Interesting Training Question
George Crowl (WILLIAMM@ZIAVMS.ENMU.EDU)
Wed, 14 Aug 1996 17:35:01 -0600
You proposed rotating Scoutmaster Fundamentals among the various
troops in the district. You are concerned about the "good ol'
boy" network of trainers.
I would caution to go slowly and carefully. It would help to
have more people to participate as instructors, but would the new
blood be fully qualified to instruct? In some of my districts we
have a plethora of instructors, and we have enough so that no
individual needs to instruct more than one time a year, though
the training is give 3-4 times a year. In other districts, they
are lucky to put on the training twice a year, using the same
people all the time. The plan needs to meet the situation of the
district and its troops.
Please consider some of the following thoughts:
Do the troops have the qualified individuals to conduct the
training (i.e. completed SMF, some background in instructing,
ideally perhaps someone with Wood Badge background)?
Are there enough troops willing to take this task on _in
addition to_ their primary job of serving boys?
Who handles physical arrangements and scheduling?
Would you need to have two or more troops cooperate?
Do these troops set an example for the other leaders in the
way they operate their troop?
Would you perhaps be perpetuating mediocrity?
Will this approach help in your recruiting efforts, or is it
possible it will make it harder because troop leaders do not know
each other well?
My preference would be to recommend:
Discuss with the District Training Chairman (DTC) and DE the
need for _measured_ turnover in the Scout training team.
Many trainers have a primary job in Scouting and do training
on the side. Set them up to teach only once or twice a year, and
allow new people in to fill the holes.
Some trainers who do only training lose touch with real
troops. If that is the case, the DTC needs to evaluate the
effectiveness of those individuals and arrange appropriate
While Scout Wood Badge is designed to support troop Scouters
in their jobs in the troop, many of the graduates are
enthusiastic enough and competent enough to pass on their
experience as trainers. However, do not overload them, their
primary job is with boys in troops.
Look at the successful leaders who are leaving units or
taking a step back, and ask them to join the training team.
Get every training team member to go to Train-the-Trainer as
soon as possible. Provide personal coaching through staff
development for those who haven't been.
Work on an open recruiting attitude for the SMF staff, i.e.
let it be known that you are interested in adding to the training
team. That sometimes yields the dud that is hard to get rid of,
but is generally useful.
This does not solve the problem of updating "old Scouters" to the
current program. For that, selectively asking an "old Scouter"
to present a session on a new program may work. You have to know
the individual to determine its suitability. For those who are
actively resisting, I do not have a good answer. Someone in
their unit is usually the best motivator.
____'/____ George Crowl
VV / \ UU AA, X226
/318\ Cncl Tng Chmn
/ 402 \ Wood Badge CD
/W-CS-38\ Double Eagle & Bear
/ ||| ||| \ Clovis, NM
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City