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What Is The Cost Of The Course, In Your Area ?

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Bob white

I don't like the fact that you get so prickly in responding to folks and that the use of Bold type instead of caps still comes across as shouting. If you had stopped and read my comments on a COURSE FOR SCOUTS WHO'VE BEEN AROUND AWHILE you would note that all the things you pointed out are, for the most part, the things I would RECOVER in an experience scout training course. Yeah, in a perfect scouting world, scouters who have been around awhile would regularly retake the traing, in reality they don't. The closest they get to it is teaching the training. MY POINT WAS that it would be a positive, ideal way of reinvigorating scouters. Most professions require updating skills and review, I suggested that this would be noble way of serving our youth.

AS to my pesonal view on competition, I am from the N.E., maybe out in the midwest all the folks have friendly competition, but here (a huge region by the way) competition has a way of insinuating its way into most aspects of youth programs, from Sunday School to soccer to Scouts.

Now I can go cite chapter and verse, but none of my suggestions or comments where out of bounds as to the program

And this program does change over time and it changes to reflect ideas and attitudes held by the populace or have you forgotten that at one time National though camping should be eliminated from the program.

It is easy to hide behind rules and regulations like some type of Boy Scout Cop, and to give you credit, your answers for the most part are on the money, but who elected you judge and jury when it comes to knock down any new idea that does not conform to the rules. Last time I checked, we uphold a duty to citizenship and that duty requires questioning things, reinventing things, coming up with new solutions.

If mankind had always stayed behind the rules we would be like the priest at the temple ridiculing Christ.

And I don't hide behind a moniker nor am I afraid to state an opinion, one thing I do not see in your threads.

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This is an interesting debate going on here. As a relative newbie, and someone who is committed to bringing my kids the BSA version of Cub Scouts, as opposed to MY personal version of cubbing, I can tell you all that every one of us will walk away from WB with a different experience and a different set of tools. Perhaps it will heighten your appreciation of ceremonial importance or perhaps it will give you the confidence to initiate 360 degree evaluation of your unit. Understand that there is more to WB than the academic curriculum. The tools and the personal background that you bring to the table will determine what you take away.


There is plenty for everyone to take away from the WB experience.


For new cub leaders will it help you understand what BSA is really about? Sure it will. Will it help you work with your other leaders and council? Sure it will. Will it help you motivate and work with the parents? Sure it will. Will it give you some of the tools you need to make your unit better? Sure it will. Will it help you understand what youre preparing your boys for as they get older? Sure it will. Will it motivate you to be a better leader? Most likely it will! Will it do all of this at a higher level than is possible in the routine BSA training programs? Yes it will!


And for BS leaders guess what, the same questions and answers apply.


Comparisons between the old Cub/BS WB programs vs. the new WB program are valid only in a nostalgic way. The programs appear to be very different, and to some extent they have a different set of goals. The common trait however is to provide an oppurtunity for you to develop new or better skills that can be brought back to your unit.









(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

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I apologize if my use of bold lettering upset you. It was used only as a definer between your points and my responses. At no time did I offer a response that was 'scouting according to Bob White'.


You pointed out information that you felt should be in the BSA training materials and I simply pointed out that they already are, and where they were in the program. If that bothers then that is something you will need to come to grips with on a personal level.


As far as what competition is like in your neck of the woods I can only offer that as true as that might be it is irrelevant to the aims, mission, and methods of the BSA. As unit leaders, trainers and commissioners it is not our role to alter the program of the BSA at will. All I did was point out that the feature you wanted included is not what the BSA teaches or endorses. I would hope as a Roundtable Commissioner you understand the importance of that point. (by the way I lived in New York for 6 1/2 years up until about 4 years ago and competition was not an ideal of scouting there either at that time.)


A lot of scouters post on this and other bulletin boards about the way they run their scouting program. The vast majority of my posts are not about my opinion but about the program as presented by the BSA in its offical resources and training.


I also post the source of my information. When I am representing my personal opinion or methods of implementation of the scout methods I always say so up front (something you did not do in representing competion as an "ideal" of scouting).


You say none of your ideas were out of bounds. I would agree on all but point 4. They were however incorrect from the stand point of you respesenting them as 'needing to be included' and I answered that they already are and explained where they were. If they were not in your course that is a local problem that you would need to address in your district, because that information is in the syllabus for those courses.


You wanted point 4 to be included but it is not a part of current scouting and to be represented as such is inappropriate and misrepresents the BSA program. As you say the program does change over time. But today, it is what it is today, and it does not include competion as an ideal and so it should not be included in any training presentation until that change is adopted by the BSA.


In response to another point you made..I do not see how following the rules and methods of the BSA equates to hiding behind them. I don't know how they view things in New Jersey, but here in the midwest someone who follows the rules of the community is considered a good citizen and neighbor. We view scout volunteers who folow the official program the same way.


