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wrhatfield

Is Wood Badge over as we know it?

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It's not that the oudoor program is watered down it. You still camp outdoors at least one weekend. What has changed is that the emphasis is all on the leadership training. Rather than just have highly trained Boy Scout leaders, it's been realized that we all benefit from highly trained Scouting volunteers. That includes troop leaders, pack leaders, den leaders, district committee volunteers, commissioner staffs, unit committee members etc.. The Outdoor skills have been largely removed because they are not relevant to all leaders.

 

Instead the Tenderfoot to First Class skills that used to be in Wood Badge are now in Introduction to Outdoor Skills, a required course for all Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters, prior to attending Wood Badge.

 

These skills are not relevant to other volunteers and so they are not required to take them and they are not exposed to them in Wood Badge. Why make them learn something they do not use in the job?

 

If their job Changes and they become a SM or ASM then they will get the outdoor skills as they train for that job.

 

Advanced outdoor skills are now in a course called Powder Horn.

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This problem isn't unique to the 3 day weekend courses. I just heard yesterday from the SPL at my experimental course in 2000. He is now the course director for a 5 day course planned for August 2002 in the PA Dutch area. As of now his course is only half full and he is concerned that he'll have to cancel it if he doesn't meet the minimum enrollment. If you're interested in attending I'm sure that they would love to have you join.

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I just returned this evening from the second weekend of the course. The 2 weekends and the time between were fantastic. We did camp the first weekend, but that is because we were doing the program at the BS camp. The only sleeping arrangments we had were tents, but, the complete program is great!!!!! Its ticket time, but after the experence of the course, I am so charged up now, I feel beter prepared and able to do anything.

 

Kudos to the developers and the staff of SR-456!!!

 

If you havent considered WB, you are missing out, even the "senior" woodbadgers should look at the new one.. either staff or as a patrol member.

 

Rick

Pack 316

SC

 

I used to be a buffalo......a good ole...

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Thanks Rick,

 

I can't tell you how glad I am to hear you found it a rewarding exprerience. I've only met a couple of the others who were involved but I'll pass along your good words.

 

Bob White

(We may be the lowest on the Wood Badge food chain but we're wirey.)(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob,

I have heard a that bobwhites are chickens in white tights? Is that true?

 

When I took woodbadge, the bobwhite patrol yell was "Yo, bird". I loved it!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

"Eagle soar above all"

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Hello, Fellow WB

 

Well just got back from the second part of the new WB course.the outdoors protion and it was awsome. The bears led the way and a good time was had by all the critters, yes including the Bob whites "the Big Bad Bob whites". The staff of SR 452 well up to the dask and very well trained in the new WB syllabus. This Bear did get cought in the QM area @ 2:00 am on Saturday by the Scoutmaster wife a wb herself (bear). Fear not old WB the course is in very good hands and this bear will return one day to Gill Well Hall to pass on the lessons learned.

 

Manny Bear - SR 452

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I recently completed the second weekend of of a WB21, SR-496, camping both weekends at Camp Flaming Arrow in Lake Wales, Florida. This February/March course was publicized at the Trainer Developement Conference in August 2001. WB staff were both students as well as staff at the trainer course. The Gulf Ridge Council also promoted the WB course at our district's Roundtable. The course roster filled up in the last week before the course started. Two students who attended were on standby. It appeared that if you had BLT for your position in Scouting and paid the fee, it was first-come, first served. Flyers and applications for the Gulf Ridge Council's second WB21 course in August 2002 were handed out at the end of our course.

 

Gulf Ridge Council's stated long range goal is to have ALL adult leaders WB21 trained by the end of their second year.

 

By the way, I recently completed an MBA degree. The leadership and management techniques taught in WB21 compare to those I learned in business school, only applied directly to the needs of Scouting. An executive level six day training course for $150? While camping with the Scouts? Highly recommended.

 

And ... the Antelopes were the best patrol!

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Perhaps it should be. If Wood Badge remained as we knew it it would be stuck in the 20th century.

