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Who Conducts Wood/Cedar Badge Training? A Volunteer or?

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I admit it, it's been over 18 years since I went to a business seminar or skills improvement course. And the few I went to were probably at a discount rate through my employer at the time. So the cost "was" about the same as a modern-day Wood Badge course. I wasn't aware of the serious incline in cost of attendance to business management seminars/courses. My mistake - I apologize for the grouping of the two types of training.


I don't know anything about the other threads about Wood Badge except that I went in a couple, looking for some answers, but quickly backed out of those threads because they went off on tangents I was confused on. Not where I want to ask advice from. I started my own thread because of these 2 real live applications staring me in the face for this coming Spring! And my Committee has been talking about sending 1 eligible youth to Cedar Badge and 1 eligible Adult to Wood Badge this year. We're discussing funding.


That's all there is to it!

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"Also, my Council's Wood Badge is not a 7-day deal, it is 4 days plus a Patrol meeting(s) in between."


The standard way Wood Badge is delivered is either as a 7 day course OR as a 2 3-day weekend course (all day Friday-Saturday-Sunday).


Which way is available to you is up to your local council. Regardless, the costs would be the same, and the amount of time spent is the same.


"And I do not understand most anything about Wood Badge. The paperwork I have is vague. I know there are many experienced Scouters on this message board who have been to Wood Badge. So I wanted more information. "


The best people to answer your questions about Wood Badge would be the people in your council putting it on. They can help you understand what you need to do to be prepared for it, what are the eligibility requirements (basically be "basic trained" for your position in scouting, whatever that may be), and as you have so many questions about costs, they can explain to you what the breakdown of the costs are. Having being a Wood Badge staffer and seen the breakdown, there is very little 'fluff' in WB budgets. And even if you removed it, I don't see it making a big difference in the final cost. No one is making out like a bandit and making a lot of money.


Again, in comparison with other training available in other organizations, WB is a bargain. For instance, a week of technical training in my field will cost me about $2000-3000, and that doesn't include any meals or housing.



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Joni (sorry, I misspelled this)


May I make one more comment?


Don't allow anyone's comments on this forum to make your decision. All the comments on this forum are opinions of Scouters, nothing more. I would take what good you can from it and ignore the rest. Your decisions should be based on sound advise from people you know, what your gut tells you, and your own good sense. Not from a faceless posting by someone who doesn't know you, doesn't know your situation, and who cannot possibly give you sufficient advise on which to base a decision.


In my OPINION - and that's all it is.. is it would be a mistake to not take Wood Badge based on your experience here on this forum, although I would have liked to have contributed positively to your decision to go.


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

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With 5 kids 8 and under (2 of them are 15 month old twin boys), a single income, I can relate. The cost of the course is certainly a matter of perspective.


It was a challenge for me to come up with the $ for the course. I can think of a lot of things that $250 would do for my family. It was really a family decision with my wife and I to squeeze that out of our budget.


I did not know about the scholarships at the time. If they had any participants in my course that were using a scholarship...I will tell you that none of the participants were any the wiser that I knew of. I truly wish I had known about it.


On a side note...bless you for considering taking it. I know that it must be a challenge to contribute your time away from your family to take scout training courses and work with the scouts. I hope that the youth that you work with appreciate your efforts. I know that I really appreciate the efforts my wife puts in for our family. She may not leave the house to go to work, but she does so work.


I agree with the positive comments by Eagle-Pete. Sort through the comments and take what ya like. I totally love some of the stuff I find in the forums, but ...not all.





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Well I did get a clarification on what training I would need from the District. I apparently don't need the Outdoor Leader Skills, as I am not a SM or an ASM. I already have the NL Essentials and Troop Committee. I took SM Specific just for craps and giggles a few years ago, and I was planning to take OLS but never got back a round tuit. :) I'll complete that some day as well. I don't know if I am the one our Committee is trying to establish funds for sending to WB, we haven't named names or anything. I just know our CC is WB trained and so is my husband. There's only a few more MC's left. One is brand spanking new, then there is me and another gal.


