Guest Author - Erik Moeller
As stated in the opening paragraph of the Leadership Committee training Guide, the goal of the BSA training program is to provide adult leaders with an understanding of the goals and aims of Scouting along with specific training in the role each Scouter plays within the Scouting organization. The intent is to produce a trained leader who is “knowledgeable and confident” and who presents himself in this manner to the Scouts.
Who is responsible for having a good training program? Everyone from the Council to the individual needs to be involved if a training program is to be successful.
• The Council must set standards and assist districts in running programs. It must also sponsor programs to train District personnel.
• Districts need to have training programs throughout the year and provide training in all areas- Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, district personnel, Youth Protection, etc.
• Troops need to encourage leaders to be trained in their position. If a leader changes positions, he should get retrained in the specifics of that position.
• Individuals need to take the time to become trained and understand the responsibility of their position.
What training classes should be available? Some training should be taken by all leaders. These courses include New Leader Essentials, Health & Safety, and Youth Protection Training.
For Cub leaders there are approximately 14 different courses available from Tiger Cub Leader Fast Start to Pack Committee Member Specific training. There is training for Cubmaster and Den leader; Den chief training and outdoor skills training (BALOO).
For Scouters there are approximately 8 courses including Troop Committee Challenges, Outdoor Leader Skills, Troop Junior Leader Training and Boy Scout Leader Fast Start.
Venturing and Varsity Scouters have similar training to those available to Scouts, but these sessions focus on the uniqueness of the specific program.
District training includes Commissioner Orientation, Roundtable Commissioner Training, District Committee training and training for the Charter Organization Representative.
It might come as a surprise that this many kinds of training exist. Equally surprising is the fact that in order for a District to run properly, there needs to be a person in each one of these positions- and sometimes there needs to be 4 or 5 in a District (Commissioners). It’s pretty easy as an individual or a troop member to expect that there is a Camporee, or a merit badge college, or a Cub rally for new Cubs to just happen. But without people on the District Committee who take the extra time to make these things happen, Scouting just wouldn’t be what it is today.
Hopefully you can see the importance of being trained for the Scouting position you hold. Hopefully you will also be more receptive when someone on the District Committee staff asks you to help out. It might be more than “one hour a week,” but it is worth it.