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Posts posted by ParkMan

  1. 15 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    While it is not dumb to encourage strategies to increase membership, setting quotas is because it WILL (emphasis) lead some professionals to cut corners, have creative membership numbers, ghost units, ad nauseum. You will have some unscrupulous pros who will do whatever it takes to meet these quotas. I hate to be pessimistic, but have seen it as a volunteer and as a professional. It does happen.

    Any organization that wants to accomplish a goal uses metrics to force focus and measure progress. In the case here, non-white ethnic groups are underrepresented in the BSA.  Similarly, the BSA put a lot of energy into developing programs for girls and so it is natural to want to bring more girls into the program.  It is correct and appropriate for the BSA to challenge councils to develop concrete plans to achieve these results.

    A councils plan to increase membership in these groups needs to be based on actionable strategies.  They should not simply look at a DE or a district and say "recruit more girls."  Instead, middle management (i.e. field directors and council VPs of membership) need to be tracking specific actionable steps designed to accomplish the goals.  For example, if a goal is to start three new units for girls in a district, then a district needs to have a plan for how they will achieve such a goal.  What are the 15 prospective COs that the DE will approach?  Who are the 10 most likely existing leaders who would serve as either CC or SM in a new troop?  What 5 packs that do not have troops is the district going to target to encourage development of a new troop?  

    The historic practices that led to shoody membership numbers in the past are the result of poor middle and senior management.  It is not in a councils best interest to have fake scouts and units. So, if that is happening, the council VP of membership and the council board needs to be on top of that and highlight it.  In a more general sense, there have been salesmen fudging numbers since there have salesmen.  That doesn't mean you don't have sales quotas - no, it means that you have management enforce proper oversight to ensure that salesmen are doing their jobs correctly.  Unethical salesmen get fired and ethical salesmen promoted.

  2. 8 hours ago, HICO_Eagle said:


    So does National expect councils to go DRAFTING "youth of color" and girls to get their percentages up?  These kinds of mandates are what drive phony registrations -- something that should be a warning sign.  I am so glad I've retired from Scouting because National gets dumber and dumber every year, just like the mainstream media, public education, and Hollywood.  Quotas are inherently unAmerican.

    When I was in the National Capitol Region, one of the best-behaved, most disciplined troops I'd see at Goshen was an inner city troop from DC but we rarely saw "youth of color" express any interest in Scouting (or the outdoors in general for that matter) in the suburbs.  I saw the same general disinterest in Central Florida and the Rocky Mountains.  Scouting is already teetering but these kinds of mandates are organizational suicide.

    Pretty sure that National intends for councils to develop recruiting strategies that increase the number of "youth of color" and girls.  

    Why is it dumb for them to encourage councils to develop proactive strategies that increase membership among demographics that are underserved today?  Biggest problem in our council today with membership is that we have effectively don't have a proactive strategy.

  3. 1 hour ago, gpurlee said:

    Hopefully the claim will never be needed and we have no reason at this time to think it will be. We filed the claim upon recommendation of the legal counsel of our conference and the national office. Legal counsel advised us that after the close date of November 16 for claims in the national BSA bankruptcy, there is the possible risk that should a claim for an unanticipated past incident or even a fraudulent claim be filed sometime in the future, we have the risk of not having insurance coverage and indemnification through the BSA unless we have a "placeholder claim" filed.  We discussed our intent with our local council also.  It is a precautionary legal move. As a side note, we continue to be very supportive of the value of the BSA program as a ministry.

    In this process, did you learn how to determine an amount for the claim?  I gather that one has to file a claim for a set amount.  However, how does one determine an amount for claim that may or may not one day be filed for an event that may or may not have occurred?  As I've looked this process, that's been one of my lingering questions.

