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Wood Badge beads for NYLT staff

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Ok I have to say this about Wbers. I know that there is a ot of anti WB bias b/c there are some WBers who say ' you aint' WB you ain't worth....." Yes I have met a few, and they have also ticked me off. But I've also met a bunch who were wonderful leaders and role models, not only to the youth, but also to new leaders. It's very unfortunate that the actions of a few hurt the good ones.


I also know that the internet isn't the greatest communication vehicle as we are social and use expressive gesture and tone to relay info and the meaning of our words. Can't do that with typing.


In rereading the BDPT's post, I think I understand where he's going now. he want's the input from WBers b/c they are the ones who have earned the beads. So he thinks it's fair to hear what they think. And I beleive it's a fair POV.


As for me, I interjected into this thread b/c I do not wan tot forget those youth staffers, and the few non WB adults who do staff NYLT. And I say few non-WB adults, b/c in the 2 experiences I had, the only over 18 staff allowed to volunteer were those who went through the course as a youth, and I am one of those few non-WB adults wo did the program as a youth.

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Eagle92, your comments are very well taken. But my experience with WB clubiness goes beyond the confines of this forum. It harkens back as far as the late 1970s, when as an SPL and JASM I attended adult leader training and other adult scouter meetings. And continued into my adult years as an ASM and UC.


There are many great WBers out there, no doubt about it. But each council I've been in, and I've been in a few due to many moves as a military guy, there is a cadre of WBers (mostly at district and council level) that make no bones about their self-perceived status as The Official Keepers of All That is Great About Scouting.


Which is fine, if they left it at that. But they don't. When it extends to looking down on scouters who haven't done WB, that's a whole nuther story.


So WB is a hard course. And you have to jump thru the hoops to write a ticket and then fulfill it. Great. So that gives a WBer the right to condescend to another scouter?


Truth is, many scouters who aren't WBers, and have no intention of being, have contributed just as much to scouting as the WBer who fulfilled a ticket. In some instances, more. With sustained contributions over years and decades. And without the hoopla. They did it because they wanted to, not to seal their official status The Best Scouters.


GernB, yes, I know a few critter songs! "Here We Sit Like Birds in the Wilderness" and "Three Wooden Pidgeons" and let us not forget the cats and dogs that ended up in Johnny Verbeck's sausage machine. I have a bag of trail mix and some smashed pop tarts that I will gladly share with my fellow back benchers.




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"This piece "(and dare I say not enough concern to get fully trained?)" says everything.

Elitism. And you wonder why many of us just shake our heads at your little religion you call WB."


I went back to reread what I wrote, too, and I recall the mood I was in when I wrote it. I asked a simple question (which nobody has yet tried to answer), and people took it as an opportunity to attack Wood Badge beads. That annoyed me, so I responded. Sorry if that sounded elite. I was writing to those who take great pride in not attending Wood Badge. There are obvious extremes on both ends of the spectrum. This wasn't intended to create an argument on critter-sploitation (how's that for a word?). I know where you're coming from, and it annoys me, too.

That being said, can we get back to the subject of awarding Wood Badge beads for a non-Wood Badge activity, and how they should be presented? The decision to do so is not mine. I just want to know how it should be done. Has it been done, and how?

Thank you, BDPT00


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This piece "(and dare I say not enough concern to get fully trained?)" says everything.



Elitism is a bogeyman. It is used in the United States to promote the triumph of airheads over competency.


I am an elitist:


1) If this nation needs to be defended, I want it done by our most elite fighting forces.


2) If I need an operation, I want it done by an elite team of surgeons.


3) If I need a BSA Lifeguard, I want an elite natural swimmer and rescuer with position-specific training.


4) If a Patrol wants to hike and camp without adult supervision, I demand that they be an elite team that has elected their most elite natural leader.


All of those people (the best soldiers, surgeons, Lifeguards, and Patrol Leaders) tend to have attitude problems sometimes, so what?


We could fix their attitudes the same way we fixed Hillcourt's Patrol Method:


1) Get rid of position-specific training for soldiers, surgeons, and lifeguards just like White Stag Wood Badge got rid of position-specific training for Patrol Leaders. That way everybody can learn how to be a "leader" and hold a really cool "Position of Responsibility."


2) Hold six month elections so that soldiers can vote for each other to be commanding officers for six months, nurses can vote for each other to be surgeons for six months, and every Scout can be a BSA Lifeguard for six months.


Nobody hates post-Hillcourt Wood Badge more than I do, but the problem with Wood Badge it that it is not elitist enough!


White Stag Wood Badge destroyed the life work of Bill Hillcourt (including position-specific Patrol Leader Training) so that every Scout could learn how to be a "leader" by learning business manager theory.


More recently Ken Blanchard Wood Badge finished the job by kicking the last vestige of Scoutcraft-based leadership out of Wood Badge so that we could dumb it down to the Cub Scout level and "everybody" could be "fully trained."


Business nerds defend the policy of dumbing Wood Badge down to the lowest possible denominator as "modern 21st century progress," and now that stupidity has come around to bite them from behind.


Let me be the first to welcome them to the anti-modernism club. Yes, John-in-KC is correct: Wood Badge Beads should be awarded only for Wood Badge, BUT post-Hillcourt "Wood Badge" is NOT Wood Badge any more than NYLT is.


