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The Training High.

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I don't think that length of service always is the mark of a great Scouter.

I know guys who have been in Scouting for years and years and never really got it.

Heck, they gave me a 40 year pin the other week and there are still things that I don't get.

I have been involved with BSA training's for a fair amount of time.

For the most part I think the training's offered are very good.

I have organized most BSA adult trainings.

When we put together a staff for a course, I tend to be a little dogmatic about the presenters sticking to the syllabus.

Some of the presenters have a bit of a rough time with this. Some come from units that have tweaked the way things are done. This might work fine in the unit they come from, but I feel that when a BSA training is being presented it should follow what the BSA has stated.

Of course the Training works on the idea that everyone is from a ideal unit.

A unit where the CO and the COR are overjoyed to provide opportunities for the youth they serve.

The Scoutmaster is the same guy as seen in the video presentations. The birds are singing and the sky is blue.

Of course we all know that while this is possible and can work, a lot of the time it just isn't the case.

I have seen a lot of people who have participated in trainings return to their units on the "Training High".

They see what isn't being done the way it was presented at the training and want to change it.

They seem to forget that the unit has been doing things the way they do for a very long time and in a lot of cases everyone is happy with that way.

While this doesn't make things right. It isn't going to change overnight or very quickly.

Sadly, I've seen really nice people who have the makings of being outstanding Scouter's get so frustrated that they just give up and quit. I've also seen the people who return from training and then try and change everything, the end result being that everyone else quits!!

Of course there are the people who return to the unit and just carry on doing the same old, same old.

Dealing with the Training High can be very hard.

It is easier to manage if all the adults are friends. Making changes is a lot easier if the idea is presented in a friendly non-confrontational way and the change is "a soft sell".

The person or people who want to make the changes have to be willing to work at making the changes work. While the idea is sound and eventually the outcome will pay dividends, getting there is going to take hard work and commitment.

Everyone has to look at what battles?? They stand a chance of winning, what changes can be made and they need to think long term.


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Very true words, Eamonn.


I wonder if it is also appropriate to ask the question, in light of your observations, "What exactly is 'Training'"?


This may seem like a strange question. What I mean is what are we doing when we train Scouters? Are we pushing our propaganda? Are we trying to change the world, one unit at a time? Are we trying to "fix the problem"?


Sometimes I think (and I include myself in this) that we, the trainers, look at ourselves as in a higher plane of scouting existence than the Scouter we are training. It becomes so commonplace to have a Scouter attend a training who comes from a problem unit and it is up to us to properly train him/her to go back to their unit and start running Scouting the "right way". Or at least get them to drag a few more Scouters back to our training - so we can indoctrinate more of them.


On the other hand, I agree with you about following what BSA has started. Something I often say to participants is, "Work the program and trust that the BSA knows what they are doing". The reason I do this is because there is such a temptation for the participant to return to their unit and simply take what they remember from training and modify it to conform to the way their unit is running things.


The problem with this is, of course, the unit really doesn't realize any benefits from the training. And although, as you state, the trainings work on the idea that everyone is from an ideal unit, it is still pretty safe to say that a struggling unit will benefit, at least on some level, by working the program as it is intended.


Absolutely there will be resistance to change. It is human nature. And although I would never suggest that we throw out the baby with the bath water, as it were, it may be necessary to make some drastic changes in a unit where the youth are not presented a program which provides a level of quality that the boys need. This change may necessitate, in some instances, a change in some of the staff. This has happened in units I have been in. It wasn't pleasant, but when you are talking about the good of the boys and their program, it is sometimes necessary.


I have also seen how training works. I have watched a unit go from struggling desperately with their program to a point where they have reached that satisfactory level where the boys are starting to enjoy Scouting again. That, after all, is the goal. And training the leaders was the catalyst. This was the Cub program, and I am still involved, though I have moved on to the Boy Scouting program in my unit. And I am really grateful the Cub program works now. After all, I will be receiving those Cubs someday in the troop. I'd like them to have a good experience. It sure makes my job easier!


If by "The Training High" you are referring to the enthusiasm a Scouter gets when he/she starts to see the Scouting Vision, then I encourage Scouters to attend trainings to get this "High". I have also seen how one Scouter can bring the Scouting Spirit back into a unit when they return from a good training. It is my experience that if the participant gets one thing from training, it should be the Scouting Spirit.


It is, indeed, hard work to put together a true Quality Unit. But then, anything worth doing is hard work.


Eagle Pete(This message has been edited by eagle-pete)

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I LOVE training. Take everyone I can. Have done Essentials three times. AND LEARNED SOMETHING NEW EVERY TIME. I love staffing,

My wonderfully wise Gran use to say.

" The day you don't learn something is the day you die". I plan on just keep learning.

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