Re: Wanted: Opinions/advice from Course Directors/Course SM's
Tue, 18 Aug 1998 12:28:39 -0500
So many questions, so little time!
First, I'm from the Central Florida Coucil (Orlando) and its fairly
large as councils go. We have 11 districts and about 40,000=B1 boys in
Scouting. As well as a Unit Commissioner (hat #1) I'm also on the
training staffs of CLBT, SMF, WoodBadge, Commissioners College, and U.
of Scouting. As for Boy Scout Leader Basic Training (SMF) here are some
answer to your questions:
1. Courses are offered 1-2 times a year depending on the size (and
demand) of the District. Usually one in the fall and again in the spring
if the demand is there.
2. All SMF training (and CLBT) is done at the District level. Each
District has both a CS Training Chair and BS Traing Chair who are
responsible for putting together the programs. If a District is small
or their demand is low they sometimes will join with an adjoining
District to put on a joint program. As an example, our District is
large, and we will have 6-7 CLBT and 2 SMF opportunities this year. The
Council oversees this effort thru bi-monthly training chair meetings and
an annual "Train the Trainer" seminar.
3. SMF courses usually average 20-25 scouters. We like to have a min.
of 12 just so we can have at least 2 patrols which is desired for the
Scout spirit element of the program.
4. The fees for these courses vary, but we usually try to keep them
under $20. (which is becoming more difficult). What's just as important
as the fee is what it covers. Ours covers the cost of handouts (see
last paragraph), snacks/cracker barrels, 2 lunches, camp fees, any misc.
materials, and the "Trained" patch. (we also give away some spoof
patches and awards to "deserving" participants which is a cost factor)
5. How is the Course Director/Scoutmaster chosen? Good question!
Ideally, whoever has the most experience. In reality, whoever is willing
to take on the responsibility. You will find a GREAAAT resource for SMF
staffers in recent WoodBadge attendees. They all have "tickets" to work
off and quite often participaation on a training staff is one of their
ticket items (sound familiar?...just a guess). Contact the WB Staff for
Some things you didn't mention. We always have at least one
orgnizational meeting just for staff to go over course outline and "dry
run" it. We follow the officail course syllabus pretty close, with some
enhancements from our WB experience and materials. And we rely on the
resources of the Council service center for reproduction of all the
materials, including and especially the course manuals for each
participant. And finally, we seek out a GOOD quartemaster for the
staff. This is the most important position to fill after the course
director. Not only does it make the cooking segments of the training
more interesting but it does wonders for the staff moral!! Hope this
helps and good luck.
Commissioner, Central Florida Council (Orlando)
Chulee Afopkeh Chapter, Tipsa Lodge 326
". . . and now I'm finished Beavering,
. . . . so I'm going to work my ticket ('til I die)"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City