  4. 22 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Sadly the professional overreach is real in my area. When I was a DE. my SE and DFS were telling me I needed to get rid of folks because they did not toe the line with them. I told them we needed the best people for the job, even if they didn't agree 110%, and that some of their ideas I thought were valid ones. That also did not go well. In the 17 years i have been back in my old district, only 1 SE did not push volunteers out of the way. When he left, a lot of folks got sidelined because they disagreed with the pros. Others got so frustrated with the overreach, they resigned from district/council PORs, although they may have been kept on the council books in those PORs. I stepped down from all district duties except MBC due to pro overreach. I was still listed on the district charter in the POR that I stepped down from for 3 years. And I was not the only one who stepped down. We lost a district commissioner, several district chairmen (I think it was 3 in a 18 month period. I remember 1 lasted 3 months), and several district committee members. One guy, a camporee chief, got so ticked off with the pros interfering, he quit and told them to run it. They did nothing. Only a group of SMs getting together to come up with a fun weekend did the camporee continue, and with no support from council.

    Your council is one that continues to break my heart.  I have a pretty good council - sure, it's not perfect and I've been known to grumble and have a rant or two.  But, all in all, it's a pretty capable group and everyone - professionals and volunteers alike are working to make it a good place where Scouting can flourish.  

    Your council though just continues to sound absurd.  I sincerely hope that this new effort leads someone at the territory level to recognize the problems with the professional overreach in your council.  I hope this results in some changes in the makeup to your council's board driven by territory.

  5. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    None of these are changes that will refocus councils and the communities in them toward better scouting. The first flaw of modern councils is that they are identified as an administrative unit of BSA, not an integral part of any community within their bounds. To correct this, a roll back is needed:

    • the council shoulder patch should be a red strip with white lettering.
    • the council name should be that of the largest city in its area. 

    Laurel Highlands would be renamed Pittsburgh council. If folks in Davis, WV are bothered about being in Pittsburgh council, they can mobilize their community and form a self-sustaining council.

    Nice idea.  I'd be up for making council names be more community oriented again.

    I don't mind the administrative ideas here.  Organizations need structure and goals to help them work efficiently and effectively.  Not every decision in Scouting can be about unit level activities. 

    However, I find that many of the issues in Scouting today stems from the simple reality that the administrative structure is preventing concerted effort on the core issues that are hampering membership in the program.  Until we figure out how to deal with local membership losses, the program will continue to shrink.  Merging councils or putting more pressure on DEs won't solve that.  More beascout websites won't solve that.  You've got to engage unit leaders in wanting to recruit.  You've got to figure out how to excite people not in the program to want to join, to start new units.  

  6. The logic behind not merging weak units is that it doesn't really address the underlying problems - a lack of organizational strength in the unit.  Most units that fail do so because they don't have the sufficient structure to support the unit leaders.  Unit leaders get burned out and then the programs shrink and eventually go away.  It's seen it time after time after time.  

    When I see a unit that has a weak leadership team, I know it's days are numbered.  Putting two weak units together rarely results in a strong unit - it just delays the inevitable.  The better approach is to help the unit rebuild it's organization.  It's like the old quote: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."  A good DE should rally support for the unit such that they rebuild themselves.  I'm not sure how often this really happens though.

    • Upvote 1
  7. 2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Just as volunteers have been ignored by national, the boots on the ground see this for what it is, realize it is a joke, and will follow national's example: ingoring it.

    I think it's just not something that is terribly relevant at the district  level and below.  I'm fine that the region/area level is taking this on - and I commend them for doing a thorough job at it.  It's just difficult for that level to have an impact on trends like recruiting and volunteerism without some larger, increasingly bold moves.  They really have to dig down into the hard problems such as why districts and councils struggle and come up with concrete solutions to those problems.  Perhaps their lighthouse council notion is sufficient for this - it just strikes me as too subtle a change to have a measurable impact

    2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Reason for not fixing core issues is variety of issues. First and foremost it takes too long. Creating a program takes several years. Majority of pros only care about the here and now due to the pressure to meet goals. Plus more and more Pros have little to no experience in the Movement. They have no idea what Scouting is suppose to be like. Heck, I found out that Pros are no longer required to do any program training, i.e. DL, CM, Pack Committee (Cub Scout Basic Leader in my day),  SM Specific and IOLS (SM Fundamentals in my day), or Venturing Leader Specific ( Exploring Leader Basic in my day).


