By Matthew Good
As conclave season rolls around, names like “Building Effective Programs,” “Personal Leadership Development” and “Outdoor Ethics” start sounding familiar. All of these are examples of typical conclave training sessions. Training is an integral part of every conclave weekend but can be overlooked amidst the wide array of other activities going on. C-6A Section Chief Robby Kile, is one of many trainers across the country attempting to change that by turning the tables on the traditional session. His session? “How to Wear a Scout Uniform to a Barbeque.”
How do you wear a Class ‘A’ to a barbeque? “First of all, you probably should not,” says Robby. “It could get dirty pretty quick.” Robby says his session focuses more on how to have fun at social events and how to wear the uniform correctly, but he also devotes time on how to enjoy a barbeque. He will have participants text in answers to polls asking what their favorite barbeque food is, what they like to do at one and other questions. He is cleverly disguising lessons on how to socialize and make friends in a conversation on how to have fun. He also spends time talking about general tips on proper wearing of the uniform, yet without going too much in depth on the official guidelines.
Robby’s session joins the ranks of other prolific sessions such as “How to Pick Up a Girl in a Scout Uniform” and “A Pyromaniac’s Guide to the Forest” that are intended to be more funny and lighthearted while still teaching valuable skills. These sessions break the traditional mold for conclave training, introducing a new way to train Arrowmen, one that can be a little more fun and interactive. They also follow Robby’s guiding mindset, thinking out of the box with new and exciting ideas.
Robby says the intended takeaway from his session is not how to have fun at a barbeque or how to wear a uniform correctly, but that each and every Arrowman is the face of the Boy Scouts and has the responsibility and honor of representing the BSA.
“You are the living, breathing voice of Scouting; straight out of the cover of a Boys’ Life magazine,” he says. This could not be more true for Arrowmen and “How to Wear a Scout Uniform to a Barbeque” is the best way to realize it.
Training is not only a vital part of a conclave, but Scouting in general. You can learn more about OA training opportunities and find out how to create dynamic, engaging training sessions for your chapter or lodge just like Robby Kile did by checking out training.oa-bsa.org and lld.oa-bsa.org.