Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
robvio

What are the benefits of Wood Badge to a troop?

Recommended Posts

I have been reading through the posts in this thread, trying to determine what point Kudu has been making, and whether he has said anything that could be of benefit to another scouter - whether they chose to take Wood Badge or not. So far, I have found nothing from Kudu in this thread that I can see that could benefit anyone.

 

No matter what our personal opinion is - for or against Wood Badge - if any Scout Leader comes away from the training with something that can help them or their unit, I don't see how bad-mouthing Wood Badge benefits Scouters, BSA, or the boys we serve.

 

I would suggest that we not throw on anymore fuel to add to this fire.

 

I would even go so far as to suggest that a moderator consider locking this thread before someone really gets mean.

 

Eagle Pete

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BrentAllen writes:

 

"Careful - your lack of Wood Badge course knowledge is showing."

 

For those keeping track of the reasons to attend Wood Badge, this is #9.

 

"The CD is NOT known as the Cubmaster when the participants are grouped as dens."

 

Well then, the obvious question is: "If the participants belong to Wood Badge Cub Scout Dens, why isn't the director known as the Wood Badge Cubmaster?"

 

"Also, the Patrols do cook their own meals during the second half of the course."

 

I haven't seen a course outline, but if Wood Badge had any practical value to Boy Scouting, its graduates would at least agree that all Boy Scout summer camps should have a Patrol Method cooking option.

 

"Have you attended Wood Badge? If so, when and where?"

 

Beaver, NE III - 137

 

"Did you stay in cabins, as your Troop does,"

 

Most Troops in the north stay in cabins in the coldest months, except for Klondikes and other challenging winter outings. Since you insist on personal confrontation, Dunwoody: I am a nationally certified BSA Okpik instructor, I staff all of my Council's five levels of cold weather training courses, and I am perfectly capable of facilitating whatever decisions my Patrol Leaders make regarding their winter accommodations.

 

"or did you actually camp in tents?"

 

We camped in tents with some of the Patrols 1/4 mile apart. We cooked on wood fires.

 

"In fact, your quote supports my argument that B-P did take it from Dinizulu fort: 'To have stolen a Zulu ruler's property was thought underhanded and unpleasant, as was the idea of the founder of a worldwide multiracial brotherhood fighting against Africans'."

 

The point of the passage is that this first version of the story was made up too.

 

eagle-pete writes:

 

"I have been reading through the posts in this thread, trying to determine what point Kudu has been making,"

 

I have made several short summaries of my points as Wood Badge readers declared that they could not understand.

 

"and whether he has said anything that could be of benefit to another scouter - whether they chose to take Wood Badge or not. So far, I have found nothing from Kudu in this thread that I can see that could benefit anyone."

 

robvio's question was straightforward: Is it worth the money and will it benefit his Troop?

 

Wood Badge is a cult: its members can not even conceive of other points of view.

 

"No matter what our personal opinion is - for or against Wood Badge - if any Scout Leader comes away from the training with something that can help them or their unit,"

 

It is a question of return on investment. If my simple Wood Badge Course Director test reveals that he is ignorant of the source of two of the most famous quotations in Scouting, then your efforts are better spent reading about the American Patrol Method from the original BSA source material:

 

http://tinyurl.com/38zo9r

 

(Look for the word "volume" in the description).

 

"I don't see how bad-mouthing Wood Badge benefits Scouters, BSA, or the boys we serve...I would even go so far as to suggest that a moderator consider locking this thread before someone really gets mean."

 

Your suggestion speaks volumes about Wood Badge mentality.

 

Back in the early days of Internet discussion groups, I first noticed that this Wood Badge predilection towards blind obedience and "really getting mean" occurred when they were confronted with criticisms of the Uniform. Back then they even long-distance phone calls to my Council to report me for recommending nylon zip-offs to to my Scouts and for wearing them to National training events.

 

Our secretaries complained about "those people from the Internet" :-)

 

For ten years Wood Badgers have used personal attacks to avoid thinking about what a Scout Uniform should be: An Outdoor Method made of breathable nylon and free of clown colors.

 

Now it appears that the new Uniform (except for the continuation of hemmed pant lengths and the redundant epaulet loops) is exactly what I have been recommending over the objections of Wood Badge "true believers" for a decade.

 

You want to make it personal?

