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jjlash

Charge for basic training?

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Im the council training chair.  Up to now we have never charged people to attend basic (position-specific) training.  I have recently been told that the training team needs to "break even" financially.  We will be able to cut costs but we we will still need to add some income.

As we discuss adding a fee to sessions, we would love to hear how other councils do things and what lessons-learned you have.  If your council charges for basic training:
  *  How much?
  *  Do people get something (i.e. a book) which adds perceived value?
  *  How do people feel about being charged?
  *  If charging for training is fairly new, has it impacted attendance?

Thanks for the input.
 

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If BSA were to ever get it's act together they could produce a number of training sessions by using videos.  The boring classroom parts could all be one for free over the internet and maybe the hands-on parts could meet for half the time at less expense.  Participant booklets and reference guides could be printed off over the internet for those that want them 

People would be more apt to take the training if they could do it for free at a time most convenient to their schedules.  That ain't happening now and then there's all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that goes into why people aren't trained. 

Other organizations are doing this, why is BSA such a Johnny-come-lately?  Answer that question and you'll get better results with training of the volunteers.

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4 minutes ago, Stosh said:

If BSA were to ever get it's act together they could produce a number of training sessions by using videos.  The boring classroom parts could all be one for free over the internet and maybe the hands-on parts could meet for half the time at less expense.  Participant booklets and reference guides could be printed off over the internet for those that want them 

People would be more apt to take the training if they could do it for free at a time most convenient to their schedules.  That ain't happening now and then there's all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that goes into why people aren't trained. 

Other organizations are doing this, why is BSA such a Johnny-come-lately?  Answer that question and you'll get better results with training of the volunteers.

How about eliminating he boring parts and replacing it with good training - like if BSA was competing for your time?

I have witnesses awful training - and training where the learners didn't want to leave when the sessions were over.

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8 minutes ago, Stosh said:

If BSA were to ever get it's act together they could produce a number of training sessions by using videos.  The boring classroom parts could all be one for free over the internet and maybe the hands-on parts could meet for half the time at less expense.  Participant booklets and reference guides could be printed off over the internet for those that want them 

People would be more apt to take the training if they could do it for free at a time most convenient to their schedules.  That ain't happening now and then there's all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that goes into why people aren't trained. 

Other organizations are doing this, why is BSA such a Johnny-come-lately?  Answer that question and you'll get better results with training of the volunteers.

They already have this, IMO they just do a good job of promoting it.  There is a ton of material, just not being promoted well.

If you go to my.scouting.org and click on My Dashboard, then My Training, and finally on Training Center you will be given Training Courses by Program.  Clicking on the program levels you will be given a list of available training.  Clicking on the trainings will take you to the BSA Learning Center.  Here is what's available, in addition to YPT:

Cub Scouts:

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Boy Scouts:

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image.thumb.png.a9ef722a4be8d659c41da64389d5be63.png

 

Venturing:

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Sea Scouts:

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Exploring:

image.thumb.png.800a77726d6f0d986ab7e40329a7a46e.png

image.thumb.png.7e2275ebc84895105cafc3a805df3145.png

 

Other:

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My council only charges minimal fees for training, to cover basic costs.  $5 for position specific... and you get the Trained patch.  $12 for BALOO to cover some handouts and lunch.   I don’t hear complaints about cost only content and time (frequency and length).  

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@jjlash, to answer your question, I have served on, or directed, many different training events from Scoutmaster-specific to Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills (IOLS) to Wood Badge.  The fee I charged always fit a budget I came up with to 1) cover materials, i.e. booklets, manuals, 2) food, and 3) facilities rental.  At no point was I asked to make a profit for the council/district, for what that's worth to your question.  

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Also, regarding online training, I agree it can be more convenient for the average Scouter in today's fast-paced world :D  However, I often, as a trainer, stress that one of the most important things you learn from an in-person event is what you get from the give-and-take with other Scouters.  When we are face-to-face in a "classroom" we do, in fact, get more than what the video tells us online.  

I prefer in-person training, personally, but I understand the need for and desire for online versions.  

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1 hour ago, jjlash said:


Im the council training chair.  Up to now we have never charged people to attend basic (position-specific) training.  I have recently been told that the training team needs to "break even" financially.  We will be able to cut costs but we we will still need to add some income.

As we discuss adding a fee to sessions, we would love to hear how other councils do things and what lessons-learned you have.  If your council charges for basic training:
  *  How much?  Yes we do, but it varies upon the course. Some courses are as cheap as $5 to cover handouts and snacks. Some $10 to handle the above plus a meal. When I did ITOLs abotu 7 years ago, I charged $15 - $20 to cover supplies, hand outs, and food.
  *  Do people get something (i.e. a book) which adds perceived value?  I would hope they get handouts and have some type of snack/food. Also comraderie, knowing that some one is there to help them out and answer questions if needed, both at the event and later on. I give out my contact info for that purpose.
  *  How do people feel about being charged? Going through training, no problem. In order to staff training, I do have some challenges with. It can get costly. One reason I backed away from training was that. But the biggest factor is I don't have the time.
  *  If charging for training is fairly new, has it impacted attendance? While not new in my area, most people do not have a problem with the fees as they know the staff are trying to keep it as cheap as possible. In fact one SM, complaining about having to drive out of county to get training, said we should "hire" trainers from outside the district to come in and teach.