    That's a remarkably well thought out analysis.  Yes - I would concur with just about everything you wrote in the five different items.  I can attest that I see similar things in my neck of the woods.

    Perhaps what is needed is for the district I am in to come up with a 4-5 year plan to change things.  If we can get success in our district from it, maybe it's an approach that others can adapt in their own districts as well.  I do see that in our district, we are very short sighted - what does our Webelos camping event look like next spring?  What training courses will we hold next fall.  Those decisions are being made in a vacuum outside of a larger results oriented plan.  Maybe that's where we start.

    I'm not too worried about the professional overreach in our area.  It's a funny thing - the problem is so overwhelming for our poor overworked professional, I'm not sure how effective he really is.  It's a crying shame because he's a really good guy with strong volunteer program experience.  He'll listen to volunteers and work to make them successful.  He's just doing 20 different things because that's what the job asks of him.  I'd rather focus him on 4 or 5 important things - but that's not my call.

  8. 1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

    Boypower Manpower...worked so well in the late 60' and 70's.  Basically DE's registered all the names one could find in the graveyards.  That was followed by the always popular In School Scouting in the 90's, which got you lots of Scouts that had no idea they were Scouts as they used donations to provide registration fees.

    They will keep trying and trying quotas until they get it right

    Which is the core issue with the management of the professional.  There is too much pressure on professionals to meet metrics.  Aside from shady accounting, the current manifestation of this pressure is that professionals have a tendency to make numbers however they can without fixing the core issues.  In our district, 20% of the units account for 80% of the membership.  As such, professionals squeeze the performing units to add a few more scouts while no one is addressing the issues that are preventing the small units from  growing.

    • Upvote 3
  9. 23 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

    Day 1, DE's are told to prevent units from merging at all cost. All it does is weaken scouting. Two units merge....all you end up with is one week unit. Instead, put all your resources into helping that weak unit get back on it's feet. 

    Kinda makes you wonder why they (National) always go straight to merging when dealing with a weak council then. 

    Interesting observation.  I'm going to guess that it is because they know that national doesn't possess the technical capabilities to do a council turn around.  I've argued a few times that they best thing national could do is to establish a consulting group within the BSA that can go out and work with target councils on how to improve operations.  For example - as a district leader, I would welcome the availability of a group of experts that I could work with on improving district operations.  I would rather fix our operational issues than continue to just apply band-aid after band-aid. But, there is nothing like that which I can see.

    • Upvote 1
  10. Just now, carebear3895 said:

    I don't agree with this line of thought. All bigger councils create is bigger problems and more overheard cost. (See Michigan Crossroads) 

    That will be an interesting thing to watch.  I can see your point - simply making larger, less manageable councils won't necessarily solve anything.

    Yet, I look around the map and see lots of small councils with probably just a couple thousand Scouts.  I suspect that in some of the less well managed councils one of the primary issues is the lack of operational knowledge.  Lots of inefficient, mismanaged teams - council boards that don't know how to build council & district teams to accomplish their goals.  I believe the core theory is that by merging an underperforming council with a high performing council that things will improve.  The fallacy of that of course is that the governance model in Scouting makes that exceptionally hard to achieve.


    • Upvote 1
  11. 5 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    But .... but .... we are always told Scouting's a great value, less than sports..yada yada yada.  Worth WAAAY more than being charged.  Also they (National) did a survey and 129% of families want a program *like* Scouting (note that does not actually mean they want to join Scouting...but we digress).

    If the Brain Trust does not truly understand and accept the reasons for Scouting's decline (muddled program initiatives, Zero National marketing, no real "benchmarking" to determine best practice for successful units, etc etc) they will never be able to correct, improve, and move forward.

