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Wood Badge beads for NYLT staff

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TAHAWK - According to the new syllabus, all Boy Scout-specific terminology is being phased out. I'm guessing any references you are currently finding to Boy Scout specific terminology have just not yet been updated. The syllabus is very clear that the terms "Scoutmaster," "Troop," "Senior Patrol Leader," etc are to be phased out. Some of the new terms they are proposing are pretty hilarious, in my opinion. The SPL, for example, will now be the "Assistant Course Director of Youth Operations." The syllabus makes some fairly bold assertions about how this will actually strengthen Boy Scout training, but seems to lack any evidence or rationale for this.


BTW, the link posted to the NYLT syllabus seems to be kosher. I've never been asked for any Facebook credentials when accessing documents on scribd, but YMMV.


I think that while your course last year started to include some elements of the new syllabus, I think that you may be required to adopt some more official changes within the next couple years. Of course, your council may or may not "enforce" these changes as much as other councils, but the new syllabus is pretty clear about the new expectations.

(This message has been edited by KC9DDI)

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As I indicated, there is a good deal more flexibility about NYLT than the authoritarian pronouncements may suggest. The language that I quoted - verbatim - still applies to our course. As to the future, I don't know. Only Al Gore et al. can accurately predict the future. I have enough trouble with the past.


As to the past, our course last year followed the 2010 syllabus except that we had female participants and the staff presenters did their own PP slides.




I assume Scouters work with Venturing because they like that branch of Scouting. I can hardly respond to Venturing leaders in your council thinking Venturing is superior to Scouting. That is a mixed question of facts and opinion, and I have not relevant facts.


I see I cannot ask you which specific alterations in the 2011 syllabus you dislike as you have not seen the syllabus.


Should Venturers promise to abide by the Venturing Oath and Code, do you find those words to represent values inferior to, or destructive of, the expressions of values in the Scout oath and Law? Are they inconsistent with the aims of Scouting? How so?


Should Venturers, many whom were Scouts and some of whom may complete their Eagle in Venturing, elect to recite the Scout Oath and Law, why should they not subscribe to those ideals?


As for "playing Boy Scout," someone said, many times, that Scouting was a game. That English gent, I think. I can at least assure you that the two young lady NYLT staffers in our council, while having wonderful senses of humor, are very serious about Scouting. That is why they were Wood Badge junior staffers, the first females to take NYLT, and the first female NYLT youth staffers.


Participants in our NYLT course will all experience group representatives coming together under the leadership of another youth leader to plan. Whether you call it a "PLC" (It was once the "TLC")meeting under the leadership of an "SLP" or a"carrot" meeting under the leadership of the "Carrot Top," is less important than the substance, which remains unchanged.


A Venturing "crew" (typically a patrol-sized group) collectively meets under a "President," which plans it's own program with adult advice and counsel. That would be Baden Powell's "patrol system," should we look at substance rather than labels. BP imagined no PLC, simply a "court of honor" led by the senior-most "patrol leader" to deal with matters of honor.


Unfortunately, Scout participants may get more value out of NYLT than Ventuers taking the course because Scouts may be more likely to come from adult-led units. The majority of Troops in my experience (every district-level position on the Scout side) have been adult-led. I just signed on with a "Scout troop" which had it's first PLC in three years, where all speaking parts at the last Court of Honor were adults, and where only adult voices were heard at meetings until recently. A regular adult-led camping club for boys. Hopefully, my experience is not typical.


So in that respect, participants may not not see a typical Troop. Instead, they will see a youth-led unit, whether it is, ultimately, called a "troop" or a "course."


If the past courses here are any indication, all participants will leave NYLT determined to be members of a youth-led unit and equipped with tools to help them achieve that goal and do better at it.


Not such a bad outcome. Let's call it a "rose."(This message has been edited by TAHAWK)

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After having heard the comments made about NYLT and Wood Badge recently on this thread I have one comment:





It sounds to me like the effort to have a one-size-fits all program is going to confuse things ---- a lot, especially for Boy Scouts who need to understand how to make their Patrol program work.


It needs to be Junior Leader Training for Boy Scouts.


If that doesn't work for Venturers or whoever, tough.


And if Wood Badge isn't about adults learning to understand how the Patrol Method works by living the Patrol Method, then a pox on it too, although that's less serious than not giving Boy Scouts the training they need.


Finally, as far as all the bead counting goes----


I'm all in favor of adult recognition. But the bead counting going on in this thread seems VERY over the top to me.




Seattle Pioneer(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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Seattle Pioneer,


1, It's the adults who are confused. Kids deal with change just fine.

2. Adults need to know about youth leadership than the kids as the adults are the great threat to to youth leadership.

3. Still raining? Don't mold. Last month I spent in Seattle a Bandanna Slug nearly killed me.

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TAHAWK - I guess all I can say is that I envy the situation you're in - our council has not afforded us any flexibility, or room to compromise on some of these issues. I'll try to withhold judgement until I see how the course goes this summer, but at this point I'm uneasy, to say the least.


