The Training Times
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Training Leaders, not just running training courses!
JTE Leadership Club
"Success in training the boy depends largely on the Scoutmaster's own personal example." - Robert Baden-Powell
Every month Assistant Chief Scout Executive Gary Butler hosts a live-streaming video broadcast of the JTE Leadership Club from the web conference center at the BSA national office. The April edition will be of interest to all trainers: BSA Training in the Second Century.
Gary will lead a discussion on the impact of effective training on retention, how successful training councils have reached 90 percent or more trained leaders, Youth Protection Training, and where we are - and where we are going - in training and learning. His guests will be the chair of the national Volunteer Training Committee, Joel Eacker, and Volunteer Development Team Leader Mark Griffin. They will also be joined by volunteers from selected best practice councils.
Regular readers of the Training Times know training is evolving in the BSA. The April broadcast will share a vision of the future of training and will unveil perhaps one of the most transformational projects currently in the design stage. Be part of that vision as Gary leads a discussion of how the BSA plans to develop itself into a 21st century learning organization.
This meeting of the Leadership Club is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10. Live broadcasts will be available at 10 am EDT and 8 pm EDT.
Join the broadcast(s) on your PC or iPad at www.livestream.com/bsanationalcouncil, or on your iPhone using the Livestream app at the bsanationalcouncil channel.
You can find detailed directions, including supported browsers and iPad and iPhone instructions, in the quicklinks section of www.scouting.org/training and in the "events" section of www.facebook.com/BSAtrainingteam.
BSA employees and volunteers are encouraged to join the Leadership Club each month to continue to discuss current topics that focus on optimizing the delivery of the Scouting experience through councils and units.
In the last issue of Training Times we listed the top direct contact leader training councils in the BSA for 2012. One of the questions we got was, "How many leaders did those councils have to train to reach those goals?" The answer is: there is a wide range in the top 10, covering just about every size council in the BSA.
The top council, Heart of America (96.9%), had 15,180 unit adults at the end of 2012, and the number 8 council, Columbia-Montour (72.2%), had 611. The average of the top 10 was 4,762.
There were also questions about best practices. While there were variations, below is a summary of what we found. It is no surprise to most of us that there were no surprises at all. There is no "silver bullet" that will improve a council or district training record. It takes actual training sessions, a dedication to get training to all leaders, and accurate record keeping.
There must be "buy-in" and support from the top leadership in the council and district.
You need a strong and active council training committee with a competent, respected, experienced, and dedicated council training chair to give enthusiastic leadership to the effort.
The council and district must have a training team dedicated to, and can carry out the mission of, getting every leader trained and not just running some training courses every so often.
The team needs to use additional volunteers to help train all leaders. The team should not be limited to the "usual" training team. Good leaders who have completed training previously are a good source of trainers.
The commissioner staff must be intimately involved through identification of training needs in units, promotion of training, and addressing the unique problems that might crop up.
A phase-in should be considered to solve issues, establish training plans, and retrieve training records.
All leaders who can use broadband should be encouraged and helped to link their BSA member ID to their MyScouting account so e-learning courses taken will be reflected. (This is the most common issue we see in missing training, especially Youth Protection Training. Councils should also merge member ID numbers so each Scouter has only one number and all training is in the same record.)
Those who have been successful at getting leaders trained have created both a schedule of training for the target leadership and a plan for individualized training to train those who cannot (or will not) attend scheduled courses.
Tips on the scheduling of training:
- Set a district and council schedule of training courses for the year so trainers and Scouters can plan and let others in the units know when to attend.
- Unless there are unusual circumstances, do not change locations or dates of scheduled training.
- Do not cancel a course even if only one person is signed up to attend. Last-minute additions are possible, and one trained leader will influence many youth. It is worth it!
- Training offerings should be increased in the months nearing the end of the charter year and recruiting "seasons."
- Crossing district boundaries to attend training in other districts should be encouraged.
- Do not limit yourself to the "usual" training format. Small group and individual sessions often create a great learning environment.
Strong, timely, and accurate communication is essential.
The BSA's advancement committee has recently introduced some new or updated advancement-related training courses.
Getting the Most From Internet Advancement - A PowerPoint slide show with speaker notes and an FAQ sheet. Designed to be a 60- to 90-minute, instructor-led presentation, it guides participants through methods to make effective use of the Internet Advancement software. Councils may add slides providing local particulars and contact information.
