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dan

Training methodology

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In another post a posters questioned some of the BSA training.

It seems to me that the BSA keeps the training very upbeat and positive, which really waters down the training. If during the training, the trainer said things like, You cannot add to requirements, You WILL allow you SPL to be elected, ETC., it would drive many leaders away.

I will use the person that use to post here (he that cannot be named (htcbn)) as an example. htcbn would give the people the information in a straight forward and honest way. Not sugar coater, and look how many posters took this as a personnel attack. He cast no stones (until stones where cast at him), just spelled it out, right to the point. Nothing more nothing less, and many posters here could not handle this, they want the training and information to be sugar coated, so that they can continue to run the program as they see fit. The BSA knows at this time, it cannot make training more to the point because it would cause many units to fold, because the leaders do not want the BSA to tell them how to run the program, they want a flexible program, to fit them.

But I sure hope the BSA has a task team working on beefing up the training.

 

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I think that the quality of training has to come back to the quality of the people presenting the training.

HTCN and myself have discussed if we should build training teams that consist of the best presenters or teams of people who might not be so hot on the presentation but are knowledgeable of the program. He was for going with the best possible presenters. This was a new to me when he brought it up. It does make a lot of sense to have the best people present the training and build up a team of presenters, rather than trying to grab people who in most cases are already busy wearing some other hat and trying to make them into presenters.

Most training goes well until people start straying from the syllabus or start trying to add the things that they see as being important.

There is a time and a place for these creative ideas, maybe at a Show 'n' tell or a Pow Wow or even a round table.

I had the great pleasure to work with a really outstanding Cub Scout trainer. At the old Cub Scout Wood Badge she was out of this world. For a living in the "Real" world she was a music teacher at an elementary school. She brought an enthusiasm and love of the program along with a real sense of caring to her trainings. When she presented the old Cub Scout fundamental course she insisted on presenting each participant with a big bag of junk. The bag had about 20 or 30 items in it. Each item symbolized something. There was a tooth pick to remind people not to pick on the Scouts, a blue stone for Cub Scouting, a rubber band to remind people to remain flexible and so it went on. It took ages to get all this stuff sorted (She never managed to get it done before hand) The courses always ran way over and participants would have to leave. But this was her thing. When I replaced her some of the trainers were shocked that I didn't continue this.

I was the Council Training Chair. when we changed from the old training's to the new ones. I'm a big fan of the NLE. The material is really good, but I find that the bridge is a distraction. Not that big a distraction that it should be left out. I am not a fan of the Cub Scout Specific training's. I hope that the powers that be see the light and come up with something better. I don't see it changing anytime in the near future. I like both the Boy Scout Training's. I have only presented the Venturing Training one time and have never presented the Troop Committee Training. The new videos are far better than the old ones.

The new Wood Badge is good. There still seems to be a lot of people who don't understand that it is just a course on leadership. Sure it uses the troop setting, but it isn't a Boy Scout course. All the stuff you need to run a troop or run a Den should be covered in the specific training's. Of course no one is dumb enough to think that attending a training course is going to equip those that attend for every situation. One of the last things that participants hear on the Wood Badge course is "Training Never Ends."

Most people who have been around training for a while are normally fairly good at the basics.Most participants attend because they think that they will come away with more knowledge than they had when they arrived. Every now and then at a course there is the couple of guys that really have no intention of coming away with anything, they are just there to be a pain. Some have come to show off how great they are and how much better their program is than that "Book Stuff." Some have an ax to grind with the Council or the District and think that training is a good place to voice their dissatisfactions.

We really drum our training teams into not getting involved in arguments. We tell them that if they don't know something to say the words "I'm sorry, I don't know" then if possible to try and find the correct answer. I remember someone asking me if a venturer who was an Eagle Scout could wear the adult knot? I said that I didn't know, at a break I overheard the guy who asked the question telling his buddies that he "Had shown" me!!

Scouting is supposed to be fun and we try to keep training upbeat and fun, I'm not sure if I would go as far as saying that it is sugar coated.We do hit people with a lot of information in a very short amount of time.

One good way to ensure that they really got it and understood it was to ask them to help with training. Which if we go with a Presentation Team, isn't going to happen.

Sometimes you just can't win.

Eamonn.

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The BSA has a unique methodology; demonstrate the correct method then allow the unit to function properly. This is not a very common philosophy in all organizations, but, in my opinion, it is a very effective one. And the philosophy flows down all the way to the boy.

 

I have been to many trainings and I am a trainer myself. The most effective trainers I have seen present their material, without any B.S., and then let the leaders take that information and run their units.

