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I think we''d have some major "You''ve got to do it/Oh no I don''t" backlash.


On the other hand I personally don''t have a problem with it as long as they support the initiative with sufficient training opportunities. If it wasn''t so easy to get Committee members trained we wouldn''t be able to recharter due to our inability to get our SM (I'm the SM)and ASM''s to an IOLS course (none available) before recharter time.


And of course, there''s the what''s next - you can''t go to the local public park campground without WFA requirement.


I think they''ve got a good reason for doing it, according to the attached FAQ''s. It''s, as usual, a matter of communicating the program well.(This message has been edited by Gunny2862)

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The Council I serve has manditory training and has had it for a few years now, details may be found on page 2




Does it work? Well, at the Fall Camporee a recently trained asst Scoutmaster was smoking a cigar in front of God, everyone and the youth. When told what he was doing was not proper, he responded by saying that he thought the tobocco prohibition didnt include cigars. The training chair, and the one who did the training the individual was at said he knew he said no tobacco in any form, so the guy heard what he wanted to hear. You can lead a horse to training, but you can''t make him follow it...


The BSA posts on its website what constitutes being Active and what Scout Spirit is, and people offer their interpretation of what I thought was well explained. I guess its just life(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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So, all "new" "direct contact" leaders need to complete the training but not the "old" guys. Hmmm. (As in the Minsi example.)


What will probably happen (and may already be happening) is the untrained assistant scoutmasters will be re-registered as committee members and will continue to go camping whenever they like. This will be unfortunate, but will be one way for units to maintain their "numbers" of registered leaders and get around the training requirement.


I do agree that every effort needs to be put into getting leaders trained as much as possible, especially in youth protection and outdoor leader skills. For all practical purposes units will end up fulfilling the requirement as put forward in the "old" quality unit award form. That is, the Scoutmaster needs to be trained for the SM position. Now, at least one registered ASM and the Committee Chair will need to be trained. This is good, but it is not much change for a great deal of effort.


As an aside, when did the term "direct contact" leader get coined? I first saw it about a year ago on the new Centennial quality unit award form. It is a "good" term, just new to me. The problem is, of course, all those committee members who continue to go camping, are having "direct contact" with the youth, but may not have the "required" training.


I will be interested to see other responses because this is a hot topic in our troop right now.

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I can''t see this working where we are. Part of the problem is the lack of quality in some of the trainings (see GaHillBilly''s recent post). If the training team doesn''t have a reputation for providing a good, useful product, people will find ways not to go. And I don''t know if I believe that a DE will follow through on this threat not to recharter units where the adults don''t meet the requirements. Serving as I do on our district membership committee, I think every DE I''ve met so far would have a cow if asked to agree to that. I guess they might threaten but I doubt they''d do it.


And no, I don''t like this "direct contact" business either. The reality I see in the field is that most committees and ASM corps are rather fluid in their assignments and interactions with the boys.


Now, the online trainings (YPT in particular) - those make some sense to me, as they are always available and of a consistent quality.

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No, the old guys have to complete the training as well. No grandfathering.


"we have made a conscious decision that we would rather allow a Unit to disband than maintain the Unit with untrained leaders."

Wow. That is pretty strong. I agree with the sentiment, but I don''t know that many others in my district do. Now, if we could only require full uniforms, and a Troop inspection score of 90% or better to get rechartered. [sorry, I didn''t want to disappoint my detractors and not get in something about uniforming. :-) ]


I think one outcome of this would be to weed out some of the dead wood in Troops and Packs. Most units probably have some adults who say they want to be part of the leadership team, but then never go to training, and only show up about half the time. As a unit leader, you want adults you can count on to deliver the program. This new requirement might help units replace those guys with new, motivated leaders, or at least get the dead wood of the charter and save a few bucks.

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Lisa said, in part:


I can''''t see this working where we are. Part of the problem is the lack of quality in some of the trainings (see GaHillBilly''s recent post). If the training team doesn''t have a reputation for providing a good, useful product, people will find ways not to go. And I don''t know if I believe that a DE will follow through on this threat not to recharter units where the adults don''t meet the requirements.


I have to agree with Lisa here. I assume the DE is scored on # of units and number of youth program members. If you drop a unit, you''ve lost those kids... forever. I don''t see it.


Now, with online training, there really isn''t an excuse for either YP or Fast Start. Beyond that, training has to be:

- Executed well.

- Executed on time.

- Not waste the volunteers time (don''t read the slides).

- Don''t be buffaloing the volunteers (mandatory training or you lose your charter). Threats not made good do not help credibility.


As far as Commissioners go, sorry. There, yes, training needs to be early and non-negotiable. Commish are a whole other category from unit serving Scouters, they''ve decided they want to serve Scouting as volunteers. No slack should be cut for commish.


LH, I really want to get some feedback and followup from you as your recharter season hits: Do they really drop units? If not, the council is in the same boat as the Troop Committee which sets other than the BSA standard for Active Scouts for Eagle: They''ll find out who loses credibility, the hard way.

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The link I sent was not from my council, Chicago Area Council will be the last council to comply with this. The only way I see CAC putting this into effect is if the sale of our final camp (Owasippi) actually comes to pass. We would have 35 million in the bank and National could effectively cause such a drop in numbers to justify disbanding CAC and merging it with the surrounding councils there by being able to take control of the funds. The quality of training varies from district to district to the point that the same course can be presented totally different. I think before mandatory training can be justified the training teams must demonstrate the ability to produce a quality presentation repeatedly. The Council Training Chair needs to monitor the trainings and see that they are uniform throughout the council. I do not see abridging the training to cut time so people will sign up as providing training. Is see it as producing numbers on a training report to appease some ones boss. LongHaul

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From around 1990 to about 2001, Pine Tree Council had mandatory training for all leaders-new or old. Their policy was similar to LongHaul''s post--get trained or get dropped/barred from the charter at recharter time. You were given 18 months to get fully trained.


