The Training Times
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Training Leaders, not just running training courses!
Welcome New Leaders and Trainers
This is the time of the year when we are joined by a lot of new Scouting leaders and trainers. If this is your first issue of Training Times - Welcome!!
This newsletter is one of many resources designed to help you as you progress in Scouting. Knowing how to do your Scouting role, and the resources that we have to make that possible, are the key no matter what that role is.
If you found us on www.scouting.org/training great! Look around and see what is here. If you received a printed or e-mailed copy, head there as soon as you can.
If you are a new leader, seek out training as soon as possible. We hope that you will be able to join with other new leaders and learn with them with an experienced Scouter, but if not, check out www.MyScouting.org and take training there.
If you are a trainer, we urge you (as the banner above says) to train leaders and not just run a training course. Find and train new leaders and help them learn how to have a great Scouting program for their youth!
Youth Members on the Training Committee
As part of the BSA’s Strategic Plan a National Youth Advocacy Task Force has been created and its members are encouraged to join some of the national committees.
We have invited four of these leaders to serve on the Volunteer Training Committee: Order of the Arrow Vice Chief Preston Marquis, Central Region Venturing President Lizzie Wisman, Southern Region Venturing President Ryan Mitchell, and Northeast Region Venturing President Christine Luczka.
We are looking forward to the involvement of these youth in the design, development, and delivery of training.
Volunteer Development Conferences at the Florida Sea Base
There’s only one thing better than sitting under a grass roof in the Florida Keys in the middle of January. That’s learning from and sharing ideas with some of the best Scouters in the nation while you’re there.
If you’ve been thinking about joining us for the Volunteer Development Conferences in January, don’t wait any longer. Conferences are filling up fast and you won’t want to miss out. From Advancement, to Advanced Leadership Training, to Venturing, to Focusing on the “Main Thing,” there’s something for everyone, including a bit of free time to enjoy the fun and sun of the Florida High Adventure Sea Base located in the heart of the Florida Keys.
All of these conferences are designed to engage the participants in dialogue and to share the best practices from across the nation. You’ll find Scouters just like you who want to know all of the latest and greatest trends and programs, in a wonderful place, at a great time of the year.
You can find the list of conferences on our registration form located at www.scouting.org/training/adult.
See you in January!
We have been working for the past year on updating the training codes in the ScoutNET system. When we started there were 342 codes for BSA courses, and there were many more courses that did not even have codes.
As part of the review we worked with the other national committees that offer volunteer training courses. We moved codes for courses that are no longer offered to the “past training” list, eliminated codes for courses that were “one-time-only” and did not impact a Scouter’s “trained” status, and requested codes for missing courses. We established “expired” dates for courses that are no longer offered by the BSA, but remain valid if taken prior to that date.
Some codes, for example those that are for portions of a past basic training set and not the entire necessary course, were retained for reference.
Another example of a change is that many, but far from all, conferences offered at the Philmont Training Center over the years had codes. Since nearly all of these were conferences that varied in content from year to year, and week to week even, and not courses with a set syllabus, we eliminated the codes and created one “Philmont Training Center Conference” code.
Keep in mind, we only provide codes for nationally approved, developed, and delivered courses. We can not give codes to locally created courses that are not reviewed by the BSA and/or available to every council.
You can find a new list of current and relevant past course codes in the “quicklinks” section of www.scouting.org/training. You can also find a document there called “Top Leader Trained and Course Criteria” that shows the dates and codes of current and past top leader training courses necessary to be marked a s ‘trained” in ScoutNET.
This is a work in progress. As new courses are created, and as other are “expired,” the list will be updated.
Pack Meeting Plans and Themes
A Program Impact youth development task force has created pack meeting themes that can be used as optional alternatives to the monthly Core Values pack meeting plans. The Core Values are still part of the plans, but overall themes for pack meetings are included. Thirty-six - three options per month - have been developed and are available for download in the “Cubmaster” section of www.scouting.org/cubscouts
One sample theme for each month has been included in the 2012-2013 Cub Scout Roundtable Planning Guide. (www.scouting.org/training/adult)
Projected Updates and Timing for New Training
We get a lot of questions about when we are going to update a course, and what those updates will be. We of course would love to put out a list of what and when, but there are too many variables that influence when it is ready.
While there are several issues, there are two major variables and a process that we are dealing with at the present time regarding unit leader training: the BSA strategic plan, funding, and our training design task forces.
