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packsaddle

Why Wood Badge?

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Packsaddle,

 

Woodbadge 21st Century is in essence a "Leadership" course designed for business structures. The "Scouting" is crammed in between lessons on group dynamics and such. It used to be the "Pinnacle" of Scouting training but now you can be a first year Tiger Cub Leader and come out of the course with a GREAT desire and hardly any knowledge of the scouting program. I had looked forward to attending for decades. Once I attended the "New" WB, I was slightly disappointed, I had some good tickets but I would have done them anyhow. I thought maybe my 20+ years as adult scouting had caused me to see things differently so I volunteered to staff WB. No change, still have the same feeling about the course.

 

​It is a GREAT leadership/group dynamics course. I just wish BSA would bring us a course on SCOUTING, regs, requirements, where to find info, rather than leadership without guidance. Vague references to certain "rules" allowing different rules in different areas, allowing Councils/Districts to set rules and state they are BSA vice local regs....

 

Still leaves adult leaders questioning what they are doing vice what they should be doing or even where to find the information on it.

 

My $0.02

 

Rick

I like your reference to "Leadership" in quotes. It's really not a leadership course designed for business structures, it's a management course designed to accomplish certain tasks in a structured business model with people nothing more than standard resources to accomplish that task. True leadership requires a focus on people to lead, not tasks to be accomplished..

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Where some of us 'see' benefits to woodbadge, they seem to be intangible benefits and often applied to other woodbadgers rather than to oursleves. If you have taken woodbadge or plan to, what is the reason? If it's peer pressure, like Basementdweller says, that's fine. But if you have definite needs that you think woodbadge can help with I'd like to know what those are...and if woodbadge accomplished what you thought it would.

 

I'm still open to reading the complaints but what I really want to read is the 'good stuff', and how it was of benefit to you and your unit, the success stories.

I'm stalking your thread, Packsaddle. As the SM for six months, there's a little peer pressure for me to take Woodbadge. More like, "Hey, the committee will pay if you wanna go!"

 

But I've found nothing that indicates that Woodbadge will help me with my two greatest needs right now:

 

1- A simple system of leadership that PLs and SPLs can actually use. My boys have had virtually no mentoring, and leading by example only goes so far.

a- How does a smaller younger boy handle an un-cooperative scout lower in his chain of command? Principles that snap into a boy's mind, scenarios to apply them, skits to role play and practice them.

b- Blanchard's 'Stormin', Formin', and Normin' might work fine for leaders in formal roles for longer than six months. But to expect 12 year olds to internalize and apply lofty leadership precepts when they're only in an office for six months? Not helpful. There has never been any leadership training in this troop; the committee and I talk a big game; but I'm at the point of creating my own system along the KISS principle. Anybody with a syllabus of troop taught leadership training that the boys can ingest into their culture (and hopefully teach themselves in the future), share!

I'm borrowing a few games from JLT: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/training/pdf/ILST%20FINALS%202011%20-%20Item%20Number%20511-016.pdf

 

2- TIME management for an SM. I'm good at delegating to the committee. I couldn't function without a decent SPL doing his best. Parent issues get sent to the CC, but sometimes an SM has to interface with parents about their sons. The shear volume of follow-through required is overwhelming.

(This week's follow throughs: getting the trailer ready for camp, paint, service the axles, and legal; going over the courses signed up for at camp; MB pre-requisites for camping MB, leadership training to be done at camp; getting an honor guard for an ECOH being held the week after school is out and most scouts are gone for vacation, following up a a bullying conversation held earlier in the month; PLC voted to add neckers back to the uniform, scout committee formed to design and order in time for camp, no action yet; etc. I seldom actually know what happens at troop meetings. SMCs, signing Blue Cards, and other basic management tasks will suck an hour and half out of your life without you even being aware that it's time to go home.

 

Is Woodbadge gonna help with any of that? I'm very strong in all the woodcraft based scout skills, but I do welcome better ways to teach them. Kids are used to instant gratification now days...

 

If I do invest the time to go to Woodbadge, pity the course director that wastes my time with stuffed animals and ethereal theories of leading. I could become the WoodBadge Destroyer!

 

But I am keeping an open mind....

