scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: Against Mandatory Training
Jason Cruse (jcruse@SOCKET.NET
Sat Jul 29 2000 - 23:16:19 CDT
With respect to Phil and his input, there are some obvious flaws...
First, lone-scouting, as he has argued frequently, is a different animal.
By definition, who would train the lone scout leader? Accepting as given
that mandatory training would kill lone scout programs, let's not confuse
everything in the DSC with Lone Scouting.
Second, his experiences are, I suggest, not the rule in two fashions.
First, I would argue that in many places, alternative trainings are
available. Indeed, the old SMF course IS available on video and can be
conducted by the unit commissioner, for those absolutely not able to attend
training. Second, in councils where training is at the district level, most
districts will stagger training or hold them in different fashions, thereby
drawing from other districts for maximu participation. I suspect this is
likely more true in more metropolitan councils. But the bottom line is that
schedule shouldn't ever be an reason for not getting trained.
Finally, I rather suspect that we don't have the full story about the troop
producing Eagles. I do not doubt for one minute that under Phil's tenure as
scoutmaster his troop produced 6 Eagles. Obviously, and without question, a
good program. Was no one else trained? If so, then training was probably
part of why the program was so good, even if it was assistants who were
trained. If no leaders were trained, then that's unfortunate since they
could never have received a quality unit award during that time. More
importanly, I think Phil is simply offering a counter-factual to the list.
The number of troops with no trained leaders that actually last more than a
year or two, let alone produce Eagle scouts, is likely so small that the
argument is interesting, but not enough to base policy on. Given the odds,
training is ALWAYS a better option. And if council's wish to make it
mandatory, and provide multiple options for accomplishing it, then so much
the better for the scouts.
Again, I applaud Phil's efforts as a scoutmaster and in lone scouting. But
I don't think it provides an argument against mandatory training.
Jason A. Cruse
Dept. of Political Science
University of Missouri-Columbia