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Rockford8070

Resentment about needing to get trained?!

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So recharter packets were handed out to the Troops last night at Roundtable and our DC gave a brief talk about the fact that training is needed for top leaders to be able to recharter them in that position. It was a basic "Get trained or else" type speech. It's not news, we've been talking about this for a year or two now.

 

I couldn't believe that there were leaders that were against this new training requirement. There were two that were vocal about it. One's position was that the message was delivered harshly. Which I could see his point, but we've been talking about this for years now, and our district training numbers haven't gone up. We've asked, pleaded, and begged. My belief is that they've had 2 years, why haven't they done it already?!

 

The other leader's position was that we already ask too much of parent volunteers, we can't reasonably ask them to spend 2 weekends for OLS. To me, if you don't care enough about scouting to get trained, why would your kids care enough about it to stick around? And is that the mentality we want to spread? If it's too hard just don't do it?!

 

Is anyone else experiencing this kind of attitude?

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First of all, I'll preface this with the fact that I am fully trained as a Tiger Cub Den Leader, a Webelos Den Leader (including both BALOO and OWL) and a Troop Committee member. That said, I do understand people that complain about the training requirements. It's a lot to do. Also, to be totally honest, outside of YPT, I really didn't feel I learned much new material in all of the training that I have done. Being a Scout leader (to some degree) is self-selecting. It's rare that people without a background in the outdoors even attempt being a Scout Leader.

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Most councils are not yet part of a pilot "required training" program yet, Rockford8070. You are our guinea pigs.

 

So far, da guinea pigs have been reportin' that the required training bit has been a real pig. Several councils have abandoned or delayed it, just because of the inability to accurately track training records. Most are runnin' into what you describe as well.

 

Now, don't take this the wrong way, but I think yeh need to take a step back and get a different perspective. Instead of thinkin' about it like a council or district fellow, think about it like a unit fellow. During the 2 years that the SM has "had" to meet this requirement, he's done somethin' like 20 successful outings with his troop, eh? Plus his "hour a week" at 80 or so reasonably successful meetings.

 

What about your OLS training program is a good "sell" to a scoutmaster who has just done 20+ successful outings and 80+ successful meetings?

 

What about your OLS training program is so all-fired important that you're willing to fire a fellow who has just done 20+ successful outings and 80+ successful meetings?

 

And in all that time, if this was so important to yeh, why couldn't yeh just send a district trainer along on one of those 20+ outings to do the IOLS test-out option (while givin' a few hints here and there on how to improve ;)). Wouldn't that have been a lot friendlier? We commish folks are supposed to be friends to da unit, right?

 

What rational person wouldn't be pissed off about da approach your DC took, especially from an organization that they were paying money to for support services?

 

I think your DC blew it, and you all need to re-think your approach. We don't order da unit leaders around, we serve them. We don't browbeat 'em, we work with 'em and encourage 'em. If you make your IOLS training really exceptional, word will get out. If you deliver it to them rather than makin' them come to you, you will get more cooperation. If yeh make da test-out options clear, up-front, and easy you will demonstrate respect for da fact that they are taking boys out in the woods every month and that big, fat DC is not. ;)

 

Our role as district and council scouters is one of support and service. Never, ever forget it. And don't fall into da trap of believing that the unit folks have to listen to or obey or do things so that we can "make our numbers."

 

Yeh can catch more flies with honey and good scoutly companionship than with a lot of vinegar and bluster, eh? Take your DC out for a cuppa Joe and introduce him to honey. :)

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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While I agree with the spirit of Beavers response, and sympathize with those experienced leaders now considered "untrained", the reality is quite simple.

 

"If you are a Direct Contact leader (National back-pedaled on IH/COR/CC) without valid youth protection on Dec. 31st", you will be dropped from the unit roster. And if you are in a key leader spot, you could prevent your unit from being rechartered.

 

The unit will have to complete a new "Charter" application, which could take a while. During that time, the unchartered units will not be able to record rank/advancements, earn time on Veteran unit status.

 

Yes, it's not polite, but it's a mandate from National not an optional Council choice.

 

So, with all the warning about YPT becoming a requirement on Dec. 31st, 2010.... how does complaining or delaying it serve the youth?

 

 

Full position training is coming.... now pushed back to 2012 in our council.

 

 

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I can see both points of view here..

