Jump to content

Recommended Posts

On my first course as a staffer, I witnessed a participant look in the proverbial mirror and see something in himself he didn't care for, at all. This gentleman was so abhorred at his own behavior, he deflected the outrage back at the staff because he couldn't face himself. Four months later I'm starting to notice a change in this man -- he thinks before he speaks, he listens more attentively, and instead of berating Wood Badge, he understands it's changed his life and how he approaches working with other people.


Some people have never recognized the qualities in themselves that could be a detriment to our youth. Playing "The Game" is a slice of humble pie for some, for others it's a test of their own ethical values. Every person on a course will take away something personal, something unique. That's a good thing.


So one person may be a jerk about it, another may be in tears because of what's been happening in her own unit and how the game mirrors that, and another still may realize they need to learn how to be heard and they understand the moral of the game. The lessons learned are as varied as the people that attend Wood Badge, and I think the better the staffers understand that, the stronger the take-home message can be.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • Replies 214
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Naw, focus on the boys, that's where the real reward in scouting is.  District and council politics is not my game.  I was in scouting for over 20 years before I got District Award of Merit and I've b

My overall premise is that someone who has already had corporate-style leadership training in the private sector or the military (really, many other governmental setting could apply) will gain very li

This game is nothing new. My college did something similar back in the day, and I was required by one of my teachers to attend the 3 hour time-wasting exercise as a part of one of my classes. He would

I played this in both Wood Badge (Go Bears!) and in a corporate team building setting.


If the game is conducted correctly the kicker is that if you follow the rules and assume from the beginning what should be done so that the most money is won for the whole class (not most by a team) it calls for strategy A. If you feel the goal is to make more money than any other team (the natural interpretation almost all but not really spelled out by the instructions), it calls for strategy 2.


What usually happens is that after a few rounds it finally sinks in that strategy 1 should be employed. Of course there are those that think having $100 dollars if everyone else only has $50 is better for them that having $150 and having everyone else have $150.

I thought it was a great exercise.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a big fan of this part of the WB course.


If I had to do a presentation on how to put up a tent.

There is no way that I'd go about it by showing the wrong way to do it.

My aim would be to show the right way to do it!

This presentation seems to want to start off showing everything that is wrong and then try and change it.

To my way of thinking - Not the best way to go about teaching values.

Having said that. I have staffed four courses where it has been presented.

The first time people did seem to be harmed by it. Which is something that we should try and avoid as much as is possible. The other three times it worked out OK.

Not a part of the course that anyone will ever look back on with great fondness, but OK.


It kinda helps if we give this presentation its full title!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fellow Wood Badgers,


I've seen the Wood Badge game show and "Win All You Can" played a few times.


At this point of the course, it places pressure on the patrols again, and put them back into the storming, norming phase. I've only attended full week course, but I believe this is Friday night (on the two weekend courses), which is after a month of socializing, laughing and maybe some team building by patrol members.


One Wood Badge game show was played high tech, with powerpoint and buzzers. The timing allowed for alot of arguments about correct answers. The patrols were already steaming by the time they started "Win All You Can".


On another occasion, the Wood Badge Game show was a hilarious fun. Instead of electric buzzers, the patrols had bells and bicycle horns. The questions were written on the back large colored bills, (1, 10, 100, etc). After the correct (or close to correct) answer, the host would throw the monopoly money at them. It was so fast pace, they never had time to count how much the won. But the participants were laughing and eager to earn more money.


On another occasion, as the class moved into the "Win All You Can", the game was so slow. The negotiator was allowed a minute. The patrols were allowed a minute to decide what card to display, and the call to display them now took about 30 seconds. It took about 3 rounds to understand the mission for the game, but the game still went on for about 9 rounds.


On another occasion, this game started less than a minute after the game show. Instructions were given our very quickly, no review. The negotiator was told they'd have 30 seconds, it lasted about 15 seconds. They were told the patrols had 10 seconds to decide with the negotiator. That lasted about 3-4 seconds. And the patrols were told to display their cards immediately. Essentially, the second version of the game was played so fast, the patrols did not have time to decide, they did not have time to make a rational thought, it was pretty much instinct reaction. When the game is played in a quick action of the game, without time for a patrol to discuss and decide may lead to selfish actions.


