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Taking Scoutmaster/Assistant Leader Specific Training


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#1 JosephMD

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 09:26 PM

I'm taking Scoutmaster / Assistant Leader Specific Training on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to it.  I think I know it all already, but I'm sure I'll learn something.  I've been trying to get this course in for almost three years or so.  Either they were on days that I wasn't available, or I'd sign up and it was canceled, or, some how, I just missed it on the schedule.  I managed to take ILOS a while back, enjoyed that as well.  I don't think I'll be a Scoutmaster anytime soon, and I really don't want to be an assistant at this time, I like my role as a member of the troop committee handling advancement.  I do act as an ASM often as the troop's ASMs can't put in the hours and weekends that would really make them effective. 

 

I suppose I should note - working on my woodbadge ticket in my advancement member of committee right now.


Edited by JosephMD, 10 May 2016 - 09:27 PM.

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#2 T2Eagle

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 11:38 AM

Have fun, come back and tell us what you heard that you didn't know before, or what you heard that was either different from what you had heard before or different from what you thought you knew.


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#3 King Ding Dong

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 11:49 AM

Interesting that you took IOLS without the SM/ASM training first. I suppose every Council structures things differently but in my old Council we had the classroom stuff on a Saturday, formed patrols, met a couple of times over the next two weeks and then had a fri-sun Campout for the outdoor portion and a few lectures. That way we were trained in ALL positions including YPT.

Edited by King Ding Dong, 11 May 2016 - 11:50 AM.

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#4 JosephMD

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 12:12 PM

Interesting that you took IOLS without the SM/ASM training first. I suppose every Council structures things differently but in my old Council we had the classroom stuff on a Saturday, formed patrols, met a couple of times over the next two weeks and then had a fri-sun Campout for the outdoor portion and a few lectures. That way we were trained in ALL positions including YPT.

 

We treat them as completely independent courses.  My district had an ILOS scheduled on a weekend that I could do it, and they cancelled it, but fortunately, a neighboring district was having one the same weekend and I was able to get into their course. 

 

I'm not in a rush to be an ASM or SM, but it doesn't hurt to be trained for the jobs.  I suppose that could spin a different discussion, should MCs be doing ASM stuff like I do?  I guess it really depends on the MC.


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#5 SSScout

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 02:43 PM

Any registered Scouter can take any Scout course.   IOLS is a good camping weekend (at least that's the way it is treated in my District), and you end up being "Trained"!   No reason why a "mere" committee member couldn't take SMS and/or IOLS.    Get the other fellow's perspective, multi task,  be ready to move up or over. 

Like the Jewish granma says, "It couldn't  hoit !? " 


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#6 Stosh

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 03:02 PM

I am trained from Cubs to Venturing.....

 

3 months ago I slipped back into Web II to help the boys crossing over get their AOL and I am in dialog right now with a group of high school kids looking to start a Venturing Crew. 

 

The nice thing about it is this weekend is Web II campout.... Should be interesting.....


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#7 TAHAWK

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 10:38 PM

My oldest council has combined SM position specific and IOLS into a single weekend course.  The outdoor stuff helsp break up the classroom stuff.  The only District Training Chair in that council  (and it's been that way for over four years - just the one) was the main leader and creative force behind this approach.  It has been very well received.  One and done.

 

Why can they go year after year with key positions open?  Not a priority for council.  Other sorts of positions are always filled.


Edited by TAHAWK, 11 May 2016 - 10:40 PM.

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#8 JosephMD

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 01:56 PM

It was a nice course, 5 of us were taking it, I was the only one that wasn't already an ASM

 

There were three Eagle Scouts in the course, myself, and one new leader who had just recently come from cub scouts.

 

We skipped some of the games and stuff and replaced it with additional discussion. 

 

A lot of the time I was thinking to myself, I could totally be teaching this course.

 

Every scouter has an idea of what a scoutmaster should and shouldn't be doing.  Some good ideas come out and some bad ones.  There was discussion of new scout patrol, standard patrol, and older boy patrol that was part of the official course delivery.  Yes, we all know the advantages, but weigh them against the disadvantages.  There was a some discussion about aged based patrols, so that older scouts and younger scouts weren't mixing.  I don't know if I subscribe to that.  I think that in some ways, scouts naturally segregate by age, but there will always be that older scouts that work well with the younger ones, and younger scouts that advance and grow quickly with the program and fit in better with the older scouts.

