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My thoughts on Wood Badge weekend 1

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Wood Badge week 1


Some of you asked in another thread to tell you about my Wood Badge week 1 experience. For obvious reasons, I'll be a bit vague for those who have not taken the course.


First, let me just say that for the next 4 weeks, I am an SR-1022 Bobwhite! (Feel free to respond with your tasty critter jokes... we may taste like chicken, but you'll never find out)


Secondly, a big thank you to our fellow message-boarder Tokala, who is the CD/Scoutmaster (and used to be a Bobwhite), for putting together such an awesome, fun, good-natured staff. Can't wait for the second weekend.


Now, to the nitty gritty.


What a fun weekend. I learned a lot, made some new friends, met some valuable new resources from other districts. Our patrol was a mix of Cub Scouters, Boy Scouters and me, the token commissioner. We gelled together very well, and very quickly, and our guide was very proud of that.


It turns out our patrol has a bit of a competitive streak in it. It seems we like to win, even if by accident. We did extremely well on the various games and competitions, even the ones where it wasn't about winning. :-P


Which leads me to my one and only comment on the "Win All You Can" game. While I understood the lesson that was trying to be conveyed, I took away another lesson from it which still fit in with the concepts and themes of the training we received.


And that is all I will say on that subject.


And of course a huge thank you needs go to everyone here on Scouter.com. Without your sharing of knowledge about the various programs, there's no way the SR-1022 Bobwhites would have won the Scouting Jeopardy game (if only my teammates would have listened to me on the Venturing uniform answer).



As to the course curriculum itself, I know there seems to be a lot of criticism about it from some people around here in comparison to the "old course". But from my point of view as someone who is not part of the coporate management ladder, someone who had no experience with either version of the course, I think the course is extremely beneficial to all Scouters, regardless of the color of the shoulder loops or even their experience with the leadership concepts being taught. I am a stay at home dad and self-employed with no employees, so I've never been exposed to this stuff before in my life, with the exception of a single small group communications course I took in college.


But the concepts themselves can be applied to all groups in scouting: direct contact leaders with their youth, non-direct contact unit adults working with other adults, members of district and council committees, commissioner working with their units, etc.


This stuff is also useful in life outside of scouting, in work and in the home. Heck, it might even save a marriage or two (assuming you learn not to over-commit to scouting).


Just as important to the weekend, assuming the staff executes it correctly (and they did a fabulous job over the weekend), is modeling the course to give the participants the ideal scouting experience from the point of view of the youth. I think it serves to remind us of what the youth are supposed to be getting from the Scouting program... that it's not just about knots and first aid, or even about camping. It serves as an experiential reminder that we as Scouters need to make use of ALL the various methods in order to advance the ideals and aims of the various scouting programs to their maximum potential.



Yes, my review is probably extremely vague, but I did that intentionally for the benefit of those who have yet to take WB21.


Two final notes...


1) 40 degree nights are rare here in Florida. Fortunately I was prepared and was nice and cozy in my sleeping bag at night, although I wasn't sure I would be until I got settled in. I haven't slept outdoors in weather that cold since i was a scout. Our weather rock reader wasn't very accurate. Kept telling us it would be 72. :-)


2) The course presentation on Interfaith services was presented by Tokala. And I'll be darned if his presentation and discussion points didn't reflect all facets of the exact same discussions we have here on the subjects of reverence/religion/worship. I think I even detected a little bit of Beavah in there somewhere. But I think it served as a real eye opener to those taking the course who had very little exposure to religious diversity in their units or in their lives.

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I'm the ASM-Program/back-up CD for SR-1017 being held next month. It sounds like your staff did IT right, because it sounds like you GOT IT! You hit a lot of nails on the head in your post. I wish all the naysayers would just take the course and find out it isn't the bad, evil thing they think it is. Thanks for a great post!

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Thanks, Joe! I hope we can do just as well for the troop on the 2nd weekend. Now, go write your ticket :) Sorry about the ham & cheese. The cooks have been flogged for ignoring my instructions.


Funny how perspective changes observations. I noticed a couple of minor gaffs by the staff, but it's nice to know it was transparent to the troop. My staff really has made my job easy.


I will always be a Bobwhite....that's Mr. Bob White to you!

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Congrats, nolesrule.


I was hoping this would be a post from someone who was attending SR-1052 which also just had Weekend One down at Camp Tanah Keeta. I'm staffing on that one. I thought maybe this topic might have been from our course because our Eagle patrols calls themselves the Seminole Eagles.


Temperatures went down to the low 40's here also.

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Well, there was one minor gaff regarding a clarification of our duties as Program Patrol at the closing at Gilwell Field (as in we were told we had none for two days until 2 minutes before marching in), but we rolled with it as best we could. That's why we looked a little tentative, we never got a chance to practice.


