Chairs that recognized the need for good presenters. By the way, I met one of the writers of the course and asked him why there was some inconsistencies with the material and he said because the course was written by three different authors who never met each other. They had set of objectives and when they were finished, they sent their material to National to be put together. They didn't know how long the course was going to take until the final version was tested. It helped me understand better why the course was a little jumpy. The way I helped our course move better was provide 3 SKILLED presenters over two days. Changing presenters every couple of hours helped everyone stay fresh. Oh, we also brought a lot of snacks. Our Council also experimented with a three night course but in the end the two day course was the most accepted.

        And I agree with what you say about IOLS, but the problem is the number of weekends scouters are required to attend to be a scouter. Not that many adults really enjoy several weekends of training, and that is the big issue we are dealing with. I also agree that mixing in Webelos training wasn't a good idea.

        I certainly agree that stuffing the two courses together isn't the right approach. However, how about three week nights (tue, wed, thru) of three hours before the weekend of camping. That way the courses could be combined in such a way to make it flow better right from thursday night into Friday night when when everyone meets at camp. Can you see I enjoy writing courses?

        Our council had a two weekend advanced skills course that was designed for Troop leaders with about two years experience. It was a backpacking course where the participants hiked from session to session. They didn't hike very far, it was just a way to each minimalist type of camping. The course was designed by one of the original WB course writters and it is by far the most enjoyable and educational skills course I've seen for adults. But it requires six "full" days (two weekends including a full day friday), which not many scouters are willing to give up.

        If you have some good ideas, you should call Council and ask if you can be part of the team writing the course. I found that once Council or district recognizes talent, they won't let go.



        • #19
          It would be nice if the objective was knowledge and skills being learned as opposed to a check mark next to "Trained." I have staffed SM Specific sessions where participants who arrived after lunch or left before lunch were "Trained." Heck, all the staff were "Trained" to puff up the numbers. Metrics uber trustworthy.