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I just registered for Wood Badge in the next Council over from me Course C1-286-15. (much closer drive than the one that will be held next summer in my council). Can anyone give me any tips to prepare for the course?

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Welcome to the world of wood badge! Become the critter. Make contact with your Patrol as soon as you get the info. Take on whatever duty and/or responsibility you are led to for your Patrol. Read thru everything twice. Bring a funny hat. Bring extra rope. Bring extra duct tape. Bring extra batteries (for your flashlight?). Try to remember that corny skit . Wool socks. Spif up your uni. Smile and wave as you go by.

 

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I suggest getting in touch with the course director, who should be able to tell about "locked in" time commitments. (Usually an orientation day and two weekends.) For me, the hardest part was being on those weekends when I could be doing something with our troop or crew.

 

You can expect to be put in with a "patrol" of other scouters from all over the area. A lot of extra time commitment will involve touching base with your patrol between weekends. Then they will be your source of encouragement as you develop and work your ticket.

 

The camping weekends themselves involve a mix of lectures, video, skits, and activities. It's a "little something for everyone" approach. So, if you've been to a lot of leadership/management seminars, the lectures may bore you. If you are really good with scout skills and have done patrol-type activities, the outdoor stuff will feel kind of "dumbed down."

 

As with any broad-based training, I would look for one or two "nuggets" of things that may apply to yourself in the upcoming year. The rest of it should get filed away for future use.

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I tend to look at Wood Badge--and other training sessions--as networking events in addition to learning/practicing skills. When you spend six days with a group of people you're going to develop bonds that last a long, long time. This isn't strictly with your assigned Patrol; I'm actually closer with Scouters from other Patrols within my particular course than I am with some of my Patrol mates, mainly due to several of them moving out of state.

 

Don't go into it with any expectations other than the fact that you're bound to learn at least one new thing. :cool:

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Should I start thinking about what the goals of my ticket should be yet? or is that something better to start working on after taking the in person part of the program?

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Always think about tickets .... but don't worry about it that much. You have a long time for those.

 

When you are there, participate ... AND keep your eyes open and watch everything. I'd been through dozens of leadership and mgmt courses and seminars. There was nothing new there for me. I didn't see much of the skills or camping stuff in it either. ... BUT ... What I did see that I needed was watching how an ideal troop ran. What the scoutmaster did. What the SPL did. Skits. Songs. Structure. The course is run like an ideal scouting experience. Building the patrol (friendships, camping, assignments, responsibilities, etc).

 

You can get a lot out of it ... even if you don't get much out of the "sessions".

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Thanks guys. One of my ticket items i've thought about is helping organize a district wide Webelos to scout campout. I mentioned it to my DE last night at our Roundtable and she loved the idea. she brought it up to others at the meeting and they all thought it was a good idea too!

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My advice on your ticket is the same as for First Class Scouts asking me about Eagle projects. Start collecting ideas, but don't become wed to anything. I think it's okay to ask other leaders in your unit for ideas and input, but stay open minded.

 

Part of the course is learning what makes a good goal and how to approach the projects. The idea, as with Eagle projects, isn't just to do a service project, but to put into action the processes you've learned. Plus with Wood Badge, there are specific requirements regarding the projects you can do. Seems like those rules are constantly changing, and it's been years since I was on staff, so wait until you go through the first weekend before you lock in anything. Showing up with absolutely no ideas for ticket items or showing up already locked in to your ticket both create equal problems.

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...to put into action the processes you've learned.

 

Yes! This is vital to remember, as it is the purpose of Wood Badge.

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I attended WB as a ASM, but did lots of stuff at CSDC, so my first ticket ideas had to do with CS (Den Chief promotion, DL training, CSDC activities, etc.) but they said since I was not a CSperson, I could NOT do CS stuff! What to do? My Guide spoke to the Course Director and they came up with a clever (in hindsight) idea. I should become a Commissioner! They can do ANYTHING Scouty! And so within 2 weeks, I became a Unit Commissioner. Took the official training two months later, and the rest is Beads!

So keep that in mind. Your tickets MUST have something to do with your part of Scouting.....

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As many of us do, I wear many hats. My main priority is Cubmaster. and in my vision a majority of my goals will be geared toward Cub Scouting. I think becoming a Unit Commisioner might be another great idea, as in my part of our district, we are severely lacking UC's. I was asked by our DE if that is something I would ever consider. I told her that when the time is right I could be interested in it.

 

I am also a Member of our District Committee, this is where the idea of the District Webelos to Scout Campout came in to play.

 

3rd I sometimes fill in as Assistant Scoutmaster for our CO's Troop. Usually on Campouts and outings I'm still debating whether or not I have a goal for this as its my lowest priority responsibility and our troop is currently being re-started and has 7 boys. Our Scoutmaster will also be taking wood badge with me. I may just let him work his ticket for the troop.

 

Does this make any of the advice given change? or should I primarily focus all my goals on the pack? I understand one of the goals has to include how to increase diversity in scouting? that one is going to make me think a bit.

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Again, it depends (for BSA bureaucracy fulfillment) on how you are registered. Your tickets , I would think, can include anything you and your Guide can agree on that is your ballywick Scoutwise. Leave yourself open to whatever presents itself to you, you might be surprised the possibilities that become apparent when you start paying attention.

Diversity can include anything that expands Scouting's reach into the modern world. I worked to establish a Troop at a local Mosque. I have known Scouters who worked to include more Latino kids, different religions, racially integrated units, educate Scouts about our other brothers, including economically challenged areas in recruiting, and international relations with other Scout organizations.

Don't forget your silly hat.

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You take out what you put in! Go in expecting to have fun with your fellow patrol members, create a bond and have fellowship!

Learn along the way

 

I am very close to my patrol, we are family now! We have each others backs. We divided and we concurred. Most of all HAVE FUN!!! if you are up tight, get un uptight and loosen your shoe strings. IF you go in to WoodBadge as just another training you will NOT take anything from it other than the lesson. HAVE FUN!

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Woodbadge isn't for everyone. I have friends who I respect who loved it. I was very frustrated by it. I felt that the substance of it was OK, especially if you haven't been to a lot of leadership and training seminars, but there was, in my opinion, a lot of time wasted on fluff that was more related to joining a fraternal order -- silly songs, marching, legends about its origins, and some head games with "surprises" designed to keep you guessing about what came next.

 

Find someone who knows you who has gone and will be able to judge whether you as an individual will really enjoy it. I have told some people I think they'd be OK with it, and I've warned others that I think they'd go as crazy as I did.

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