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Summitdog

What's the value of Wood Badge???

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Without knowing specifics, some other considerations are that sometimes it might not be a difficult item, but a nonetheless important one. At the cub level getting baloo trained leaders can be an issue for some packs. It’s not a huge amount of time, but it’s a necessary one for the pack to do things. Additionally, without seeing a whole ticket, it could be an easy step on the way to a much more difficult one. I won’t defend purely easy tickets, but there can be some logic in making some steps easier, if the others are all very long term and hard. 

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I'm reminded that Wood Badge, like all training, is merely an opportunity to acquire knew knowledge and skills. 

The beads, neckerchief, and woggle are merely symbols presented to someone who has undergone the process of attempting to acquire more knowledge & skills.  We can debate eternally whether 6 days of training and 5 projects over 18 months warrants special symbols.  To me, the beads are more a recognition of completing the ticket than sitting through some classes. 

A simple ticket really just cheats one person - the Scouter.  Sure, it seems like the Scouter gets by easy.  But, the goal of Wood Badge really isn't getting in the beads.  The goal of Wood Badge is to grow as a Scouter by going through the process.  The ticket is really that part of the process where a leader sits down and establishes a vision he'd like to achieve for his unit and then works through five tasks to help in accomplishing that vision.  The participant should look for some goals and ticket items that are worth the effort.  The course staff should help to encourage a Scouter to challenge himself - but again, if a Scouter is determined to get by easy, it can happen.

One related thing - I would encourage anyone who goes through the program to write a ticket that benefits their unit.  In our council, it's required that 4 of the 5 ticket items have to directly relate to your primary role in Scouting.  If you're an ASM, then is has to be something to do with you being an ASM.  I get that in some councils it's different.  I'd still encourage you to write ticket items that related to your unit.  Being an ASM who then goes off and does ticket items about district or council stuff is missing the mark a bit. 

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7 hours ago, ParkMan said:

One related thing - I would encourage anyone who goes through the program to write a ticket that benefits their unit.  In our council, it's required that 4 of the 5 ticket items have to directly relate to your primary role in Scouting.  If you're an ASM, then is has to be something to do with you being an ASM.  I get that in some councils it's different.  I'd still encourage you to write ticket items that related to your unit.  Being an ASM who then goes off and does ticket items about district or council stuff is missing the mark a bit. 

I am signed up to do our Councils Wood badge next fall.  Looking forward to see it for myself. 

 

Tickets might be a challenge for me, I already volunteer in a Pack, 2 troops, and district level.  Last years course had 90% of the council staff in it, so of course when it became ticket writing time, they were "influencing" district and council level tickets out of people.  Not all people caved, but the ones struggling to think of their own jumped on board.

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Hi @Summitdog,

I served as a Wood Badge course director earlier this year and I highly encourage you to take Wood Badge when you are ready. If you are interested in knowing more, you may read my biog post about Wood Badge and the reason it exists:

https://scoutlaw.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/so-what-is-wood-badge/

Yours in Scouting Service,

LeCastor 

Edited by LeCastor
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On ‎10‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 12:23 AM, ParkMan said:

One related thing - I would encourage anyone who goes through the program to write a ticket that benefits their unit.  In our council, it's required that 4 of the 5 ticket items have to directly relate to your primary role in Scouting.  If you're an ASM, then is has to be something to do with you being an ASM.  I get that in some councils it's different.  I'd still encourage you to write ticket items that related to your unit.  Being an ASM who then goes off and does ticket items about district or council stuff is missing the mark a bit.  

Well, yes and no.   Good wife came to Scouting by way of her Eagle Scout husband and eager son. She had a bad experience with a past spouse who had a bad experience with his dad in and out of Scouts, so when son asked (!) to be a Cub Scout, she had to depend on me to help her see the benefits. So I did....

After Den Leadering, She became  the Cub Scout Day Camp Director, ending up training /apprenticing the next two CSDC Directors. Me?  I became her First Assistant Everything Else (that was my official title, patch and all). CubScoutson went on to Boy Scouts and I became an ASM.  When I attended WB, my ticket designs were mostly about Cub Scouts and  Day Camp. My WB Counselors said no, no, your tickets MUST apply to your registered position.  But, But, But....   no, gotta change something.  

AHA ! You should be a Commissioner !  ? a what?   So I became a Commissioner, and Presto ! I can apply my experience to almost any part of Scouting, so I did, and I did....  

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Thank you everyone for the replies.  As I understand it from the posts, the "tickets' are supposed to be related to one's registered position, correct?  Isn't a merit badge counselor also a registered position?  Does that mean the tickets could be either for the ASM position or the MB position if one holds both? 

 

Thanks,

Scotty

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57 minutes ago, Summitdog said:

Thank you everyone for the replies.  As I understand it from the posts, the "tickets' are supposed to be related to one's registered position, correct?  Isn't a merit badge counselor also a registered position?  Does that mean the tickets could be either for the ASM position or the MB position if one holds both? 

 

Thanks,

Scotty

Look at the tickets as opportunities to learn and grow. Too many scouters create tickets that are intentionally easy so the can get them done. I teach developing tickets that give experience and insight into your responsibilities. You might just find out you don’t like your responsibility. 

The tickets don’t have to be hard or take a lot of time. Just have a purpose and defined completion.

Let’s say you want to be the New Scout ASM some day. Do a ticket that observes New Scout ASMs in other troops. The goal is to learn skills and techniques for New Scout ASMs. Completion is 4 Troops.