 

The "required" does make the training now go down like a lump of castoroil.. And we did have some folks in my last IOLS class that could have taught the class. (at least tested out)

 

But not all units are "successful" and usually the "successful" one are big into getting their leaders trained.. I am not talking right now about successful as in if you should run a very difficult program that no one can get to tenderfoot in 3 years or an easy pass the merit badges out like candy.. (although that might be pare of why they aren't successful.) But if they ran their troops/packs this way and had boys begging to get into their troops, or even 20 solid scouts and a decent number of adults. But normally those that lack training have the skeleton adult leadership, and the 5 scouts.. That some might be on paper just to stay a troop.. This is not successful, yet these are the people who do not take training.

 

And as a district Training Chair, the go out and follow them around only goes so far.. A troop asks for you for a Saturday BALOO training they have 12 who want training. You get there and only 2 show up. You only have 6 or 7 trainers on district staff, 4 are burnt out 2 are getting burnt out and you want me to give them a pep talk on going out every weekend to train troop A and Pack B, it is only 80 miles round trip.. The next weekend you can do troop C and Pack D...

 

If you think that taking a weekend to go to training for the volunteer unit adult leaders is hard.. What about the VOLUNTEER District staff..? They can't get burnt out.. They don't have a personal life? Normally some of these people are still also serving their own unit, as a SM or ASM, so the training is above and beyond the time they are putting into their unit. Soon my 4 burnt out District Trainers don't answer the phone and my 2 tired trainers are burnt out, but grudgingly coming out to be a trainer.. And Gee I just can't cox anyone else into volunteering to do this job.

 

If a unit can guarentee me good numbers, I will go to the unit.. But if not, they need to find the time to come to us.

 

Also we have put our IOLS on District Camporees so we are there when they are camping.. Some will come (if their unit has enough coverage.) Some will not, because they have to provide leadership for their unit.

 

I am offering 2 test out of IOLS this Spring.. One on a Saturday, and one for a few weeknights. Even testing out can not be done in 2 1/2 hours 7:00 - 9:30.. But this is to offer it to people who work weekends.. To do so next spring I will not offer the normal IOLS, I am sending those who can not test out to different districts. I will do a Specifics training & a BALOO training.. That is about it.. Until I can get people to volunteer for my training staff, my this is enough for my burnt out staff.

 

I thought I was bad. I went to a BALOO training last weekend offered in a different district. There was suppose to be 4 trainers to teach it (a 4 part round robin).. It was the training Chair and 1 person she just plucked from the participants.. I felt bad for him, no time to train, he was literally reading the information and trying to decipher it an interpret it as he went.

 

As a District trainer you can try to accomadate, but only so far.. You can't jump when they snap their finger and ask you to be here or there on their chosen dates, at their chosen locations to train 1 or 2 people. That is just ridiculous to ask of the VOLUNTEER district Training staff.

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Beavah, I can see your points. I really can. Let me throw this out there. How can we get the new leaders that would benefit from this training to get trained if all they hear from existing leadership is that it's not worth it/doesn't matter/etc?

 

I agree that it's a lot to put in. I like the test out option, I'm not sure if I've heard of that one before. I'm just as involved as most, more than some, less than others. The first two weeks of my month are shot. Between den meetings, committee meetings, roundtable, etc, there's not much time for anything else. But I do it. I don't bemoan the fact that I have to get trained almost every year, it's just something that has to happen.

 

Another part of the issue is that we just had a SM molesting boys earlier this year and he was the ONLY one in his Troop that was trained. Why wouldn't you want the rest of your unit trained to help spot inappropriate behavior?

 

Maybe we should just do away with training all together and when a new leader comes to me asking for the tools to do his job I can say "figure it out on your own, I already put in 30 hours a month at this, it's too much work to help you."

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Rockford,

 

A lot of the reason that veteran scouters sometimes put down the training is because that is the reality of the situation. Most of us don't learn anything, because the training is not rigorous enough. (YPT being the exception, IMHO).

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I wish they would have a "refresher" program for the already trained adults in the troop. I would rather have a good refresher with experienced SM's in the class than being the only participant with 20 years of experience sitting in with a dozen newbies who just bought a new tent and want to try it out.

 

I'm thinking National didn't really think this through very well. They are missing a great opportunity for the veteran leaders to take the next step and cover their "training" all at the same time.

 

I wouldn't mind a required refresher using Roundtables, U of Scouting, etc. to qualify continuing ed credits for the leadership.

