Re: Training for the Scoutmaster
Jim Miller, Jr. (jmillerjr@LSFCU.ORG)
Tue, 25 Apr 1995 10:47:20 EST-5
Steve Lavalla asked:
>Is the purpose of the scouting movement to get badges? Or is it to train
Let's see - the purpose is to train the youth. One of the ways that this is
accomplished is through the earning of badges. One of the other methods we use
to achieve our goal is providing properly trained adult leadership to those
youth. I'll probably hear some flak for this, but even if you're a 25 year SM,
you're not doing the job correctly if you aren't trained. If your training isn't
recent, you're still not doing it right. The program gets constant tweaking and
tuning. Keeping up to date can be one of the most daunting parts of the job, but
an important and integral part of the job we have promised to do.
We on SCOUTS-L should know this better than most with the number of questions we
see on changes in policy. If you really want to benefit the youth, you use every
tool at your disposal. Training tends to be quite an underutilized tool. With
the frequency of program changes, if you haven't been trained within the past 5
years, you aren't really giving the boys the Boy Scout program that we are here
>If this recalcitrant scoutmaster is keeping you from getting the quality
>award, that is no big thing. The award was created to get the units
>rechartered on time and make the paperwork flow nicely for your council.
>is not a tremendous award for all the hard work the boys put in to
>their organization going.
Look at this from another point of view and it benefits the Leader more than the
Council or National. I hate to see liability issues constantly brought up, but
this is yet another one:
1) An unchartered unit doesn't really exist, therefore it has no insurance
coverage. Timely rechartering protects both the Charter Partner and the Unit
2) An untrained leader may not be aware of policies that affect their program.
Failure to follow policy leaves that leader open to personal liability (remember
the old saying "Ignorance of the law is not an excuse").
In either of these cases, BSA would most likely receive a summary dismissal from
any lawsuit brought against them (any lawyers out there want to comment?). This
leaves the unit leader as the defendant - a position none of us wants to be in.
The policies and procedures are simple enough to at least show you have made a
"good faith" attempt to stay within them. The only option left if we don't is
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City