    I am thinking 16 National Subset ZONEs will have NO impact on actual units and improvement in membership rolls.

    Where this has the potential to help is that it will lead to weak councils being merged together. 

    Where this will not help is that it's not proscriptive.  It doesn't add much in terms of new ideas on how districts & units operate any differently.  As this is where the magic needs to happen, I am not optimistic.  One big concern about the new 16 territory structure is that it will funnel territory support through council boards and professionals.  As the real challenge is in the districts and units, I don't see how the new structure will actually help resolve problems.  Council board people & professionals will make things look rosey for the territory folks which will end up not having any real impact where it's needed.

    • Upvote 1
  12. 12 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Over the years before Chapter 11, can anyone point to a  3,4, or 5 year National or Council Strategic Plan with its assorted org charts, flow charts, stovepipes, pillars, silos, best in class, centers of excellence, ...oh the MBA-wannabe double-talk jargon ...that did anything more than act as a diversion while wasting time and money during its formulation and before results can be evaluated...diversion, time to work on next Strategic Plan.


    From what I can see, these things are all fine.  The issue isn't that the council has a strategic plan with lots of business jargon.  The issue is that councils don't know how to use them to achieve the results they desire.  

    Similarly, this national plan is fine and it's probably marginally better than what we have now.  It is however lacking a key understanding of how councils will operationalize all of this.  They appear to be setting up a big stick approach by holding the threat of merging councils out there as incentive to meet these objectives.  The plan is lacking two key components though:

    • how to better focus the program in a way to increase the attractiveness and marketability of Scouting to youth.
    • how districts will realistically operationalize any of this in a way to achieve results.

    For example - I see councils now writing up a membership plan based on numbers and demographics, but having no idea how to then turn that into new Scouts in the program.  Membership is inherently a unit activity and so all the council membership plans by council board members will be meaningless until they are turned into something that units can act on.

    Another example - I see a requirement that every unit have a commissioner.  We've been trying in Scouting for 40 years to achieve that, but it has not happened.  Council commissioners will now create new mandates that every district commissioner recruit a full team.  Yet, district commissioners are not equipped to do this.  The issue here is not one of intent, it's one of technical skills.  How does a district commissioner really go out in an era of declining Scouting membership and recruit experienced Scouters to serve as unit commissioners?  

    These things are all fine ideas, but until councils figure out how to operationalize these things, they will continue to struggle.  Perhaps this new structure will find a way to recognize best practices from councils that are successful and then promote them so that less successful councils can learn from them.  But, with diminished professional staffing it seems like a long shot.  

    • Upvote 1
  13. 2 hours ago, qwazse said:

    I get the impression that calling WB an "advanced scoutmaster" course comes off as niche and exclusionary. Not in my mind. Growing up, my Webelos DL could have used some advanced scoutmaster training. He was a good guy, but we were a lot to handle. Same for a lot of moms. They need a lot of resourcefulness training (i.e. 1st Class Skills), and they'll hopefully get that one way or another. Then they need to face down a world of doctors, teachers, and (sometimes) law enforcement -- in addition to their children and spouse.

    But I know that moms in my area (and that includes quite a few progressive thinkers) shrink away from any thought of being scoutmaster-ish. So, we play this little game of "Sure, we'll miss you on the camping with us, but while we're out enduring the elements for your boys, can you line up a fundraiser or two?" So, we call WB "advanced leadership" so DLs, CMs, MCs, and CCs feel inclined to take it. But, honestly, the course does not have a lot of specifics on how to run committees or dens. It teaches everyone how to be better scoutmasters. Even if you aren't in that particular position, knowing the thoughts and disciplines of your local SM/ASM makes you excel at your position.

