Friday, September 28, 2012

Are You a Trained Leader? (part two)

So, once you're wearing the Trained patch, you're done with training right? Well, sorry, but there's always something new to learn.

Here are several learning opportunities that you shouldn't miss:

1. Roundtable - is a monthly meeting for Scouters in all assignments. It's held on a district basis, and falls under the stewardship of the District Commissioner. Typically there's a 10 minute opening session and then break-outs in to functional groups by role. Roundtable is a great learning opportunity because discussions tend to be about the practical steps of implementing Scouting, not just the theory of how it should work.

The BSA labels Roundtable 'supplemental training' and the content isn't developed by National. Instead, you'll get a mini lesson from a Scouter just like you. This provides for a great deal of flexibility, but not all lessons will be great. My suggestion to get the most out of Roundtable is to participate in the discussions and ask questions.

2. Wood Badge - any discussion of Scout training wouldn't be complete with a mention of Wood Badge! Wood Badge is a week-long advanced leadership course for adults involved in Scouting. The reason that Wood Badge is so heralded by past attendees is that it truly is a transformative week. In essence, it builds testimonies of Scouting. In non-LDS terms, you will often hear about 'building the fire' of Scouting.

Attending Wood Badge is a sacrifice. Ballpark costs are $160, plus a week of vacation time. However, the sacrifice is worth it. Wood Badge staff members are highly trained and highly motivated. The curriculum is developed by National, and is highly controlled to make all Wod Badge courses consistent. It's common to hear graduates talk about Wood Badge as 'life-changing'. It's hard to describe why, but that 's not hype.

On a side note, Wood Badge is a great destination for Bishoprics or Stake Presidencies who are unsure about the value of Scouting in their area. Active Scoutmasters could do a lot worse than to persuade their Bishop to attend Wood Badge!

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