Or I wouldn't be stalking this thread.

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Where some of us 'see' benefits to woodbadge, they seem to be intangible benefits and often applied to other woodbadgers rather than to oursleves. If you have taken woodbadge or plan to, what is the reason? If it's peer pressure, like Basementdweller says, that's fine. But if you have definite needs that you think woodbadge can help with I'd like to know what those are...and if woodbadge accomplished what you thought it would.

 

I'm still open to reading the complaints but what I really want to read is the 'good stuff', and how it was of benefit to you and your unit, the success stories.

JoeBob commented:

 

"help me with my two greatest needs right now: 1- A simple system of leadership that PLs and SPLs can actually use."

 

How simple do you want it, JoeBob?

 

The Real Patrol Method:

 

Whenever you are tempted to utter the word "leadership" in front of a boy, change the subject to physical distance.

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

http://kudu.net/patrol/

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I strongly benefited from Wood Badge. I was exposed to some leadership tactics that helped me be a better Scoutmaster. The ticket motivated me to reach beyond my comfort zone. As a result, I met Scouters who have had a profound impact on me and who afforded me opportunities for service and personal growth. The legacy of my Wood Badge experience continues to affect my life.

Some detractors will focus on the fun elements of the course- the critters and the games - which are mere packaging. And some folks will never admit any possible benefits simply because the current course is not the same as the original. That's OK. It's optional and everyone will take away something different anyway.

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In my opinion, Wood Badge is fine, but is oversold and over promoted.

 

MOST council assemblies of Scouters will feature an overly long promotion of Wood Badge in my experience, when 90% of the people in the audience have already taken it. I find that WASTE OF TIME to be annoying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KDD, our Roundtables are at the Elks Lodge, so I get my drink after.

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Where some of us 'see' benefits to woodbadge, they seem to be intangible benefits and often applied to other woodbadgers rather than to oursleves. If you have taken woodbadge or plan to, what is the reason? If it's peer pressure, like Basementdweller says, that's fine. But if you have definite needs that you think woodbadge can help with I'd like to know what those are...and if woodbadge accomplished what you thought it would.

 

I'm still open to reading the complaints but what I really want to read is the 'good stuff', and how it was of benefit to you and your unit, the success stories.

Kudu, from your link:

 

"One of our methods in the Scout movement for taming a hooligan is to appoint him head of a Patrol. He has all the necessary initiative, the spirit and the magnetism for leadership, and when responsibility is thus put upon him it gives him the outlet he needs for his exuberance of activity, but gives it in a right direction."

 

--Baden-Powell, from the article "Are Our Boys Degenerating?" circa 1918.

 

That is one idea, and the hooligans do get elected.

 

We're recovering from 'Boy-led, astray'. Giving the boys total leadership of the troop devolved us into a car-camping club that elected to wear no uniforms. "Hey, it's the boys' decision...". Now I'm trying to nudge us back to scoutskills and getting away from the pavement.

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Where some of us 'see' benefits to woodbadge, they seem to be intangible benefits and often applied to other woodbadgers rather than to oursleves. If you have taken woodbadge or plan to, what is the reason? If it's peer pressure, like Basementdweller says, that's fine. But if you have definite needs that you think woodbadge can help with I'd like to know what those are...and if woodbadge accomplished what you thought it would.

 

I'm still open to reading the complaints but what I really want to read is the 'good stuff', and how it was of benefit to you and your unit, the success stories.

It is all with scoutmaster approval....

 

I have withheld our local hooligans name from PL election, SPL election and OA election.

 

While it is boy led, your try to guide them in making better decisions.....

 

I council the hooligan and tell him why his name was not on the ballot.

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Where some of us 'see' benefits to woodbadge, they seem to be intangible benefits and often applied to other woodbadgers rather than to oursleves. If you have taken woodbadge or plan to, what is the reason? If it's peer pressure, like Basementdweller says, that's fine. But if you have definite needs that you think woodbadge can help with I'd like to know what those are...and if woodbadge accomplished what you thought it would.

 

I'm still open to reading the complaints but what I really want to read is the 'good stuff', and how it was of benefit to you and your unit, the success stories.

JoeBob,

 

Note Baden-Powell said "appoint."