A major component of the BSA Strategic Plan is a review of all the levels of the program to ensure that it is dynamic and relevant and meets the needs and desires of youth. Their work could potentially change key elements of some or all of the program phases. Members of our team are working with those task forces so that we are ready if changes occur to include them in updates, and to start the development of updated or new courses that include any changes when they are approved. While some work is being “fast tracked,” all of the task force’s work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014 and we are working to roll out updated, or completely new, courses at the same time. In the meantime, as Leader Specifics courses come up for reprinting, we are including any new things that we can. We do not want to create new courses, and then change them again in a year or two.
While we wish it was not, funding is an issue. To create and roll out a new course is expensive. While it is for sure a worthwhile expense since training is so important, we need to be wise about what we do. Will it be purchased from Supply or downloaded?; e-learning or instructor-led?; videos?; posters?; etc. all need to be considered. Again, is it a wise use of resources to do a course now that will need a major update in a year or so?
We are less than a year into a direction shift in volunteer training that included a major focus on direct contact leader training. This year we organized new training design task forces (see the Winter 2012 Training Times) that are reviewing all of our training for effectiveness and ease of delivery. Does the training cause learning and positive behavior change to occur in the intended audience? If not, what do we need to do? As the Strategic Plan recommendations are adopted they will work with the subject matter experts to include modifications in training. They are also working on projects related to the delivery side, such as the new Train the Trainer, which are not dependent on the Strategic Plan.
We do want you to know that there is a plan. At our November retreat (see the article elsewhere in this Times) we will be sharing that plan, and the variables, with Area and Region training chairs. We also want you to know that our goal is to do it right so that training is effective, fun, and accessible.
Watch this page and other BSA communications for news.
Mandatory Training Update
How can we possibly get all of our leaders trained? That’s a question we’ve been asking for years and one which we undertook to answer through a three-year pilot program which concluded at the end of 2011. The results were somewhat enlightening.
Some 20 Councils were invited to participate in a graduated mandatory training program to see just how much of a difference we could make on the effectiveness of our leaders, simply through training. About sixty additional Councils nation-wide, who were not included in the pilot, have implemented some type of mandatory training program.
As it turns out, the Councils who have been voluntarily implementing a “required training” policy are much more successful at getting leaders trained than those who were asked to do the very same thing through our pilot. In fact, without exception, those Councils who made their own decisions to require training far exceeded the performance of the pilot Councils. Through a brief outcomes survey, we were able to isolate a couple of their challenges.
The single largest obstacle to increasing the percentage of trained leaders was record keeping. Dare we say it out loud? The current ScoutNET just isn’t very friendly when it comes to recording and tracking training records. As a result many Councils just quit trying. This isn’t a reflection on their desire to have leaders trained but rather a decision on how they use the limited manpower resources within their service areas to complete paperwork.
The other big challenge was the lack of training opportunities. It only stands to reason that if we want more people trained it will require more training opportunities. Providing frequent training, conveniently located, is a key to increasing the number of trained leaders.
Another challenge is the loss of unit volunteer leaders, real or just unregistered. We found that some units in councils with an all leader policy (as opposed to just direct contact or top leader policy) did not register untrained committee members and/or assistant leaders at recharter time. Or they used the new 92U (Unit College Scouter Reserve) to register individuals who were not really in that category but just did not, or were not able to, get trained. Some data indicates a loss greater that 10%. This loss is worrisome for many reasons. We also know that many of these individuals are still participating in the program.
What have we learned from this pilot is that unless there is a personal and local commitment to training, there will not be sufficient resources dedicated to do what it takes to increase the number of trained leaders, and that reflects on the quality of the program we are delivering to our Scouts.
We do still support local council mandatory training in councils that want to make it a part of their council operation plan! Training is critical to the success of a unit and the Scouting program experienced by youth. But as a result of this pilot we know the challenges. Councils need to be prepared to make it happen, and we need to give them the tools to help. The new MyScouting and Unit and District Tools training modules (see the article elsewhere in this Times) are steps in that direction.
As we work to improve training, and the training records, we will be making additional recommendations to local councils and to the National Council.
In the meantime, we need you who understand the importance of quality training to champion the cause in your local service areas and help leaders learn whether it is required or not. Thanks for all you are doing!
Your message was heard loud and clear and as a result a new and improved CubCast will be unveiled on November 1st.
CubCast has been a great tool for sharing new information about the Cub Scouting program and for helping leaders with questions about how to improve their dens and packs.
During our transition month we will be re-airing the October 2011 CubCast on Citizenship, but it’s a great episode so we didn’t think you’d mind.
