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  • Why Woodbadge?

    Over the years I've read various criticisms, especially from Kudu, regarding the BSA program and woodbadge in particular. And I thought I understood the different 'sides' who advocate or cast a critical eye. But the recent thread by Khaliela in which she was denied membership because either 1) she was pagan or 2) her religious convictions would not allow her to wear some hat at Woodbadge....made me wonder again: Why does anyone want to do Woodbadge? Is this some kind of fraternity thing or is there really some benefit to it? And if there is, please describe what those benefits are. Just curious.

    (and don't worry, I've already been told plenty of times it would not be good for me to do Woodbadge, lol)

  • #2
    Why did I take Wood Badge? Good question. Reasons: Curiosity about the course, peer pressure at RT from WB staffers, to bring back better leadership/program ideas to my unit, to see how I stack up against other scouter and to facilitate networking. It was a lot of fun and stress rolled up into 2 weekends of adult camping. Of course, the stress was self-induced as I am a classic over-achiever. As a Cub Scouter, I have a better understanding of troop dynamics. As CC, I am better at getting the committee through brainstorming and decision making.

    That being said, a scouter friend of mine jokingly asked me if he should go through the course. He has been a scouter for 10+ years. He is an active volunteer at the District and Council level. He doesn't think he will benefit from WB at this point. I agreed with him.

    Comment


    • #3
      In my opinion, Wood Badge is fine, but is oversold and over promoted.

      MOST council assemblies of Scouters will feature an overly long promotion of Wood Badge in my experience, when 90% of the people in the audience have already taken it. I find that WASTE OF TIME to be annoying.










      Comment


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        90% of the time 90% of the Roundtable is a waste of time. But the networking part can be helpful. I just wish it ours were at church that served beer. No such luck.

      • dedkad
        dedkad commented
        Editing a comment
        KDD, our Roundtables are at the Elks Lodge, so I get my drink after.

      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        Nice dedkad. Our council is so backward mom and dad can't sleep in the same tent at a cub campout on council property. Still stuck in 1950's Ricky and Lucy Show with twin beds. One of Scoutings "Timeless Values" is mom and dad sleeping in separate rooms.

        As a Recovering Catholic that is one thing I miss. The church basement hallway filled with 15 empty half barrels.
        Last edited by King Ding Dong; 05-27-2013, 05:16 PM.

    • #4
      Two reasons: 1. Light a fire under your butt to meet some goals for you and your unit in the next year or so. My ticket was not earh-shattering, but it helped me set the tone for other things I was trying to accomplish. 2. Meet other leaders in your area, and get to know them far better than the limited time at camporees and roundtables would allow. This paid off for my crew because one December, they wanted to go backpacking, and I needed a female adult. I had met another advisor who was not intimidated by snow and she had a couple of youth who wanted to join us. Our course doled our some pretty nice swag, and I have used some of the materials with my youth, so it wasn't all misery. There was also instruction on a lot of items we discussed in recent posts (remote fire starters, uniforms, advancement, what is venturing, team development, non-sectarianism, etc ...). Would I have liked to harm more wood and watched fewer videos in the process? Sure. But me and the other old Crows got a lot out of it.

      Comment


      • #5
        Pack are you trolling....

        There is an incredible amount of peer pressure,,,,,,,

        I was forced to take woodbadge by the Districts Good old boys club......New scouter, what did I know, heck I was trying to fit in....You need woodbadge to put on District level cub events......Ok I will do it....Well I did and they still told me know......Well 5 years later they are all gone, no longer active in scouting. Wellyou come back having completed woodbadge....they just pulled out another hurtle......and another and another.....Ok, I get it you don't want me to volunteer. You have zero District level cub programs and your ok with it.

        Woodbadge was a complete waste of two weekends.....I understand that my course may not be the norm.......But from speaking with other folks, I don't think so......

        Did I benefit for woodbadge, naw..... Our patrol never bonded, we were spread out over 200 miles separating us....Country hicks that don't own computers and barely have a house phone, with no answering machine...and the hicks won't drive half way to meet the rest of us for a patrol meeting.....

        Did my unit benefit....naw....My ticket was stuff I was going to do anyhow....

        The things that happened in my course.....All of the councils key volunteers were on staff, IOLS course director, training director, Council Commisioner....just about everyone. Many of staff members held court during lunch or during down times, most of my patrol was busy kissing ass.......I love the inside jokes, not so much.... The announcement song over and over and over again at gillwell. When I was PL I was caught in a fight between the female SPL and her adult son who was in my patrol and very obviously didn't want to be there......I could go on and on and on...