    Along those lines, I'm not thinking that a "1st Class Skills" per-requisite isn't the barrier one would think it to be -- even for the disabled scouter who would have to go through the hoops of getting a medical waiver like some of our scouts do. It's a way of giving adults the feeling that, as far as the troop in their neighborhood is concerned, they've arrived. Such scouters would walk into WB with the confidence and experience that they passed muster with the people they care about. I think it would narrow your pool of "eligible" scouters only slightly, but those scouters might be more enthusiastic about the course.

     My primary concern with the "advanced scoutmaster" label is that is too niche.  The Scoutmaster role is one of many in Scouting.  It is important - sure.  But so too are Cubmasters, Crew Advisors, Den Leaders, Committee Chairs, Committee Members, District volunteers, OA advisors, etc... 

    When I view the Wood Badge curriculum I see an attempt to impart skills that help a volunteer in how they approach their volunteer role.  Wood Badge really isn't trying to teach anyone what their job is, it's trying to impart skills that help in how you approach the role you have.  How to try to raise the level of your ambitions for your role and think bigger.  How to set larger goals and strive to hit them.  Why would we want to replace that with a training for Scoutmasters and then try to shoehorn every other position into that class?  This is where I think we're having the wrong conversation.  The point isn't to replace the current Wood Badge with a advanced Scoutmastering version - the point is to create a new advanced course for Scoutmasters.  

  14. 6 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    I thought woodbadge was (not currently) an advanced scoutmaster course? Is that not the point many are trying to make? The problem I see is is that ALL the trainings are Intro level and there is nothing offered which is advanced. Pre-requisites are not obstacles, they are an acknowledgement that skills and knowledge increase on a continuum. Unfortunately this idea has spread throughout all of BSA even for the scouts. This is what created and perpetuates the one and done issue.

    The BSA needs both courses - a leadership development course and a Scoutmaster course.  What problem does making Wood Badge into an advanced Scoutmaster class really solve?  

    I'd argue that our most underprepared position in Scouting today is that of our Committee Chairs.  These are the people who need to be building strong packs, troops, and crews and in many instances are simply not prepared to do that.  As such, you've got overloaded Scoutmasters and Cubmasters who simply don't have enough adult help to make the programs work.  You have unit organizations that don't know how to onboard new leaders or how to develop succession plans.  You have units that have no idea of how to recruit or market themselves.  You don't fix that problem with a course for Scoutmasters.

  15. 5 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Every now and then I've seen CM, DLs, and MCs swimming, tying gear down, taking care of injuries, saying oath and law, etc ... one or two could stand to get on a fitness program ... a few of them have forgotten their rights and responsibilities. But, the issue is not about particular skills, it is about joining a community that inculcates in youth a vision of the pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with their mates.

    This forum complains about pack leaders who aren't ready for the troop program, but we give them zero scenarios where they are accountable to a local SPL/JASM. Prior to advanced training, they don't uniformly experience youth leadership because there is no formal scenario where they are required to experience it. They haven't all seen a near-finished product. The expectation that in two weekends you could get every course participant to norm successfully when they all have different baselines is absurd on its face. Even more absurd is that some "roundtable discussion on what leadership is and how the various leaders have seen it" would serve as an adequate simulation of the leadership modalities that the seasoned scout can deliver.

    This is about getting more people to and through advanced leadership training. And, IMHO, the impediment is that our scouters lack holistic basic leadership training.

    Someone like @5thGenTexan could have benefited from first being accountable to some seasoned scouts. He wanted to pick up a book. Forget all of those cheerleaders with their knots and tartans. This guy wants to know the material before diving in. So ... give him the Handbook. Let him decide if it's worth the effort to master trail to 1st class. If not, he won't waste time applying for the course. If yes, then he will have spent some time showing what he could learn on his own to SPL/JASM. (You know ... those older youth who are bored with troop life and want a challenge. One or two of them might stick around if they knew scouting's future depended on them training the next class of adult leaders.) They could in turn help him fill in any gaps. If that was a negative experience, then stopping there will save him the time, money and discouragement of a course that opens with "let's all put ourselves in a den ...."

