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BrentAllen

Outdoor Article Restart - Is BSA Training Sufficient?

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"There is an accepted format for that training which can be completed in 1 day! "

 

Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills is designed to take place over 3 days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and includes 2 overnights. An alternative format is 2 Saturdays. Either schedule includes 23 1/2 hours of program time. The training cannot be completed in 1 day and if it is being presented in 1 day, the participants are missing out on at least 2/3 of the content.

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If you look at some of the cited incident, kid getting lost, kid knocking logs in a river and falls-in river these are, dare I say it, "Baby sitting issues". I will argue that the G2SS meets the needs as they have developed over the years. G2SS has the word "swim" in it 152 times. Clearly safety and swimming have been an issue for scouts and and national has adressed this. In the SWEET 16 BSA SAFETY RULES, qualified supervision is number one.

 

I believe that the majority of injuries to youths occur on harmless trecks and not on pushing the envelope of high adventure. Kids are wondering out camp and getting lost in the woods more often than a rappelling line gives way. BSA seems to focus on this with the qualified supervision, the buddy system even the program itself with patrol leaders and SPL all looking out for the less experienced.

 

On one hand she writes her boy is too skilled and experienced from her own family travels and on the other hand BSA takes too many chances. She wants it both ways, not interesting enough but too risky.

 

 

 

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This thread is great brain food. I will toss out a suggestion that some (many?) of the accidents result from an outing that doesn't match the abilities of the participants. Not only outings that are beyond the skills of the particpants, but also outings that are below the abilities of the participants.

 

If scouts aren't sufficiently challenged they are likely to look for their own challenges and find things to do that are unsafe.

 

 

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I recently spoke to a business owner that advertises with Outside.

 

He knows the unkind lady that wrote the article, he is not happy.

 

He is going to call the editor and ask, "What were you thinking?"

 

Might help us all if we called some of their other advertisers.

 

If the article was critical of those that can muster enough for a good old fashioned protest she might think again before stating it in so mean a manner.

 

Then again maybe there are those here that don't thingk it was offending at all.

 

He thought the article was beyond pure description and plain mean with some of the style of the article.

He said the article just oozed snob.

The snobbery of the writing made it seem as though the woods are just for the ultra ultra ultra lightweight, high speed low drag, titanium coated, Lexan wine glass drinking, space age, snob backpacker.

 

Heaven forbid a gang of kids pass you on the trail with borrowed,old hand-me-down gear, laughing and joking a little.

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I agree with the article, a considerable amount of insight as to the problems that weaken all of BSA's outdoor programs. Been saying it for years....we, as an organization need to get our act together, and National needs to step up to the plate and stop their CYA tap dancing that they are so good at(Climb on Safety, Safe Swim, Safety Afloat, BSA Lifeguard, LNT....etc). National needs to partner with Outward Bound, NOLS, BOSS, and Solo, etc....creating programs that not only train, but provide a base level of experience...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I will now answer the question "Is BSA Training Sufficient?" YES. I have survived the last 20 years all on training I received as a Boy Scout, and that is why I volunteer today.

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I beg to differ.....

 

With respect to outdoor skills, BSA training is woefully inadequate. I will repeat a comment that I have previously written about BALOO Training in this forum..... How dare we give someone just enough training to go out and purchase a ballroom size tent, then pronounce him (or her) qualified (and responsible) to lead an overnight experience for Cub Scouts.

 

The organization relies too heavily on the individual leaders ability to recognize when he is in over his head. For many of us, there is a lifetimes worth of experience and learning that gives us the skill and confidence to go off into the woods with other peoples children. For others there is an ignorance and a false sense of confidence that all too often leads to problems.

 

When was the last time BSA offered a program like "Hug a Tree". When was the last time you sat through a class that taught the skills you need to teach your boys if they were ever to get lost in the woods? Our council has never offered such a course. When was the last time you sat thought a course about lightening?

 

BSA does need to be more open with the "safety" numbers. It's very easy to say that, "considering the number of boys involved in Scouting our safety statistics are very good", but without proof too much is left unanswered.

 

So to answer the question.....Is BSA training sufficient? My answer is NO.

 

 

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fotoscout said:

When was the last time BSA offered a program like "Hug a Tree".

 

We did Hug a Tree as part of Outdoor Webelos Leader training 8 years ago. I have done it for the cubs in my pack and my district at least once a year since then, plus at another district's event this spring. I'd estimate I've given out 1000+ whistles (though a lot of boys, and their siblings, went through it several times).

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Good for you and the people you've trained !!!!!!!

 

But:

A: You've reinforced my point, because Hug A Tree is not in the syllabus.

and

B: You deviated from the syllabus. Most times when trainers deviated from the syllabus, nothing good comes of it.

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Ok foto, how much are you willing to pay for more training? Should every Scout leader be as qualified as a Registered Maine Guide? Everyone has different levels of skills, and interests for that matter. Great at Botany but shaky on firebuilding? Fine. Stick to what you know. Teach what you know. But I rarely say anything. It is up to the BOYS who are knowledgeable to teach the other BOYS. BOY-LED, BOY-RUN for the BOYS by the BOYS.

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Here's a rough ideal on how to train Scoutmasters...

 

First, National creates a Merit Badge program just for Adult Scouters....examples of possible subjects - Land Navigation, Wilderness Leadership, WFA, WFR, WEMT, SAR, Basic Canoeing, Advanced Canoeing, Climbing and Rigging, Basic Backpacking, Advanced Backpacking, Tracking...etc.

 

Next, a series of rankings...examples; Scoutmaster Basic, an automatic for just signing one's name on the dotted line and completing BSA's general training courses; Scoutmaster Intermediate, x number of mb's; Scoutmaster Advanced, an additional number of mb's, and Scoutmaster Guide as the final step.

 

As always, it'll be up to the individual to decide just how much training he/she wants to undertake....

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I think that is an incredibly good idea!

 

Question - how can we do it and make it affordable enough that regular people don't have to quit their jobs and become trainers or guides to justify the cost? It should be affordable all the way up through the continuum.

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Here's my thinking for a win win, which is for National to partner with ARC, YMCA, SOLO, NOLS, BOSS, Outward Bound as well as with colleges and universities that offer training in outdoor/wilderness rec for reduced rates, and to tap into their trainers.

 

Additionally, there are voulunteers within all Councils with a considerable amount of outdoor skills that could also be tapped into as trainers. Here, the Councils could ante up a few bucks in helping them maintain their certs......

 

 

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I find it interesting that in the "Some Common Traits of Successful Troops" over in Working with Kids, no one (except me) has mentioned having leaders skilled/trained/competent to take boys on high adventure or back county outings. Also, none of the same people (except me) have posted. Are we missing the big picture?

 

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