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In another thread, someone (I can't find it now) alluded to their Council's new policy of making Leader training mandatory in the coming year. The council in which I serve has also drafted a policy which we are now discussing in the Training Committee. In essence, the draft states that any "Leader" (not further defined) who was on the rolls prior to November 1, 2004 will NOT be eligible to continue their membership if they have not been basic trained in their registered position. All of our units recharter in December. To facilitate this, training fees will not be charged. It's been factored into the Council budget.


Before I solidify and voice my opinions, I would like to know if this is a Nation-wide initiative? What is driving this? What are your thoughts?

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I also saw the post. Councils do not have the authority to mandate training as a condition of registration. To verify this I contacted Joe Glasscock, Director of Program Development for the BSA. Joe is responsible for all adult leader training. Here is his reply.


"Hi Bob,


Please put those rumors to rest. There is no national plan for required training. I have heard of counicl's that have attempted to make it mandatory, but it is not coming from national. We would like to make it so readily available that all people would complete training.





Only the charter organization can mandate leadership training for the leaders chartered to their unit.

The council can mandate training as a condition for members of the district and council committees because their membership resides on the council charter.


For councils to mandate this, violates the Charter Organization relationship.



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This is the first that I have heard of "Mandatory Training" I had read that there was a recomendation that all leaders complete Wood Badge within five years, it was only a recomendation.

Our Friends across the pond in England do have such a rule and in their material they state that if your not willing to take the time to get trained maybe this is not for you.

I am all for training and really do believe that every boy does deserve a trained leader. However I don't think that Mandatory Training is the answer and I also think that making it so may be against BSA rules unless the Chartered Organization is the body making the ruling.

We have no way of knowing what is going on in the lives of all of our volunteers, so while it might be fine for me to take training what about the chap who is working two jobs has a house full of kids and his parents are not doing so well. He might be able to spare some time to serve with a unit and might want to get to training and will when his load lightens up a little.

I really do not see how a council can dictate this ruling to a chartered organization. You didn't select the Leader so unless he there is a good reason you can't ask him to leave trained or untrained.

Please don't let this go through. You might be better off spending time trying to make training more available and attractive rather then scaring off the people that we need so badly.


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I don't know Joe Glasscock personally, but I do know Doug Smith -- National Director of Program -- who supervises Joe in some way. Both are good, realistic, personable men who understand the program in ways that you and I can not fathom. (Not directed at anyone in particular, but to everyone. These guys are good.)


Mandatory training is not a national initiative. However, if the volunteers in your council (Executive Board and officers) have decided to make training mandatory -- that's a local issue.


I'll echo Bob in saying that it is not a national initiative. The only things I've seen from national that even come close to the recommendation are that districts and councils should make training as available as possible to all volunteers. They've come up with some great stuff. It's up to us to get people to attend.



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I don't remember who, but somebody in the past history of scouting said something along the lines of every scout deserving a trained leader, I think he was rather prominent in Boy Scouts foundation


Don't see how you can have a quality program if the people running the program don't know the program

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OGE, I agree with the concept...as a goal, not a requirement. If a leader is functioning adequately, but hasn't earned the "Trained" strip for some reason, are you going to strip him/her of membership anyway? Some will quit, rather than comply simply because they don't like being dictated to by Council. Some trainers may quit, simply because they are already maxed out on the amount of time their spouse or job will abide. "Ready, fire, aim."


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We are doing that now, sort of. The new Intro to Outdoor Leader Skills allows for an experienced person to "test out" of the course by demonstrating to (or learning from) a "Mentor" that they have an adequate knowledge of Scoutcraft (requirements through First Class level) to train their Junior Leaders. The formal weekend outdoor course is no longer required.


I had planned to introduce this as a new thread, but I am curious if others are using this method? Do you accept the signed check off list from anyone, or do you have lists of approved "Mentors" at the District level (a la the MB Counselor concept)? (We are doing the latter, and it was proposed today that we use knowledgeable Venturers to serve as Mentors).

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While mandatory training isn't coming from national, can you ask you contacts in Irving what nationals view of local councils mandating the training. I understand your and Eamonn's point that only the CO's can add to membership requirements, not the local councils. Do the guys in Irving agree with you? How are some local councils apparently getting away with the mandate?

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Dsteele would probably be a better person to answer this but here is my take on the limited info I have.


1. Some people have mistaken the national goal for 100% trained leaders as a mandate rather than a challenge.


2. Because a goal of 50% of all Key leaders completing Basic training is a requirement for Quality district it is being misapplied by some councils.


3. Some Training teams look at this as a pass to do fewer courses (less work) and force feed the attendance.


4. The people who should be the most angry about this are the Charter organization reps whose responsibility is being tread on, and CORs are for the most part unseen and unheard of.


My understanding is if a council asked national "should we do this" national would say definitely NOT.


My counter recommendation.

DEs need to be more active in meeting IHs and explaining their responsibility to select good people and get them trained.


District Training teams should make training available at least twice each month on top of on-site training on request from the units.

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You can lead a horse to water (make training free and readily available) but alas, some will still not drink.


I would like to see training a requirement for a position (leader specific training) grandfathered in for all new leaders. I believe the Girl Scouts go this route. As SM, I've tried and tried to get the CMs trained to no avail. Any suggestions?

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I'm guessing you mean MC (Committee Member) not CM (Cubmaster). We did it in one week. Tuesday night while the troop had it's meeting we had all the comittee members go through New Leader Essentials. That weekend we had a lock-in for the scouts. On Friday night when they came to drop off their scout we did Troop Committee Challenge from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. BANG! they were finished with basic training.


To make it possible we fed them supper.



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