 

I was right about the Scout Uniform and I am right about the Patrol Method!

 

Kudu

(This message has been edited by Kudu)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those keeping track of the reasons to attend Wood Badge, this is reason #9: Support Wood Badge or suffer personal attacks.

If politely pointing out your sore lack of knowledge about a subject you speak so often of is a personal attack, so be it.

Well now, the obvious question is: "If the participants belong to Wood Badge Cub Scout Dens, why isn't the director known as the Wood Badge Cubmaster?"

Again, if you knew anything about the course, you would know the CD is always the SM. The first half of the first day is spent as part of the Cub Scout program, and at the Blue & Gold lunch, the participants cross over to Troop 1. Now, if the CD is the SM who is there to welcome the new members of Troop 1, it would be pretty hard for him to also be the CM as well. So, no, the CD is not the CM. Another staff member acts as CM.

I haven't seen a course outline...

This is painfully obvious. Is anyone else amazed at how Kudu can trash a program he knows so little about?

For ten years Wood Badgers have used personal attacks to avoid thinking about what a Scout Uniform should be: An Outdoor Method made of breathable nylon and free of clown colors.

Wow! I had no idea us Wood Badgers were in charge of making uniform decisions! What next, we are part of the vast right-wing conspiracy?!?! Please keep it coming - this is getting very entertaining!

I was right about the Scout Uniform and I am right about the Patrol Method.

Yeah, and did you invent the internet, too? You honestly think you have been the only one calling for a uniform change? You are a true legend in your own mind! As for your Summer Camp Dining Hall beef, you'll have to take that up with the BSA and the Councils. I'm surprised you would lend your time to a group (BSA) which you find so lacking. FYI, at the Summer Camp I attended as a youth, we cooked all of our meals. As for cooking over an open fire, it is rarely done anymore, due to LNT concerns. We are going camping this weekend and we have a complete fire ban (National Forest Service) - not even charcoal. Camp stove cooking is the 21st Century method of camping - by patrols, no less. Welcome to 2007.

Just a few more quesitons. Did you complete your ticket?  Were you awarded your beads? Do you wear them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BrentAllen wrote:

 

If politely pointing out your sore lack of knowledge about a subject you speak so often of is a personal attack, so be it.

 

Here, here!

 

Again, if you knew anything about the course, you would know the CD is always the SM. The first half of the first day is spent as part of the Cub Scout program, and at the Blue & Gold lunch, the participants cross over to Troop 1. Now, if the CD is the SM who is there to welcome the new members of Troop 1, it would be pretty hard for him to also be the CM as well. So, no, the CD is not the CM. Another staff member acts as CM.

 

You're wasting your breath (typing?). Kudu isn't interested in the course whatsoever. Hasn't he made this clear?

 

Kudu wrote:

I haven't seen a course outline...

 

BrentAllen responded:

This is painfully obvious. Is anyone else amazed at how Kudu can trash a program he knows so little about?

 

Amazed, yes... but also saddened that Kudu may be tainting the opinion of leaders who have not had the benefit of experiencing Wood Badge for themself - an experience which he claims to have had, and now feels obligated to rob from others.

 

Wow! I had no idea us Wood Badgers were in charge of making uniform decisions! What next, we are part of the vast right-wing conspiracy?!?! Please keep it coming - this is getting very entertaining!

 

We also caused hurricane Katrina

 

Kudu wrote:

I was right about the Scout Uniform and I am right about the Patrol Method.

 

BrentAllen responded:

Yeah, and did you invent the internet, too? You honestly think you have been the only one calling for a uniform change? You are a true legend in your own mind! As for your Summer Camp Dining Hall beef, you'll have to take that up with the BSA and the Councils. I'm surprised you would lend your time to a group (BSA) which you find so lacking. FYI, at the Summer Camp I attended as a youth, we cooked all of our meals. As for cooking over an open fire, it is rarely done anymore, due to LNT concerns. We are going camping this weekend and we have a complete fire ban (National Forest Service) - not even charcoal. Camp stove cooking is the 21st Century method of camping - by patrols, no less. Welcome to 2007.

 

I would also add Kudu cannot possibly be right about something he knows little about (Patrol Method).

 

Just a few more quesitons. Did you complete your ticket? Were you awarded your beads? Do you wear them?

 

Yes, please do tell.

 

Eagle Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would even go so far as to suggest that a moderator consider locking this thread before someone really gets mean.

