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things we might change about WB

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"Sitting on a bench under a tarp isn't quite what BP meant."


Isn't what B-P meant for the boys, or meant for WB training? The very first course took place at Gilwell Park, which wasn't exactly out in the wild. Given B-P's familiarity with military training, I imagine his "classroom" wasn't much different than the one we use today. The course included a series of lectures, from B-P and other guests. They were either sitting under a tarp or out in the open, and given London weather, my guess is they were under a tarp.

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I think I'd also put a little more emphasis on "what's a good ticket" but have that be before-the-course preparation, especially for a weeklong course.


When I developed my ticket, it was done while talking with the CC and SM in my troop, and with another SM I'd gotten to know pretty well back in Texas. I don't think it would have worked out to be as much of a challenge or even as uniquely tailored to my abilities if I didn't get their input. If I had to rely only on discussions with my TG to get it written, I would have easily wound up in "ticket detention" instead of working on the conservation project. Since I took the course out of council, he had no idea of how things ran in our neck of the woods.

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"The Course of instruction will be based on SCOUTING FOR BOYS, and the Chief Scout's book "AIDS TO SCOUTMASTERSHIP," and will include lectures and practical work in campcraft, nature study, general scouting, organization and methods of running patrols and troops."




Looks to me like they had lectures on several subjects. They did only have one day of rain, so maybe they weren't under tarps.

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you're right, I may havehelped make your point. The three weekend course I took isn't the same as your course or the week long course that Eamonn may have taken at Gilwell. We did have a porta john, not a hand dug latrine. We also wore the uniform of today, not knee socks with the garter and tassles ;)


I know with BSA, there is no turning back.


Check PM.



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Brent, you are ignoring the fact that part ii was all practical. Woodmsmanship, Scout Games, Scout Craft, etc..


"I know with BSA, there is no turning back."


Not really, they did a reversal when they put camping back into the program. Alas, I'm sure that they'll continue to water down the program even more over the next 20 years. Map reading? Don't need it. Emergency shelter? Why? You'll never get lost with your GPS and cell phone. Knots? Don't need them with velcro and bungees. Swimming? Not needed because you wear a PFD anytime you're near the water.




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Of course we need to remember that there was another WB Course, along with the Boy Scout there was a Cub Scout Trainer course.

All the meals were provided and there was a lot of sitting around listening.

The Ticket was really hard as it had to do with only Training.

The course was a week long.

Like most training's that are offered; once you were there and got into it! It was fun.

I know that after attending it and staffing it I was a far better trainer.

But I never did understand why we went to a Scout Camp? Slept in a tent? A meeting room at a local Holiday Inn would have worked far better!!

Very few Cub Scouter's took the course. It was offered at the Regional level and at times failed to take into account local differences.

Sadly a lot of the people who did attend really weren't involved in Adult Leader Training, they really had no reason to be there and the course didn't meet their expectations.

The 21st Century is a good course on leadership. The people who don't seem to get as much out of it as others are the people who have taken leadership courses for their job. This might be because the staff at WB are volunteers?Not the professionals who charge an arm and a leg.

I do have some concerns about what might happen in the future, with what I have heard about NYLS and having seen the Leadership Courses that OJ has taken with the OA(At the Section level)It kinda seems to me that by the time people like OJ (Now 19) take the course, they will have been there, done that and it will be the same old same old.

I really don't have a problem with the WB Course. As a course on leadership it does deliver the goods.

I think there is a problem with the other Training's.

Very few of the Cub Scouter's I know return to get the specific training they need when they change positions. Maybe I'm stuck in my ways but I still prefer the old Cub Scout Leader Training's.

I think the Cub Scout Trainer position is like the Den Leader Coach, a great idea, which due to lack of manpower just doesn't work. No pack in our area has a working Cub Scout Trainer.

The NLE's is a good course -Even with the silly Bridge (Committees have a jig-saw!!) I think at times the delivery is rushed, the break out session needs looked at. Done right it should have all the participants going home with a good over-view of all the sections.

The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Trainings need to be combined (Specific and Out-door) and spread over two full weekends. There is way too much information given at the Specific Training over nine hours and having a group sitting around with only 3 activities over that nine hours is just not working. The outdoor training isn't bad, but all too often the people who need the most help get overshadowed by the people who do have the skills. (This happened a lot at the old Boy Scout course and the course I took at Gilwell Park)

Maybe moving R/T from the Commissioner Staff to the Training Teams might result in better trained leaders?

Maybe taking a long hard look at the people we invite to serve as Trainers would be a good idea? It seems a little daffy to me that we shouldn't ask a leader to be a commissioner, but don't seem to worry when we take him or her from his or her unit to help deliver training's which if the job is to be done right can't be done at the drop of a hat. I was asked to step down as Council Training Chairman, when I was selected to become District Chairman, which was the right thing to do, but when I needed trainers I raided the units??

