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My thoughts on Wood Badge weekend 2

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  • My thoughts on Wood Badge weekend 2

    Note: I'm referring to this weekend as Days 4-6 as they are in the syllabus. Days 1-3 were a month ago in the other thread. :-)

    First off, I'm happy to say the weather felt like it it was 20 degrees warmer. I didn't need a jacket the entire weekend, which was great because everything was outdoors until around lunchtime of the final day. From there, everything was indoors, which was a good thing because a bit of a thunderstorm rolled in and didn't stop until long after the course came to an end.

    It turns out our patrol was only able to meet just the one time between the two weekends, and even then one of our members was unable to attend. We accomplished a lot during that meeting, and the rest of our collaboration occurred via email.

    Our arrival on Day 4 began with hiking our gear from the parking lot to the patrol campsites. While our sites were not the oft-recommended 300 feet apart, I think the members of all patrols did an excellent job of respecting the other patrols' sites and not entering unless receiving permission.

    Once again, the training sessions on Day 4 and the morning of Day 5 provided us with valuable information and tools that we will be able to use to help us complete our tickets and even with life beyond scouting. As our wise TG Bruce reminded us twice, most people have to pay thousands of dollars for this type course, but not only did we get it for $175 or whatever the cost was), it didn't just end with a "Here's your completion certificate, buh-bye". The ticket ensures that we will go out and use what we have learned.

    Day 5 was also the day of our group presentations. As I said earlier, we only met in person the one time in between. We each wrote our own segments individually and submitted them to one person in our patrol who assembled it into the final electronic presentation (we also created a supplemental tri-fold brochure for the Council to use to promote the activities we discussed in our presentation). Considering we never did a single rehearsal as a group, I thought we did ok.

    For those of you reading this who might have been scoring us, yes, I spoke a bit on the fast side, because as the 7th presenter of 8, I was trying to make up some time so we would get it done in the 20 minutes allotted (our introduction ran a little longer than expected).

    I think that one thing we all learned from the experience is that putting a presentation together to get all the important information across in the allotted time can be a difficult task.

    Our patrol was the first to present, and as we were returning from lunch to begin our setup, TG Bruce informed us that all 8 in our patrol had completed writing our tickets. I think that helped relax us all a bit before the presentation, knowing that as soon as our 20 minutes was over, the pressure was off and we could just relax and have fun.

    And then it wasn't long after the final presentation that we were on our own until the Gilwell Field Assembly for Day 6. During that downtime on Day 5, rather than having individual patrol campfires and cracker barrel, we decided to use one of the nearby fire rings and to have an all-patrols fire and "potluck" cracker barrel. Sure, it wasn't by the book, but I'd say that it was an excellent opportunity to spend time getting to know the people outside of our own patrols. We sang songs, had some laughs, and came up with the idea to "sneak" over to where the staff was and seranade them with "Back to Gilwell".

    We noticed there was a box of tissues being passed around by the staff.

    We also developed a plan for a slightly more amusing entry march to the Gilwell Field Assembly for Day 6 which paid homage to the movie Stripes.

    Day 6 started wit the rush to tear down camp to beat out the coming thunderstorms, and ended on an emotional note, as we all knew things were coming to a close. Honestly, I'm still feeling the emotion, and I'm not sure if what I've written has come across as clearly as I would have liked because of it.

    I do wish I would have been able to wait a day or so before submitting the course assessment form. I know they want things to be fresh in your mind, but honestly it wasn't until I sat down to write this 7 hours after leaving that I realized there were a couple additional items I would have liked to put on mine that just didn't pop into my mind at the time for one reason or another. [Tokala, I'll let you know what they are if you'd like].

    As far as Scouting is concerned, taking Wood Badge was the best decision I've made since deciding to get involved again nearly 5 years ago. I'll start working my ticket as soon as I get up tomorrow.

    The next 2 paragraphs are the Oscars speech and is only included because the Course Director also is on this forum...

    I really do want to thank Tokala for putting together such a fantastic staff for SR-1022. A couple of them I knew beforehand, most I'd never met before. But it was obvious that every one of them has a passion for Wood Badge, passing along both the knowledge and the camraderie that comes with taking the course... and also the requisite sense of humor. Your choice for SPL was top notch, a great leader to set such a wonderful example for the rest of us throughout the course. She kept us under control when she needed to, but also showed a lot of patience and understanding when things didn't go perfectly. I'm also glad that you chose to include our Council's "Wood Badge Mama" on staff and that we were allowed to play Scouts in her backyard for a couple of weekends.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Troop Guide Bruce was phenomenal. I'm so glad he was our guide. I'm sure the other guides did just as a good a job with their patrols, but as far as the SR-1022 Bobwhites are concerned, he's the best. :-P I look forward to working with him as my Ticket Counselor for the next 18 (or less) months.

  • #2
    I'm glad you had a wonderful experience at Wood Badge. It sounds like you and your patrol "got it." Some don't, but it's always wonderful to hear those that do!

    Regarding your Day 5 evening campfire -- the time where the troop is left to their own devices is a way for the troop to show their team development. I would say your troop was definitely performing. Giving your staff a gift of song really is appreciated, and it shows the staff that you "got it" too.

    Good luck with your ticket, and let us know how it's going!


    • #3
      Thanks, nolesrule. It was a wonderful experience for me and an emotional one as well. It began to sink in Saturday night that it would be my last time on Wood Badge staff. I would be happy to have you add any extra input to your course assessment. I have them around here in one of the myriads of piles of Scouting and Wood Badge stuff.