 

Aims & Methods - always surprises me that scouters don't know these, even parents.  Our trainer noted that if it isn't part of the aims and methods, you shouldn't be doing it.  So, would going to see the latest star wars fit the aims and methods, I don't know, but I wouldn't say that if scouts wanted to get together to watch a movie, that they shouldn't.

 

Talked a little about first class in the first year also.  It still seems to be something that is desired, but less emphasized than I remember it.  The new ST21 requirements make it a little harder to fit that much program into one year, especially when the scouts want to do other fun things as well.  A little discussion on the new program was had all around. 

 

The role of the troop committee had us laugh a little, with the committee on one side and the SM/ASMs on the other, in reality, I think we know that many of us are wearing hats on both sides of the line, myself included. 

 

For me, it was worth it to check the box and say, I've done that training. 


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#9 qwazse

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 09:59 PM

Glad you had a fruitful time. That was a pretty small course, so dispensing with the games was a really good idea.
Over the long term, I think the best thing about those courses is you get to know some people in your district who really care about making scouting run smoothly. It's good to have their numbers.

Good questions to which I have no pat answers except one: Abandon 1st class, 1st year ... and encourage every leader to do so. It's an abuse of the advancement method. Teach skills, and boys will advance. One rank a year is fine. 2 in one year and four years to the next is fine too.
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#10 JosephMD

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 06:16 AM

My thought on first class in the first year is that if you have a good program, an active scout who really wants to do it will have enough opprotunities to earn first class in his first year, or at least close.  I just sat on a second and first class board of review for a scout in my son's troop who earned it in about 14 months.  He had finished up everything but a couple of the swimming requirements and became the squeaky wheel with the SPL about getting in some pool time and the SPL announced that he'd be at the YMCA pool on Saturday at 5 and any scout that wanted swimming requirements should join him there.  My son went just for the fun of it, and this scout showed up and completed it, called the SM for his conferences, and had 3 committee members present for his BoR last week.  When a scout has completed his BoR, the SM is notified and presents the cloth rank patch ASAP, in this case, at last Wednesday's meeting.  This Wednesday the troop is holding a court of honor, which was this scout's motivation to finish when he did.


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#11 qwazse

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 06:58 AM

Absolutely correct! A well-executed patrol method will enable precisely the opportunities for any ambitious kid to advance three ranks in a year. That's not what we're talking about when we say 1st class, 1st year,

The problem arises when adults benchmark the troop based on the majority of crossovers obtaining 1st class in 12 months.
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#12 T2Eagle

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 06:15 PM

Absolutely correct! A well-executed patrol method will enable precisely the opportunities for any ambitious kid to advance three ranks in a year. 
 

Could not be said better.  If a scout is ambitious/motivated, goes to the meetings, and goes to all the campouts it's very possible to achieve FCFY, but those scouts aren't the norm so FCFY shouldn't be the norm.

 

For our troop, we receive most of our crossovers in February or March, and most of them get to First Class the September after their second summer camp.


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#13 TAHAWK

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 06:37 PM

Metrics.

 

For decades, BSA taught that "advancement comes out of good program."  "Program" meant activities - service projects, hiking, camping, backpacking, exciting meetings that built towards outdoor activities.

 

Now I hear about the "advancement program"  - even from B.S.A.     Many parents, and many Scouters, believe advancement is a goal of Scouting.  Summer camps become merit badge mills, and districts run mass merit badge events without complying with Guide to Advancement requirements for even having such a disfavored activity.

 

Some of the best Scouts I have known just were not excited about advancement, but they had the skills and great character.  

 

One of the troops in my old district got tired of hearing they were "under-performing," won the district Advancement Award by a huge margin (157% of the nearest troop - which had won the award three of the previous four years), and then went back to tent camping or backpacking every month of the year in Ohio and PA.    It was quite some time before they were again accused of "under performing."  Their unit number stayed on the top place on the trophy as the record-holder for twenty-seven years - until the district was consolidated out of existence.  


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