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Wood Badge - Roses and Thorns

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IMHO, every course should have stated purposes,  a targeted audience,  published outline and responses  to student and unit feedback.

My $0.02

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

One thing I'm trying to think about, when did the outrageous promotions and beading ceremonies start? While the attitudes were around pre- WB21C, i don't remember the beading ceremonies, taking over of campfires, etc until after WB21C came out.

Eagle, I think you are correct.  I recall beading ceremonies from the past, my first being the fall of '75.  Pretty dignified affair.  Part of a normal troop court of honor.  My SM was presented his beads by a council scouter.  It took about five minutes.  A brief description of the WB program, a few personalized comments towards my SM, neckerchief, beads, certificate, applause, thank you, next on the agenda.  No critter songs, cups or songbooks hanging from belts, kudu horn blowing, etc.

 

Edited by desertrat77
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I've thought a lot about the recruiting aspect of Wood Badge.  As a Troop CC, I have seen a lot of benefit in having leaders attend, and so try to encourage it.  Sorry to make this all so long - but over zealous recruiting was described as a major complaint, so I thought I'd start by sharing what I tend to do.

Why I recruit

One of the biggest benefits to our troop is the ticket process.  For us, it has encouraged leaders to get more focused in their involvement with the troop.  I have seen it transform a volunteer who is present, but waiting for guidance into someone with more confidence who will take on some ownership, initiative, and drive to accomplish their goals.  This has been very good for us and has helped us to strengthen as an adult leadership team.  However, don't get me wrong - we have people who show up and just do that naturally.  It's just that our volunteers who take it tend to come back and have a bigger impact in the troop after taking the course.

How I explain the course:

So, when I encourage attendance, I usually take a few minutes to explain the following:

1) Give a fair description of the course

I explain that the first part is a well done course that consists of two, three day weekends.  The materials covers leadership skills in a Scouting context.  It's intent is not to train on Scout or outdoor skills.   You will however learn a lot about Scouting the full Scouting program - Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturing.  You will also learn a lot about the patrol method and how a Scout led troop operates.

I tell them that one of my favorite parts of the course is the people.  The staff are all experienced, energetic Scouters.  Many of the staff have taught the course multiple times.  The participants are Scouters from all over the council.  They run the range or program, experience, and rolls.  You'll have den leaders, Cubmaster, Scoutmasters, Committee Members, and more.  While on the course, you'll learn from all these people and significantly grow the number of Scouters you can call and ask for help and guidance.

In summing up, I share that the whole process is very well organized and prepared.  I share a little about the staff selection and development process.  I let them know that by the time they get there, the staff has put in three weekends getting ready for the course.  I share that many participants rave about the experience - though I caution that you have to go in willing to embrace it.

2) I explain the ticket process

I tell them that a really big part of the experience is the ticket.  I share the idea that the course staff work with them to set goals for their position in Scouting.  The staff will then help them translate those goals into a series of meaningful, but challenging projects designed to help them accomplish those goals.  After the completion of the course, they'll spend time completing those projects.  I do tell them that the projects are not intended to be busy work.  They are meaningful things they they are things you'd probably do otherwise - it's just that Wood Badge helps put some structure around them to encourage you to complete them in a timely way.

 

3) I will point to others that have taken it

We generally have 3-4 people in our ranks that have taken Wood Badge.  So, I point out those people.  

One on one conversations

I will usually approach a few people individually.  The enthusiastic ASM or committee member who is off to a good start, but I think could use a boost.  The experience Scouter that I think would enjoy the experience as well as the interaction and enthusiasm of the participants and staff.  I don't pressure - but I encourage.  Something like "Hey Bob - you're doing a great job in the troop.  I think Wood Badge would be something you'd get a lot out of.  I'd encourage you to attend."

 

 

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8 hours ago, desertrat77 said:

Eagle, I think you are correct.  I recall beading ceremonies from the past, my first being the fall of '75.  Pretty dignified affair.  Part of a normal troop court of honor.  My SM was presented his beads by a council scouter.  It took about five minutes.  A brief description of the WB program, a few personalized comments towards my SM, neckerchief, beads, certificate, applause, thank you, next on the agenda.  No critter songs, cups or songbooks hanging from belts, kudu horn blowing, etc.

 

Around here, the ceremonies typically follow a pretty typical flow.

A small group of Wood Badge staff attends the event.  It includes the Scoutmaster and usually the Troop Guide, ticket counselor, and a couple of other folks who were able to attend.  It kinda depends on the event and availability of the staff.

