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Is Wood Badge just about "the beads"?

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Why do I get the feeling that most on here who don't like the WB21 either did the old course, or haven't done any courses yet. Speaking of Egos that is..


I'm sure that someone up top made this call a long time ago for a reason.. I've been involved with lots of stuff outside of Scouting and inside. But most change I've seen has been for the best. When it comes to those out door skills. I also feel it my responsibility to help train those adults who also need help in the outdoors, and other things.. I have been training people, and teaching leadership for most of my adult life. I found the course to be an eye opener. and a good one at that. We had plenty of Cub Leaders on our course who knew nothing about the outdoors..Is this the BSA's fault? or WB's fault.. I don't think so..

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Basmentdweller, I too love the outdoors and camping. I just don't think that WB could have taught me more then I already know about it. Now days with the LNT, we can't do many of the things in the woods we used to be able to do. But I still get out there on my own, and train, and learn. I would have prefered to have done more Scoutmaster training. Training my Boys etc.. but what I got from the course works for me. One of my Patrol members also thinks that the Course was useless. It's talked about like the "creme de la creme" of Scouting Courses, but compared to him and my past military training it seemed not like that. I have to agree. but it is what it is. It's a Boy Scout course. It's never been the course that makes leaders, or something elite that many wearing it or not thinks it should be. I feel that much of the argument on here is from people who are unhappy with having to do it over again or people who don't want to do the course. I also am working on my tickets..

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Scoutbox writes:


Why do I get the feeling that most on here who don't like the WB21 either did the old course, or haven't done any courses yet. Speaking of Egos that is...


I feel that much of the argument on here is from people who are unhappy with having to do it over again or people who don't want to do the course.


These are perfect examples of using ad hominem logic to justify Leadership Development. An explanation of how ad hominem works can be found at:




As I mentioned in a previous post in this thread, this tradition of using ad hominem to shift a discussion away from what a Patrol does in the woods started in 1965 with John Larson's destruction of William Hillcourt's life work:


Larson later reported, "He fought us all the way... He had a vested interest in what had been and resisted every change. I just told him to settle down, everything was going to be all right."


The central problem with using Wood Badge Beads to replace Scoutcraft training with leadership theory, is:


We no longer train Patrol Leaders how to take their Patrols out on patrol.


In other words:


Leadership theory took the patrolling out of the Patrol Method.


It would be easy enough to refute that observation: Simply point out the success that your units have had in applying leadership theory to match or exceed the Patrol Method standards of Scoutcraft training as set forth by William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt in the United States, or Baden-Powell in the rest of the world.


For instance:


"This weekend our SPL


Explained to the Patrol Leaders that Patrols should camp B-P's minimum standard of 300 feet apart,


Demonstrated how his posse was set up 300 feet from where the adults were camping,


Guided them through measuring the length of a football field in the woods, and


Enabled them to camp their Patrols without much adult supervision."




"This weekend our Raven Patrol


Formed at the Patrol Leader's house at 8 AM


Stormed for lunch when they discovered that Mike had forgotten the peanut butter.


Normed during the remainder of the eight mile hike.


Performed good group leadership theory by camping without adult supervision at the old mill."


Easy Peasy!


Yours at 300 feet,



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Not casting stones TN.


But most of the adults I have ran into.......especially SM's with some tenure and an active outdoor program take great pride in their woodcraft. I cannot tell you how many times I have witnessed some chime up they could do X better than the current per doing it.


I am on a council based IOLS training course and it is full of egos, who has got the gears and skills are discussed over gallons of coffee.


Throw a city dweller in for a weekend of wood craft and see what happens....... We see how stressed out people get over not being able tie knots, what happens when it is a fire to cook dinner over.

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@Kudu.. ???


Sadly I have met a lot of former Eagle Scouts knowing nothing of the outdoors? In fact most of the worst Scout Adult Leaders I've met were Eagle Scouts. Doesn't mean that they are all bad, but I haven't met many good ones with the basic scouting skills I expected them to have. I think that there should be a Scouter's Skills course. Many leaders are missing the basic skills needed. In fact there should be more training on training the boys even.

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I thought "Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills" was supposed to teach the Outdoor Skills required to go from Tenderfoot to First Class. If your District/Council version of IOLS does not end with a participant who can competently perform all the required skills then there is an issue with either the presentation of the material or the participants ability to comprehend or perform the skills.


Participants ability to absorb the material may vary, so much like merit badge classes, individuals should be tested separately to assure that the skills are being mastered. A graduate of IOLS should be a competent camper, if not, the error is not the curriculum, its the teacher or the pupil or both


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IOLS is only a three day course. It's not enough time for a Cub Leader to really learn those skills.

I attended IOLS, but it's not a requirement for everyone to take WB. In fact only the SM/ASM are required to do it. Most councils will wave this course to get bodies into the course.


I was thinking of a longer two weekend version of this course. to slow down, and walk everyone through the basics.

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I totally agree. There needs to be something done about this. Leaders are leading troop, dens, crews without the outdoor skills. And boys are becoming Eagles without the outdoor skills. Thats another reason why I'm developing an outdoor course for my local area. It's not one of my tickets, but it needs to be done. On IOLS, there is so much information to be touched on, that nothing becomes ingrained. That's another reason why we have stronger outdoor leaders helping to teach others the skills.

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