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Troop Camp Leadership or Outdoor Education silly?

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Bear with me, but I am taking TCL (Outdoor Education) and I have to say I am feeling a little like I am wasting my time here.... I have been a Boy Scout leader for oodles of years, am Scoutmaster trained, etc. And I almost *almost* feel insulted having to sit through the Girl Scout's Outdoor Education classes.


When I heard we were "going camping" on an overnight during the final part of this training I was stoked............................... until I discovered that the overnight campingwas an indoor night in the Girl Scout Council Office!!! I don't get it! I am going through over 32 hours of training just so I can camp indoors with my Girl Scout troop (or it has to be a place with bathrooms, a covered permanent structure, and running water, all within 30 minutes of Emergency medical services). Apparently there is another more involved level of training called "High Adventure Outdoor Training", for when you want to go primitive camping where there is no running water, bathrooms, permanent covered structure or EMS within 30min.


Why are the Girl Scouts so anal about all the training... the CPR/First Aid, and Outdoor Education/Troop Camp Leadership?


And why do they think this training should expire every 1-3 years respectively anyway? I see the need to update CPR or 1st Aid at certain intervals, but why in the world would Troop Camp Leadership/Outdoor Education and the High Adventure Outdoor Training expire in 3 years? That seems silly to me!





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"I have been a Boy Scout leader for oodles of years, am Scoutmaster trained, etc. "


"Why are the Girl Scouts so anal about all the training... the CPR/First Aid, and Outdoor Education/Troop Camp Leadership?"


Huh? First you state that you have completed Boy Scout training. Then you complain about Girl Scout training. I am confused. Both programs have training programs to train the adult leaders so they will be prepared to run a safe and educational program for the boys/girls.


BSA has BALOO, WOL, OLTS. Three classes on outdoor skills. Except they are different. BALOO is all the paperwork to run a Pack campout. WOL is how to teach Webelos all the available pins. OLTS is how to teach T-1st class skills to Boy Scouts. Of course if you are a trained Scoutmaster then you also have taken Youth Protection, and Position Specific training.


What a surprise, both programs only accept their own training courses and do not recognize the other organization. Why? Because they are different programs. Each program wants the leaders to be knowledgeable about the national method of running the program.


If you took the Girl Scout training then hopefully you discovered the programs are VERY different. The organization, the goals, the methods, almost every part.


"And why do they think this training should expire every 1-3 years respectively anyway? I see the need to update CPR or 1st Aid at certain intervals, but why in the world would Troop Camp Leadership/Outdoor Education and the High Adventure Outdoor Training expire in 3 years? That seems silly to me! "


And yet BSA Youth Protection, Climb on Safely, Safety Afloat, Health & Safety expire every 2 years but that is not silly?



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There is a huge difference between repeating Youth Protection, Safety Afloat and Safe Swim Defense every couple years (where I am Health & Safety and Climb on Safely are not required). They don't take 32-40 hours to complete. All 3 courses in their slowest-taught time at most take maybe 3 or 4 hours and you can do it online at your convenience. Also, BSA doesn't require you to repeat SM Specific and OLS every 3 years either, and if you're a Cub leader and do the BALOO training, you're DONE - no repeat necessary. Also, the BSA courses are FREE or the fee is nominal where I am!


With this Girl Scout training - I have to repeat every outdoor course and the ARC first aid every 3 years and the ARC CPR course every year. All the training combined takes 40 plus hours, and costs me nearly $300. It's steep and seems like overkill to have to repeat costly courses where the material doesn't change significantly.


I realize the difference between BSA and GSUSA.... and I understand they are not affiliated with one another in the least nor would they accept each other's courses. That wasn't my point. Have you been to the TCL classes for Girl Scouts? They spend 3 hours explaining how to use a dunk bag to wash your mess kit, and how to form a patrol, plan meals and make a duty roster (kaper chart) on a campout! hello???? I feel that is pretty much wasted time. If someone can't figure out how to form a group of folks to plan a meal, cook it, and wash the dishes afterward, that's scary!


The one thing I have learned that is NEW so far, is how to make a combined sit-upon & gear container out of a 5 gallon pickle bucket!

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I don't know if this is a national thing, but at the Chesapeake Bay Council, you can get an exemption from the outdoor training:


Volunteers may request an exemption from Camp Training if they meet one of two criteria: camp trained in another Girl Scout council or they have received comparable training from another youth serving organization. (http://www.cbgsc.org/Training/Outdoor.asp)


I don't know how they define "comparable training," but some BSA stuff would seem to apply.


When I start going through the training - my daughter has a year to go until she can be a Daisy, though she's already learned the hand sign - I'm not going to request a waiver because I'dl ike to see what the Girl Scouts teach and how they teach it.


I then hope to be able to put some of my training - ideally combining BSA and GSUSA - into shaping a really good, active program for my daughter and her friends.

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well that was my first thought... to go see what the Girl Scouts do differently, and how to do it the Girl Scout way and all.... but I really do believe the 3 hours for the mess kit, forming a patrol and making a chore chart was a little excessive. I guess it's just a vent.... and tonight I go for my overnight to finish up my Troop Camp Leadership. Maybe I'll change my mind about the courses once I am done. I don't know. Unfortunately my Council doesn't seem to take any waivers for training unless it's First Aid or CPR.