 

You know, it isnt we moderators that really have the control. It is all YOU folks that post. It is YOU that determine the direction of the discussion, the knowledge imparted, and the tone and style used. It is YOU that make the choice to berate institutions and individuals. It is YOU that ultimately determine the character of these forums, and their long term success.

 

When a moderator steps in to stop the ruckus, it is only because YOU have failed to moderate yourselves.

 

So whats it going to be? (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've chimed in on this thread some. I agree there are a couple ways this could go.

 

I attended WB in '94, so, I've only heard about WB21C, I personally think that a course that incorporates Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venture Scouting, etc could have been ADDED, and not been the change to WB, for it seems to have coincided with the turn of the century. WB21C is not the old course we took. If I had to guess, yours was one week long. Mine was three weekends and a couple of patrol meetings in between.

 

But, that isn't the way it is. Kudu makes some valid points, Brent does too and the rest of us do as well.

 

If I had to guess, I'd say Kudu is older, probably 60 something and kinda "stuck in his ways". I'm stuck in my ways. I prefer the green poly-cotton uniform, small collar to fold under, never liked the collarless shirt, outdoors program (never slept in a cabin as a boy scout - EVER) I prefer some color on the uniform, but not the tan background for today's patches.

 

The patrol method IS alive and well, more so in some troops than others. Let us all resolve to make the patrol method a primary focus of our efforts. It's taught and reinforced at IOLS and WB.

 

Robvio, the benefits of attending WB are numerous. You get out of the course what you put in to it. Go, have fun!

 

Never do for a boy what a boy can do for himself.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen a course outline, but if Wood Badge had any practical value to Boy Scouting, its graduates would at least agree that all Boy Scout summer camps should have a Patrol Method cooking option.

 

That takes the cake... I've been giving Kudu a little credit for bashing the course because I'd assumed he went thru it, but if he's never seen the course outline, then he's just bashing for the same of bashing, which is un-Scoutlike.

 

And, for the record, any unit attending summer camp has the option of patrol cooking. It's called "bring your own food and don't go to the dining hall". Some camps even discount the price, and offer fridge space or cooler ice for perishables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"7) New ideas are "modern" and therefore better than "old-fashioned" traditional ideas."

 

I love this one. I hear it all the time in Scouting and out. New has to be better or you're not relevant or "in touch with the times." Classical music isn't relevant but most is wonderful. Rap is allegedly relevant but is mostly about violence and disrespct to women. Relevant is good?

 

Good leadership hasn't changed since the days of Gengis Khan. Seminars might teach management but leadership is something that comes from within, classwork can hone leadership skills but can't create them.

 

I haven't seen the need to invest the time and money in Woodbadge because I haven't been impressed by the new Wood Badgers that I know (most old ones are a different story). However, as an outsider looking in, most of what Kudu says makes sesne except for his love of nylon clothing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BrentAllen writes:

 

"The first half of the first day is spent as part of the Cub Scout program, and at the Blue & Gold lunch, the participants cross over to Troop 1."

 

OK, good point: Another reason for robvio to attend Wood Badge:

 

10) I find appealing the idea of spending a day as a pretend Cub Scout. I really want to join an adult Cub Scout Den. I look forward to a pretend Blue & Gold dinner. I want to commit to three long weekends run by management experts who think that kind of thing is cute. I enjoy the company of Cub Scout leaders for extended periods of time because the manager skills for Cub Scouts are the same as the manager skills for Boy Scouts.

 

"Wow! I had no idea us Wood Badgers were in charge of making uniform decisions!"

 

Participants generally leave Wood Badge with "a commitment to the Uniform Method" which often translates into strict enforcement with the same quality of blind obedience that we see demonstrated in this thread now.

 

"What next, we are part of the vast right-wing conspiracy?!?!"

 

You can often tell people's political positions from what they have to say about the Uniform or Wood Badge. The smear techniques are similar to the neo-conservative "black baby" campaign against John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary.

 

"You honestly think you have been the only one calling for a uniform change?"

 

On the contrary. By the time I wore my first pair of olive-drab "zip-off" outdoor "Scout Pants" to a national training event, the BSA National Director of Boy Scout Training and some of the most highly-place senior BSA executives in Irving Texas were already trying to introduce what we now know ten years later as the official BSA Switchbacks. For a decade Wood Badge types continued to lash out at anyone who questioned the dress-designer "deeply-held values that the Uniform represents."

