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University of Scouting--"Back to Basics"

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My council announced late last week the offerings for University of Scouting on November 6. It's a training event--leader specific training which is offered at various points in the council throughout the year and now online. There is also den chief training. Most sessions will only last a few hours.

I guess I was spoiled last year. There were dozens of choices including skills like knots, international scouting and working with parents. There was a midway with merchants and an exchange of ideas and even lunchtime was games and camaraderie.

I wonder if the slim pickings this year are a sign of economic downturn or too much emphasis on our recent centennial campout.

I won't probably say anything to the council myself, but obviously feel I can vent online.

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Wow, that's a shame. I look forward to our Pow-wow each year. Partially for the classes, exchange of ideas, and camaraderie, but also for the looks on new leaders faces. They show up in the morning nervous and a little weary, having just begun to hit their first stumbling blocks with the program. The go home at the end of the day laughing and excited about the program again. Ditching all that seems pretty short-sighted to me.



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Now that I am a District Training Chair I was excited to go to the pre-organizational meetings. Our Council chair said before the meeting that she was hoping we would have alot of new ideas, she wanted it to be different and special, because on-line was having people come out less to meet up, so she wanted to entice them to come to Scouting-U.


Well I admit I did not have lots of my own ideas, I had one I gave at an earlier meeting which was accepted. But, I came prepared having pulled about 5 - 6 other councils Scouting-U's off line so we could look through those for ideas, and went to the meeting pumped-up.


We spent the meeting going over last years list, they kept everything but 1 item. Added the idea I had at a previous meeting and 1 other, and we were done.


I felt sort of disappointed. Somethings should never be let go as they are the favorites and people return to them year after year. But, to leave it the same selection?

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Our council is about ready to offer our fourth University of Scouting (same day, Nov 6). After enjoying the last 3 of them immensely, I decided this time around I'd offer to teach a session (I'm covering one on the internet and creating unit websites). Our "Dean of Studies" has been careful about reading evaluation forms from past events, and he's decided to switch up a few of the less popular courses this time around. Just about every course I've attended has been great.


If you're interested, you can see our course catalog here: http://www.yccbsa.org/Training/University/EMUoSCatlog2010.pdf


I would also guess that a google search might turn up other course catalogs if you're fishing for ideas. I get the general impression from our Dean of Studies that the biggest problem is finding instructors. They try and fill that list as early as possible.



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The last few years I have not found any classes that I haven't already attended many times before, all the training is included this year as in Shriscov's situation and the only reason I'm attending this year is to start work on my Doctorate level of training which is 2 hours of the all day school. I don't see anything else to attend. At least the live training that one can get elsewhere fills up the schedule for the day.


It might not be a bad idea to possibly ask some of the scouters in the council who aren't part of the in-crowd if they would like to teach something too. I haven't been asked to teach for 10 years now and they don't take courses on issues they haven't decided upon. There are only so many cobblers one could make and after 15 years, it hasn't improved much, but every year they offer it as part of the curriculum.



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Our councils University of Scouting was this past weekend, what a great experience. I'm a first time DL, and just started in June, so I was anxious to not only get some great training but to meet new people and network. A sampling of the classes I took are below.


Creating Pack Newsletters

Day Outings for Cubs - great networking class that talked about day outings in our area.

Webelos Fireside Chat - as a new WDL this was a great class, meet other new and some experienced DL's that shared some great ideas.

Teaching Knots to Cubs

Improving Advancement Ceremonies with Programs

Cub Scouting Awards


I feel fairly fortunate that there was a HUGE range of classes available, and I can't wait to go next year.


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I am in Shriscov's Council. We are one of the experimental Councils for mandatory direct contact leader training.


The change year over year for our UOS is the push coming into recharter season (All Missouri districts are already in recharter cycle, all Kansas district start feeling the love in 2 weeks). I've seen the list of untrained leaders. I've told a COR (per instructions of the District Director, Council Registrar and District Commissioner) that his charters will be withheld if they submit untrained direct contact leaders.


That is the short version why "Back to Basics." Shriscov ... to quote Mitch Holthus, our voice of the Chiefs, it's time to put the HAMMER DOWN!!


ETA: We have in district training a couple times each year. We do SM Fundamentals at both Scout Reservations during Boy Scout Camp. We do Cub Scout leader training most every weekend during the fall drive.


The issues are:

a) New Scouters who are told with a straight face "You can do this, it's only an hour a week."


b) Records maintenance of Scouters ... :( Too many of the old ASMs out there first registered as ASMs when we used papyrus for accountants ledger paper.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Boy I'm glad our UofS is in March. They can't pull that on us, or rechartering is over and through with.


The problem I see with making UofS only the required training is that:


1) the direct contact leaders how have not gone to your other countless trainings will not go to this one either.


2) the leaders who are trained in the basics will not go to UofS either as there is nothing for them.


Well at least yours is yearly not every other year, so I guess you can afford a dead UofS.. Sorry, I have not seen your list of course offering, maybe it is not as bad as you two make it sound.



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Like I said, maybe I was spoiled last year (my first in Scouting as an adult).

But, I think I became a better model for delivering the model from it. The hammer is coming down to have training completed, but using this venue almost seems a waste.

In my district there are chances every month for leader specific training.

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All 3 of the LDS Little Philmonts in my district are being devoted to basic training.


It's sad. Little Philmont implies that it would be advanced leadership training.


I won't do basic training at RT as training chair. It's not the place.


Our UoS is in March. I'll be glad to see it not entail basic training.


Getting back to basics requires effort, but not at the expense of those who have put in that effort already to get trained.

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I think this is an exception to the rule. We've had lively Pow-Wows and UOSs for a decade.




My district RT does "This is Scouting", YP, and MB Counselor training as standards each month. These are done at the RT site, but are under the training and advancement operating committees. Our RTs, since we moved to Cerner Corporations training center, attract about 300 monthly between Cub and Boy programs!

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