Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
WisconsinMomma

Creating a Wood Badge troop scholarship

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking about personally funding a Wood Badge scholarship program for adults in our Troop.

 

Generally, it would get funded 1x a year in an amount to cover one attendee's Wood Badge course fee.

 

Any registered adult in the Troop could attend  Wood Badge, first come first serve.

 

I could commit to funding the scholarship for approximately the next ten years.

 

Does this sound like something that would be useful and appreciated by a Troop? 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I no longer donate money without maintaining some control. Humbug.

 

Your money, you select (no first come) who you think would most benefit from training and help your troop. If there are none, be thrifty and save your money. I would also keep your generosity on the down low. Only you, recipient, and maybe IRS need know.

 

Another $0.02

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My goal for doing it via a designated Troop fund would be to raise awareness and hopefully motivate a few people, anybody -- to go participate in Wood Badge.  Any leader that gets trained will make the Troop stronger, and attendees still need to take time for the 6 days of training.  

 

I am not sure if providing funding will achieve the goal of getting more attendees to the course though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a very generous gift, but I agree with RememberSchiff. Keep it private. Keep in mind that any money donated to the unit is the property of the Chartered Organization. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this sounds like a wonderful idea.  In my experience, objections to attending Wood Badge generally are either:

- lack of interest

- lack of time

- lack of money

 

You're removing one of those (money).  By increasing focus on Wood Badge, that can lead to improving interest.  More people attending means more people talking about it, more good stories, etc...

 

As for whether it will work - it's tough to say.  I think it depends mostly on the culture of your troop.  But, I think it's worth a try.

 

I think you don't keep it private.  If I read between the lines, I get the impression you're trying to promote attendance.  It will be less likely to serve as a promotion tool if no one knows about it.  Further, just because their attendance is funded doesn't have to imply anything about need.  Just that you see the benefit of attending and want to share that with others.  Our troop, for example, budgets enough every year to pay for one person to attend.  No one looks at it as a reflection of need - just that if someone wants to attend, they submit the receipts.  A couple of times we've had two people attend, but other years no-one, so it all worked out for us.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would commit doing that but would definitely not actually give the money to the Troop.  I agree with RememberSchiff that I would choose who receives the assistance - I want someone who will gain the most and who will give back the most, not whoever got there first.

 

I take a slightly different approach.  If someone is on the fence - probably they have been encouraged by several people but but are unsure of the value or hesitant because of the cost and time commitment.  I tell them to take the course, to go with an open mind, to do the work.  And if it is not the one of the best things they've done in Scouting I will pay for the course.  Ive never had any one take me up on the payment.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your troop does not pay for a Scout to go to NYLT, I would suggest setting up a scholarship for that first. If not, Wood Badge is an excellent idea. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do go this route, I would recommend only partial scholarships (generally). This is so the attendee/recipient has some "skin in the game". I wrote generally, to allow *you* to make exceptions. Another thought is to have it be a reimbursement scholarship after "completion".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This ought to be done by the troop in the first place.

 

I took WB because I felt I needed it.  I paid for it and afterwards was reimbursed by the troop.  None of the members of my WB patrol stayed in Scouting for more than a year after WB.  Those in my troop who took it with me are no longer in scouting either.  I have remained with scouting since I took the course in 1993.

 

It made no difference to me over the years whether I paid for it or the troop did, it was for me.  Because I stayed with the program, the troop benefitted and their generous reimbursement was appreciated.  However, one never knows the Return on Investment one is anticipating when someone takes WB will stay on or not when one is out recruiting people for the training.

 

My approach to this opportunity would be John takes WB and pays for it himself.  Three years down the road, Little Johnny is ready for NYLT.  I ask John what he thought of WB and if he knows NYLT is like WB for the boys.  He said it was a great asset and was glad he took it.  At that point I would ask John if I could pay for Little Johnny to take NYLT to get the same benefit he had gotten.  I think your ROI will be better spent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your troop does not pay for a Scout to go to NYLT, I would suggest setting up a scholarship for that first. If not, Wood Badge is an excellent idea. 

The Troop does a half and half payment for Scouts going to NYLT.   They pay half up front and then the other half when the Scout completes whatever their equivalent of a ticket is for NYLT.

 

I do not see a lot of what happens at Troop meetings, sometimes I go and sit off to the side or out in the hallway but it is my impression that NYLT is very good for the boys who went to it.   The boys who went liked it and want to go back to staff it and that is all very very good. 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have mixed feelings about WB. Funding was the least of my concerns.

Now, if you would have offered to take my crew on a whitewater trip, or even host them on your property for an evening, while I was off taking the course ... THAT would have eased my mind greatly.

 

So, let me give you a bigger "ask". Every year ask a scouter who you think could benefit from WB what's keeping him/her from attending. It could be kids who need babysat, a unit like I mentioned who is short on leadership, chores around the house to get done. See exactly where you could fill in. Or, it could also be down payments on a high adventure trip they need to make. See if you could (maybe with your scouts or another scouter) could fill in that actual gap.

 

Sometimes, we can over-monitise a situation. Money is great, but a lot of people will respond to personal involvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you really want to decide who receives the scholarship, especially if more then one person is interested?  Potential for misunderstanding and hard feelings?

 

You indicated funding one a year for ten years, alternatively consider funding all who want to attend in the next year or so and see how it goes.  Unlikely you'll be swamped.  Better chance of people attending if they go with someone.  Your check should be made payable to Council Wood Badge account, Chartered Organization, Troop... minimize notion of charity to the individual.

 

Your offer is commendable, especially if there are some in your Unit who could use the help but are hesitant to submit a Council financial aid application. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have the possibility of "poking a hornet's nest" with your troop.

 

I would suggest an anonymous donation in the name of a candidate paid directly to the wood badge course. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with partial funding, you want folks to have skin in the game. I've seen first hand folks who get a free ride, and do not take full advantage. Heck one guy got a scholarship from council to attend, only to back out at the last minute. Talk about making folks angry.

 

And if you go with it, make it anonymous. There can be hard feelings for those who do not get it. I received a full scholarship for youth training back in the day, and my friend was ticked off. We worked it out, we each got 1/2. Since he paid for 1/2 the week, when an opportunity to do something else came up, he turned it down because he was vested into taking the training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great feedback.  A no-show would be very annoying if that kind of thing happened.

 

I want to encourage Scouters to go to Wood Badge, and maybe more personal encouragement and support would be a better way to do it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×