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My council is pushing the program to their districts and I was approached to consider attending. I'm wondering if the material covered in this program will help me to motivate others in my unit to "commit" to putting on a better program for our cubs.


You see, this is my 2nd year in scouting. I'm a Wolf den leader, Advancement chair, Popcorn Kernel and on District committee. I'm wearing these hats because other leaders choose not to. Will the program help me to keep a positive attitude about pushing my unit forward without pointing fingers at the "slackers"?


Thanks for any input.

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Yes, that is one of the main points of WB - building high performance teams to achieve a goal, and leading and dealing with change. WB won't cause the situation you face to change over night, but it will give you the knowledge and confidence to develope a plan, to create a vision, to implement the changes you desire (get more parents involved, spread the load,...). Some might suggest you get more experience (wait a few more years) before you attend, but I think you are a prime candidate for WB, based on your post. The tiny amount of overall knowledge you might gain in a year or two about the BSA isn't going to make much of a difference in dealing with the challenges you face, whereas WB training goes right to the heart of dealing with those issues. I strongly recommend you attend the earliest session you can. Good luck!

p.s. - they aren't slackers, they are potential leaders! :-) (ok, some might be slackers ;^) )

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Thanks for the speedy reply. I'll talk to my Dist. Exec. (who has his WB)about signing up. I'm thirsty for training so that I can implement changes with confidence. I don't have my outdoor skills training, however, our unit goes on 2 major campouts per year and I'm usually in charge of some activities for 30+ scouts who attend. What type of outdoor skills should I have for this WB training?

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The assumption is that you have the necessary outdoor training for your program level. For Cub Scouts, I would think that BALOO would be the minimum necessary. Depending on the setting in which your council holds their WB course, your actual nights outdoors may vary from just several to virtually the entire course.


There have been numerous other WB threads in the forum. I suggest you dig them out and read through them; you'll probably find them helpful.



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For cub leaders you need to have completed the appropriate training for your position, ie, NLE and position-specific training. BALOO is not required (though I highly recommend you do it anyway if you haven't already). Since you'll be a bear leader next year, you might want to decide whether taking outdoor leader training for webelos leaders (or whatever it is called where you are - it keeps changing names here) in the spring. But again, it is not required for cub leaders who want to attend WB.


When I went through WB a couple of years ago as a webelos leader we had a wide array, from people who could probably live just fine for months in the middle of nowhere, to people whose outdoor experience was primarily related to back yard bbqs. Not surprisingly most (though not all) of the Boy Scout leaders in attendance had stronger skills in this area because the boy scout program is much more outdoor-focused.


You'll get a wide variety of personal views on this topic of how outdoorsy you ought to be. My take, based on my personal experience in WB, is that you should certainly know some basics (how to put up your own tent is good!) but that the course staff will work to balance out patrols so that no one will be in a patrol of the blind leading the blind. Some of your patrol mates will likely be able to teach you some new things in terms of outdoor skills, just as you may be able to teach THEM some new things in other areas of the course.

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I'm actually going to be taking BALOO, so I'll be all set. I've got "outdoor sense" from years of camping as a child and I grew up on a mountain with lots of woods. Our WB course will be held at our cubscout camp, which has leantos! Yeah!


Saw some Scouters last night who told me about their experiences in the WB patrols. I think I'm going to like it. Now I just have to figure out what I will do for my tickets. Any suggestions? How many do I have to complete?

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Regarding the tickets, you may want to hold off a bit. You really do not need to go in with your tickets already laid out because they will probably be (hopefully be) informed by the topics you discuss during the first part of the course and your relationship with your mentor(s) that develops as part of the course. One thing that might be more useful is to take some time over the next few months to think about what your role in your pack is and what you hope for it to be. But your views on this may change considerably as part of the WB course so keep an open mind too.

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Most likely if you sign up for WB..which I think is an excellent idea for you to do NOW and not wait 2 years! There is a real need to get Cub Scouters through the training BEFORE they get to the Webelos group in order for Cub Scouting to better benefit from it. You'll most likely be give a pre-course questionaire. The questions are designed to make you think, but not necessarily share those thoughts with anyone else. One of the most important questions is something like "Where do you see yourself in scouting in 2 years?" If you can answer that well, it will help you begin to define your "vision" and in doing that, will also help you come up with ticket items.


What WB -should- do is to give you the tools you need to help find ways to "inspire" those other adults within the pack to -want- to help. Don't try to do it all yourself or you will hit meltdown before too long...promote helping the troop as an expectation. Start asking other parents to participate in and help with small things at first and if that doesn't work, there's always the "tag..you're it!!" way of working! ;)


Sue M.


I used to be a Beaver

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WB will certainly help make you (and your unit) better if you apply what you learn during WB.


My only concern is that you may be too new for WB. Stick with it a while, gain some more experience, have some fun, apply what you are learning now and maybe in a couple of years, go to WB.


In my opinion, WB should be considered as the pinnacle of adult Boy Scout leader training. Since Wood Badge for the 21st Century came out, it has been opened up to cub leaders and others as well. If BSA is not careful, WB will be regarded as the "been there, done that" course, then most leaders will have beads and you'll look out of place if you don't have any.


Have fun with your boys now, go to other training courses as they are offered.



