Re: <No subject given>
Sat, 13 May 1995 13:59:55 -0400
On Fri, 12 May 1995 15:42:40 -0400 John Edwards <edwardsj@ANNAP1.JSC.MIL>
> Jim Miller, Jr. wrote:
>> I love the idea of mandating training. There is nothing special about the
> There is something very special about the word "volunteer."
> It is critical that everyone start understanding that.
The main difference between being paid to do something and someone who
"volunteers" to do something is the method of payment for services rendered:
the volunteer gets the non-cash benefits, i.e., satisfaction, self-esteem,
etc. Not everyone is luckky to have a satisfying vocation - sometimes the
compensation comes from non-monetary sources.
Someone else posted on this list the best assessment I have heard on this
If you are paid to do Scouting, you are a Professional;
If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are a Volunteer;
If you pay to do Scouting, then you are a Scouter.
> There is no such thing as mandatory anything. You are not King, and
>neither is National. If you attempt to force anything upon a volunteer,
>there will be confrontation, there will be a breakdown of communication, and
>there will be loss of a potentially valuable resource.
OK, we have beat this horse on the Boy Scout leader training issues. Let's
hear from some Girl Scout leaders. I have been acquainted with leaders in
two different Girl Scout councils in different parts of the country. IFAIK,
GSUSA tells their potential leaders from the get-go that they are expected to
go through the leadership training or they won't be leaders very long. this
may reduce resources, but at least the leaders are trained.
> Translation -- the volunteer is going to tell you how and where to
>hold that training manual, then walk. Congratulations, you don't have a
>leader. Now who's got the problem now? You, or your ex-volunteer who's
>home watching the big game?
> Mandatory anything is a load of crap. This isn't the Third Reich.
>The time you're spending trying to coerce people into doing things they have
>not fundamentally accepted as worthwhile (for whatever reason) is not only
>wasted, but will become counterproductive, potentially catastrophic (e.g.
>open confrontation in front of the troop) if you continue.
The only way that coercion would work is to tell potential leaders up front
that training is expected, within a short time period. Frankly, coercion is
not the way to get trained leaders.
> INSTEAD, go out on a limb! Spend the time developing the
>communications and relationships necessary for both you and your volunteer
>to come to an agreement about what is needed for BOTH OF YOU to excel at
>what you are doing. This has nothing to do with training, nothing to do
>with Boy Scouts; it's basic leadership. Without it, your troop will fail --
>I don't care how trained you are.
Part of the process is stressing the benefits that are derived from the
training program. Don't stress training is necessary, stress the knowledge
gained. Stress the fun & fellowship. Show them how the knowledge benefits
them outside the Scouting job.
> When you and your volunteers come to understand each other's goals
>and values, and when you recognize where those values agree with each other,
>you will find common ground, and you and your volunteer AS A TEAM will
>succeed at whatever task you undertake, including getting whatever training
>necessary to lead Boy Scouts.
> Sorry about the surly attitude, but I'm finding this line of
>discussion a bit looney-tunes. C'mon folks, look for problems, not
I think this discussion was originally intended to find some inducements for
continuing training, which I thought was the problem on the table, folks.
Some say that Scouters who don't recycle on a regular basis should lose their
"Trained" strip. I remember a time that Trained strip was only an interim to
be worn until the leader completed the tenure & performance requirements for
their respective training awards. Once the knot was earned,then the Trained
strip came off. Then they came up with mylar badges for training indication,
which stayed after the leader earned the award. Now the strip stays.
IMHBCO, I like the olden days better.
If one stays in one position for 3-5 consecutive years, then moves to another
Scouting job, then training in the new job is a must. Maybe each BSA
volunteer leader should take a closer look at his/her own movement through
the program and determine whether they have stagnated. It goes back to
knowledge complacency being a pain for all parties involved.
Randy Spradling, P.E.
(and a good old Owl, too!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City