The Essentials of Merit Badge Counseling - A PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes covers the required procedures for merit badge counseling, clarifies the role of counselors in the BSA advancement program, and discusses the appropriate approaches to use in working with Scouts. It is intended as an instructor-led presentation to counselors of any experience level and takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete.
Guide to Advancement and Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook Overview - Converted to video format from PowerPoint presentations with voice-over, these presentations provide further insight into the two most critical publications produced by the BSA National Advancement Team. The files may be opened and viewed on your computer or downloaded for later viewing or for presentation at a roundtable, university of Scouting, or other gathering. The intent is to provide a better understanding of how BSA advancement policies and procedures should be interpreted and implemented.
- Introduction to the Guide to Advancement (10 min.)
- Judgment Calls (24 min.) (covers the "active," position of responsibility, and Scout spirit requirements, and also "reasonable expectations")
- The Merit Badge Program (17 min.)
- Boards of Review (15 min.)
- Boards of Review Under Disputed Circumstances (6 min.)
- Board of Review Appeals (4 min.)
- The Eagle Scout Service Project (17 min.)
- The Eagle Scout Application Process (8 min.)
- Eagle Scout Boards of Review (4 min.)
You can find these courses at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts in the Advancement and Awards section.
Volunteer Development Conferences at Philmont
We hope you will consider joining us at one of the 2013 Volunteer Development and Training Committee offerings at Philmont this summer and fall:
June 9-15 - Conducting Advanced Leadership Training
June 16-22 - Training Your Troop's Youth Leaders
Training Your Crew's Youth Leaders
July 28-August 3 - Varsity Scouting
Training Pack Adult Leadership
Training Troop Adult Leadership
August 4-10 - Volunteer & Professional Relationships
Delivering Training to Unit Leaders
August 11-17 T-Cubed (T3) - Train The Trainer
The Patrol Method
September 15-21 Philmont Leadership Challenge
We are also conducting six NAYLE courses at PTC this summer. Check with PTC to see which of these courses still have openings.
For a full list of all 2013 conferences, course information, and a description of the outstanding family program at PTC, go to www.philmonttrainingcenter.org.
Florida Sea Base Conferences a Huge Success!
From January 13th to the 26th, 2013, over 125 volunteers and their spouses enjoyed the beautiful Florida Keys while discussing and sharing information on topics from commissioner service to advancement to what's new in Venturing. Where were you?
Although we have been hosting volunteer conferences at the Florida Sea Base for several years, it still seems they are one of the best kept secrets in the BSA. We'd like you to help us change that. Just like the training conferences that occur each summer at the Philmont Training Center, we strive to provide our volunteers with a quality learning experience in a location that can't be beat. Of course this isn't Philmont, and life seems just a bit more relaxed in the islands, but you'll leave with that same renewed spirit for Scouting and some great information.
One of the more unique differences with the conferences we offer in January is the ability of participants to be a part of the change that is always occurring in the BSA. This past year, for example, attendees in the conference on advancement spent much of their time critiquing the Guide to Advancement and making recommendations for future changes. Just one week earlier, those in the conference on Venturing were giving input on the upcoming program recommendations and testing some of the new ideas. Wouldn't you, or somebody you know, love to be a part of that?
Like all of the conferences we conduct we are always on the watch for ways to improve. This year we followed the recommendations of our 2012 participants and made changes to our schedule which included more morning and evening sessions which resulted in more conference time AND increased free time in the afternoons to enjoy the sun and sea. Of course the awesome staff at the Sea Base helped fill in those hours with some great program opportunities.
Speaking of program, this year we saw a welcomed expansion of our spouse program. While our participants were busy changing the world and recharging their scouting batteries, spouses were busy with their own agendas. Activities included evening cruises, kayaking, gallery tours, stand-up paddle boarding, marine life sanctuaries, sailing, and even a taste of scuba diving.
The 2014 schedule is almost done, and registration will open soon, with conferences covering topics on Venturing, Advancement, Commissioners, Membership, STEM, and more. Mark it on your calendar now and keep your eyes open for the 2014 conferences, January 12th – 17th and 20th – 25th. See you in the keys!
