Take Your Scout Position Seriously by Getting Trained

Ensign article: Capturing the Vision of ScoutingLDS Scouters,

Have you paged through this month’s Ensign yet?  Don’t miss the article about Capturing the Vision of Scouting by David Beck, Young Men General President.  He makes some great points about the importance of our stewardship.  He councils us to get properly trained, do hard things, be someone the boys can trust and provide vision and direction to these young men.  I think there is so much depth that gets missed in understanding these responsibilities when we don’t take our Scout calling seriously.

Did you know the national average for trained leaders is only 34.4%?  34%!  What a sad statistic for an organization that’s been around for so long and has such an impact on future husbands, fathers and leaders of our communities!!  As President Beck states in his article:

Training is essential to understanding Scouting and feeling confident that we can implement the program.  Properly trained leaders can better understand Scouting and appreciate the program’s potential to help young men grow.

Charles Dalhquist previously shared a similar perspective! I’ve quoted him before saying:

I know companies that don’t even allow a new employee to step into the plant or office until he has received initial training. They do that because they know that, without training, most individuals will be ineffective in the job they were hired to do. And yet, we call leaders to strengthen, motivate and prepare young men for missionary service and life in general – without one iota of training.

Why is adult training such an issue??  I see the same dismal numbers in my unit as well.  In fact, I just wrote a blurb on this subject for our unit’s newsletter this month.  It reads:

The year is half over.  How are we doing on having trained adult leaders?  In looking at some stats, the Stake goal is 100%, the Ward goal is 75% and we are only at 15%! What’s the reason for such a low percentage?  Did these numbers get mixed up with our Home Teaching reports??

This may be a volunteer organization but we don’t have a choice in WHAT needs to be done.  Our choice is only in HOW we get it done.  In other words, it’s the difference between saying ‘We don’t need to be trained for our positions in Scouting’ versus saying ‘Training takes place several times a year, pick a date and get registered’.  Why then isn’t training taken more seriously?  If we aren’t held accountable by the Bishop or Stake about getting trained, don’t we need to answer to the parents of the boys in our program?!

Maybe this goes back to the misperception that if the boys are happy and parents aren’t complaining, you have a healthy unit.  …or perhaps the reader on the LDS Scouter Blog shines some light on this nation-wide problem in her response to “Are People Afraid”.  It may also involve the negative perception that often comes when someone gets tagged as a “Super-Scouter” as described by Tory on his Adventures and Accidents blog.  In any case, I’d really like to know what those 65% of untrained leaders believe their responsibility is in the Young Men/Scouting program…

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