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cocomax

Wood Badge - Roses and Thorns

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I have seen several women like this that have ended up going to wood badge and came back even worse.  They come back thinking the way the trainers at wood badge function is the way adults in a troop are suppose to function.

If you send a great scouter to wood badge, they will come back a even better scouter, I have seen that happen many times.

If you send a bad scouter to wood badge, you might create a monster with beads, I have seen that happen as well.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, cocomax said:

I have seen several women like this that have ended up going to wood badge and came back even worse.  They come back thinking the way the trainers at wood badge function is the way adults in a troop are suppose to function. 

So they utterly missed the fact that the staff is roleplaying the role of scouts and not adults? 🙃

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2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

So they utterly missed the fact that the staff is roleplaying the role of scouts and not adults? 🙃

I wonder sometimes if the staff knows this. I have never heard any staff ever state this at any training, except for when I staffed a training and was explicit about adult roles and scout roles.

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2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

So they utterly missed the fact that the staff is roleplaying the role of scouts and not adults? 🙃

Something seems to go haywire, too many wood badgers return and take over the role of acting SPL and wants to lead everything,  with flip charts and power point being the order of the day.

On the bright side they are super energized about scouting and are very proud to have "earned their Eagle" in wood badge.  

 

Edited by cocomax
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10 minutes ago, cocomax said:

Something seems to go haywire, too many wood badgers return and take over the role of acting SPL and wants to lead everything,  with flip charts and power point being the order of the day.

This was actually a major topic of discussion on the forums 20 years ago. And was also the reason National replaced the WB course in 2000 with the 21st Century WB. The previous course was an exact replica of an ideal troop program. Not to teach the ideal troop program, but just to provide an environment for its real purpose of teaching new leadership styles to experienced scouters. Today’s course barely resembles that course. It was designed for scouters who already had the basic skills of running a boy run program, kind of like the 14 year age requirement Scouts attending NYLT.  I was told by the Council WB Chairman that even the course instructors lost site of the course objectives and started running it to teach troop program and scout skills.

The cause of the problem was the flood of new adults without a scouting experience that came from the membership change allowing women leaders in the troop program. Many councils felt that WB was the best way to get the large influx of new scouters up to speed with the boy run program. The result was what cocomax describes, wood badgers going back and forcing the Scouts to duplicate the WB ideal Troop. Forcing the Scouts to run their patrols the way adults wanted them to do it was the exact opposite of boy run and was driving away older Scouts in large numbers. National reacted to the problem quickly and today’s WB closely resembles the new 21 Century course intended to fix the problem. But as cocomax points out, it’s still a problem.

27 minutes ago, cocomax said:

On the bright side they are super energized about scouting and are very proud to have "earned their Eagle" in wood badge.  

 

We asked two adults to leave our troop for the safety of our scouts during my 10 years as a scouter with the program. One of those adults joined our troop to change our troop program using the lessons she learned from the WB course that she attended while a Webelos den leader. Without getting into details of her frustration with our resistance to her ideas, she interrupted a Troop committee meeting shouting that she was being treated unfairly because she was a woman. Then she stormed out. Her accusation didn’t set well with the 6 females, 7 males, and female CC in the room.

It’s probably not fair to blame WB for her behavior, but she bragged that WB lite her fire.

Barry

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1 hour ago, cocomax said:

very proud to have "earned their Eagle" in wood badge.  

I have heard that reference and don't get me started on that statement.  The two could not be more different in goals, aims, and achievements.  I did see one (was a Cub Leader at the time) wonder why there was no knot for WB...I swear that guy slept in his beads...

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We need more trained leaders, not fewer, and so taking any new leader though Wood Badge is going to give them more experience than they had.  We need new leaders, and we need new female leaders. Everybody starts somewhere! 

My WB experience was pretty clear in what we were doing.  Just because some people don't do well in WB is not a condemnation of the whole program.  I think my course from last summer was the newest course.

Back to the specific female Scouter who is struggling with patrol-led, perhaps one of the other female Scouters could form a friendship and mentor her?  Might not work but it's better than nothing? 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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2 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

We need more trained leaders, not fewer, and so taking any new leader though Wood Badge is going to give them more experience than they had.  