Update on Required Training
It was announced a couple of years ago that required training was coming for all Scouting leaders. There are currently about 80 councils requiring unit leader training in some form, and 19 councils were part of an official pilot program in 2010-2012. Our committee reviewed the results of the pilot councils, as well as the councils who did it on their own. Some of the "Lessons Learned" elsewhere in this issue came from the study.
In reviewing those results we have discovered not only some very positive things but also some issues we need to resolve.
The Mount Baker Council in Everett, Washington, for example experienced an increase in youth retention, camp attendance, advancement, and overall membership after they made training mandatory for direct contact leaders. Other councils all over the nation have experienced similar results. Some councils had success but lost significant numbers of assistant leaders and committee members who did not get trained and were dropped so the unit could recharter.
We know a great training team, a "culture of training," and the maintenance of accurate records are major parts of the process if there is to be success. Training has to be a priority of the council and not just "something they make us do" for it to work. We also know we need to provide training resources including courses that make training fun, effective, and deliverable.
The Volunteer Training Team is working with the computer folks on the design of new resources for record keeping and reporting. MyScouting Tools and the new training reports in MyScouting are part of that effort. A lot more is coming in the Tools, so be sure to keep looking there. New tools are added every four to six weeks.
We are also in the midst of a re-design of every unit leader training course.
Until we finish the analysis and work out the issues, there is no national unit leader position training requirement except for Youth Protection and the courses necessary for a Tour and Activity Plan.
However, local councils do have the option to make training mandatory, and we support the efforts of those councils! Check with your council training chair or district executive to see if your council has such a requirement.
We have not set a new timeline to make training a requirement in all councils at present. We are waiting for the updated training entry/reporting system and new courses to be in place first.
MyScouting Training Reports Access
Who can see the new by-unit training reports on MyScouting?
The Unit Training Detail report can be seen by the unit's registered "key-3": the committee chair, the chartered organization representative, and the primary unit leader (Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Coach, or Adviser.)
The Unit Training Tracking report can be seen by properly registered members of the district, council, and professional staff.
The following volunteer registration codes can view the report:
- 11 Council President
- 12 Council Vice President
- 13 Council Treasurer
- 14 Council Assistant Treasurer
- 15 Council Commissioner
- 16 Assistant Council Commissioner
- 41 Council Executive Board Member
- 46 Council Advisory Council
- 47 Council Committee Member
- 48 Council Member at Large
- 61 District Chairman
- 62 District Vice Chairman
- 64 Neighborhood Chairman
- 65 Neighborhood Committee
- 75 District Member at Large
- 80 Unit Commissioner
- 81 District Commissioner
- 82 Assistant District Commissioner
- 83 Roundtable Commissioner
- 84 Roundtable Staff
The most common issue we see is a Scouter "registered" only in a functional position, such as district training chair, and not properly registered as a district member at large. Functional positions are not registered positions. We are working on changing that in the future, but for now the above are the proper traditional Scouting district and council volunteer registration positions.
If you cannot see these reports, check with your council registrar to update your registration.
District Committee Key and District Committee Scouters Training Award
As part of a continuing review of training awards, updated requirements for earning the District Committee Key have been released, and district committee member requirements have been created for earning the Scouter's Training Award.
The updated and new requirements are along the same lines as the previous requirements, and are in line with the requirements for similar awards for unit leaders. For example, the Key requirements have been upgraded to require a similar primary leadership role as is the case with the other Key requirements.
Scouters who have begun to work on the District Committee Key will still be able to earn the award with the old requirements as long as they complete the requirements by December 31, 2014.
District Scouters who have started to earn these awards may use either set of requirements, but Scouters who have not started to work on a District Committee Key by June 1, 2013, may only use the new requirements.
Tenure, training, and performance used for the District Committee Scouter's Training Award cannot have occurred prior to January 1, 2011.
Progress record forms with the new requirements for these awards can be found at www.Scouting.org/training on the "Adult" page.
The training awards and keys are designed to recognize Scouters for tenure, basic and continuing training, and successful performance in their leadership role.
Unit Leader Training Awards
Last year we announced updated requirements for the unit leader training awards and the return of the Den Leader Training Award, Cubmaster's Key, and Scouter's Training Award for Cub Scouters.
