Dale Ward (dward@WYVERN.COM)
Sun, 21 Nov 1993 23:37:33 -0500
I would like the views of the list ...
Our council has moved all "Basic" training under the control of the
Council Training Committee. By Basic I refer to Cub Scout Leader Basic
Training, Scoutmastership Fundamentals, Commissioner Basic. This
change was pitched to the Council Executive Board by the Council VP for
Training ostensibly for the following reasons:
A few districts not following the National syllabus to the
letter and/or using "apprentice" trainers that had not been trained as
trainers through the Train-the-Trainer Conference (the one that is about
25 years out of date and has been discontinued). In a few instances,
training staff included "trainers" that had no experience other than
having attended the basic training (and a few had not even done that).
Here is the rub ... At least 2 districts had a vibrant, enthusiastic,
dedicated, highly motivated, fully Woodbadge and TTT trained training
staff that conducted training by the book in a quality way. It was
somewhat of a "club," but that was manageable through a good District
PRogram Chairman who ensured that new people were involved. The
training was offered to relatively small groups 25-30 on average for
each of 3 sessions of Cub Scout basic and SM fundamentals each year.
There was excellent follow-up to the training as most of the Unit
Commissioners were also involved in training. This provided an
excellent way not only to reinforce training, but for the trainer to
check on effectiveness and whether what was learned was being applied at
the unit level. All in all it was an excellent interaction.
Now that all basic trainings are held "centrally" the average size of a
Cub Scout Leader Basic session is 100+, the size of the training staff
has not increased significantly from that of the district sessions.
(This is due in part to many of the district trainers choosing not to
be part of a huge "training machine" centrally managed by the
council training committee.) This has led to great reliance on the
"lecture method" with little one-on-one interaction with trainees and
certainly almost nil reinforcement back at the local district.
Quality of training is suffering under these conditions.
The Council VP of Training is a dedicated and experienced Scouter.
However, I believe the council has lost track of what is most important
to the "customer" and many of the beneficial aspects of locally
"produced" training. Of course, there are many other types of training
available for a district training staff to deliver, but as anyone who
has been involved in basic training knows, working with new leaders and
helping them learn the PROGRAM is most rewarding.
There is a growing "grass roots" movement to bring basic training back
to the districts, but as the "movement" grows, the Council appears to be
attempting to exert even more control in spite of their offering to
train anyone who wants to be a part of the club ... uh, I mean... team.
Question: How is training done at your council? How empowered is your
district training team to do basic training? Which is better --
training at the district level or at council level? Does it matter?
As you can tell, I have an opinion, but would like to hear your views
and experiences. As a point of reference, I have been a district
trainer for about 10 years and have delivered both the SM Fundamentals
and CS Leader Basic. I have taken and delivered the Scouting TTT
Conference, have been a Scoutmaster at a council Junior Leader Training
Conference (JLTC), Woodbadge trained and I also train adults in my "day
job." So, I am familiar with adult learning models and methodology, as
well as managing a training function. But BSA has, for some reason,
always been unique in its approach to training.
So, what do you think?
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Dale Ward |It may not be Texas, but it's close enough to heaven...
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