        Comment


        • packsaddle
          packsaddle commented
          Editing a comment
          Not trolling. I asked something similar about 4 years ago and intended to try to reopen that old thread but couldn't get to it yet...hence the new one. I have been reading some comments and discussions lately about woodbadge and it looked like the new crop of forum members were plowing the same field so I wanted to see what they think about it in general. My intent wasn't to read why NOT woodbadge but rather the positive side.

        • Krampus
          Krampus commented
          Editing a comment
          BD is right. I was a Scout. I was a long-time Scouter. RT folks and other unit leaders at RT were telling me how much my unit and I would benefit from WB. I am very organized and good at goal-setting and networking anyway. So three years ago I went. Total waste of time.

          If you know your core scouting skills, know how to run a troop, read BSA documents for leaders, attend RT, network with your peers (here and at RT and elsewhere) you will get all you need. For those lacking direction or experience or organization then WB might be worthwhile.

      • #6
        It's not so much that the course wasn't good. It was really good at what it did. Great enthusiasm. But it didn't have what I was looking for. I had a Troop-method troop with a couple of scouts doing everything and I wanted a patrol method troop where everyone had a job to do. Culture in a troop is really hard to change and getting from one to the other is a common problem that in hind sight is not so hard, but is really hard to figure out the first time. I guess my point is there's need for something that complements the course. Something you can take before you write your ticket so your ticket items are useful. 4 of my 5 items were a bust. The last was good.

        Comment


        • #7
          I had the honor to attend NYLT in 2009. I don't feel the need to pay a considerable amount of money out of pocket to relearn what I've already been taught. My first Scoutmaster went to Wood Badge and really enjoyed it. I've seen some get quite a bit out of it, and some get very little. Since I became an Adult I started fixing what I felt like needed to be fixed, and I highly doubt I could come up with 5 meaningful tickets in my unit currently. Perhaps when I get a little older, I'll do Wood Badge, but for now, at 19 years old, I'm not feeling it. Especially after attending NYLT only 4 years ago.



          Sentinel947

          Comment


          • #8
            Where some of us 'see' benefits to woodbadge, they seem to be intangible benefits and often applied to other woodbadgers rather than to oursleves. If you have taken woodbadge or plan to, what is the reason? If it's peer pressure, like Basementdweller says, that's fine. But if you have definite needs that you think woodbadge can help with I'd like to know what those are...and if woodbadge accomplished what you thought it would.

            I'm still open to reading the complaints but what I really want to read is the 'good stuff', and how it was of benefit to you and your unit, the success stories.

            Comment


            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              It is all with scoutmaster approval....

              I have withheld our local hooligans name from PL election, SPL election and OA election.

              While it is boy led, your try to guide them in making better decisions.....

              I council the hooligan and tell him why his name was not on the ballot.

            • Kudu
              Kudu commented
              Editing a comment
              JoeBob,

              Note Baden-Powell said "appoint."

              That quote would be his answer to your question 1a. Way back in the last century, an article in "Scouter Magazine" featured a skinny four foot Patrol Leader of mine, a hooligan who could hike or camp his Patrol every week in the summer because he held his own with bigger boys.

              Think Ender or Bean.

              The fundamental experience of adventure in Green Bar Bill's "Real" Patrol is the Scouts' mastery of physical distance without two-deep helicopters. If your bottom line is pure democracy and six month PORs, then obviously you can safely try the Real Patrol Method only when, by pure chance, a Patrol elects a Patrol Leader you trust.

              Barring that you could try an ad hoc backpacking Patrol (if you can go without "democracy" for a weekend). In a mature Troop culture, gung-ho outdoor Scouts will learn to elect Patrol Leaders that you approve for 300 feet camping and/or unsupervised backwoods travel.

              Remember Baden-Powell's "eleventh" Scout Law: "A Scout is not a fool."

              Yours at 300 feet,

              Kudu
              http://kudu.net
              Last edited by Kudu; 05-27-2013, 04:47 PM.

            • JoeBob
              JoeBob commented
              Editing a comment
              Kudu, I get the 'Ender' reference. Don't know about Bean.

              I'm walking the knife edge of of presenting/selling ideas to the PLC/troop; and telling them what to do. Too much 'appointing', and the boys don't learn and grow their self-confidence. Too little direction/motivation, and we slide back into the cars.

              FWIW: We do camp as patrols when the site allows. My PLC is mature boys, but since they are the older kids, their attendance is spotty; band, football, lacrosse, drama, et al.

              Check on me after another year.

          • #9
            Packsaddle,

            Woodbadge 21st Century is in essence a "Leadership" course designed for business structures. The "Scouting" is crammed in between lessons on group dynamics and such. It used to be the "Pinnacle" of Scouting training but now you can be a first year Tiger Cub Leader and come out of the course with a GREAT desire and hardly any knowledge of the scouting program. I had looked forward to attending for decades. Once I attended the "New" WB, I was slightly disappointed, I had some good tickets but I would have done them anyhow. I thought maybe my 20+ years as adult scouting had caused me to see things differently so I volunteered to staff WB. No change, still have the same feeling about the course.

