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BrentAllen

Outdoor Article Restart - Is BSA Training Sufficient?

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If I had all the training Le Voyageur listed, I wouldn't waste my time as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts. What's the matter with you guys? This is not Special Forces. It's only an hour a week.

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local1400 makes a valid point - but what serving SM really only does an hour a week? And if so you must have an excellent committee.

The other end of this discussion is the end that I was (kindly)taken to task on. How much training is enough, shouldn't it be an ongoing experience that covers the things you actually need to be able to do versus just managing an activity. Or with the information we have are we statistically safe enough? (Safe Enough?)

 

la voyuegers suggestion of an ongoing progression of skills which lead to recognition for attaining them as well as real world capabilities sounds great to me. It doesn't stop a "fenced in suburbanite" with an entry level skill set from volunteering and will hopefully inspire a drive towards benefiting the boys more as the leaders skills increase and which just happens to feed their own personal development.

Although without making it one's profession I still don't see how you are going to be able to get to Wilderness EMT.

Or is there going to be a required set of standard certs at each level, or will it be mix and match of any number of certs as long as you meet the required number of certs for each level?

 

My own bugaboo about this still remains cost of attending these programs; out of pocket and lost time costs.

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If time and cost is a factor, consider that National, as well the Councils spend a considerable amount of time training volunteers to serve as Commissioners (Council, District, Unit, and Camp). And that there are volunteers who are willing to spend the time, and money. Here's an example...

 

http://www.scouting.org/commissioners/ptc/index.html

 

BSA knows that without trained Commissioners, their DE's would never make thier number goals, or be able to keep their Districts healthy

 

Now, why is it, that such a key position as Scoutmaster has such a weak overall training program, and none for high adventure?

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I agree about the weak training for SM's only from my own experience. It will take AT LEAST a year for me to get my trained patch, if I can get to each once a year training event in Council. So with the idea that the training to get that patch doesn't meet a lot of peoples idea of being ready for real world outdoor leadership then why would I think that the Council or Commisisoners will run with the ball on getting the kind of training we have discussed above set up for the SM's and Assistants?

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The Area IV High Adventure Team offers several trainings:

Basic Backpack

Advanced Backpack

Winter Backpack

Desert Backpack

Cycling

Rock Climbing

Rappelling

Snow Shoeing

Ice Axing

Nordic Skiing

Land Navigation / Orienteering

Astronomy

Inland Waterways

Trail Boss

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Powderhorn is about resources and where to go for information and where to go to acquire skills, its not about teaching skills

 

 

Maybe we need a new direction on this. Not everyone who becomes a scoutmaster is going to be a he-man outdoorsman who can field dress a slain hind with one hand while building the reflector oven which will be used to bake the loins into a sumptious dinner hailed by Tom Colicchio.

 

While a scoutmaster may be a white water enthusiast, will he/she then also be a master climber and have Wilderness First aid certification to boot? And if such a person would exist, and I know some do, how would they maintain such skills? From what I read on the forums, its getting hard enough to get people to fill scouting roles without asking them to also become certified Maine guides, or beyond.

 

Then again, I think, what do we repeat over and over here? Its not what the adults want to do, its the boys program, we have to do what the boys want to do if we want them comming back year after year. A few years back there was a TV commercial for scouting, it was a scout on a rappel line asking a climber on a rack face if this was his wallet. Great commercial, but how many troops can go climbing once a month? SOme I am sure, but not the majority, climbing is one expensive sport to bring a group into. When I first started with the Crew, I soon learned High Adventure = High Cost, let alone high training costs and time committments. Perhaps its time to develop high adventure skill people, on either district, multi-District COuncil or Area basis. Identify people with the skill who will take a group out and provide the technical expertise requierd to do an outing correctly. There are Commissioner Corps, what about a High Adventure Corp, interested people who are trained to make treks happen.

 

It would be best if every troop has such people, but reality says that is not likely and alternatives need to be developed

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The image of boy scouts is that we do exciting, high risk activities with the boys. The reality is we don't train our leadership to that expectation. We train them on how to run meetings, do merit badges, fill out tour permits, organize camping trips, run a fundraiser. To think that once you get BSA "trained" you are qualified to do anything remotely adventurous is silly. Perhaps BSA should work on altering their image that they don't camp farther than they can see the cars, stay in cell phone range for EMS support, don't do things that can get them in trouble. Then the training required will dovetail with the image presented.

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Thanks Gern. for making it possible to re-raise my flag of why not have the Council or National training office give credit for alternate experience/ accreditation and then issue a BSA cert for that. Why does my many many nights outdoors in all kinds of weather in various locales count for nothing as far as the BSA is concerned?(I know, I know, CYA) I feel certain that there are others out there who have the experience but not the certifications.

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Gee, this whole time I thought we were talking about training for adults, which Powder Horn most certainly is.

 

"Powder Horn is a training opportunity designed to expose the Venturing or Boy Scout leader to activities and resources necessary to operate a successful Venturing Ranger Award or Troop High Adventure program in several ways"

 

Also, am I the only person who has the BSA program book "Passport to High Adventure"? Yes, OGE, I know it isn't a training course, but it gives lots of information about how to prepare for a High Adventure trip. I thought that was what we were talking about.

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Yah, I'm in the "we don't do enough" group with many of the others. After all, yeh can get to our "highest level of training" from "zero" in just a few weekends.

 

I'm with Gunny, though. There does need to be a kind of "challenge out" or "quick credit" mechanism to recognize scouters who already have a set of skills. No point in makin' people sit through stuff bein' bored.

 

Beavah

 

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We just ran a 3 day 2 night 44 mile canoe trip.

The SSD/ SA was helpful but not much else I learned in IOLS was really helpful. I have learned more from the net about water filters and dutch oven recipes.

 

I feel the same as Gunny, a Marine Infantry Platoon SGT. does not need IOLS but how would you certify "outsider" experiences?

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I'd try to make an intelligent comment here but only those who have had the opportunity to attend, or see the syllabus for, IOLS know what is actually involved.

 

So, I'd still suggest that there could be some kind of written/practical pretest that focused on requisite skill rather than specific terminology where one could test out of IOLS.

 

Actually being the glutton for punishment that I am, I'd just as soon go to the course(Can't train to much, until you reach muscle memory, or can't afford it) but it is weird to me that such a required program is only done once a year by my council.

Another district is doing it but can you believe over a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday in October? Even if I could get out of work I can't miss my college classes.

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There is a provision within the Outdoor Leader Skills training to demonstrate knowledge of the topics covered without having to actually participate in that training topic. Speak to the course director or district training chairman. It should be understood that the purpose of the course is not so much for the participant to become personally proficient in the skills, but rather to be able to confidently teach those skills to Scouts.

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