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LeCastor

Looking Forward to Wood Badge

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My woodbadge course all of the participants camped the second weekend together.

 

We cooked separately, but camped as a big group.

 

We did not do a patrol hike either.

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Curious writes:

 

"The problem with WB isn't the material, but rather the participants."

 

You must be a "leadership" word games expert. :)

 

If the Patrol Hike is part of the course "material" and only 1 out of 1,000 participants bring it back to their home units, then the problem is Wood Badge, not the participants.

 

(The same is true for 150-300 feet between Boy Scout Patrols, if Baden-Powell's minimum standard for the Patrol System is indeed part of the actual course material).

 

To put it in EDGE terms: My guess is although Wood Badge defenders claim that the Patrol Hike and B-P's Patrol Campsites are "Demonstrated," they are never actually "Explained" to the Staffers as something participants should take home to their units.

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

 

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"You must be a "leadership" word games expert."

 

An ad hominem attack? ;)

 

Let's look at it from another perspective. How many students, after attending driver's education, never again exceed the speed limit?

 

1 in 1,000?

1 in 10,000?

1 in 100,000?

 

Should we then do away with driver's education courses? Hardly, because even though they exceed the speed limit, the participants are still much safer drivers as a result.

 

Just because WB doesn't meet someone's definition of perfect is no reason to condemn the whole course. The participants are in a position to be better scouters as a result of the course. Sadly, in the case of WB, for many scouters it is about earning a set of beads.

 

Honestly Kudu, a lot of your ideas have merit. Your website is an excellent resource! Have you ever considered petitioning national about expanding this material on the syllabus? Or for that matter, even creating a separate course about the patrol method? In fact, you wouldn't even need national approval for a new course. That is something that can be done in-council or even taught at Univ of Scouting. Other councils will see it and it will eventually spread.

 

Just a thought ...

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I do not believe that it is expressed in the syllabus that patrols should camp apart. From the courses I saw in 1959, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2008, or 2009 it was not made express. It just was how things were arranged. Apparently, example is not enough. I have agreed that not enough emphasis on the meaning of "Patrol Method" is in the training. Much is assumed, with all the attendant risks. We are using "other" training in our council ("Baden Powell Institute") to attempt to correct that problem.

 

I do note that it is now to be taken as a fact, without any evidence whatsoever, that not one Scouter in 1000 "takes back" separate patrol sites and patrol hikes to his "home unit."

 

We are aware that "home units" include teams, crews, and packs, right? No patrols.

 

And some already know and use that aspect of the Patrol Method.

 

Basement, you do seem to have had a poor experience. It happens. An experimental course in the 1980's looked at returning to the original syllabus. It was a disaster primarily due to the staff who were, I was repeatedly told, excessively "military." Even Bill's presence could not overcome the extremely authoritarian style of the SPL. (There was also mention of too much Poison Ivy, and I do not think that was code for anything else.)

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Curious wrote:

Have you ever considered petitioning national about expanding this material on the syllabus? Or for that matter, even creating a separate course about the patrol method? In fact, you wouldn't even need national approval for a new course. That is something that can be done in-council or even taught at Univ of Scouting.

 

 

What an excellent suggestion! I would sign up for a Using the Patrol Method course at University of Scouting in a heartbeat!

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Curious,

 

You are entirely too humble. :) If getting behind the wheel of your analogy and navigating from point A to point B without a teacher, is at least one objective of a driver's eduction course, why is it that in my 17 years of reading "automobile touring" Internet forums, I have never seen a single driver's education graduate brag about driving from point A to point B for the first time, or ask a related how-to question?

 

I usually read stuff more like ScoutBox's report:

 

"Lisabob, Well said and I totally agree. I started to push our driver's education graduates to hold student elections. Not a teacher choosing the Class President, like it was before. Now the student government plans field trips. Everybody gets into a school bus to get from point A to point B together."