My WB experience was pretty clear in what we were doing.  Just because some people don't do well in WB is not a condemnation of the whole program. 

Back to the specific female Scouter who is struggling with patrol-led, perhaps one of the other female Scouters could form a friendship and mentor her?  Might not work but it's better than nothing? 

Why is it you feel a female scouter is needed to mentor her?  Do you see this as a female specific problem?

This is an honest question. I am really interested in your thinking on the matter.  

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I think that if the Scouter has worked with male Scouters and it's not working, try a female Scouter.  My Wood Badge course director was female, and I kind of idolized her, she was great, and so when she made a recommendation not to do XYZ, I listened to her with less resentment than I would if some guy I had no connection to and who was maybe not my best match to work with gave me a recommendation not to do XYZ.  

Does that make sense?  The example was, I offered to go help with NYLT training, and she advised me to find a ticket item working with Cub (where I had more experience).  So I became a BALOO trainer.  Now, over the course of Wood Badge, I had shared with my troop guide, who I'm sure shared with the team, that I was struggling finding my way with some pushback and in particular, one not-so-welcoming person in the troop.   So the advice they gave me was good.  I stuck with Cubs, where I had years in the program, and more friends, and...

with some time I was able to get an in as Troop Secretary, they had no one else!  I was volunteering!  How could they say no!!?? :) The guy who I had trouble with raked me over the coals for my first set of minutes.   Now I can look back at it and laugh and laugh.  They really didn't want me, but hey, here I am!  You got nobody else. And I am not that bad, I was just new, female, and I knew a few things about Scouting (from hanging out here!)  For me, as a woman, Wood Badge was an important part of me gaining some credentials to help people see me as, you know,  sightly qualified to have input. 

Back to that first round of meeting minutes, I cried.  I had put a couple hours into make them the best darn meeting minutes I could, and I had re-formatted them (like, used a different font, changed some wording to make it nicer. I put the Scout Oath and Law on the minutes in the free space!) so I owned them. One person hated that anything had changed.  I got the email from hell and they changed everything back to the way it was.  I cried.  My husband saw me crying and thought I was totally over reacting, but he didn't feel what I was feeling -- total rejection from the Troop.  In another matter, I suggested that something he did might upset the same (control freak) Troop adult.  My husband said -- I'm a volunteer!  I don't care what he thinks!  If they don't like it that's his problem!  

LOL.  I have adopted more of my husband's attitude.  Tough cookies if you don't like the font that the minutes are done in.  LOL.  We've got bigger things to take care of!  And, I'm a volunteer -- people should say -- thank you to volunteers a lot more often, don't you think??  You suck doesn't really get a lot of repeat business. 

It helped that my course director is VERY "successful", or, well-respected in Scouting.  Here she is the course director with a huge staff who loves her, and she is a Silver Beaver.  What a great role model for me.  And really, she's a magnificent leader. You could just tell by how well the course staff worked together and had fun throughout the whole time. 

Maybe it doesn't need to be a female, but someone she can click with who can get enough of a relationship going to be able to offer suggestions.  If there is no relationship it is not easy for a person to listen to feedback.  It's not about gender necessarily, it's about finding the right fit.  But in a male-dominated organization, working with a fellow female is a real treat.

I'll add that as a Cubmaster, I am closest to our female Committee Chair in Cubs.  Of course, our kids were in my den together, and I've known her for years, our older kids are in the same troop together.  But I talk to her and interact with her more than any of the guys.  Mostly because of our roles, but I am very thankful for that relationship.  

Maybe the female Scouter has some stress or fears in her life about Scouting and how it all works that another Scouter can help empathize with and alleviate.  Relationships take time. 

I was at a conference in the Spring where there were about 700 attendees and 30 were women.  One woman came right up and introduced herself to me and we spend quite a bit of time together.  Another female came up to me and I spent a lot of time with her too.   It makes you feel less weird when you find someone like you in those situations. 

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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I agree that more training, not less is better. However all training should be incremental. At one time, as has been pointed out, WB was for experienced scouters. It was the highest level after having demonstrated skill at the other levels. The last few iterations are using WB as the introductory training. Which is ok, if it is marketed as such and there exists follow-up advanced trainings. However these do not exist.