We need to stop looking at handing out WB Staff positions as some kind of a reward. We do need to find the best presenters and do everything we can to help them develop.

While I'm happy that we have got away from the Wood Badge "Good Old Boys" Club, I'm not so sure that the rule of one turn at Course Director and your out is such a good move. Most people who have been asked to be CD were asked for a reason? To never use these people again seems silly.

While I'm ranting!!

I'm not sure we need to bother with all the extra beads. Sure I wear my set of four, but I don't need too let the world know! I'd be just as happy wearing a set of two.

(I'm done now!!)


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Boy Eamonn, sometimes I wonder if we were at one time joined at the hips. My thoughts are almost word for word the same as you wrote.


Just when I felt National was starting to understand the training needs of the adults, they seem to go the opposite direction on the youth side. National just seems to struggle with the big picture. Still, this scouting stuff is pretty tough in the trenches. I'm know it isn't any easier for the professionals in the basement.






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I have taken Wood Badge for the 21st Century and was on staff for the same. I can certainly agree the the purpose of the course is not to teach specific leadership or outdoor skills - these are now taught in separate prerequisite courses to Wood Badge.


Knowing the nuts and bolt of how to lead a unit is a good thing. Knowing about camping and the outdoors is also a good thing.

But, having these skills is worthless unless you are willing to apply them for the benefit of the youth.


There is a saying: "Ideas are like bellybuttons, everyone has one" (I know there are other versions of this saying). All too often I here volunteers come up with great ideas for scouting. But,when it comes to making those ideas a reality, no one steps forward - not even the person who came up with the idea.


I believe the message of the modern Wood Badge course is this: don't just stand there, do something. Don't just come up with ideas, come up with the plan and get other people involved to make it happen. Look at syllabus of the new course, it stresses: planning, problem solving, team building, conflict resolution, change, diversity and communicating with people. These are all skills needed to come up with a plan and to make it happen.


The Wood Badge ticket is just that. It mandates that the participant come up with an idea and document how it is to become a reality. It stresses getting others involved. It stresses results. It's ultimate goal is for the benefit of scouting's youth.


Hopefully, after a paticipant has complete their ticket, they don't just stop there. Having the confidence and the training to make good things happen empowers a leader to continue with more "tickets" - to go forward and continue making good things happen.


There are probably some minor tweaks I would make to the syllabus, but overall the intention of the new course makes sense to me.


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I am a bit late on this thread, but I'll put in my two cents anyway!


I think the Outdoor Experience (second weekend) has to be re-tooled. Since we are not teaching any outdoor skills in this course, why on earth do we put the participants through the physical rigors of "camping". In our camp, it is a physical endeavor for the participants. The land is hilly, distances between the campsites and presentation areas are not short. Equipment has to be humped in and out, up hill both ways. Even though we transport most of the gear to the campsites, they still have to hump the gear a considerable distance. There are the constant trips back to the campsites for meals and other misc. reasons. Then there are the "second tier" bathrooms that are just not the same as the bathrooms in the main part of camp, and of course there is the considerable hike to the showers. I think it all detracts from the course, and makes it very uncomfortable for the participants, many of whom are not young or in great shape.


My second thought is about the pace and intensity of the program. When I look around the room and see a good portion of the staff and participants either asleep or nodding in and out, I have to wonder about he effectiveness of the program. Please understand that these people were just plain worn out, they were not nodding because the presenters were boring. The very long days without much downtime, intense pace, and very high demands (expectations) all come together to create what might might be considered a numbing pace. A pace that most people just can't keep up with.


I am quite sure that many of you have had the same expierance.


So that's my two cents.

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Differenct council, different course director, different perspective :)


Where I took WB, the campground had sufficient space for all 8 patrols in a "camping meadow." Site to site, it wasn't much further than 100 meters tops.


The staff brought our stuff down in pickups and piled it. The PLs had chosen sites during the intra-course break.


Your critique is certainly valid. I think if CDs/SPLs/QMs use some careful thought, and look at weekend two logistics as part of course prep, the critique can be successfully overcome.

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I took WB in 1994. It was a Boy Scout program. No Cub leaders. We even had a few DE's. We slept in the tents we set up, cooked over the fires we built, had PLC's, had some sit down learning in cabins, worked on our pioneering & compass skills, did skits, lead worship services, attended assembly daily, backpacked, hiked & learned some new recipes all in the great outdoors! It was a blast & the best training course I have ever attended for anything! No movies, no long lectures. Tons of hands on stuff. My patrol functioned the way a Scout patrol was expected to function. We worked together toward a goal! We all made new friends.


I have never attended the new course & don't plan to. From what I have read & heard, the new course is more of a management course. Nuff said.


Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10



Eagle Patrol

"I'm a talon you, we're the Eagles!"

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