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Do you want to know what is rough, observe this done at an OA National Leadership Seminar, with teenagers you know going through all the ups and downs that the game of life produces.  If you think a bunch of middle aged adults shouting WIN ALL YOU CAN creates an atmosphere, imagine a bunch of 16-20 year olds, creating a lot of artificial pressure throughout the game.  Their debrief was great though.  I talked to each of the scouts that were at the course I attended about it and I think they learned what they needed to learn and realize that the entire point was for it to "go wrong".  To lead you have to understand that not everyone is going to follow through, not everyone leaves the meeting with the same understanding of what success is, and you will probably run into someone who will tell you one thing and do another specifically because not only does it give them more points, but widens the spread.  Scouting is often dealing with groups within groups.  Sometimes, you get focused on your small group and the big group suffers because of it, this happens in scouting all the time, be it chapters & lodge in the OA, patrols & troop at the unit level, or any other combination, it happens.  But, the look on a 16 year olds face when he was sure he knew everyone was on the same page and it didn't go the way he thought it would. 

 

In my course, our patrols figured it out fairly early on, but the score was already lopsided.  We thought we could outsmart the system by agreeing on a couple of rounds to make it more even between us.  Talk about a plan that didn't work, it only made it worse.  Our biggest lesson wasn't even covered in the debrief, that sometimes, you just have to cut your losses and look forward, learn from past mistakes, but two wrongs don't make a right.

 

I'm looking forward to being a staffer in the fall, and I'll get to experience the game of life from a third angle, the first being as a woodbadge participant & the second as an adult observer at NLS.  Is Win All You Can the best part of the course, no, and, it isn't really a part that I'm looking forward to, but when we do it, I hope our participants learn the lessons it teaches, and I will do what I can in my role to make sure that happens.

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... But anyone who spend their youth in Scouts -- particularly in the 50s-80s, went to JLT, White Stag, staffed council or national camp, did high adventure, or even made Eagle -- wood badge does nothing but waste a weekend and give silver [insert animal] something to do. ...

Correction @Col. Flagg, it consumes two weekends ... :mad:

 

As to @Back Pack's query of what leadership skills game theory teaches (or attempts to teach), I suggest wading through the miasma of previous replies in this thread

 

@just a scout mom, I suggest you write your vision or ticket -- for yourself, don't worry about the course. Then drop your PL and course director a line telling them you don't think you'll be coming back. If either of them take the time to offer polite conversation, take them up on it. Then, after hearing them out, make your decision.

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Some will quit.

 

When Blanchard and Assoc. does the Game, there is no debrief.  It shows what it shows: even normally good people can succumb to temptations, creating issues within a group and between groups.  Look, you just saw them do it for NOTHING - meaningless points.  What might someone do for social approval (AKA life and death) or money (or the  benefits" of phony membership numbers or sham advancement figures)?

 

And what is "winning" anyway?  A gold Journey to Excellence patch?  Wooden beads?

 

Does learning by actual experience apply only to Scoutcraft.

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Correction @Col. Flagg, it consumes two weekends ... :mad:

'll be coming back. If either of them take the time to offer polite conversation, take them up on it. Then, after hearing them out, make your decision.

 

Correct. And then countless hours doing your tickets. All for what? Beads? A new necker? A name tag or patch?

 

Oddly enough, my experience is that this game (win all you can) actually works. Most of the WB'ers I know do just that: Win all they can...and rub it in the face of others who are not WB'ers.

 

As with most things in Scouting, WB will have its supporters and its detractors. I have yet to see it take a raw Scouter and turn them in to a selfless Scouter. Imagine if the time spent on WB was spent on making a failing unit better, helping a kid who was flailing in rank advancement, developing a true buddy system so that bullying was eliminated in units, etc. Couldn't think of a better use of one's time.

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Correct. And then countless hours doing your tickets. All for what? Beads? A new necker? A name tag or patch? ...

Well, the tickets are things that I was meaning to do anyway, WB was an excuse to get around to it. The name tag lasted for a couple years. The WB necker is the only one of mine that's big enough to wear and durable enough to serve in a pinch as an actual cloth. No clue where those beads are.

 

I think WB did help polish the rough edges of a few of my leaders. One leader was going off on me about the youth-planned menus, and her WB-trained spouse was able to make clear I was doing it by the book.

 

But, our batch of current leaders (both in the troop and crew) seem to be doing just fine, so I agree with you. The topics are just esoteric enough to not improve on the average by-the-book scouter's intuition.

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I think WB did help polish the rough edges of a few of my leaders. One leader was going off on me about the youth-planned menus, and her WB-trained spouse was able to make clear I was doing it by the book.

 

Reading GBB could do the same thing...and take less of your time.  :D

 

Reminder them it's "Boy Scouts" is the shortest method.

