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Cost to be a District Trainer

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Today, my daughter (registered as an ASM) and I received an e-mail from our District Training Chair. Here is a quote from the e-mail:


"I have you down as a possible attendee for the Trainer Development Conference. ... We are sorely in need of trainers. Being a Scout trainer is a perfect way to help without a large time committment; a one day four hr training conference and 2 hours every 3-4 months. The conference is Sunday, Oct 5th, 1-5 @ Council. A $5 supply donation is being requested to cover the cost of copies for handouts. ... Please respond asap to let me know if you can make it. If you can, please register with me and send your $5 to Council"


So my question about this as I think about getting involved at the District/Council level:


Is it normal to ask volunteers, who are getting trained for a District Training position, to pay for the training materials?


To expect someone who is volunteering for a job to pay for materials seems a bit strange to me. It would be like me asking you to come to my house to help me cut down a tree, but before we start we have to go over safety. By the way, there will be a $5.00 charge for the safety training. Ill have ice tea available also while we are working for $1.00 per glass.


What do you all think? Is this normal?





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Every council, and somtimes districts, have their own policies towards training. In some fees are not encouraged and the council eats the cost. In others the charges are as minimal as possible, usually to cover food, drinks, and handouts. Sometimes it covers rental fees: camp and/or facilty. Finally some council will hire an outside company to conduct some training, and you have to deal witht he contractor's fees. That happened with my council when they charged $175 for a weekend Wilderness First Aid and CPR class taught by Red Cross. Doing some research, that was cheap compared to elsewhere.


Personally I would include handouts, snacks, and drinks into the fee. Make a nice folder or binder with information, and include the food.


Just my $.02 worth.

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We are having a major training day for the district next Saturday and it has a fee of $10, which includes lunch and materials.


As for the Trainer Development Conference, that would normally be a council level event, my council usually covers the cost of those.

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OK, I understand Troop level training having a charge. Our Troop will even pay the charge for the training because it benefits the Troop. Sometimes I actually let them pay. Typically, the person who benefits from the training will pay. It's like when my employer pays for training that helps me to do my job better. I can even understand paying in part or in full for the CPR and First Aid training as that can be of benefit outside of Scouting. But to charge fees to volunteers who are getting trained to be District Trainers, seems backwards.


Yes, $5.00 doesn't seem like that much, and they said it is a donation; however, when it is put the way it was in the e-mail, it is really expected. I really don't think anyone will ask if they can go without paying the fee. However, it makes me wonder why I should go, and I know others who feel that way too.


I think that the District asking volunteers to pay (or donate) so they can be trained for the benefit of the District is not the smartest move. I bet it keeps people who were considering a move to help at the district level from making that move.


ASM59(This message has been edited by ASM59)

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I am responsible for our district's Cub Scout Position Specific Training, which we conduct 3x a year. We charge $5.00 per person, this is intended to cover the cost of coffee, donuts (healthy scout food), handouts, patches and misc supplies. Whenever we conduct courses we evaluate the costs and carefully determine what to charge. This year we are also conducting COR training, and MB Counselor training, and there is no charge for these classes. This year, we also are conducting Venture Leader and SM for the same $5.00 but ask participants brown bag a lunch (we provide drinks).


My pack has (since before I joined) covered the cost of training. We have one person take a check and write it for the total amount of all participating. I believe it makes a difference, even though we are only talking about $5 per leader.

(This message has been edited by Buffalo Skipper)

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As I understand (local) policy, every scout volunteer pays their own way. No scouter should foot the bill for another. So staffers pay their cost (expenses), which may or may not be the same as a participant's cost. But for something like PH, WB, and Sb, room and board would not be divided out amongst the participants.


I would assume that this is the "way of the world," and I can certainly accept this philosophy as I cover my expenses as I volunteer to staff these courses.

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I have mixed feeling on this that I will share ASM59.


First, it is not unusual in some councils to have training fees for participants that cover the materials each person receives, the food they eat, even the cost of the facility in some cases.


In some councils the cost of basic training courses are a part of the annual budget. But in many councils it is pay as you go.


Here though was my biggest concern. They are going to do the Traininer Development/BSA 500 course in 4-hours???


There is only one way to accomplish that, and that is to leave out about 3.5 hours of information. I am not sure I would want to be on a trainng team that played that fast and loose with the training materials. You might suggest to them that you will reconsider being a trainer for them when they are willing to share all the training resources.



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As a staffer and director for several trainings, we (as staff) are charged a $5.00 staff fee. This is mainly on our overnight trainings such as Jungle Book and Cub Scout Outdoor Training (a combination of BALOO and WOLF). But also for University of Scouting.

We pay either a $5.00 or $10.00 staff fee to staff our cub summer camps and day camps too!



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There is no free lunch.

No matter how we look at it someone, somewhere will end up footing what the cost is.

Would it be fair if the course director had to run down to the local copy shop and pay to have all the copies made, pay for all the refreshments out of their pocket?

The money does need to come from somewhere and having everyone pay their fair share seems to me to be the best way.


Back in the day, at least in my area Wood Badge Staff members didn't pay to attend the course. They did pay for the food and expenses incurred at the development weekends.

This changed when the new 21st Century course came along.

Now everyone pays!

The CD also has to pay to attend the Course Directors Conference, which cost as much as most courses and is just a weekend.

I'm not sure why anything that the Region does costs about four times what it should.

I remember being "Invited" to a working breakfast that the Region was hosting the cost was $79.00!

There is no way I can eat $79.00 of anything for breakfast! (Needless to say I handed over my $79.00 and didn't pass on the opportunity to have something to complain about!)


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$79 will buy you 31 scrapple-and-cheese sandwiches. Now THAT's a breakfast!


A wise man once told me the difference between a volunteer and a professional Scouter - a professional gets paid to do Scouting, while a volunteer pays to do Scouting.


(Knowing what I do now, I'd quibble with the idea that scrambling after money, trying to start as many units as possible and pushing paperwork is "doing Scouting." It's important work, to be sure, but it ain't what I'd want to be doing.)

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ASM59 stated - "Yes, $5.00 doesn't seem like that much, and they said it is a donation; however, when it is put the way it was in the e-mail, it is really expected. I really don't think anyone will ask if they can go without paying the fee. However, it makes me wonder why I should go, and I know others who feel that way too."



Why? To learn something new. Some things that might be of help to you as a Trainer, as a ASM, and even in your non-scout life.


I do not think I have attended any training at my council that is free. The costs range from $2 to over $200. Someone has to pay for these things. Seems to me you end up paying for them no matter what fee the council charges. You either pay up front, or thru FOS. Heck, there have even been times that I have paid for training supplies out of my pocket and never turned in the receipts.


Consider that, as a District Trainer, you will be asked to donate much more than $5. You will be asked to donate your effort, your enthusisim, your time, and your families time. No one is forcing you. If it is to much of a commitment, then simply do not take the course.


BTW - My Council's TDC runs from 8AM - 4:30PM and costs $15. $5 for about half of the course seems to be about right.




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I served on the traing staff for our old SMF program and it never cost me a cent. I don't recall paying for my lunch, if I did it was such a nominal amount that it didn't matter.


As a participant, if I was told that $1.50 of my fee was paying for the lunch of the staff, I would have said "good" and then kicked extra money into the kitty for their supplies.

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