This weekend, Nov 5th 2011, was Cascade Pacific’s first Program & Training Conference. We used to have Pow-wow and then Advancement Extravaganza. The latter was geared towards Boy Scouts, Varsity, Venturing. Because the AE event was canceled this last year due to very low sign-ups, Council decided to go this route. Our COO is actually from the Chief Seattle BSA Council where they have been doing the same program for about 9 years. I have had always wanted to go there and take classes from them. It’s about 3 weeks earlier.
This was my second year in teaching. Last year I taught Special Awards for Leaders. This was outside of all the Den Leader Knots you could earn. It was a nice class, but it wasn’t something I was passionate about. They year, I was asked to be on the Event Team, which was fun and also to teach a Social Media Class. I Co-taught with Jerry Schliening and he also taught the Scoutmaster Conferences.
So, the review:
The event itself was great. The place was good, as we have been there before. My only issue was that the Advancement Software Class (Troopmaster/Packmaster and others) and our class (Social Media) did not have WiFi/Internet Access. Apparently the school is heavily locked down. I huge shout out to my Wood Badge Troop Guide Buddy, David Nash who has a Sprint Wifi Hotspot, however my Mac Laptop would not work with it. So, next time. Get WiFi!
The Vendors who showed up were generally the same as the year before. Some new and some did not show up. I was miffed that Evergreen Aviation did not. They have been a huge supporter of the Council for recent events hosted at their place. I was a little perplexed that they were not more Scout-oriented however. When I think of Vendors at a Scouting Event, it’s Science, Outdoors, Camping, Hiking & Go-See-It based. Some were not. I had really wanted to see the Hungary Hiker’s people there.
Classes: I wanted to go to the Autism in Scouting class, since Elliot has an IEP. I did not end up going for several reasons, but the instructor said that it was packed each session and very crowded in that respect. Great thing is that everyone loved it and he was warmly received. I did get to meet John as he was in our Social Media class. I did not know him, but talked about him and then he introduced himself. An amazing man. If you have a Scout who is on the Spectrum, you need to connect with him on Facebook. If you a Scouter with Scouts on the Spectrum, you need to connect with him. So, to me, this was the highlight/success of the entire event.
I ended up crashing three classes that I did not sign-up for. Which, I actually knew all the instructors for. First was the Packmaster Advancement course. I use Packmaster a lot and understand it pretty well. So, I really was there to lend support to my friend teaching it. It was a class that was to speak to many other advancement programs and software. There were great points to each.
The next class was Cubscout Songs. My friend David and his friend David put on the class and boy were they FUN! The first David and I met through Wood Badge and we staffed the 2011 course at Troop Guides. Love that guy. So, I was there as support as well and got several questions on why I do what I do in the Pack. However, I learned one great song that I am going to have our Den Leaders/Committee Members learn to sing for Blue & Gold.
Where are you tonight?
Where, o where, are you tonight
Why did you leave me hear all alone
I fixed the kids dinner and they are up in bed now
You started Scouting and Pffft you were gone
It started one day with a flyer in his backpack
We‟re having a meeting come check out and see
We‟re forming cub dens and we want your son in one
But I found out who they really wanted was me
From Tigers to Wolfs to Bears onto Webelos
One hour a week they said all that I need
Between den and pack meeting, to field trips and outings
I‟ve used up all my one hours till the next century
With Powow and Roundtable to training and Woodbadge
I managed to try to sign up for them all
Once in awhile I think back to my family
I think I can still here my spouse and her call
The one class that I did sign-up for and take was the Webelos Technology Class. I could have taken to all of them, but I was personally struggling with this group. The Instructor is the Husband of the Event Planner and Scoutmaster. He is an Engineer and a great explainer of how to do what you need to do. That class really demystified a lot of it. He also proved my point on working smarter instead of harder. Point being is if one, two or three requirements can be knocked out in several Activity Pins, DO IT in one setting. Find what lends itself from each Activity (or elective for other ranks). It’s what I preach to all Scouters that I come across.
Finally, Disc Golf. My friend Scott Hill who is a regional Disc Golf Wizard put on this class. I got him in touch with the Event people since he put on our Disc Golf Clinic this summer. While I thought I knew a lot about Disc Golf, I learned. The great thing about the class is that he was that there are many aspects that relates to Scouting. Respect and rules of the game are found within the Scout Oath and Law. So, that was a great idea boost. Granted there are a few rank requirements that can be earned at each level and program.
So, Program & Training Conference was a success overall. I will be back next year. I know that the Event Planners will be thinking about changes for next year…..they already are.