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You know what I would like to see?

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I would love to see a boy-staffed Woodbadge Course. Sure, have as many adults on staff as you would for a standard JLTC, but the rest of the staff should be youth. Youth led classes, youth guided patrols, youth set-up activities. And adults in the patrols.


Personally, I think this would be a slap in the face for many adults. It might open a few of their eyes. Some would be insulted by the prospect and would stop paying attention at first, but I have a feeling they would come around by the end of the course. Just from my experience with JLTC, I know the boys are up to the challenge.


Has this ever been tried before?

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Sorry Zahnada I'm not with you on this one. The 21ST Century Wood Badge Course is for adults doing adult jobs. The course is about Leadership.

It is not a Boy Scout course. If people want to learn about the Patrol Method they need to attend a Boy Scout course. Over half of those who attended the course that our Council hosted last year were not from troops.

One of the jobs that a Troop Guide has is helping the people in the Patrol with their Ticket. These tickets are adults writing adult goals that will help them achieve their Adult mission and vision. Youth members do not have the training to do this type of work. That is what we are trying to train them in.

We had our Scout Exec. as a participant do you really think that a youth member could help him with his ticket?

Some of the presentations can be a little hard for adults to grasp, let alone have a youth present them.

Have you taken the course?


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Hi Eamonn,


Nope, I haven't taken 21st Century. Good info though and thanks for the heads up.


But you haven't disillusioned me yet! I just need to reconsider.


I still really like the idea of boys training adults in a leadership setting. I think the implicit messages from the training would be invaluable. And the boy staff would gain so much from the experience.


One problem I have with Woodbadge is that it often becomes an "Adults Only" club despite the fact that one of its purposes is to aid a youth program. I would like for adults to see what boys can actually do when they are pushed to try. In any case, it's an idea that I don't feel should be tossed aside even if it's not feasible for Woodbadge.


Eamonn, would a Woodbadge staff have a place for even 2 to 4 youth staffers? And not just some kind of age quota either, but actually important staffing positions?


Another problem I have with Woodbadge (and don't get the impression that I'm on an anti-Woodbadge mission. Just some observations), is that some men use it as a slippery slope of rationality for perverting the boy-led system. For instance, "The topics in Woodbadge are too complex for boys to understand so we'll have adults teach adults."


then, "Well, these JLTC course are too complex for youth to teach other youth and have it make sense. We'll have adults teach the youth."


Then, "Boy led it great, but a youth cannot possibly understand everything about teams and leadership. I'll just tell him to do this... and I'll do this... and make sure he does this... and this is too important to risk so I'll do it..."


And it just goes downhill. It's funny but the people who preach "boy-led" the most always seem to be the ones who never use that system.



Anyway, after a few tangents and twists, I don't really know where I am in this post. Just thinking...

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Hello Zahnada,


There are youth staff for one and a half days of 21st Century WB. They do instruct and run physical activities. The adults clearly see what the youth can and should do.


However, as far as staffing the entire course, I believe I disagree with that for a couple of reasons.


Teaching capability isn't one of them. Youth certainly can have that capability.


One reason is point of view. An important objective of WB and adult leader training is teaching of the purposes of Scouting from an adult leader's point of view and clarifying how to structure the program to aid youth. There are some topics that it would be unfair to expect even the best youth to be able to teach adults.


Another reason is credibility. I first was a SM when I was 24 years old and I had a serious credibility issue. The parents tolerated and accepted me but still, I wasn't one of the group; I wasn't a parent and didn't have children. This credibility problem would, in my opinion, be very severe if youth taught more than they now do.


Another issue related to information about and comfort with the district and council. WB is not just about Troops or even about units.


Another reason is that WB now is not just for BS leaders. A substantial portion of WB participants are Cub Scout leaders. I don't think that the youth would have sufficient familiarity in depth with the CS program to be really helpful or credible.


Personally, I think the WB balance is great the way it is.


If your council has an outdoor skills training, even like IOLS, I see no reason that youth could not be skills instructors there.

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