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Executive Makeover

Ralph Voelker and Kathy Chormicle, professional development special- ists, want volunteers to know that the BSA is making changes to PD-L1 training, the first step toward becom- ing a district executive. More of the PD-L1 training will be

shifted to online-learning modules, they say. A BSA task force that included learning experts from AT&T and ExxonMobil found that many leading organizations have already made that switch. “At this point we’re a little behind,” Voelker says. “We’re still doing a lot of face-to-face train- ing, and most of these companies are not. Most of their early level employee training is online.” Chormicle says that the online

shift will speed the learning curves of new employees. “Want to find out what a Key 3 is all about? Go online and find the module,” she says. “This will make the DEs much more involved and empowered. Many had wondered why they had to wait three months to come to PD-L1. Now they don’t have to wait for that knowledge. It’s there at their fingertips.” The face-to-face training will put

more emphasis on role-playing activi- ties, including practicing sales calls in a safe environment and getting com- fortable in meetings with new donors or new volunteers. “The training is intended to make

sure a DE knows what to do out there,” Voelker says. “A young DE may know nothing about Scouting, so we have to bring them into the culture of Scouting, as well as trans- mit knowledge of how to do their jobs. We share the vision of the BSA and make them see they’re part of something much bigger than their job assignment.”


The first pinewood derby was held back in 1953 by Cub Scout Pack 280C of Manhattan Beach, Calif. Who would have thought that 60 years later, the derby would be rolling on with 1 to 2 million participants a year? The BSA’s Supply Group reports it has sold more than 100 million cars since that first derby. What’s the secret to the event’s longevity? Mark Griffin, team leader of volunteer

development, names two keys: flexibility and tradition. “It’s customizable by the Cub Scout pack,” he says. For instance, a pack where many of the dads are engineers with tools and wood shops may want to craft beautiful cars with the exact weight and wheel dimensions. A few blocks away in the same district, a pack might have different expectations.

“I’ve seen packs where all they

do is color the cars, stick on the wheels and race them,” Griffin says. “The big thing is a parent and Cub Scout working on a project together, having a good time.” Griffin expects few changes

to this beloved tradition. “We’ve done a few things differently over the years, but this is a generational thing. We’ve got grandparents who did derbies. It was so cool for me as a dad of three Scouts, working on their cars and remembering my dad and me working on my car back in the ’60s.”




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