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Just wrapped up serving as Scribe on our recent Wood Badge course and was asked

to write down some notes to pass on to future Scribes in our Council. Before I

knew it, I had a 22 page document that I thought might be useful for Wood Badge

Scribes everywhere! Topics include:


- Get At Least One Assistant Scribe

- Continuing in the "You Don't Have to Do It All Yourself" Theme

- Speaking of Resources

- Handbooks? What Handbooks?

- Badges and Cards? What Badges and Cards?

- Printers and Printing Supplies

- The Scribe is the "Office Supply" Person

- The Gilwell Gazette

- "Unforeseen Distractions" or "You Don't Know What You Don't Know"

- Make Your Own List

- Check it Twice

- Suggestions? Comments?

- First Aid

- "Courtesy" Computer

- A Word About Staff / Participant Pictures

- The Scribe Area

- The Unofficial Scribe Supply List


I hope future Scribes find it useful (and past Scribes can still read it and get

a laugh or two). Feel free to share and pass it around.


This document can be downloaded directly from the following link:



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Thanks - it did give me alot of insight.. Somethings I know will be different and 1 question.


Q. You didn't mention the typing up and printing of the participants "Scout's Own" service. We have two Scribes Head Scribe & Asst. Scribe that are considered "on staff".. I am in charge of the Gilwell Gazette, he took the Scouts Own.. I figured I got the bad part of that deal, but would have figured that the Scouts Own would have merited at least a paragraph of mentioning..


I figure it works out though other scribe has the bulk of the preprinting. He is doing all the handbooks and other things that are printed in bulk. I just have anything coming from the database.. Name tags etc.. Other scribe I think is going to have more fun during woodbadge.. *sigh*.. I am sure my partner will be involved in photo selection, and he will be the one that will be overseeing laptop & projector for the presentations. We have two elves.. Photo guy and Data guy.. Between myself & Data guy we are trying to rebuild the program used to store & extract the data info about this course, and the past course.. So both of us will hopefully get the bugs out before the event, but will both be there to fix the bugs on the fly.. I am sure that data guy will be of help with the Gazette maybe he can type up some of the articles that I can then just copy & past in..


Any way for me.. Thanks for the helpful hints about the Gilwell Gazette! I am suppose to be getting old copies of our Gilwell Gazettes from the last course. I am told some things dont change, like Message from Course director etc. I would imagine the schedule starts out per the course book, then changes due to working around weather or some other unforeseen thing. The staff info additions/changes I am told will be minimal..


Some things I know will be different..


1) Where we hold WB, there is no cell phone or internet service.. Once there, no outside contact, unless you want to climb the highest mountain peak..


2) Scribes are out of the normal hub of participants.. We are in a cabin that will be where the Staff sleeps, but also has areas good for offices.. It is close to the goings on, but not in it. So I doubt we would be first Aide station.. Good thing.. My first aide help is I dont want to see it!!..


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I briefly mention creating the Scouts Own Service on pages 5, 14 and 15. As I wrote, one of my assistant Scribes took it on himself to work with the course religious coordinator, program patrol and Chaplains Aides to put these together.


If I had to add anything about this subject, it would be prep the layout for the programs before you get to Gilwell. The folks I mentioned above will probably be scrambling too much for content to worry about whether it's an 8.5" x 11" duplexed sheet, a 5.5" x 8.5" booklet, etc. In our course, to expedite this whole process, we pretty much said, "It's going to be a 5.5" x 8.5" booklet (a single sheet of paper folded once)." As I mentioned, they were busy working on the content (which we asked them key in on the courtesy computer), so we simply cut and pasted it in, arranged it a bit, added some non-denominational graphics and there you go.


Keep in mind that, in your case, the lack of an Internet connection will cause you to need to pre-plan this a bit more. Insist that your religious coordinator get you all of his/her content BEFORE the first course weekend. You need Internet access to grab song lyrics, etc. Your goal should be to have this laid out and ready to print, if not already printed, before the first WB weekend. Same process for Scouts Own program for second weekend...insist the relevant parties get you their content before the start of the second weekend so you can do the same with it...


Re: the message from your Course Director, it really SHOULD change. While much of their thoughts will be the same from course to course, this is the CD's opportunity to "speak" to the participants. I would ask your CD to write this and get to you head of the course so you can drop into the day 1 Gaz, front and center on page one. We did this, wrapped the text around the CD's picture in the middle and even added overlaid his signature and totem (in white) over top his picture in the corner.