 

BrentAllen writes:

 

"This is painfully obvious. Is anyone else amazed at how Kudu can trash a program he knows so little about?"

 

eagle-pete writes:

 

"Amazed, yes... but also saddened that Kudu may be tainting the opinion of leaders who have not had the benefit of experiencing Wood Badge for themself - an experience which he claims to have had, and now feels obligated to rob from others."

 

eolesen writes:

 

"That takes the cake... I've been giving Kudu a little credit for bashing the course because I'd assumed he went thru it, but if he's never seen the course outline, then he's just bashing for the same of bashing, which is un-Scoutlike."

 

Eolesen, when you assumed that I had attended the 21st century version, you insisted that my views were not valid because my "own words" revealed that I had not gone into the course with an "open mind." So this translates into more reasons for robvio to attend Wood Badge if he agrees:

 

11) I want to join the cult of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducky: Understanding it is impossible unless I have had the proper "Wood Badge Experience." If I am critical afterward it proves that I did not open my mind to this mystical "Wood Badge Experience" in an acceptable manner.

 

12) A manager course that is impossible to understand unless I take it over every time it is revised is a good investment of my time and money.

 

According to this Wood Badge logic, BrentAllen is no longer qualified to discuss 21st century Wood Badge because his mention of the Blue & Gold "lunch" reveals that the Cub Scout content has doubled since he last attended.

 

13) I feel threatened when the relationship of training to the Methods of Scouting are discussed. It means that the topic has been hijacked. A moderator should close the topic before my fellow cult members "get really mean."

 

Gonzo1 writes:

 

"I personally think that a course that incorporates Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venture Scouting, etc could have been ADDED, and not been the change to WB..."

 

I agree completely. If the manager techniques are the same for Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venture Scouting, then simply introduce a new Leadership Development Method course and allow Wood Badge to continue as the Patrol Method course.

 

"WB21C is not the old course we took."

 

Yes, and since we are in the same boat I should warn you that the 21st century Wood Badgers will get "really mean" if you continue to speak in favor of attending Wood Badge because we are not qualified to talk about Wood Badge unless we take it over again :-/

 

"If I had to guess, I'd say Kudu is older, probably 60 something and kinda "stuck in his ways".

 

Age does not prove much of anything. Do you believe that 13-year-olds are not qualified to earn Eagle because they "can not possibly understand what it means"?

 

"I'm stuck in my ways. I prefer the green poly-cotton uniform, small collar to fold under..."

 

Now that you mention it, I would prefer a Neckerchief-friendly collarless option (like in the 1960s) on the new shirt as well. I don't like folding them under.

 

Gold Winger writes:

 

"Good leadership hasn't changed since the days of Gengis Khan. Seminars might teach management but leadership is something that comes from within, classwork can hone leadership skills but can't create them."

 

I agree. Do you have any observations about what the "Genghis Khan" gifted natural leader vs. "one minute manager" ratio is in any given Troop? (How often do you encounter a really gifted Patrol Leader?) Is the occurrence rate different in city vs. suburban populations?

 

"However, as an outsider looking in, most of what Kudu says makes sense except for his love of nylon clothing."

 

LOL, I have read your observations about "plastic clothing" with amusement :-/

 

Kudu

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some reasons why anyone considering attending Wood Badge should ignore Kudu's opinions:

 

1. Kudu never has liked Wood Badge. He took the old course and was disappointed: "I went to Wood Badge hoping for an in-depth "why" discussion of the so-called "Eight Methods" (why not the original six?) and the so-called "Three Aims" (why not the original one?) but the Eight Methods were only mentioned in passing." Even though he has never attended the new course or seen the syllabus, he offers his negative opinions as if he were an expert.

 

2. Kudu doesn't care much for the BSA, and if he could join a Baden-Powell Scout group, he would.

 

3. Kudu disagrees with the BSA Patrol Method of allowing the boys to elect their own leaders.

 

4. Kudu thinks the Senior Patrol Leader position has absolutely no value.

 

5. Kudu bases his decision on who is a good Scouter and who isn't on an inane obsession over who said "Scouting is a game with a purpose." This has to be one of the silliest points I have ever seen, and unfortunately, Kudu has to bring it up just about every other post. Do we not all agree that Scouting is a game with a purpose? Did B-P not state that Scouting was a game? Does anyone think B-P would have a problem with anyone attributing the quote to him, that he would disagree with the idea? Since Bill Hillcourt was presumably the author, could it be possible that he actually heard the phrase from B-P?? BTW, Kudu's hero, Bill Hillcourt was a serious Wood Badger, even serving as a Course Director. Hmmmm....

