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Im a young scouter, i just turned 19 and i am a Eagle Scout and Vigil honor member of the O.A. I was wanting to know what others thought about "youngster" (thats what i get called by much older scouters)going through wood badge. i see people approaching older scouters about wood badge but some people say i dont need to worry about it cause i got plenty of time to do it. also im going to throw something a little off topic out there, because i am young and because i am in the OA alot of scouters dont think of me as an adult but more as a youth, at district roundtable im usally to help the OA in the back room, however im not chapter leadership im lodge level and im there to as a troop scouter not as a OA member. for over a year people still see me as a youth and some dont even realize im an assistant scoutmaster. sorry i know that last part doesnt go along with the rest of my message but i figured someone might be able to help me on both or might be able to relate the two topics. thank you.

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Understand that your patrol mates will have "been there and done that." Depending on how much leadership psych they've had, they most likely will view the role-playing of the course as hokey, to be gotten through.


They'll be interested in networking, in learning, and in getting the tasks done, and they're really interested in sharing Scouting with each other.


If you understand that you need to observe and fit into the dynamic of your patrol, whatever it be, then you'll have a good time. If you're there to re-live your youth membership days, you won't.


Spend an evening and a cup of coffee with your Course Director. He/she will be able to help you decide on NOW or LATER

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We had a 21 year old on our Wood Badge staff in 2006 and he was one of the best trainers I have ever worked with. We also had a 20 year old as a particpant and he did a great job on his ticket.


Both of these young men had extensive leadership experience before coming.


You are the best judge as to whether or not you are ready for this course. The question is do you think you are ready.


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We had a 18/19 year old in our patrol when I did Wood Badge. He did a fine job and it was fun to swap experiences with him. I can also imagine how it might not be the right time for many 19 year olds though. And no matter where you are coming from right now in terms of experience, there are things you simply will see differently later because you'll have different life experiences to draw upon. Whether that's better/worse is hard to judge merely over the web without knowing you. It might also be worth considering that if there are Venturing people in your WB class, they will be especially tempted to view you as a "youth" because of your age. Can you work around that if it happens?


One thing you might want to ask yourself is, what scouting role do you see yourself playing in the next 5 years? And how does going to WB fit with that role?


The 19 year old in our WB patrol did a nice job with the course and all and I think he enjoyed it, but within a year he went off to college and then work, and is no longer active in scouting. He might come back to the BSA in future years but right now he's busy with other things. And in that regard, perhaps he'd have been better off waiting a few years to do WB, since it is expensive to do and kind of a shame not to put it to use in a scouting environment once you've done it.


But I'd give the same general advice to any new-ish adult volunteer who asked this question. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Is now the right time? It depends on what you want to get out of it, what you plan to do with it, and whether you have the time and resources to commit to it now and in the near future (over a few years, not months).



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If you think your ready go for it.




I know that even if I were to leave scouting i would still use my wb skills. I used them a lot as an intake specialist in the Maine DOC. By understanding all the communication styles and storming, forming, norming performing and snoring business, i was better able to detect when trouble was brewing in the pod.


I also know that I tend to use it in my new job, just at different levels.

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My Council has had some young Wood Badgers as well. I took it when I was 26 and a 20 year old was there at the same time. A couple years later, we had a 18 or 19 year old do it who had served on Youth Staff in prior years. I'd say go ahead and take it if you want to. You'll learn something. It's also similar to the OA's National Leadership Seminar. If you've taken that, you'll see some of the same content used.

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My answer to your question is, "it depends".


It depends on your level of maturity. You will most likely be in a patrol with people your parent's age. You will have to work as a team with these scouters. You will have the most current view of scouting from having just been a youth. This is your advantage over them. Their advantage over you would be their age and experience as adult leaders.


It also depends on the support you will need from your troop. You will write your ticket based on your current position in scouting, Assistant Scoutmaster. To accomplish your ticket, you will need the cooperation of the leaders in your troop, both adult and youth. Talk to the Scoutmaster and SPL before you attend Wood Badge and get their commitment. Also, see if the Troop would be willing to pay for all or half of your course fee.

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You are never too young to seek more knowledge when it comes to be a leader in the scouting program. In the course that I just finished back in October we had a young man that was your age and he was seeking to be a better leader. He took the course and had a great time. One thing that you need to look at is that if you do take the course you need to go into it with an open mind and be willing to learn.


To answer your question you are never too young to take Wood Badge as long as you have completed the training requirements for your leadership position.

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Someone coming back on a woodbadge high with grand plans to for everything can be a pain. A first year ASM coming back trying to force the troop to fit his ticket would push me right over the edge. take a few years to find your place first.

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building on what AvidSM said, I would also say 'it depends'.


An issue I've seen with some young scouters who were previous scouts (especially those who are Eagle Scouts and were very active) is their attitude. Since they have earned Eagle, and usually already attending programs like NLS, NYLT and the like, they take the view that their is nothing that WB can teach them.


