I Got Trained This Weekend!

I have been a Boy Scout or Scouter for much of my life. I started as a Cub in 1968, aged out as a Boy Scout at 18, and aged out again as an Explorer at 20. I became a Girl Scout leader with Raegan in 1988 (and still am). I came back into Boy Scouts in 1992, and was a leader on and off for a couple years until 2001, when Ian came in as a Tiger. I’ve been a leader since then.

So I would like to become an Assistant Scoutmaster, and perhaps even a Scoutmaster for some Troop. The Boy Scouts had no required training throughout all this time, and only had one required training in the past couple years (that was Youth Protection, a good thing to have). Raegan and I took all kinds of training through the Girl Scouts (things like Troop Camp, First Aid, and the like), and some Cub training (BALOO in particular comes to mind). This was all on top of the experience both of us had as Scouts as kids, and our literally hundreds of nights of camping experience.

But just this year, there has been a push to have formal training for all adults that work with kids. I took a bunch of training offered online, in fact, everything I could take. For a potential Scoutmaster (or Assistant), there are two trainings that you need to have face to face. These are Scoutmaster Essentials, and Introduction to Outdoors Leadership (IOLS). I took SM Essentials at the University of Scouting mass training held about a month ago in OKC, and then signed up for IOLS, which I took this past weekend.

As might be expected, the volunteers who put this training on were enthusiastic and motivated. The format was two days in camp. I packed up my backpack for an overnighter (except I didn’t take fuel for my MSR stove), and off I went at 0820 Friday. I got to camp, got checked in and assigned to a Patrol (the Cobras), got my tent set up, had opening ceremony, and then… nothing until lunch.

Over the next day and a half, we had lecture and demonstration in skills such as fire building, lashing, camp wood tools, knot tying, map and compass, and the like. The most interesting part to me was the fire building. Although Raegan has been taking a helpful fire starter to every GS camp she has been on for the past couple years, this was the first time I have seen one of the cotton ball-and-Vaseline starters used – WOW! That stuff can burn!

We also cooked together as patrols, and I learned how to cook eggs and sausage in a ziplock; that will be forced on some kids in Troop 15 (NO MORE BAGELS!).

So now I’m a trained SM/ASM. I got pitched pretty hard to attend Wood Badge, we’ll see about that.

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One Response to “I Got Trained This Weekend!”

  1. Raegan Says:

    The eggs in baggies are fun to do. We’ve done them on troop camps before, with yummy additions like cheese, ham, spinach, tomatos, mushrooms, etc. Don’t put too much in or it gets too runny to cook! Make those boys do a decent breakfast! *amused*

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