  1. Event emcee introduces the course director.
  2. Course director does a brief intro and explains what Wood Badge is.  The other staff introduce themselves.
  3. The other staff who are there present the Wood Badge items: the neckerchief, woggle, & course certificate.  They’ll usually say a few words about their significance and history.
  4. Course director presents the beads. 
  5. Course director may add a few extra remarks and may present a few extra items.  Usually it will be something about person's ticket - particularly if it had an impact on the group at the beading.
  6. The participant says a few words.

Ceremony is done.  It probably takes about 10 minutes.  If it's an event with Scouts, they generally try to move along quickly.  If it's done in front of a Wood Badge oriented group, they'll usually go longer - maybe tell some stories or something like that.  

Interestingly enough, I've seen a few done in front of Cub Scout packs where they'll go a little longer and explain things a little more for the cubs benefit - they seem to enjoy that from what I've seen.  Most Cub Scout packs might see a beading every 3-4 ears, so it's not a terribly common occurrence.  I get the sense that it's also kinda neat that the course director is often some really experienced Scouter who is comfortable in front of a group of Scouts.

Is 10 minutes too long?  Not sure.  I see the value of some ceremony here and I kinda like that they explain things like the neckerchief, woggle, and beads.

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6 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Around here, the ceremonies typically follow a pretty typical flow.

A small group of Wood Badge staff attends the event.  It includes the Scoutmaster and usually the Troop Guide, ticket counselor, and a couple of other folks who were able to attend.  It kinda depends on the event and availability of the staff.

  1. Event emcee introduces the course director.
  2. Course director does a brief intro and explains what Wood Badge is.  The other staff introduce themselves.
  3. The other staff who are there present the Wood Badge items: the neckerchief, woggle, & course certificate.  They’ll usually say a few words about their significance and history.
  4. Course director presents the beads. 
  5. Course director may add a few extra remarks and may present a few extra items.  Usually it will be something about person's ticket - particularly if it had an impact on the group at the beading.
  6. The participant says a few words.

Ceremony is done.  It probably takes about 10 minutes.  If it's an event with Scouts, they generally try to move along quickly.  If it's done in front of a Wood Badge oriented group, they'll usually go longer - maybe tell some stories or something like that.  

Interestingly enough, I've seen a few done in front of Cub Scout packs where they'll go a little longer and explain things a little more for the cubs benefit - they seem to enjoy that from what I've seen.  Most Cub Scout packs might see a beading every 3-4 ears, so it's not a terribly common occurrence.  I get the sense that it's also kinda neat that the course director is often some really experienced Scouter who is comfortable in front of a group of Scouts.

Is 10 minutes too long?  Not sure.  I see the value of some ceremony here and I kinda like that they explain things like the neckerchief, woggle, and beads.

Parkman, 10 minutes is definitely reasonable.  As you mentioned, it depends on the event, and the audience's reception.   As you know, short attention spans abound these days.  But if they are into it, and tracking with you, more power to all concerned.

 

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23 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Around here, the ceremonies typically follow a pretty typical flow.

A small group of Wood Badge staff attends the event.  It includes the Scoutmaster and usually the Troop Guide, ticket counselor, and a couple of other folks who were able to attend.  It kinda depends on the event and availability of the staff.

  1. Event emcee introduces the course director.
  2. Course director does a brief intro and explains what Wood Badge is.  The other staff introduce themselves.
  3. The other staff who are there present the Wood Badge items: the neckerchief, woggle, & course certificate.  They’ll usually say a few words about their significance and history.
  4. Course director presents the beads. 
  5. Course director may add a few extra remarks and may present a few extra items.  Usually it will be something about person's ticket - particularly if it had an impact on the group at the beading.
  6. The participant says a few words.

Ceremony is done.  It probably takes about 10 minutes.  If it's an event with Scouts, they generally try to move along quickly.  If it's done in front of a Wood Badge oriented group, they'll usually go longer - maybe tell some stories or something like that.  

Interestingly enough, I've seen a few done in front of Cub Scout packs where they'll go a little longer and explain things a little more for the cubs benefit - they seem to enjoy that from what I've seen.  Most Cub Scout packs might see a beading every 3-4 ears, so it's not a terribly common occurrence.  I get the sense that it's also kinda neat that the course director is often some really experienced Scouter who is comfortable in front of a group of Scouts.

Is 10 minutes too long?  Not sure.  I see the value of some ceremony here and I kinda like that they explain things like the neckerchief, woggle, and beads.

Wow!

