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jjlash

Charge for basic training?

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Red Cross offers all courses on-line and in-class.  Both are free to volunteers.

Every boy deserves a well trained adult leader.  That mantra only goes so far on the BSA follow-through.  ARC puts it's volunteers in some pretty difficult situations dealing with people in the worst time in their lives for many.  It's not that they think the client deserves a well trained worker, they require it.  I have worked 6 disaster relief operations, gotten exemplary evaluations by supervisors, and am just now getting off the bottom rung of being "qualified".  Training is necessary to start, rolling up one's sleeves and gaining experience is another.  The first part highly affects the quality of the second.

Poor training on the front end will never be made up in experience down the road.

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There is always a cost for training for any organization.  The question is who should pay. Natonal, council, unit or individual.  If training is a priority I would expect the expense to be covered by someone other than the volunteer.  Clearly training is not a priority for nationals or council so it is coming down to the unit or volunteer.  How many non profits charge you to volunteer and to be trained?   BSA is the only one I have been part of who charges a fee. 

The training charges are minimal in our council and our Pack covers them for any volunteer willing to take the time to be trained.  We cover the expense as part of our dues and fundraising budget as we see this as a priority.

 

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Maybe National expected "experienced scouts", certainly Eagle scouts, would return as Scouters and hence training would be a lesser priority?

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I don't like the idea of units paying for scouter training.  That's not their job and the money should be going towards the boys.  National upped the fees for scouts, maybe some of that fee money should go towards training instead of more staff.  Volunteers are capable of doing a lot of the work the staff are being paid to do.

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Our council has always run trainings such that participants pay a small fee that covers costs, materials,  and a few dollars back to council to cover their administrative fees.  Fees typically run 10 to 20 dollars for basic position trainings.  More for things like IOLS.

I have never heard of scouters balking at the cost.  Most seem pretty accustomed to paying their own way.

Most units around here reimburse, but few folks submit the paperwork.

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I paid my way to WB, but after a year, I was reimbursed by the troop for the cost.  Over the years I have donated the money back to the boys.

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I'm the Committee Chair for a large troop.  In that role, I've seen the impact that well trained leaders can have.  To me, money spent training adults is money spent on the boys.

I could hope that council would make it free - but, I know how strapped they are for funds.  I don't mind building $10 per scout per year to cover getting leaders trained.  Money very well spent in my book.

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13 hours ago, jjlash said:

 *  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?
 

* $18 for the last ITOLS/ASM course I took.

* Only the "Trained" patch. (I valued the meals :))

* My son's Troop pays for the training because, well, they want trained leaders. I didn't ask anyone else so I can't speak for other Troops.

* Apparently not, as there were many in attendance.

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On 1/14/2018 at 8:26 AM, 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?
  *  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.
 

I started as a Cub Leader in about 2007.  I've always had to pay for BSA training. For Cub Scout DL training it was $5 or $10.  BALOO/OWL was I think $20, but included lunch.  IOLS was $20, again with lunch.  It's the way of the world.  

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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 9:47 AM, Eagle1993 said:

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).  

Same here in my Council

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@jjlash, if my district/council charged for training I know many folks here would not take it. Why? Many units already charge adult volunteers and leaders a premium over the $33 adult BSA reg fee...some as high as $100/year. Next, few units locally reimburse for gas for trips and such. More out of pocket. Summer camp? We have to pay to attend that plus the transport fee. Now training that's required for us volunteers? That would be the last straw.

Good luck with this approach. It would go down like a lead balloon in my area. Thankfully my unit only charges $33 for dues and pays for leader training. Costs are budgeted by the PLC and the boys raise the funds to cover. Summer camp is covered for the required leaders; extra leaders pay their way. Same with high adventure.

Edited by Col. Flagg
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15 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

Summer camp is covered for the required leaders; extra leaders pay their way. Same with high adventure.

Your summer camp(s) that you attend don’t allow two free leaders for x amount of scouts?

I know if atleast 15 summer camps that I’ve looked into around a few states allow two free leaders then around $120+ for extra.

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5 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

Your summer camp(s) that you attend don’t allow two free leaders for x amount of scouts?

I know if atleast 15 summer camps that I’ve looked into around a few states allow two free leaders then around $120+ for extra.

A few do. Many don't. The boys don't pick camp based on how many free leaders we get. They pick them based on location, what they offer, travel costs to get there and cost of the camp. Maybe a last consideration are the free leaders.

Point being, volunteer leaders are already paying to go to summer camp (using vacation time from work), then they have to pay the camp cost, then the transportation cost, their annual dues, monthly fees for unit camping (and gas, etc.), do not get reimbursed for wear and tear on their vehicle, pay for uniform, patches, etc. Now someone wants to charge for training BSA requires in order to be a volunteer?

There is a bridge too far for some and this would be it. Thankfully this is not an issue for us now.

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