 

That quote would be his answer to your question 1a. Way back in the last century, an article in "Scouter Magazine" featured a skinny four foot Patrol Leader of mine, a hooligan who could hike or camp his Patrol every week in the summer because he held his own with bigger boys.

 

Think Ender or Bean.

 

The fundamental experience of adventure in Green Bar Bill's "Real" Patrol is the Scouts' mastery of physical distance without two-deep helicopters. If your bottom line is pure democracy and six month PORs, then obviously you can safely try the Real Patrol Method only when, by pure chance, a Patrol elects a Patrol Leader you trust.

 

Barring that you could try an ad hoc backpacking Patrol (if you can go without "democracy" for a weekend). In a mature Troop culture, gung-ho outdoor Scouts will learn to elect Patrol Leaders that you approve for 300 feet camping and/or unsupervised backwoods travel.

 

Remember Baden-Powell's "eleventh" Scout Law: "A Scout is not a fool."

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

http://kudu.net

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JoeBob, the Formin, Stormin, Formin, comment brought back a memory of WoodBadge. All the people are arrows and they're pointing every which way (formin), and they slowly align till they're pointing the same way (performin). So I asked, what do you do with 15 year olds when rather than arrows you have BBs (that aren't going in any direction)? Never did get an answer.

 

What you're asking is a common question among those trying to turn around a program: "I kind of know what it should look like but how do I get there? What has worked for people before me?" That's not in Woodbadge. Woodbadge is: "I have a good idea, how do I implement it?"

 

For people that come from a unit with a good culture, be it boy-led or a great Pack, Woodbadge is great because you can already learn how a unit should run by looking at your own unit. If you're trying to turn things around then Woodbadge doesn't give you the "vision" that they talk about. Once you get the vision you can use Woodbadge skills to implement it.

 

Based on what you've written, I've been there. So I came here looking for ideas and started asking questions. I tried a lot of ideas, and what I found is while a lot of ideas are really good, they make assumptions that you might not know about. For example, the first time I tried Kudu's 300' thing it failed (boy not led, adult not led, Lord of the Flies!), but now that I have the leadership and teamwork at a minimum level, 300' (separate the patrols) is working well. Regarding training, I tried ILST and my scouts slept through it and had no take home skills to handle the exact problem you mention (younger scouts that don't want to do dishes). So I took the ILST syllabus and compressed it down to 30 minutes without any exercises and then added a few hours of 15 minute exercises. Every exercise requires a team to solve a problem in 5 minutes. Members take turns being the leader for each exercise. There's time up front to let them know what the problem is and for them to plan for it, 5 minutes to do the exercise, and time to reflect on what happened. The idea is to give each scout several chances to lead. One example is make a cake batter and get it into the oven, if it's not in the oven within 5 minutes then I'd toss what they made and nobody would get the cake. About a half hour later was the problem of cleaning up. If they didn't get it done in 5 minutes then I got the cake. Talk about incentive. I found paper airplane projects on line. I had a big domino set and did some stuff with that. I took the communication exercise out of the ILST manual. I had them teach the sheep shank. I asked them to identify and call a scout that's not advancing. If the problem didn't seem too hard to do then I'd coach a scout, before hand, to be a pain in the neck. This is where scouts that don't want to clean come in. It got to the point where the scouts wanted a problem scout. Sometimes the scouts would have so much fun being the pain that I'd let it go and let them enjoy it. They had fun with it. The other thing I noticed is that it was a challenge and they were up for it. When it was your turn to be the leader everyone was watching to see how you did. This is so much better than something like the telephone game. The first time I tried this was a month ago so I'm still playing with it. I just need a lot more ideas.

 

As for SM time management, my first impression is that the committee, the PLC, and the ASMs should take some of the load off of you. Until I got the committee to do its job I didn't have time to do mine, which was work with the boys. I had a bullying type of issue and I talked to the PLC and asked them to handle it while respecting the Scout Law. They did a great job. I also have a PLC ranging in ages of 13 to 17. I also ask all of the scouts to nominate patrol leaders, so that's how we get the hooligans out of those positions. One subtle benefit is that it's not me telling a scout he can't be a PL, it's his peers. They're a lot harsher than I am and quite fair. That also makes me the good guy so when I suggest they work with the new scouts to gain some confidence and let everyone know they're serious, they listen.