I wish my district had your Wood Badge Folks,  your beading ceremonies sound very nice. 

 

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On 10/20/2018 at 1:24 PM, Sentinel947 said:

Not "Walking the Walk"

@Sentinel947, I was all ready for you to hit on one of my personal hot buttons: bad personal example.

When one of these rotund individuals (from a folding chair pulled out of their camping van)

post-16404-0-39443200-1432852981_thumb.jpg

implies that this old Eagle Scout, Airborne Ranger, Scoutmaster isn't up to standards because I don't have beads...  

I need ViseGrip pliers to hold my tongue. 

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1 hour ago, JoeBob said:

@Sentinel947, I was all ready for you to hit on one of my personal hot buttons: bad personal example.

When one of these rotund individuals (from a folding chair pulled out of their camping van)

 

implies that this old Eagle Scout, Airborne Ranger, Scoutmaster isn't up to standards because I don't have beads...  

I need ViseGrip pliers to hold my tongue. 

I'm glad I met your expectations.

I've got a nasty tongue. It's a personal character flaw of mine. I'm not sure I'd have your discipline. 

Edited by Sentinel947

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Over the years, I've had several WBers tell me, with a straight face:

- That WB is more intellectually challenging than the classes I took for my master's degree (in organizational management)

- The leadership/management lessons from the professional military education courses I took (nine total) when I was on active duty are, in fact, inferior to what WB teaches

- Same things they told @JoeBob:  no beads means that I'm not up to snuff, lazy, I don't care about the welfare of the scouts, I'm a half-stepper, too chicken to take the course, not capable enough to grasp the Deeper Meaning, a poor example of a scouter, etc.

I kid you not.  When it happens, I just smile and don't say a word.  And try not to laugh.

Yes, these examples are at the extreme end of the WB sales spectrum.  But they still happen.

So...where do I sign up...I'd love to spend six days with these folks!

PS.  I know that I don't know everything.  :)

Edited by desertrat77
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@desertrat77 As a supporter of the program, I'm embarassed to read that there are those that make those claims.  On their best day they are ridiculous exagerations.  Trying to say that Wood Badge training is superior to other management or leadership type training is the wrong approach.  Rather then saying it's better than someone else's course, we'd be better served by describing it as it is.  Making grandiose claims is really not needed.  There's more than enough good reasons for someone to attend without making those claims.

Anyone who tells you that you're lazy, not up to snuff, or don't care is simply a bad ambassador for Wood Badge.  I'd rather have 100 empty courses than fill one through guilty and criticism.  Frankly if I was in a position to do so, I'd cancel their course.

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34 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

@desertrat77 As a supporter of the program, I'm embarassed to read that there are those that make those claims.  On their best day they are ridiculous exagerations.  Trying to say that Wood Badge training is superior to other management or leadership type training is the wrong approach.  Rather then saying it's better than someone else's course, we'd be better served by describing it as it is.  Making grandiose claims is really not needed.  There's more than enough good reasons for someone to attend without making those claims.

Anyone who tells you that you're lazy, not up to snuff, or don't care is simply a bad ambassador for Wood Badge.  I'd rather have 100 empty courses than fill one through guilty and criticism.  Frankly if I was in a position to do so, I'd cancel their course.

Parkman, the kicker is that the comments weren't always delivered by a one-off, grade D WBer.  That I can accept any day of the week as he/she may not speak for the rest of the community.  More often than not, these comments were made by folks that were pretty high in the WB food chain, folks with more than two beads.

So I play the cards I'm dealt, and go hiking and camping instead.

Edited by desertrat77

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56 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

Parkman, the kicker is that the comments weren't always delivered by a one-off, grade D WBer.  That I can accept any day of the week as he/she may not speak for the rest of the community.  More often than not, these comments were made by folks that were pretty high in the WB food chain, folks with more than two beads.

So I play the cards I'm dealt, and go hiking and camping instead.

Understood @desertrat77.

I'm reminded of a interesting Wood Badge fact I learned along the way.  The National Wood Badge director in any country is entitled to wear five beads.  As I understand it, in the United States the last person to wear five beads was Green Bar Bill.  Every person since him who has been entitled to be a five beader has refused the recognition.  I always thought that showed a lot of respect and class.

Your experience, unfortunately like others, clearly shows that not everyone who has completed Wood Badge understands class.  You'd like to think the three and four beaders would get it - but I've sadly learned too well this weekend that not all do.

Here's hoping that at least some of those folks will start getting the message that they need to think a lot harder about their own actions.

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