In an earlier article, Kevin introduced the 10 Keys to Successful Scouting which, when used, can greatly improve your programs. Here’s what he has to say about the key of training:
The first of the keys you’ll need for the job is the KEY OF TRAINING! It is vital to your success and that of the program that you be trained in your duties. Generally, a trained leader is a good one! Training will give confidence to you to use the additional keys of teamwork, youth motivation, the patrol method, calendaring, resources, and Scouting ideals.
Training can help you be better in your role of example and friend for your youth and will help you experience the exhilarating joy of service because YOU’LL BE PREPARED!
As a new leader you should receive a very basic job orientation training by the former leader, the commissioner, committee chairman or whoever recruited you. This is such a broad overview that it is only the “Bandaid” to help you survive the first couple of months on the job. And nowadays, you can take a lot of the real basic training online. This is a good thing for you to complete. Whether you complete your basic training online or in an in-person orientation, you won’t get in-depth skills, but you will get a synopsis of your duties. Hopefully you’ll get just enough (or not enough) to convince you to attend the first available training offered by the local Scout district or council.
As soon as possible—and at all costs—you should plan to attend the basic course. There’s no substitute for this vital training. It will not be easy or convenient to attend. It will, in fact, be a real challenge to attend. Whether in Cub Scouting, Scouting, Varsity Scouting or Venturing, the basic training will involve a substantial commitment of time. That’s true, but it will all be worth it. So, just go for it! Know that you NEED the training and you NEED to attend as soon as possible. You need to make time NOW to attend. Training is the keystone for the future of your program, your success and the development of your boys.
Make basic training a real priority! To say that you don’t need the training is foolishness.
Technically you are required to attend only one full training course per program. I think you’ll want to keep attending, however. That first time you go, you’ll come out with your head swimming. There will be so much that is new that there will be no way you can internalize and implement it after just the one session. By attending the second time you can gain many new skills. You will have been on the job long enough to know how much you don’t know.
Training courses are staged by the local Scout council a couple of times a year. Since they’re only held a time or two per year, it’s critical that you make yourself available to attend the first course that’s offered.
The basic training will help you see the vision of Scouting’s mission, its aims, its ideals and its methods. You’ll return to your unit enthused and ready to DO IT!
After you’ve been to basic training and after you’ve spent a year or so applying and practicing what you learned, then it’s time to go to Wood Badge training. Wood Badge is the ultimate in Scouting’s leadership training. Nothing else can match it.
Sometimes I think we veteran Scouters chase people away from Wood Badge by keeping it some secretive thing that no one can talk about. As a greenhorn leader myself I felt this aura of secrecy radiating from the old timers. Consequently, I successfully dodged it for years.
Having once experienced Wood Badge I was sorry that I hadn’t availed myself of it much earlier. It was one of the truly great experiences of my life.
Since that time I’ve tried to put new leaders at ease with Wood Badge. Without divulging the exact methods of Wood Badge, I’ve explained that “Wood Badge is an advanced training which centers on the Patrol Method. As a member of a patrol, you’ll be able to experience first hand patrol operation, patrol spirit and teamwork. You’ll learn of eleven leadership skills like planning, evaluating, and teaching techniques.
“You’ll apply these leadership skills within the Wood Badge patrol and troop. As you leave Wood Badge you’ll be asked to prepare a ‘TICKET’, a contract listing ways you’ll apply the eleven leadership skills to your home troop, pack or team. You’ll then have up to two years to work your ‘ticket’ and to receive your ‘beads’ at it’s completion.”
Now, doesn’t that put your mind at ease? That’s probably more than you’ve ever known about Wood Badge. It’s a fabulous program! I recommend it highly. You’ll return from Wood Badge so full of the Scouting Spirit that you’ll be hooked forever!
Become trained so that you can function properly and effectively. Remember: A trained leader generally is a good leader.
You’re in for a great adventure as you become trained and begin to use all of these keys. Use them as you wear out your life in service for our kids. There will, no doubt, be some discouraging times, but hang in there. Yours is a mission that will help shape the destiny of future generations yet unborn. No one can thank you enough for your desire to serve.
So, once again, congratulations, “Mr. Scoutmaster!” Thanks for your desire and your training commitment to your boys – the men of tomorrow!
And with that, … WELCOME ABOARD!
Best wishes along your Scouting Trails … Kevin
Excerpt taken from his “Scouting Trails” Book: “Keys to Successful Scouting” at Scoutingtrails Connect with Kevin and read his article: “A Hundred Years of Scouting and What it Has Made Me” and others in Voice of Scouting.