Engaging and Empowering Leaders Through Training

Submitted by Darrin Johnson, General Manager at New England Base Camp

When I was told that I would be writing this piece, I decided that I was going to have a little fun with it. I asked a group of Scouts to answer one simple little question, “If you can do anything with your Scout group, what would it be?” Some of them were Boy Scouts, some were Venturers, a couple were Girl Scouts, and a few were Cub Scouts. The list was just want I was hoping for – varied, extreme and long. Here are just a few things that they mentioned: hiking the entire Appalachian Trail (AT), a white water rafting, a trip to the Florida Sea Base, running in a triathlon, build a robot, go ice climbing… The list went on and on, spawned from the imagination of youth.

Personally, I was very fortunate with my Boy Scout Troop growing up. We were youth-led and when we had an idea or something that we wanted to do, our adult leaders did everything to help make sure that it would happen. As youth, we never worried if we would be able to execute some program idea that we came up with (and we came up with some good ones, though never as big as hiking the entire AT), our leaders just did what they had to do in order for us to go on the trip. Some of my favorite outings growing up were getting to shoot a black power rifle, a water skiing weekend, going to Philmont, and a cooking competition that would make “Hell’s Kitchen” look like Sesame Street. Looking back at my Troop now, I have a greater appreciation as to what Mr. Pou and the other leaders of my Troop had to do in order for us to do these activities.

My leaders went out and found the trainings that they needed to take. They attended the courses and then they took us on the camp outs where the program took a special training. Most did not have the skills before they took the course. Some discovered a new passion for the activity that they went to the training for. In fact, at least three of my Assistant Scoutmasters are still assisting with the trainings almost 30 years later! Some took the course because the Scouts in the Troop needed a leader in attendance.

I have a challenge for each of you: expand your horizon.  Every weekend at the New England Base Camp we offer one of more trainings for you to participate in.  Some of these trainings are the more traditional Scouting trainings- like Baloo and Den Leader Specific.  We also offer more specific trainings like Climbing instructor and ServSafe.  This year, we have been introducing more fundamental outdoor trainings like Outdoor Cooking, Introduction to Camping and Introduction to Backpacking.  Take a look around and find one that you want to take.  When you find it, register, attend the class and then share your knowledge and experience with the Scout from your unit leaders.    I promise that they will appreciate it and so will you.

Here are just a few that you can register for today:

This is just a sampling of the type of courses that you can take.  On November 13th, we will be releasing the full training schedule for winter and spring with over 25 different trainings or clinics.

As our founder, Lord Baden Powell, noted, “Every boy deserves a well-trained leader”, and we are here to help.