Adults teaching Scout skills

out_on_a_hike_250Suppose that instead of a usual weekend campout, the Scouts of your troop have decided to go on a weekend hike – maybe to get a taste of what a longer voyage like a Philmont trek might be like.

They’ll start out by getting dropped off Friday night, hike to their first campsite, set up and camp overnight. Then in the morning they’ll have breakfast, pull up stakes and hit the trail. Lunch is enroute, then arrival at a second site Saturday evening, where they’ll set up again, cook dinner, have a campfire and turn in. After Sunday morning’s breakfast, they’ll break camp and hike to where the parents are waiting to pick them up.

This requires not only a good amount of planning but some training, so the Scouts will know what to expect and what to plan for. Continue reading “Adults teaching Scout skills”

Belief or learning?

brainlock-lekkyjustdoit_200fA commenter on a story in The New York Times made the observation:

Belief is the conviction that one already knows; learning, in contrast, requires an awareness that one has yet to know.

This is what happens when a mania for belief takes over your life. Eventually, you become incapable of learning. New information goes in one ear and out the other — it literally just does not register, as the mind, addicted to belief, blocks it out.

While the original context of the comment had nothing to do with Scouting, I certainly think it applies to some volunteers in our movement.

Too many Scouters come in to Boy Scouts with the belief that they know how the Scouting program should work, and they apply the beliefs they have acquired in life. Often these have to do with their experiences in areas like business management, sports coaching, and even Cub Scouting. They do not have the awareness that Boy Scouting is different. Continue reading “Belief or learning?”

ScoutingU: The new look of online training

If you have ever tatrained_monitorken an online course, you know how cumbersome they can be. Usually it just involves watching some video clips, or reading text (sometimes with pictures) and possibly taking a quiz. At best, it’s a one-way introduction to a topic; at worst, it’s a nightmare that never seems to end, as the progress bar slowly moves along.

The Boy Scouts of America has tried to fix some of this with the rollout of the new online training system. Continue reading “ScoutingU: The new look of online training”

Is Roundtable that important?

roundtable_250Do you attend your district Roundtable?

When I was first recruited to be a den leader, our Cubmaster told me that, besides basic leader training, I needed to attend Roundtable each month. I viewed it as part of my commitment to the boys in my den, and found it to be really valuable as a new leader just learning how the program worked.

But over the last few years, I’ve noticed that Roundtable attendance has been steadily dropping. Continue reading “Is Roundtable that important?”

Why is training still optional?

untrainedAs former district training chair, I strongly believe in the value of training and the necessity of a good training program for our adult volunteers. I acknowledge that training is never perfect, and that leaders who complete basic training are not experts in their position. Training “wets the sponge” and sets new leaders off in the right direction.

The BSA requires Youth Protection Training, of course, before any adult can be registered in a volunteer position. But there is essentially no training requirement beyond that.

Why is this? Continue reading “Why is training still optional?”