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  • #16
    Ahhhh Joebob doing his best to be the ugly american.

    Brought to you by the guy who is looking out for only his sons and as soon as they Eagle he is out of scouting........




    (This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

    Comment


    • #17
      Sentinel, read up on game theory and the prisoner's dilemma. It's interesting stuff -- especially if your fields touch on computer science, behavioral evolution, or philosophy.

      The bottom line: there is a cost to being helpful. Specifically, if you are risking someone taking advantage of you. And one way of avoiding paying that cost is putting you (or your clique) first. However, the trade-off is that you never reap the long term benefits of being mutually helpful.

      The game-of-life is set up so that if every clique is "helpful" they all gain points. But if one clique is unhelpful, they will gain more at the cost of others losing. The challenge is that you aren't communicating to other cliques for the first few rounds, and even when you do, a clique that has the "edge" might not be willing to change to a helpful strategy.

      Of course, Woodbadge participants aren't told that they are playing out a prisoner's dilemma, and folks are caught off guard by how other folks behave.

      Comment


      • #18
        This part of the course can work and can go over in such a way that it adds to the course.
        I'm not a great fan of it mainly because I've been on staff on a course where it wasn't presented well and a lot of people had their feelings hurt and got upset.
        I think just knowing that this can happen should make taking a long hard look at the game a no brainier.
        There really isn't time at the Course Directors Conference to go over the game and look at ways of ensuring that people don't get upset.
        I was very lucky in that I'd seen it go about as bad as it gets before I became a CD.

        As JFL49 pointed out the game is played at a time when people are tired and might very well be feeling the stress after a long day.
        The more I read and studied the course syllabus, the more it became clear that nothing in the course was there by accident.
        The game is there for a reason.
        When it came to the delivery, I chose a very experienced and well respected staff member to be in charge. The fact that he was in his day job a Lutheran Minister was a bonus!
        Around the room (It was an outdoor pavilion) We placed flip charts with the Scout Oath and Law written in big letters.
        At the end of the game we had everyone stand up and recite the Oath and Law.
        The plan was that had things got a little too heated. We would have the Oath and Law come into play earlier as a type of time out.
        As it was we didn't feel the need.


        Re:
        "...As a woman I also found some often good ole boy mentality in it a little offensive. I would suggest that course directors need to realize women who sign up for WB aren't usually the shrinking violet types, heck most of us have had babies and not afraid of some dirt and hard work. "

        Momleader
        Of course I wasn't at your course.
        Over the years I have been on staff for a lot of courses.
        At the old Boy Scout course we had very few woman attend.
        In the Council I serve we don't have any female SM's and very few active female ASM's.
        Most of the females that attend WB in our area tend to serve at the District, Council or Cub Scout level.
        Rightly or wrongly, old timers like myself think that females don't have the same camping and outdoor experience that some (Not all.) Of the males might have.
        Some of our camps are not always that female friendly when it comes to facilities.
        Some of the males are even less female friendly.
        Still as a CD, when it came to accommodating female participants.
        I tried to ensure that no one would be alone in a tent and that I had where possible the same number of females in each Patrol.
        After that? They were very much on their own.
        What happened in their Patrols, what they were expected or allowed to do? Was very much up to them and the other members of the Patrol.
        I kinda think that them not being "the shrinking violet types".
        They are very capable of standing their ground and telling their patrol what they like and don't like.
        Still don't ask me not to hold a door open for you.
        Don't ask me to not allow you to go ahead of me in line.
        Because it ain't going to happen. - You would have to reprogram 57 years of manners.
        Ea.

        Comment


        • #19
          This part of the course can work and can go over in such a way that it adds to the course.
          I'm not a great fan of it mainly because I've been on staff on a course where it wasn't presented well and a lot of people had their feelings hurt and got upset.
          I think just knowing that this can happen should make taking a long hard look at the game a no brainier.
          There really isn't time at the Course Directors Conference to go over the game and look at ways of ensuring that people don't get upset.
          I was very lucky in that I'd seen it go about as bad as it gets before I became a CD.

          As JFL49 pointed out the game is played at a time when people are tired and might very well be feeling the stress after a long day.
          The more I read and studied the course syllabus, the more it became clear that nothing in the course was there by accident.
          The game is there for a reason.
          When it came to the delivery, I chose a very experienced and well respected staff member to be in charge. The fact that he was in his day job a Lutheran Minister was a bonus!
          Around the room (It was an outdoor pavilion) We placed flip charts with the Scout Oath and Law written in big letters.
          At the end of the game we had everyone stand up and recite the Oath and Law.
          The plan was that had things got a little too heated. We would have the Oath and Law come into play earlier as a type of time out.
          As it was we didn't feel the need.


          Re:
          "...As a woman I also found some often good ole boy mentality in it a little offensive. I would suggest that course directors need to realize women who sign up for WB aren't usually the shrinking violet types, heck most of us have had babies and not afraid of some dirt and hard work. "

          Momleader
          Of course I wasn't at your course.
          Over the years I have been on staff for a lot of courses.
          At the old Boy Scout course we had very few woman attend.
          In the Council I serve we don't have any female SM's and very few active female ASM's.
          Most of the females that attend WB in our area tend to serve at the District, Council or Cub Scout level.
          Rightly or wrongly, old timers like myself think that females don't have the same camping and outdoor experience that some (Not all.) Of the males might have.
          Some of our camps are not always that female friendly when it comes to facilities.
          Some of the males are even less female friendly.
          Still as a CD, when it came to accommodating female participants.
          I tried to ensure that no one would be alone in a tent and that I had where possible the same number of females in each Patrol.
          After that? They were very much on their own.
          What happened in their Patrols, what they were expected or allowed to do? Was very much up to them and the other members of the Patrol.
          I kinda think that them not being "the shrinking violet types".
          They are very capable of standing their ground and telling their patrol what they like and don't like.
          Still don't ask me not to hold a door open for you.
          Don't ask me to not allow you to go ahead of me in line.
          Because it ain't going to happen. - You would have to reprogram 57 years of manners.
          Ea.

