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Looking Forward to Wood Badge

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In a perfect world, every Wood Badge staffer and participant would aspire to the quality Real Patrol Method that Twocubdad describes.


However, to qualify for recognition as "the first person in the history of the Internet to bring back to his unit Wood Badge Patrols spaced B-P's 300 feet apart, and adult-free WB Patrol Hikes," Twocubdad must amend his HISTORICAL post to describe how he made the connection that Wood Badge Patrols could work in his own Troop. :)


I can't claim the Al Gore Award myself because as a novice adult leader I just didn't make that connection until I read Baden-Powell again after Wood Badge (even though I had implemented 300 foot campsites and Patrol Hikes as a Senior Patrol Leader).


As for Twocubdad's experience with Patrol Hikes: The concept does not appeal to our older Scouts either...




...they are settled into a campsite.


Getting TO the campsite is another story: For instance when they spend the whole day Saturday hiking their equipment about eight miles to a remote Troop campsite without any "adult association" or rules about electronics along the way.


Back before Troop Guides (when Patrol Leaders were responsible for their Patrol's advancement), all hikes were planned as an adventure with a theme (similar to the Patrol with the bottleneck of boys wanting to complete their First Class cooking requirements).


Hike Themes:




Yours at 300 feet,




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NO FAIR! You can't change the rules now!


To be perfectly honest with you, to a large degree, I came up with the patrol separation thing myself through trial an error. When my son and I came in to the troop, the usual custom was for all the patrols to pile into one of the massive summer camp troop campsites. The troop was divided into patrols for meals, but that only made things worse -- three patrols trying to share the same fire pit or picnic table to make different meals at once was a complete cluster flub.


Although I took Wood Badge as a despised ruiner of real red-blooded Scouting (a Cubmaster), I was also an ASM at the time. My Wood Badge training did help me make the connection with the patrol method in two ways: First, the campsites where Wood Badge and IOLS training takes place was neatly divided into a series of patrol campsites joined by a common trail. Although the sites are no where near 300 feet apart, the campsites each are fairly well delineated and have their own picnic table and fire ring. Initially, I liked camping there simply because it was in a little-used corner of the camp and a nice, quiet location. It took some sweet-talking for the camp ranger to allow a mere Boy Scout Troop to use the hallowed ground of the training sites, but we pervailed. After a year or two of camping at various sites, it became obvious that haviing separate patrol sites was a huge advantage, regardless of the distance.


The second contribution Wood Badge made to my education in the Patrol Method was -- and you're really going to hate this -- the team development theories. You know, the much maligned formin', stormin', normin' and performin' stuff. I have always worked for small, mom 'n pop operations so I hadn't previously been exposed to any of the corporate mumbo-jumbo. One thing which really caught my ear was how even minor distractions could derail a group on its way to becoming a high-performing team. This was right in line with what I was observing among our patrols.


Honestly, Kudu, I think you were the source for the 300 foot distance between patrols. I've adopted that as a standard, mainly because being able to add "Baden-Powell said" lends some authority to principle. But it's not like we pace it off or anything. Usually we scatter the patrols as far out as practical.

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I'm a troop guide for an upcoming Wood Badge course. When preparing the presentation of Scouting Aims & Methods there is a hand out called Aims and Methods Work Sheet. There is a place near the top of the worksheet where the 3 aims are to be written. Under that are 4 columns. The 1st column lists the 4 programs of BSA. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers. The heading of the next three columns are AIMS, IDEALS, and METHODS. The instructions state Ask patrol members to list on their work sheet specific ways that each BSA program brings to life the aims, ideals, and method of Scouting Im just not sure what they are looking for as specific way for each. Thanks for any input.

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I wouldn't be asking that question here. Ask your fellow TGs and your ASM/TGs or SM.


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