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Thank you.

I feel sure that what you have written will be a help for others who are asked to serve.

I nerver had the Scribe job. Not really my cup of tea.

As CD I asked a Council Board Member who owned a company that deals with business machines if he could donate a copier to the course. He did, in fact he ended up donating and leaving the machine for camp use.

When this thing arrived it was the size of a small house. -Well almost!

It had the capability to do just about anything and everything, as long as the person pushed the right buttons. It was really fast.

I was really intimidated by it it.

Both our Scribes thought that they were in Heaven with it.

I tasked our QM Staff with taking care of First Aid.

Thinking back the only request I remember coming from the Scribes was that we set a deadline for the Patrols as to when they needed to have articles and stuff in by, if they wanted it to be in the next Gaz.

We were also very fortunate, one of our TG's in the real world is a professional photographer for our local newspaper.

Photo day at Wood Badge always seems to take twice as long as it should, but this fellow zipped through it in next to no time.


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I found this comment strange also, but it came straight from our CD.. Maybe he was tripping over his own tongue and meant something else in the list he rattled of of "What won't change". but said that.


Once we "build" the new system we will have a small server box with a local wireless so that 3 or 4 of us can share the same database & file content. I doubt it this will have enough power to get from the scribe area where the meeting is of those organizing the Scouts Own. But, maybe just a laptop and a thumbdrive?


Yeah the lack of internet put a kink in the building of they system. They would have liked it more on a secured Internet so that many could access the data before the course started, then just continue at the course, but the lack of internet, means downloading it to this server and taking the data self contaned with us to the course. Then uploading it when the course is done.


You started me talking to my husband, who was once on staff, then is a yearly kitchen elf (can't get the time from work to be on staff more often). He would hang out with the scribes before they moved them to a more secure area.


I did find out our paper is much smaller 1 page back/front most times, maybe a 3rd page. Few pictures, but most will be on the video show cd we hand them at the end of the course not the paper.. And the cut off time for us he thinks is still Lunchtime. Meaning shorter blurbs from them & more time for me to input.


I saw the size you quoted for your Gazette, and looked at some on the internet (some of 12 pages) and thought over the years since I took the course (about 6-7 years back) it had mushroomed. I know the handbooks did, those were in a 1/2 inch binder now it is a 1 1/2 inch binder. When I read that & the 8pm deadline I thought no wonder people are up until 12am or 1am! Now I am back to perplexed why our group stays up so late.. Maybe we have a slower printer??


I have been pestering our CD for the Gazette from last years WB for about a week now. Which he has, but I guess they are too large to email, so he will get them to me on a CD.


I also emailed a copy to the other Scribe, so hopefully it will open conversations between him & I and lead to questions we hadn't thought about for the CD. Really it is the CD we seem to have meetings & more contact with.



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Please don't tell anyone.

I kinda hate to admit it but when I was CD, I kinda sorta was happy to think that I'd selected the right people to do the job and my thinking was, it was something that was done and put to bed.

It was really strange.

The Lady I asked to be Scribe first was a Lady that I had a history with. We both just didn't get on or like each other very much. We hadn't got on for years.

She was the Cub Scout R/T Commish for one of the other Districts and even though she wasn't my favorite people I was very impressed with the job she was doing as R/T Commish. Cub Scouters came away from the R/T's she was in charge of with a bag full of different resources. She spent almost a full day each month photo-copying things at the Council Service Center.

Looking back, I was really not very nice to her before the course.

When the then SE was trying to control the costs of photo copying he had a code on the machine for each District. Each District was supposed to be charged for each copy. Just to be a pain whenever I used the machine I'd always stick her code in!

It turned out that she did a truly wonderful job for me.

I stopped using her code and started using the code of her DE.

(I thought the idea of charging Districts was silly and was trying to prove a point.)


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Your district actually had an operating budget? Technically, as "arms" of the local council, a district uses the operating budget of the council.


Was your previous SE actually billing the volunteers?

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Technically the District didn't have a budget, but each and every event that the District held had a budget.

Each year the members of the District Key 3 had to submit and sign off on all the budgets for the coming year.

These budgets were given to the person who was organizing the events.

The SE is now gone.

He managed to get a job in the big metro Council next door as a FD. When that didn't work out they moved him to work in LFL in Texas along with another SE who our Executive Board fired.

Seems that SE's will always find a home Deep in the heart of...


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