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walk in the woods

Supplemental Training for Youth Leaders

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I'm working with my District Training folk to put together some supplemental training for youth positions of responsibility.  I have the bit for webmaster.  What guidance would you give to a youth webmaster beyond what's in the job description?

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Posted (edited)

I’m a youth still, and I’m sure you all know that we know how to use technology well. I would just instruct the webmaster what he has to keep updated, and whatever else a webmaster does. It’s not really needed to use district resources to train one of the least important and easiest job.

Edited by ItsBrian

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On 3/11/2018 at 1:13 PM, ItsBrian said:

I’m a youth still, and I’m sure you all know that we know how to use technology well. I would just instruct the webmaster what he has to keep updated, and whatever else a webmaster does. It’s not really needed to use district resources to train one of the least important and easiest job.

@ItsBrian, thank you for the feedback.  I'm curious about your statements "know how to use technology well" and "least important and easiest job."   From my perspective they seem to contradict each other.  If youth are technology consumers, wouldn't a good technology presence be important for a Troop?  

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I think if I was putting together a webmaster training I'd cover topics like:

1. the different purposes of a troop website
- information for current troop members
- information for prospective scouts
I'd have an exercise to go over what kinds of things are important to each group.

2. I'd go over website usability - what makes a website easy to navigate.

3. I'd talk about keeping content fresh

4. I'd cover the BSA rules about what you can share online - names, pictures, etc.

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Before launching a top-down, District-sponsored training program, I'd meet with current and past Webmasters (and any other youth leaders) to hear their experiences, and then involve them in the development of training materials - they are our clients, they need to be heard.

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Along the lines of what @ParkMan said.  Cover the "what" and "why" rather than the "how".  Why do we put things online (several reasons) and what should be put online to accomplish the desired "why".  The "how" will be different for different units and most youth can figure that out very quickly when they understand what they need to accomplish.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, jjlash said:

Along the lines of what @ParkMan said.  Cover the "what" and "why" rather than the "how".  Why do we put things online (several reasons) and what should be put online to accomplish the desired "why".  The "how" will be different for different units and most youth can figure that out very quickly when they understand what they need to accomplish.

I agree 100%. I used to counsel struggling units and develop courses for the district and council. I always started my counseling and teaching with goals and visions. The number one mistake for course developers is spending more time in the weeds then the basics of understanding the objective. All the Ticket Items had to be approved by me at Woodbadge and I asked all the participants to write the goal before creating a plan. It's harder than one might think. I believe this Webmaster course is a good idea, but I personally don't see it much of a technical course. A clear understanding of "why" and "what" (I like that order better) makes a solid foundation for consistent "hows". And frankly, when it comes to webmaster type stuff, we went to the kids for instruction. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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Make sure they have a link to the Learn it Young. Remember it Forever. video from Scouts South Africa :

And at least one of the many Happy Scouts videos, for example this one from Slovenia:

Bottom line: if your course is a bunch of rules instead of fun and challenging and international (because it's not the Nation Wide Web), go home.

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

 A clear understanding of "why" and "what" (I like that order better) makes a solid foundation for consistent "hows".

I like that order better too - Simon Sinek would be proud ;-)

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/11/2018 at 8:07 AM, walk in the woods said:

I'm working with my District Training folk to put together some supplemental training for youth positions of responsibility.  I have the bit for webmaster.  What guidance would you give to a youth webmaster beyond what's in the job description?

I applaud your adding supplemental youth POR training.  How adding an hour for adult leaders on how they can facilitate BSA ISLT in their troops and how to use the BSA materials?    I've seen lots of adult leader training but so so many miss the basics such as training our leaders to do ISLT.

                   https://www.scouting.org/training/youth/

"When my sons started in boy scouts", our scoutmaster ran ISLT at least once a year.  It was a Saturday morning and some of the afternoon.  The SPL ran it.  The SM had coached the SPL in advance.  I remember it well because it was segmented and there was a grainy VHS tape with outdated uniforms, etc.  ISLT was divided into modules separated by discussion and games.  The SPL introduced the topic, press play and pause on the VHS player and facilitated discussion.  Then the SPL had one or more youth run each game / activity.   I remember the blindfolded scouts using ropes on an elastic loop to pick up and move a coffee can. I remember the bag lunch where one bag had cookies, another meat, another bread, another etc.  