Another is develope and teach a course of MB counselor guidelines for New Counselors. Our CC did this for our troop. Someone in district was so impressed that they requested she teach a district course. 

Can you see where I’m heading?

Barry

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I think @Eagledad describes it well.

I'd only add that in our council, we did ask participants to pick a primary position.  It's your choice what that position is.

When you write the ticket, part of the point is to establish a big picture goal that you'd like to accomplish for your time in that position.  Your ticket is a series of smaller projects that help you accomplish that goal.  A goal for an ASM is probably different than a goal for a MB counselor.  So that's why you'll probably see them nudge you to pick one of the two positions to focus on.  But, if both of those roles are important to your vision for the troop, then I imagine you can find a way to work them both in.

As an example.  When I took the course I was an Asst. Cubmaster.  My goal was to see us develop into a more energetic pack with lots of participation.  Some of my goals were things like: start a summertime program, increase participation on camping trips, foster a sense of den spirit by introducing den names, cheers, & flags.

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I keep going back and forth on attending.  In fact my current line of thought is that I'm not going to attend and even leaning in the direction of finishing out and after my Den completed and is awarded Wolf I am going to be finished myself.  I have it seems bought into the notion everyone has to go through WB to be a good leader.  If i can't do it I might as well quit now.

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1 minute ago, 5thGenTexan said:

...  I have it seems bought into the notion everyone has to go through WB to be a good leader.  If i can't do it I might as well quit now.

Then buy yourself out of it! Our SM has been a good leader for a decade. Never had time for WB.

When I finished my ticket, there was no discussion of him or any other scouter moving out so I could move in. Zero. Nix. Nada. I wouldn't have countenanced it. Apart from having a crew to advise, I would not have any scouts who I serve think that one guy spending a couple of weekends away from one's unit and a getting few goals met suddenly is a reason to shuffle a good thing.

There might be other reasons to let another parent step up. But beadlessness should never be one of them.

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6 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

I keep going back and forth on attending.  In fact my current line of thought is that I'm not going to attend and even leaning in the direction of finishing out and after my Den completed and is awarded Wolf I am going to be finished myself.  I have it seems bought into the notion everyone has to go through WB to be a good leader.  If i can't do it I might as well quit now.

Wood Badge, like all training, simply provides the opportunity to learn more about being a leader in the BSA.  There are many leaders who have never taken it that do a fantastic job.  

Take Wood Badge because you find it interesting, are hoping to learn some new skills, or simply just want to.  Don't ever think you have to.

If you want to attend - attend.  If you don't want to attend - don't.  It's a fun experience and in the grand scheme of things is only two weekends.  It's not like you're attending college and signing away years of your life.

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On ‎11‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 10:38 PM, ParkMan said:

…..only two weekends.  It's not like you're attending college and signing away years of your life.

HAA !   "It's not like.... Signing away years of your life..."   Only one hour a week....  Ha. 

If Scouting gets ya, it gets ya.   Wood Badge not withstanding.  

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12 hours ago, SSScout said:

HAA !   "It's not like.... Signing away years of your life..."   Only one hour a week....  Ha. 

If Scouting gets ya, it gets ya.   Wood Badge not withstanding.  

That part's very true.  I often think that Scouting's a lifestyle, not an activity.

On the Wood Badge point though - I hear from folks regularly - "I've wanted to go for years, but I'm so busy and can't find the time."  Yet, they'll find the time to go on monthly campouts and help at all kinds of other events.  I 100% respect that people have priorities in their lives and attending Wood Badge may be lower down on the list than many other things.  Yet, I just sometimes think that folks hear "two- three day weekends" and think "oh my goodness, there is no way I could do that."  It's just two weekends.  My biggest concern was not the time - it was explaining to my wife why I wanted to go do Scouting without my son for two weekends.

In further fairness - I do also get that the ticket component is a big time commitment too.  I just rarely hear people say - I won't attend Wood Badge because they don't have time for the ticket.

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For me ...

  • The good
    • Patrol mates and refreshing fellowship of being with other scouters who wanted to be there.  It helped rebuild my energy for the program.
    • Watching how they ran the program.  Marching.  Songs.  Competitions.  Service patrols.  PLC.  Blue and Gold.  etc.  I was not a scout in my youth.  It helped show me an "ideal" program.
  • The meh... I won't say bad because none of it was bad.
    • Classwork and individual topics.  I've been through so so many leadership, management and team development programs that I saw little new and much of it was done very lightly.  As such, it was a good introduction, but I don't think I benefited from this part as I had seen it previously many times. 
  • The annoying
    • Woodbadge volunteer badgering.  ... Happened to me.  Happens to many.   You are made to feel like you are not well trailed if you have not taken it.  I have a friend who has been in scouts for 50+ years through parents, himself, kids and his grand kids.  Eagle scout.  Retired military officer.  He just took the class to stop the badgering from woodbadge locals.  
Edited by fred8033
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Two comments:

I took WB in another Council.  I grew my network as a result. 

If you've had executive leadership and management training (such as you were/are a career member of the Armed Forces), WB is a useful review of well plowed ground.  If you've not had such training, it's a good introduction

To those who say it does not support the unit program, I respectfully disagree.  The Patrol does have to get together and decide how it's going to execute the campout.  We made decisions and we got things done at our intra course patrol meetings.

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