Imagine a scouter training regimen which has levels and required trainings to be completed to advance in each level. They can be called whatever we wish, but for the reqs could be something like:

Scouter: YPT

Scouter basic: YPT, troop committee training, patrol method module (which should be created)

Scouter 2nd class: basic plus SM specific, and IOLS.

etc...

later levels might have "options" like mB training, or safety afloat, or A-IOLS.

Cubbers could have a similar track.

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Yes, but I feel with Scouters, time is of the essence. We don't know how long we'll have our volunteers for.  It is good that we have position specific training required, and that is a pre-req for Wood Badge.  You need to be trained in your position. If we make it too leveled, then you have potential issues with Scouters feeling like they outrank one another, and that is a bunch of drama we don't need.  I'd grab a Scouter, find a training and have them go for it.  Wood Badge is a commitment because it's 2 weekends. Some of my WB Patrol mates were Cub Scouters and they were delightful, and in Scouting for the long haul.  Yay!  Many of the online trainings go over the patrol method and that's great! 

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27 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

If we make it too leveled, then you have potential issues with Scouters feeling like they outrank one another, and that is a bunch of drama we don't need.  

Sadly this happens already with some folks. I've encountered folks whose attitude is "If you don't wear beads, you don't know squat."  And I agree is does indeed cause drama and problems we don't need. I've seen some extremely experienced and knowledgeable Scouters get frustrated with the attitude and either quit Scouting all together, or just refocus their energy on the unit. 

Me personally, I get a kick out of using all the WB/NYLT techniques, methods, and language, and getting asked what critter I am. I love the look on folks' faces when I proudly jump into song, "I'm a Cocky Curlew of the Brownsea Camp...." ;) 

27 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

Many of the online trainings go over the patrol method and that's great! 

Going over the Patrol Method in online training is not enough. I've seen too many ignore it, misunderstand it, or think it's antiquated and BSA needs to change with he times. Even in the old Scoutmaster Fundamentals Training  where you were assigned to a patrol the first full day of class, were part of the same patrol during the second Model Meeting class, expected to have a patrol meeting, then operated as a patrol during the final 3 day weekend class was not enough for some. The Adults in the unit really need to model it, and mentor it. Also the Patrol Method needs to be STRICTLY ENFORCED (emphasis), something that has not been happening in the troop I am in of late.  And it's not being enforced under the guise of being "family friendly" as the SM told me.

EDITED: That's the irony. He wants to be family friendly, but does not see how doing so is slowly destroying the patrol method and thus the troop.

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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I'm in favor of more and better training for Scouters.  I've written about that before.  I'd really like to see for each major position (SM, ASM, MC, CM, DL) a more significant program of training to get you ready.  Not just position training -> IOLS -> Wood Badge.  I would think that the programs need to be tailored to the role. i.e., as a CC it's only tangentially relevant to my role to send me through wilderness plant identification training. 

The Wood Badge topic I always find funny.  About 90% of the Wood Badge comments I read are from non-Wood Badge Scouters complaining about the course and those that have taken it.  I'm well aware that most of us have met a Scouter somewhere that was a jerk and decided to get beaded.  I'm saddened by those people.  In my travels, that vast majority of Wood Badge Scouters I know are dedicated Scouters who took Wood Badge in the hopes of being a better Scouter.

 

Edited by ParkMan
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I dont think those who have issues with wB believe the scouters who have taken the course are not dedicated, or do not have the desire to be better scouters. I percieve the issue to stem from the idea that wB training is the pinnacle of all scouter training. For me, this is where the disconnect arises. wB is good training, but it in no way meets the standard that it aspires to be. This is not necessarily the wB program, but the inexperienced folks taking the course. Most just don't have the pre-requisite experience and training to fully benefit from a top level training. Hence my suggestion for training levels. If the concept of levels was too much like "rank" then ditch it. The main point is that too many scouters are basically starting and ending with wB. There needs to be significant training and experience for a scouter leading up to what is claimed to be the pinnacle of training. If not, we are putting the whipped cream and cherry on top of nothing.

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