Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1999: Re: Clarification Needed
Re: Clarification Needed
Settummanque, the blackeagle
Sun, 5 Sep 1999 12:01:26 CDT
You asked us all here:
>Tonight at roundtable, one of the scoutmasters who went to a >Leadership
Development course for OA out West somewhere this >summer, came up with what
the rest of us thought was off the wall. >Now we want the truth or further
Here's the summary:
>He said that National was putting out a self study guide via Internet
>and CD ROM for both Scoutmaster Fundamentals and for Cub Leader >Basic.
That part is being CONSIDERED. There's NOTHING that has been published or
planning to be published as far as I could find out this morning!
>This self study guide would REPLACE any training put on by the >districts
and would therefore equalize training for all leaders nationwide
>--everyone gets the same information in exactly the same format. >Outdoor
skills would continue to be hands on.
Good idea but there's a LOT of "variations" which makes the personal
training courses important...and the self study guide will be just that: a
guide. Local Councils have the ability to add significant policy direction
unique to their Councils to the volunteer training plan; otherwise, it would
not be the "Council's Volunteer Training Plan."
>Now here is the clincher, we would all then be subject to a test that we
>would all have to pass before National issued a trained patch. The test
>would be a mix format (multiple choice, short answer, essay) and each >CD
ROM or Internet access would randomize the tests from a bank of >1000's of
questions. One would have to answer about 100 or so to >qualify for your
position. He also mentioned there would be different >levels that you would
have to go through (Step 1-4 )for further training >"opportunities"
Sounds cute, but very unlikely. The training plan will continue to be
personalized because of the need for us to be able to talk directly and to
interact with "experienced Scouters" that have done or are doing the roles
in which we are being trained in, Melissa. The training plan may be
eventually SUPPLEMENTED by some sort of evaluation element, but remember:
all of our volunteer positions are held by VOLUNTEERS and therefore, it's
been the BSA's contention that since we're asking them to volunteer their
time, not to make it harder for them to volunteer.....
>Also mentioned that ALL merit badge books will be done away with >because
of the access on the Internet and that National is losing tons of >money.
Nope. National is NOT losing a lot of money on the merit badge books. Not
at all. The printing and publication costs are held downward and
distribution of the merit badge books will be smaller, but the BSA will
continue to publish the 100 or so merit badge books and make them available
to local Councils, distributors, public libraries and other resource
outlets, because part of the BSA's mission is that of reading literacy
Now, will the merit badge books be available through a CD-ROM or online?
That's likely, but likely down the road as the BSA is unsure right now of
the future of electronic publishing. It sounds really great RIGHT NOW, and
with the cost of a personal computer lowering, it sounds really attractive.
Unfortuntely, we still have public schools and libraries without computer
access, and many Scouts and their families still don't have computers. What
would happen is that the cost of Scouting would go upwards significantly
because in order to earn a merit badge, one must have a computer and one
with a CD-ROM drive, and of course, the CD-ROM. The average cost of
Scouting is (this was from last fall) $132.88, based on dues,
uniform/insignia and book costs, so I don't see the $400 or so amount for a
personal computer to really "pack in" those Scouts!!
>I want to make any clarification before it hits the streets in my
>district as the real thing. If this is all true, then we really are in
>for big changes training wise. If people don't come to hear real people
>how much more likely are they going to do it solely on their own? We
>already have self-study guides, but they are a poor substitute for
Agreed and the BSA agrees with us both as well. This guy was either trying
to pull a lot of legs or had heard some stuff (happens at Philmont all of
the time!) that people were just thinking out loud about.
In either case, it isn't true at all and we can all comfort our District
training teams and let them know that they are not being replaced by a
silver lined plastic platter *smiling*
(thanks for giving me a topic to talk about for my Roundtable visit in
November, though!! *broad smiling*)
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or email@example.com
professional inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org
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