Today was the first time that my Program Chair and I trained others within the District. It was the Cubscout Basic’s for Den Leader, Tiger, Webelos, Cubmaster and Committee. We had a morning and afternoon session that was about 3.5 to 4 hours. In the first there were three people. A Tiger Den Leader, Cubmaster and Committee Chair. In the second session a Cubmaster. Training was held and not canceled.
We also had Varsity, Scoutmaster, Youth Protection and Hazardous Weather. My DE ended up teaching YPT for one ASM and the Hazadous Weather training washed out since no one signed up. Bummer. Their loss since he is a Weatherman by profession. However, Varsity had two and Scoutmaster had six. So, overall, 13 Adult Scouters came out for a day of training and it went well.
Since it was all me, I started the Training with the Pledge and a few announcements. I pointed out that we have ITOLS coming up and that our new Pow-Wow is Nov 5th. It was off to the races.
Our Cubscout training held to what the Powerpoint slides had us talk about. However, we did not stick to the overall format or slide to slide. Death by Powerpoint is a slow horrible death. So, we covered what was needed. We went over the Purpose, 12 Core Values, and Character Connections of Cubscouts. As well as the Methods. We drove these four topics home in several way and examples. We talked about how in November, we are using the Flag as a centerpiece for respect & citizenship. Explained a Flag Folding Relay that we will be doing at an upcoming Pack Meeting. Also, we explained that Cubscouting is a Family activity and that while advancement is part of the method, we look at it last. We want to create fun for the boys and parents so they will come back again and again. We have skits and den yells to help bond the boys together and promote activities that while fun, serve to explain many of the purposes of it.
We explained how to work advancement into “A Game with a Purpose” mentality. Explaining that if you can have an event or even work with the local school teachers, gym teachers or other people the Cubscouts come in contact with, that advancement will happen without them knowing it. We explained that these people are Activity Badge Counserlor‘s. Much like a Merit Badge Counserlor’s, but not an official position within Scouts. For the ABC, think of other parents who know something about Construction or is a Lawyer or Doctor and the Webelos Den Leader gives them the OK to sign off in their book for completion. If a Teacher is going through a Geology section within class over four weeks, why spin your wheels teaching it in two Den Meetings and an Outing. Your wasting time and money. Yes, you need to have the boys show, explain and possibly demostrate what they have learned. But if that Teacher is a ABC, then they have earned it.
As Cubmasters we talked about how a Den and Pack meeting should be planned and how parents should be involved. We pointed out many resources on Scouting.org The main one we focused on was the Den and Pack resource guide. While we had hardcopy versions of this and others we pointed out that many of them are downloadable off Scouting.org.
In covering Pack Meetings, we covered Committee Meetings, budgets, fundrasing and other Pack, District and Council Activities. This is the point in which both of us started to point out many outings, campouts, cub0rees and derbies we have done. We pointed out where to go, what to do and other pitfalls. It’s also were I showed a slideshow of my Pack’s latest Pumpkin Derby. A Committee Chair and Cubmaster wrote that down. They were going to go to a Pumpkin Patch, but now switched it because what I showed them was a lot more FUN. My Co-Trainer Allan, explained that the best ideas are shared and stolen. I used Allan’s Pumpkin Derby and changed it up and also added a food launcher.
Throughout the entire first training we pepper the talk with what WE did, how WE did it and offered suggestions on how to make THEIR Pack/Den meetings fun and entertaining while educational. Some of it was just pure fun at the Parents expense. Allan also had several ideas such as making hats out of paperplates as shown above. Take one paperplate and cut it like a pizza without cutting the edges. Don’t tell the boys that they are making a hat. Then have them decorate it. Such as, use Car Photos, matchbox cars and the like. Glue/Staple/Adheare it to the plate on the pizza slices. Then, put it on. It’s your Rally Cap for Pinewood Derby or whatever else you can think of.
In the second session, we only had one Scouter show up. It was my friend Wes who was a the Eagle Troop Guide this year when I was the TG for the Bobwhites. He came for the Cubmaster & Webelos Den Leader session. OK. One person! We are on this. This session took about three hours, but all worth it.
We dived right into Cubmaster and how he runs his Pack meetings. He’s a new Cubmaster and is on his first year, second meeting. We again went over what we did in the first session, but disected what he does. We asked why he does this and explained that just because it was a tradition before, does not mean you cannot change it. We gave many ideas of what he could do and what Allan and I do in our Den/Pack meetings. I showed and shared all the books that I brought and explained I use them as guides. Both Allan and I run our Pack’s very differently. I would love to impliment some of Allan’s ideas within my own. So, I learned a lot too.
As to Webelos, we again explained that the Webelos can earn the Activity Pins within the Den, but also within the home and School or other activtives. Meaning, Family Member is done at home, Scholar is at School, Aquanaut can be a Den/Troop activity. I explained that a local Troop has historically took our Webelos IIs on a swim night when they work on the Swimming Merit Badge and other items. The Webelos earn the Aquanaut in one night and knock out a Troop visit for Arrow of Light.
The main thing that both Allan and I tried to convey over both sessions is that Scouting is not cut and dry. It is also not about doing it all yourself and re-inventing the wheel. Look at your resources, parents, teachers and the like and see what the Scouts are doing in other places that will make YOUR LIFE EASIER. Yes, you do want to have Scout Activities based upon SCOUTING. Have those Scout moments Count and Matter.
The two last things we touched upon are the Religious Emblems and Leader Knots. Since we had two LDS Leaders at our training we dived into what their Religious Emblems were like and how they accomplished it. We explained that it is an important aspect within Scouting and should be promoted. As for Leader Knots, I explained while I like earning them, it helps me make sure that the program I am providing to the Unit and others, is a quality one. If it was not for the Cubmaster Knot, I would not have started a Summertime Pack Event for two years, not worked the Quality Unit Award and continued towards the Journey to Excellence.
I also explained that as the District Training Chair, I felt that BALOO and OWLS are vital to the continuing education of Leaders. Once they get into Boy Scouts, there is more face to face training than the Online Training they are used it. Plus, it prepares them for ITOLS and the like. Taking BALOO & OWLS educates the Leaders as how to promote, plan and execute a great Pack Program.
It was a great training session. I am looking forward to the next round of training.