There’s an interesting post at Bryan on Scouting this week about the minimum training required for overnight campouts. It’s an important topic, and it begs the question of how to get people to training if they don’t want to go (or say they want to go but keep finding excuses).
One person who commented on Facebook pointed out that every highly trained unit he’s seen has a training champion who promoted training every chance he or she gets. I agree, and I would bet that many of those training champs take their leaders to training instead of sending them to training. (A pack trainer I interviewed a few years back did just that. She said doing so eliminated excuses, demonstrated how valuable training is to her, and gave her the chance to have sidebar discussions about how the course content applied back home.)
Beyond having a designated or de facto training champion in your troop, you should also think about using the three Rs:
* Reimburse: I think every troop should reimburse leaders for completing basic training (usually a minimal expense). Many also set aside money to pay all or part of the fees for Wood Badge and even Philmont Training Center conferences.
* Recognize: Hand out Trained strips as soon as leaders complete training. List trained leaders in your troop newsletter. Hold Wood Badge beading ceremonies at courts of honor. Get your institutional head to send thank-you letters to leaders who complete training.
* Reward: While being trained is its own reward, many troop go a step farther. For example, some cover summer-camp fees for trained adults while asking other adults to pay their own way. Others provide nametags or other rewards. Doing something like this shows that training has tangible benefits to Scouts and adults alike.
Every Scout deserves a trained leader. How does your troop give Scouts what they deserve?