Tuesday Talkback: How do you get other Scouters to get trained?

Tuesday-TalkbackRandy has tried begging, peer pressure and guilt-tripping, but no matter what the Scoutmaster does, he still can’t get every adult in Troop 339 trained.

“I have a handful of parents in my troop who say they don’t have time to get trained,” he writes. “How do I show them the value of training? I feel like I’ve tried everything.”

Sound familiar?

The BSA’s training continuum, which begins with mandatory Youth Protection training and continues through high-level courses like Wood Badge, help turn run-of-the-mill parents into Scouting superheroes.

But in training, like anything in life, 95 percent of success comes from just showing up.

For today’s Tuesday Talkback, answer this: How do you get reluctant adult leaders to attend online and in-person training? Leave a comment to help Scouters like Randy with this important problem.

Read responses from 2007

See Scouting magazine’s 2007 article

100 thoughts on “Tuesday Talkback: How do you get other Scouters to get trained?

  1. I think this topic is so important, I wanted to codify and summarize the responses. Here they are…

    • Appeal to moral side, i.e. they are not being a good example until they get trained. (Kevin W.)
    • Provide them with one-small-steps at a time to getting them trained (Andrew)
    • Appeal to common sense, “would you want your son heading into the woods with a leader who is not trained? (Charles J.)
    • Show the leaders/parents that for their boys to get out of scouting all they can, they need to be trained. (Mark J.)
    • Publish / find training in other districts so there is more opportunities. (Ron)
    • For Cub leaders, there’s no excuse since all of the [basic] training is online. (Ron)
    • Point out that if the Youth are better trained than the adults, something needs to change. (James C.)
    • Take the time to explain the value of training and get them to buy-in to the reasons why. (Dave M.)
    • Explain that in the end, they are saving themselves time down the road since the training will help them accomplish their job more effectively. (Mitzi K.)
    • Try to get a “culture of training” going in your unit. Then then it becomes 2nd nature to get trained. (Jon H.)
    • With the new myscouting.org, key 3 can now see who is and isn’t trained….or at least if it’s not accurate. Use this to get records straight and inform those who need training to do so. (Jon H.)
    • Guilt works. I’ve had good luck convincing parents with the phrase “Every boy deserves a Trained Leader.” (Mikerossander)

    • Set up on-line training during a troop meeting (Deaf S.)
    • Training offered at Council, District or Unit camping events like Camporee, etc. (Deaf S.)
    • For large districts, have the area broken down into teams of trainers who can target specific areas that need training. (Jon H.)
    • Show YPT video at first pack meeting to all parents. (Wade)
    • Have the unit subsidize or pay for expensive course like Wood Badge as an incentive. (Mikemenn)

    Allowing Participation
    • Don’t let them take part in unit activities until trained. (Kevin W.)
    • If a leader can’t find the time to take training, maybe they shouldn’t be a leader (Jon H.)
    • Require parents to take YPT before they can join overnight trips. (Charles J.)
    • Those who refuse or can’t be trained, remove them from leadership. (Ron)
    • Do not allow “grandfathering”. If you haven’t had it, then you have to take it. (John H.)
    • Council changes recharter requirements that top unit leaders are fully trained by end of the year. (John H.)
    • Require all leaders to take applicable safety courses before they can go on an overnighter. (Carey)
    • State to a potential leader that they must complete training by a certain date before they can accept. (Robert)

  2. How do I get a SM to get trained??? He has all of the on-line requirements but, he has yet to go to ITOLS

    • In the end, it’s the responsibility of the Committee Chair and the Charter Organization Rep to approve, deny or remove leaders. Both the CC and COR have to sign application.

      In fact, by signing the adult application for the individual, the person should have been vetted with at least an interview about being a leader. By signing the adult application, the CC and COR are stating that they approve of this person being in that leadership role.

      If an SM or any leader isn’t living up to his or her responsibilities and requirements, then it is the responsibility of the CC and/or COR to remove that person.

    • What are his excuses for not getting trained? There really is no way around going to the weekend training and taking the course. Now our unit has been ok’d to teach the course so once a year in Dec. while the scouts are gorging themselves on video games, we have an “adult” campout and do IOLS. It has so many benefits. Allows our program leaders who don’t get to interact on a monthly basis to talk and compare and make sure we are all still on the same page.

      At the same time not asking for an extra weekend. This has become so popular that none of the trained leaders even skip it. It reenergizes us as a leadership and we have some great food and fellowship as well.

  3. Some wonderful feedback and suggestions!

    Our Pack issue is actually finding leaders! The tendency is to take anyone who even shows a slight interest and then strongly recruit promising it doesn’t take too much time or effort! The result, leaders who don’t put much time and effort into the program!

    While I read many ultimatums, the one ultimatum we have difficulty has always been to mandate participation by both boys and parents. We still don’t get the participation because there is no real consequence or follow through. Our tendency is to error with the concept “It’s all about the boys!”

    As a committed leader it is in the interest of the boys “why” I volunteer. The truth I discovered is “It’s all about the Families” and how they value the program! Maintaining a high level of value through quality leaders is key to a successful program!

    One trait of quality leaders is a desire to do the training and to be exceptional role models. The unpopular solution is to limit the number of boys based on the ability to recruit quality leaders.

    We all know uncommitted leaders and families become one more responsibility and frustration to those of us who are committed. We also know it likely goes beyond training to include fundraising, organizing and simply getting the job done! The question then becomes are the “uncommitted” an asset or will they ever become an asset to the organization? If “no,” they shouldn’t be around!

    Let’s honor our committed leaders, families and boys by putting them first!

  4. Boyd K. Packer, a leader in the LDS Church once said, “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the Gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.” In context of your challenge, you may create more results by teaching the ideals of scouting to remind leaders of the great impact scouting has on lives of youth and they may then simply feel motivated to get trained.

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