 

Maybe this is another topic, but I wonder if Scouter-Terry could put a wiki on this website and get some people to start editing some of the knowledge that's here and make it easier for people like you to get to. That would help Woodbadge as a resource.

 

Sorry for stealing your thread, Packsaddle.

 

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In my opinion, Wood Badge is fine, but is oversold and over promoted.

 

MOST council assemblies of Scouters will feature an overly long promotion of Wood Badge in my experience, when 90% of the people in the audience have already taken it. I find that WASTE OF TIME to be annoying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice dedkad. Our council is so backward mom and dad can't sleep in the same tent at a cub campout on council property. Still stuck in 1950's Ricky and Lucy Show with twin beds. One of Scoutings "Timeless Values" is mom and dad sleeping in separate rooms.

 

As a Recovering Catholic that is one thing I miss. The church basement hallway filled with 15 empty half barrels. :)

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We have so many adults involved who were not scouts.....I believe if the BSA truly wants Boy Led Patrol method troops it warrants a course dedicated to such.......

 

How many posts are folks asking how to do it???????

 

 

 

King DD, I'd recommend a book called "Working the Patrol Method" by Four Eagle Scouts

 

http://www.scoutleadership.com/

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JoeBob, the Formin, Stormin, Formin, comment brought back a memory of WoodBadge. All the people are arrows and they're pointing every which way (formin), and they slowly align till they're pointing the same way (performin). So I asked, what do you do with 15 year olds when rather than arrows you have BBs (that aren't going in any direction)? Never did get an answer.

 

What you're asking is a common question among those trying to turn around a program: "I kind of know what it should look like but how do I get there? What has worked for people before me?" That's not in Woodbadge. Woodbadge is: "I have a good idea, how do I implement it?"

 

For people that come from a unit with a good culture, be it boy-led or a great Pack, Woodbadge is great because you can already learn how a unit should run by looking at your own unit. If you're trying to turn things around then Woodbadge doesn't give you the "vision" that they talk about. Once you get the vision you can use Woodbadge skills to implement it.

 

Based on what you've written, I've been there. So I came here looking for ideas and started asking questions. I tried a lot of ideas, and what I found is while a lot of ideas are really good, they make assumptions that you might not know about. For example, the first time I tried Kudu's 300' thing it failed (boy not led, adult not led, Lord of the Flies!), but now that I have the leadership and teamwork at a minimum level, 300' (separate the patrols) is working well. Regarding training, I tried ILST and my scouts slept through it and had no take home skills to handle the exact problem you mention (younger scouts that don't want to do dishes). So I took the ILST syllabus and compressed it down to 30 minutes without any exercises and then added a few hours of 15 minute exercises. Every exercise requires a team to solve a problem in 5 minutes. Members take turns being the leader for each exercise. There's time up front to let them know what the problem is and for them to plan for it, 5 minutes to do the exercise, and time to reflect on what happened. The idea is to give each scout several chances to lead. One example is make a cake batter and get it into the oven, if it's not in the oven within 5 minutes then I'd toss what they made and nobody would get the cake. About a half hour later was the problem of cleaning up. If they didn't get it done in 5 minutes then I got the cake. Talk about incentive. I found paper airplane projects on line. I had a big domino set and did some stuff with that. I took the communication exercise out of the ILST manual. I had them teach the sheep shank. I asked them to identify and call a scout that's not advancing. If the problem didn't seem too hard to do then I'd coach a scout, before hand, to be a pain in the neck. This is where scouts that don't want to clean come in. It got to the point where the scouts wanted a problem scout. Sometimes the scouts would have so much fun being the pain that I'd let it go and let them enjoy it. They had fun with it. The other thing I noticed is that it was a challenge and they were up for it. When it was your turn to be the leader everyone was watching to see how you did. This is so much better than something like the telephone game. The first time I tried this was a month ago so I'm still playing with it. I just need a lot more ideas.

