The Training Times
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Are you training leaders, or just running training courses?
Unit College Scouter Reserve
Does your troop or team have a Scout who has turned 18 and is away at college, on a mission, or in the service and wants to stay registered in the unit?
That situation occurs quite often, and until now the choices were to register them as an assistant Scoutmaster, register them with the council as College Reserve, or drop them.
Each of those choices presented potential problems. Assistant Scoutmasters need to be trained and that could be difficult at school or overseas. College Scouter Reserve meant that they were not registered in the unit. Dropping them from the charter often resulted in losing contact with them.
To help keep these young men in Scouting, a new registration code has been introduced – 92U, Unit College Scouter Reserve. Of course Youth Protection Training is required, but that is the only required course for the position. All of the registration application criteria and fees apply.
Full information is available in the October News and Notes registrars’ newsletter.
Philmont Training Center 2012
Registration for the slate of 2012 PTC summer and fall conferences is open on MyScouting.org!
Visit www.philmonttrainingcenter.org to see the schedule of conferences and the latest news about PTC program. Also, if you are on Facebook, visit them at www.facebook.com/philmonttrainingcenter for updates, photos, and posts of interest.
PTC will feature four region Journey to Excellence (JTE) weeks. Conferences during the JTE weeks were planned with the regions in an effort to support the JTE in units, districts, councils, and areas. Some of the usual PTC conferences are included, as well as a couple that met specific needs of that region (but they are topics that can help any council in any region.) Scouters from all regions will of course be welcome to attend any of the weeks, but there will be a special regional emphasis to some activities such as the after lunch mini-sessions or evening "fireside chats."
Trained or Trained
There is a difference in Scouting between being "trained" and being "trained." Confusing? Yes! So what is the volunteer training team trying to do to help?
A Scouter is considered trained for his or her position in the BSA’s ScoutNET system when they have completed a prescribed course, or sequence of courses. This could be the current course set, or even a course or courses that they took in the past. For example, Scoutmastership Fundamentals if they took it back when it was the current "basic" training.
But the requirements say that to be able to wear the trained patch and for the unit to qualify under the unit Journey to Excellence (JTE) standards, the current training set for their position is necessary.
Why the difference? The BSA has long believed that a tenured leader does not need to take "basic" training every time there is a new course - because the assumption is through supplemental training, roundtables, Scouting magazine, and participation in activities, they stay up to date with the current methods and practices of the program.
But we need to be practical. With the approval of the district training committee, Scouters who were fully trained under a previous "basic" training for their current role (and of course have completed Youth Protection Training within the past two years) may be given credit as "trained" if, in the opinion of the training committee, the Scouter has continued to stay up to date with the current methods and practices of the program.
These Scouters would be eligible to wear the Trained emblem, be considered "trained" in the unit Journey to Excellence, and would meet the training criteria of the various training awards for their position. Entering the qualifying training courses and proper dates taken into the Scouter’s record in ScoutNET will also mark them as trained.
It is the desire of the National Training Committee that leaders take the current training to be sure that they have the up-to-date information related to their role. While there may be a challenge getting tenured leaders to take the time to take a new course, in most cases these leaders can be excellent resources for the training committee to help put on Specifics or an outdoor skills course. And as an instructor they should be given credit for completion of the course.
At our October committee meeting we took some steps to help make the criteria for being trained in ScoutNET, for earning the trained patch, and the unit JTE match. More on that in the next issue of Training Times.
We are also conducting a thorough review of all of the training web sites and all of the literature available, and are working to make them consistent. As you can imagine, that is a big undertaking!
We can never be "fully trained." There is always something to be learned. Take advantage of training opportunities whenever they are available.
Awards and Knots
The national council’s awards committee recently conducted a review of the hundreds of awards presented to Scouts and adults in the BSA. Many recommendations were made to simplify and update procedures, and the awards themselves.
Among the recommendations was the update of some awards and/or the knots that represent them on the uniform. These include the training awards and the Cub Scouting awards.
