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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/22/18 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    This has turned into a very interesting discussion. As a 3 beader and a staffer of both the old course and newer 21C course, I have a pretty good grasp of its pro and cons. I was also the Council Junior Leadership Training Chairman when NYLT replaced JLTC. The WB pinnacle training reputation came from the old course that was created to teach advanced teaching styles to experienced troop leaders, mostly Scoutmasters. Not only were participants expected to have troop leadership experience, they were also personally invited by their reputation. Not just any Scoutmaster was invited. That further influenced its superior reputation and the source of the elitistism. The old course was not designed to teach scout skills. The scout skills teaching sessions where only used to demonstrate new teaching styles. Now jump to the new 21C WB introduced in 2000. This course was designed for a completely different goal of teaching adults how to develop a functional unit leadership team. The course structure is misleading because the patrol/troop setting implies a troop leadership training program. However, the course is as beneficial for cub leader and venture leader as it is the troop leaders because the syllabus doesn’t get into unit specific training. WB is an advanced training course, but only slightly because adults only require enough experience to know their responsibilities of their positions. And that is only so they can create their Ticket Items. Personally I feel the new WB course applies best for new scouters, especially cub leaders. Troop and venturing leaders don’t have any advantage over cub leaders in the course today, so team dynamics development might as well start team as early as possible. In the early hey days of the old WB course, it was just an advanced course for troop leaders, mostly SMs. And it was typically only one a year course of four patrols. They added a couple more patrols if needed, but with typically only one adult attending from each troop a year, the elitism status naturally developed. Not because it was a pinnacle course, but because the graduates and staff really were the best trained and most experienced leaders in the BSA. Some folks naturally let that go to their heads. I have to laugh a little, at least a 3rd of our WB Course directors today are women. And many of them didnt have a troop experience. They are more of the Good o boys club than males in most units. Personally I think the present course has a good curriculum for today’s new scouters. The problem I see with it is the Patrol Method legacy. Most staffers don’t understand the courses objective of teaching team coordination and working toward mission goals. If the staffers don’t get it, the participants certainly won’t. I personally believe the heart of the course is the Ticket Items. The course sylibus is design to get the participants prepared for writing and working their tickets. But most staffs don’t see it that way. The course is two weekends long (1 too many), but working the tickets could takes several months, or even years. One issue I have with the course (also very common with NYLT) is the units aren’t encouraged to prepare their scouter for the course. So not only is the scouter on their own in many units, their effort isn’t appreciated when they get back from training. I changed that issue with the NYLT courses by requiring the SM to review and develop a plan to help their participant succeed. I think the unit leaders should be just as engaged for their WB participants. I’m glad to see ParkMan personally recruiting for his unit. One step more would be preparing the scouter for how their skills will be used when they come back, and provide a list of Ticket Items to help the scouter grow with the program. My only comment about the Beading Ceremonies is, as an adult leader of a youth programs and activities, I didn’t allow adult beading ceremonies in the boys program at Council, district, or unit level. I can’t think of anything more boring to force Scouts to endure. Sorry this is so long. Barry
  2. 1 point
    Thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered one.
  3. 1 point
    @desertrat77 As a supporter of the program, I'm embarassed to read that there are those that make those claims. On their best day they are ridiculous exagerations. Trying to say that Wood Badge training is superior to other management or leadership type training is the wrong approach. Rather then saying it's better than someone else's course, we'd be better served by describing it as it is. Making grandiose claims is really not needed. There's more than enough good reasons for someone to attend without making those claims. Anyone who tells you that you're lazy, not up to snuff, or don't care is simply a bad ambassador for Wood Badge. I'd rather have 100 empty courses than fill one through guilty and criticism. Frankly if I was in a position to do so, I'd cancel their course.
  4. 1 point
    Over the years, I've had several WBers tell me, with a straight face: - That WB is more intellectually challenging than the classes I took for my master's degree (in organizational management) - The leadership/management lessons from the professional military education courses I took (nine total) when I was on active duty are, in fact, inferior to what WB teaches - Same things they told @JoeBob: no beads means that I'm not up to snuff, lazy, I don't care about the welfare of the scouts, I'm a half-stepper, too chicken to take the course, not capable enough to grasp the Deeper Meaning, a poor example of a scouter, etc. I kid you not. When it happens, I just smile and don't say a word. And try not to laugh. Yes, these examples are at the extreme end of the WB sales spectrum. But they still happen. So...where do I sign up...I'd love to spend six days with these folks! PS. I know that I don't know everything.