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While I understand Gonzo's concern, here's the thing. If cub leaders wait a few years to do WB then they're practically done with the pack by the time they're working their tickets. Consider that you usually sign up for WB sometime between now and May, and the course is usually held somewhere between June-Sept. Then you have 18 months to complete the ticket. So someone who is a wolf leader right now would likely be a bear leader when they take the course and could be halfway through Webelos by the time they finish their ticket. For packs to receive the full benefit from the current WB people NEED to take the course early on.


This is different from boy scouts where a) many people who are leaders have been involved with BSA in some way before (probably in a pack at the least) and b) boys tend to stay for a longer time in a troop - hence, parents also stay longer, and c) where there's much more of a tradition of parents staying involved even after their child is done with scouting.

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Overall, I recommend you attend Wood Badge. If you are not an outdoorswoman, I'd recommend taking BALOO, Outdoor Leader training for Webelos (as Lisa said, using whatever name it has this month), and Boy Scout outdoor leader. If you are going to be around the movement for any time at all, this is all useful training!


Next, WB is first and foremost a leadership/team building course. If you've had lots of leadership pysch along the way, either in college or in the workplace, the content will be old hat. THAT SAID, the relationships and the teambuilding are lifelong!


Another key point: WB is not a substitute for position specific training for the Scouting positions you will have while your children are in, and hopefully AFTER your children are out of, the program! If you stop learning in Scouting, something's wrong :(


Do not worry about your ticket now. You will have time to form your ticket. You will have support to form your ticket. When you are ready, lots of us will gladly share resources to help you set and do your ticket.


Let us know how you decide :)


YIS John

Owls, C-40-05

I meet with my TG tonight for ticket review WOOHOO!

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What a topic! One could write a book about what Wood Badge is about...


I've been thinking of a way to reply to this topic without sounding like an ad for a time share...


Let's see now... (cheesy music starts playing)


What is Wood Badge ALL about?


Well, I am hardly qualified to say what it's ALL about...


I can tell you a few things...


Wood Badge is about Camaraderie - Learning to work together, finding new, sometimes life-long friends, joining a brotherhood that lasts for years and years.


Wood Badge is about Service - Serving fellow Wood Badgers, serving the patrol, serving one another, giving Good Will, serving the Scout.


Wood Badge is about Leading - Leading the patrol, teaching others, passing on timeless values, leading the Scouts. Leading to Make A Difference.


Wood Badge is about Teamwork - pulling together, working together, understanding together.


Wood Badge is about Vision - Your vision, the Scouting vision, having a goal, reaching a goal, enhancing your program, getting the picture.


Wood Badge is about Hard Work - Working toward a goal, stretching yourself, teaching about work, learning about work, working with Scouts.


Wood Badge is about Fun - Making it fun, keeping it simple, finding the fun, the Game and the Purpose, fun with the boys.


Wood Badge is about Relationships - Working with people, resolving conflict, motivating others, building others, seeing the best in others.


Wood Badge is about Good Food - Cooking good food, eating good food, dining with your patrol, dining outdoors, Good Friends go with Good Food.


Wood Badge is about the Outdoors - Camping outdoors, leaving no trace, experiencing the outdoors, understanding the outdoors and what this Method is all about.


Wood Badge is about Camp Fires - Telling stories, reading poems, stunts and skits, telling jokes, building the Fire.


Wood Badge is about Setting Goals - Working your ticket, measuring, achieving great things, practical application, keeping the vision alive.


Wood Badge is about Critters - The Beaver, the Bobwhite, the Eagle, the Fox, the Owl, the Bear, the Buffalo, the Antelope.


Wood Badge is many things. This list is only a fraction of the experience you are about to have. Do I sound like a Wood Badge salesman.. I'm working on it.


Your experience will be unique to you. It would be difficult to give you a true picture of what you personally will find at Wood Badge. I could not begin to guess. Different things happen to different people, because of their backgrounds, expectations, and level of Scouting experience. One thing is for sure, you won't forget your time at Wood Badge.


Just Go!


Eagle Pete(This message has been edited by eagle-pete)

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One thing of note is that you have to be trained in your primary position, and your ticket is written for that position. For example, my primary, paid registration was Assistant Scoutmaster when I took Wood Badge, but I was also on the District Committee as the Boy Scout Training Chair. My committee job didn't matter, and my training requirement to attend was the ASM job and my ticket was written on that. Now, I am primary on the District Committee so if I had done wood badge now, my training requirement would be to be a trained District Committee Member and my ticket would be for that role. Hope this makes sense. It's a small distinction, but it's made for us with more than one hat.




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Gonzo writes: "If BSA is not careful, WB will be regarded as the "been there, done that" course, then most leaders will have beads and you'll look out of place if you don't have any."


It sounds like you think that would be a bad idea. It sounds great to me! Would the BSA be worse off if nearly every leader attended Wood Badge? As long as the course is delivered as it should be, I don't see a problem with seeing lots of beads. I think I understand your point, that the course my lose it's significance - but if it is taught as I received it, I don't think it would become insignificant or mundane.

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I agree with Lisabob...Why should the Cub Scouting program suffer for the lack of WB trained leaders?...which it IS doing in many peoples' opinions! If you wait until the leaders are Web II leaders..they can be almost gone from the pack before their ticket is finished so while what they do may benefit the pack in the short term..how does it benefit it in the long term? There is a real need to get CS'ers trained as early as possible so that they can use what they learn to really make a difference for the long term. You can still enjoy the boys and perhaps in the process even make a greater contribution to not only the pack but to the boys themselves.


WB is/was not meant to be some elitist club...everyone can gain something from the -life- skills that are taught there.


Sue M.

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