Each district in our council has excellent training teams and offer the trainings at least 3 times a year. When possible, we share the dates with each other so that leaders can attend the training that works for their schedule. In addition, if your unit made arrangements in advance, they would hold a training for your unit. There was little excuse to not get trained. Even though it''s no longer mandatory here, the districts still follow the above schedule--offer it at least three times a year.


Why did Council stop making training mandatory? Council exec. changed. The effect? Our commissioner staff is putting out more "fires" dealing with untrained leaders who don''t get the program and we have less commissioners and more difficulty recruiting them due to the burn-out effect caused by dealing with the above problems.


Do I approve of mandatory training? You bet I do after seeing how well it was working for us and now seeing several years of not having it in place.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

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In response to the original question...I think several units would fold, including my own. Not because training is a bad idea...but because as volunteers, we don''t respond well to threats and ultimatums. We get enough of that at work, and I''ll be durned if I''ll put up with it in my "free time". I resigned my seat on the District Committee for this very reason.

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OGE,I agree fully, and think that every boy DOES deserve a trained leader.


If you look at my earliest posts and the first of mine in this thread you''ll see that I am scratching and clawing at the system to get to all of the training I can. I''m actually a little upset that I have to miss an LNT-Trainer course due to a Scouting event not this but next weekend.(I know, I don''t need it to be "Trained" but it would be good to have.)


The issue at stake for me here isn''t the mandatory training, it''s the way they''ve approached it. Communication isn''t just putting the word out, it''s how you say it too.

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The following is from The Minsi dated January/February 2007. (The link is in OGEs post above.) It may have been written late in 2006 to get published for early 2007. It sure sounds like they are grandfathering existing leaders, unless the leader changes position. This may be a helpful approach to a difficult issue. The council started (in 2004) by requiring the CM, SM and Crew Advisors to be trained. I wonder how these requirements are affecting quality and quantity of leaders. That may be the million dollar question.


Training Requirements


Since 2004, all Cubmasters, Scoutmasters and Crew Advisors have

been required to complete the basic training for their position

before the council renews their units charter.


In 2005, this training requirement was expanded to include the

Committee Chairmen of each unit.


In an effort to bring training to the volunteer leaders who work

directly with our youth, the Executive Board adopted additional

training requirements for 2006.


Beginning last year, all newly registered direct contact leaders,

age 21 and over, must complete the basic training for their position

by the units rechartering date or the Council will not re-register

that person in that position.


Direct contact leaders for Cub Scout Packs include: Tiger Cub

Den Leaders, Cub Scout Den Leaders, Webelos Den Leaders,

Cubmasters, and Assistant Cubmasters.


Direct contact leaders for Boy Scout Troops include: Scoutmasters

and Assistant Scoutmasters.


Direct contact leaders for Venturing Crews include:Venture Crew

Advisors and Associate Crew Advisors.


This training requirement would not apply to existing leaders unless

they changed their position after January 2006. Limited exceptions

may be considered by the Council Training Chairman based on individual

circumstances. Our hope is that over the next four to five

years, as we train all of our new leaders coming into our organization,

we will realize our vision of having every Scout led by a trained



National BSA studies have shown that, on the whole, Scout units led

by trained leaders present a higher-quality program that retains boys

longer in Scouting. This is key to our councils long-range plan,

which calls for retaining boys longer so as to have a positive impact

on their values & character.




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My bad - I thought you were talking about the council in LongHaul''s post. From the FAQs link:


3. Question: I''ve been a Scoutmaster for 10 years, and really know everything. Can''t I get a waiver of the required training?




Answer: No. "Grandfathering" of existing leaders was discussed extensively while this program was being developed. The overwhelming judgment of ALL of the volunteers involved in designing the Required Training Program was that existing leaders, no matter how experienced, should be subject to the same training requirements as new leaders. The Council Executive Board concurred in this finding.


Interesting how the two different councils are handeling that issue.

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I love the idea...


In our Troop ALL ASMs and of course the SM have all taken the basics Youth protection, SM fundamentals, Outdoors Safety afloat/ safe swim defense trainng or they are not given a patch...Troop not council policy. Many also have CPR certs, and back counrty First Aid classes. Almost all of our committee folks are also district trained, and many are cross-trained as SM/ASMs with outdoor leader training. Gonna wear the uniform? Then you''re gonna know what it is about...


As far as the "push back"...that''s where you really find out who is "with you" or who just wants to run a camping club called boy scouts...


As to the point of dealing with poor trainers...Its a "Bogus" excuse...and I would respond the same way I do with my sons when they "don''t like a professor"...or the give the "prof is a jerk" speach...


Get a life, your "job" is to learn the material no matter how poor the "teacher" is. Are you an intelligent adult or do you want to be thought of as a bottle-fed infant with a soiled diaper? Sure its more work and effort to dig out the info when you think the teacher is a twit, but Life is not always what we would like it to be...if you have been given broken eggs - make an omelet!


And folks none of this is rocket science...Like Scouting itself, with the proper materials... this stuff could be self-taught (if you had to). So sit through the classes and study hard! It''s and investment in the future and way more important than a few weekends and your impressions of poor trainers...



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