Through research and volunteer feedback over the past year, we found that less than 30% of our volunteers were receiving their required learning. Our goal is to make all of our learning more accessible to our volunteers, and a 21st Century Learning Philosophy will aid us to reach this goal.
What is 21st Century Learning?
The term “21st Century Learning”, generally refers to a certain set of core competencies or skills such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving. We believe that these core competencies are needed to aid learning in the modern era.
Today’s learners desire 24/7 access to learning resources that they can review at their own pace and when they need it. Content is also delivered in smaller units, called “chunking”, which is easier to access. Having this control improves understanding, resulting in a 25-60% improvement in learning retention over traditional, instructor-led learning experiences.
How is River Valleys’ Volunteer Training Program adopting 21st Century Learning?
River Valleys will offer learning resources online, and we will repackage in-person trainings so they are more meaningful and productive.
Embracing the 21st Century Learning Philosophy will benefit everyone in River Valleys, as we can:
- Offer an improved, positive volunteer experience.
- Provide a broader delivery of our Girl Scout programming.
- Offer volunteers the resources they may not seek out on their own or even know to look for.
- Utilize content which may be produced by other Girl Scout councils around the country.
- Create meaningful connections between educators and volunteers.
- “Use our resources wisely” by delivering more content with less financial cost.
- Increase the number of volunteers accessing required training and enrichment resources.
- Create more dynamic content that can be updated quickly and easily.
The biggest benefit is that, by offering information via online learning resources, volunteers will be able to use their in-person training time more efficiently. Rather than most of our in-person time on information sharing, we can spend that time on higher-level thinking and discussion.
Which Girl Scout Trainings are Required for Volunteers?
All volunteers must be registered and complete a background check. After completing those steps:
- All volunteers must review River Valleys Orientation.
- There are specific trainings for cookie volunteers. Find the online trainings here for Troop Cookie Managers and Service Unit Cookie Managers.
- Service Unit team members should contact our Service Unit support team for trainings for their specific roles.
- For many activities, Girl Scouts recommends that at least one adult volunteer be First Aid/CPR certified. Review Safety-Wise for more information on these requirements.
Where Can I Find Volunteer Trainings + Learning Resources?
Visit our New Volunteers training page to find all available learning resources and trainings.
Will Any Trainings Be Offered In Person?
At the moment, we are delivering the majority of our learning resources online. This does not mean that we are replacing in-person mentoring or training. In fact, we can actually enhance the value of future in-person mentoring and training sessions by meeting the needs of volunteers right when they need it through online accessibility.
Where Can I Receive First Aid/CPR Training?
You can pursue certification through various resources such as local community education, your local fire department or community center. You can look online for trainings offered by the American Red Cross, the National Safety Council, and the American Heart Association. A group of Girl Scout volunteers who offer Red Cross trainings to leaders, and you can learn more on their website.
What Training + Preparation Do I Need to Take My Troop Camping or Traveling?
Begin by reviewing the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Girl Scout Activities, and contact your Troop Support Specialist who can connect you with a volunteer travel and/or camping mentor. Be sure to visit our online learning resources to find new resources specific to traveling with your troop.
At this time, River Valleys is looking at the entire Beyond the Troop curriculum, to determine how to best offer these courses to ensure they are accessible to volunteers who need them. If you are interested in any of these types of trainings, please send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Can I Access Online Resources if I Have Limited Internet Access?
All of River Valleys’ learning resources are available from any internet connection, and they are all smartphone compatible. Volunteers with limited connection at home can access our resources through other free internet access points including River Valleys service centers, local libraries, coffee shops, churches, neighbors’ or families’ homes, schools, and schools.
Who Should I Contact for Support Organizing Trainings for Our Service Unit?
Contact your Service Unit Specialist for assistance in determining which trainings to offer and how to connect with volunteer educators who can support your event. They will also be able to determine if they will need to see your training roster for tracking purposes.
How Do I Best Support New Leaders in My Service Unit?
If you wish to provide additional in-person mentoring and/or enrichment, you can use the SUM’ore trainings as part of your service unit meetings. You can also hold Service Unit Training events–contact your Service Unit Specialist for assistance.
Is Fast Start Training Required for New Leaders?
Many Service Units have a volunteer Fast Start Coach as part of their leadership team, though it is not required. Although the Fast Start Training is an extremely valuable in-person coaching experience for new leaders, it is not required by River Valleys.
The Nearest Educator to Our Service Unit is Two Hours Away. Will River Valleys Pay for Their Mileage, Since These Trainings Are Currently Unavailable?
River Valleys recommends that you use Service Unit funds and enforce a cancellation fee on trainings you hold. Work with your Service Unit Specialist to put together a year-long planning calendar of trainings needed for your Service Unit. All of River Valleys’ trainings will be repackaged, available online, and accessible to everyone.
Will Adult Enrichment Conferences Be Offered in the Future?
We anticipate that the two larger volunteer-led events, Lakamaga Conference and Connections, will continue to be available. We will share information as it is provided by the volunteer event committees.
Are there Grants Available for Volunteer Trainings?
River Valleys may provide grants to adult volunteers for required trainings led by River Valleys appointed educators. Contact the Customer Care team at 800-845-0787 for more information.
Troops should allocate a portion of their cookie proceeds to support on-going training of adult troop volunteers.
How Can I Get Involved in Developing Learning Resources?
Please contact the Volunteer Training Department to learn more on how to be involved in developing learning resources.