For example, to give the award the same recognition as the other top unit leader awards, the Cubmaster Award will become the Cubmaster’s Key and use the Scouter’s Key knot. The Cub Scouter and Pack Trainer Awards will use the Scouter’s Training Award knot. The Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos Den Leader’s Awards will use the Den Leader’s Award knot. Devices to be worn on the knots will be available to indicate which awards, and for which program awards were earned.
Scouters who have earned the awards will still be able to wear the old knots as long as they are available.
The training team is currently reviewing and updating the requirements for the awards. So watch here for news, but we expect the details in early 2012.
What could be better than a week in the Florida Keys in January? How about one while also attending a great Scouting conference?
You can do both by attending the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base Program Conferences the week of January 16–21, 2012.
Each conference will be staffed by experienced, informed Scouters. The conference schedule includes ample time to enjoy the mild climate and natural beauty of the Florida Keys.
The following conferences are scheduled:
- Council Commissioner
- Membership Strategies and Best Practices
- How to Grow and Sustain Venturing
- The Mechanics of Advancement
Conferences begin with check-in at the Sea Base on Monday afternoon and will conclude with graduation on Friday. Housing will be provided until Saturday, January 21. Limited hotel-style housing may be available for an additional fee.
No family program will be offered, but spouses are welcome to attend. Wednesday afternoon is devoted to free time to enjoy the local attractions.
The $400 conference fee includes meals, dormitory housing, sheets, towels, and course materials.
Registration forms for the conference are available at www.scouting.org/filestore/training/pdf/511-108.pdf Space is limited, so registration will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations must be postmarked by December 31, 2011.
After your registration is accepted, you will receive a medical form and additional conference information.
Update on Required Training
It was announced a couple of years ago that required training was coming for all Scouting leaders. T
here are currently about 80 councils that are requiring leader training, and 19 of the 80 councils are part of an official pilot program. We are now reviewing the results of the pilot councils, as well as the councils who did it on their own.
In reviewing those results after the first year we have discovered some very positive results, but also some issues we need to resolve.
The Mount Baker Council in Everett, Washington for example experienced an increase in youth retention, camp attendance, advancement, and more after they made training mandatory for direct contact leaders. Other councils all over the nation have experienced similar results.
But we also know that a great training team, a "culture of training," and the maintenance of accurate records are major parts of the process if there is to be success. Training has to be a priority of the council and not just "something they make us do" for it to work.
The volunteer training team is working with the computer folks in the design of new resources for recordkeeping and reporting. We are also conducting webinars and one-on-one training for local councils to help them with record keeping in the current ScoutNET system. (See the Making Your Training Records Stick quicklink on the Training page.)
As an update, until we finish the analysis and work out the issues, there is no national training requirement except for Youth Protection.
However, local councils do have the option to make training mandatory and we support the efforts of those councils!
We have not set a new timeline to make training a requirement in all councils at present. We are waiting for the results of the pilot councils and for the updated training entry/reporting system to be in place first.
New Training Pocket Certificate
The Certificate of Training pocket card, No. 511-023 is being updated. The updated card will be available late this spring and will include a check box for courses that have an expiration date and a fillable pdf template for printing cards. In addition, it will no longer require the signature of the Scout executive.
Outdoor Training Update
There is a lot of discussion in councils and on on-line discussion groups about changes in Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills and Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders. There was some talk here last year about combining the courses.
As was noted in an issue of Training Times earlier this year, we have backed off on that. There are too many differences in the outdoor programs across the range of our program, and there are too many differences among youth. We are working on updates to IOLS and OLSWL along with the Outdoor Adventures team.
There is also discussion about a "test out" or "opt out" option for leaders.
There are some concerns about the potential safety issues that come with "lesser" training, the lack of a connection to other Scouters, the importance of the patrol method, etc. On the other side there are those that say this can be very effective, or that some training is better than none.
