Avoiding the expert mountain

I remember when I was about six or seven years old and was first learning to ride a bicycle. I had training wheels on my two-wheeler for what seemed like forever. One day, I noticed that the training wheels weren’t touching the ground as I rode, so I asked my dad to take them off. Riding down the sidewalk, I felt empowered that I had learned a new skill and felt that I had mastered riding a big-boy bike.

Until I rounded the first corner, and the wheels slipped out from under me. Boom! Down I went.

I wasn’t such an expert, after all.

Life is like that. We get a taste of the knowledge we seek, and we learn a bit more, and a bit more, and it starts to come to us. Continue reading “Avoiding the expert mountain”

Train all you can

untrainedIf you’re a regular reader of Ask Andy, the Net Commissioner, you might have seen this week’s column and you may have been nodding your head as you read along.

(If you haven’t seen it, please go read it now.)

TLDR: There was only one question – a lengthy one – from an enlightened assistant Scoutmaster whose son stumbled into a troop that was run by adults – something they called the “Troop Method”. He, and a few others, knew it was wrong, tried to change things to the Scouts’ benefit, but the old guard put their foot down. The ASM was wondering how to proceed.

You are more likely than not to have encountered some form of the method by which this troop operated. Continue reading “Train all you can”

Make training more interesting

training_300It’s fall and our newest recruits are joining us. Not just the boys, but the adults as well, stepping into Scouting leadership for the first time, moving to new positions within their units or making the transition from program to program.

Any time we start something new, it helps to learn a bit about it before we take the plunge. In Scouting, we have plenty of training courses to help adult leaders get off on the right foot when it comes to performing their duties. Continue reading “Make training more interesting”

The whaty-what of what?

questionmark_200Drop in on any conversation between commissioners and you’re likely to hear something like this:

So I was at Pack 123’s JSN. The CM was hoping for twenty new members but the CC said they only got fifteen. That’s good, considering the TAY at that school. There were a couple adult apps so the COR took care of them and said he’d hook up with the DE. We just need to make sure their YPT gets done. Their JTE is looking great and we’ve already scheduled a FOS right before their PWD.

Scouting is like almost every other venture in that it has its jargon and abbreviations that are common internally but bewilder outsiders. Continue reading “The whaty-what of what?”

The “what” comes immediately. The “why” takes longer.

whowhatwhy_stuartmiles_200If there’s one thing that Scouting does thoroughly for its adult volunteers (besides handbooks and publications, that is), it’s training.

There are all manner of courses for training every volunteer position, from den leader to council chairman. Basic training courses are offered online and in person for unit positions – a first exposure to adult leadership at the pack and troop level. In-depth seminars and specialty classes at events like Pow-Wow and University of Scouting expand on that knowledge. High-level courses such as Wood Badge and Advanced Backcountry Leadership Experience put Scouters through the wringer. For the serious volunteer, there are week-long courses at Philmont that offer something for everyone.

Yes, the BSA is big on training – make no mistake about it. Continue reading “The “what” comes immediately. The “why” takes longer.”