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Wood Badge has already been offered in English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, and many other languages so I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. Wood Badge is the INTERNATIONAL adult training award. It is not the sole property of the BSA (in fact, it belongs to WOSM).


This looks like a cool international outreach event- if I spoke Spanish (only English, Finnish, Japanese and German), I would jump at the opportunity. Meeting Scouts and Scouters from other countries is always a fantastic experience.


...also, how many of the English-only crowd have ever TRIED to move to another country (non-English speaking) and speak the language? As an ESL teacher, I can tell you that English is a nightmare for adults to learn. Try being friendly, courteous, and kind instead.


Ole valmis!


(Google Translate is wrong. It's "Be Prepared")


PS: For those that feel so strongly about English being the only relevant language- the World Crest is optional. If you don't believe in the World Brotherhood (and it appears that many here do not) then remove it from your uniform... and be honest about why you took it off.

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"the English only crowd?"

"those that feel so strongly about English being the only relevant language?"


Were they here? No matter. An open forum welcomes straw men; they could be instructive.


"I'm not sure what all the fuss is about."


The fuss is about some folks' worries over cultural and linguistic trends in this country; they worry when they see WB in Spanish and fail to take into account that it's a foreign outreach event and not Genesis, Chapter 11. If we are enlightened enough to appreciate foreign cultures, we can appreciate the culture of our countrymen and we can sympathize with their concerns over the future of that culture. Because it is changing (has been and will be - that's how existence is), and change is not always "progress" or improvement.


There are "immigrants" who come here and behave more like colonists. But we understand that offering WB classes in Spanish is not a manifestation of this phenomenon. This is especially true in light of the fact that the enrollees include visiting members of Scouts de Mexico. And in light of the fact that many native Spanish speakers are fellow Westerners - our cultural cousins. Plus Spanish itself is so easy to learn that, as a language, one wonders if it really should be described as foreign.


All scouts and scouters needn't learn English, it's an international movement. But all BSA members should learn English and learn it well; it's part of being prepared in this country. To live here and not learn English is unfriendly, discourteous and unkind.


"...also, how many of the English-only crowd have ever TRIED to move to another country (non-English speaking) and speak the language?"


The way this group is named, "English-only crowd," makes it a tautological certainty that the answer to that question is zero. But if we expand the definition to include advocates that all US residents and especially all BSA members try to become proficient with English, then the answer is at least one... in spades, like you wouldn't believe. But solid multiple credentials and experience in that regard are irrelevant to the matter because having lived in other countries and learned other languages does not give one special authority over the matter of whether or not residents of the US should learn English. Citizens of the USA learn foreign languages less frequently than citizens of many other places because they have less use for them, not because they are inferior people with unfit judgment. English is more useful to native and non-native speakers alike than many other languages. The English speaking people have been so prolific in the arts and sciences that if you can read English, pretty much all the world's knowledge that's worth knowing is available to you. And English speaking people have been so curious about other cultures that pretty much all the great literature of other languages is also available to you. Those things are not equally true of all languages.


"As an ESL teacher, I can tell you that English is a nightmare for adults to learn."


"A nightmare?" Maybe someone isn't doing it right. Foreign language learning can and should be fun, even for folks with no special talent for it.


"Try being friendly, courteous, and kind instead."


OK. Let charity begin at home.


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I know better than to create straw-man arguments and, to be fair, it was only GP1971 who was adamantly "English-only." My post was mostly directed at him and others who share such a perspective (who may read this thread later). I do understand why there is a fuss but am irritated when such fusses drag politics (and language choice is certainly a political issue) into Scouting not to teach (like with Citizenship merit badges) but to create division. I agree with most of the posters on this board but felt the need to add my own rebuke/response also.


My problem is not with people who are encouraging those to learn English: If I was opposed to ESL education, I would not work as an ESL teacher. I definitely appreciate the usefulness of English (I am an American citizen, and native English speaker, after all) and I know that English is a major language in scholarship and business. My major objection is to those who have a knee-jerk objection to being exposed to other languages (or, in this case, simply hearing about events in other languages) while claiming to be part of the "World Brotherhood."


I have also lived abroad and, while abroad, I have also seen many Americans who, to use your phrase, act like "colonists" and expect to be served in English (and refuse to learn the language of their new country). My main question with "how many have lived abroad" was because (in my experience) most who demand complete assimilation and mastery of English do not understand the challenge in mastering a new language.


As far as having less use for foreign languages: This can be easily made into a chicken-egg problem. Do we have less use for foreign languages because we don't go abroad or do we not go abroad because we do not learn foreign languages?


As for someone not doing their job, I assure you it is not me who is screwing up. I work with students who have been identified by the university as needing additional practice on their writing. My job is to provide students with ways to improve their writing and my students leave my class more confidently than they arrived.


Finally, I do not feel I am being any less friendly, courteous, or kind than you are, in this case. My tone was unfriendly to those who oppose any mention of language but I still think I was fairly civil in how I wrote my post. I am, like you, simply saying what I feel needs to be said. I did not flame or insert any profanities (nor did you) but I am writing forcefully because this is a subject I care a lot about. Thank you for pointing out what could be misconstrued, however, because I would hate to have anyone confused by what I wrote.

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In regards to learning languages and going abroad,I had this conversation with some folks when I was in the UK. The countries are so much smaller over there, that if you drive 2 hours, you have went through one country, and just entered a second country. Some people over there don't grasp how big the USA is. Kinda funny when someone expects to make a quick drive from NYC to New Orleans for a visit.

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Seriously?! Four pages of comments better suited for an I/P thread over something that ought to be viewed as a positive?! I for one am EXTREMELY disappointed that they chose to hold this course at Bechtel Summit rather than at Philmont, which is much closer to the areas that NEED it!