            ​It is a GREAT leadership/group dynamics course. I just wish BSA would bring us a course on SCOUTING, regs, requirements, where to find info, rather than leadership without guidance. Vague references to certain "rules" allowing different rules in different areas, allowing Councils/Districts to set rules and state they are BSA vice local regs....

            Still leaves adult leaders questioning what they are doing vice what they should be doing or even where to find the information on it.

            My $0.02

            Rick

            Comment


            • jblake47
              jblake47 commented
              Editing a comment
              I like your reference to "Leadership" in quotes. It's really not a leadership course designed for business structures, it's a management course designed to accomplish certain tasks in a structured business model with people nothing more than standard resources to accomplish that task. True leadership requires a focus on people to lead, not tasks to be accomplished..

          • #10
            We have so many adults involved who were not scouts.....I believe if the BSA truly wants Boy Led Patrol method troops it warrants a course dedicated to such.......

            How many posts are folks asking how to do it???????



            Comment


            • oldisnewagain1
              oldisnewagain1 commented
              Editing a comment
              King DD, I'd recommend a book called "Working the Patrol Method" by Four Eagle Scouts

              http://www.scoutleadership.com/

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              as a youth I attended NYLT which was brown sea at the time.

              So including my time in scouting as a youth I had 20 years in scouting when I attended.

            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              Added to my wish list. Thanks.

          • #11
            I have 35+ years in Scouting. WB trained in 1993 so I didn't get the 21st Century stuff. Was WB worth it? Don't remember much of it. It wasn't very memorable even at the time. However, now that the 21st Century stuff came out they don't ask me to staff it, they don't ask me to do hold district/council positions, and I'm okay with that. I didn't spend a lot of time schmoozing the Good Old Boys network. I was in scouting 25 years before I was awarded the District Award of Merit. I guess I'm just too interested in working with the scouts to be all that concerned about peer pressure. Trained? Sure, Cub Scouts through Venturing and UC as well. I'm currently too busy starting a new troop, to worry about what the course du jour is. Of course the troop will be the old fashioned Green Bar Bill patrol-method, boy-led all the way. When you start a troop from scratch, you don't have to worry about traditions and councils getting in the way.

            Comment


            • #12
              I strongly benefited from Wood Badge. I was exposed to some leadership tactics that helped me be a better Scoutmaster. The ticket motivated me to reach beyond my comfort zone. As a result, I met Scouters who have had a profound impact on me and who afforded me opportunities for service and personal growth. The legacy of my Wood Badge experience continues to affect my life.
              Some detractors will focus on the fun elements of the course- the critters and the games - which are mere packaging. And some folks will never admit any possible benefits simply because the current course is not the same as the original. That's OK. It's optional and everyone will take away something different anyway.

              Comment


              • #13
                JoeBob, the Formin, Stormin, Formin, comment brought back a memory of WoodBadge. All the people are arrows and they're pointing every which way (formin), and they slowly align till they're pointing the same way (performin). So I asked, what do you do with 15 year olds when rather than arrows you have BBs (that aren't going in any direction)? Never did get an answer.

                What you're asking is a common question among those trying to turn around a program: "I kind of know what it should look like but how do I get there? What has worked for people before me?" That's not in Woodbadge. Woodbadge is: "I have a good idea, how do I implement it?"

                For people that come from a unit with a good culture, be it boy-led or a great Pack, Woodbadge is great because you can already learn how a unit should run by looking at your own unit. If you're trying to turn things around then Woodbadge doesn't give you the "vision" that they talk about. Once you get the vision you can use Woodbadge skills to implement it.

                Based on what you've written, I've been there. So I came here looking for ideas and started asking questions. I tried a lot of ideas, and what I found is while a lot of ideas are really good, they make assumptions that you might not know about. For example, the first time I tried Kudu's 300' thing it failed (boy not led, adult not led, Lord of the Flies!), but now that I have the leadership and teamwork at a minimum level, 300' (separate the patrols) is working well. Regarding training, I tried ILST and my scouts slept through it and had no take home skills to handle the exact problem you mention (younger scouts that don't want to do dishes). So I took the ILST syllabus and compressed it down to 30 minutes without any exercises and then added a few hours of 15 minute exercises. Every exercise requires a team to solve a problem in 5 minutes. Members take turns being the leader for each exercise. There's time up front to let them know what the problem is and for them to plan for it, 5 minutes to do the exercise, and time to reflect on what happened. The idea is to give each scout several chances to lead. One example is make a cake batter and get it into the oven, if it's not in the oven within 5 minutes then I'd toss what they made and nobody would get the cake. About a half hour later was the problem of cleaning up. If they didn't get it done in 5 minutes then I got the cake. Talk about incentive. I found paper airplane projects on line. I had a big domino set and did some stuff with that. I took the communication exercise out of the ILST manual. I had them teach the sheep shank. I asked them to identify and call a scout that's not advancing. If the problem didn't seem too hard to do then I'd coach a scout, before hand, to be a pain in the neck. This is where scouts that don't want to clean come in. It got to the point where the scouts wanted a problem scout. Sometimes the scouts would have so much fun being the pain that I'd let it go and let them enjoy it. They had fun with it. The other thing I noticed is that it was a challenge and they were up for it. When it was your turn to be the leader everyone was watching to see how you did. This is so much better than something like the telephone game. The first time I tried this was a month ago so I'm still playing with it. I just need a lot more ideas.

