If you ask ten youth in Scouting about what is important to them, you will get ten different answers. The same will be with the Adults, but completely opposite of the youth. Generally speaking.
As I surf online forums, read blogs and talk to fellow Scouters there generally is a theme that emerges. Advancement and Uniforms. These are but two of the eight Aims and Methods of Boy Scouting. Did you know that there were eight of them? There are also Ten Purposes and Methods of Cub Scouting as well. I bet you did not know that either?
This topic came up in a recent committee meeting that I am involved with at the Council level. It revolves around Cub Scout training and understanding the program. We are working to offer more information, mentoring and support to the Direct Contact Leaders, Units and Districts to help them understand the program. While Cub Scout centric, it dives deep into Boy Scouts, Varsity, Venturing and Sea Scouts. We feel deeply that getting the Cub Scout Leaders to understand that training is needed at each level, it will be easier to get them trained as they progress up. And eventually into District and Council based positions.
There is a common misconception out in the world of Scouting held by some adults that since they are: An Eagle Scout, A Gold Star recipient, Outdoorsmen/women or a teacher or can channel their inner crafty-Martha-Stewart that they know it all and do not need any Boy Scouts of America training. This is untrue. All the training that they have gotten thus far to attain the Rank of Eagle or Gold Star, is just that. They have been mentored along and taught how to become that. There is training available to help those understand the program and how to present what they know.
You might be Mike Rowe or Bear Grylls and know everything outdoorsy. However, do they know what the program is and how to work with youth? Maybe? But, knowing BALOO, OWLS, IOLS , SM/ASM, Cubscout Specific Leader and much much more will help. You will learn that there are a total of Eight Aims and Methods for Boy Scouting and Ten Purposes and Methods of Cubscouting. Knowing this information will help that Leader create a program that is not boring, find more fun and help the youth attain much more than their intended rank. The rank is just a side benefit.
The overall aim of the Boyscouts through all their programs is to: provide a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.
For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.
Thus, proper training of adults will help them understand the aims of the youth & adults and create a program that merges both together. We ask the youth to go through all the training for each rank, why shouldn’t the adults also be required to be properly trained?
Would you want to go to a Doctor, Lawyer or some specialist that thinks that they know everything and won’t take training? Sure, they graduated to become what they are today. But, on going training and re-certification is needed in their field.
For myself, I am constantly taking other online and in-person training not only for my career, but also for myself and for my Scouting career.
You owe it to yourself, the youth you work with and for those other Registered Adult Leaders to be just as informed/trained if not more.