Outdoor 2 Training Weekend March 2011
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Girl Scouts of Western Washington’s weekend training held at camp Robbinswold on Hood Canal. The weather was the typical Washington State weather: rain, cold, and more rain. After slow progress thru the Tacoma’s Friday evening’s traffic (I discovered a lot of really neat garbage along Interstate 5), I arrived at Camp Robbinswold, a beautiful Girl Scout camp located on Hood Canal, north of Hoodsport.
Our Outdoor 2 started Friday night and ran thru Sunday. I must confess that I wasn’t looking forward to spending the last weekend of March outside. It is cold and rainy; not my idea of fun. I’d much rather be inside with the gas fireplace. Nevertheless, I was going to be outside learning about taking Girl Scouts camping.
What can an Eagle Scout like me learn at a Girl Scout training event? To be honest, the Girl Scouts run an awesome training program and I learned a lot! The weekend turned out to be very informative, well run, and fun. The Outdoor 2 class was taught by three experienced Girl Scout leaders: Donna, Debbie, and Ranger. Overall, I had a great time and would highly recommend these three instructors if you are looking for an Outdoor 2 with the Girl Scouts of Western Washington.
Our class was held outside in a picnic shelter. We discussed Leave No Trace, Dutch oven cooking, box oven baking, cleaning, cooking, keeping warm, etc. on a typical rainy western Washington day. My fellow classmates were mostly women (Russ and I being the only men) and their experience ranged from brand new leaders, to experienced leaders, to soon to be retired WSU employees (with no kids but still helping with a troop). A fair amount of us had camping experience and leading youth groups so we were able to contribute to the discussions in a meaningful way.
One thing I like about the Girl Scout program is that they require you to do the training before you take the Girl Scouts out on a camp out. In fact, before you can take a trip that is longer than four hours, you must take Outdoor 1 (on top of the other perquisite training). This Outdoor 2 really was a good example for new leaders and I was happily impressed with it.
The ladies that lead the weekend were very impressive with their years of knowledge and experience. Ranger, Donna, and Debbie were excellent and I would take another class from them. They were easy to approach with questions, listened, offered suggestions, and were truly very good at their instructor duties.
A few people that know me look at me kind of funny when I mention I had to take the Girl Scouts’ training. They usually ask, aren’t you an Eagle Scout, a former Den Leader, and a current Assistant Scoutmaster? Do you really need to take the training? I probably don’t need to take the camping training but as a Girl Scout Leader, I am required to take it. Overall, I have no arguments with taking the training and being trained in the Girl Scout way. All of the Girl Scout training classes have been excellent with great instructors, an information packet that pertains to the class at hand, and all delivered with a great love of Girl Scouting. While I might have a lot of experience and knowledge, I do not know the Girl Scout way and therefore the training is very good.
However, that isn’t to say that what I bring to the table is discounted or not respected. The Girl Scout leaders have been great to learn from and have welcomed my thoughts, insights, and jokes (I’ve kept my sarcastic wit in check much to my wife’s amazement). Hopefully, my jokes were amusing and didn’t put anyone down (besides myself!).
Overall, the weekend was a great one and I really enjoyed myself. I think the Girl Scouts have a great program. If you have a daughter, I would definitely recommend them joining Girl Scouts. Now, please keep in mind that you might end up being a leader; however, with all of the training offered by the Girl Scouts, you will be well equipped for an excited experience in Scouting.
However, if you are a bit nit picky or have a hard time handling more than one child at a time (please read my previous blog posting of how I ended up at the Outdoor Leadership Training (https://khellriegel.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/is-my-child-really-that-bad/), then you probably should let someone who really enjoys kids lead the troop. Or take a step back and re-evaluate your own life….I’m just saying….
As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments! Please leave me a comment!