Written by Debbie Fergusson
SSA’s Gilwell Training Centre in Florida, on Johannesburg’s West Rand, was home to 28 participants and training staff over the recent Human Rights Day long weekend where the latest Assistant Leader Trainer course was hosted.
The training course – popularly known as a ‘3-beader’ – is aimed at equipping Scouters who are Woodbadge holders to function as trainers within the Scouting movement. Participants came from all corners of the country and even as far afield as Zimbabwe!
Course director Andrew Tanner, assistant course director Jill Dickinson and session leader Joy Hutchinson provided the necessary knowledge, while a team of tutors comprising of Sheila Tanner, Skutha Mndai, Nolan vd Merwe, Thabiso Majola and Nkululeko Mabuza worked with the various teams to guide and steer them along the right path. Not only did the course provide a learning opportunity for the participants, but it allowed two tutors to display the spirit Scouting when they ran to the rescue of a stranded participant whose car broke down about 50km from Gilwell.
The course practices the “learning by doing” methodology and so there was much enthusiastic preparation of training aids and presentation planning. This left a number of the participants looking rather worse for wear the following morning, after a very late night! However, as they say in the entertainment business “the show must go on”, and on the Monday morning each participant had the opportunity to showcase their newly honed training skills, some to their various tutor groups, and others to the entire group. Smart, in their uniforms, one by one they found their promised 15 minutes of fame, each with varying degrees of success and comfort, but all far more knowledgeable and confident than before.
The course participants arrived as individuals, but parted as friends with phone numbers, emails and even the odd badge being exchanged. Everyone was exhausted, but they still managed to ‘smile and whistle under all difficulty’, having gained a great deal from the training.
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