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cocomax

Wood Badge - Roses and Thorns

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I wear my beads on special occasions, I don't for other times.  Being a Sea Scout now, I never wear the neckerchief with the blue uniform.

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since WB has changed to an "intro to leadership training", and is no longer  the pinnacle training for those who have already demonstrated a high level of scout skills, scouter skills, etc... why does this basic leadership training have special beads, ceremonies, and other recognitions?  Does this not promote the idea that WB is somehow superior to all the other trainings, or at the very least imply the participant has fulfilled a myriad of the other trainings and have significant experience to show as well. 

If it truly is "just another training", then it should be treated as such. I suppose that is what happens when the pre-requisites and training changed, but the name does not.

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28 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

...  the pinnacle training ...

I really think this is the key protest I have.   Yes, it's the longest course.  It's the most planned out and structured course.  But it's hardly a "pinnacle" of anything.  

In scouting, IMHO, the pinnacle of training is years of experience and lots and lots and lots of reflection and discussion with other scouters.  

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There is a large number of adults who are searching for some kind of recognition of importance in their lives and find it in volunteer organizations because prerequisite education or experience isn't required for a respected position. You think it's bad in scouting, go check out church committees. Some scout professionals will quietly admit that these volunteers cause more harm to the program than good. I have watched district committees brought down to their knees from these adults. I believe the WB course naturally attracts these sort of adults and are part of the reasons for the problems discussed here.  

As I explained in my earlier post, WB used to be an advanced teacher training course for experienced troop leaders. And those leaders were quietly hand picked based on the reputation of commitment to continually provide a quality program at the unit level. The course was not offered to short-timers or lesser performing scouters. It was not advertised as a Capstone or pinnacle experience, it was simply an advanced leadership course.

However, these graduates were the most respected Scout leaders at the time (and held in envy) simply because they had the most experience and training. Rarely  would one of these Scouters be accused of setting themselves above other scouters because in their minds, they were simply scout leaders who went the extra step to improve their skills for working with scouts.

I won't get into when and how Wood Badge lost its honorable distinction, that trend started before I started as a leader. But, it's fair to say National wanted to use the course name sake reputation going forward in their training. I think the problem is that the traditions of the old WB were kept and pushed to extreme by graduates that were more concerned about the distinction than the intended purpose.

How will WB change in the future, well my observation of National doesn't go through the effort or cost to change anything until proven of notable youth membership drops. While that was the cause for switching to the new syllabus, I'm not sure how the new course drives the youth to drop out.

Barry

 

Edited by Eagledad
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I will let you know how Sea Badge compares to Wood Badge in a month....Is that the anchor of training?

I agree with Fred.  Woodbadge is a good training but not the pinnacle.  There isn't a pinnacle training IMHO.  From Wood Badge leaders will continue on to take more specific trainings like Powder Horn, Outdoor Ethics, Climbing, Aquatics, Sea Badge, Philmont Leadership Challenge.  

I would say Woodbadge is the pinnacle of general Scout training.

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2 hours ago, DuctTape said:

since WB has changed to an "intro to leadership training", and is no longer  the pinnacle training for those who have already demonstrated a high level of scout skills, scouter skills, etc... why does this basic leadership training have special beads, ceremonies, and other recognitions?  Does this not promote the idea that WB is somehow superior to all the other trainings, or at the very least imply the participant has fulfilled a myriad of the other trainings and have significant experience to show as well. 

If it truly is "just another training", then it should be treated as such. I suppose that is what happens when the pre-requisites and training changed, but the name does not.

You don't get the beads for sitting through the course.  You get the beads because you demonstrate the application of the knowledge by completing the ticket.

 

Edited by ParkMan
typo
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Yes, the beads are earned through the ticket, which is 5 volunteer projects for Scouting.  Last night I was feeling like I might give up and not finish my ticket, but here are my items 1) help teach BALOO (I have twice).  2) make a new Cub scout welcome kit for our Pack,  3) run a Traffic Safety merit badge clinic for council 4) research and write a presentation about ADHD and Scouting for our district and 5) write an article about ADHD and scouting for publication.

I chose fairly challenging ticket items. and it will add up to many hours of work for the council. 

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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You know what I find missing in this topic's title? We never talk roses and thorns without our bud (what we're looking forward to).

On October 24, 2018 at 3:09 PM, WisconsinMomma said:

Yes, the beads are earned through the ticket, which is 5 volunteer projects for Scouting.  Last night I was feeling like I might give up and not finish my ticket, ...

I chose fairly challenging ticket items. and it will add up to many hours of work for the council. 

Don't let go of that bud, WM! Lots of good will come of your ticket even if the results wind up a little less polished than you'd like!

You got this!

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Thank you qwaze! The Traffic Safety merit badge was yesterday and it turned out well.  I was very nervous and stressed earlier in the week but it ended up OK.  I'll have to count but I think we had around 28 participants.  The merit badge class was 3 hours, review style, with a state patrol officer as a guest speaker and an hour of hands on work outside measuring stopping distances and reviewing lights, wipers, tires, seatbelts, etc on a vehicle. Then I had a 60 question quiz (for fun) where the boys answered 2 questions each and got a York Peppermint Patty.  The course was full (30 kids) but I think one or two were sick or couldn't make it on the day of.

The thing that was a struggle for me was recruiting helpers.  I had envisioned having one or two volunteers helping me, but in the end  it was just my husband and me.  It worked but having one more person helping would have been better.  I reached out to a few people but I did not get good support (or even reply emails) from most. I think I will ask Council to help me find one or two helpers if they want the course again. 

My initial goal was to make this an annual course for our council.  I'm not ready to commit to that today! (resting) but now that I've done it once and because it was a very popular class, I will likely do it again (just not in October, October is a crazy month for our family.) 

So yesterday I signed off my very first blue cards as a merit badge counselor!  I got the first few wrong (gah!) but it should be OK. I did not realize right away that I needed to sign in multiple places and keep the counselor record, but I got the hang of it, and I signed the portion that goes to the unit leader for everyone, but I forgot to sign the applicant' record for some of them.  It will be OK.  Now I know!  Everybody knew it was my first time.   

The surveys from the kids were very positive, and I feel good about it and I'm very glad that it's done!!

 

Side note:  one of my Patrol mates had his beading ceremony yesterday.  I wasn't able to go because after the traffic safety course, we had my oldest son's birthday party.  His ceremony was out at one of the council camps before one of the council's haunted hayride events.  It was for Scouters and family and they had cake.  He had a shared ceremony with another guy from our course. 

I don't know what I want for a ceremony, but it's not time to think about that yet - I have two more tickets due before early next year!

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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