 

As far as upbeat and positive - I believe this is essential to providing interesting and engaging training courses. This does not mean, however, that the material needs to be compromised or that BSA policies can be changed.

 

I would expect, when I attend any training, that the material is accurate and conforms to BSA standards and that the trainer presents the material without deviating from any BSA policies. I always appreciate trainings that have these qualities because I don't want or expect to be given watered-down information. If that is what I want, all I have to do is talk to an untrained leader.

 

Eagle-Pete

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I would agree with eagle-pete. The BSA method is unique. And as Eamonn posted, the quality of the training depends on the trainer. This is true in any teacher/student, trainer/trainee situation. The program might be identical, but how it is presented can be completely different. And while training is a must, practical experience & common sense are also very important.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

A blessed Christmas to all!

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I recently resigned as training chair after two years. My observations:

 

-Most Scouters do not do Fast Start and have no idea it is available on line

-Cub training is hard to present, and hard to keep people trained. The "specific" courses have huge overlaps of information and there is little "specific" that would justify 5 different sessions.

-SM specific is excellent, but should be required for all Boy Scouters. The Troop Committee needs to know this stuff, too.

-The most important people in the organization are the CORs and they get NO training.

-Trainer Development Conference is a waste of a day. MOst come away very disappointed.

-Pack Trainers are nonexistent. They should be doing the majority of Cub training.

-The main deterrent from taking WB is the cost. Do we really need custom made T-shirts, hats, mugs and jackets for each course? It's training...not an exclusive country club.

 

WHy did I resign? I was teaching solo every course that was sponsored by the district...when I did get "help" from people recruited by the DE, they were the "old timers" who liked to ramble about how they did it 25 years ago and didn't have a clue what was in the syllabus. Then the Executive Board decided that training should be "mandatory" and to meet the demand, any warm body in the Council Service Center was told to "go do training". Some of these new "trainers" (new DEs and even clerical staff) wouldn't know a cub scout if one bit him on the knee, but hey, just go read the syllabus to them and play the videos. How hard can it be? At least we get "TRAINED" strips on everyone and make Quality Council.

 

Another observation...training is probably the ONLY opportunity we have to present and market the program, motivate leaders, and inspire them on to other positions. If it is done poorly, by inexperienced trainers, or with material that is irrelevant, redundant or condescending (ditto about the bridge thing), we fail and they won't be back. Fool me once...

 

Put me in the camp that thinks a major training overhaul is needed, and soon! If for no other reason than to fix things to correspond to program changes over the past 5 years. It got embarrassing to be told by a new Tiger DL.."we don't do it that way any more"...

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Eamonn's point about letting the newbees do the training so that they can gain experience and insight is good one. It stands in contrast to BW's point about letting only the best do the training, a not uncommon method. I still do not believe that either method would necessarily lead to the end product that is desired and that is for a person to leave training and go do their job. To tell people that training continues ever after is an admission that the actual training is incomplete and/or a failure. This stuff is not Rocket Science (RS) but if it was RS and the person was not able to produce Rs, then they would not be allowed to build R's because of the cost. In Scouting, we are dealing with something far more valuable than R's and that is the Boy and the three goals of Scouting.

 

The WB beads come with a stamp of approval of a final training destination. People wear them like they were made of gold but they are made of only wood. Ask someone to trade beads with you sometime. I wouldn't trade mine and I doubt others would either. The reason lies in the symbolic nature of the beads. They mean something very important and that is that we now know the information and we are able to apply it. There are allot of other meanings of the WB beads that I could share but that is for another Spun Thread.

 

The training I received in WB brought me to a new level in Scouting and I would never have believed that could happen but it did and I will be forever grateful for the experience and the training. I fully appreciate the trainers and their time they gave so willingly. If I were to call on any of those guys to this very day, they would do whatever they could to help and there have been several moves and years in-between the training and this date.

 

The point that I would like to make is that Patience is difficult to teach but that is what is needed for boys to learn the Scouting Skills and the Leaderships skills. A Scout Leader must learn to move back from some mistakes and to let some things happen in light of certain failure. Counsel and reflect with the Scout afterwards and go forward with a much stronger Scout. So, one conclusion for WB staff selection is to choose people that have shown Patience with the Scouts in the past and that can model that behavior.

 

Merry Christmas,

 

 

FB

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I believe that the greatest problem with our training, especially the first few CS training modules, is that the sessions are not framed with the right perspective for the attendees. Let me explain.....

Case One Its 8:00am on a Saturday morning or 7:30pm after a long day. We arrive at class ready to learn about the CS program. The instructor gets up, welcomes everyone and immediately asks everyone to stand up and sing The Grand old Duke of York. I am already insulted, and angry that Im wasting my time singing songs. The perspective and perception of training is already wrong. Pack night for adults.

