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Troop Adult Members, Rechartering and Training

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The YPT is not the problem, the mandatory IOLS is. The troop I was SM with is great with helpfull parents registering on the committee, they take YPT online no problem and help not only on committee but pinch hit with driving kids to and from campouts, assisting with merit badges, advancements and sometimes staying on campouts, Some actually are really ASM's with the troop in function. They are becoming knowledgeable about and supportive of the program and are enjoying seeing this part of their boys development in life.


Forced Manadatory IOLS is not going to hurt the troop but is changing behaviors. SM is a 20 year experienced camper and white water guide, he took IOLS last fall but it was a complete waste of his time, just so he could check the box. One ASM is also taking the IOLS this month but it will amount to teaching a master chef how to make ice cubes....another check off the box and waste a weekend situation.


I had been asked if I would stay on as an ASM and might have but having to waste my time taking a course on what I already know and had been doing well for years was the deciding factor in walking way, same with one of my ASM's, a 1967 Eagle with much BSA and camping experience....when he heard about manadatory IOLS, he felt it was ridiculous and has dropped from the troop as well.


Some of the parents registered as CM's were interested in actually becoming ASM's, dads with a lot of camping experience and former scouts but due to IOLS they registered as CM's but are functioning as ASM's as far as the troop is concerned.

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I took all the training for Scoutmaster including IOLS in 2004 although I had been an AS in 1981 and Scoutmaster from 1982-1987.


It was a useful review, and the IOLS course in particular gave good examples of how to teach the varying Scout skills and the current recommended methods for various Scout skills.


In particular, I had always ridiculed the "contact method" of cutting kindling as "the way lawyers would chop wood." When I actually tried it, I found it a good method and a lot safer and more controlled way to split kindling than the wilder axe swinging methods I was used to using.


Also, the IOLS program I took had an excellent example of a ceremony that gave me a much better understanding of the power of a ceremony and methods for making ceremonies impressive and a valuable experience.


While IOLS is burdensome, I recommend it even for those with good outdoor skills.


Would I kick an existing SM or AS out of the program for failing to take it? No, but I would recommend it.


I just did!(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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Hello Jblake,






You are dropped the day your two year YPT training expires, not at the end of the recharter. But neither that person nor anyone in your unit is notified of that fact, so people will routinely continue to serve despite being dropped.


That's my point, really. Dropping someone often just means that BSA isn't collecting it's dues money. Often they will continue to serve in their unit as a leader, registered or not.


And really, does it make sense to drop someone as a leader who has jumped through all of BSAs hoops but whose YPT training expired after two years? What that often means is that some troop leader has to make repeated contacts with someone to persuade them to take the training and turn in a certificate. Is the benefit really worth the burden?



There are several pack leaders in my who took YPT training two years ago when they registered as leaders. I've already e-mailed them once reminding them of the need to take this training again.


No response.


Would it be wise for the pack to suspend the Committee Chair, Cubmaster and Den Leaders over this as soon as the YPT expires?


A year ago I couldn't get into parts of MyScouting.org to use certain features. When I reported this to the District Executive, he TOOK HIS TIME to investigate the reason and discovered I was no longer a registered Scouter because the YPT had expired. It seems like an e-mail reminder would be a good practice rather than just suspending someone's membership.




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Do I know how tiresome IOLS can be for someone who has the KSAs already, yes I do. Went from straight from Boy Scout to ASM and had to do the old SM Fundamentals course. This after 10 years in the program (3 as a Cub and 7 as a Scout) and going through BA22. Only thing I did learn was the paperwork aspects of the job.


Now in regards to IOLS, here are some creative ways I've seen it done.


1) Have a summer camp staffer whose only job is training do the course during summer camp.


2) Get those folks who have the KSAs but not the training to serve on staff.


Good friend of mine was hired to do IOLS and SM Specific at camp. Funny thing was, although a Camping, Hiking, et al MBC and a 3 beader to boot, he had never done IOLS, so technically he wasn't trained to teach the course. But he did and made sure his name on the list.


I also had some friends who needed the training serve on staff last January. I think someone who has been to Philmont 3 times has the KSAs to serve on staff. Also think someone who was a combat medic in 'Stan has the KSAs too. And apparently the folks in the course did too b/c his FA presentation was the most talked about one.


Now There is a test out option where if you can demonstrate the skills, you can get passed. But Some councils, like SP's if I recall correctly, won't allow it.


One thing I thought about trying out was a leaders challenge at Camporee. Something along the lines of "Are You Smarter Than a First Class Scout" where the training cadre run the competition and anyone who passes the course get IOLS signed off since it will be all T-2-1 Skills.

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"I have often wondered what would happen if there weren't any training requirements to be a doctor, lawyer, banker, teacher, etc."


You get people like Abraham Lincoln becoming President of the United States. :)


We shouldn't be going down a path where we start to compare the training needed to serve in some professions with people just wanting to volunteer for their son's Packs, Troops and Crews.


