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There is a very STRONG need to get Cub Scout leaders through WB earlier than most do it. Mainly what happens is that CS'ers put it off until they are Webelos Den leaders and then they move on to BS troops very soon afterwards so the CS program IMO really suffers in the long run. Also, when staff is chosen for a course, there needs to be a balance not only with new staff vs. experienced staff members, but also a balance between programs..it is sometimes hard to get WB'ers who are still involved in the CS's for staff!


Sue m.

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I have always thought that the perceived elitism/arrogance stems from the people who are jealous of those that have made the commitment to be more active and more conscientious in their Scouting activities.


As I look around our council, it is mostly the WB'ers that are doing things and the few others who are very active, all ultimately take WB at some time. The ones who are crying about elitism/arrogance always seem to be the "hangers on" that never really make a commitment.


So when someone comments about the WB'ers click(sp) going on over in the corner of room, I would tell them .....sure, what do expect? They spend a lot of time together doing this scouting stuff.



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If you think that WB'ers are elitist and arrogant, you oughta meet some of the WB'ers I know who took WB prior to Wood Badge for the 21rst Century, otherwise known as WoodBadge before National completley screwed it up. Now that bunch was elitist and arrogant. I was priviliged/cursed to take the first 21rst Century class our council did and was reminded of that fact by the old guard quite readily. I like to think that that attitude is being thinned by time, but who knows?


OTOH, where else but WOod Badge can you go to be in a room with scores of other scouters just as jazzed up on scouting as you are, where you can sing songs and plan programs for the youth without reserve?


(sung to Home on the Range)(with feeling)


Aren't Wood Badgers grand

For the programs they plan

And the hours they put in each night?

If they're ever home

You know they're on the phone

For the youth who they want to teach right.



We're at home in the woods.

On weekends with our units we stay.

Thought we never get rest,

The youth are doing their best,

And that's what we're getting for pay!


They hike to their site

Though it takes half the night

Through the wind and the rain and the snow!

These leaders so brave

They could live in a cave

Except that their spouses just say No!


Camp food tastes just great,

Like an old paper plate,

And the bug juice is not fit to drink.

So why every year,

For a week we come here

It's not for vacation, we think!


They read magazines

With great camping scenes,

Frustration does things to their brains.

Champagne is taboo, Coors Lite is too,

So for forty eight hours they abstain.



They feel like old men,

On a camp out, they've been

To be clean, to be warm, to be dry!

But to tell you the truth,

they're re living their youth

So in answer they merely reply!


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I took the current Wood Badge course in 2002. I was asked to serve on the staff of a course in 2004. To me the biggest benefit of serving on a Wood Badge staff is that I was able to learn the skills taught in my course better and to relearn those lessons that I had forgot. I do feel uncomfortable when the Gilwell song is sung and a verse is added at the end saying I used to be a staffer.


Being on staff did not make me any better or higher up than any of the participants.


We are all here to serve the youth in the program.


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Sue M,


You express the ideal situation, but I think Cub Scout Packs suffer primarily because they cannot find adults willing to be registered leaders in the first place. If adults make that commitment, then we can begin to encourage them to sign-up for basic leader courses (NLE, leader specific) and then possibly BALOO and OLS after that. University of Scouting is also very helpful. Classroom training aside, our Pack gets excited when an adult simply makes a commitment, puts on the uniform, and is engaged in weekly den/pack meetings.


Packs also suffer because of adult leaders who do not deliver a fun and interesting program for the boys. You dont need WB to take cub scouts on outings and plan fun den meetings.




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NDL, you're right of course that you don't need WB to be a good cub leader, and the cub packs in general suffer from chronic leader shortages to start with.





I took WB over the summer between my son's Bear and Webelos I years. I finished my tickets while he was in Webelos. My tickets included things that helped both his den and the pack in general, not to mention helping me grow as an individual.


I was immensely glad that I took wb as a cub leader! In some ways, I think it was more important for me to have those skills then, than as a troop leader! Precisely because cub packs tend to suffer from chronic leader shortages and high turn over, you really have to work hard at building a vision for the adults to buy in to. Precisely because so many adult leaders in cubs have no prior experience with scouting, there's a lot of ground to cover with new volunteers. And precisely because it's cubs, there's a lot more expected of the adults in terms of providing both leadership and program, than is the case in a troop (where ideally, the boys are doing more of that themselves and the adults are in the background more often.)


So actually WB is extremely useful in a very immediate way for cub leaders. Or anyway that was my experience.



Also: since (around here) the majority of people who take WB are, in fact troop leaders, it can be helpful from the perspective of a Bear or Webelos den leader who wants to build a good pack-troop network. Having gone through WB when I did, I found myself much better prepared to work on webelos-scout transition issues than I might otherwise have been. I met people from all of the troops in our area and got to know them well. That was a huge side-benefit to taking WB as a cub leader.


