The Training Times
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Training Leaders, not just running training courses
Over two years ago the leadership of the Boy Scouts of America's professional training and volunteer training teams started meeting to discuss ways we could encourage collaboration and sharing of experiences to make training more effective for all leaders in the BSA.
During an early conversation Doug Krofina, the team leader of professional training, shared an experience he had had. He was discussing the stages of team development with a member of his team who had presented the topic in a local council. When asked to name the nine steps in team development that are used in professional training he responded, "I don't remember. I'll check the lesson plan and get back to you." When this same team member was asked to name the stages taught in Wood Badge, he immediately and accurately replied, "Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing."
These conversations illustrated some important points:
- There is a lot of good training and learning happening in the BSA, but there is also some that is not as effective.
- There are many different departments responsible for elements of training in the BSA.
- Careful design and organization of information is critical to learning.
- We are not teaching the same concepts - nor in the same "language" - to all of our leaders, even those who have similar roles.
They came to the obvious realization that if we do not create quality learning opportunities and are not consistent in our information, how can we ultimately expect to be more successful as an organization.
Consistency and intelligent learning design are critical to developing our workforce - employees and volunteers - to achieve the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. We cannot continue presenting different processes, philosophies, and ideals to each leadership position and expect to achieve exceptional organizational performance, let alone deliver high-quality service and programs to our youth and adult members.
To address this dilemma, this initial group of Scouters became a formal project team of BSA volunteers and executives who met over the last two years studying training in the BSA and learning best practices outside the BSA. They have created a framework for learning that will:
- ensure consistency in language and content of all BSA learning programs;
- create learning experiences in multiple delivery formats to reach all types of learners;
- keep track of learning and individual learning plans;
- merge employee and volunteer learning teams.
The result is Scouting University (or Scouting U), a new department and learning management vehicle in the Boy Scouts of America. While there will not initially be a great deal of change in the volunteer training committee, nor in the plans for new training courses that are in development by that committee, the staff of the volunteer development team will be taking on new roles in the near future. You'll hear a lot more about plans for Scouting U in 2014.
The framework is, of course, only the beginning. There are many other pieces to the strategy that require further planning and will take time to implement. For example, at their November retreat the volunteer training committee began to brainstorm the roles and functions of the learning committees at the national, regional, area, council, and district levels.
But there are also things that are already in place based on the ideas that have come out of the Scouting U framework building process. These include the District Operations Basic course for new professionals, portions of MyScouting Tools, the T-Cubed continuum, and several other new courses for BSA leaders.
Currently, a Scouting University Web page is being developed to keep you up to date on activities and progress, and you may be asked periodically to provide feedback. In the meantime, keep an eye here and on the volunteer training Facebook page. You can also email your questions and comments to Scouting.U@scouting.org.
Cub Scout Den Leader Specifics Training
Earlier this year a new Den Leader Position-Specific Training course syllabus for Tiger Cub, Wolf, and Bear den leaders was released. The content of the course was developed based on the results of extensive surveys of den leaders in 2006 and 2011, Voice of the Scout feedback, and a den leader "competency" study in 2012. A companion specifics course for Webelos den leaders, built on the same research, was released late last year.
These new courses are intended to provide den leaders with the experience, basic information, and resources they need to conduct successful den meetings. They are also designed to address some of the primary skills that den leaders need.
Both syllabi are available for trainers to download on the "adult" page of www.Scouting.org/training.
The existing Cub Scout Leader Position-Specific Training course, which includes sections for Cubmasters, Webelos den leaders, committee members, pack trainers, and den leaders, is still a valid course and should continue to be used to train all of the not-den leader positions. The existing E-learning courses are also still valid.
The training team has new courses for other pack leadership roles under development. We are also currently working on mentored self-study manuals for den leaders in remote locations or for those leaders who have difficulty hearing.
Program Update - 2014 and Beyond
The next three years promises to be an exciting time for Scouting as all three phases of our traditional Scouting program are updated based on several years of volunteer-led research and development. Venturing is first up in 2014 with a new program and recognition approach focusing on progressive development in adventure, leadership, and service to others and personal growth. Updates to Cub Scouting are coming in 2015.
Get the latest overview and all the details at the newly created Program Update page www.scouting.org/programupdates and SEE the future of Scouting.
Share the overview and detailed documents with your council and district unit leaders.
Engage your council and district volunteers to train and communicate to share the future program vision.
Encourage your volunteers to get the latest details via the conferences offered at Philmont Training Center (Venturing and Cub Scouts) and Sea Base (Venturing).
Scout Oath and Scout Law
As we noted in another article in this Times there are changes coming as a result of the Program Update process. As you have heard, one of the changes is using the Scout Oath and Scout Law for all phases of the Scouting program.
Beginning in May 2014 Venturing will use the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and beginning in May 2015 Cub Scouting will use the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Training courses will be updated to reflect that change. 2014 Wood Badge courses should continue to use the Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the Pack.