  5. 1 point
    Around here, the ceremonies typically follow a pretty typical flow. A small group of Wood Badge staff attends the event. It includes the Scoutmaster and usually the Troop Guide, ticket counselor, and a couple of other folks who were able to attend. It kinda depends on the event and availability of the staff. Event emcee introduces the course director. Course director does a brief intro and explains what Wood Badge is. The other staff introduce themselves. The other staff who are there present the Wood Badge items: the neckerchief, woggle, & course certificate. They’ll usually say a few words about their significance and history. Course director presents the beads. Course director may add a few extra remarks and may present a few extra items. Usually it will be something about person's ticket - particularly if it had an impact on the group at the beading. The participant says a few words. Ceremony is done. It probably takes about 10 minutes. If it's an event with Scouts, they generally try to move along quickly. If it's done in front of a Wood Badge oriented group, they'll usually go longer - maybe tell some stories or something like that. Interestingly enough, I've seen a few done in front of Cub Scout packs where they'll go a little longer and explain things a little more for the cubs benefit - they seem to enjoy that from what I've seen. Most Cub Scout packs might see a beading every 3-4 ears, so it's not a terribly common occurrence. I get the sense that it's also kinda neat that the course director is often some really experienced Scouter who is comfortable in front of a group of Scouts. Is 10 minutes too long? Not sure. I see the value of some ceremony here and I kinda like that they explain things like the neckerchief, woggle, and beads.
  6. 1 point
    As per @Sentinel947 request, the pages of Wood Badge discussion was split into its own topic here. Discussions wandering off topic is what happens when a moderator is distracted by Netflix DareDevil Season 3. - RS
  7. 1 point
    Not all WBers are horrible. I've worked with many great ones over the years. My SM growing up was WBer. I do not know if he changed how the troop ran as a result of WB or not, but I can count on one hand how many troops I've been in or have interacted with over the years, that compare to my troop under his mentorship. One of my mentors as a 20 year old ASM was a 4 beader on the council level. "Sweet Old Bill" was one who guided and mentored. He listened to folks, why explained things needed to be done, and got it done. But most importantly, he listened to youth and adult alike, whether you had beads or not. And if there was a better way than the way he suggested, he did it the better way with no shame or embarrassment. It was done for the Scouts, and that is what mattered most to him. But to many WBers have negative attitudes towards non WBers. They do not value input because we don't have the beads. They do not value years of experience and training that some volunteers have because they don't wear beads. I've encountered that attitude in the 5 councils I've been in. I've had friends who have encountered that attitude. Many people on this site have encountered it. Sadly it is not a rare occurrence. And then their are the shenanigans and over the top beading ceremonies. Some of the shenanigans WBers do under current YPT guidelines IS hazing.While I may personally disagree with some of the things national now considers "hazing," i.e. cutting corner on the WHITTLING CHIP ( but not the Totin Chip), singing for lost items, some practical jokes, etc. This is done regularly at WB. I remember at one camporee with a WB reunion, one patrol stole another patrol's flag, and making them sing to get it back. I'm sorry, but we need to set the example even if we do not like the policy. Same camporee had an overly long beading ceremony many units started leaving before it was finished, including mine. We left at the 25 minute mark The beading ceremony lasted longer than the OA Call Out Ceremony.
  8. 1 point
    I would add the Patrol Leaders Handbook; an edition printed prior to 1970. They are cheap on ebay, and provide concrete examples for an inexperienced PL to try.
  9. 1 point
    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.
  10. 1 point
    I've served in several councils over the years, and in more than a few of those, the WBers were collectively "as described" by the criticisms here in the forum. Though I haven't taken WB, I know how to read a syllabus. And heaven knows, I have been subjected to many a long-winded recitation of every facet of WB courses by graduates. I can also assess performance. There is often quite a gap between what WB teaches and how many WBers perform their scouting duties. Not to mention how they interact (or don't) with non-WBers.
  11. 1 point
    It sounds like a good course for a summer camp to offer for scout masters.
  12. 1 point
    G2SS May 2018 All Scouts registered in troops are eligible to participate in troop or patrol overnight campouts, camporees, and resident camps. Patrol Activities—A Scout patrol may participate in patrol activities. Two-deep adult leadership is required. Patrol Leaders Handbook (2010) Most patrol activities take place within the framework of the troop. However, patrols may also set out on day hikes, service projects, and overnighters independent of the troop and free of adult leadership as long as they follow two rules: • The Scoutmaster approves the patrol activity. • The patrol activity does not interfere with any troop function. So yes, the rules have changed (didn't find a 2017 Patrol Leader's Handbook on-line). Now, when I was a Scoutmaster I had the boys ask to do an outing that wasn't necessarily allowed by the G2SS. No, not rob a bank but things like laser tag or paintball. What I told the boys was that those activities were not sanctioned by the BSA but if they wanted to plan it out and even invite me, I'd be game but I made it clearly understood to them and their parents that it wasn't a Scout activity. Would I do that today for an overnight activity? Probably not. But a few years ago, I had one patrol (older boys) do a "patrol outing" of sorts where they camped out of earshot and sight line from the remainder of the troop, we were hosting Webelos Scouts, and the boys absolutely loved it. I made the mile walk around 9:30 PM to see if everything was kosher and then again around 7:30 AM just as a check. It really fostered youth leadership and they talked about that outing for years as one of their favorites. You have to know your boys and I'm a believer that the more you put trust in them, the more they will reward you for that trust. I'm sure it was a liability issue for the BSA but it's sad they took the patrol option away.