We aren't a rich Troop by any means and I don't know if we are even going to be able to send someone at all. If it ends up being me that's chosen, I'd like to know how I can offset some of the costs right away, and I am not sure I can do that based on my household income alone. Like say we decide the Troop pays half or something - and I am the one chosen, I don't even know if I can come up with the other half right now. That would be really embarrassing! But maybe this scholarship deal is what I can do. This is why I am asking all the questions I am, to "Be Prepared!"


My husband is a Wood Badger, but honestly he's not much help. He went through Wood Badge 13 years ago, and when I asked him about WB for the 21st Century he basically scoffed and said it was a watered-down version of what he went through. Not helpful at all! I don't know about either the old way or the new way. But I get the feeling some of his negativity has to do with the fact that we can't really afford to send me, and he doesn't like the financial position we're in right now. So I didn't push the issue.


A couple years ago, we were able to afford a lot more - both he and my son went to Philmont together. We gave to the James E. West Fellowship fund in our Council in March of '05, and were able to generously contribute to FOS as well as the Combined Federal Campaign, directly to local Scouting. We also were in a much wealthier Troop back then and lived on an island. Things like major training sessions for Youth, Adults, and the like were given locally and didn't seem so costly.


Anyway, I appreciate the response. I do still think I am going to have to go talk to "someone" at Council. I'd love to talk to my DE as I am comfortable with him, but he is still very wet behind the ears when it comes to Scouting and I don't want to bother him - he's got enough to do in his learning curve!

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A couple of thoughts occur to me as I've read through this thread.


1) Would you discourage a boy for applying for a campership, if he really could not afford the fee for summer camp? I bet you wouldn't. Why, then, would you be too embarrassed to apply for a WB scholarship? (You don't need to answer that but I hope you'll consider it.) And for what it is worth, I know that people in the WB course I took received partial scholarships because I was one of them and I helped another get and fill out the paperwork. I could not have afforded to attend at the time if it hadn't been for that. But I've never once heard anybody in our council say anything about who is/isn't receiving scholarships so it isn't something that is likely to be discussed far and wide.


2) Many units pay only a portion of the WB cost. I think our pack paid either $50 or $75, I don't recall which. I still ended up paying a portion, plus the cost of uniforming (our pack was pretty lax about that at the time and I only owned a shirt prior to attending WB).


3) People have definite views about whether "the old" or "the new" WB is better. Don't let that get under your skin. You will almost certainly get something very valuable out of taking WB. You might well have gotten something very valuable from taking "the old" WB course too, but it would likely have been a different "something" and anyway that's not an option so let that slide right off your back and don't worry about the comparison.


4) If you're as involved with scouting as it sounds like you are, and you plan to stay involved for some time yet, I think you'll get lots of pay-off from attending WB. And so will the scouts and the units that you serve.


5) If you want to talk with someone local about WB, I recommend you find out who the Course Director (CD) for the upcoming course is. This person will be a volunteer like most WB staffers are, but they are in charge of the course. Mind you, they will be of the mindset that you SHOULD take WB! The CD is certainly in the best position to help you understand what WB is and what it isn't though. Or maybe ask the upcoming CD for names & numbers of some folks in your council who have recently gone through WB and contact them.


All in all, while there are those who will say WB is not worth it (ie, Kudu and others who share his views), I've yet to meet anybody who went through the course and who did not come away with a better appreciation, understanding, and enthusiasm for scouting. I'm confident that would probably apply to you too, if you decide that this is the right time to do it.


(PS - fellow WB'ers - about the staffing question - our DE was on staff for my course! Is this unusual?)

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To try and help clarify the Name it is Cedar Badge National Youth Leadership Training.