      I appreicated the hardwork of my staff and hope I guided them well. Honestly though, without people willing to sacrifice their time away from family and jobs, there is no reason for a staff or a course director. We were there for the participants. Hopefully, when reading the course mission statement, I can feel confident that we met that mission.

      I will make sure that Santa Bruce hounds you about your tickets in the next 18 months.



      • #4
        The two items I would have addeded aren't anything earth-shattering.

        The first was that I was a bit uncomfortable with the undocumented addition to the Interfaith Service. I'm sure you are aware of what I'm referring referring to.

        The second was that I think the games area during Day 4 should have been spread out a little more. While we did have some trouble with the Left, Right game (can't remember what it's called), if you noticed, the Bobwhite Patrol tended to think outside the box on some of the other ones. Something I noticed was that a couple of the patrols that followed us in rotation were watching some of our outside-the-box solutions and implementing them immediately, rather than working through their own process. Of course, if that was one of the intended effects, then feel free to ignore this comment. :-)

        One thing I forgot to mention in my first post was the Venturing youth that worked with the staff. They were fantastic. Josh, who was assigned to our patrol was a great fit for us. His personality was a perfect match for our sense of humor, and he really rolled with it. Also, during the conservation project, we were paired up with the Bear Patrol for the last half hour and we got a chance to chat with Julia, their Venturer, while doing the last of our air potato search and removal. She was very mature and really gave us a demonstration of why co-ed Venturing is a fantastic idea.

        One other note about our conservation project... We found a couple of "artifacts" mixed in with some of the brush. A Mountain Dew bottle with an older-style label containing what we hope was a couple ounces of vintage beverage. We also found a Coca Cola can from the pull-tab era (for some perspective, the modern ring-top was introduced in 1975, a year before I was born). Based on the can design and a little Internet research, I have determined that the can was from some time between 1971 and 1975.


        • #5
          I am aware of the "ad-lib" piece in Sunday's service. Apparently they forgot the part about knowing the audience, even after I mentioned that there were nonChristian people in our group. Thank you for your maturity and kindness. I will add your comments to the assessments since I believe that they are definite areas for improvement. I have no doubt that there aren't more "artifacts" under some of that underbrush.

          The youth were a great group with a very wide range of personalities.


          • #6

            Congrats on completion of step #1 of WoodBadge (final steps are when your own taps are played).

            As to the "artifacts" found, hand me a "church-key" as I need to open my can of soda. (Predates "Pop-top" and some of us remember them!!!)

            Good luck.

            .... I used to be an Owl, a good o'le owl too,...


            • #7
              I don't hold the ad-lib against the staff in any way. Your Day 3 presentation was quite clear on the subject. I just wanted to make sure my comment on it made it on paper.

              Having not attended either of the Chaplain's Aide meetings, I'm really not familiar with the process of whether there was any staff guidance beyond your presentation since I wasn't involved. I never looked through the CA Notebook. I also don't know if the program for the service was reviewed by staff, but if it was, perhaps a gentle reminder to stick to the program might be in order... or maybe a sledgehammer over the head. :-)

              I thought the published service was very nice, and I especially thought that the meditation that Douglas wrote was spiritual and beautiful and well-tailored to the five patrols.


              • #8
                tokala and nolesrule,

                With regret, the comments on interfaith worship demonstrate to a T why I believe they are anathema. Faith is not a matter to trifle with, and offending another because they are outside your faith group, even by accident, is wrong.

                nolesrule, as tokala, I'm glad you were able to absorb this in a mature and thoughtful way. You are a better man than I, Sir, I do no think I could have done that.

                Now ... are you ready to work that ticket ? :-)


                • #9
                  I really didn't intend for this thread to get sidetracked by that one comment.

                  John, I am ready to work my ticket. I have begun formulating my plans. I wrote 8 tickets items. While I will report to TG Bruce when I have completed 5 (and I'm sure we'll talk often in the interim), I don't plan on dropping the other 3 just because I don't need to do them.

                  Without getting into the specifics of my items...

                  Some of my items are self improvement in my position as a UC. Some things will make me a better resource to the specific units I serve, as well as other units within the council. Some things will help prepare my units for upcoming changes. Another item will be to teach units how to learn more about their non-Scouter parents and leverage that knowledge to improve their program.

                  I lumped some of the items together for these descriptions. Yes, there is a diversity item mixed in there, but you may not realize it from the way I worded things here.

                  For now, I'm keeping the precise contents of my ticket between myself and my ticket counselor (and anyone on staff who reviewed my write-up).


                  • #10
                    Tonight after our Passover seder, I was talking with my dad (who was an ASM back when I was a Scout), about some of my experiences. Specifically, with some of the games we did on Day 4. People who know me extremely well tend to have this perception of me that I tend to find the easy way when it comes to situations.

                    What I discovered about myself in this conversation with my dad is that I'm actually an outside-the-box thinker. Once I know the goal and the rules/parameters/restrictions, the first thing I do is think about what isn't covered by those limitations, look at the tools available, and try to find the simplest way to complete a task.

                    So it seems I did learn something about myself through Wood Badge.

                    I'd love to talk about the games and what my specific thought processes were, but just like I suggested the games be spaced more apart so that there would be no inter-patrol peeking, I also don't want to give away anything here to someone who hasn't been through it. The true purpose of the games is how the group dynamic deals with the challenge at hand, not coming up with any particular solution. Reading about an easy way to do something on an Internet posting defeats that purpose.


                    • #11
                      One of my favorite parts about the course is that every person, if willing, will learn something about themselves. I re-read my 20 questions about once a year and use it as a kind of barometer to where I'm going and how I'm doing on my own personal vision. Thanks to that, it hit me that if we continue our own assessments year after year, we'll continue to learn about ourselves.