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Reading GBB could do the same thing...and take less of your time.  :D

 

Reminder them it's "Boy Scouts" is the shortest method.

Yeah, right. Same person who has "Train Them Trust 'em ..." plastered all over ... 

Some folks get it into their heads that youth need infinite training ... and therefore are unwilling to go beyond that step. :mad:

So, they need someone else with magic beads to teach them to read. :confused:

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Correct. And then countless hours doing your tickets. All for what? Beads? A new necker? A name tag or patch?

 

 

How about for the goals selected by the participant?  Automatically a bad idea?

 

We have a Scout "group" (Scouts and Cubs) in the center of Cleveland because a laid-off machinist, instead of being bitter, spent his off time working his ticket by starting the unit, one of the few in that area not run by paid "Scouters."  Could he have done it without Wood Badge?  Sure.  But taking Wood Badge was the occasion for him to experience the "ticket" leadership tool, and starting the unit was his main goal.

 

After two years, he found a good job, but he still keeps the group running.  A great man who found something of value in our imperfect world..

 

I last saw Bill when he came here to support Wood Badge in 1992.  But what did he know?

Edited by TAHAWK

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How about for the goals selected by the participant?  Automatically a bad idea?

Of course not. But personally I would direct that energy in to my unit and our kids. One has limited time and to offer to Scouts I know I can help and make a difference with is the best use of my time.

 

We have a Scout "group" (Scouts and Cubs) in the center of Cleveland because a laid-off machinist, instead of being bitter, spent his off time working his ticket by starting the unit, one of the few in that area not run by paid "Scouters."  Could he have done it without Wood Badge?  Sure.  But taking Wood Badge was the occasion for him to experience the "ticket" leadership tool, and starting the unit was his main goal.

But the curriculum of WB did not teach him all he needed to do all that. He had an idea, he pulled in the resources he needed, he planned and executed what he needed to. All that was done by his own gumption. WB just happened to be, by happenstance, the catalyst. I think we have all seen similar programs arise as a result of well-meaning Scouters doing their philanthropic best to better their world. They didn't need or use WB to pull that off. 

 

My points being:

  • WB does not make one a good leader or teach them scoutcraft.
  • Most tickets I see are no where near as impacting or philanthropic as you note above.
  • Most tickets I see do not help the Scouts.
  • The WB'ers in my area tend to put on a air of superiority and look down on others who are not "one of them".
  • The reputation of WB in my areas is very bad, due mostly to the people who continue to run it, how they treat people and their unwillingness to see anyone who is not WB trained as a valuable member of Scouting.
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Selecting one's own tickets isn't such a bad idea.  It was for me the only worthwhile part of the program.  We had 2 years to complete the ticket.  I was working as an ASM focused on the Cub Scout/Boy Scout transition.  I went back to the feeder pack to pick up the Webelos II boys, but they didn't have any, but they had 6 Webelos I boys.  I took them instead. 

 

I took over at the Feb Blue Gold and by the next year they were all Arrow of Light with another year to go.  We planned out a big outing where they did all the menus, activities, etc. and we canoed out to a primitive campsite and spent the weekend.  That fall they went into the Boy Scout troop as Tenderfoot Scouts, which they could do back then.  Even if they didn't cross over as Tenderfoot, they would have earned it in 30 days anyway.  They all earned First Class within the first 6 months.

 

Sound like a bad idea?  When they all aged out at 18 and went their separate ways, all 6 boys were Eagle Scouts, had been for at least 2-3 years earning Eagle when they were around 15-16 years of age.   

 

They were all in the same "patrol" even if the troop program didn't allow it, they camped together, ate together and even after the SM broke up the "patrol" they still hung out together.

 

What I learned from my Ticket was that in spite of the program, in spite of the adults, some boys given the opportunity can do some pretty impressive things. 

 

By the way, those 6 boys were why I stayed with the troop as long as I did.  I would have left a long time before because of the way the program was being run.

Edited by Stosh

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Of course not. But personally I would direct that energy in to my unit and our kids. One has limited time and to offer to Scouts I know I can help and make a difference with is the best use of my time.

 

As a critic of Wood Badge, I thought you knew that your Wood Badge "ticket" is supposed to relate to your "primary job in Scouting."  Therefore, it is supposed to be directed to his or her unit and its kids.

 

But the curriculum of WB did not teach him all he needed to do all that. He had an idea, he pulled in the resources he needed, he planned and executed what he needed to. All that was done by his own gumption. WB just happened to be, by happenstance, the catalyst. I think we have all seen similar programs arise as a result of well-meaning Scouters doing their philanthropic best to better their world. They didn't need or use WB to pull that off. 