As far as my moniker, neither I nor the operators of this site nor dozens of other posters see this as problem. It is within the rules of the board and is a common security practice when posting on the internet. I could post as Ted Daniels if it would make you feel better. But that's not my name either. jbroganjr may or may not really be yours, I really don't care, I do not see how it would alter the content of your posts either way. So as long as it is irrelevant to the content and the validity of the information I share I will continue to follow the rules of the board and protect my security through the use of a handle.


Yours in Scouting,

Bob White




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Okay, my head is dripping from the cold water. I feel that i should expound upon my point about competition, as my original post does not convey in specific details what I am trying to get across.

I posted the following

4. To present the ideal of scouting competition (No its not about winning, its about personal competition to better oneself)


I do not mean ideal competition, but an ideal of what competition should or more importantly not be. I am not trying to add to the program, nor make a new competition, etc. but if substituting the words "a scout progresses on his own" for personal competition makes everyone happy, including myself, so be it.

Why I included this, the examples behind my presentation, may better explain where I am coming from. In no particular order

Gateway Competition - Seen em complete with custom made dovetail joints, and master carpentry from troops comprised of 12 and 13 yr olds. Yes the intention may have been to show the boys how to accomplish something great, but it failed by not giving theboys to make something of their own

Gateway Competition 2 - I have seen the Jamboree gateway show up for a district camporee gateway challenge as an example of "troop work" except that the jamboree troop built it, not the troop who brought it.

Stacked patrols - patrols made of the older or better skilled scouts put together to win a competition.

Popularity Contests - picking PL or SPL should not be based on popularity competitions,

Now, I these instances are rare indeed, 'cepting the popularity contests, which tends to be human nature thing with the boys themselves, and most scouters will bring errant scouters to task on these instances and SM's work hard in every unit with the popularity issue.

My point in adding it to my wish list of advanced training for experienced scouters is this. One to suggest ideal ways of competition through scouting aims. Two to reinforce that each scout goes his own pace. Three that scouting should be a place, a safe haven, that emphasizes personal development over winning. Four: Give ideas or tools to help re-energize and re-emphasize Scouters in dealing with the competitive human nature, wether amongst the boys, but also with adults and parents.

The whole enchilada would present ideal competitions and the reasons behind them, i.e. patrol competitions are not about the best patrol, the end goal, truly is to have the boys plan and institute a plan, work with their elected leader and develop teamwork. The secondary gain/goal in this competition is to challene that team to find out about themselves, to overcome mental/physcial obstacles through teamwork.

In the cub program, for example, PWD. I have always given the charge for years that the most important thing about the PWD is not the winning of the race, rather, the time spent between a young boy and his father, mother or older person making the car and that the boy should be instrumental in design of the car and as much craftmanship as possible in making the car. Many folks still think it is all about winning. When I was a CM, I also instituted a parents race, charge some money for it as a fundraiser for the pack, had trophies etc, and the parents car could not be the son's car. It changed the competition back to the way it should be, about the boys.

Re-emphasis that us scouters while not referees, but at times brakes, especially amongst ourselves. When things show up that are "boy made" when they are not, I assume that the SPL is a scout way older then 18 and not boy run.

In the end, my goal would be, as stated over and over, a re energizing, reemphasis of the program. I am not suggesting that we change or alter the program, but that a separate program be created that helps scouters help themselves. RT would be ideal, but the time constraints would not allow coverage of this. It could be a program modules presented over a years time at RT or a weekend of fun. the end results would benefit the youth of our program.My sugggestion for this would have a the follow prerequisites: NLE and Scout leader specific, 2 years experience with working directly with youth (TL,DL, CM, ASM SM, Venture Advisor), that the entire program presented follow the mission statement of BSA in determining program modules, and borrow, steal, rip off directly, the resources, that Bob W. presented in the existing training.

If you are looking into insight on me, I am here for the kids and feel thatscouters are here to help boys achieve mental and physical growth throught the BSA program. The great thing about the program is its flexibility i.e. the way so many different religious institutions can use it in conjungtion with their own beliefs.

Sorry about the long post, going to dunk my head again.

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MY opinion:

I think jbroganjr presents some good points. Maybe there should be something that covers these that is NOT Woodbadge? If you go through training as a brand new parent and leader you don't get it all. You might hear some of it again at RT or you might not. OR you might here the wrong information at RT and/or training. Oh, that's a different discussion.


Seriously, after a couple of years, some more advanced Scouter training would be a good thing. I know at work that often training after you have your own war stories is more interesting and you get more out of it.


New people in training tend to have that deer in the headlight look and don't know what to ask. A year or two later you are full of questions and what-ifs and what-should-i-have-done and if-i-could-do-it-again.


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The nominal cost $195. I convinced my boss (wife) that I could do without one cup of coffe per day at work (Manhattan is expensive) to fund it. The real cost is the two weekends and two other days away from family, which she reluctantly, but finally, agreed to.

