Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Instructors and Trained Trainers
Re: Instructors and Trained Trainers
Sun, 19 Dec 1999 00:01:41 -0600
You wrote in part:
>It is amazing how many Scouters do not know about the Troop Guide and
>Instructor leadership positions-even when they have Scouts being held up from
>receiving senior Scout ranks do to "lack" of enough leadership positions.
The Troop Guide position is relatively unknown, because there are still a
lot of Troops that do NOT use the "New Scout Patrol" concept. That's the
ONLY occasion a Troop should be using a Troop Guide (or more than one if
your Troop has more than one New Scout Patrol). The Troop Guide is NOT an
instructor, but more of a coach/counsellor to the rotating Patrol Leadership
found in a New Scout Patrol.
I brought up the Instructor question, because I'm in the middle of doing a
research project for an adhoc committee. The committee is looking into the
*possibility* (don't get excited gang!!) of making the Instructor position
available for both youth and adults, and to re-establish an Instructor
training course (similar to Train-the-Trainer for adults) for youth leaders
to be implemented on a District level.
(Some of you stated that this sounds like the work for the OA Troop or Team
Representative, and it's quite possible that this person would lead those
efforts. But, from what I understand these folks are looking for, are
trained and skilled Scouts and Scouters whom would be available to get a
Troop, Team or Crew up on its feet, to teach basic Scouting skills because
the adults leadership nor any of the Scouts have EVER been Scouts before,
and to serve as modelling for the new units until such time that the adults
can attend their basic courses and the youth participate in youth leader
The scope of the Instructor would then, under this *possibility*, swing from
that of just being "another set of hands within the unit" to being more of a
cross between what we all expect OA members to do and what some Troops
already provide: trained youth hands during District and Council training
sessions and during District and Council "training events" like Camporees.
So far, Bob, most Troops and Districts whom have responded to my question
either utilize youth instructors as part of District basic training courses,
during camporees as "youth staff member" types, or as "borrowed hands" for
>It is a great way to get the younger Scouts moving in
>their advance and also helps instill a sense of worth and accomplishment in
>the Troop Guide and/or Instructor. Scouters must be careful not to undermine
>these Senior Scouts by critiquing them as they are teaching or re-testing
>Scout signed off by a Troop Guide or Instructor.
I wholeheartely agree.
>About four of five years ago, I guess, BSA came out with a program to train
>those Scouters who are doing the training.
Actually, Bob, "Train-the-Trainer" has been around for well over 30 years
and was one of "Green Bar Bill's" (Bill Hillcourt)'s inventions. The
concept was first used to train professionals and volunteers whom would
train the new BSA volunteer training courses; of course, many Wood Badgers
would associate "Train-the-Trainer" (Triple T) as a component in performing
their job as Scoutmaster, Coach, or Advisor; and this is the concept taught
at Philmont and at the Schiff training center when Scouters attend to return
to train their peers within their Councils and Districts.
(I only know about it going on for the past 30 years; I'm not THAT old, you
>One of our District Scouters who
>had just become the Council Training Chairman took a look at the program and
>felt it was rather leak.
Agreed. The Train-the-Trainer program as carried out in most Councils is
weak because of the fact that many Councils would rather use many of the
teaching techniques within their Wood Badge courses, than to "waste it on
trainers." In other Councils, only Wood Badge-qualified Scouters got to
attend "Triple T" and this added to that "us-them" thing we were talking
about with regard to Wood Badgers earlier this year (back in the summer, I
believe...). Finally, the syallabus for Triple-T has been written and
rewritten so many times, that there's like four or five varations (not to
include Council-created versions or variations) of the course.
> So Dr. Jones, a former colleague with I believe a
>Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and a pH in Computer Science, collected (I kid
>you not) 112 references on training and presentations and developed a
>complete course with maybe 125 overhead slides and a dozen group
>participation projects. The course take a very full day and after completing
>the course, a participant had to give a Scouting training sessions which Dr.