On and On I trudge....

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Hmm. I hadn't realized that there were such differences among councils. We are not required to renew our camping training.


I did a weekend-long camping training and found it to be the best GS training I've had. For me, it was not just learning new skills for myself but learning how to teach those skills to 2nd grade girls. And, you have to remember, some of those adults next to you at training have never camped in their lives, have no idea what a drip bag is, and have never conceived of the idea of having the GIRLS do the prep, cooking, clean up, etc. (and thus the need for a kaper chart).


We are required to renew our First Aid and CPR cards every two years, and I wholeheartedly support that. Techniques change; many of us don't (thank goodness) use the more advanced skills, and we benefit from refreshers.


Maybe you can start a petition to allow testing in lieu of repeating the outdoor training?


--Kim near Seattle

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I'm in Illinois and we do not have to renew our Camp Training either. Once it is taken it is on your training record and that's it. Perhaps you misunderstood your trainer.


However, there ARE different trainings for the different levels/kinds of camping. Each has to be taken if you want to take your girls to do that particular type of camping. (Rather like BALOO, WOLT, and OLS)


GSUSA Camp training starts with the basics because not everyone knows them and most councils do not have the resources to have lots of different classes for the same training, depending on how experienced a camper you are. So everyone (across the country) gets the same training (just as BSA uses the same syllabus, with no modifications, organization wide), and yes, that means "explaining how to use a dunk bag to wash your mess kit, and how to form a patrol, plan meals and make a duty roster (kaper chart)".


Also, your experience with camping, and other organizations outdoor training, does not mean that you have a clue about GSUSA's rules and regulations regarding camping with THEIR members. BALOO training does NOT mean you know how to take Girl Scouts camping in a GSUSA Scout Camp lodge.


The Camp trainings for GSUSA are, like everything else in GSUSA, progressive - basic info and cabin/lodge camping for your younger Scouts (this is why your overnight was indoors and not in a tent, you were NOT taking tent training) - tent/outdoor camping for more experienced Troops - and high adventure for older girls. Most leaders do not take all 3 at one time. They are taken when their girls reach the level for each type of outdoor experience.


I also, do not understand how you get to a $300 cost for trainings. Our camp trainings run about $15-25, depending on how long and the amount of supplies needed. This is very similar to what is charged by my BSA council for outdoor training and a LOT less than BSA Wood Badge which is over $200 all by itself!


The only really pricey training is First Aid / CPR. My council had their own qualified trainers and was able to give their leaders a bit of a break on the cost, especially if you already had your First Aid Handbook from a previous training. Unfortunately, if you want to stay qualified, you have to renew your training, and I personally think it is a GOOD thing to have someone with this training when taking our youth outdoors. This is NOT just for GSUSA, but for all First Aid/CPR training everywhere. BTW - BSA also requires CPR and First Aid for some activities.


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Some years ago I went to a Girl Scout outdoor training weekend. Spent most of the weekend DOING the training (Orienteering, fire starting etc.) instead of being trained! The problem I expierenced with the 6 years I spent in the Girl Scout program when my daughter was in (she is in Venturing now) was the lack of knowledge by most of the trainers. I know many of the Girl Scout policies are different then Boy Scouts, but it was the lack of basic skills that bothered me. What was sad was that I offered to be a trainer for the local council but was told that they wanted a woman to provide "the example".

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Well I did go to the overnight. It was fun to be with other Girl Scouters and I did freshen up a few things that I needed to learn as far as orienteering so I can't say it was bad. I taught the ladies how to make a dump cake in a dutch oven (though we're in a council-wide burn ban and had to use an electric oven instead of charcoal).


ScoutNut, wish I had misunderstood my trainer, but it wasn't my trainer that said the outdoor training expires, it's right in the Program/Training guide, and on my training card too. I suppose it is different in every council. Ours is Southwest Texas.


Anyway, it was ok. I'll elaborate more later

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Ok... now that I have a minute or two to myself...


I was referring to total cost when I said nearly $300. I am not exaggerating.... it really does go up that far. And yes I was talking about the CPR/First Aid, ARC Book, expense of travel to get to the training, the Troop Camp Leadership modules (which ends up being split up into 3 different sessions at 3 different locations, over about 3 months - one full 8-hr, another 3-hr, then an overnight + day-long), each costs in the $15 realm, plus you have to buy the book. If they make changes in ANY of those books/manuals, guess what? I have to get a new book, right? More costs....


Anyway, I am glad I am done with the Outdoor training... for now. I plan to take the higher level camping/higher adventure training because I want to be able to go camping somewhere other than a state park with a permanent covered structure! Of course I have another 8-hr training session for Girl Scouts this coming Saturday for SU Team Member training!! Call me a glutton for punishment. :)


What's really a shame is that I have clocked in over 40 hours of training, spent my time and my money so I can bring it back to the Troop for the girls to broaden their horizons... and no other registered adult in my Troop will bother to get the 1st Aid/CPR so we still can't go camping anywhere. In my Council, the TCL and the 1st Aid/CPR have to be 2 separate people. Maybe I can bribe someone lol

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