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wrhatfield

Is Wood Badge over as we know it?

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jmcquillan,

 

It sounds like we agree on most points. I think you're right that only time will tell how these changes will affect us. Of course, by that time we'll probably have other changes to deal with. I also agree 100% that opening WB up to all scouters is the best thing.

 

I also feel that reaching out to scouters earlier in their "scouting careers" is a good way to spread what is learned through WB to benefit the entire program.

 

As I said before, I'm looking forward to it.

 

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In our council, anyone who wants may attend WB, after completing BS Fundamentals. As a relatively new scouter (4 years), I found the course informative and enjoyable.

 

One of the things that helped my patrol come together was having to help get me around the course physically. I am almost always in a wheelchair. In our course, only 1 of 5 patrols DID NOT have someone in the course that was not mobility impaired, although I was the only one that could not walk.

 

Paul

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There is a caveat to "opening Woodbadge" up to the masses in Scouting, though. I was on staff in one course where the recruitment was not going well. The course was eventually cancelled. But what I saw as really wrong, when it became apparent that the participants weren't going to be as numerous as necessary, was an attempt to recruit folks right out of Scoutmaster Fundamentals. That, I thought, was totally inappropriate. Folks just completing Fundamentals need time to practice what they've just learned and come to terms with how that information can change their troop and themselves for the better. Not having that time is a disservice to the participating leaders.

 

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I posted a message a few months ago when this topic came up which talked about how excited I was to FINALLY take Wood Badge. Look, I've been in Scouting now for over 10 years and for the folks who reject the idea of the "New" Wood Badge let me tell you something; I am finding Wood Badge for the 21st. Century to be completely inspiring in an atmosphere which is friendly and conducive to learning. If you're going to be involved in Boy Scouting, you must make it your business to learn outdoor skills & techniques. If you want to be the best leader you can be and hope to ignite others, especially the youth in our Troop, then this Wood Badge course IS THE GOODS! I love the traditions...I love my Patrol (I'm a Bobwhite by the way) and my course is NE 111-151. Incidentally, the Staff is awesome! I don't feel like I've missed a thing but rather am experiencing a first-class course in adult Scouting leadership. I'll be back for part two at the end of the month. Meanwhile, I'll be off to "work my ticket if I can".

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21st Century Wood Badge course C-24-01 is over and the participants returned home last night to mull over their tickets! As a first time staffer on a first time course, I say thank you BSA for bringing executive level training to the volunteer ranks!! We did have a few bumps though, including the continuing attitude that all there ever was before was the old Boy Scout Wood Badge and some old timers trying to fit the new curriculum into the old format. My question is this: When staff development began last March, all we had to work with was a reading draft of the final syllabus. An updated draft arrived in the hands of our course director about 1 month before the course was to begin. Some of the supporting visuals never arrived. What did other councils do this summer for Wood Badge material? Were we the only council that did not receive a complete syllabus? It certainly made life stressful for the new staffers. We felt pretty unsure about our role and how to counsel the candidates about their tickets.

 

Anyway, I'd like to hear input from other staffers. Thanks.

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I just finished (October 6) our Woodbadge course WE3-55-01 for the South Coast Woodbadge Cluster (Monterey Council, Santa Clara Council, Peninsula-Skyline Council combined). This was a terrific program, with knowledgable staff. They even said they were surprised at how well various aspects of the new course worked. As a Cub Scout leader/District trainer, I was please at how inclusive they tried to be to all of the programs. Some of the staff needed to work on inclusive language and not using jargon, but mostly they were very good at making all of us feel welcome and important.

 

As for the outdoor skills:

One of the criteria that the Woodbadge course here will be using in the future is that all of the participants must pass the Outdoor Skill course for their level (Baloo Outdoor Skills, Webelos Outdoor Skills, Boy Scout Leader Outdoor Skills etc.) as a prerequisite to applying for Woodbadge (This didn't happen for our course as the Outdoor Skills classes had not been offered yet). Because some of us were less proficient with camping, etc. skill, we were teamed in patrols with more experienced leaders. My patrol of 5 had 2 Cubscout leaders, and 3 Boy Scout leaders, 2 with high adventure experiences, and ranged in age from 22 to 52, one who had limited English skills ( another challenge). The first weekend all the meals were provided, the second we were responsible for our meals and enough to share with some staff. As a champion car camper, I took Friday night dinner as we were in the regular campsites. Saturday morning we packed up our campsites into back packs and hiked to the backpacking overnight site. Those of us who were not experts at backpacking were tutored by those who were (I packed up, though I was driven to the site due to severe asthma. I also had to bring additional supplies (health and food related) because of diabetes.)

 

We learned a lot. The Cub Scout leaders learned what our boys are going to be looking forward to, and the Boy Scout leaders received a reminder of how to help novice campers. All of us learned new outdoor cooking recipes for the 2 different types of camping experiences.

 

No, I didn't learn 15 different knots, or pioneering skills. But I did learn how a patrol really works, and the dynamics of a group thrown upon its own resources. We learned about how our individual programs complement and support each other, or at least how they should. I also learned different leadership types and applications, communication skills and found, I hope, life long friends. Oh and this new song... "Back to Gilwell...", which is driving my husband crazy.

 

When I first started as a Scouter one old timer said to my face, "Cub Scouts doesn't count, its for women and children. Boy Scouts are where we build men." Thankfully, the New Woodbadge Course is doing its best to eliminate this attitude and contribute to an overall "Seamless" Scouting.

 

 

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jmcquillan,

 

After several years of sending in interest forms (they do not hold applications over from year to year but insist that those interested re-submit), I was finally "invited" to attend Wood Badge training.

 

I have been involved in Scouting for over 30 years having served in various youth and adult positions and units.