If they do take the course, they usually will get nothing out of it, because their attitude precluded them from getting anything from it.


I have found that if you go in with an open attitude of wanting to learn (something, anything), you will, whether its a new perspective on something you had seen in another course, or the discussions with other leaders (many overlook the values gained in 'hallway discussions' at conferences and the like).



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Hello Lee,


As with many such things, the best answer is "It depends."


1) If you have been to NLS, you will find substantial similarity between what you learned there and Wood Badge. They were developed by many of the same people.


2) The one high level OA youth I knew that took Wood Badge did not have a good experience.


3) I know several other youth that took it that did have a good experience.


So I would say that if you are taking Wood Badge because you think that you have to or that it is the right thing for you to do at this time, it is probably not the right time. But if you have educated yourself to what goes on and you say to yourself "It would be great to do these things with other, much older leaders and learn about the point of view of those older leaders" then the time is right.


Best wishes,


Neil Lupton

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Are you too young for Wood Badge?



Let me answer it this way, from my own experiences.


I had been an adult leader for seven years, and enjoy helping out my unit once a month or so as just an ASM. I was 25 when I attended. I wasn't the youngest, but the second youngest out of nearly 50 people. I learned alot and I worked my ticket. Hopefully, Scouting and my units have continue benefit from me earning my beads years ago, my continued use of Wood Badge skills, and continuing to work my ticket every day.


Did my unit benefit at that time. I would like to say yes.


Now, theoretically, would they have benefited if I was 45 at the time, a pillar in the community, a church leader, a community leader. Maybe even more so.


Most recently. Mrs Crew21, also a Wood Badger wanted to send Crew21 Jr to Wood Badge.


Crew21 Jr was a good student, an Eagle Scout, a good young man; but I wasn't as enthusiastic about his age, Scouting (in general) benefiting, or him benefiting from the Wood Badge experience.


He was 18 years old when he attended, and he too was the second youngest in his Wood Badge.


From Crew21 Jr working his ticket, did our units benefit? Yes. Would Scouting benefit even greater if he was older, more mature, a pillar in the community, etc, etc? Maybe.


You're effect on Scouting may have a bigger impact if you are older, stable, mature, and respected. But even at a young age, if you attend Wood Badge now, complete your ticket and remember that its for the boys. You will still have a positive impact on Scouting.


Today, you have the available time as a young adult to attend Wood Badge. Imagine, in ten years, two,three or four kids, a spouse, long hours at work, and long distance commutes. Can you look at your spouse and tell them you want to take a week of vacation time to attend Wood Badge? Some of us can and have. Some others will always talk about going to Wood Badge or regret they never took the time.


Go now. Your unit will benefit and you will benefit.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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In our Council we have an outstanding young man.

A really super Lad.

He is one of my son's best friends. He is about the same age 19 or 20.

Both have been very heavily involved with the OA. I think both have served as Section Secretaries.

The young man has worked on Camp Staff, mainly in the Scoutcraft Area,he is a great public speaker, an Eagle Scout.

He is a really nice person to be with and have around.

I'm sure given time one day he will make a great SM.

He was at our home with OJ.

He said that he had dropped out of college and was now selling some product on the Internet?? He hadn't told his parents and as he was living at the home of a Scouter who lived near the college he dropped out of, they didn't know.

The subject of Wood Badge came up. He said he was thinking of attending this year. He has already taken the other training's and is eligible.

Of course I asked him why he wanted to attend?

He really didn't seem that sure why he wanted to attend other than the fact it had to do with Scouting and he enjoys Scouting.

It seemed to me that more than wanting to take the course and come home and use what he might get from the course, he wanted to attend the course in order to say that he had been and he wanted the WB beads as another trophy to add to his collection.

I suggested that he wait a while.

At least until he had found a way to sort out what he wanted to do with his life!! Selling on the Internet might not really be the best career move in the long run.

Not telling or talking to his parents, seemed to me to be a red flag.

But just attending to say that he went??

Just seemed a little silly.


Lee, only you know why you want to attend.

The rules and all that kind of stuff say that you can.

I however strongly suggest that you wait.

Find out a little more about yourself.

Find out if you really want to be involved as an adult leader?

Get some life lessons under your belt.


Our Lodge gave a member a full "Campership" to attend the course. Sadly the person they selected was entirely the wrong person, in fact a couple of weeks after the course he was arrested for a DUI!!

I talked with the other members of his Patrol (a good mix of male and female and age groups) and they all said that he was just too young to really understand the course.

While maybe a new Cub Scouting coming into the program, might want to rush into Wood Badge, I think you might want to hold off for a while, go out and have some fun, finish school, help out where and when you can and when you have sowed all them wild oats, then might be a good time to think about where you want to serve and what you want to do.

If don't know this, you really can't have your own vision and mission and with out a vision and mission writing a worthwhile ticket where you put what you have got from the course just isn't going to happen.


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