>Jones witnessed. If the session was acceptable than a "Trained Trainer"
>strip was awarded to replace the "Trained" strip. Only Trained Trainers are
>allowed to teach adult programs in our Council now.
That's a great idea!! I wonder how it would work in Councils that don't
have the resource that your Council has, however. That's the problem that
the BSA has had with implementing any kind of intermediate training course:
consistancy of the training result. We do a pretty good job with the basic
and the advanced training coruses and the ones offered at Philmont (which
are in reality, Triple-T courses).
We don't do even a fair job with the intermediate courses, the ones that
should be attended by those Scouters that have more than a basic knowledge
of the program and it's application and whom the BSA now needs to coach and
"handhold" (for lack of a better term) new leaders until such time that a
basic course can be held for them.
We used to "lay this at the feet" of our Commissioner staff to perform; but
with many Councils reporting that the number of registered Commissioners
will hit a very low point; and with the BSA concerned about the impact of
consolidation and restructuring as it meets it's 200-council count within
this next year, the new leaders will be hard-pressed to know more than what
we offer them in Fast Start before October or March (when most basic
training courses are offered). We also used our Roundtables, Huddles and
Leaders' Exchanges to do this intermediate training and for the most part,
it's worked -- as long as we can recruit the Roundtable, Huddle or Exchange
Commissioner and his or her staff to work it!
It is *envisioned* that these adult and youth Instructors would "bridge this
gap" between the new leaders (youth and adult) and the time of the basic
volunteer training for Scoutmasters, Coaches and Advisors (the three
leadership positions that the ad-hoc group has been asked to take a look
at). Cub Scouting training is largely unaffected, but those Instructors
could likely coach new Den Leaders and Den Chiefs as well. The Instructors
can teach basic skills like knot tying, camp construction and organization,
map and compass work, or leadership skills or a combination of both,
depending on what the new unit would need or request. And it would be on a
"need basis" as opposed to "pushed down their throats" level, al-a
"cafeteria style" ("Our District has X instructors to train you and your
youth leaders. Then in return, they and you can train the rest of the
Scouts/Venturers in your unit").
It sounds neat. I don't know enough about what's being done out there now
to make any kind of input, however, which is why I've asked here for all of
>It now seems BSA got upset over our Trained Trainer strip because there
>wasn't room of the fleur-de-lis.
The BSA got upset, Bob, because your Council's Scout Executive didn't
approve the patch!! He could make an exception for the emblem not being
there, or the patch could have been redesigned to make the lettering smaller
and the FDL added. In either case, your Council's Scout Executive has to
approve the emblem BEFORE it is made....he and only he can approve it
because he has to "reassure National's Uniform and Insignia Committee that
the patch does meet the BSA's standards as a council patch in connection
with a national program emphasis (training)."
>So they have come out with a pocket patch-which nobody around here wants to
>wear it seems.
That's a shame. Again, your Council's Scout Executive can "mandate" that
those completing the training wear the patch as "certification" of their
status. His call...
In either case, it sounds like your Council is making steps toward what some
volunteer Scouters are wanting to do nationally.
Every time I take part in one of these things, I have to do the disclaimer
thing: I am NOT on the ad-hoc committee and other than the two people I've
been talking with (one professional, one volunteer), I don't have a clue as
to who's doing it or under which volunteer committee. I offered to help
them to research it with NO strings attached other than finding out what the
final recommendation was going to be and an estimate of when it will be
presented for consideration. Finally, I am NOT on the BSA's National
Volunteer Training Committee or any of the subcommittees (at one time I did
serve on the BSA's National Exploring Leadership Development Committee, but
that was many, many moons ago and well before the Exploring/Venturing
split!). I still welcome your input so that I can consolidate it all, but
I do ask that to keep this string (conversation) alive that you please post
it *to our list* so that other Councils (and possibilily other people
working on this effort) can get the benefit of YOUR experience, knowledge
and impressions in using Instructors (youth or adult).
Thanks, Bob, for the great comments....I really wish that lots of Councils
can borrow your Dr. Jones....it sounds like a super training opportunity and
another opportunity to serve others!!
(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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