Proj. Learning Tree & Wild (Long
Ed Henderson (BigEdBSA@AOL.COM)
Thu, 18 May 1995 02:42:06 -0400
I have read and endorse the comments about Project Wild. Especially for BSA
scouters who have a tendency to only focus on BSA sponsored training
sessions. I just had the pleasure to post on this very topic on AOL. Let me
also stress that there is a companion training called Project Learning Tree.
In fact many outside agencies offer excellent training for scout
leaders....here are some......
Subj: Other Leader Training Part 1
Date: 95-05-15 07:18:23 EDT
From: Big Ed BSA
When Scoutleaders confront the topic of training most usually consider the
"core training" promoted by most well ran councils: Fast Start, Scoutmaster
Indoor & Outdoor Fundamentals, and Woodbadge training. They also readily
participate in auxillary training modules like Youth Protection, Safety
Afloat, Safe Swim, etc. I highly recommend all of those training programs
but have you considered other training that might make you better leaders?
As a summer camp staff member for many years I can not help but notice that a
lot of leaders, frustrated by their lack of skills in certain areas, tend to
dump their entire troop into classes like Environmental Science and First
In talking with unit leaders, many have told me they feel inadequate in these
areas but there is hope! Other agencies offer free or low cost training
which can help leaders feel fully trained to assist scouts in a number of
core scouting areas, here are some:
PROJECT WILD: Offered by many agencies including your state's Fish & Game,
Wildlife Resources, or other similiar commission often at now cost. Project
Wild is perhaps one of the best put together one day training programs for
anyone who wants to get involved in Environmental Education. The program,
centered around a book with hundreds of specific games & activities will give
any leaders hours of great new ideas for conveying the terms that scouts
struggle with when learning Environmental Science, Nature, and other Ecology
badges. There is regular Project Wild & Aquatic Project Wild. Both courses
focus on animals, ecosystems, etc. Last year Camp Thunder, in the Flint
River Council of Central Georgia began offering Project Wild to unit leaders
during summer camp.
PROJECT LEARNING TREE - Many consider this to be the companion program to
Project Wild. Many state Forestry Commissions offer training in this program
which also lasts around 6 hours and focuses on plant life.
NATURE QUEST - For those who are interestred in more advanced Environmental
Training the National Wildlife Federation offers four workshops around the
country every year for youth leaders in this three day workshop. While it
costs more (around $230.00) many compare it favorably to BSA's own
Nature/Ecology Camp School in terms of depth and comprehensiveness.
CPR / FIRST AID INSTRUCTOR TRAINING - Both the American Red Cross, American
Heart Association, and the National Safety Council offer instructor training
in CPR and First Aid training. In many cases they also can provide troops
with the needed equipment (manicans, etc) to really do a First Aid class
right. Due to strick sanitary safety rules and the need to decontaminate
each manican it is unlikely you will find one of these agencies who will loan
a manican for free but for a reasonable fee and a day of instructor training
you will be able to have both the access and training needed to teach your
scouts in these critical areas. The American Red Cross also offers a
comprehensive water safety instructor program.
OTHER TRAINING: Many outside agencies offer excellent training in a wide
array of topics. The American Camping Association, which nearly all camps
outside the BSA belong to have a wide number of training course year round on
many topic areas. Here you can find groups like the American Canoeing
Association, National Archery Association, Camp Horsemanship Association,
etc. that offer training for leaders and camp staff members in their
appropriate fields. Tandy Leather Company, for example, will spend an entire
day AT MY CAMP to train our Handicraft staff on how to work with Leather for
free! If your camp is not making use of these kinds of resources you should
ask why. They will offer the same kind of traning for day camp directors and
staff members as well as loan free training videos. We even make use of a
local junior college's Vine Basket workshop every year just before camp so
our staff will be TRAINED to teach Basketry Merit Badge. Three times a year
a local museum in Atlanta, Fernbank Science Center , offers a class for
scoutmasters called "Teaching Geology Merit Badge." Our council vigerously
promotes each of these opportunities. Three times a year we offer COPE
instructor training on our tower for unit leaders.
Training is key to Scouting. The Flint River Council has been recognized for
the past two years as being the top Boy Scout Council in the Nation for adult
leader's trained. This same committment applys to our camp staff and summer
camp. Our council was the only council in the entire Southern Region last
year to send someone to BSA National Camp School for Chaplain training, and
we had to fly that person all the way to Denver since all of the schools in
our region were cancelled because Flint River Council was the only council
signed up for the non mandatory offering.
If training is not pushed in your council, has it had an effect on your
program at our camp and in your council's summer program? We are proud to
offer the full gammitt of training: Pow-Wows, Show & Do, Train the Trainer,
The University of Scouting, the College of Commissioner Science, Woodbadge
Courses every two years which always fill up, training by video on our local
access cable stations, roundtable training, an easy to access full video
library in every district, and we are very active in regional and national
events like Cub Trainer Woodbadges, OA National Leadership Seminars, Lodge
Training, and Philmont Training Center.
I would be happy to try and help anyone locate the sources for some of the
training I referred to in their area.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City