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  • Former Woodbadge Course Directors

    A scouting friend tells me when a Course Director completes his Woodbadge Course, there a rule he/she should not participate in future Woodbadge Courses and is 'retired'. Is this true?

  • #2
    You are correct that former Wood Badge Course Directors do not serve on another staff (see below). I just completed serving as Course Director for C-34-02 in the Greater St. Louis Area Council. It was an honor to serve as Course Director.

    Page 3 of the Administrative Guide for Wood Badge for the 21st Century says: The Boy Scouts of America encourage volunteer leaders to achieve high levesl of leadership ability. To expand opportunities for as many Scouters as possible, a Scouter should serve only once as a Wood Badge course director and, after serving as a course director, should not serve on a Wood Badge staff again. There are three exceptions to this rule: (1) At the discretion of the Council training chair and with approval of the Scout executive, a veteran course director with recent course experience may be appointed to be a mentor for a current course director (2) in the event of the unexpected withdrawal of a course director from a specific course, a veteran course director may assume the position of course director and (3) if no other candidates are available, a course director may lead a second course. However, this situation should be a strong warning to a council that insufficient attention is being paid to developing and encouraging Scouters to grow in leadership skills and to accept leadership challenges.

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    • #3
      Barry,

      Thanks for the information. I was on Woodbadge staff in a former council and it seemed like half of the staff was former Course Leaders. Some of the planning meetings turned into debates because Joe did it this way, and Pete did it another way, etc. The poor Course Leader was not able to lead the course as he saw fit. Several of the new staff members were about ready to quit because it seemed like the old hands spent more time debating than planning.

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      • #4
        Your comments are an excellent testimony to why former Course Directors should not serve on another staff. I'm sure there are many former Course Directors who would NOT debate how something should be done based on their own course experience, but the opposite has been true too many times resultling in the policy I quoted from the Administrative Guide.

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        • #5
          I am an assistant Course Director for a Southern California council and the rule is here that once you finished being Course Director you are effectively retired from Wood Badge. The reason is according to the New Wood Badge Administrative guide is to promote new Scouters to work on Wood Badge, that staff shouldn't be a clique, they same staff each year. Each course staff should consist of 1/3 new staffers. This will allow more Scouters to have the opportunity to be on staff.

          I guess the thinking is more people that go through Wood Badge the better it is for Scouting and the more people that serve on Wood Badge staff makes it that much better for Scouting.

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          • #6
            In my present Council it is a clique of the worst kind. This year we had enough scouters sign up for the course to run two courses. The only thing that changed from one couse to the other was the Course Director! The entire staff worked both. That's a lot of tickets to counsel. It looks like double duty to me.

            One lady wanted desperatly to be on staff in our Council but was never asked even though she had been 'promised' a slot by one of the Course Directors this year. She participated in a neighboring Council several times. Now she moved her registration to the Council that appreciated her dedication for Wood Badge. I guess she wasn't wanted in the 'Good Old Boys Club' -- I mean Wood Badge Staff.

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            • #7
              I was just told that the new Woodbadge Administration Guide states The rule is now that a past CD can be on staff again after their 18 months of service has ended.
              Is this actually true???

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              • #8
                It is unfortunate that you had past CD's arguing over how the current CD should run his course. Our council follows the administrative guide and does bring in the at least 1/3 new staffers each course. I'm between weekends on my first staffing experience. I hope to be fortunate enough to staff again in the future. National allows for "support staff" which basically means kitchen help. Guess where many of our former CD's serve? That is right, they are support staff. It is a win win situation. The CD gets the much needed kitchen staff and gophers to take care of little things the course staff doesn't need to be bothered with. It also gives the CD and staff a safety net of mentors while staffing the course. It also gives the former CD's an opportunity to participate in a course they love.

                We have 9 returning staffers, 11 new staffers and 5 former CD's working in the kitchen along with the 2 CD's for next year's courses.

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                • #9
                  I'm also halfway through my first stint as a staffer and we also have several former CD's on staff..though only one of them has been the CD for WB/21st Century and he is there strictly to do the "Win all you can" game because he does such a good job with it. Otherwise, the others are there more in advisory roles and they do stay out of the CD's way so he runs things.

                  I honestly think that although the new 30% new staffers is a good thing, I can also see the need for -some- flexibility, especially in areas where you just can't hold the course often enough to provide a pool of new staffers or that there is just a general lack of available staffer to put on the course regularly.

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                  • #10
                    "I honestly think that although the new 30% new staffers is a good thing, I can also see the need for -some- flexibility, especially in areas where you just can't hold the course often enough to provide a pool of new staffers or that there is just a general lack of available staffer to put on the course regularly."

                    As previously noted, the guidelines do give exceptions for allowing a CD to be on staff again.

                    Most councils nowadays will hold 1-2 courses a year. Most councils will have enough staff already developed that they will have lined up the next 2-3 CDs. Part of this is because a CD must staff a minimum number of courses AND in certain positions, you have to have this level of organization. Even in my home council in the past when they were doing courses every 3 years they only had 2-3 past CDs on staff. If a council can't pull this off, something is going wrong.

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                    • #11
                      Our council only holds a course every 2 years and even at that we have a hard time getting participants for anything near a full course. I think there were only 32 in my course 2 years ago and we have 40 for this course..a neighboring council does try to have an annual course and they are having trouble drawing paricipants for it on an annual basis too. We're a very transient area due to a high military presence, so sometimes that also comes into play when we look at future staffing situations. New adults come in..maybe get basic training but then move on. We face a lot of burnout sometimes because there are only a limited amount of people who are willing to make the committment to do -anything- extra to help...which is how I ended up as the SM too!

                      sue m.

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