                As for SM time management, my first impression is that the committee, the PLC, and the ASMs should take some of the load off of you. Until I got the committee to do its job I didn't have time to do mine, which was work with the boys. I had a bullying type of issue and I talked to the PLC and asked them to handle it while respecting the Scout Law. They did a great job. I also have a PLC ranging in ages of 13 to 17. I also ask all of the scouts to nominate patrol leaders, so that's how we get the hooligans out of those positions. One subtle benefit is that it's not me telling a scout he can't be a PL, it's his peers. They're a lot harsher than I am and quite fair. That also makes me the good guy so when I suggest they work with the new scouts to gain some confidence and let everyone know they're serious, they listen.

                Maybe this is another topic, but I wonder if Scouter-Terry could put a wiki on this website and get some people to start editing some of the knowledge that's here and make it easier for people like you to get to. That would help Woodbadge as a resource.

                Sorry for stealing your thread, Packsaddle.

                Comment


                • Kudu
                  Kudu commented
                  Editing a comment
                  OK, I removed the hooligan quote from my Kudu.Net Website.

                  Honestly, some of you guys have been talking about trying the Real Patrol Method for years.

                  Debating how meek popularity contest winners will learn the "leadership skills" to lead a Patrol without two-deep helicopters is just another abstraction-distraction.

                  My best hooligan Patrol Leaders have the following traits:

                  1) Above average IQ and verbal skills (verbal skills that usually get them into trouble with adults);

                  2) A natural sense of fair play (Scout Law, but kid fair play);

                  3) An love of outdoor adventure which places campouts ABOVE sports;

                  4) A bearing that discourages anarchy when the adults aren't looking.

                  Yours at 300 feet,

                  Kudu
                  http://kudu.net/Patrol

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Kudu that isn't close to a hooligan...


                  hoo·li·gan /ˈhu:lɪgən/ noun
                  plural hoo·li·gans
                  [count] : a usually young man who does noisy and violent things as part of a group or gang
                  ▪ The windows were broken by a gang of teenage hooligans. ▪ soccer hooligans [=violent soccer fans who fight against other soccer fans]
                  — hoo·li·gan·ism /ˈhu:lɪgəˌnɪzəm/ noun [noncount]


                  This is the hooligan I deal with.....The troop bully who disrupts his patrol meetings when the leader is out of the room.....The fellow who gets elected through intimidation.

                • Kudu
                  Kudu commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My best hooligan Patrol Leaders are not bullies, but they are well known by the other Scouts for their after school fights.

              • #14
                Yes, I recall Pack starting, or taking an active role, in some similar discussions J
                However, I will comment on one thing. Someone commented that after being a scouter for 10 years Wood Badge would be of no benefit, to quote Sherman T. Potter, “horse hockey”. I asked the same question for years, and after 25 years not only leaned a few new things, and got my fires stoked again, but I also got a whole lot more efficient. I now spend 25% of the time and effort of the things I was doing before, and have a better end result.

                I used to be a Bear

                Comment


                • mozartbrau
                  mozartbrau commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I too did WB after many years as a Scouter. Cannot say I feel the same as you. Was a total waste of time. Did not learn anything that I had not already read or learned elsewhere. A bunch of common sense stuff in a binder that was duplicative of other stuff already received in Scouting. I found the Leader-Specific training more informative than WB. The new course is even worse I hear.

                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You have been missed MB.

              • #15
                From another thread, I came up with an example of WB's indirect benefit. A scouter was trying to micromanage my youth's menu. (If you ever ate any of this young lady's cooking, you would realize how absurd that sounded to me.) After listening (just like my WB class told me) I told her as politely as I could to back off.
                Her husband, having completed WB a few years earlier, told her that I was doing the right thing, and to let the youth-led menu play out.

                So, I'm giving it props for securing me the best supper at that camporee!

                Guess y'all now know the way to my heart.

                Comment

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