The national training team has been busy not only with revisions to training courses but also with changes to several other tools and opportunities that will help us better serve our units. Here is a summary of the latest updates on the training front:
- Better tracking of older courses – Perhaps you have gone online to the MyScouting portal to check up on the training courses you or others in your unit have taken. If it has been a while since you were trained, you may show up as not trained even if you have taken the required courses. The same could be true of some of your other leaders. If you are a “Key 3” of your unit (committee chair, unit leader or chartered organization representative), you can update the training records of other adults to show that they took the older courses and are considered Trained. This is done by signing into my.scouting.org, selecting your unit and the Training Manager, then pick the Add Training icon (which looks like a file folder). There, you can specify the program, course name and date, then search for members in your unit to apply the training to. The code for Cub Scout Leader Basic pre-2001 is C101, and for Boy Scout Leader Basic pre-2001 is S101. There are pre-2001 selections for Venturing and Varsity as well. This should help if you have veteran leaders who are trained but whose training status doesn’t reflect it.
- What makes a Trained leader? Here’s the complete list (PDF).
- MyScouting access for non-Key 3 – By default, only the Key 3 leaders can make changes to the roster, training records and unit information in the MyScouting system. You can now delegate similar permissions to up to three other adults in your unit. This could be helpful if your unit secretary wants to update the calendar, or if you want an assistant Scoutmaster to be able to update the troop profile. You can grant them permissions through the Organization Security Manager. Click Key 3 Delegate, then click the green + sign to add a member to the delegate group. This is in addition to the similar permissions assignable to the membership, training, advancement and youth protection coordinators in your unit.
- No “opt-out” for Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills – The training team has clarified that there is no opt-out available for those Scoutmasters and assistants who feel that they have adequate outdoor experience to qualify without taking the course. This is because outdoor leadership in the Boy Scouts of America has unique characteristics and qualities over and above being able to survive and get along in the outdoors. Working with teenage boys is a challenge in any scenario, but it’s especially so in the outdoors, and the BSA has specific methods that must be followed when conducting an outdoor activity or outing. Therefore, it is preferred and recommended that the full IOLS course be taken by anyone in the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster position, regardless of prior experience or length of service. Yes, even if you’ve been Scoutmaster for twenty years, you still need to take the course if you haven’t done so. But what if you’re certain that you know your stuff, and there isn’t an IOLS course available? The national training team has authorized select local trainers to mentor and work with individual leaders and test them on the necessary skills and procedures to allow them to essentially test out of IOLS. Not all councils offer this option; check with your district or council training chair to find out if it’s available to you. The test-out protocol is quite rigorous – you really must know your stuff in order to qualify.
- Committee training gets an overhaul – Up until now, troop committee members have had Troop Committee Challenge as their basic training course, while pack committee members take the pack committee module of Cub Scout Leader Position-Specific Training. Venturing and Varsity committee members didn’t have a specific course other than their program’s basic leader training. Now, there’s a new series of Committee Challenge courses for each program. Pack, Crew and Team instructor-led courses are available for training team download, and a new version of Troop Committee Challenge is due out this fall.
- Overlap allowed for training award (knot) tenure – In the past, tenure for one training award could not be used for another award. If, for example, you were Cubmaster while also serving on your district Roundtable staff, you would not be able to claim the service time for both the Cubmaster award and the Scouter’s Training award. The training team has now decided that there’s no reason you can’t, unless the award requirements specifically state otherwise. They figure that if you’re able to meet all the requirements concurrently, you’ve undoubtedly made Scouting better for youth and deserve the recognition. Now, go earn those knots!
All the information you’re likely to need to know about training can be found at the BSA’s training website, http://www.scouting.org/Training.aspx.