 

I'm a Eagle from Course 305, way back when Wood Badge courses had 3 digit numbers. (1967)

 

One of my rememberances from this course is one member recalling a meeting with a Scout Master from India. Their conversation turned to the subject of becoming a Scout Master. The Indian gentleman described a course similar to Wood Badge which was a requirement for becoming a Scout Master in India. He then asked the US leader what were the requirements in the US. The US leader responded "Say Yes".

 

Perhaps the introducton of Wood Badge earler in the leader's life will be good for the program.

 

I've been back to Gillwell

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I would like to enter some observations on Woodbadge for the 21st Century, which I recently took at Camp Chief Little Turtle in the Anthony Wayne Area Council in Indiana. Course C3802 was conducted by Jay Herbrand and staff, and was the best leadership / project management training course I have taken in my 30 years in engineering management. The staff did an excellent job of not only following the curriculum, but of presenting it in an inspirational and informational manner. It easily exceeded my MBA courses in quality of instruction and content. I would highly recommend it to all. Many, if not all, of the unit leaders in our area need and would benefit from the principals and techniques taught in the course. With the broad spectrum of backgrounds in Scouters, many of us could be much more successful in our scouting leadership and in our non-scouting careers by using the techniques taught in the course. It is a tremendous bargan in training.

 

With that said, it was not what I was looking for, nor what I feel I need most. As others have commented, it focuses on leadership, team building, and project management. What I need to know, and what Scoutmaster Fundamentals (at least the old course I took five years ago) did not cover, was the METHODS of Scouting that I need to teach our scouts so that they can run the troop. I am not talking about the basic structure of the troop like patrols, PLC, etc., nor outdoor skills like backpacking and firebuilding. But things like how best to train Scouts to be a Senior Patrol Leader, Scibe, or Quartermaster. What their job is, and how to do it. How to conduct Junior Leader Training (which like Woodbadge, now focuses on leadership, not what the job is.) How to train the scouts to run an annual planning conference (rather than adults doing it for them). The scouts need be trained not only in leadership theory, but also in what tasks they need to do. I was a scoutmaster for two years before I found out that the scouts should be doing most of these things. Now I am scurrying to get our unit back on track with the program of being Boy Lead. The necessary tasks and how to teach them is what I was looking for, but which was not covered well by the new Wood Badge.

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that the Method of Scouting, by its nature, teaches leadership if it is followed. With its new emphasis on leadership directly, the BSA may be ignoring the very thing that has been so successful, the Method of Scouting. If it doesn't teach the scouting program, then it leaves the program more and more up to the individual interpretation of the unit leaders. I am always impressed by the sincerity and integrety of my peers in scouting, but their perspectives on what the program should be very widely. I had expected Wood Badge to bring the program or method much more tightly into focus for our group, but that was the one thing that didn't happen. Our ticket items showed a broad diversity of how to implement the scouting program. So in one way, I was greatly disappointed in Woodbadge for the 21st Century.

 

What I don't know is whether the old Wood Badge Course covered those topics.

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The goal of wood badge is to help you develop as a leader, not just as a scout leader. For it to focus on some of the subjects you suggest would make the course irrelavent to other program leaders in the course. Good leaderskills can be used in any program, in or out of scouting. Wood Badge is designed to give you that strong structure which you can then use in a variety of settings.

 

Many of the topics you mention are alreday a part of Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training which was a prerequesite to attending Wood Badge, and in the The Scoutmaster Handbook and the various levels of Junior Leader Training.