Seattle - That's almost exactly my position as well.

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"1, It's the adults who are confused. Kids deal with change just fine."


Don't be to sure of that.


I spent many years as a PL and SPL, but when I left scouting and was an officer in a college club, I was lost because I didn't understand that sort of structure. I couldn't go from being a troop leader to being a leader in a more general club structure.


In my Fraternity, we get a lot of requests from our youth that they want JOB SPECIFIC training, not just general leadership training.


IMO, making NYLT less Boy Scout Troop-specific and more general leadership doesn't help those youth who need to understand how to be a PL or SPL or the like, as well as the Venturers who need to understand how to be a President or VP or the like.




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You will notice that we offer Cubmaster SPECIFIC training, Scoutmaster SPECIFIC training and so on for adult leaders.


But then we don't do that for youth leaders? Is that because the council finds it convenient to have a one size fits all program?

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There was once a one-day, district-level basic training for Scout leaders called Junior Leader Orientation Workshop. It presented, in an unrealistically crammed syllabus, the "Leadership Skills" of Wood Badge version two. When the second version of WB went away, and with it "Leadership Skills," the district junior leader training also went away. For years we were told the new district-level syllabus was coming any time. Those unfulfilled promises stopped a couple years ago. Poor move IMO.


NYLT is, after all, National YOUTH Leadership Training. A given course either works or it does not, and I hardly think a few label changes or a few youth in green shirts is going to determine that question. I suggest that it is more a matter of adult staff that both "gets it" about the course being operated by youth staff and does a good job of helping the youth staff be ready.

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TAHAWK - Again, I have no problem with inviting Venturers to NYLT. I guess ideally I would have set it up where they were guests at a Boy Scout-specific training course, and have a separate Venturing-specific training course to meet their unique needs. For me, its not about the color of the uniform shirt, the gender of the participants, or any other superficial issue.


In my opinion, up until now the goal of NYLT was to train Boy Scout youth leaders (specifically) by immersing them in a model Boy Scout troop for a week. They were getting what were essential generic leadership skills, but were also learning how an effective youth-led, patrol-method Boy Scout troop works.


As far as labels go, you try to make the same point that the syllabus makes - that the label isn't important, but the underlying leadership content is. The syllabus is pretty light on the rationale for this assertion. And, clearly, the labels do have some importance, or they would not have been changed ;-) Let me ask you what is more intuitive and easy to understand for a 13 year old Boy Scout: Option A - Observing a Senior Patrol Leader, Asst Senior Patrol Leader, Quartermaster, Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, etc at NYLT, and then going back to his troop and associating the leadership roles he saw at camp with the leadership roles of the same name in his troop. Or, Option B - Being told that a particular camp staffer is the "Assistant Course Director of Youth Operations," and that his or her role will be somewhat similar to that of an SPL (or crew president). And so on for each youth and adult leadership position.


The fact is, in both Boy Scouting and Venturing, the different positions of responsibility entail different roles and responsibilities. NYLT had previously done a very good job of modeling several of the more "important" Boy Scouting POR's, and now no longer does. Even though the underlying leadership content is unchanged and valuable, it is clear that an entire piece of the NYLT program has been removed. In other words, NYLT is now a weaker program because it removed a crucial component of Boy Scout leadership training.


I think that if the BSA felt that additional leadership training was needed for Venturing, they should have developed a new or refined an existing Venturing-specific training program. That probably would have involved more overhead from National in producing the program, and from local councils in actually doing the program, but I feel it would have been much more beneficial to both Boy Scouts and Venturers. I'd much rather have two strong, specifically-targetted leadership training programs, than a single, weak one-size-fits-all program.


I guess the real test will come during and after our course this summer, when we evaluate the response from the participants and from their unit leaders. If we get a stronger response than we've gotten from the specifically-targetted program, I'll be pleasantly surprised and retract my criticism. But, just thinking this through at a theoretical level, I'm still skeptical.(This message has been edited by KC9DDI)

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When I took the Wood Badge course in 1985, one of the ways it affected me was by LIVING the patrol method for a week, in the role of a boy and boy leader. It wasn't just TALKING about the patrol method, it was living it, and experiencing what that meant emotionally.


I imagine that youth leaders who used to attend NYLT in a Boy Scout specific model had similar, if not more profound experiences. Boys come from a variety of programs and patrols, some strong, many weak in a variety of ways. Being able to live the ideal program for a week and be able to see how it ought to and can function must have fired the imagination of those youth leaders in how they could improve their own program and unit.


Jumbling various programs together seems like it would blunt the effect of that kind of experience.


And not just for Boy Scouts either. I'm not experienced in how Venturing is supposed to work, but it's equally possible that by mixing in Venturers with Boy Scouts, the unique features of Venturing aren't being experienced and taught either, leading not just to a weaker Boy Scout program but a weaker Venturing program too.

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