August 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue
| Volume 14, Issue
September 2007 Theme
Cub Scout Express
Citizen & Communicator
Tiger Cub Activities
Bill Smith, the Roundtable Guy
column adds onto last month’s column where Cronk’s Club was
introduced to Baloo Readers. This column is aimed at district
workers, especially trainers and Commissioners. Pack trainers
will find it interesting as well.
Boys quit Cub
Scouting because they don’t like the meetings, or because there
are no meetings.
The good news is
that people are now
working hard to fix things.
Why are so
many of our leaders untrained? A lot stems from the practice of
pressuring parents into leadership jobs with unrealistic
promises and job descriptions. It’s only going to take and hour
a week! We often do a poor job of recruiting leaders and often
fail to recruit the best. Selling training must be part and
parcel of recruiting leaders.
We don’t sell
training very well. Commissioners should make trained leaders
their highest priorities. Each Unit Commissioner should have an
accurate and up-to-date picture of the training status of each
unit served and work hard to improve it. Roundtables are
excellent places to promote training.
The folks that
lead our dens and packs are busy people. Their time is valuable
and we must make our training worth their time and effort if we
want them to attend. If, in addition to all the time spent
preparing and holding pack or den meetings, you are expected to
attend long training sessions and Roundtables, then those extras
had better be good. For many leaders that also may require
arranging or purchasing child care. Training isn’t cheap.
The cost of
untrained leaders is even higher. It is measured by the
frustrations of volunteers who watch dens disintegrate and
families pull out despite all their efforts and grief. This cost
is borne by disappointed boys who were promised so much when
they joined but never experienced the fun and adventure we
advertise. Also the cost is paid with the reputation of Scouting
when we make these empty promises knowing all the time that we
lack the resources to keep them.
We also have
to make our training available when and where it fits the
schedules and life styles of the leaders who need training.
District training teams need the strength and flexibility to
make training available when any leader needs it.
Training must be
there at the drop of a hat.
training is lackluster and just plain dull. There’s no reason
for it. Pow Wows and Universities of Scouting (often staffed by
those same trainers) are often fun and exciting. The new
training scheduled for later this year promises to be more
interactive with lots of learn-by-doing stuff.
We need to
send our leaders back to their packs and dens knowing how to
make their meetings boy friendly. We must teach our leaders to
do their primary jobs: leading with enthusiasm and flair.
One of the keys
to building stronger training teams is the
Trainer Development Conference. This is typically a
Council run event. All district training team members,
pack/troop trainers, Roundtable staff, and commissioner trainers
should attend. Two vital concepts in the present conference are:
learn differently than children do. Adults come to training
sessions with fixed agendas and goals. They also come with
diverse skills and experience. If we fail to recognize these
characteristics when we train our leaders, then our training
fails. If our training fails, so too the unit programs will
fail. Training must be interactive so that the training staff
learn and then meets the needs of the leaders being trained.
• How to
put the "PIZZAZZ" into whatever you
training is dull, then their packs and den programs will be dull
too. Selling fun and pizzazz to those cool, urbane adults
requires a bit of skill. Some folks balk at first and need a bit
of convincing that fun is essential and that they are capable of
surviving a few games and stunts.
The Trainer Development Conference incorporates numerous
contemporary training techniques and emphasizes the importance
of experiential learning, or "learning by doing." The training
sessions not only demonstrate good training methods, but give
participants an opportunity to interact and practice what they
have learned. Monmouth Council
How Adults Learn, J. R. Kidd, Association Press.
Adult Education, G. G. Darkenwald, S. B Merriam. Harper & Row.
Cronk’s Club – Cub Scout Leader Training Challenge, Sioux
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