          Comment


          • #20
            Basement,

            At least I tried to add something to the discussion beyond ad hominem warbling.

            Comment


            • #21
              The Wood Badge syllabus is scheduled to be rewritten, likely over the next 18 months or so. I wouldn't be surprised if the Game of Life were removed from the course.

              Comment


              • #22
                When I took Wood Badge the Game of Life nearly caused a patrol to leave the course. To be done right takes skill and the group administering the course didnt have it. Then again it was the first 21rst Century Wood Badge done in the Council.

                Wood Badge is going to be rewritten? Does that mean I get to complain that people taking the "new" course are not getting the true "Wood Badge" experience as I was told? Or in a few years the new Wood Badgers can tell me I am not a truly Wood Badge trained as I don't have the current curriculum under my belt. Could it ever occur that volunteers stop trying to insult, belittle and other wise undermine other volunteers and truly focus on the enemy or is that wishing for too much?

                Comment


                • #23
                  thought I was adding to the conversation......


                  My point, When folks are forced to look in the mirror, Specially folks who have never done it before, They don't like what they see. Who would? Self centered, egotistical, backstabbing, and win at all costs. Sure ya won, but you hurt the boys, patrols, troops, districts or councils on the way. So while you won, you left a wake of destruction in your path.

                  If it goes, it needs replaced by some other forced self reflection exercise. Most folks are too scatter brained to do it on their own in an honest fashion.


                  So hows that reflection lookin???

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    The reflection?

                    I am UGLY! But resigned to living with it. So I try to make up for my horrific visage with my good works.

                    Helping the boys makes me feel good. So I do it; because I'm selfish enough to like feeling good. ;^)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I've got no problem with the game, but then I've never been involved when it really went south.

                      The course I staffed it wasn't a big deal. Everyone was so tired they really didn't care.

                      For the course I was a participant, it worked very well. Our patrol figured it out fairly quickly. Truth be told, we were too exhausted to give a flip. What we figured out was we could sit on our butts and quote the Scout Law to the other patrols with little expenditure of energy.

                      At least one of the other patrols in our group were INTO IT. Everytime they won a round they were hooting and high-fiving each other. Even after we were allowed to talk between patrols, they stuck to the "win all you can" strategy. That they looked like asses and felt like crap after the "reveal" was okay with me.

                      Frankly, that's a good lesson for the boys too. I don't suppose I'm the only one to ever see competition and "patrol spirit" get out of hand. It's a good gut check to occasionally be reminded of the big picture.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The aspects of prisoner's dilemma that aren't discussed in TGoL are long term strategies. Obviously, if your cliques are all helpful, then continuing that way is a productive strategy.

                        But, what if you have an unhelpful clique and (unlike 2C) you do care? Game theory suggests that the next most winning strategy involves all of the cliques becoming unhelpful and not attempting a mutually beneficial strategy until the belligerent clique takes a beating. (In TGoL that means everyone chooses unhelpful until the obnoxious table takes a loss by choosing helpful while everyone else still chooses unhelpful. That the signal that for the next round, everybody tries helpful. If a clique tries unhelpful again, all switch to unhelpful for the following round until that clique "pays" by signaling it's willingness to take a loss.)

                        In a sense, this "corporate discipline" is its own kind of helpfulness, enforcing a culture of altruism. We aren't all wired one way (selfish or selfless), but we all have the ability to inculcate a spirit of increasing or decreasing altruism in others. We just have to know how to "trip the switches."

                        Comment


                        • #27

                          The purpose of "Game of Life" is to distract participants with game theory so they leave Wood Badge with no understanding of Baden-Powell's Game, that real "leadership" in the Patrol System is related to Physical Distance: At least a monthly Patrol Hike without adult (Staff) supervision, and (when camped as a Troop) 100 yards between Patrols.

                          http://inquiry.net/patrol/index.htm

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I must agree with kudu.....

                            Our patrol essentially decided "this is stupid" after the first round and went thru the motions. We had a good group.

                            I wish I could have gone through the pre-21st century course. The only parts of the course where I really learned stuff I can use in Scouting happened during the outdoor weekend when we fended for ourselves as a patrol. The rest was death by PowerPoint.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Although I wholeheartedly agree with the "death by PowerPoint" sentiment, "real patrol" distances are more likely to engender transactions that model game theory. TGoL could be played across a football field at equal effect. Given the physical distance, one patrol may be tempted to operate at the expense of others. An SM who experiences this among fellow adults might be prepared for when it happens among youth.

                              Or, maybe an hour spent sharpening axes and splitting wood would benefit the troop more.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Joebob, you mean helping your sons.

                                Just as any father should.

                                But a man stays after his son has benefited from the program and gives back, repaying with service to boys who are not his blood relation.

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