scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: Training Question
Kurtenbach, Daniel (DKurtenbach@FDIC.GOV
Fri Jul 28 2000 - 13:03:51 CDT
Auntie Beans wrote, "Of course, the council has to follow up and be sure
that training is given regularly and often!" I don't think anyone would
disagree that all leaders should be trained--the real issues are questions
of time: At what point should leaders be required to be trained? (Before
they can assume their duties? Within six months after they register in a
position? Never _required_?) How regularly and frequently can the
trainers, who are themselves volunteers, be called upon to provide training?
How frequently do you have to have training to ensure adequate opportunity
for leaders with normal lives outside Scouting to meet the training
Tied up with the question of frequency of training is the structure of the
training courses: It's easier to run a course that goes for six hours on a
single day in a classroom than a course that requires a full day, an
evening, and an overnight campout. It took me two years to get through
Scoutmaster Fundamentals because at the times it was offered (twice a year),
at least one of the three elements was at a time when I was on travel or had
a family event that I could not miss.
Yet another consideration is the wide disparity in training requirements. A
Wolf Den Leader who is directly responsible for a group of 8-year-old boys
and who must plan, put together, and present the Cub Scout program himself,
is considered "Trained" after a one-day course. But an Assistant
Scoutmaster who may have a limited or specialized role in working with older
boys who are largely responsible for their own program must still have the
full SMF course in order to wear the "Trained" patch.
I love training, early and often. But I would like to see an effort to make
training more "user friendly"--that is, have it often, and have it
local--why not an hour or two of class time after Round Table each month?
While it might seem like a nightmare at first, especially for Packs, I would
like to see basic training as the final step before a leader could be
registered. This would be a five or six hour classroom "basic" course (not
necessarily all on a single day) for all prospective leaders in Cub Scouts,
Boy Scouts, Varsity, and Venturing, of course geared to that particular
program. That might be tough on the trainers--requiring perhaps one or two
sessions a month for two or three months in the fall for Cub leaders (with a
session or two in the spring), maybe slightly fewer sessions in the spring
for Boy Scout leaders (with a session or two in the fall). But that would
be enough to get everyone started in their positions. Then would follow at
least one "position-specific" advanced course within one year in order to
maintain registration and be considered "fully trained," and a follow-up
course every two years to maintain that registration and the "fully trained"
designation. University of Scouting would be good (although I always seem
to have some conflict with that date each year), a regular course at the
District level even better.
In short, I think that mandatory training is a great idea, but only if you
can follow Auntie Beans' advice and have regular, frequent training
sessions. You can't impose a requirement like that then only have the
required training sessions twice a year. And that's where we bump into the
question of how much we can expect our great volunteer trainers to do.
Yours in Scouting,