Case Two - Its 8:00am on a Saturday morning or 7:30pm after a long day. We arrive at class ready to learn about the CS program. The instructor gets up, welcomes everyone followed by a lecture on the method of training used by BSA. First, a discussion about how our training sessions are in part intended to model the behaviors and activities BSA wants you do with the kids. Second, an overview of the CS training program. Each step, each course, and the benefit of taking each course should be outlined. Third, a repeat of the first item, modeling, modeling, modeling! Now the instructor asks everyone to stand up and sing The Grand Old Duke of York. Now I know why Im singing, and I am not so pissed off.

Time and again I hear the comment, Training was hokey and childish. Then I ask, Do you understand why they were doing that stuff? The answer is usually No, I guess they think its fun. And I launch into my modeling lecture. Without any doubt, the reason I dont see people retuning to training is because the felt it was childish, and not informative enough. Yes, they always come away with something, but not enough to bring them back for the next class.

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While I support the BSA training I feel there is too much training. Too many classes to attend at too many different times! Why cant it be consolidated into basic course for Cub Scout and Boy Scouts with breakout sessions for each position? Have breakout sessions for Committee Members, one for Assistant SMs, one for SMs, etc.. That way, ALL the training could be completed in a day or two instead of having to attend three or more training sessions!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

A blessed Christmas to all!

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Ed,

 

While I think your option is very doable. I also think that there is a need to get people back into the classroom once a year for follow up and reinforcement. The current system does do some of that.(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

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Ed's option is not only do-able... it is being done! The problem with this method is having enough instructors to facilitate, let's see..... Youth Protection, New Leader Essentials, Tiger Den Leader Specific, Den Leader Specific, Webelos Leader Specific, Cubmaster Specific, Pack Committee Specific, Scoutmaster Specific, Troop Committee Challange......

 

It is sometimes difficult to arrange for staff to provide all of those trainings at one time.

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I've got an interesting question for all the trainers out there.....and it isn't meant to offend anyone. Our district trainer is also the Scoutmaster of our troop. He has told me more than once that his greatest challenge in BS training courses are the leaders who earned their Eagle as boys. They seem to think that they know it all and don't expect to get anything out of the course. BTW, he himself is an Eagle, so it is not a jealousy thing on his part. He likens them to the old timers who remember and want to do scouting the way they did it 25 or 30 years ago. Have any of you other trainers noticed an "attitude" from your Eagle scout leaders?

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Our Council uses the Universaity of Scouting to supply the needed training in a one day senario. I have attended the last two years, and overall I think that I have learned quite a bit. Granted I am like most in that I think some of the classes could have been more detailed but these classes followed the syllbus. Just think in those few specific classes the course needs to be reworked. As a Traning NCO in the Army for ten years, I think I can speak with some knowledge on the lack of adaquate information that some of these courses had. But overall I think that with some small tweaking the training is pretty good.

 

 

Robert

WEBELOS II Den Leader

Pack 49

Augusta, Ga

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Our Council uses the Universaity of Scouting to supply the needed training in a one day senario. I have attended the last two years, and overall I think that I have learned quite a bit. Granted I am like most in that I think some of the classes could have been more detailed but these classes followed the syllbus. Just think in those few specific classes the course needs to be reworked. As a Traning NCO in the Army for ten years, I think I can speak with some knowledge on the lack of adaquate information that some of these courses had. But overall I think that with some small tweaking the training is pretty good.

 

 

Robert

WEBELOS II Den Leader

Pack 49

Augusta, Ga

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Keep in mind that the leader specific courses are basic training. They are not the final word in training. One cannot expect to learn all that is needed in a 2 1/2 hour session designed for new leaders.

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So, we have enough training to choke the horse that comes to drink. Now, what about those leaders that still decides that the program should be done their way, instead of the BSA way.

 

The Commissioners are told to observe and encourage better behavior or to coach the wayward leaders back to training.

 

But, you have an Eagle Scout that is a leader and has all of the training, including the WB beads or a Type A with patches to prove it and is doing it "his way". Do you really think more training is the key? It is continually pointed out here that all of the training is incomplete and that one can never be trained enough. It appears that the answer is circular thinking.

 

Here is what it looks like:

A person is recruited and trained. That person runs his/her own show. It is observed that he/she is running their own show. Let's have more training for him/her. The person goes to training but continues to do more of the same. The end result is to cover the person in Trained patches and eventually make a Commissioner out of him/her so they can tell others how they did it in the past.

 

Sorry, I am a little frustrated.

 

Merry Christmas,

FB

 

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