    If the issue is lack of basic leadership training, then lets augment Wood Badge to cover that.  I don't think creating more obstacles to attending is going to resolve that issue.  That, and I think you'll find that youth signing off adults is inherently not practical.  

    I'm all for focusing on youth leadership, but I don't think Wood Badge is the place for that.  Put that in an advanced Scoutmaster course.

  16. 58 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    For fear of repeating myself, my "master plan for scouter training"  beyond youth protection would include no "basic" training should be considered complete until 1st Class Skills are signed off by an SPL/JASM. There are lots of reasons for this -- the simplest being that a scouter should be "all that" to scouts first and foremost. It's irrelevant what some district/council trainer says. But I digress.

    Yes, cubmasters, committee members, and crew advisors should master those skills. Some will need a district training weekend, others will need to visit a troop, or invite a skilled youth to their troop to help train them. The one-size-fits-all IOLS will be tossed aside. Position-specific instruction will come to the fore.

    Second, only open Woodbadge to "1st Class Scouts." This means that everyone goes through the trail to 1st class before the course starts. That's the starting point. Sitting with your patrol and reviewing what went well (or not) about your journey to 1st class rank. What kind of leadership did you experience along the way? Who along that trail would you like to emulate? Whose example would you want to avoid?

    I think we're mixing a couple of things.

    First, and my primary point - regardless of whether Wood Badge is the best designed course or not, it doesn't justify the level of negativity that the course receives.  It's a course designed to help us be better Scouters.  On the averages, Wood Badge courses are better organized and better put on than probably any other training course in the BSA.  Yes, it's easy to find things that could be done better.  Yes, there have been jerks that have take the course.  But, it doesn't justify the open hostility that the course receives.  

    On your suggestion of Wood Badge only being open to "1st Class Scouts.'" - why?  Wood Badge isn't an outdoor skills course.  I think an advanced outdoor skills course is a great idea, but it's not this course.  What does it benefit a den leader to get to 1st class.  What does it benefit a Cubmaster to get to 1st class.  A Troop Committee Chair, etc.?  I'd tihnk you could accomplish much the same by having a roundtable discussion on what leadership is and how the various leaders have seen it illustrated in their Scouting roles.   So instead of jumping quickly to skills and techniques around leadership, spend more time defining it first.

  17. 1 hour ago, yknot said:

    Um, anyone who registers a scout in our unit has to also sign up for a volunteer role? We will not accept their registration unless they sign up for something. It also encourages prompt delivery of paperwork because the easiest jobs go first. 

    My kids swim team did this.  At swim team sign up, they had large boards where everyone had to volunteer twice.  My wife wasn't interested, so I became a lane timer.  It was fun and a I volunteered a few more times too.

  18. I've always been a big believer in the notion that the troop adults have to really cultivate adult involvement.  It's not the CC's job alone to find more volunteers.  It's not the fault of the parents for not stepping up.  At every turn, the leaders have to be asking themselves - "How do we get more parents involved volunteering?"

    It starts with the little things.  When a parent makes a comment about something small - the signups for an event or whether an email went out or not, then invite them to take on a little project.  Get parents out camping with you.  Can parents to hang out at meetings.

    We noticed a trend where the pack had no problem getting den leaders, but we struggled with getting ASMs in the troop.  Then, we realized that part of the issue was the enormity of the role as ASM.  So, we started them with really small tasks and let them get comfortable first.  Before too long, we had more adults helping out. 

    But, the challenge is that a CC cannot do that.  It takes an ASM or SM to do that.  As such, our SM needed to change his approach slightly.  Before too long he had an ASM or two who could help with some of the other ASMs and get them going.  Like anything, you've got to focus on what you want to have happen.  You want more adults to help, you have to focus on getting more adults to help.


