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BrianScout

Horrible Training from District

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I became involved as a trainer seven years ago, partially as a response to some of the unsatisfactory training I had gone through earlier in a different district in a different council. That training was under the old syllabi, but I remember telling myself at the time, "I can do better than this." It does require another level of dedication to do it right. You should expect to be asked to help out.

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Earlier in my experience as a Scouter I was more into the idea of solving problems rolling up your sleeves, getting involved and volunteering yourself. Two things have tempered my thinking on that. One, serving as Scoutmaster, the district committee and a council-level committee is enough. I'll take responsibility to do the jobs I have well. The people doing the other jobs -- training, in Brian's case -- need to do the same.

 

Secondly, I have come to learn that not every problem committee or function wants the help.

 

A few weeks ago on another thread someone made a suggestion I thought was absolutely inspired. My apologies to whoever suggest this originally for not being able to give you credit.

 

Put your complaint in a letter to your Chartered Organization Representative. Have him or her forward it to the Council's Scout Executive and Council President with his or her own letter asking why they Council is not fulfilling their responsibilities to the unit as outlined in the in the Charter agreement.

 

Good luck!

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Brian,

Even if you think you can't serve on the committee, I can tell you as a member of our district's committee, we are always looking for people who can and are willing to do training.

 

We are a very small (membership number wise) council with small districts. We have very few district traiing events since we have a large number of experienced scouters. Just over a month ago, we held our council University of Scouting, and as chair of the event, I can honestly say that I spent more time calling and emailing asking for instructors, than I did in the other parts of planning the event. I asked for evaluations from all participants and plan to use that information to start with my planning of next years UoS based on those comments. I will try to find someone else to teach the class that students thought was disorganized and that instructor wasn't prepared. This was a class with a prebuilt syllabus that apparently the instructor didn't follow.

 

Teaching a class at an event doesn't take tons of time. And since many of the "required" classes have pre-built syllabus, it doesn't take too long to prepare for them. If you have had the class, and some experience you should be qualified to teach the class. Our council has had a couple of trainer classes, but I don't know of anyone who was refused the opportunity to teach if they had the desire.

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Hello,

 

Thanks again for the words of support and advice. Many have mentioned getting involved on the Training Committee and/or as a Trainer, but I just don't know. First, is my concern that I do not really have time, and second is my concern about getting involved; seems like too much "adult politics".

 

Our COR contacted a member of the District Training Committee as well as the Training Committee chairperson to let them know of our dissatisfaction with the training. Their opinions seem to be that everything is the fault of the Units in the District and "especially units like ours". After listening to them go on about how horrible the units are, he asked how our Unit could have helped, he was not given a straight answer. He tried to clarify by pointing out how disorganized the events were, how there was little or no communication to the participants, and how ill prepared the Trainers were; based on all that he asked what we could do as a Unit to help in the future. He said he just got more complaints about the Units in our Council not being willing to help. Our COR offered to pull our trailer out to Council property for future Outdoor Training and he said he would even find a volunteer to act as Quartermaster to help find what the participants needed in the Trailer. He said that was basically the end of the conversation as they obviously could not tell him what we could do to help and were not interested in his offer.

 

I know my ultimate goal should be about helping others get quality training, but I really think there are too many obstacles to overcome in the District.

 

Brian

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As I have mentioned in other posts, I have had just about all the training available in scouting and yet this year's U of Scouting is the first time in maybe 10 years I have been asked to teach. I attribute it to desparation because the course schedule was rather weak. I taught one class and sat around taking repeat course for the other 5 sessions. I use to teach Webelos outdoor many years for the council and have taught SM Fundamentals multiple years as well. I teach an open class for anyone wanting DC training for the council boys. MB's? Yep, do my share of them as well.

 

If training is going to be mandatory, they had better start turning over some stones and digging up some of the better teachers out there. In their zeal for the passing of the guard (WB21C) they have pretty much blown off an entire cadre of scout wisdom available to them.

 

It works both ways and it would seem the councils haven't yet figured that out.

 

Stosh

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Hello BrianScout,

 

I am truly sorry for the very bad training experience you had. You deserve so much better than that.

 

I can give one tiny bit of experience that may explain part of what you are seeing. Your top Council Leadership is probably aware, at least in the back of their consciousness, of the training situation in your district. Sometimes, our choice is what to do when the current leadership is not doing the job but there is no clearcut choice to replace them. The situation can become particularly difficult if the current leadership has been in place a long time, likes their position, has many friends and is part of the "good old boy" network.

 

What often happens is that the council leadership knows that things are less than great but may be out ot touch with just how bad. You need to fix that :)

 

I would suggest that your COR ask for a meeting with the Scout Executive (top pro in the council) and describe your experience giving as many names, dates, places, facts, etc. as possible. Indicate that you don't want just to **** but that you were taking training for a reason and in your opinion, that level of increased knowledge did not happen.

 

I would also note that in many Districts, there is a distinction between the Training Committee and a Training Team. The former is the group that exists to organize training, strategize, maintain records, etc. The latter is the somewhat amorphous group of persons who conduct various trainings. I might suggest that you and your other Troop leaders become members of the Training Team. You can agree to be called on to lead parts or all of various trainings but it's on an ad hoc basis. You can contribute directly to better quality training.

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