This past weekend I attended mandatory camp training. This is required every 2 years to review the staff guide, emergency procedures and health & safety info.
This could have been an awesome training opportunity. Instead it turned into a colossal waste of time.
The training was scheduled for 5 hours. In the first 3 hours we heard more inside stories of incidents that occurred over the previous years than we did actually covering the material that was provided to us. 2 hours into the training class I was irritated. At 3 hours I was just sad. When it ended 4 hours later I just wanted to go home.
I was sad because this was an opportunity to learn and review some pretty important information. But the rambling stories and “… several years ago we …” detracted from the small reviews of the printed material. A good portion of the emergency information was glossed over or not covered at all.
I had to drive almost an hour to attend, and of course almost an hour home. I learned more about the woman running training than I did about the camp material. The training was for volunteers who would be helping at camps in different locations, but instead she primarily covered what she thought was important to volunteers at the main camp - where they have a trained paid staff. That was not where I would be volunteering. She skipped over pages of material telling us that was for the paid staff, except where I and some of the other volunteers would be running the program that was some pretty important stuff we needed to know. Like what to do if a camper is missing or hurt. Being told that her paid staff at a camp an hour away from us would handle emergencies at her camp. This training was not a valuable use of my time – I learned more reading the material on my own when I returned home and then taking some online courses on camp.
I took this training 2 years ago with a different trainer and I learned a lot. I really wish I could say this same this year. The staff running the training seemed more interested in telling camp stories, feeling impressed with their knowledge and status, and not training the adults who had to attend to volunteer at camp. And occasionally bashing the organization they were representing. I’m sure I am not the only one attending who had to juggle things to attend. Which made me realize they really did not value the time of those attending.
This is probably a bit of a rant, but ask yourself - Why would anyone want to continue to volunteer for them if the organization or trainers did not value their time?