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Wood Badge and adult leader training

Post Wood Badge specific topics here.

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  1. What to Expect?

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    • In my experience the only people casting Wood Badge in a very bad light are over zealous self focused Wood Badge folks that lack the self awareness of how they appear to people around them when behaving very badly while thinking they are touting Wood Badge.  The only people that I have seen actually making fun of Wood Badge folks, have been other Wood Badge folks, around here they have a hazing culture.  Wood Badge folks make other Wood Badge folks dance and sing to get back lost items.  I do not find such behavior helpful or amusing. I am not happy this hazing culture has also been imported into NYLT,  by the very same folks and being brought back to the troops by scouts that take NYLT.  If Wood Badge has grown into something much bigger than just a training program, I would like to know exactly what it is.   I have been told during recruiting pitches that Wood Badge "gave me a life changing vision", "was a religious experience",  "it gave my life purpose and direction", "it was a mountain top experience", "the greatest thing that I have ever done in my life",  and "I got my Eagle".    People showing such strong and heartfelt devotion to Wood Badge juxtaposed with the harshness, lack of self awareness and unkindness routinely displayed by the very same people leave me wondering what in the world is going on. When I ask questions I am told that I really need to take Wood Badge to understand and because I have never taken Wood Badge I do not have the moral authority to question anything Wood Badge.      
    • That may depend on where you live; in my area Wood Badge is promoted, advertised, even glorified ad nauseum, and for those who haven't taken it (myself included), there is often an uncomfortable amount of pressure to do so, as though one isn't a real Scouter until one has their beads. And the number of Scouters around here who do have them is very high; I've nearly been made to feel somewhat guilty at a few events for being as involved in Scouting as I am and yet not having taken the course. Nevertheless, I have never been one to acquiesce to peer pressure generally, and if I end my Scouting days never having taken it, I won't particularly regret it. But MAN - they push it hard here.
    • I just get the sense that there's a thing in the Scouter community where it's considered an accepted practice to make fun of Wood Badge and those that have taken it.  I understand that many feel that they are justified in doing it.  It really just seems that somewhere along the way it has grown into something bigger than being rightly frustrated with some Scouters who have taken Wood Badge.
    • What you are facing is normal, this is what almost all new scout troops face.  The boys need to be trained, before they can lead. The scout master is the key person that needs to get the SPL trained and up to speed. There are some books that would really help your new scout master with some much needed insight, I suggest: The Scout Masters Handbook The Boy Scout Handbook So Far, So Good!  A New Scoutmaster's Story  by Clarke Green The Scouting Journey, by Clarke Green The Scoutmaster's Other Handbook, by Mark A. Ray  
    • Saying "Wood Badge is just another training course" is technically correct - but it misses some of the most important parts of the experience.  Let me see if I can explain. First - It's a shared experience.  A Wood Badge course is two very long three day weekends.  During that time, the participants spend a lot time getting to know each other.  The whole course is structured to encourage that - kinda like the patrol method can for Scouts.  Some of the participants clearly have a "when can I go home and mow my lawn" vibe.  But, many others embrace the experience.  I'll admit - I enjoyed the people I met and their passion, energy, and enthusiasm.  Call me crazy, but I enjoy Scouting and I enjoy getting to know people who enjoy Scouting.   It's very natural to make new friends on a course.  And yes, my two weekends turned into some friendships that I maintain today. Second - It's a personal accomplishment.  Much of the Wood Badge experience is the time spent working on your ticket.  Sure, some Scouters create simple tickets that are easy to finish.  But, many create tickets that challenge them quite a bit personally.  These are projects that you work on for the better part of 18 months. When I got home from my course, I had absolutely no idea how I'd get mine done.  I put in hundreds of hours working on it.  So yeah, when I got my beads, I felt a pretty significant sense of personal accomplishment.
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