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Dial O for Opinion December 7, 2009

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,

Hello fellow Scouters,OpinionHat

As I’ve written about previously, I have a pith helmet and a sombrero in my district training gear (see this blog post here). The pith helmet is to remind leaders that Cub Scouting needs to be an adventure. The sombrero is to remind them that it should always be fun. I was working in my garage recently, and I found a hat that I just have to add to my training gear: a hat with a big ‘O’ on it. It’s for our city, which starts with an O. It was probably bought at a cheap tourist shop, and I have no idea how it got in my garage. But I will have a new use for it: it will be my ‘opinion’ hat.

When train, I make sure to cover all the material from BSA. There’s a lot of good stuff, especially with the recent changes in Cub leader training. But every now and then my opinions on the Scouting program come out. Up to now, whenever I started ‘spouting off’ about something that is opinion, I would let the class know that what I was about to say was opinion. I will continue to do that, but now I will put on the hat to make this point more clear. This may seem silly, but I want them to understand that what I’m saying is my opinion, and not official BSA policy.

As a trainer, I do try to stick to the BSA syllabus and keep my opinions to myself. But when someone asks a question, well, sometimes I can’t help myself! We all have opinions on how certain parts of a program should be run, and that’s not a bad thing. Our experience in the program is good for new leaders to hear. That being said, my opinions are good for how I ran things, but not necessarily good for other dens or packs. Each Scouting unit is unique, and something that works for me might not work for others. So my new ‘opinion’ hat is my way of saying ‘your mileage may vary!’

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><



1. TDL_Emily - December 9, 2009

I think this is an excellent point Jeff. I have been to several trainings recently where the Trainers started discussing topics from their personal experiences, which are not necessarily the hard and fast BSA policy.

When one is speaking in a position of authority, such as during a training, one needs to make sure to clarify what is the “rule” or “policy” and what has worked in one’s personal experience.

In a training I attended this past week, the trainer was discussing the policy of the Whittlin’ Chip and docking the corners and how after all 4 are gone, the knife is taken. I was under the impression that was one possible way of dealing with knife safety. Not a hard and fast rule. (Hmmm, a scouting urban legend?)

Keep up the good work– can’t wait for some new podcasts.

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