The solution is simple enough: Wood Badge should be only for those who train Scoutmasters and Patrol Leaders how to use Hillcourt's "Real" Patrol Method ("The ONLY Method of Scouting").


The reason that most participants come back from Wood Badge feeling they have experienced the Patrol Method (perhaps for the first time in their lives) is not because they learned pop business theory, but because most Wood Badge courses still space Wood Badge Patrols close to Baden-Powell's standard of 300 feet apart.


Simply call attention to that physical standard and expect participants to bring it back to their Troops in the same way that they tend to bring the Uniform Method back after experiencing that physical standard for the first time.


Likewise for NYLT. Space those Patrols like Wood Badge Patrols, call attention to the physical standard, and expect Patrol Leaders and SPLs to take it home to their own Patrols.


Once the goal of "Leadership Development" is defined as a real-world physical standard rather than as a "leadership" state of mind, the working theory that best gets us there will sort itself out.




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BDPT00, I will take a stab at answering your question regarding some ways to present third and fourth beads to NYLT volunteers. These are just my ideas, I have not had the opportunity to see a bead presentation to NYLT volunteers yet.


- While I like to see Wood Badge beadings done with youth present, so that they can see that training is important to the adults involved in their unit, and to inspire them to become trained, I am concerned that presenting beads to NYLT adults with the youth staff present could be awkward since there is not an equivalent award for the youth staff. Therefore I think it should be done with an audience of other NYLT adult volunteers.


- I think it should be done after the course is complete.


- I think the presenter of the fourth bead should be the overall NYLT coordinator or course director. If there is not a position like this in the council, I would suggest the council training committee chair.


- The presenter of the third bead should be the NYLT course Scoutmaster, if that person has four beads. If not, the overall course director. If there is no such position, the training committee chair.


- I would suggest holding a special event, such as a post-course campfire, as a venue for the presentations.


Those are my ideas (at least currently). I would also be interested in hearing what others think.


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"Those are my ideas (at least currently). I would also be interested in hearing what others think. "


Even us skunks and rats?


Sorry, couldn't resist. Heading to the back of the bus again!(This message has been edited by gernblansten)

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Thanks, Ideadoc.

Your comment regarding youth staff being present or not raises some interesting questions. This is exactly why I'm asking, and I'm wondering if anyone has done this yet. Personally, I think presenting Wood Badge beads is the wrong recognition. Wood Badge beads have meant the same thing for many decades, and now they'll mean something else. It wasn't my decision, and my opinion wasn't sought. We work with the hand we're dealt, so I'm trying to find out the best way to handle it.

I appreciate your input.

Let's see more. Anybody done this yet?

Thanks, BDPT00

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Someone mentioned that WB beads are lsoing their significance, I hate to say it but to a degree they have already lost their significance. Back in the day if memory serves, you had to have all your training done as a SM or ASM and have 2 years tenure as an adult, with the exception of a youth moving up through the ranks that has completed all their training. Sorry I don't know what the CSWB course prereqs were. And I know that the Exploring WB one was short lived. Once you received your beads, you were considered fully for trained any position.


Fast forward to today. After the DisCom meeting, we were talking about mandatory training that is being tested in a few councils, and looks as if it is headed our way. A good friend of mine said that if the proposed policy of dropping leaders who haven't competed basic training was in place today, he would not be able to be an ASM with the troop because he has not gone through, and honestly doesn't plan on going through IOLS. This gentleman is an Eagle Scout who went through WB21C while serving as CM and is currently a trained Venturing adviser. So here is someone who has their WB beads, but isn't a fully trained ASM. Am I the only one who think something is wronge with this picture?


I think WB and the beads have already lost their meaning.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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Your point is well taken, but with an outfit this big there has to be a standard somewhere. Fact is, this guy hasn't been trained to be an ASM. When I was a Wood Badge trained Scoutmaster, and I went back to Cubbing to be with my younger son, there is no way that I should be considered trained to be a Den Leader (I wasn't). Same thing when I became a Commissioner. Being an Eagle Scout is irrelevant. So is Wood Badge training. One more common example... when an NYLT staffer turns 18 and becomes an ASM, he's untrained. He's got plenty of training, and it's troop-related, but the fact is he's had no adult leader training. Time to change patches, and learn how this program is run from an adult perspective. BSA emphasizes leader-specific training, and that makes sense to me.



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Yep he isn't trained as an ASM. But truth be told, he has more outdoor skills than some of his fellow WB critters. That's one reason why I would like a "challenge" option to BSA training, just like ARC, AHA, and other trainings I've been through. By challenge I mean take a written test on the topic and demonstrate the skills.


Another case for challenging a course would be the NYLT staffer you mentioned. I am sure he has the outdoor skills needed to teach others, heck if he is in ascout run troop, he's probably taught them a time or two, not to mention his time on NYLT.



Which brings another point in reference tot the OP. If you gonna award beads to WBers staffing the course, shouldn't the youth training be recognized on the adult's record since national's argument is that they are almost identical?


Edited: sorry forgot it is listed on the training transcript as both JLT and BA22 have their own codes. But the old WB course doesn't, at least looking at the codes the registrar gave me.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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I find it interesting that beads are being given out for staffing courses other than Wood Badge when the old Wood Badge is no longer an acceptable prerequisite for serving on a WB21 staff. I took Wood Badge in the '90's, and I'm beginning to wonder if my beads have any value at all.

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