 

My points being:

  • WB does not make one a good leader or teach them scoutcraft.
  • Most tickets I see are no where near as impacting or philanthropic as you note above.
  • Most tickets I see do not help the Scouts.
  • The WB'ers in my area tend to put on a air of superiority and look down on others who are not "one of them".
  • The reputation of WB in my areas is very bad, due mostly to the people who continue to run it, how they treat people and their unwillingness to see anyone who is not WB trained as a valuable member of Scouting.

In my experience, your first point is partially invalid and partially unfair.  I have seen Scouters improve as Scouters as a result of Wood Badge.  I have witnessed Scouters explaining in detail what they had learned from Wood Badge and how they believed it had improved their ability to lead .  While I happen to believe that the second version was more helpful than the third, my observations and the testimonials also come from that third version.  

 

As to your second indictment, given that Wood Badge no longer purports to teach Scoutcraft, it is hardly shocking that it does not do so.  It also does not teach first aid or fund-raising or gourmet cooking  

 

A valid and accurate criticism would be that it does not explain or effectively teach in any way the Patrol Method, which is critical to functioning effectively as a Scouter.

 

In Boy Scouting, "leaders" are Scouts.

 

I have only seen the tickets for which I was a ticket counselor or learner/participant.  I am not qualified to comment on tickets I have not seen.  Al's was undoubtedly the most ambitious (it also included become qualified as a Merit Badge Counselor for a number of outdoor-oriented MBs in order to support eh outdoor program of the proposed group.) The work done for all the tickets I have seen (twenty-seven) all helped Scouts, surely some more than others.

 

I keep hearing about the superiority "thing."  I Scouted in three counsels up to January 1st when one of them went away,  I haven't seen beads, two, three, or four,  as a reliable indicator of any particular attitude.  Presence or absence of beads does not stop some from hubris or bar others from humility.  Some who are notably confident in their opinions were the same pre-WB.   And some are right.  The most outstandingly "superior" Scouter we have is barely identifiable as a Wood Badger, but he has custom shirts to allow two extra rows of "knots" and even came up with the $100,000 for the BIG KNOT.  

 

WB is just  training graded on a pass/fail system.  Different courses filtered through different life experiences  and attitudes.  

 

I have conceded several times that staff quality determines course quality.  As in other things, its not wholly a meritocracy now and was not thirty years ago.  People with the power to select pick those they feel comfortable working with.  The process is highly subjective, speaking as a beneficiary and a victim of the process.  Such a system  can lead to cliques.

 

The 1/3 new rule often means some weak staffers since the 1/3 are seen as just passing by.   No big deal if  a temp cannot present hardly at all.  

 

We had a high-ranking staffer who was proud to speak of the connection of WB and "Clan McClargen."  

 

Many staffers are outstanding trainers by any objective standard.  

 

Generally, if you got nothing out of Wood Badge, look in the mirror.  Even watching people stumble ought to be educational.  

 

If you hear bad things about the local courses, that's like hearing bad things about a local restaurant.  Go somewhere else.

 

Edited by TAHAWK

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My points being:

  • WB does not make one a good leader or teach them scoutcraft.
  • Most tickets I see are no where near as impacting or philanthropic as you note above.
  • Most tickets I see do not help the Scouts.
  • The WB'ers in my area tend to put on a air of superiority and look down on others who are not "one of them".
  • The reputation of WB in my areas is very bad, due mostly to the people who continue to run it, how they treat people and their unwillingness to see anyone who is not WB trained as a valuable member of Scouting.

 

Well said, Colonel Flagg.

 

Beginning in the mid '80s, I've turned down opportunities to attend WB, in several locations, due to the factors succinctly listed above.

 

Generally, the WB community does not have the same enthusiasm for unit level scouting as they do for WB itself. 

 

I've seen scouters go to WB and become interested in three things:  WB culture, district matters and council politics.   Sometimes at the expense of their unit responsibilities.

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  The most outstandingly "superior" Scouter we have is barely identifiable as a Wood Badger, but he has custom shirts to allow two extra rows of "knots" and even came up with the $100,000 for the BIG KNOT.  

Generally, if you got nothing out of Wood Badge, look in the mirror.  Even watching people stumble ought to be educational.  

 

If you hear bad things about the local courses, that's like hearing bad things about a local restaurant.  Go somewhere else.

 

 

Tahawk, now I'm curious!   What Big Knot costs $100K? 

 

Concur, watching people stumble can have educational (and entertainment) value.  But I'm at that point in life where I have more years behind me than ahead of me.  Six days at the picnic table is too much for me.  The course content was covered quite well in college courses and several levels of professional military education.  Most of it is old ground.

 

As a frequent mover during my military career, I did go somewhere else and and quite often.  Same WB vibe, different degrees.

Edited by desertrat77

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