Now, I expect there is some difference in the debrief that is explained at the Course Directors Conference. Sometimes it may be more of a harsh "what were you thinking!?" and "You should be ashamed of yourself!" and "Your patrol is so horribly greedy!". To the extent that it may anger the participants. I personally don't think the debrief should even begin to follow that thread, but the usually do.


Whereas the debrief should serve as a reminder. "Scouting can be for every boy" and "Every Scout/Venturer can really benefit from Scouting and Venturing programs".


The game and exercise can be a fun event. And the debrief can serve a valuable purpose, if it is educational and not shameful.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

Link to post
Share on other sites

"the debrief can serve a valuable purpose, if it is educational and not shameful."


As I've said elsewhere, it takes someone with advanced understanding of learning methods and the human psyche to pull off "The Game of Life" or "Win all You Can" such that the event does not send matters into the crapper.


I've studied leadership for my adult life. For a good chunk, leadership was my profession. I would not use this game even with well-formed teams in our Armed Forces. I believe it does not contribute to a good end, nor that it is valuable to the course.


Now, if it were restructured so that successful conflict resolution was a planned outcome...


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fellow Scouters,


Yes. I can agree with John in KC.


The NYLT has a different topic, ethical decisions at this time. (I don't have my NYLT literature in front of me now) I believe the decisions are Win-Win, Win-Lose, and Trivial during that class. If I recall correct the NYLT bottom line is that a person will usually have to select each one of these decisions, however Win-Win is usually be most beneficial.


Back to WB21C.

The Bottom Line "Everyone can win", can probably be delivered via a different game or event and following lesson. WB21C is already on the fourth or fifth minor revision in 10 years, with topics being deleted - added. National BSA Training Committee and Wood Badge Committee may look at an alternative game to deliver an "Everyone can win" message. Possibly the "Win All You Can" can be delivered with a totally different game that can have a similar message, without the confusion and hostility.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

Link to post
Share on other sites

The NYLT has a different topic, ethical decisions at this time. (I don't have my NYLT literature in front of me now)

** No kidding?


I believe the decisions are Win-Win, Win-Lose, and Trivial during that class. If I recall correct the NYLT bottom line is that a person will usually have to select each one of these decisions, however Win-Win is usually be most beneficial.

** This is way off base, and not related to the remainer of this discussion (even if it were correct).


Link to post
Share on other sites

BDPT00 and Fellow Wood Badgers,




Agree.. After re-reading my post, I didn't make myself clear and my previous statement was vague.


Please allow me to try this again. Prior to 2000, both WB for Boy Scout Leaders Junior Leader Training Course used identical curriculum. The entire course was identical, placing JLTC in for WB throughout the instructor guide.


The evening of day-three (or the return on the second weekend) was an artificial stressor, to cause the patrols to work harder on communication and leadership skills. In the previous courses WBforBSL and JLTC, all meals were issued by the QM with meal preparation instructions. Dinner day-three was the first meal, without written meal preparation instructions, which purpose caused conflict before the evening lesson.


Then in 2001, WB21C was launched, and then in 2004 NYLT was commenced. Similar timelines, and some similar themes, but now two different courses.


As I stated, WB21C is already on its fourth or fifth minor revision since 2000. Most recently, I think it was Stages of Team Development (an intellectual rights leased lesson topic from Ken Blanchard) was removed and Leading EDGE/Teaching EDGE (BSA owned) was introduced as its replacement. EDGE was already trademarked as a BSA material for the NYLT course, but took a few years to be brought into the WB21C revision.


Now, here is the thought I was intending to make in my previous post. WB21C has already taken a topic, a few years earlier introduced in NYLT. If Win All You Can is causing so much conflict between the participants, and between the participants and the staff, maybe the National BSA training committee can obtain a topic (like ethical decisions) from the NYLT curriculum, that causes some stress during the exercise, but does not fall into total chaos during the remainder of the evening.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stages of Team Development is still in, it's where we use media and personal stories to help the learners achieve understanding of the model before the presentation of Leading EDGE/Teaching EDGE.


Leveraging People and Valuing Diversity has been merged with Inclusiveness, and they've not introduced the topic "Generations in Scouting" to go along with the NYLT material that mirrors the subject matter.