I do understand, though, what you are saying about feeling like you've scored a victory just getting new cub leaders through the basic training!



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While I do not see the elitism or arrogance in our WB'ers that others see in theirs, I can understand why some believe it exists. I have heard the same kinds of comments from people in other venues I volunteer at.


The problem is that it is often much the SAME people who do the volunteering for EVERYTHING. So, once you get involved, you end up working with the same bunch over & over & you get to know them pretty well. Then, when someone new comes along, they see this bunch together and they feel like the bunch is a "clique" that they are not a part of. Sometimes it is very hard to get people to feel comfortable. Some of the boys in my son's Troop think he is showing off when they go to a Camporee & SM's & ASM's from other Troops know him by name & the DE comes by to give him a high five & chat. In fact this is because he has worked with these people on different council or district events for the last 5-6 years!


I have not taken WB. Our Training Chairs keep trying to get me there, but, as much as I would REALLY LOVE to attend, I just can not justify spending the $200+ (much less $400+ if I went with spouse) from the houshold budget.


NDL said - "You dont need WB to take cub scouts on outings and plan fun den meetings".


This is true. You also don't need WB to improve your unit's program. I have spent the last 11 years working to improve our Pack's program. I have had plenty of help & it is an ongoing process to find other volunteers who are as "Nuts" as I am, keep things going, keep quality up, & keep folks interested in learning new & better ways to deliver our program.


I do not see that I need a WB ticket to do these things. I have been doing them for 11 years without working them as ticket items & I sure as heck am not going to put things I want to do on hold on the off chance I will take WB in the future & can use them for ticket items then.


I attend Roundtable, staff events/training, & help out at the council & district level. I know a LOT of the WB'ers & like & respect them, not necessarily for the beads they wear, but for all of the time & effort that I have SEEN them put into this Scouting stuff!


All that said, I will continue to encourage our Pack's leaders to take more training & that includes Wood Badge!

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No, you don't need Wood Badge training to take Cub scouts on outings or plan fun meetings. You don't need it to be a Scoutmaster either. Some people are natural leaders and don't really need leadership training. They have the natural ability to take an idea and turn it into reality by getting other people involved and willing to help.


So, why take the training? Why earn the beads?


Once you get involved in scouting and get to know and make friends with enough scouters you are bound to hear some of them talk about Wood Badge you notice the beads on some of them. (Hopefully none of them are the elite type that you hear about)


You may know some of these people enough to trust them when they say you should take the course and that it would make you a better scouter.


You take the course because you trust your friends and you care about scouting. And, as a result you make more friends. More people who you can rely on and trust. More scouters who can help you get your job done and answer some tough questions you may have.


You work your ticket, which is turning another idea you have into reality. You've earned your beads and wear them for that reason alone.


You are a good leader, but now you can get your job done even better. You have more friends to help you. And, friendship is the glue that holds scouting together.

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"While I do not see the elitism or arrogance in our WB'ers that others see in theirs, I can understand why some believe it exists. I have heard the same kinds of comments from people in other venues I volunteer at. "


"The problem is that it is often much the SAME people who do the volunteering for EVERYTHING. So, once you get involved, you end up working with the same bunch over & over & you get to know them pretty well. Then, when someone new comes along, they see this bunch together and they feel like the bunch is a "clique" that they are not a part of."


This is a problem that can be true within any organization.


My guideline on this is "how easy is it to become a part of said group?" Do they welcome new people who want to come on board and help out, or better yet, do they SEEK out new people? Or do they turn away all inquiries of assistance because they are 'full', 'have all the help they need', or they 'just don't know you/don't trust you/have no idea if you can do the job [and just don't want to waste the time to find out]'?


[i've experience both attitudes both within and outside of scouting, btw]


First group is not a clique. Comradery/fellowship/espirit de corps does not a clique make. The second group is most certainly a clique. In the past, too oftern WB groups got like the second group. Today, most should be like the first group, but there may be a few hold outs (or a few too like the second).


The same could be true of any group within scouting: training teams, event teams, groups within the OA, etc.


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One of the main topics of WB is building high performance teams. This involves bringing in leaders and explaining your vision, and working to get your leader team working to achieve the goals needed to bring your vision to life.


If your unit is short of leaders, then your unit would benefit from some members of the leadership team attending WB.


Another topic is breaking down a large project into job responsibilities and assigning tasks to volunteers.


If your unit is suffering from lack of an exciting and varied program, your unit would benefit from someone dedicated to Scouting taking the time to attend WB.