When you tune in in November you’ll notice that Instead of two shorter segments the new changes will include a single, but longer, podcast. This will allow us to delve a bit deeper into those topics that you really want to know more about.
Additionally, we’re introducing some new co-hosts who are experienced Cub Scouters that we think you’ll love, along with a great new theme song. Tune in and tell us what you think.
You can find us by clicking on the CubCast tab at www.scouting.org/ScoutCast.
Youth Protection Training
Our guess is that a lot of you took Youth Protection Training in 2010 to attend the jamboree, or because that was the first year it became mandatory. If that’s the case, it is two years later and time to take it again!!
It is very important that we do all we can to protect our youth and that we stay up to date on how we can all do Scouting Safely. Be sure to bookmark and visit the Youth Protection web site at www.scouting.org/youthprotection
Volunteer Development Conferences at Philmont
The 2012 Conferences at the Philmont Training Center were among the most successful ever! It was the largest single year overall attendance increase ever, and the conference attendance was the 11th best in the 63-years of PTC operation. Feedback from participants has been great!
Here are the 2013 Volunteer Development and Training Committee offerings:
June 9 - 15
Conducting Advanced Leadership Training
June 16 - 22
Training Your Troop's Youth Leaders
Training Your Crew's Youth Leaders
June 23 - 29
July 6 - 12
July 21 - 27
July 28 - August 3
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
For a full list of all 2013 conferences and course information, go to www.philmontrainingcenter.org. To register for a conference, go to www.MyScouting.org.
The purpose of The Bridge is to provide a summary of National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) skills to those youth who have been unable to attend a council NYLT course for reasons beyond their control. The Bridge course reviews all of the key leadership skills taught in NYLT, which are then reinforced by the experiential learning environment of the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE).
It is primarily aimed at Venturers and older Boy Scouts in councils that do not offer an NYLT course. It is preferred that NAYLE participants attend a full NYLT course before attending NAYLE.
The syllabus can be found on the “Adult” tab of the training page on Scouting.org.
Unit and District Tools
Adding Unit and District Tools to MyScouting.org is the next step in moving toward a more user-friendly, self-service oriented BSA member web site - and to provide tools that will help trainers (and others) manage the process by having access to the data they need. These new tools will be the first piece in a new BSA membership database that is currently being built.
Unit Tools will eventually give unit leaders, volunteers, parents, and Scouts the opportunity to take and track training, perform rechartering, maintain advancement, plan activities, and more. The new Unit and District Tools application will also give the unit Key 3 the ability to access their rosters and update contact information for unit members.
Unit Tools will be released in multiple phases. Phase I (set for release this fall) will include the basic items, while Phase II is set for release later this year and will include additional tools.
The new features that will be introduced in Phase 1 for units are the following:
- Security Administration: The unit Key 3 (unit leader, committee chairman, chartered organization representative) will have full administration on all unit-modifiable fields
- Person Profile: Allows updating of contact fields in membership record (excluding name and birth date)
- Unit Access: Unit registered adults will have read-only access to rosters, calendars, announcements, etc.
- Unit and District Calendar: Ability to publish calendar events for respective viewing by organization-specific adult leaders/volunteers
- Unit and District Announcements: Ability to publish important information for respective viewing by organization-specific adult leaders/volunteers
- Unit Roster: Unit roster will be made available and exportable
The new features that will be introduced in Phase 1 for districts are the following:
- Person Profile: Allows updating of contact fields in membership record (excluding name and birth date)
- Security Administration–District: The Key 3 (district chairman, district commissioner, district executive and professional management staff) will have full administration on all district-modifiable fields.
- Unit and District Calendars: Ability to publish calendar events for respective viewing by organization-specific adult leaders/volunteers
- Unit and District Announcements: Ability to publish important information for respective viewing by organization-specific adult leaders/volunteers
- District Roster: Unit and District rosters will be made available and exportable.
Phase II is scheduled to include more detailed, position-oriented items including the first of many training report and entry functions.
Also as part of this effort a new training report feature will soon be available (depending on registered role) in MyScouting.
Unit Training Detail
The Unit Training Detail report will be provided to unit adults holding the Unit Leader, Committee Chair, and Chartered Organization Representative positions in their units. Unit Training Detail will provide each unit with a listing of adults and display all BSA training courses shown as completed in the persons’ record. Key unit adults who are affiliated with several units will be able to select each unit individually for viewing. For example, a chartered organization representative for a pack, troop, team, and crew will be able to view all units. The adult training information may be printed in a report or exported for the use of the unit to provide an inventory of training courses completed by all to the unit’s adult leaders.
