On Thursday night our District like many had their Committee Meeting. I had not been to a meeting for awhile, and really needed to be there for Training. I got to meet the new Advancement person and talk to our Communication Chair. The normal banter of Membership/FOS and what units are doing what.
I joined in June 2011 when the District’s re-chartered. We were asked that night about staying on if we wanted to since May is our last month before we re-chartered. I said yes. I plan to be on for awhile.
That all being said, I have gone through two District training cycles. One was already planned and one I planned. I have yet to make it to one of our ITOLS. I am thinking that I will show up for the start of the one in March.
I also made it to a Council Top Team meeting. To me it’s important. I need to know who all are my counterparts and what they are doing. As do they. I went into it just wanting to listen. However, I made myself known. I voiced my opinion about how we should share training lists of courses. I explained how I went out of District for BALOO/OWLS and even considered going to Chief Seattle Council for BALOO/OWLS. I pointed this out along with the fact that one of the main reasons our Pack got Gold was that my Webelos Den Leader and I had gotten BALOO/OWLS & ITOLS trained. It counted on Journey to Excellence. We would have gotten Gold, however out overall points would be lower if we had not.
During the District Meeting, I explained how I am putting our a request (not a call since the LDS view that very differently) for my trainers for all courses. To which I got favorable support for. I have made the request of our Communications Chair to put that in the Roundtable Notes & District Email. Pioneer needs to have a good group of Trainers in case some back out or not able to make it for various reasons. Be Prepared.
I also explained that three other Districts and Pioneer will be sharing lists of training courses and dates. I have already agreed to host/put on Cubscout training for Sunset when they have Boyscout, Varsity & Venturing.
I have also decided that we are going to go to the core of what is required for training. These courses are BALOO, OWLS, ITOLS, Hazardous Weather, Trek Safely, First Aid/CPR/AED, COR and Merit Badge Counselor. I will include Troop Committee Challenge too. All these courses are required at some level or for some paperwork to be legal within the eyes of National. Be it for position or Tour Plan.
I did get feedback from one person on the Committee who stated that for volunteers to take time away from family is hard and that we should offer other ways to get trained. They would like to see training done at Camporee, Webelos Woods, Summer Camp and other District Camping events. I fully agree with this person in part. I replied that yes, I want training to be given at Summer Camp, Camporee, Cub-0-Ree, Webelos Woods and other District Event. However, I am running into people who feel strongly that training would take away from those who are there with their Scouts. IE: Parents who hover. I said that they need to start requesting it. There are many Districts within our Council that hold BALOO/OWLS and then ITOLS at these events. Starting next year, I am going to work in BALOO and maybe OWLS into one of these events. I would like to work ITOLS into Camporee as well. It would help focus the District’s energy into these events and get people there.
So, this gets to the part about TIME AWAY FROM FAMILY for training. I fully get and understand that time with family is very important. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+ you will know that I travel the six western states of AK, ID, MT, OK, MT, CA for work. I now tell Scouter’s and my DE how many Councils I traveled to to get where I am at that moment. I once traveled through five Councils to get to Roundtable that night or a Cubscout meeting. I know that people have their own busy lives within a town. However, they made a commitment to Scouting when they signed up for the position. They committed to the Unit and the Scouts that they serve that they would be there. That also means getting the training needed to be considered trained for their position.
I don’t get people who cannot get trained for their position within Scouting. Even if it’s just the Online version from myscouting.org. At lest they took it and maybe learned something. I personally like the face to face training since they will be able to get answers to their questions. Plus maybe learn a bit about how another unit has fun.
Heck, I am not involved with Girl Scouts, but I took Cookie Training so my daughter could sell cookies last year. That helped me this year when I was picking up cookies from Rachel’s new Troop leader. I knew what she was going through and told her. I explained that I am appreciative of what she does. Did I need to do the training. No, not really. My wife could have, or we just would not have sold. The latter would have been horrible since my daughter might have ended up quitting and getting mad at us. But, I took it because it was needed. I was not a registered Girl Scout Leader. From what I have heard, the Girl Scout Council in Portland demands the Troop Leaders come to Council and get training on specific dates. The Troop Leaders do it. Why can’t we?
In the end, training will provide knowledge to the participant that will enable them to correct their ways if needed and provide a program to the unit that is fun. Keeping it fun will help keep the scouts involved in scouting and keep them safe.
And just as Dr Seuss said in “The Lorax“
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Yours in Scouting.