I have no issues with requiring everyone who wants to be a volunteer to take youth protection training online - I'd even be fine with it if it were an annual requirement rather than an every two year requirement. I'd even be fine with the BSA creating required online courses that all need to take (depending on the level) within 2 months of registering: Fundamentals of Cub Scouting, Fundamentals of Boy Scouting and Fundamentals of Venturing/Sea Scouting that give an overview of what the program is all about, and breaks down the roles - without going into minute detail.


Beyond that? Except for certain specialty training needs, the rest of the training should be highly encouraged but still optional. Does every SM/ASM really need IOLS? No, not really - in a lot of cases, it is a waste of peoples time - thats not to discount those who found benefit to it, but if the SM you're bringing on board has an undergrad degree in Outdoor Adventure Education, is it really worth the money and time to send him/her to IOLS? Just as the lads learn by doing, so do most adults - those ASMs are going to learn a lot more about outdoor leadership skills from working with an experienced Scoutmaster, other ASMs and the Scouts, then they will from a weekend man scout camp.


I know some of the argument for mandatory training is so that people will learn best practices and to help deliver a more consistent program but the training is really only as good as the trainers and many of us have horror stories of trainers either droning on from a syllabus or going far off the ranch because the way he's always done it is better than what the book says.


Lets face it, in an outdoor situation, who is going to be listened to first, the new ASM who has just gone through IOLS or the grizzled old Scouter who never had anything near an IOLS course but has 30 years of outdoors experience?


So far, Councils have been getting the compliance they've gotten because there are folks in the units like Seattle who have been herding the cats to get the charters through. What would happen if all the units in a district of 50 units turned in their charters without all the mandatory training? Does anyone really think a Council is going to deny all of those charters?




(This message has been edited by calicopenn)

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Locally, we're not implementing the mandatory training until National says it is a 'go' and they have the software to track it. National has false-started on this too many times for colunteers to take it seriously any more. We do hold charters if all the adults on the charter aren't current on YPT. Now we have units leaving adults off the charter and just letting them particpate without YPT. Someone is going to have serious issues going forward if this becomes common practice amongst our units.


Our latest monthly Council reports includes a listing of units and which ones have trained leaders and which ones don't. It helps so we can target the units without for promoting/recruiting for training.

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  • 1 month later...

Late to the game here...


Bouncing charters sucks for everyone involved... if you are positive your leaders will get trained (but schedules and whatnot are creating delays), I would check to see what your council's policy is. We will post any and all charters with the deal training will be done in 60 days, and our DEs are pretty good about seeing that through with everyone.

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Our council was trying to take the hard line approach this year. The produced lists of trained vs untrained which (just a guess based on the physical amount of paper) is about 10% trained vs 90% untrained. The numbers are not switched accidentally.


Slight problem: The lists do not have data from national transcripts, AND it is missing a lot of training done locally as well. They have asked for lists from the troops on a 'best guess' basis. Somehow I doubt all that data is going to get in by the end of the year.


The missing data does not always come from a lack of troop input. I regularly submit training which has never made it to council records.



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My council will cut me some slack with VLST. I think once they realized how many were on the roles without it, they didn't have much choice.


YPT will probably be manageable. With this two year expiration, basically half the adults need it at any given rechartering. The only ones we catch before rechartering are those who happened to have been on a tour plan that bounced back. (Happened to me this year.)

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One thing my council did a few years back was put out a training survey that leaders filled out. I know in my case it helped out. Problem at the time was this: not all training courses had codes. I was told by my DE to use the then current training codes, but the original dates.


WHICH has come around to bite us ion the butt so to speak :) Now that most of the old courses have codes, we got leaders playing the matchmaking game to get the right course code with the dates.

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Lots of complaints about training. But I noticed and therefore decide to chime in.


With training, do you think that an SA (ASM) would not become a CM (Cubmaster) versus a MC (Member Committee)?


If we are going to complain about positions, know them.


my $0.02



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Not all Council's are having the Direct Contact Leaders Training Mandate. 20 were piloted and about 60 others voluntarily did. The volunteer Councils had a higher success rate. Plus, it's up to the SE as to what Program is supposed to be. Cubscouts is way easier, but it also starts promoting training and getting them used to the idea of GETTING TRAINED.


Check with your Council Training Chair, they can tell you what you need to know.

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But the non-pilots are now following suit.


As for training, trust me I understand the importance of it. But I also understand the importance of not wasting someone's time. if someone has the knowledge, skills and abilities, test them out.


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I though some councils had a method to test out.


I have two new ASMs, both have boys in my troop and also in our pack. They spend a lot of time doing Scout stuff. Neither one would get much out of ILOS, one's an Eagle and the other a Lifer who is an avid outdoorsmen. Why not waste more of their time since they're not doing enough as it is?


I did have one ASM go last year who had no background in Scouting, for him it was worth the cost and effort.

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