Thanks for the input.
 

 

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For over 20 years now, BSA has not asked me to teach anything for the program.  I used to teach Fundamentals, both Cub and SM, I used to teach Webelos outdoors, I used to teach at University of Scouting, I am registered but never called for MB counseling, etc.  I musta fell out of the Good Ol' Boys' good graces.

I have been with the Red Cross for less than 2 years, I am an instructor for Mass Care/Disaster Cycle Services side of the Red Cross, Not the CPR/FA/AED or BioMedial sides, and I am on the schedule to teach Sheltering Fundamentals and Simulation (2 sessions), and Disaster Action Team Fundamentals and Simulation (1 session), over the next 2 months.  The teacher's manual for the Sheltering course alone is a ream of paper thick in my 2" loose-leaf binder.

Oh, by the way, if one thinks a day at Fundamentals is a pain in the butt.  I drive the Emergency Relief Vehicles for the Red Cross.  I needed

1) Disaster Cycle Services: An Overview

2) Shelter Fundamentals

3) Basic Food Safety

4) Psychological First Aid

5) Mass Care: An Overview

6) Feeding Fundamentals

7) Bulk Distribution Fundamentals

Just to be a Mass Care Volunteer,  and then:

1) CPR/FA/AED certification,

2) ERV: Ready, Set, Roll, course (classroom 8 hours),

3) Defensive Driving Course offered by the State,

4) Basic Food Handling,

5) On the road test.

Then one needs to be vetted by one's supervisor to be able to drive. 

The whole process is free.  Rationale?  You are a volunteer doing very important for people experiencing desperate times in their lives,

By the way, I am one of thousands of people who have gone through this process.

How serious is BSA with their training when they are sitting there worried about whether or not $5 ought to be charged for lunches or materials?

If one wanted CPR/FA/AED training and WFA training (Both ARC classes) as a scout it will cost one $100+, as an ARC volunteer?  $0

It's not just ARC,  FEMA does the same thing, all their training is free and on-line, I've taken that too.

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Great info, thanks.  So far it matches with our discussions.

Yes, most of the classroom, position specific stuff is online and is pretty good.  I expect folks to complain about "paying a few dollars to take it in person when they can do it for free online?"  Of course, my response will be "then why havn't you already done it online?"

I agree that in person is better so you have the interactions and organic discussions.  But my biggest complaint with the online stuff is that it is buried - I would love to have a simple, direct link that I can put on a flier or mention in roundtable.  Trying to talk someone through the eLearning Center is a pain.

I would be okay charging $5 for a session with some handouts or $10-$15 for a session with handouts and lunch.   My challenge is that our camp is also trying to break even so everyone (even other council groups) get charged for using camp facilities.  Thus - in addition to a few bucks of copies I have to cover $100-$200 worth of building usage.  I would have a hard time charging enough to cover my actual costs.

Still exploring ideas - it is much easier to add a few bucks to a longer session and a more active session like BALOO or IOLS.  I also need to do some checking because WoodBadge financials are separate from other training.  I dont know why and I dont know if WB has any excess that should be going back into the training budget.

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm fine with the Training classes needing to cover their cost. My SM training was $10 and I'd have paid ten times that because the instructor was fantastic. I start to question what I'm doing when it comes to classes that cost $250 and I need to donate a vacation day and my entire weekend. I hate online training. I'm on a computer right now and I'm on one all week for work. I also get plenty of useless online training that my employer feels is very important. 

*  How much? Cover your costs
  *  Do people get something (i.e. a book) which adds perceived value? I don't see a value unless it's a great book
  *  How do people feel about being charged? Free would be nice, but covering your cost is understandable. 
  *  If charging for training is fairly new, has it impacted attendance? Most of the training classes that I've attended have been full, so the cost doesn't seem to impact the attendance.

Stosh does make a great point. If BSA really wants a push for Trained leaders, free is the best incentive. 

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14 minutes ago, Stosh said:

The whole process is free.  Rationale?  You are a volunteer doing very important for people experiencing desperate times in their lives,

...

How serious is BSA with their training when they are sitting there worried about whether or not $5 ought to be charged for lunches or materials?

 

Free is my thought too - because they are already giving their time, plus certainly spending their own money supporting their unit.

It is not the BSA doing this.  National has created the online modules.  And we promote them but we still offer in-person training several times a year. 

Hm - maybe I need to approach it as the small cost of in-person training being a better use of time.  Take the online training to "check the box".  Take an in-person session to meet some new people, ask questions, get answers, get info beyond the bare essentials and have a snack.

 

 

 

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If you make training free then some part of the Council's operating budget has to make up for the costs of the items mentioned above.  When Friends of Scouting campaigns come up short, where do local councils make up the shortfalls?  

Free sounds like a good incentive, but in reality I don't know that it works with our current framework.  Online training, notwithstanding.  

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We do not charge for our SM/ASM Specific. Even though it is completely online now we still offer it, because of the value of face-to-face, Q&A and networking.

We do charge for IOLS. Because there are real cost involved. However, we budget carefully and always have a few dollars left over that we put towards SM/ASM specific so we can continue ot offer it free of charge.

We have also included SM/ASM specific in larger training events like University of Scouting, which does have a fee to cover real cost. So in essence if someone is taking SM/ASM Specific at that event they paying.

 

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