    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
  19. 27 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    No, it was exclusionary because they only wanted experienced scouters who were going to continue working with scouts. Why waist time teach advanced skills to someone going to leave scouting. Nothing sinister or self-serving. 

    I can imagine that - makes sense.  Why teach a class to those who are going to leave.

    29 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    I have a feeling this royalty idea was pushed by jealous non WB scouters. Some folks don't want to work for the stature that makes them like themselves better. Oh of course there are always bad actors and some WoodBadgers probably pushed his stature too hard. But, I never met one like that from the old course in our area.

    Wherever it comes from, there is far too much criticism of and around a course that is intended to help leaders be better Scouters.  Whatever the course is - basic training, IOLS, Powder Horn, or Wood Badge - taking a course is a good thing.  I've said this before - but I get the sense that in the Scouter ranks we've created something of a culture where it's considered OK to be critical of those that are perceived to not be a "real Scouter".  Wood Badge, too many knots, silver tabs, whatever - we spend far too much energy knocking these folks.

    • Like 1
  20. 1 minute ago, TAHAWK said:

    Given the goal of the first Course, knowing and being able to teach outdoor skills through First Class, I never "got" the invitation part.  BSA wanted some Scouters less competent in teaching outdoor skills?  On the other paw, having brand new, totally untrained learners, as I personally experienced, take a course that assumes and "builds on"  certain base knowledge that they lack, also seems odd.   But, gotta' "Fill the Course."  

    I don't know the mindset at the time as it predates me, but I can only guess it had something to do with making the course seem desirable by making it exclusive.  By creating something with status that can be seen as an award, it then makes it something to strive for.  The OA isn't all that different for youth.  By creating an honor, we make it more desirable.  There's probably some logic about human nature in that, but it seems to have created a bunch of issues amongst the volunteers by doing it.

    Today that fill the class mentality is an unfortunate by product of the process.  It makes sense that if you're going to have a course that you have a full course.  Unfortunately, instead of leveraging that as an opportunity to encourage those who could benefit to take it, you end up with the "gotta fill the class" byproduct.  I'm not sure how to resolve that one - maybe fewer classes?

  21. 9 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    A fair number on "Talk About Scouting!" on Facebook telling me I suck and should move on.  They are probably right...  

    I rarely check Facebook anymore.  Sorry that a bunch of folks were critical over there.

    What I always dislike about Wood Badge threads is that they always result in a whole bunch of comments about whether WB is good or bad.  WB is just a course, a tool so to speak.  People take it, some learn some things, some don't.  It doesn't make you a better person or worse person.  30 years ago it was an invite course, and so it meant something to be invited to the course.  It was like receiving an award or recognition.  But that's not how it works today and that's a good thing - Scouting doesn't need royalty.

    Scouting needs people who want to deliver a great experience to kids.  You strike me as someone who wants to do that.  So, ignore the folks over there on Facebook.  Focus on having fun as a volunteer, helping kids to have a great experience, and you'll be an overwhelming success.


  22. 1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    Not finishing Wood Badge shows I have problems working with others.  That's a self esteem problem that sticking it out and "having fun" isnt going to fix.

    From a strictly Scout perspective...  No Wood Badge = Not Worth a Damn Leader

    The WB cheerleaders have made it quite clear what they think of me.  I know I shouldnt be concerned about people from the internet, but I have heard the message loud and clear.  I had a good ass chewing from a local District volunteer as well.

    One thing they are right about, Wood Badge was a life changing experience.  I fell back into a depressed self hating place

    I'm sorry if you ever got that message here.  I'm probably the biggest WB cheerleader here and I've never once thought anything even close to that.  Anyone who tells you that completing Wood Badge means anything about you as a person is full of crap.  If your pack is telling you that, find a new pack.  It breaks my heart to think that you ever internalized that message.

    I wish I knew you outside of some forum posts so that I could express how earnestly I mean this.  We are all lucky to have you involved in Scouting.  Don't give up on Scouting and know that you've got a number of friends here that want you to keep going.  

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