The lessons learned in WB apply to your job/profession/business and your family. The ripples in the pond from the WB pebble spread far, and in every direction.


Just my .02.

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Ditto to Lisabob's post. When we were recruiting for this fall's WB course, we targeted Cub leaders above all others. Don't get me wrong, we recruited everyone in sight and signed up anyone we could, but we specifically were instructed to target Cub leaders. The reasons were basically everything Lisa said. I'm proud to report that we have out done all previous courses on recruiting. We had 56 paid participants for a course with a maximum of 48 by mid-May with the course being held in September.

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I too was a blue epaulet wearer during my quest for the taupe necker.(Summer between bear and WEEB I) As a WEEB II leader my cubmaster went to Wood Badge.


To have Two WB's in a pack committee is a great thing. Our committee is composed of DL's and cubmaster and a committee chair with nobody else attending. How great it is to sit in a meeting and know that there are two people that not only "get it" but they have some schooling in how to get "it" done. Not just meeting monthly goals and providing a good program, but people

with a larger network and the ability to get things done. Two people who believe nearly everything is possible.


I believe WB'ers are a tremendous benefit to the larger picture. Meet the goals of the month but also have long term plans on how to overcome the challenges that every pack faces. Recruitment,depth, parent involvement etc.

Heck you've got ten major goals completed for your unit if you have two wood badgers in the the pack. Every pack would be miles ahead by having two Wood Badgers.


Newbie, go now and recruit a buddy to go the following year.

The crux of the original post was about arrogance. Tell the Scoutmaster never to mistake arrogance for enthusiasm.

Newbie, go to Wood Badge and prove to your friend that at least one person who took the training isn't arrogant.

To bad eveybody on this forum didn't live near to each other. It would be one vote for arrogance and many votes against.


Anytime we get this many posts on a positive topic it's a great thing! It speaks about how passionate people are.






emb021 I thought your post was very very true. right on the mark!


SCOUTNUT- you have probably accomplished two or three "tickets" in your time as a leader. Why not go to the course and refine your efforts? It would give you a different view and recharge your batteries.You would be an asset to any WB patrol.

Everybody learns something at WB.


Eammon you're right about the idiot at WB. Here we say, "A pig in a tuxedo is still a pig" (no offense meant to the pig community)

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While I think that if you are interested in becoming a better leader, you should take WB, there is one thing that you should be aware of. Most, if not all, of the course simulations are based on how a Boy Scout Troop operates. I had a CS Den Leader in my Patrol, and she was at time a little lost because she didn't understand the meeting formats, etc. And its not like many troop actually follow the model meeting formats (although they should, my Troop does and it works great).


I think that WB is a great program and will help you not only in your Scouting life, but all areas of your life. It will help you set realistic goals and understand working with people.


About the elitism bit, I think the new WB has toned it done a bit by opening it up to more people. I know that when I was on summer camp staff, many leaders would decend on summer camp fresh from WB, and then proceed the staff (especially Scoutcraft) how to do thier jobs. However, I imagine since there is less emphasis on Scoutcraft type skills that this is not as prevalent. But people will often get out of things what they take into them.



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My beads are a part of my uniform, no less than the American Flag is, as far as I am concerned. I wear them simply because Wood Badge has made such a difference in how I approach scouting that in my mind, I cannot differentiate between Scouting and Wood Badge. The beads have nothing to do with show and everything to do with what they mean to me.


I have some very "showy" recognition badges I can wear if I really want to show off. For example, I attended a BSA University for Scouting for three years in a row and received 3 large slides (one for each year) which fit on a bolo tie, each is a different metal; brass (for the Brass Level), nickel (the Silver Level), and a lighter brass which is supposed to represent the Gold Level. These are hung proudly in my closet and are never worn. I feel that they are a bit too much for the uniform.


Really, the Wood Badge beads are quite small, though they are well recognized. That being the case, they are easy to wear and do not distract or show off anything, as far as I am concerned.


As far as elitist attitudes, there's no place for it in our district. I have noticed that people who display arrogance need the attention which fuels their poor attitude. Most of the Scouters I have known simply ignore anyone with such an attitude. The result is either the attitude goes away, or the one carrying it does.


Another good way to diffuse arrogance with some people is to put that person to work... have them do some real work and see if they are willing to serve in Scouts or if it is all show. I have found that people with arrogant attitudes would rather stay in the limelight and avoid the work that needs to be done. The most excellent scouters I have known perform their service in silence and do not seek the attention of everyone else.


Often, the mark of a good Scouter, and a good person for that matter, is to be willing to give without recognition or reward (this is not to say that BSA's concept of recognition is faulty in any way).


Eagle Pete



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