“Required Training” can be a dirty phrase to some. You can also call in Continuing Education to soften it up a bit. Every position within anyone career is training, continuing education is needed. It can be formal training within a college, institute or via online. It also could be stages within on-the-job training for plumbers, electricians or the medical field. Heck, it can even be at conferences at Trade shows in Las Vegas. I remember going to MacWorld in San Francisco for several years in the 1990′s to take classes and just listen to authors.
We go to these courses, colleges or trade shows because we want to learn something. But, there is a hidden knowledge that gets transferred that we do not see coming. Where does this happen and how? It happens anywhere and by active listening or just being there.
My Hidden Knowledge moment happened in 2009.
I was getting settled at the 2009 Cascade Pacific WoodBadge course. I had not been assigned a critter, nor had everyone shown up yet. I just happened to be hanging out and talking to my future Beaver Patrol Mate. He had just been scolded by a WoodBadge Staff Member for trying on the Two-Bead WoodBadge beads. Apparently, it was a sign of things to come from my soon to be patrol mate. He was an ASM and I was a freshly minted Cubmaster with one year done as Tiger Den Leader.
Somehow, I struck up a conversation with this staff member about being a Cubmaster and how we did not qualify that year for Summertime Pack Award. I explained that we did present three events each month, but that we did not have enough Scouts participate to qualify. She explained that if you put on three events, you earned it. The recording of who came was for the Den Award and for record keeping.
This was important for me for several reasons. First, I was working to get the Pack their 1st Summertime Pack Award in years and award the Pins/Segments to those who earned them. Secondly,the National Quality Unit Award and finally, I wanted to earn the Cubmaster’s Knot.
Taking the knowledge that I had gotten, I was able to submit the paperwork and get both the Summertime Pack Award Ribbon and then Quality Unit Award for 2009 and hand out those pins,patches & segments to the Pack. This knowledge helped the Pack in 2010, 2011 and 2012. For the four years as Cubmaster, we earned all those awards because of that knowledge.
I now make it a point during any conversation with Cubscout Leaders and Parents to bring up the Summertime Pack Award and the now Journey to Excellence programs and how they function. Which also leads into the Cubscout Outdoor Activity Award.
I didn’t go to Woodbadge to learn about the Summertime Pack Award, but with a 15 minute conversation my world changed and affected the Pack for my tenure. It also allowed the Scouts to earn Awards that they might not have gotten.
Incidentally, I was the Bobwhite Troop Guide for her in 2011 when she was the Wood Badge Course Director. It also part of my conversations at that WoodBadge.
My overall point? Go to trainings, go to Roundtables and hangout with other Scouter’s. You will educate yourself about the basic items, but you might pick up a tidbit that makes the trip and the one hour a week worth it. I do not go to Roundtable just to see what the District/Council has to say. I go there to look for and to transfer hidden knowledge.