I recognize the strife "the Game" causes the participants, after all I had to go through it, too, and had my own epiphany. If done right, though, "the Game" has a profound effect on team development and personal issues amongst the learners.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I am fresh from weekend one of NE V 138 - Cradle of Liberty Council. I signed up for Wood Badge for a few reasons of which getting more ideas for my Pack/Troop was the primary. For background I'm an Eagle Scout from the mid 80s and took NYLT (Silver Stag) during that time.


The emotional exhaustion that the entire troop was suffering when The Game of Life was rolled out for us was visible. Everyone was giving their all and the competition throughout the day while friendly, was fierce. Our staff is phenomenal and they ran the game very very well from my perspective. It was interesting to watch as round by round patrols began to get it. I was acting Patrol Leader at the time of the game and our very diverse patrol was indeed 'guided' by an older member to understand the goal of the game around round 4 or 5.


Nine rounds in and the Fox patrol was still going for broke, making the best decision for them at the expense of the Owl & Bear patrols. The rampant cheering between patrols became more and more strident with some patrols simply cheering 'You Can ALL Win'...sadly, the Fox patrol did not get it and the game ended with all of us reciting the Scout Oath & Law. Our presenters had a nice spreadsheet that calculated the scores between rounds and presented them overhead. In the beginning between periods it flashed 'Win All You Can' which morphed into 'Can You All Win'. Perhaps too subtle for some to get, I don't know.


A friend from my unit is in the Fox patrol and his experience was very different from mine. He felt like he was being reprimanded at the end and that at least one other member of his patrol felt like leaving at that point.


I may have felt different had I not 'gotten it' but the message was strong and clear to me and the intensity of the moment made it very obvious.


I used to be a Beaver.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

First, I want to say: Pardon my interupption. I am not a WoodBadger, but based on what I have read here, I have a thought about this "Win all You Can" game.


Have any of you ever seen the movie " WarGames" with Mathew Broderick?


It was an 80" movie about a compuetnerd/ hacker who was just bored and looking for the next great game/ computer conquest.


Well, some how, this guy taps into a military computer that has the "80's movies " version of artifical intellegence,


The Hacker thinks he's found some great sorce of games, but in reality, the computer is actually tied into all the ICBM's in the US and is ready to launch them against all of America's enemies.


So oin the end, only minutes before launching them, The hacker guy as well as the inventor of the Military Computer system...program in the game of "Tic Tac Toe" .


They play the game a few times . Sometimes thay win, sometimes the computer does. Then they have the computer play itself.


Of course, this ends up with a tie or scratch game every time.


At the last possible second, the computer stops the launch and asks:" Why play the game when nobody can win?"


So is it possible, that - that is trhe meaning and purpose of the "Win all you can" game?


Maybe the purpose of the game is to get you involved, and emotionally attached..just to show you that in the bigger picture, being the only winner actually means nobody wins?


And there has to be some emotional involvement or else the message doesn't stick.


Kinda like a wet paint sign: It says wet paint plain as day, but you ignore it and touch the surface anyeways! :)


So maybe somebody could say it's not about winning all you can, but everybody winning - but you might ignore that message just like the wet paint sign.


Again, not trying to say that this is what it is about, but just a guess based only on my interpretation of the previous statements.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

A couple weeks ago, a colleague of mine indicated that he was going soon for part 2 of his Woodbadge.


I mentioned that I had really enjoyed the "Win All You Can" game.


He said he did too...but that the staff gave them two "breaks" so that 1 person from each patrol could all confer together..."Hence...YOU ALL CAN WIN"


Me? No breaks....Mathematician, Statistician, Computer Programmer and Analyst are all areas I have been involved with heavily at one point in my life.


You say it's a game....it's a game...game on!


Yes...we did win by a LARGE margin.


Could it have been "presented" better? YAHUH!


Instead of presented as a game...I think it should have been presented as a team building exercise to "see how everyone" can win.


If they have changed it...great...if they have not...what a crying shame.




Link to post
Share on other sites

It's as good as the staff, especially the person playing the "devil" or "Game Show Host." One player who speaks out with the right message can make it right as well.


I don't think it should be discussed. A good explanation (and no complete one has been given) will not reverse a badly done exercise and a good explanation is not needed if it was done well.


It's not just about competition vs. cooperation.


Blanchard, who I saw in action, did not debrief afterwards, but a corporation has some objectives inconsistent with Scouting, he said.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...