Here are the item numbers for the awards for your reference:
Den Leader Training Award
Award - 615864
Knot - 5016
Scouter's Training Award
Award - 922
Knot - 5008
Award - 924
Knot - 5006
Devices for the above awards
Tiger Cub - 615865
Cub Scout - 604950
Webelos - 932
Boy Scout - 927
Varsity - 928
Venturing - 940
Progress records for these awards may be found at www.scouting.org/training/adult.
A new certificate (#617443) has been created that includes the Den Leader Training Award. It is now available from Supply.
The ScoutNET codes for the awards have been re-activated as well. The Cubmaster's Key is 2001, the Den Leader's Training Award is 2002, and the Training Award for Cub Scout Leaders is 2005.
Quote of the Month
We recently heard a great quote from Walt Disney that we are using to challenge our Scouting trainers:
"Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends."
Be sure your training and your roundtables are so good that Scouters want to come back for more and want to encourage all of the other leaders in their unit to attend training.
Course Director Conferences
At "press time" we had most of the 2013 and early 2014 Area Training Conferences and Course Director Conferences planned. Here is a schedule of what we have, but watch the training page for updates and registration information.
6/9 - 6/15
Wood Badge, Powder Horn, NYLT, Kodiak
Philmont Training Center
Wood Badge, NYLT
9/20 - 9/21
Wood Badge, NYLT, Powder Horn
Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch
10/4 - 10/5
Wood Badge, NYLT, Training Chairs, Commissioners
R-C Scout Ranch
10/4 - 10/6
Alpine Scout Camp, Greater New York Councils
10/18 - 10/19
10/18 - 10/20
Wood Badge, Powder Horn, VOA
Alpine Scout Camp, Greater New York Councils
10/18 - 10/20
Wood Badge, NYLT, Powder Horn, Training Chairs
Frank Fickett Scout Training Center
10/25 - 10/26
Wood Badge, NYLT, Training Chairs
Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center
11/1 - 11/2
11/2 - 11/3
Wood Badge, NYLT, Training Chairs
Walker Creek Ranch
11/8 - 11/9
Wood Badge, NYLT, Powder Horn, Kodiak, VOA, Training Chairs
Summit Lake, WA
Wood Badge, Powder Horn, NYLT, Kodiak
Florida Sea Base
There is no expiration for most BSA training courses, but keeping Scouts safe and keeping Scouting leaders up-to-date with current information and methods means some of the BSA's training courses need to be retaken every couple of years.
Below is a list of the most common courses taken by unit leaders and how often they should be retaken to be valid:
- Youth Protection - every two years (one year for jamboree)
- Safe Swim Defense - every two years
- BSA Lifeguard - every three years
- Safety Afloat - every two years
- Trainer's EDGE - every three years for Wood Badge and NYLT Staff
- Hazardous Weather - every two years
- Climb On Safely - every two years
- Trek Safely - every two years
This is not all of the BSA courses with expiration dates. There are others, again such as National Camping Schools, but these are the most common.
We get questions all of the time about Fundamentals of Training and BALOO expiration. There are no expiration terms for these courses.
By the way, the Volunteer Training Committee encourages you to take the most current training courses for your Scouting position even if there is no expiration, or even if you are considered "trained" as a result of taking an older course. It is always better for our Scouts when their leaders stay up-to-date!
Training Times Archives
You can view older versions of the Training Times by clicking on the word "Archives" on the Training Updates page or on the link on the main training page (www.scouting.org/training).
Are you on Facebook? If so, have you found the BSA training page?
We already have nearly 5,000 "likes" and it is growing every day. Encourage your Facebook friends to join us. You can find the page at www.facebook.com/BSAtrainingteam
Vision and Mission Statements - Volunteer Training Committee
We enable a learning culture that supports regions, areas, and councils to deliver effective, fun, and accessible training to all adult and youth leaders.
It is the mission of the Volunteer Training Team to support the mission of the Boy Scouts of America by:
Working cross-functionally with stakeholders, producing training resources, products, and strategies which enable councils to deliver effective, fun, and accessible training to all adult and youth leaders.
Creating opportunities to enhance leadership skills in youth and adults through advanced training.
Continually assessing our training and delivery model to ensure relevant and effective training for both the current and future states of an evolving Boy Scouts of America.
The Training Times is a publication of the Volunteer Training Team of the Program Impact Committee of the BSA.
Joel Eacker, Volunteer Committee Chair
Mark Griffin, Volunteer Development Team Leader
Peter Self, Cindy Polman, and Judy Maldonado team members