 

Bob White

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As for the old Wood Badge course, from what I remember (I took it in 1985) we arrived at the camp and were told to find our campsite. We were given a piece of paper with compass readings on it and the number of feet to the campsite. Upon arriving we met our coach and were told that we are new scouts and to choose a patrol leader. At that point the rest of the course was an example of how a troop is run. We went to patrol meetings and watched how they were run. We did a number of outdoor skills - cooking, following instructions, being a leader by coping with certain problems (like planning how to get over an imaginary electric fence and then doing it) building a patrol flag and table totems. We went to classes on planing menues , first aid, learned how to identify our resources and how to use them. The patrol leader went to meetings on how to run a patrol meeting.Most of the things we did were leading up to the final day when we cooked a feast so a lot of the patrol meeting focused on what we were to cook and how we came up with the menu. Our campsite was judged everyday on different things as we competed with the other patrols in who had the best campsite. This being the case, we had to look in the field book and scoutbook to find ideas on things to build so our campsite would be the best. All the time we did this we wrote our tickets as to what we wanted to do when we got out of the couse. We even had to have patrol meetings during the week as our course was every other weekend for 3 weekends. These meetings basically focused on what we needed to do to improve our campsite. Overall we learned about how to work with people we did not know. We had to join forces with a group of people we did not know, learning about who knew what and who didn't. I really enjoyed the course then and still use a lot of the skills that we learned, mostly how to indentify skills in people and to use those skills to benefit the person in being a better person. But as far as how to teach boys how to lead, that is something I don't think you can do. You can show them, but if the boy or man is not interested, no amount of show and tell is going to work. I have seen a number of boys who have the talent to be leaders but are not interested in being leaders and I've seen other boys that are interested in being a leader and they are the ones that try to plan campouts and teach the scout skills you have taught them. Yes, you have to teach them because if your boy leaders are like mine you have to share them with church, 4-h, school, athletic summer and school,and any other things they or their parents would like to see them in. This being the case, I have a different group just about every week and again this boy is going to see how fast he can go to earn his Eagle and be out of here so he can do somthing else.So as far as a method, there is no Method.You just have to get in there and just do it for the boys sake. Reading every book you can find to help make each meeting fun, having Senior patrol meetings with your PL's and letting them know what you expect of them is the only way your boys will learn.

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After reading the above post, I have decided that it will be impossible to get everyone using the same book for the BSA!

If Scoutmaster fundamentals nor Wood Badge teaches the patrol method/boy run troop, I really do not see how we will ever be on the same page. I have taken Scoutmaster fundamentals, and I am scheduled for Wood Badge in July. I was really hoping it would really push the patrol method.

 

I have came to the conclusion that the only way to learn the patrol method is by reading and learning it the hard way.

 

How very dishearting!

 

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dan,

Do not judge Wood Badge by one person's experience. Talk to people you know who have been to WB. Granted the new course is different form last year, but last year was a little different from 5 years ago, and so on back through the evolution of the course.

 

I took my first Wood Badge in 1980 and have served on numerous staffs. The courses I have been to were very little like the one that wrhatfield describes. I think you will find Wood Badge for the 21st Century to be an excellent experience. Remember what you get out of it depends partly on the attitude you bring into it.

(and yes you will get an opportunity to experience the patrol method.

 

have fun, learn lots,

 

Bob White

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On my first note, I tried to get across that Wood Badge for the 21st Century was well worth attending, even though it wasn't what I was anticipating. I did get more than my money's worth, and I definitely recommend it to all Scouters.

 

With that said, I still am an advocate for an advanced class where Scoutmasters and ASM's learn the details of how to train and facilitate boys in running their troop effectively. One step beyond Scoutmaster Fundamentals. Much of the problems in our troop are due to not knowing what and how to do routine tasks. Training the boys is a constant issue. The statement that how to do this is all in the "Scoutmaster's Handbook" as a reason for not having such a course could just as easily be mis-applied to the new Woodbadge course. If you want 95% of the content, read Blanchard's "The One Minute Manager" and "The Scoutmaster's Handbook." But you would be missing a tremendous opportunity if you did. Some things are better experienced than read. So, I still advocate an advanced Scoutmaster course, possibly not as an alternate to Woodbadge. (Although an old timer in our council feels that the new course should have been called something different, like "Leadership for the 21st Century").

 

So to all who are debating about attending "Woodbadge for the 21st Century", go for it. It is well worth your time. But, if someone is offering an "Advanced Scoutmasters" course next year, please let me know.

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