 

I'm all in favor of trained leadership, just take the opportunity to train them correctly.

 

Just this past week I did the on-line fast-start for unit commissioners. The district needs some help in this area and even with 20 years experience as SM/ASM I want to know exactly what is expected of me because I've never met a real UC yet.

 

Stosh

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I'll paraphrase something I said on another thread. If you're going to make a rule you expect others to follow, you need to demonstrate that you're worthy of their respect in following it. Leaders need to be more responsible than followers, that's why they get to be leaders. It's a sad sack of a "leader" who expects his followers to go the extra mile to make up for his own lack of planning and execution.

 

Good leaders think through the implications of a rule before imposing it on the people they've been entrusted to lead. The problems Beavah mentioned about record keeping are present in our Council too (well, no suprise, it's a national DB). I'm doing recharter for our Pack and the amount of time I've had to spend emailing back and forth about YPT for people who've already taken it but just can't get it in the system is sad.

 

Then there's the lack of training opportunities for the volunteers. Our district has a pretty sparse schedule. They're trying to add sessions, but it's a burden still with people needing to go out of district if they aren't available the one weekend a particular course is offered this year. Then there are things like the (rumored) Wilderness FA requirements. Our district doesn't even have a qualified trainer and doesn't know yet how it's going to get enough to train all the units that need it. I feel for them, it wasn't their idea to add this, and the way it's been communciated has caused lots of angst and wasted energy.

 

And speaking of IOLS, I was recently at that training, and I can do Beavah's hypothetical example of kicking out a guy who succesfully conducted a bunch of outings one better. One of the other volunteers taking IOLS with me was a Venture Crew leader who does things like teach Powderhorn. Her skills are way, way beyond IOLS, and in a way that BSA has documented - they let her teach High Adventure!. Yet she has to devote two weekends of her life to get a credential intended for Webelos car camping. It was discouraging to see such bureacratic myopia at work (she was however, quite cheerful about it and made the best of it). Plus, two of the Scouts from the host troop who ran the cooking sessing (yes, teenage Boy Scouts were training us grownups) were amazing. That entire day was worth it just to see those two young men handle their job with such competence.

 

Still, I shake my head at the overall training situation. The people who claim the authority for making these mandates need to accept a whole lot more responsibility for planning and executing. They don't have armies of minions to do the work - they have armies of volunteers who can walk away. That would be sad for the boys, but I wouldn't blame the volunteers.

 

 

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Training is good I will never complain about good relevant training. wood badge not so much.

 

Ya know what I am completely sick of.....Having to submit my YPT card with every new application I submit. I told the district training chair last night to tear up my merit badge councilor application cause I was thru turning in the same paperwork over and over again. I printed it with the orginal app and it got lose, I emailed it, it was not received. I even logged into myscouting on her laptop and left the file on her desktop and she still doesn't have it.

 

When BSA or more to the point our district gets their act together I may resubmit the application.

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I am in one of the test-bed Councils. This year, it is all direct contact leaders who must be trained to their registered position:

 

- DL, ADL, CM, ACM in Cubs

- ASM, SM in Boys

??? in Varsity

- Advisor, Associate Advisor in Venturing

 

It has been a year and a half long effort to beg, cajole, jostle, encourage, manipulate... veteran leaders to take the Kool-Aide training and be on-board. We even pre-empted normal curriculum at University of Scouting with a massive basic training weekend.

 

Well, the hammer finally came out at recharter packet pick-up: Charters will not be issued if direct contact leaders are in position and untrained.

 

As folks like WAKWIB, who's a local friend in addition to being on this board will tell you, our Council is pretty good. We are pretty well there.

 

For those of you for whom this rock is coming, my one piece of advice is eat the elephant one bite at a time ... prep over the long haul, and be incessant about advertising the standard.

 

As far as the refresher courses and test-outs go ... like so many Councils, the same cast of certifiable committed volunteers is doing 3-4 Scouting jobs. For those options to happen, other volunteers are going to have to step up and help out.

 

(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Yah, and da irony of the whole thing, John-in-KC (and moosetracker) is that there's not much of a correlation between trained unit leaders and any of National's metrics of successful troops. And what correlation there is is what moosetracker describes ... volunteers in small units who don't have much help or much time to give also don't have time for training. So training really doesn't seem to improve da quality of unit programs. The thing that's driving training just seems to be legal CMA not any demonstrated program benefit for the kids.