The key point was the scouts HAD FUN during the course.  They might have mocked the video a bit for being low tech, out dated, etc.  But they learned.  And it was less about the WHY AND HOW and more about growing together as a leadership team.  Plus the SPL grew the most by being able to run the program.  

IMHO, I really wish I could see that training hosted more.  

Edited by fred johnson

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I'm reminded of something that wasn't a direct answer to this question, but that certainly could bridge nicely.... and could be changed slightly to apply to all sorts of POR's

I had to search for it....

http://scoutmastercg.com/fifteen-minute-patrol-leader-training/

I like the 15 minutes..... or I'd for some POR's actually add in all CAPS. "OR LESS"

and I like what he wrote about not calling it training at all.... don't even look at it as training because that alone changes the focus or approach....

 

While searching for that, I found these other references that might help too....

http://scoutmastercg.com/youth-leader-training/

http://scoutmastercg.com/training-is-doing/

I actually thought there was a podcast on his 15 minute PL discussion too, but I can't put my finger on it just now....

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7 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

The key point was the scouts HAD FUN during the course.  They might have mocked the video a bit for being low tech, out dated, etc.  But they learned.  And it was less about the WHY AND HOW and more about growing together as a leadership team.  Plus the SPL grew the most by being able to run the program.  

IMHO, I really wish I could see that training hosted more. 

Fred, you make a good point about making a course fun. We also used that course and you will have to trust me that the "whys" and "hows" are in it.

Learning in general is easier and faster when first understanding why, and then the how. That is very much the case for scouts learning their Scout Skills. Why a Sheet Bend over a Square Knot? Oh, that makes sense.

A good way for checking a Scout's knowledge of a skill during BOR without retesting is asking him the why of that skill.  The whys are in the Scout handbook.

The reason the ISLT course wasn't hosted as much as some of us would like is that it was a one and done course. The course was fun the first time, it was a wasted Saturday for those who repeated it a second time. At best it was a once a year course for new leaders. 

Barry

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2 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

@ItsBrian, thank you for the feedback.  I'm curious about your statements "know how to use technology well" and "least important and easiest job."   From my perspective they seem to contradict each other.  If youth are technology consumers, wouldn't a good technology presence be important for a Troop?  

I don’t think many people would think “let’s try to find a Boy Scout Troop website”, let’s admit it, not many troops have websites. I feel like many troops don’t utilize this position because it is not needed.

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4 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

I don’t think many people would think “let’s try to find a Boy Scout Troop website”, let’s admit it, not many troops have websites. I feel like many troops don’t utilize this position because it is not needed.

That's a very interesting take on it I think....   I agree that the position, and several others like it, aren't used because they aren't needed.

I think the marketing angle, or I suppose more correctly the recruiting angle is only a small part of the web site.  As a parent, i certainly did try to search out web sites for prospective units for my kid....as a way to try to get a read on the unit, types of things they do, hopefully for a biography of the adult scouters involved, etc.... but that's only such a small part of the web site....

but form a youth perspective if that's all the web site is, then that says something for sure.

I'd agree that folks don't generally use things like web sites for the unit.

They don't go there to keep up with announcements and such

they don't go there for communication all that much

It makes for an opportunity for a historian to "scrapbook" and record adventures and history, but really nobody looks ta that kind of stuff often...

We used troopwebhost, and folks did log in to make payments with the paypal link some, but not really all that often... I found having the calendar feature, that would sync over to my google account very useful, but otherwise I'd agree that web site functions aren't really used by people....

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