Will it be worth it? I do not know. I think that will depend on large part on my expectations. I am viewing it as another BSA training course, albeit a little longer. I do not view it as a meeting with Baden-Powell. My personal metric is "Will this allow me to bring back one thing that improves program for the boys?" Maybe more than one from Wood Badge.

I think it will. I am a moderately capable and experienced camper, but this year took both BALOO and WOLT. They were both well run, great and I learned more than one thing at each.

To jbroganjr's point, NLE and CSLST were the opposite - poorly planned, badly executed, boring and thankfully only a few hours long.

Six days of that type/level of training would be torture.

I have already connected with a number of Scouters who are attending the same Wood Badge course as me - through working on District and Council events, Roundtable, and training courses. The people going are the people who volunteer and get involved in most aspects of Scouting, and are the kind of enthusiastic people you would want in your class.

I think that adds to the value.


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The description of Wood Badge Training is on Page 26-5 Of the Cub Scout Leaders Handbook. Now keep in mind these are the previos WB courses being described because WB for the 21st Century is brand new and the Leader manual revisions have not had time to catch up yet.


The requirement for two years of unit service was dropped with the implementation of WB for the 21st Century because not all adult positions in scouting are face to face with the youth, but that doesn't mean that you do not need the skills taught in Wood Badge.


There is not as strong an emphasis on troop operation because not every leader in scouting is in a troop. They have moved the advanced outdoor skills to other courses because not every leader in scouts requires that skill to do their job function.


Bob White

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I just thought that jborganjr, would be pleased to hear, that thanks to a generous donation from the ABB company, the chairs that we are going to use are padded and have backs. They also donated the tables.

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Yes, you brought a tear to my eye...the pain is so real and these scouters taking your course will never really understand the herculian effort you have made.

On another note, I will have to give the course some credit.

I was a chaplains aide (funny since I play devil's advocate so often) at the course and that training came into play over the weekend.

At our district camporee, the catholic priest canceled at the last minute, the presbyterian minister forgot...

and a brand new scout on his first outing reminded us that he and his parents really need him to go to a catholic mass.

Well long story short, the mass was not an option at the camporee, but that training did kick in and a couple of other guys worked with me to pull together the fastest planned scout's own service I've ever seen. And no, we did not have a bible, nor any other resources handy, but I think we did a good job.

Had the boy call his mom so they could arrange something on Sunday. Talked to her late yesterday to make sure everything was all right as her son told me that the service didn't count as a mass on Sat. night. She let me know that he talked non stop about the fun he had all weekend, and the "feedback" about his description to his mom let me know that he not only "got it" at the service but enjoyed it too.

I did the part about the kneckerchief, the oath, the law and how it represents a duty to God and how God is watching over the scouts.

In order to do that for that scout and the rest of the camporee really makes the pain of woodbadge course dimension to a large degree.

Funny how God works, No?

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Feedback is a gift.

Looking at some of your postings, I kind of, sort of get the feeling that maybe, could be, that you might have, could have, got, just a little bit more out of this experiance, then you might be aware of.

My great hope would be that sometime soon you will be asked to serve on the staff, and will be able to put to rights, at least some of the things that you felt were not so good.

When I first joined the Boy Scouts, back in England there was a law : A Scout smiles and whistles through all difficulties.

If you try to smile and whistle at the same time, you will find that you can't do it. The law was on the books from the early days of Scouting till 1969.

Sometimes things take a little while, the meaning was well intended, it just wasn't possible. Maybe there are things in the course that will change. If so let's hope that it won't take sixty years.

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For the record, our Council suggested that we bring along some type of chair. I did and so did everyone else. After sitting in our own chairs for a while they became uncomfortable. So we switched chairs. Then we switched again, and again. We even gave the benches a good workout. It's a long course and no matter what, it's not going to be your feet that get tired.


Look at this way, if you've ever taken a flight from New York to say Hawaii you know how uncomfortable the seats can get after the first six hours. When you reach that destination do you really care about the seats anymore?


I did take some liberty with this posting but Im sure that you get the idea.

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  • 4 months later...

This thread seems really old.

Still there are a few odds and ends that are worth tying up.

While at the time of posting the cost of the course seemed to be very important.

The truth is that it wasn't.

With one weekend to go and a few bills to pay, it looks as if the council will not have to bear a loss. But no one is going to get rich.

Thanks to the course we have managed to have a lot of really big items donated, tables, chairs and a super fast photo copier. This would have cost almost $7,500. So we are better off in that we have all this stuff.

As far as the participants go. No one has even mentioned the cost. We have given financial aid to six of the participants and the OA paid for one lodge member to attend.

So at the end of the day it seems that everything has worked out ok.

I don't know if we would have managed to fill the course if we had gone outside of the council and used a facility that would have added to the cost.


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