Unit Training Tracking Report
The Unit Training Tracking report will be provided to council and district-level volunteers. Unit Training Tracking will allow volunteers to view each unit in their service area and will list adults with BSA training courses completed by unit. The adult training information report may be printed by unit, or exported to provide an inventory of training courses completed.
These new reports are scheduled to be released before the end of 2012. The release of the other phases will follow as they are ready.
Den Leader Training Award
For the past few years the Den Leader knots did not have award to go with them. As you may or may not know, the idea behind the knots is that they represent awards and are not awards themselves. We got away from that in some cases - including this one.
In our discussions during the update of the training award requirements, it occurred to us that we should bring back the Den Leader Training Award medal. The old one had a green and white ribbon with the “Cub Scout diamond,” but the Cub Scouters among us held out for Blue and Gold!
The Supply number for the new award is 615864.
Training Committee Retreat
Over the first weekend in November the National Training Committee will hold (or held depending on when you read this) a retreat at the Philmont Training Center. Also included in the retreat will be area and region training and program impact volunteers.
As of this writing, 56 individuals will be in attendance!
The goal of the retreat is to look at where we are and where we are going with regards to volunteer training at the unit level and in our advanced leadership training. The retreat will give us the opportunity to get to know each other better and share ideas that will help this team help you help leaders learn how to carry out their role in Scouting.
This is a first of its kind event for us, and as you can imagine it will be exciting! We will have a full report in the Winter Times.
Are you on Facebook? If so, have you found the BSA training page? Some of the articles in this Training Times came from suggestions on that page.
We already have nearly 3,000 “likes” and it is growing every day. Encourage your Facebook friends to join us. You can find the page at www.facebook.com/BSAtrainingteam
Our training design task forces have been working with the National Commissioner’s Service Team on an update to some of their training courses. A new Commissioner Basic Training and Commissioner College Courses will soon be available. Keep an eye on the Commissioner page and The Commissioner Newsletter for details - and a whole lot more! www.scouting.org/commissioners
T3 - Train the Trainer
If you read the last issue of the Training Times, or attended a training-related conference at Philmont this summer, you heard about a new train the trainer conference - T3 (or T-Cubed) the Basics - that we are working on. We tested it three times at PTC and found that there are a few things we still need to work on - but we are very close and are working hard to get it out this year!
We gave it to a team of our instructional designers and they tested it at the Master Trainer conference in September. They are now making a few adjustments and getting it ready for you. As soon as it is done it will be available for download on www.scouting.org/training/adult.
For those of you who are not aware, this course is part one of a series of train the trainer courses and is being designed to help trainers, regardless of previous experience but especially new trainers, with presenting effective training. It is designed to help a trainer understand how adults and youth learn, the training model in the BSA, and effective methods of instruction.
Part two - The Trainer's EDGE - supplements the practices offered through staff development of training courses and enhances the platform skills of a trainer learned in part one, using the Trainer's EDGE and other methods. This is the current course and will still be for all trainers to improve training skills, but is especially for training managers and staff of advanced leadership training courses.
Part three will be for master trainers, a new trainer role (not an award!) that is under development by our instructional design team. It was reviewed for the final time at PTC in September and being readied for roll out in 2013.
Voice of the Scout
Are you aware of Voice of the Scout? We are!
Each Spring and Fall parents, leaders, and youth over the age of 14 are surveyed to determine what they think about their Scouting program. This past spring respondents told us a lot! In our world there were a few things that were especially of interest to us.
- The Scouting program was viewed positively, but inconsistent or poor delivery of the program is frequently mentioned as the cause of a negative experience.
- Parents & volunteers believe worthwhile values are being reinforced and it is the best program around to become successful in life.
- Scouts’ perception is that they learn life skills, advancement aspects are great and they resonate with feeling as if they are part of something bigger.
- They want better organization and general improvements in troop and den meetings.
- Improved leadership through better support, simplified steps, and more leaders are a recommendation made by all groups.
- They want us to provide relevant and improved training to volunteers.
We are using the results of Voice of the Scout as we work to design training for our leaders. We can see where gaps are and what our “customers” think. Too often in the past we have just listened to ourselves.
Hopefully your training team is looking at the results of Voice of the Scout in your council. The fall survey is being conducted now.
2012 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
We enable a training 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
Ron Timmons, Peter Self, Judy Maldonado, team members