 

Why is it that nobody ever brags about how useful Wood Badge training is for training a Patrol Leader how to guide his Patrol from point A to point B through the backwoods without "adult association"?

 

Why is it that in my 17 years of Internet addiction, I've never seen a Wood Badge graduate report a single problem with such a traditional example of "boy leadership" in a "position of responsibility," and ask for advice?

 

According to my screen I am currently "1 of 1092 Active Users," so evidently YOU are that 1 in 1,000 who returns from Wood Badge able to meet Baden-Powell's minimum standards for the Patrol System! So, please explain to us "leadership skills" skeptics why teaching your Patrol Leaders how to camp their Patrols 300 feet apart, and conduct Patrol Hikes separately from other Patrols (without "adult association") is so easy that you (and all the Staffers who promote Wood Badge here) would never even think of mentioning your Scouts' rather remarkable accomplishments? :)

 

In awe at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

(This message has been edited by Kudu)

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Rick, I often think we need to define terms because you use them in a unique way. An example is "adult association," which I think of as boys associating with adults who are good role models, but you seem to use as code for adults preventing youth leadership - apparently by simply by being within earshot.

 

"Associations With AdultsBoys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of the troop. In many cases, a Scoutmaster, a merit badge counselor, or one of the troop parents who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives. Adult association is also part of what we call a youth-led troop. Adults understand that their role is to create a safe place where boys can learn and grow and explore and play and take on responsibilitiesand fail, and get up and try again. If you were involved with Cub Scouting, this is a very different role that can take some time getting used to."

Scouting.org

 

"Scouting is a game for boys under the leadership of

boys under the direction of a man."

 

"Scoutmasters need the capacity to enjoy the

out-of-doors."

 

"Success in training the boy depends largely on the Scoutmaster's own personal example."

 

"The Scoutmaster teaches boys to play the game by doing so himself."

 

"I had stipulated that the position of Scoutmaster was to be neither that of a schoolmaster nor of a commander Officer, but rather that of an elder brother among his boys, not detached or above them individually, able to inspire their efforts and to suggest new diversions when his finger on their pulse told him the attraction of any present craze was wearing off."

BP

 

So you ask, "Why is it that nobody ever brags about how useful Wood Badge training is for training a Patrol Leader how to guide his Patrol from point A to point B through the backwoods without 'adult association'?" [sic]

 

You are probably not literally asking why you know of no Wood Badger proclaiming on the internet that Wood Badge usefully teaches how to do without "adult association" as B.S.A. defines it. As B.S.A. controls the syllabus, it is unlikely to script teaching rejection of a Scouting methods handed down from BP.

 

So I guess you are probably asking why no Wood Badger in the Boy Scout program brags in the Internet about Wood Badge as good instruction on how to have a successful patrol hike without adults present, an activity that was clearly allowed for the vast bulk of the years post TEOTSWAYII (The End of The Scouting World As You Imagine It) in 1972 - and even for most of the years of Wood Badge for the Twenty-First Century. Such "hikes" were part of my Scouting experience, but rare due to the need to be driven to interesting and "wild" places away from the urban sprawl.

 

If that is your question, I haven't a clue. Wood Badge, in each of its major versions, teaches the Patrol Method. An independent patrol "hike" (actually backpacker) to a separate patrol campsite without the "adults" (staff) being present has been part of each version of Wood Badge. I am not sure why people don't get on the internet and "brag" about such hikes by boys. What conclusion do you draw? That all the people who take and teach the course are inaccurate about what is taught? That is it taught so badly that no one draws the correct conclusions despite BP's comment that example is the best form of teaching? That the "participants" reject the message?

 

 

 

 

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Can the moderators can help us?

 

In the history of Scouter.Com (and/or the entire Internet) has any staffer or participant ever returned from Wood Badge and asked for advice (or reported success or failure) in setting up the separate, independent Patrol Hikes on Troop campouts, "without the 'adults' (staff) being present, that has been part of every version of Wood Badge?"