NAYLE is Growing
Built upon the skills learned in a council National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) course, National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) is the ultimate in hands-on experiential leadership training for our older Scouting youth.
With the exception of a handful of regional pilot courses, you had to go to Philmont to participate in this unique training opportunity until now. We've taken those same leadership tools that are taught so well in the Old West environment of the Rocky Mountains and transferred them to the swashbuckling seas in the heart of the Florida Keys AND the trapping and trading exploits of the Voyageurs in the Boundary Waters region of the North Woods.
The first NAYLE courses offered at the Florida Sea Base will take place in spring 2014 during the time of spring break for many of our youth. Dates are set for Saturday, March 15, to noon on Friday, March 21, 2014, and Saturday, April 12, until noon on Friday, April 18, 2014.
The first NAYLE courses offered at the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base at Northern Tier will be held during the heart of summer of 2014. Dates are set for Sunday, July 6, to Friday, July 11, 2014, and Sunday, July 13, until Friday, July 18, 2014.
You can find more information and the links to the registration sites for all three bases at www.scouting.org/training/youth.
Direct Links vs. Page Links
We are often asked (and at times criticized) why we do not post direct links to things in the Training Times and on our Facebook page. We tend to direct you to the page where the direct link to an item is located. For example, we may say "go to www.scouting.org/training and look in the 'Administration of Training' section of the 'adult' page."
We do this for a couple of main reasons. We want Scouters to see the other training resources available on the page as they are looking for the document or information. If we direct them straight to a document they will miss them.
Direct links have a habit of hanging around on the Internet forever and get passed around via e-mail. We try to clean (delete) out-of-date links when we find them or they are pointed out to us, and we do update the link on the page when we update the document. But unlike pages, new documents usually use a different URL and we would like for Scouters to be directed to the most current item.
CubCast and ScoutCast
Have you listened to the award-winning CubCast lately? How about ScoutCast? These are monthly audio podcasts featuring a variety of how-to and information topics for leaders and parents. They are designed to supplement your training and roundtable programs. You can listen to them on-line, download it to share, and/or subscribe to it via RSS feed. Archives of past editions are available too!
Check out www.scouting.org/Scoutcast. Choose CubCast or ScoutCast, and give them a listen!
Late last year the volunteer development team lost a member when Peter Self was promoted to the position of team lead for the youth development team in the program impact department. In this new role Peter gives leadership to the staff and volunteers that manage the delivery of Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing, the STEM program, and all BSA awards.
We will miss Peter and are grateful for all he has done for training over nearly three years with us. We are also excited for him as he moves to this incredibly important position!
In the interim, as the staffing structure of Scouting U is determined, Cindy Polman will be working with the advanced leadership training task force and courses such as Wood Badge, NYLT, and NAYLE. The vacancy created with Peter's departure will be filled within the new Scouting U structure.
Philmont Training Center
We want to invite you to participate in one of the conferences conducted by the committee for trainers that we will be offering at the Philmont Training Center in Cimarron, New Mexico, in the summer and fall of 2014!
We also hope you will encourage other trainers in your area to attend and hope you will share this information with them. Your trainers play a very important role in the success of Scouting in the lives of youth, and we want them to be a part of the discussion.
At these conferences you will have the opportunity to meet and share ideas with Scouters and trainers from across America. The conference faculty, selected by our regions and national committees, consists of some of the most talented and skilled men and women in Scouting.
While trainers are involved in a conference, their spouses and family members will be able to enjoy a range of activities led by the PTC staff. There will also be plenty of time and activities for trainers to enjoy PTC with them.
Philmont's unique blend of Scouting, history, family activities, and the magic of the northern New Mexico Mountains will make the conferences a memorable family experience.
2014 Training Committee Conferences at PTC:
Delivering Training to Unit Leaders
T-Cubed (T3) - Train The Trainer
Building Youth-Led Units-Training Youth and Adult Leaders
Philmont Leadership Challenge
July 27-August 2
Delivering Training to Unit Leaders
Training Your Troop Leaders
Training Your Venturing Crew Leaders
Philmont Leadership Challenge
You can find more information about these and all PTC conferences at www.philmonttrainingcenter.org, and you can register for a PTC conference at www.myscouting.org on the "Event Registration" page.
We hope that you will promote these conferences and that you will accept our invitation to join us at Philmont in 2014! We urge trainers to register soon as the conferences have limited attendance.
"Adult" Page on the Training Page
If you have looked at www.scouting.org/training/adult lately you have seen that we re-organized the page to help make things a little easier to find.
Items are categorized in the following way:
Joining Courses - These courses are required for all new registered leaders and must be retaken every two years to maintain registration. A login is required, but anyone may create a user account and view the courses. Registered members of the BSA may provide their member numbers (as part of the user profile) to receive credit.