When the new syllabus was introduced there was quite a bit of talk about the traditionals and names each council used and they did not want to give them up. In the syllabus is says you can use your traditional name but you must add National Youth Leadership Training with your traditional name. So it is really Cedar Badge National Youth Leadership Training.


The syllabus also says Each of the core sessions outlined in the syllabus must be presented, with no additional content sessions.


Lookng at the link you provied, I am not sure what that council is doing. It looks like only 12 and 13 years old will get the NYLT course. Most 12 years old are not mature enough for the course.



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I do not think that the cost is out of line, but what irks me is that the council expects that WB and NYLT will make money. Not much but they want to see a profit. I know that the staffers for WB 2 years ago had to pay 50 dollars to be on staff. They said it was for food and to keep the cost down for the participants. For NYLT we do not charge the staffers, mostly youth, but the money for the course is used to pay for the staffs food for the week.

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It happens that I am in the Alamo Area Council and I staffed our last Cedar Badge course. "Cedar Badge" is our name for NYLT. It is taught by youth for other youth. We have a few adults on staff to keep the boys in line and on task; otherwise, the course is run by the youth staff.


I don't know how other troops do it, but in our troop, the SM decides who will be invited to Cedar Badge. You would hope he would make good choices, but whereas we adults tend to think of WB as an "honor", I don't think most boys feel that way about Cedar Badge. Its just another notch on their belt, as is OA (which most never bother with after sewing on the pocket flap).


Regarding WB cost: our course is $160; like you say, "expensive" is in the eye of the beholder, but I've never seen a business management seminar that lasted six days for $160 (not to say such courses don't exist -- just that I've never seen one).


NYLT uses many of the same concepts that adults learn in WB21C. And the boys who go through Cedar Badge / NYLT will hear those same concepts in TLT and in fact make good instructors for that course (assuming they actually retain anything they learned).


If you can afford to go to WB, I highly encourage it -- ask around for scholarships or maybe your unit will help with the cost. Its worth it.


"I used to be an Owl . . ."


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Yes, each staff should have one Professional Scouter included. I think the role the Pro plays is up to the CD - they can be just an advisor, or actually present one of the lessons.


There should also be a previous CD on staff as the Course Advisor. I understand it is considered good manners for the CD to go to the Course Advisor at least once for advice, such as, should the bread for lunch be wheat or white? :-)

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Having Quartermastered a course, I can assure you that:


(a) None of the staff are making any money off of the course;

(b) To the contrary, the staff pay for the opportunity to work their rear-ends off; and

© The council doesn't make any money off of the course.


The Course charges what it costs to put it on.


Also, in my experience, corporate leadership courses, especially ones that intense and time-consuming, cost far more than Wood Badge.


I really encourage you to take the course and, if money is an issue for you, seek a scholarship. It will be worth it.



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"Also, in my experience, corporate leadership courses, especially ones that intense and time-consuming, cost far more than Wood Badge."


So? I went through a lot of that . . . crud . . . back in the 80s. Bunch of snake oil salesmen trying to teach MBAs with no leadership ability how to "lead" which usually means intimidating the workers so they'll put out more effort to maximize profits and bonuses for upper management.


Oh sure, we'll make the "team" feel like they have a say because their "committee" gets to pick the color of the new shirt. Or give them idiotic pins that say, "We care about quality!" when everyone knows that management only cares about profit.


Now I'm sure that the only reason to go to Wood Badge is so that I can join the MacLaren Society and wear a kilt.

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As former Course Director for our Council's JLTC/NYLT course (Brownsea 22/Brownsea NYLT), I can tell you that the Council got very little of what was taken in by the course. We followed the National syllabus for both versions of the course.


Our fees were $75-$100 as the years went on. Seems low? Yes, actually below cost for each course. We were able to charge less because Scouters who believed in leadership training made donations to the course. The actual course costs were about $160-$175 per person. Staff were not charged. We did not want to charge youth staff who were giving of their time to lead the course.


