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Knowing what you know now, would you still have taken Woodbadge?

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  • #16
    Woodbadge, old or new, has its strong and weak points. I did it in the early 80's the first time, and I had not only a long youth experience in both scouts and explorers, but also had taken a really well established and deep leader training in 1976. Still got a lot of good material and ideas in the earlier course, but was a notch higher in experience than most. But the commaraderie was real, and most came out with stronger leadership capabilities, assuming they did their tickets. As said, the tickets were really the best part for me in increased ability.

    When I was approached to be one of the guides for the first new course, I took the plunge. Basically we had to run the course while learning it. Maybe because we were the first, we had to put more into really understanding the new directions and ideas. And being a guide truly strengthened me personally. Today's course has evolved into a real "management" school of sorts; and if the participants follow up and stay with it, they will grow considerably. But, it does depend on the ones running it as to how well the results will be from course to course.

    We have never seemed to have an Old Boys Club of which I am aware, though maybe we do and because I am old and have been around a long time I do not realize we have it and may be seen as part of it. My own experience with leaders is generally positive, beads or not. We have a few that seem to just not get it, that in the end it is for the kids, not the leaders. Much of our reactions to these things are reflected by our general view of our world. It seems pretty obvious to me that we have a few here that no matter what is said or proven within almost 100% accuracy, it will still be a bad thing, or is misdirected to ruin the program. And they worry me if they bring that really negative vibe to the youth.

    We make our impressions of things within our own personalities and backgrounds. Most of Scouting can and is positive. We simply have to constantly smooth things out and use occasional experiences as teaching and learning experiences. Beads and knots have nothing to do with it; they are simply an element of the overall program. If I am in complete uniform and someone asks about knots, I tell them the truth; same goes for beads should I be wearing them.

    All skills, whether in the new age or from the old, can be learned and built upon. In some respects, even though we have the sky is falling screamers, the current program has far more intensive outdoor activities. And much of it does not cost a fortune; and like anything, if it is important you find a way. We have better equipment, more professional people open to very specific adventure type activities. But, we also have a society that is afraid of shadows, paranoid that someone or something is out to get them or control them, and tends to take little or no personal responsibility for what occurs in their lives or that of their family. Kids are regimented to death or completely left to their own resources. The best units somehow find a way to use Scouting to get past most of this. And training the parents and related adults is even more important now, because the newest are the output of this current society.


    • #17
      I took Boy Scout Leader Wood Badge in 1988. I loved the camping/outdoor experience and still drawn on the "Eleven Skills of Leadership" that I learned. I staffed Boy Scout Leader Wood Badge and WB21C. I think the BS leader Wood Badge was a much better course with materials more tailored to running a Boy Scout Troop. WB21C has become a leadership course/corporate management training with little to tie it to running a Troop other than the occasional outdoor activity. I think in 25 years the type of leaders has shifted and they shifted the material and presentation style to match. Unfortunately, it does little to help people learn about Scouting. I would take Boy Scout Leader Wood Badge again, but would not take WB21C.


      • #18
        Absolutely. I credit WB with saving my troop. We spun off from another unit, and were in the death spiral of losing older scouts and no replacements. By implementing the patrol method, a PLC with authority, we were able to survive, grow, then thrive. It is a great resource, and the people you will meet are assets for future use. Go in with a closed mind, and you'll receive nothing.


        • #19
          Yes, no hesitation on that answer. I waited 25 years to take Wood Badge, there was always a reason not to ...

          Wood Badge helped my become much more efficient in what I do as a volunteer, I used to spend 25-30 hours a week on scouting, now it's 15-20, and I accomplish much more in that time.

          Wood Badge also gave me an amazing insight into patrol mechanics, and how decisions, personalities, and outside events impact all aspects of patrol function. Not even as a youth leader did I have this type of insight.

          Frankly, it didn't hurt that I've never had such fun in scouting as an adult!

          The experience is different for everyone, I'm very analytical, a seasoned leader, who has practiced, and kept his scout skills shard for many years. At the time I took Wood Badge I was changing hats from ADC/Trainer, to SM ... Wood Badge set the tone perfectly.

          I used to be a Bear ...


          • #20
            i enjoyed it and i would recommend it to newer scouters, but not to the scouters who has been at it for some time. it was a great motivator for me and made me look at the scouting from different perspective.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Old_OX_Eagle83 View Post

              Wood Badge also gave me an amazing insight into patrol mechanics, ...
              If Patrols had less "mechanics" and more Patrol overnights, they would be what Green Bar Bill called "Real Patrols."


              • jblake47
                jblake47 commented
                Editing a comment
                "Mechanics" are good, but they aren't the answer to all issues. Give me a boy who cares and I can teach him mechanics. If I teach a boy who doesn't care the mechanics, I open the possibility of creating a tyrant/bully. GBB Real Patrols rely on a quality, caring leader that promotes the servant leadership dynamics based on a serving, caring leader rather than a managerial dictator. Both are well versed in the mechanics of how things work.