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Wood Badge in Spanish: How else are Mexicans going to learn that Hispanics hate camping?

Jeffrey H writes: "That's news to me. Care to elaborate?" Jeffrey, Since 1972 Wood Badge has used "diversity" as an excuse to move the Boy Scout program away from camping, and replace Scoutcraft with "character and leadership." Here is an example of the "Urban Youth" program introduced the year after our current Chief Scout Executive began his Scouting professional career: In general, Patrol Leader training should concentrate on leadership skills rather than on Scoutcraft Skills. The Patrol will not rise and fall on the Patrol Leader's ability to cook, follow a map, or do first aid, but it very definitely depends on his leadership skill. http://inquiry.net/leadership/index.htm Here is a video of our Chief Scout Executive explaining why it is wrong to expect 12yo Hispanic Boy Scouts to sleep in tents: http://inquiry.net/leadership/sitting_side_by_side_with_adults.htm

Yes, I'm quite familiar the 1972 "Improved" scouting program because I saw those changes first hand as a scout from 1973 to 1977.  It was a weird time and I knew scouting was going in the wrong direction.  Fortunately, my Troop rejected those changes and we continued our Troop program of primitive camping, backpacking, and a patrol method that followed the philosophy of Bill Hillcourt. 

Is History repeating itself?  Possibly.  Eagle scouts can make rank with mimimal camping and outdoor experiences.  I was at an Eagle COH recently where the young man had only clocked 31 nights of camping for his 6 year tenure with the Troop.  We can scream "foul", but he met the written requirements for making Eagle.

I spent about 2 years with a Troop that could  not seem to get beyond "drive up" camping at State Parks.  No backpacking, no hiking, etc. 

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As the originator of this "hate thread" as someone put it. I personally think it's sad that we, the Boy Scouts of America feel it's important to offer training in spanish for adults and citizens of the United Stated of America. It's my understanding this course is ment for leaders that don't speak or understand the english language.


Do we have such leaders that don't speak or understand english that will eventiually benifit boys in our country that also don't speak or understand english? Probably. Maybe instead of WB in Spanish, we offer english courses to adult leaders instead so they can eventually take WB in english.

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Get Outdoors, as a fellow Scouter from an area with a significant number of young citizens who speak English as a second language (thanks primarily to their parents) but who could benefit from Scouting nonetheless, I am unable to find the words to express my feelings towards your "sadness" at the prospect of this course offering that would not cause me to be expelled from these forums. :((This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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Get outdoors..


It saddens me tat you "read" that this course is for non english speaking US citizens when I will bet you that not a single piece of advertising literature ever aid that this is what the course was for.


It further saddens me that you ignored the many, many posts explaining this was a gesture to our VERY welcome guests from Mexico during their visit from Mexico durinmg the Jambo.


NOw, as Srem said, I would say more, but I'd hate to be banned from this site as I have come to enjoy it very well for the information I learn from the scouters who do not demostraight tunnelvison and prjudice.


Thing is, if you were to really study the "english" language, you would actually find out there is no such thing as an original American language, but in fact that every word in our language came from "foriegn countries as all the original "Americans" immigrated here from other countries.


The exception being Native Americans. Go cry to them about immigrants and how the "American" language is being ruined by a different language.


When they offer you sympathy, I will also.


Bet you also jumped on the anti french fry bandwagon because they were french- didn't you?

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For all the preaching of diversity on here those that that don't agree with me or the original poster sure would like to see us go away or change our views. I am not assuming anyone completely agrees with me but the original poster does seem to feel the same way I do.

No where in what he posted did it say that the program was offered as part of Jamboree as a courtesy to those from out of the country. If thats true than thats great. However we are THE Boy Scouts Of AMERICA. We speak english here or whatever some want to call it. Lets stop changing things to suit others. We have a long proud history here and we do not and should not apologize for it. Yes our country did wrong things but its still the best place on earth.

I am not very good at expressing myself but I do not think anyone should move here to live and not learn to speak english. I have no problem with legal immigration but the illegals are a different story. I am a general contractor and have had to deal with the problem directly. Illegal aliens work for nothing and push down wages and allow others to bid low. I know of contractors who on prevailing wage jobs strike a deal with their illegals that they will pay them a little more but not the total wage so they can bid low. It works because the threat is that they will lose their job or be reported as illegal.

I saw a news story linked here somewhere about a pack out west that was manipulating policy to allow a girl into the ranks because family is so important to hispanics. Thats great but its called Boy Scouts. The girls have their own groups. That is what I mean by changing our traditions to accept others. Why? Its because people are afraid of being called racist or discriminatory.

I'm sure that after immigrating here Green Bar Bill learned this language we speak that I was always told was english. Who cares if our language is made up of other languages it is still ours and it is one of the things that joins a society together.

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"No where in what he posted did it say that the program was offered as part of Jamboree as a courtesy to those from out of the country"


WEll, actually, it does.


"to be held in conjunction with our friends from Scouts de Mexico. "


But nowhere does it say this is for illegals or non english speaking citizens.


Nowhere does it say it's a permanant thing to WB or that all WB will be this way.


It's just for when the Mexican Boy Scouts will be visiting during Jambo.

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Kudu states:

"Here is a video of our Chief Scout Executive explaining why it is wrong to expect 12yo Hispanic Boy Scouts to sleep in tents: "http://inquiry.net/leadership/sitting_side_by_side_with_adults.htm

After watching the video, it becomes apparent that the BSA has an identity crisis at the national level.  I sympathize with our CSE's vision to reach youth from different backgrounds, but I do not agree that we should do that at the expense of moving away from the outdoor method. 

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