I feel that WB21C and NYLT are valuable experiences. Please do see if scholarships are available. I've taken the old WB and staffed the new. Different experiences but both valuable.




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GW as far as I'm aware, there's nothing stopping you from wearing a kilt whether you attend WB or not (except, perhaps, common standards of decency, depending on how much of your legs others can bear to see :) )


When I agreed to go to Wood Badge I was extremely skeptical of the value of the course. And in fact I really only signed up because our then-UC cajoled me into it with a promise that it would help improve my then-floundering unit where I had more or less fallen into a position of leadership during hard times. Turns out, the UC was also a WB Troop Guide and I suspect he was recruiting in order to get the course up to quota as much as anything else. So I signed on but I wasn't expecting much, especially given the fairly low quality of other BSA trainings I'd attended.


But my expectations going into the course were quickly proven wrong. And for me at least and I think others will back this up from their own experiences, the value of WB was not found primarily in the leadership training, useful as that might be to some folks. For me, the value in WB was found here:


1) Getting to really know a whole network of scouters across several districts and councils, who are truly dedicated to scouting. These people "get" the idea of delivering the promise in ways that go far beyond just buzz words and platitudes. They're actually out there doing it! And I know that I can fall back on that network any time that I have questions or issues related to scouting and every one of them will give me 110% to help with whatever I need. In a world where most unit-level scouters are only there for their own kid and it is a major hassle to get them to even consider going through basic training, where lots of people grumble when asked to offer anything beyond their literal "hour a week" to scouting, having that network of deeply dedicated fellow scouters to turn to is really a gift.


2) Having the mental space to focus on what the vision and mission of scouting is really about. Yes, sure, we talk about that here on the forum but it is a rare thing to discuss in most units, where the focus tends to be on whatever activity is coming up. It can be easy in day-to-day scouting to lose sight of the larger vision, or never to have seen it to start with. WB gives you that opportunity to re-visit the matter and grapple with it on your own terms. While this is something I suppose one could do on one's own, at the same time, most people will not. And it is perhaps made more meaningful when you combine this with #1, a group of people with a common dedication, thinking and talking through these sorts of big-picture matters together.


3) The ticket process. I don't mean the (IMO) somewhat silly way the actual process of writing tickets is presented as some big mystery. I mean the process of coming up with tickets that are meaningful to the participant and the people the participant serves, and then carrying them out. While some of the things that people (myself included) might do for ticket items are things they perhaps would have done anyway, the overall process, when combined with #s 1 and 2 above, allows a leader to really see how they can leverage their efforts to make a lasting and coherent program of change or improvement for their unit or district or whatever level they serve at. Again, we're talking big-picture here.


4) The chance to refresh one's batteries when it comes to scouting is certainly a part of this. I haven't yet met anybody who went through the course who didn't walk away with a renewed commitment to scouting. And that's really exciting, especially when we acknowledge that burn-out happens to even (especially?) our best leaders sometimes.


There are certainly things that WB doesn't teach, or teach well. It is not designed to teach outdoor skills to the uninitiated. It is not designed to make people into Scoutmasters, although a lot of SMs would benefit from taking the course, IMO. And yes some of the leadership stuff can be found in other corporate courses, which may be of more or less value to different people.


But for me, the networking with other enthusiastic and deeply committed people, the chance to take the big-picture view of scouting, and then to figure out how that big-picture view can be a building block for my own unit in more tangible ways, all made WB worth the time and money that I spent on it. And yes, I can honestly say that I continue to see my role in scouting today as one never-ending ticket, and I'm excited about that prospect.


Maybe WB is not the right thing for you, or maybe now isn't the right time for you to consider it. That's fine and WB is not some big honor society or secret club or what have you that it is sometimes portrayed as. It isn't the end-all, be-all of scouting. I know some wonderful Scouters who have never been through WB and probably never will, either. But it can be a really good experience and I suggest you consider trying it before you decide to write it off as a bunch of nonsense.

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