Getting onboard with the Scout Nation Fit Club, I have decided to dust off my bike and start riding that a bit…seems as though it’s accumulated about 10 years worth of dust and the pedal was broken. I took the bike to a local bike shop to have the pedal repaired, and they had it done within a couple of days. Today, I decided to go for a ride, get about 3 blocks down the street and the pedal comes off again…not happy, because this time, the nut holding the pedal on is gone, and the pedal arm is all the way off…so I started to walk, once again, and not being happy about pushing my bike.
I get back in the house and hold up the pedal arm (don’t know the terminology, but it’s the pedal and bar thing) to show my wife…she asked what happened, I told her, and she asked if I called them. I said “no, I needed to walk back so that I wouldn’t be angry on the phone”. I grabbed my phone, and called. They told me to bring it back and they would fix it.
So I loaded my bike in my car, again, and took it to the shop. While there, a couple different employees looked at it and nobody could fix it right there. One older gentleman said to have the owner look at it and asked if I could leave it there. I said “sure, I want it fixed the correct way.”
I handed him one of my Scoutmaster cards (it has all my particulars on it) and he looked at the card, looked at the card, and then me, then the card, then me again…”you’re a Scoutmaster?”
“Yup, for Troop 1363, in Ashwaubenon. Are you a Scoutmaster for a troop?”
“Yes, for the training troop.”
“Oh, OK…um, what’s the training troop?”
“That the group that trains Scoutmasters in the district. You must be new or untrained, because I don’t recognize you or your name.”
“Oh, I am trained…I got my indoor completed in Gathering Waters (district) and completed my IOLS in Lakeshore (district).”
“Why would you do that? You are getting a good experience with going to another district. You would have gotten more out of coming to our training.”
Now, before I go into my mini-rant mode, I have to explain that our district offers SM training once a year…in January and February…and it’s all indoors. There is no tent camping, nor outdoor activities. It’s run at a council camp, and we stay for the weekend in a heated building. It has been brought up many times why there is only one session per year, and the BS training chair stated that he is only going to do it once, because that’s all he has time for and that’s all he wants to do. This same group of “trainers” are really just a group of old drinking buddies, who don’t believe in doing this for the good of the scouts, but only for the good of themselves, and as an excuse to get out for the weekend and walk around the council like they own the place…my thoughts and opinions, but I am not alone in my thinking…so I will leave it at that.
I also have to note that I thought my training was wonderful…I met a lot of great scouters, got treated well, and formed friendships that I know that I will have for a long time. My trainers were great guys, knowledgeable and worked their butts off to put these sessions together. They didn’t misquote things, nor did they mention that they go outside the BSA guidelines…meaning that they didn’t say things like “although the BSA frowns on it, we do ______ “…in my opinion, those are the things that make a training session good…no personal agendas, moving it right along, and having fun.
So, back to the conversation…I looked right at him and said “Our district only offers one session per year…offer more sessions, like a spring and fall session, and more scouters wouldn’t have to go outside the district.”
The trainer stated “We hold them in the winter like that because troops are doing anything….they are in their slow months.”
“Well, not mine…we have plans to troop camp both January and February, and tag-along on another pack campout in February. Combine that with the B&G dinners, recruiting, Red & Green dinner (thanks Jerry), troop training, regular meetings, and prepping for crossover, we have more than a busy schedule. My assistants are going to complete their training either at summer camp, or in November in Lakeshore (district). That’s squeezing it in for them, but they are committed to getting it done.”
“Meh, that training that they will get at summer camp will just be a signature…don’t you want truly trained ASMs or just ones who have their stuff signed off?”
“My guys will get their training, and it won’t be just on paper. Training will be an ongoing thing for us, it always has been, and always will be…and we do it all year around. That’s something that the district might want to think about.”
And with that, he had nothing more to say…nor did I…
I walked out the store, knowing that although I didn’t want to get into a discussion in a bike shop about scouting, that I was in the right, and I felt good about it.
…I just hope they fix my bike soon…