Posted 04 September 2002 - 04:28 PM
Thanks for the good info, Bob. Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but here are a few thoughts/observations from the trenches:
1) If BALOO is mostly administrative/health/safety and WLOT is mostly outdoor skills, how does WLOT train me to take my Webelos den camping? Since BALOO isn't a Webelos leader requirement, where do I get the health and saftey training?
2)WLOT and IOLS are being offered together next week by our council. If the courses are similar enough to be taught by the same team and at the same time and place, why can't the courses be combined or at least made reciprocal? Of course there are Webelos subjects that don't apply to Boy Scouts and vice versa, but the similarities strongly outweigh the differences. As a trainee, I would rather sit through an extra hour of training which doesn't apply to me rather than have to repeat another entire weekend of training a year from now. To put it another way, if I'm a Webelos II den leader, why would I want to take WLOT now, knowing that at crossover in February I'm going to need IOLS. It doesn't seem to be a good use of the volunteer's time.
3) Same point relating to Cub Scout position-specific courses. I've taken every course except Cubmaster. I also had the old Basic Cub Scout Leader Training. Except for Tiger Den Leader (which was my first position-specific course) the others repeated 85% of the same information. You said the courses are designed as a continuum, but I disagree. Each course is designed to accommodate a new volunteer at each position. Over the four courses, you get the same introductory-level information, but never the next level. As I said in a post a couple weeks ago, if I have to play the Pin-the-Badge-on-the-Cub-Scout-Uniform game again, I'll scream.
My point is that National has created many distinctions among the courses with few differences. The training is very broad but also fairly shallow. The number of questions raised on this board by very good, and well-trained Scouters tells me there is a deficiency in the training.
A solution? When Mr. Williams calls for my advice, here's what I tell him: Don't slice the training by position, rather organize the classes by experience and/or responsiblity. "Cub Scout Leader I" could be program basics and getting started as a Den Leader. "CSLII" is more indepth as to programming and working with boys, health and safety. "CSLIII" is more advanced, includes leadership skills, how to recruit leaders, dealing with Scout retention, working with the professionals, (many of the topics addressed on this board).
In my experience, a brand-new Tiger Leader has much more in common with a new committee member than he or she does with a more experienced leader who is taking on Pack- or district-level responsibilities.
When I became Committee Chairman, I took the Committee position-specific course. It was an absolute waste of my time. It would have been terrific as a basic course for a new Blue & Gold chairman, or Uniform closet coordinator. But as a Scouter with a couple years experience, I can't recall any new information. No specifics about the proper way to handle money, what records the committee needs to keep, etc. So where do I go to learn to be Committee Chairman?