Orientation Courses - Orientation courses are designed to help Scouters learn more about their Scouting role and about other leadership positions in the program.
Position-Specific (Role-Based) Courses - These instructor-led courses are designed to help Scouters learn how to effectively carry out their Scouting roles. In most cases, completing the course will make a Scouter "trained" for the role(s) covered in the course. Syllabi for courses not found here may be obtained from your local council or at www.ScoutStuff.org.
Supplemental Training Courses - These courses are designed to help Scouters with a particular skill or to enhance their Scouting role. Additional modules may be found on the "Supplemental" link in the upper-left section of the page.
Outdoor Skills Training Courses - These courses are designed to help Scouters with skills related to the BSA's outdoor program.
Train-the-Trainer Courses - These courses are designed to help Scouters learn or improve their presentation skills.
Administration of Training - These resources are designed to assist training teams that administer training in a unit, council, area, or region. (This is where you find NYLT and Wood Badge course applications and information about course director conference and area conferences.)
National Training Conferences - Conferences such as those at the Florida Sea Base and Philmont.
Training Awards - Progress record forms for the Keys and Training Awards.
E-learning - Courses that are available in the e-Learning section of www.myscouting.org.
We will be working on the "Youth" page in the upcoming weeks as more resources are available there. Be sure to bookmark the training page as we plan to be adding new items fairly frequently in 2014.
Course Director Conferences
Course director conferences for the course directors of Wood Badge and NYLT courses are beginning to be scheduled in each region.
Registration links for conferences will be available for approved course directors, assistants, and advisors as soon as the details for each conference are complete.
Links can be found on www.scouting.org/training/Adult under "Application for a Council to Conduct Wood Badge and NYLT." As new conferences are added we will continue to update the links.
In some areas the conferences have been expanded to include other trainers. Take a look at the information on the training page for these area training conferences.
NYLT - Leadership Academy
Looking for a way to make your NYLT staff members even better? NYLT-Leadership Academy can do just that. Having its genesis in the former National Junior Leader Instructor Course (NJLIC), Leadership Academy is the premier train-the-trainer for youth staff for your local NYLT. This course prepares youth to be world-class presenters and instructors in a way that no other course does.
Our goal is to make this course available to more people in more locations, but for now, you'll need to join us in the Washington, D.C. area to enjoy the benefits of this one-of-a-kind training. Courses are scheduled for July 6-12, 2014, and July 13-19, 2014.
For more details go to www.NYLT-LeadershipAcademy.org.
Over the past few months the training team has been working with the STEM task force to create training modules for STEM Nova counselors and STEM SuperNova mentors. These courses are in final review by the STEM task force and will soon be uploaded to www.scouting.org/training.
An overview orientation of the STEM program in Scouting will also be found there. This orientation is suitable for use at roundtables and other training events to introduce Scouters in your service area to the STEM program.
Latest Versions of Leader Training Courses
Here are the latest versions of the most common instructor-led training courses manuals for unit level leaders and where to get them. For Sea Scouts, see www.SeaScout.org.
(SS) - Ordered through Supply Group www.Scoutstuff.org
(TP) - Downloadable via www.Scouting.org/Training
(CDC) – Available to councils and at Course Directors' Conferences
(BR) – By request from volunteer development
- Cub Scout Leader Position-Specific - 34875 (SS) – 2010
- Den Leader Position-Specific – 511-025 (TP) - 2013
- Den Leader Position-Specific for LDS Den Leaders – 511-105 (BR) – 2012
- Den Leader Position-Specific for Webelos Den Leaders - 511-500 (TP) - 2013
- Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Leader-Specific - 34879 (TP) - 2010
- Varsity Coach Leader Specific - 34877 (TP) - 2010
- Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills - 33640 (TP) - 2010
- Venturing Leader Specific - 33491 (TP) – 2011 (PowerPoint deck (TP) - 2013)
- Troop Committee Challenge DVD - 610034 (SS) - 2009
Supplemental Leader Training
- B.A.L.O.O. (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation) – 34162 (SS) – 2012
- Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops - ILST - 511-016 (TP) – 2011
- Den Chief Training - 34455 (SS) - 2012
- Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews - ILSC - 511-013 (TP) - 2011
- Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders - 33640 – (TP) – 2011
- This is Scouting - 36118 (SS) - 2009
- The Fundamentals of Training - 511-037 (TP) – 2013
- The Trainer's EDGE (TP) – 2009
- Kodiak Challenge - 511-014 (TP) - 2011
- Powder Horn - 511-015 (BR) – 2013
- Wood Badge (CDC) – 2013
- National Youth Leadership Training (CDC) – 2013
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We have over 5,500 "likes" and it is growing every day.
Encourage your Facebook friends to join us. You can find the page at www.facebook.com/BSAtrainingteam.
Training Times Archives
You can take a look at 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
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, Cindy Polman, and Judy Maldonado, team members