We are working on a formal, mentored, test-out option for districts and councils training teams to use, and we are monitoring councils that are already doing the test-out.
There will be no "opt out" option. There are too many Eagle Scouts from troops with poor leadership who may have 21 merit badges, done a great service project, and are leaders, but have bad outdoor skills because their Scoutmaster does. There are also too many experienced outdoorsmen who know how to survive in the outdoors, but do not know the outdoor practices of the BSA or how to work with 12 year olds in the outdoors.
At this time, we prefer that Scoutmasters and assistants attend a full Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills course, but we know that that is not always possible. We also know that a mentored test-out has value and is much better than a totally untrained leader. So, here is an update of what was written on the subject last year:
In addition to other prescribed training, Scoutmasters and assistants should attend an Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills course to be considered trained. However, if a course is not available, tenured Scouters that can demonstrate all the basic outdoor camping skills for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks may not need to take the full course. They should contact their district training chair and schedule a one-on-one mentoring session with a member of the training team.
Many tenured leaders probably own the skills and should be able to adequately explain how to demonstrate each one to a member of the training team. The training team mentor should coach the individual through areas where additional help might be needed. Upon completion, the training team member should report the completion of training to the council office.
Technology in Scouting: Are We As Connected As We Think?
Does it seem as though every Scout and Scouter has a Smartphone?
Despite what it looks like in the mall, or at some troop meetings, a 2010 study (Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up 2010) revealed that only 36 percent of Boy Scout-age students in the US have a Smartphone. The number of Venturing-age youth jumps to only 44 percent. A similar, wide gap occurs when urban vs. rural and ethnicity data is segmented.
As for adults, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project report released this July, 35 percent of us have a Smartphone. Rural adults are half as likely as suburban and urban adults to own one. But unlike the other reports, non-Hispanic whites are less likely to own one: 44 percent of African-American and Hispanic adults have Smartphones.
As part of the 2010 U.S. Census, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration reported that 34 percent of urban, and just under half (49 percent) of rural households did not have broadband access in 2009. That was a huge decrease over the 2000 Census but broadband is not as widespread as most of us think.
Further, while 68 percent of white and 77 percent of Asian-American households had broadband, only 49 percent of African-American households, 48 percent of Native American households, and 48 percent of Hispanic/Latino households had access.
These reports make it even more alarming when we hear that districts are dropping instructor-led training, especially for Cub Scout leaders, because some of the training is online.
There is no doubt that e-learning has a place for some leaders, but in a program where fellowship, mentoring, and personal interaction are so important—and adult learning theory includes the need for experiential activity—instructor-led training is still the preferred method for most courses. Worse, by eliminating instructor-led training, we are also eliminating training opportunities for a large segment of our population.
The volunteer training team is seriously looking at the best platforms and content for youth and adult training. There is no question that we need to be prepared with the most effective training for a future that may indeed include interactive e-learning. Regardless of where we may be headed, in today’s environment we cannot forget the Scouters and Scouts who need face-to-face training. Nor can we forget—even if we do have universal access someday—the value of interactive, instructor-led, Scouting training.
BSA Volunteer Unit Leader Training
Course Titles and Source
The following list is some of the training for unit leaders that is available. It is by no means comprehensive, but will give you an idea of where you can find some of the most common courses,
In the next issue: Spanish language training.
