I have technically been the District Training Chair since June 2nd when I signed the Application and gave it to my District Exec. So, what radical changes or changes have been made. None. I am at the beginning of seeing what is what and how things work. I am the new guy within the District. Before I became the Training Chair, I sent a couple of emails saying this should happen and that should happen and why isn’t that happening. While I didn’t get an earful, I did get an education of why. Which was great.
So what do I do now that I am a Training Chair? I have to educate myself on what classes are out there, who needs them, who my training team is, what powers I have within my position and what are my goals.
Step one: Educate myself. I have already sworn that I will take every class that is offered. I need to know what and how they are taught. This stems from BALOO to ITOLS. Also includes Den Chief and Merit Badge Counselor as well. Why, because I will get questions on why a Scouter needs it. I will also need it because I plan on moving on after my son crosses over.
Step Two: Who needs Training. That would be everyone within a Leadership, Committee or Direct Contact position.
Step Three & Four: Who is my training team. Many people have already come up to me and said that they would like to be and that they will help as needed. These are Scouters who have helped put on trainings before. AWESOME! I had a great conversation with the acting Chair and he explained a lot of who is who. I have also found out that it is within my power via the District Chair and Exec that I can designate those as Trainers if I see fit.
Step Five: What are my goals.
Right now, I want to keep it simple. Keep what is planned on the books and make it happen.
What I would like to see as what our District offers is seperate class offerings of BALOO, OWLS & ITOLS during the year. I would like to also offer training within Roundtable nights. Den Chief, AED, CPR, Weather Hazard, How to fill out a Tour Plan & WHY. Who is your UC and why should we care? Journey to Excellence….
So, why did I take on the District Training Chair while I am still the Cub Master, or just take it on. To me, it was my chance to figure out and see why these courses were not offered. I did not and do not have an issue with anyone within the District. I like everyone. ( I say that publically since I know several of the District people read this blog). I also figured that my life beyond Cub Master is being paved now. I have till March 2013 until my Son crosses over into Boy Scouts. This position will allow me to take a break from Unit Leadership and step back and learn more about the Troop he goes into. Will I get on the Committee or be a MBC or ASM within that Troop. Yes. But, I am taking my time to learn about them.
I also took on this position because I like training. It’s what I do at my day job. The more I can learn about something, the better I am in helping those who are in my Unit as others within Scouting. With the Vaccum of no BALOO or OWLS within our District many Leadership Knots cannot be awarded. This includes the Webelos Den Leader Knot. Which, if a WDL has put in the time and effort to complete all the other requirements but cannot attain OWLS training, then we as a District and Council have failed. OWLS should really be taken by the Bear DL before they move into being Webelos DL.
So, what is my planning of what I would like to see how training is planned out for the year?
October is all Training needed for the position & YPT. It’s a Super Saturday that is already in place.
Novemember. Our Council is changing from a Cubsout Pow-wow to a Program & Training Conference for Cub, Boy Scouts, Varsity, Venturing, Sea Scouts and OA format. So, Promote that.
December: BALOO/OWLS. Super Weekend of both Yes, do it in Dec. Early enough so it won’t conflict with Football Playoffs and Christmas vacations.
April/May: BALOO/OWLS Super Weekend of both.
Having BALOO/OWLS together makes sense at this point. BALOO would be first and those who just want that, can leave after it’s complete. The OWLS will be after that and people can register for both. This will allow for those who have taken BALOO to skip it and head directly to OWLS.
Why is BALOO/OWLS important at a Pack level. I get ITOLS importance. The main reason is that Boy Scouts main function is to CAMP & HIKE. They are not in a gym doing crafts like their little brothers in blue. They put the OUT in scOUTing. If you have a robust Pack program via Den Leaders that gets the boys OUTSIDE, awesome. If you don’t this is why.
Being BALOO trained will help the Pack understand that CAMPING is available to the Tiger, Wolf and Bears. Yes, they have to CAMP AS A PACK for them to go out. Webelos can camp on their own. Promoting Camping as a Pack does count for earning requirements and other badges. However, it will help the new parents and parents in general to be aware of the Council Camp Properties. If you are able to reserve them, the parents will see where the boys go in the summer. It will also provide a better understanding as to how a Council operates and what is offered at that level.
It will help the parents to understand what the Popcorn and FOS money is used for. You must give a tangible benefit to those who generally are not invested within the program. If you do not, they will not donate or participate more. The parents are generally there for THEIR son. Not yours. So is their pocketbook. Once you give that tangible benefit to the parents, they get more invested. Maybe not to what you are looking for, but it’s at a deeper level than before. Am I saying that Training will lead to a better FOS year? Nope. It could though. What I am saying is that providing the avenue to learn more will increase the fun of each boy/girl within a unit. It will create more fun for families who participate in Pack Camping events. Which in turn will increase better memories for all.
At the Pack level Camping really is a family event and not so much within the Pack itself. (My Pack, maybe not yours and maybe others don’t camp as well). Yes, we have had overnights at a camp property for Arrow of Light, but that’s it. There is also a Council Family Camp twice a year. We have done it once. It’s Family and not PACK. So no Tour Plan/BALOO is needed. In Boy Scouts, it’s camping all the time. Parents have been in the Scouting world for awhile and understand this. Not so much in Cub Scouts. So, there is a learning curve. If you can introduce the idea and start Pack Camping, then the value of training is recognized and fullfilled. If you don’t, then why train?
Overall, the reason to go to training is to provide a great program and be that person to help create a program within the unit. If you don’t care about the program, don’t train. Don’t train, don’t volunteer. Don’t volunteer, don’t care. It’s as simple as that. I care about the program and I have gotten trained so I can continue to volunteer.
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