BSA National in the News (computers, training)
Ray Callaway (ric@BEAU.ATLANTA.DG.COM)
Thu, 21 Mar 1996 13:49:43 -0500
The following article appears in a trade publications for people working in
the service provider business:
_Service News_ , Vol 16, No. 4, March 1996, p. 18
by Kim Acker Lipp
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA SALUTE COMPUTER TRAINING
To put it in the words of Don Baldwin, the education manager of Boy Scouts of
America, "We are not [an organization] that will ever be on the leading edge.
But we will never be left behind either."
The official motto of Boy Scouts (for those of you who did not earn your merit
badges) is "Be prepared." Preparing for future computer training needs is
exactly what Baldwin is trying to do as the Scouts move from a mainframe into
a client/server environment.
The Boy Scouts is divided into four regions across the United States, with
headquarters in Irving, TX. The regionas are broken down into 340 local
Councils, which are responsible for monitoring the 44,203 troops nationwide.
Baldwin and his staff are responsible for bringing training to the staff at
headquarters and down to the more than 3,000 end users at the Council level.
In the past Baldwin has relied on instructor-led training. Baldwin has two
instructors in each of the four regions who travel to various sites to conduct
lessons on the Scouts' proprietary software.
As part of a new initiative, Baldwin is introducing computer-based training
into the mix. Baldwin has dedicated a full-time member of his staff to the
task of writing the CBTs, which will be distributed throughout the Council
"We will roll out the CBTs in May, and will start with out accounting systems,
which seems to be our biggest nemesis. The first four modules of CBT will be
for accounting," says Baldwin. "It will help bring everybody up [who needs
traing] to the beginning level. We'll still run instructor-led courses, but
they will be working with learners that are at a basic level."
The Scouts' IS division has had to create its accounting application for the
organization's non-profit financial systems, as well as fundraising,
membership, and support applications. "All of those are proprietary, just
because of the uniqueness of what we do," says Baldwin. Two members of
Baldwin's staff are working to create manuals for the proprietary
applications, which Baldwin says he will eventually out on-line.
At headwuarters, the staff is migrating its 750 PCs to Windows. For training
purposes, Baldwin has contracted two outside instructors. For the Windows
training, the Scouts organization tried something new and required employees
to attend training. Baldwin says the mandatory training has lowered calls to
the help desk and he hopes in the future to require CBT training for
In the meantime, Baldwin says he is continuing to explore new training
technologies and delivery tools. "In the long range we've got to do it, it's
the future," says Baldwin. "We have to find ways to get the best for our
Ray Callaway | The opinion expressed above is
ASM, Troop 534 | personal and does not represent
Atlanta Area Council | the views of my employer, Data
| General Corporation.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City