 

Rockford, I hear you and other folks on da YP issues. But that's not IOLS, eh? Let's not get things confused. And honestly, YPT hasn't seemed to stop da many molestation cases we still hear about, leastways not the adult version.

 

Beavah

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"The thing that's driving training just seems to be legal CMA not any demonstrated program benefit for the kids."

 

CONCUR!

 

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Well, it's not always a clear cut thing is it.

 

Now, for most of us, MANY- not all, - but MANy of the trainings we take are just boring class of common sense or things we already knew: For example: Do not use jet fuel that you brought home from work to light a campfire!

 

Okay, I kid you not - that was actually asked as a question in my BALOO class! :o

 

I'm pretty, fairly, I hope so - sure that everybody in here is smarter than that!

 

But we also have heard and read about "experienced" and trained in the school of "been there-done that" adult leaders who also think it's okay to have only one adult on a campout because nobody else would show up and it's not fair to the boys who earned the trip.

 

Or the guy who's son swims like a fish so there is no need to wear a life jacket in a canoe that has a 125 HP outboard rigged on the boat with neckers and popsickle sticks.

 

Those "Well experienced" people are why you have to still take trainings. Maybe it is more of a legal "let's don't get sued" issue, but safety is still invovled.

 

Then think about this: Every day, somebody asks a basic scouting question about a rule or what have you that is covered by G2SS.

 

Read the posts that follow: 3 different "experienced experts" will give you 3 different answeres that most likely are not in any type of agreement at all. Most likely, they are contradictory to each other.

 

TRhen the rest of the 32 answers may not completely be wrong, but have enough errors to be worse that just wrong because they sound more right that the real right answers.

 

As long as I do not have to stay in a hotel, overnight, several states away to meet required training, then I'm good with it.

 

So far, with the exception of BALOO, all required trainings in my district/ council are free and some sort of snack and refreshments are provided( if not a full meal) , and are within a reasonable distance.

 

In the end, did any of us expect to be able to be in charge of a bunch of boys just cause we know how to light a big fire?

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JMHawkins can you spread the rumor some more? What is the Wilderness FA requirements? That rumor hasnt filtered over to New Hampshire yet..

jblake47 No refresher course, but the test out option would be good for you. Another thing I would offer a seasoned Adult leader is to be a trainer on staff rather than a participant. Or to take on the position of a troop Guide and help all the newbies. Just let the Training Chair know, unless they are dunder-heads they should be able to pull you out of participant, put you to use, and not totally waste your weekend.

Rockford8070 notation to the test out option can be found in two places, each one states I can test out volunteers.. But each has that beuacratic rhetoric of issuing how we are suppose to do it that neither will work (at least for me in my trench).. In the on-line October training guide the following statement is made..

Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills

As a restated reminder, if you feel you have all the skills required in Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills it may not be necessary to take the course. Anyone who feels they can demonstrate all of the skills for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class should contact their District Training Chair and schedule a one-on-one session with a member of the training team.

This statement also applies to Venturing Youth (over 18 years of age) who are able to demonstrate outdoor leader skills to an IOLS Certified Course Instructor. (can anyone explain the Venturing Youth over 18 comment?? Why do they need training they are not even considered adult leaders til 21??)

Then in the SM/ASM specifics Syllabus. You have..

Adult leaders who already know some of the skills may pass that section of the course by demonstrating their abilities to an instructor.

Then in the IOLS syllabus, they have something that you can do a self evaluation to see if you think you are qualified to test out and a checklist of what the instructor should check off when you demonstrated the ability to their satisfaction. Problem is nowhere in the IOLS syllabus do they tell you what the evaluation or checklist is there for.

But.. as stated before, I do not have the staff to individually test people out, so I am organizing the test out but in group sessions.. Luckily my volunteers are just excited I am offering it and not questioning my not doing it one-on-one at their whim.. Also.. what good does it do for you to test out of a portion of IOLS?? You still need to go to the full IOLS course to finish what you didnt.. Even if it is one thing, I cant promise you it will be a 2pm.. Things move fast, things move slow, Instructors dont show at their designated times and things get pushed out of sync in the schedule to keep the course going until the Instructor shows up.. If it is more then one thing you didnt test out of it does you no good to come at 9am, 2pm, 5:30 pm.. when you live 40 miles from the training site.

The elite making statements those of us in the trenches cannot possibly think to carry out.. Unless you have a district training staff of 30 or more people.

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