I've been working on some ideas for my ticket. I'm trying to come up with 7-8 to get approved because a few of them are at the scheduling whim of the Council calendar, which I have no control over, and if there is a conflict of dates, then there's no way I can accomplish it. For example, as it stands right now, the annual Commissioners Conference is scheduled to be on a Jewish holiday for the 2nd year in a row (I guess it doesn't help that they get the holiday date wrong on the calendar every year), so I'm talking to John Fought, who is our ACC for training and Dean of our CCS, in order to come up with a possible alternative.


My biggest difficulties are going to be two-fold:


1) Coming up with items that I can use to improve service to my units while maintaining a distinct role as their commissioner (don't want to step on toes or usurp roles)

2) Not putting on extra Scouting hats that might cause problems at home, so I really want to focus strictly on what being a commissioner is all about


As for that ham & cheese sandwich, John Smith (cook crew, fellow commissioner in my district and also a Bobwhite) took care of me. I like grilled cheese so it worked out nicely. And it was nice to see half my patrol jump up and run to the kitchen to help me out as well. We really are a great patrol.

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Can't wait til the day I take WB21.


At my BALOO class, 2 of our seven instructors were in Wood Badge. (One OWL , one Beaver) Well Mr. Flat Tail said that if there was one thing he could say about WB.. it was "As much as you learn about scouting.. WB may actually teach you more about yourself than anything else."





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Glad to hear you had a great time! Sounds like you went into the course with the right attitude - be a sponge. Did you ever feel like you were drinking from a fire hose? :-) I would love some of the questions I would get from participants getting ready for the course - should I bring a book to read? fishing gear? something to do in their spare time? How much spare time did you have, noles? ;^)


If you ever get a chance to staff, take it, if at all possible. You get a two-fer when you staff - you get to see the whole course (presented and critiqued) during course development, and then again during the actual course. You'd be surprised at how much you miss the first time around. There is just so much information, it's hard to catch it all.


It sounds like you have a great patrol. Hopefully you will all stay Scout friends, and even get beaded together. I was Troop Guide for the Bears in Summer 2008; they have all stayed in touch and they luckily keep me looped in on their email conversations, which are great entertainment! They are all getting beaded together in about two weeks - it will be a lot of fun to see them all again!


Good luck on your second weekend! Let us know how it goes!


I used to be a Fox, and a good ol' Fox, too!

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Spare time? I've been home 2 days and I still don't have any spare time. Still have a project and a ticket to work on.


Breakfast was at 7am, Cracker barrel at 9 or 9:30 pm. When you saw the word BREAK on the schedule, it really meant that as soon as the current segment ended be out the door to the bathroom and head straight to where you need to be next.


Oh yeah, and I thought the movie choice gave excellent examples of many of the things we were being taught, and it happened to be a favorite movie of mine.

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The movie!

For me, the movie was my least favorite part of the course. While I understand why it was there and the points it conveyed, sitting inside watching a movie just didnt seem to mesh with the rest of what was an otherwise great experience. A couple of my Patrol mates had similar opinions.





Still a Good OlBear

Getting my Beads 3/20/10!


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About your ticket:


I'm about six months into mine, and I'm almost half-complete. It's been a grind, so to speak, because I thought I would challenge myself. And I am. :-)


We were heavily cautioned not to choose ticket items where success depends upon others. In fact, I thought it was fairly difficult to come up with ideas where that was the case. Just by luck, I seem to have goals that "sequence" well, with respect to the calendar.


I think if I were to rewrite as of today, I would concentrate on realistic goals given an honest assessment of how much time I have to spend on Scouting. For example, I have a district role, but my ticket wasn't written around that, it was written around my ASM role. There are times, though, that my district role needs attention, at the expense of everything else, including ticket work.

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OK, I now have 8 potential ticket items, which are out in the ether awaiting feedback from my counselor. the only one where I need help from someone else to pull off is my potential diversity item. If my counselor thinks it's good, I'll just need to get buy-in from the person I need help from, but really all I'm asking her for is a Scouting-related twist on something she does regularly.

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"By the way, I took care of that scheduling conflict of Yom Kippur and the Commissioner's Conference. "


You moved Yom Kippur? :-P



Good news from Troop Guide Bruce. Preliminary approval for all 8 items, and I managed to weave diversity into a 2nd item.


Now we just need to get the patrol project completed. It's a bit ironic that we're giving a presentation on shooting sports at the exact same time as the council's annual shooting sports day is happening at Sand Hill.

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I'm a bit confused... When is your second weekend? According to the syllabus, all ticket items must be approved before leaving the course, I'm hoping I'm just not understand the process your council uses.

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