The title of this post is in jest, but does have a little honesty behind it. First a little background. I will soon be starting on my thirteenth year as an adult leader of our Troop, seventh year as Committee Chairman. I have always strived to be as trained as much I could be, not only for my personal experience, but also for the enjoyment and safety of the entire unit. As Committee Chairman, I am considered fully trained for my position and then some. I have even completed Woodbadge, the highest level of adult training, this year. The Woodbadge experience will be in another post, not today though.
There are two important trainings that I had not completed however, Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills and Scoutmaster Specific. This wasn’t necessarily an avoidance on my part, but rather the simple fact that they are not required for my position in the Troop. That all changed this summer. With Chuck sidelined it was now my responsibility to run the Troop. I found myself ill-prepared, especially for summer camp. It is not that I was uncomfortable with what to do or what needed to be done. Instead I was facing the prospect of not being able to answer basic questions on skills that the kids were bound to ask.
I was never a scout myself, again that story will be in another post. Therefore, I have always felt a little disadvantaged when it came to skills such as knots, lashings, first aid and others. After summer camp, I made a commitment to myself that I was going to learn.
This past weekend I completed the first step of that commitment. I attended the Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills training held at Camp K. The training is a weekend backpacking and tent camping adventure focused on teaching new leaders the skills a youth learns through First Class.
The weekend was cold, 22 degrees at night in fact. Also the outdoor classroom format lends itself to an awful lot of sitting still and shivering in the cold. As most of the kids know, I don’t really like the cold. But I endured. And I am glad I did. The training which is geared towards first year leaders reaffirmed that I know a lot more than I thought. I also discovered that there is a lot that I need to practice on. All in all it was an informative and great experience. And I look forward to taking the indoor Scoutmaster Specific in January.