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BrentAllen writes:

 

"BTW, Kudu's hero, Bill Hillcourt was a serious Wood Badger, even serving as a Course Director."

 

Does anyone have a course outline of Hillcourt-era BSA Wood Badge?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh...

 

Let me first just offer an apology, I really didnt mean for a spirited debate to happen, but I am kind of glad it did. I really wanted feedback from both sides.

 

Also let me state, that I have been in serious debates about the old Wood Badge class versus the 21st Century Wood Badge within my own district. If the selling points are correct, then the old Wood badge just sounds better though I dont know if it really is better.

 

What worries me is that I have been told that the course wasnt 175 dollars worth and now the price has been raised to 250. That poses a debate in my mind from those who will also tell you its invaluable to your troop but fail to tell me what exactly I would be able to do within my troop and just go as far as to say that Wood Badge is only worth what "you want to get out of it."

 

To me (and I mean no insults or offense) if all I can expect to get to get out of it is proper useage of scouting principles to my troop ,like patrol methodology or general leadership principles, I'll spend 5 bucks and checkout Baden Powell and Hillcourt books at my local library and then maybe take a strong approach on how to plan properly and reread the Art of War to help my leadership skills (maybe a bad example but it was an inspiration to my overall work management skill). :/

 

As you can see, I have no desire to spend 250 bucks and travel expenses on a course that I can basically home study without earning a cool neckerchief, a neat slide, and some beads without knowing that its a great way to spend the money and be absolutely sure it will improve my troop. I dont want to feel the least bit like my council wouldnt use the money and hire the absolute best instructors instead of getting some people who volunteer that as a ticket item and cant teach their way out of a paper sack. I've been to enough of those and was disappointed even when the were at no cost to me.

 

(that last paragraph can be a whole new topic that I may start someday and really make some people mad...yikes!)(This message has been edited by robvio)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I agree. Do you have any observations about what the "Genghis Khan" gifted natural leader vs. "one minute manager" ratio is in any given Troop? (How often do you encounter a really gifted Patrol Leader?) Is the occurrence rate different in city vs. suburban populations?"

 

I'd say it is probably about 1 in 6, although opportunities for kids to lead today are dwindling unless it is related to crime.

 

Remember the good old days. . . kids would hang out in a group and there was usually a leader. He wasn't elected but he was the one that could get the ideas implemented. There were the kids who were always the captains of the pick-up teams. The guys who organized the midnight swims at the town pool.

 

Now kids sit around an play video games. No leadership opportunities there. Pick-up games? Not any more. Sports teams? The captains are just figure heads because the coach calls the shots from the sidelines.

 

When I was an altar boy, the head altar boy was in charge. He made the schedule and hired and fired his crews. Now the padre makes the schedule and no one is ever fired because that would be mean.

 

The biggest problem in finding good leaders is that you have to have people who are willing to be led. Today, in the workplace, in Scouts, and in life in general people want a person to be in charge so they can be the scapegoat but they don't see why the leader should be allowed to lead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob,

 

Welcome back.

 

If I'd not had a lot of leadership psych along the way, thanks to the Army, much of what WB teaches would have been knew. As it was, it was a useful review of plowed and fertilized ground.

 

The most important take-away I had from the course was the network I gained. I'm in a large, active council; I see many of the same Scouters activity in and activity out. We all love serving youth, that's why we campmaster, commish, oa advise, work in our troops and crews, do district rt, district committee... the list keeps going. New people bring different perspectives on an array of issues. I went out-of-council for my WB, and discovered close to 100 new perspectives ... from folks throughout KS, NE, and MO.

 

To me, it was worth the money. You, and you alone, are the one who can judge both beforehand and after if it will be or was worth the money to you.

 

I wish I could give you an eloquent answer; I cannot. I can simply say "I learned something, met new people and had fun." That's more than I've gotten out of most trainings in industry.

 

Good hunting to your own decision. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×