 

As for SM time management, my first impression is that the committee, the PLC, and the ASMs should take some of the load off of you. Until I got the committee to do its job I didn't have time to do mine, which was work with the boys. I had a bullying type of issue and I talked to the PLC and asked them to handle it while respecting the Scout Law. They did a great job. I also have a PLC ranging in ages of 13 to 17. I also ask all of the scouts to nominate patrol leaders, so that's how we get the hooligans out of those positions. One subtle benefit is that it's not me telling a scout he can't be a PL, it's his peers. They're a lot harsher than I am and quite fair. That also makes me the good guy so when I suggest they work with the new scouts to gain some confidence and let everyone know they're serious, they listen.

 

Maybe this is another topic, but I wonder if Scouter-Terry could put a wiki on this website and get some people to start editing some of the knowledge that's here and make it easier for people like you to get to. That would help Woodbadge as a resource.

 

Sorry for stealing your thread, Packsaddle.

A couple of y'all missed Baden Powell's point about 'hooligans' . His idea was to put the hooligan in charge. Let him burn all that energy leading; and growing an appreciation for the work it takes.

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Where some of us 'see' benefits to woodbadge, they seem to be intangible benefits and often applied to other woodbadgers rather than to oursleves. If you have taken woodbadge or plan to, what is the reason? If it's peer pressure, like Basementdweller says, that's fine. But if you have definite needs that you think woodbadge can help with I'd like to know what those are...and if woodbadge accomplished what you thought it would.

 

I'm still open to reading the complaints but what I really want to read is the 'good stuff', and how it was of benefit to you and your unit, the success stories.

Kudu, I get the 'Ender' reference. Don't know about Bean.

 

I'm walking the knife edge of of presenting/selling ideas to the PLC/troop; and telling them what to do. Too much 'appointing', and the boys don't learn and grow their self-confidence. Too little direction/motivation, and we slide back into the cars.

 

FWIW: We do camp as patrols when the site allows. My PLC is mature boys, but since they are the older kids, their attendance is spotty; band, football, lacrosse, drama, et al.

 

Check on me after another year.

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Pack are you trolling....

 

There is an incredible amount of peer pressure,,,,,,,

 

I was forced to take woodbadge by the Districts Good old boys club......New scouter, what did I know, heck I was trying to fit in....You need woodbadge to put on District level cub events......Ok I will do it....Well I did and they still told me know......Well 5 years later they are all gone, no longer active in scouting. Wellyou come back having completed woodbadge....they just pulled out another hurtle......and another and another.....Ok, I get it you don't want me to volunteer. You have zero District level cub programs and your ok with it.

 

Woodbadge was a complete waste of two weekends.....I understand that my course may not be the norm.......But from speaking with other folks, I don't think so......

 

Did I benefit for woodbadge, naw..... Our patrol never bonded, we were spread out over 200 miles separating us....Country hicks that don't own computers and barely have a house phone, with no answering machine...and the hicks won't drive half way to meet the rest of us for a patrol meeting.....

 

Did my unit benefit....naw....My ticket was stuff I was going to do anyhow....

 

The things that happened in my course.....All of the councils key volunteers were on staff, IOLS course director, training director, Council Commisioner....just about everyone. Many of staff members held court during lunch or during down times, most of my patrol was busy kissing ass.......I love the inside jokes, not so much.... The announcement song over and over and over again at gillwell. When I was PL I was caught in a fight between the female SPL and her adult son who was in my patrol and very obviously didn't want to be there......I could go on and on and on...

BD is right. I was a Scout. I was a long-time Scouter. RT folks and other unit leaders at RT were telling me how much my unit and I would benefit from WB. I am very organized and good at goal-setting and networking anyway. So three years ago I went. Total waste of time.

 

If you know your core scouting skills, know how to run a troop, read BSA documents for leaders, attend RT, network with your peers (here and at RT and elsewhere) you will get all you need. For those lacking direction or experience or organization then WB might be worthwhile.

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We have so many adults involved who were not scouts.....I believe if the BSA truly wants Boy Led Patrol method troops it warrants a course dedicated to such.......

 

How many posts are folks asking how to do it???????

 

 

 

as a youth I attended NYLT which was brown sea at the time.

 

So including my time in scouting as a youth I had 20 years in scouting when I attended.

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