Re: Centralized Training
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Mon, 22 Nov 1993 12:38:36 CDT
Dale Ward <dward@WYVERN.COM> writes:
>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:
Well Dale, ALL Training in a local Council should be done under the
umbrella of the Council's (Volunteer) Training Committee. This
committee is made up of the volunteer District Training chairs, their
staffs, the professional staff person in charge of training programs
(normally a field director, program director, or director of field
services), and perhaps a district-level professional as a "training
vehicle" for him or her.
That committee is responsible for the conduct of ALL Council training
programs, starting with the initial training ("fast start") through
the Advanced training coordination (Woodbadge, Exploring Advanced
Seminar). In Councils with a functioning Exploring Committee, the
training of Exploring leaders would shift to that of a function of the
Council's Exploring Service Team or Commissioner Staff). In this
manner, all basic training courses done throughout the Council service
area, would be coordinated and managed by this committee. This also
keeps in check those that "do the training on their own" and not
sanctioned by the Council's committee to conduct the training (which I
feel was the overriding reason they did this...). Finally, it allows a
consistant calendar of all training events to be published so that ALL
volunteers in the local Council can attend *A* training event and be
assured of getting the same quality training, whether it is in the
headquarters city of the Council or in the furthest reach of that same
> 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25 years out of date and has been discontinued).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).
As Kathie Cervany wrote about three weeks back, thanks to her and a
lot of others's "complaining" about the Train-the-Trainer course, the
course has been re-written and will hit the field soon, so that matter
would be shortly (we hope) resolved. There is a constant problem that
I have a as Regional Exploring leader trainer, that a lot of times, I
have to "retrain" local Council leaders that received training from
volunteers that do very little than to read the syllabus out loud and
show three videotapes. I also get irrate when I go to those Councils
and find out that the person that conducted the training had little or
NO interaction whatsoever with a Exploring unit. In most cases, they
are Boy Scouters that have had lots of experience with Scout Troops
and Varsity Teams and don't really understand the Exploring concept or
really cares about the Exploring concepts.
And yes, these folks have NEVER attended Exploring Leader basic. But
I understand, also, that the local Council is trying to do the very
best it can with the resources at hand, and that in many local
Councils, working with Exploring units is about equal to "being in the
>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.
It sounds like there was little integration of ALL District teams into
the new Council-level training teams. While each Scouter has a choice
to become a part of the "machine", someone should have informed those
that didn't want to for fear of "not being recognized at the District
level" (the REAL fear, in my opinion), that being exposeed to a LARGE
audience would net *more* than the limited audience in the District.
Ever wonder how SOME of those folks get "picked" for the "big events"
like Jamboree staff, Woodbadge staff, etc. (okay, I KNOW how MANY are
selected...I haven't been living in Hooterville, you know!!) ???
Because they are out there where other volunteers *outside* of their
District can see and hear them!
>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.
I wouldn't resist it....it sounds to me that your Council wanted to
do those things I explained in the previous paragraphs....if it
increases the opportunities for all new leaders to be trained
(something your professional staff, and ALL professional staffs, are
being beat up really badly by over the past year by their Area
Directors and in turn by the National Director of Operations!!!), then
I wouldn't fight it....but if the number of leaders are lessening,
then it would be a great time to meet with the Council VP of Training
(?? (could this person be also the VP of Unit Service or Program??) )
and discuss your real concerns about this.
>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?
In the Audobon Council, all training is coordinated by the Council's
Training Chair, who reports to the Council Commissioner. The
composition of the Training committee is a Senior DE, and the five
training chairs of each District. There's a Exploring training
representative, but there's a separate (small) Exploring division in
this Council that handles training.
Each District puts on two training sessions for Cub Scout and Boy
Scout leaders each fall...once for their own District volunteers and
once for ANYONE in the local Council that wants to attend. The dates
of those training opportunities are shared with the Old Kentucky Home,
Four Rivers, Buffalo Trace and Middle Tennessee Councils (all of our
neighbors) and their dates are also placed in our Council's newsletter
under "training opportunities". The Council still handles all
advanced training programs and special events like Pow-Wows.
I think that it don't matter....in the Buffalo Trace Council
(Evansville, IN), they do a program similar to what you have described
and it had no big problems.
>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.
Yes, and it's because of the historical nature of the way the BSA has
been doing training...and the reason why that training is conducted!
Hope that was of use!
Mike L. Walton
National Exploring Instructor
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
( (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( AIS/MR Recreation Specialist, Lifeskills Inc. ___)_ )
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