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Ok, this isn't a WB question, but....


It is unusual for a Cub Leader (I'm a Cubmaster) to take IOLS? I was signed up for OWLS, but it was cancelled at the last minute, so I decided to sign up for IOLS instead.


Mostly, I'm looking to brush up on (and hopefully pick up some new ones) my outdoor skills. I do a lot of camping outside of scouts and consider myself a pretty savy outdoorsman, but I'm always interested in learning new and better ways to do things.


But as the training draws nearer, I'm wondering if I'm going to out of place with all the Boy Scout Leaders. (Especially given the discussion in another thread about Cub Scout Leaders and outdoor skills training.)


Anyone have thoughts or experience with Cub Leaders in IOLS?

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DanKroh, I think Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills would be valuable training for anyone, regardless whether he/she is a Cub Scout Leader or a Boy Scout Leader. The outdoor training our Council does for Boy Scouts is called Boy Scout Leader Outdoor Training, so I'm not sure if it's the same thing as IOLS.


But, when I went to the training as a new SM, I had a pretty good base (as you say you do) of outdoor skills. Picked up some new stuff at the training though and always learn from talking to others.


I wouldn't be put off the training by thinking that it will be filled with SMs and ASMs with more advanced outdoor skills than yours and who think it odd that a CM is there.

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Taking the wrong training isn't going to do much to help you deal with the task you have at hand.

The training's are different because the wants and needs of the different age groups are different.

The safety requirements are different.

The BALOO training is different than the Webelos Scout Den Leader Outdoor Training which is different than the Boy Scout Training's.

The $64,000 question you need to ask yourself is:"Why am I going to the training?"

Hopefully the answer you come up with is to better serve the Scouts that you now serve.

Trainings are as much about doing the right thing for the kids that will be there as they are about the other stuff.


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I know a few webelos den leaders and CMs who took IOLS instead of OWL for whatever reason. Nobody has said they regret it. What Eamonn says about learning different techniques, safety rules, presentation ideas that are age-appropriate is true. So you might also want to do OWL if it is available again in the future. But if your reason for taking the training is, as you say, to brush up on your own skills and maybe to start preparing for webelos-scout transition (or to share info w/ your webelos leaders about the differences between the two programs) then I think that's reasonable enough.


Also I've done a lot of training and with VERY few exceptions, I never had a problem with troop leaders being too condescending to pack leaders. If anything they were amazed that I (as both a cub leader and a woman to boot) was willing to invest the time to learn more about "their" program so that I could better prepare "our" boys for troop life.



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When I took IOLS, they combined half the sessions with a BALOO group. I'd think you'd be fine. Quite frankly, I find all of these courses to be aimed at a novice - and while I see the need to train novices, it can be really slow moving for experienced people. And most of the attendees are experienced.


I always find the best part of the training session to be the contacts you make with other Scouters. You can do that fine regardless of what color of shoulder loops you wear.


Oak Tree

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In our council we have combined the OWL and the IOLS into one course weekend. The courses are virtually identical. We mix SM's,ASM's and Cubleaders in a patrol. We break out one session to teach the Actvity badges to Webelos leaders and the Scoutmasters go on an orienteering hike. It has worked out well. The seasoned scouters teach the newer ones and it builds rapport between Boy Scout and Cub leaders. This may be a solution to having councils cancelling OWL due to lack of interest. It also gives the Webelos leaders a hint of what they will be getting into at the troop level.


Hope this helps

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I took Leader skills two weeks ago and there were 3 Cub Scouters in a class of seven.


I don't think this was the best way to do it.


The cub leaders never learned about any of the activity badges(pins) the program was never explained. Though we did spend about two hours walking the woods with a logger. I thought that was very good.


If they wanted to make a great cub scouter weekend it would be to teach the webelos course and Baloo on the same two day weekend. Make it mandatory for Bear leaders on their way to Weeb leaders


To answer the original post, no you won't be out of place. If you are fairly experienced at camping you won't learn much either, but you can mentor your class mates. You will learn something, but not many things. Remember it is a basic course.



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Make it mandatory for Bear leaders on their way to Weeb leaders



Assuming this were true, what happens to the Bear leader when he cant take the course?  What if the Bear leader must step down after the school year and a new leader does not step in until the Fall with no preparation? 


I understand the spirit of your opinion, but I dont think we can make anything mandatory or set prerequisites for Bear leaders.  We can highly recommend, but mandatory is unrealistic.  The challenge for many Packs is to find willing volunteers who will step up and lead a Webelos Den, follow the guidance of the Webelos Handbook, and then encourage them to take NLE and position specific courses.


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Like I said on another post, I need a good salesman in our unit that will sell training (or at least the idea of training).


I agree with Jeffrey. At least in our unit, we have 100% volunteers. No one is forced to do anything. Of course we keep to the Guide to Safe Scouting. That is about the only mandatory thing we stick with. In our unit training has always been, at the most, a strong recommendation. When we start putting mandates on those who have graciously volunteered their time to help the unit, we will start losing them. Tell me, does anyone have a real success story about when they forced a volunteer to get trained to do their job? I'd like to hear about that.


I truly believe it is about presenting it in the right way. Don't you think you will get a better leader if they walk into a training course willingly, rather than being forced to take it? In order to accomplish this, our training programs and our Scouting programs must be packaged in such a way as to create a need for the new leaders to go to training. I don't have the sales skills to do this. I am looking for a good salesman who will be able to present it this way. Let me know if you find one.


As a side note, I am a little worried about my ability to promote Wood Badge. I understand that I will need to do a bit of recruiting for Wood Badge for the course I will be on staff for next year. Anyone have any ideas for Wood Badge promotion? (I feel another thread starting...)


Eagle Pete

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