 

If 1 out of every 1,000 staffers and/or participants take the Patrol Method back to their home units, such discussions must be common.

 

 

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LeCastor

Good Luck with the course.

I hope that all goes well and you have a great time and take some new ideas and skills back home with you.

 

I've been involved with adult leader training for some time.

I've staffed a number of WB courses and other training's.

The hard truth is that no training is going to change the world.

Most Troops, packs, crews, ships have a way that they go about doing things and just because someone has attended a training, very rarely changes that.

I've lost count of the number of times that I've heard: "We don't do it that way."

I used to let this get to me. My thinking being that I was of course right and anyone and everyone who didn't agree with me was just wrong.

Maybe because I've gotten older? Maybe I'm not just as mule headed as I used to be? But today I'm happy to go with what works for you.

Of course a lot of participants return to their units on a training high. But soon after things go back to the way that they were.

Even as SM changing the way the Troop has done things in the past can be an up hill battle.

Troops that have always gone Car Camping may not have the equipment needed to change.

We have Troops in the area where I live that always have had a group of adults cook all the meals and fed the Scouts that way.

I really dislike the cold and while I have camped in the winter, I try and avoid it as much as I can. This effects the winter program the Troops I was involved with.

You will grow into the sort of Leader /SM you want to be.

Wood Badge or any of the trainings you take might plant some new ideas or open your eyes to doing things in a different way.

But at the end of the day you will go with what you want to go with.

Wood Badge isn't a bad course.

What you take home from it will depend on you.

You will pick up and learn as much from the other participants and the staff as you do from the course. - That's why each and every course is different.

At the end of the course you will have the opportunity to evaluate the course.

If you offer a true and honest evaluation you will have done your bit to help change and maybe improve the course.

No one can tell you what your going to get out of the course. In fact sometimes it can take some little time for you to work out what you got from it.

Still it's been my experience that when ever a group of adult Scouter's get together without any Scouts around they tend to have a good time and are open to the exchange of ideas.

So keep an open mind and have a great time.

Ea.

 

 

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I'm taking a lot of this stuff on board. I am speaking to my SM/CD for WB, and asking these questions. How can we do more to get the Patrol Method point across to the Participants, and Staff.

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I got a Scouting education. I started to push more of the boy lead, patrol method, and boys voting for their leadership. Not an adult choosing the SPL, and then the SPL choosing the PLs. That's the way it was. Now we have full boy lead, patrol method, boys only voting for their leadership. And it is working. I first wouldn't have known all about this if I hadn't gone to WB.

 

It's encouraging that Scoutbox has made these changes and it should mean a better program for the youths in his area. But I found myself really surprised, and disheartened, by his comment that he wouldn't have known about any of this boy-led, Patrol Method, stuff if he hadn't gone to WB. Those should be Scouting 101 topics, things covered in the most basic adult training offered. It should be reinforced at every level of training as well, but if Scoutbox had to wait for the graduate level Scouting course to get that info, then he was shortchanged by his earlier training.

 

Obviously there are plenty of adult-led troops around, so I doubt it was just Scoutbox who missed that memo when he first got started. What's missing from the introductory training?

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JM, it depends on what training a person attends.

 

For me, I went to WB while a cub leader. I'd taken just about every cub training out there, but would have had no reason to take boy scout leader training. Troop committee member training also teaches little about the patrol method.

 

So, if a person doesn't attend SM/ASM training and IOLS, then no, they might not know a lot about the patrol method, even though they may be considered "fully trained" for their position.

 

It does seem to me that we could do a better job of incorporating the patrol method into more basic trainings, particularly for Webelos leaders and for troop committee members.

 

 

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JMHawkins writes:

 

"What's missing from the introductory training?"

 

Maybe we can use EDGE to figure out what's missing from the Patrol Method presentation of Scoutmaster Training. :)

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