The Training Expo (TREX), hosted by the Greater New York Councils, is an annual event focused on training and educating their members in all areas of Scouting. For the past fifteen years, TREX has been one of the few events where members from all five New York City boroughs can be found collaborating in the same space. For one day, a community college is transformed into a packed powerhouse of Scouts and Scouters together on a single mission: to strengthen and build the programs in their units.
Whether participants are a first-time den leader, or a newly appointed committee chair, all the training offered is position specific, alongside sessions specializing in outdoor skills and leadership. Venturers, Explorers, Sea Scouts and members of the Order of the Arrow (OA) are present throughout the event to assist participants and teach others in areas in which they have experience. Kintecoying Lodge Chief Kirwin S. states, “the most significant benefit of TREX is that there is so much knowledge coming together in one place. Having our lodge be there to help out our council is not only beneficial to them, but helps us develop leadership across the board, which in turn benefits all of us.”
The OA is nothing new at TREX, this year being the ninth year they’ve been at the event. Arrowmen instruct sessions, as well as sessions for troops to learn more and get involved in their program. They also spend a lot of time speaking about OA High Adventure (OAHA) opportunities, something Lodge Chief Kirwin S. says not many units are familiar with. While each of the boroughs has their own chapter, TREX presents a unique opportunity for the lodge to get everyone excited about the year ahead.
Members of the lodge participated in sessions ranging from ceremonies practices to running a successful Ordeal weekend. Lodge Chief Kirwin S. along with members of the lodge executive committee, sat down with district representatives and Scoutmasters to receive feedback on how the lodge is doing. This year, they focused on getting new ideas to implement in the years ahead. Afterward, Scoutmasters were encouraged to meet with chapter chiefs to schedule their elections. By making all this accessible in one place, unit leaders have a better first-time experience and can have their questions answered right away.
At the end of the day, Kirwin. says his favorite thing about TREX is seeing all types of Scouting in the same place. He says that Scouting in Manhattan is different than Scouting in the Bronx, but those units coming together to share ideas makes Scouting across the Greater New York Councils better each year. Kintecoying Lodge is happy to help where needed, and hopes to continue working closely with Greater New York Councils to make TREX a success for many years to come. This level of collaboration with a council training event is something that lodges across the country can replicate and see success in, as well.