Required Training for All Scouting Positions
- Youth Protection Training (EL)
- Youth Protection Training - Venturing Version (EL)
- So You’re A New Den Leader
- So You’re A New Tiger Cub Den Leader
- So You’re A New Webelos Den Leader
- So You’re A New Cubmaster
- So You’re A New Pack Committee Member
- Den Leader Fast Start (EL)
- Cubmaster Fast Start (EL)
- Pack Committee Fast Start (EL)
- Cub Scout Leader-Specific Training - #34875 (SS)
- Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders - #13-33640 – (TP)
- This is Scouting - #36118 (SS)
- This is Scouting (EL)
- Leader Position-Specific - Tiger Cub (EL)
- Leader Position-Specific - Wolf Cub (EL)
- Leader Position-Specific - Bear Cub (EL)
- Leader Position-Specific - Webelos (EL)
- Leader Position-Specific - Cubmaster (EL)
- Leader Position-Specific - Pack Trainer (EL)
- Leader Position-Specific - Pack Committee (EL)
Supplemental Cub Scout Leader Training
- B.A.L.O.O.* (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation) – #34162 (SS)
- How to Conduct a Pinewood Derby (TP)
BOY SCOUTING & VARSITY SCOUTING
- Fast Start: Boy Scouting (EL)
- Varsity Leader Fast Start (EL)
- Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Leader-Specific Training - #34879 (SS)
- Varsity Coach Leader Specific Training - #34877 (TP)
- Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (TP)
- This is Scouting (EL)
- Troop Committee Challenge (EL)
- This is Scouting - #36118 (SS)
- Troop Committee Challenge DVD - 610034 (SS)
Supplemental Boy Scout Leader Training
- Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops—ILST - (TP)
- Den Chief Training - #34455 (SS)
- Den Chief Training (EL)
- Scoutmaster Conference Training (TP)
- Orientation for New Boy Scout Parents (TP)
- The Order of the Arrow and Your Troop (TP)
VENTURING & SEA SCOUTING
- Fast Start: Venturing (EL)
- Venturing Leader Specific Training - #33491 (SS)
- Sea Scout Adult Leader Basic Training - (Ordered from National Office)
- Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (TP)
- This is Scouting - #36118 (SS)
- Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews—ILSC - (TP)
- Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships (SeaScout.org)
- Seabadge - (Ordered from National Office)
- Seabadge Underway - (Ordered from National Office)
- Sea Scout Advanced Leadership-SEAL - (Ordered from National Office)
- The Trainer’s EDGE (TP)
- Roundtables/Huddles (TP)
- Kodiak Challenge (TP)
- Powder Horn**
- Wood Badge**
- National Youth Leadership Training—NYLT**
- Philmont Leadership Challenge - PLC ***
- National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience—NAYLE***
- Recruiting Quality Training Staff (TP)
- Planning and Conducting a Safe Scout Outing (TP)
- Geocaching to Promote Scouting (TP)
- Merit Badge Counselor Instructor’s Guide (TP)
- Chain Saw Safety (TP)
- Mentoring (TP)
- Disc Golf in Support of Scouting (TP)
- Supporting Scouts with AD/HD (TP)
- Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner Fast Start (TP)
- Conducting an Interfaith Service (TP)
- Bullying: Prevention and Intervention Tips for Scout Leaders and Parents (TP)
- Selecting Quality Leaders (TP)
- Leave No Trace (TP)
- Cooking Without Utensils (TP)
- Beginning Cold Weather Camping (TP)
Passport to High Adventure Training
- Climb on Safely (EL)
- Trek Safely (EL)
- Weather Hazards* (EL)
- Safe Swim Defense* (EL)
- Safety Afloat* (EL)
- ScoutParents Unit Coordinator Fast Start (EL)
- Physical Wellness (EL)
Scouting Safely Begins With Leadership
- Chartered Organization Representative Fast Start (EL)
(EL) - Taken via E-Learning page at www.myscouting.org
(SS) - Ordered through Supply Group www.Scoutstuff.org
(TP) - Downloadable via Scouting.org Training Page
* Required for Tour Plan review
** Syllabi available through Volunteer Development - Council restricted
*** Syllabi available through Volunteer Development – National Council restricted
The Training Times is a publication of the Volunteer Training Sub-Committee of the Program Impact Committee of the BSA.
Publisher—Mark Griffin, Volunteer Development Team Leader
Contributing Editors—Pete Self, Ron Timmons
Contributors – Michelle Gee, Susie Mahoney, Dan Zaccara, Joel Eacker, Bob Sirhal, Don Wendell, John Copley