 

I know I might get a lot of flak on this, but it is clear to me, that getting "invited" to attend Wood Badge is more who you know than who you are. The entire process, as far as I have been exposed to, is secretive and it is very difficult to uncover any information about it. At least in the Councils that I have been in.

 

Inquiries to paid professional Scouters who should have the answers resulted in being directed to volunteer Scouters who gave inaccurate or incomplete information. I discovered that no records where kept as to who submitted "interest" forms - unless they were "invited". "Interest" forms where not date and time stamped on receipt at the Council office so that there was no possibility of tracking them. For several years I turned in interest forms and when I called to check up on them, I was told that they had no record of ever receiving them.

 

My understanding, according to the volunteer Scouters I was directed to is that unit Scouters are supposed to have priority yet District and Council Scouters are routinely "invited". I don't know for sure if that policy is true as I have not seen a copy of the polciy/procedure. Applicants are not informed of the selection process and to date I have yet to receive a copy of the official procedures for selection (why is it secret?). Loyalty is a two way street.

 

In some Councils, Wood Badge is viewed, especially by those with the beads, as a badge of honor, a status symbol, rather than the commitment and advanced training that it is supposed to be. Some Wood Badgers look down upon non-Wood Badgers. Sad but true. There will be those of you who disagree with my comments but there are those of you out there that know exactly what I refer to. Those of us that ask these hard questions are not appreciated at all.

 

Why should we have to be "invited" when the program should be open to all that qualify? It is the only Scouter training that I have been exposed to that one is "invited". I have given and given and given as a volunteer Scouter, quietly, just doing what I can when I can. I virtually had to beg to attend Wood Badge.

 

I want Wood Badge training so that I might be a better and more skilled Scouter, a better trained resource for the youth members. No other reason. I am pleased that I got "invited" but I am dismayed that it took so many years.

 

I hope that my Wood Badge training experience will be good, that it will provide information that if I use it properly will make me a more vaulable resource to Scouting, and that if I get my beads, I will do what I can to promote Wood Badge for what it is.

 

 

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I took the old Woodbadge Course about 10 years ago. I too, simply wanted validation of my many years of experience in Scouting. I enjoyed the program, but other than the fellowship and making new friends, I learned little that was new. In our Council, Woodbadge is always promoted, particularly after our District Leader Trainings (I know the names have changed). Most Woodbadgers I know are great, fun, and dedicated Scouters, and draw little attention to themselves. However, the Woodbadge Staffers are always looking down at regular Scouters (Woodbadge or not). During my training, I felt that, and documented this attitude on my Woodbadge Ticket. My Advisor did NOT want me to turn in my ticket as such, but I insisted. Several years later, I ran into my advisor (a great friend and long time Scouter whose opinions I value). He mentioned that the following Woodbadge Course that was taught, he and all of the older Woodbadge Staffers were asked not to participate anymore, and that a group of young lions were taking over. This was a tremendous loss to say the least. I hate politics in Scouting, but it's everywhere.

So, to answer your original question, if you have the Basic Leader Training, you were encouraged to take Woodbadge. They always wanted a good sized group. No one had to be "invited." Our Council has a Woodbadge Course every other year. An adjacent Council has a course during our "off" year.

 

sst3rd

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In my current council (Longhorn Council, Fort Worth, Texas), you get "selected" by filling out an app and being the first to pay you full registration fee.

 

I don't know how it works elsewhere.

 

Brad

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In our council, Wood Badge is still done by invitation only. You send in a request for an invitation, certifying that you have met the prerequisites and an invitation is sent.

 

The only thing "exclusive" about it is that you meet the prerequisites, which usually involve preparatory training and sometimes tenure.

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BEAR RULE THE WOOD SR 452

 

I am a bear in SR 452 the first new WoodBadge course tought in the USA. There are 48 people in the course and for you old badgres don't worry the course is AWSOME!!!!!!:) On to the outdoor portion and I'm going to work my ticket if I can :)

 

 

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Ok, I have read through all of this and I am new to this forum, but I am currently attending the new Woodbadge program here in SC, in fact, I am back on Gilwell Feild at 7 am in the morning. The first weekend was last month and yes, we had classroom setting, but we also camped and completed outdoor experences. The first weekend (3 FULL Days) the staff ran the activities and taught outdoor and leadership principles. The past month was spent in "off-site" patrol meetings where we planned meals, planned and completed a patrol project, and planned a conservation project. Tomorrow we begin another 3 full days of campng, cooking and the patrols doing the activities, leading the groups, in other words, developing leadership skills in a Patrol Method of Scouting.

 

As a Cub Scout leader and a Scout as a youth, it was great to network with the others there, the BS leaders, and Venturing, not just the CS leaders.

 

Never attending the "old" WB, I can not comment on the differences, but I feel as a leader in a emegency occupation, this has been one the best experences in leader development I have ever attended but with the Scouting slant..

 

Hope my comments contribute and hope if you are considering taking WB but is disapointed at the talk of the new format, remember some of the same comments were made about Henry Ford.

 

Rick

Pack 316

SC

 

 

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Our Council has been rather unsuccessful to date in getting one of the new WB courses off the ground. It would seem that the 3-day (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) issue is the problem. Getting that Friday time off from work is pretty much a no-go for many, and the courses aren't filling up to the minimum. Anyone else seeing that?

 

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In my district (Consetoga Greater Pgh Council) woodbadge is promoted constantly. I attended the NE-V-120 course in 1995 and loved every minute! I learned a lot & came home a better Scouter.

 

I understand the new woodbadge is more classroom intensive. I just hope the outdoor portion isn't watered down.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

 

"I use to be an Eagle, a good old Eagle too....."

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