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CodyMiller351

Is BSA adult leader training necessary?

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I am a 19 year old Assistant Scoutmaster and some of the leaders in my Troop are trying to convince me to sign up for Wood Badge.  Personally, I don't think it's necessary.  I believe that since I went through the entire Cub and Boy Scout program that I should be the leader I need to be.  I earned my Eagle Scout award when I was 17.  After that I became a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.  Once I turned 18 I became an Assistant Scoutmaster and I have been for a little over a year.  A couple weeks ago I went to a day-long program my district was holding.  They had a a couple classes adult leaders could sign up for.  The main reason I went was for the Scoutmaster training.  It must be stated that I also did not think I needed to attend this training but a few leaders believe it would be a good idea.  During that training, I learned nothing that I didn't learn throughout my Scouting career.  I was very disappointed but it was what I expected.  It only proves my point that this "adult leader training" the BSA offers is for people who have no prior experience in Scouting and need to learn the basics.  I love expanding my knowledge and becoming a better leader but I do not enjoy wasting my time and money.  

 

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Consider the respect from the experienced adults you will gain for the effort. Sadly, In the eyes of most adults, you're still just a kid. But, just showing a willingness to be an adult will gain you the respect that you can cash-in later on ideas and opinions on the program down the road. I wish the course wasn't so long, that has to be considered. But, I would think it's worth it in the long run if you plan on becoming a SM in this troop. Let us know you ideas for ticket items.

Barry

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As an adult who has been through all of the training, including wood-badge (I used to be a bear...); and a former youth that went through the entire program (Eagle Scout).. I agree with you. Adult training is focused on folks who were not part of the program as boys, and the attitude of some adults is poor - you need to go through the training like I did!

That said, the training is easy - and doing it isn't going to be that difficult - do it now and be done with it - before you don't have the luxury of free time!

My $0.02

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Cody, I understand your point of view.  I felt the same way in '85 when I went through what was then called Scout Leader Basic Training.  I was an Eagle in '77, and served as SPL and JASM in an outdoor-oriented troop that treated me like an adult and expected me act as such.

SLBT was a big let down.  Huge let down.

That said, the BSA expects us to go through certain courses to be officially trained for our positions.  Once you go through those courses, for good or ill, you're trained and a member in good standing.  I keep my SLBT training certificate in a nice, safe place. :)

WB is not required unless you seek certain positions, such as adult leader for council jamboree contingents, etc.

I highly recommend Wilderness First Aid.

As a scout and young scouter, the very best training I received was sitting with old scouters, drinking coffee around the campfire, listening to their stories.  And as an old scouter now, I still learn a great deal from these informal sessions, from old and young scouters alike.

 

19 minutes ago, shingobeek said:

As an adult who has been through all of the training, including wood-badge (I used to be a bear...); and a former youth that went through the entire program (Eagle Scout).. I agree with you. Adult training is focused on folks who were not part of the program as boys, and the attitude of some adults is poor - you need to go through the training like I did!

That said, the training is easy - and doing it isn't going to be that difficult - do it now and be done with it - before you don't have the luxury of free time!

My $0.02

Shingobeek, welcome to the forums!

Edited by desertrat77
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I was in your shoes. Eagle at 17. Did some Scouter reserve and jumped in as an ASM officially at late 18 or 19 years old.

Wait on Wood Badge. It would be more helpful later on as a refresher. I took it at 22. 

As for IOLS and SM specific, you have to take them to be an ASM, and if you're anything like me, I helped teach my IOLs. Made some lemonade out of those lemons. 

Also, sometimes troops are bad. So the training can be corrective for folks who had weak troops as a youth. I definitely learned a few things from SM specific and I was in one of the "good" troops. If you didn't, great! That's a positive sign for your unit. 

Being a young ASM has been incredibly rewarding. My troop is better for my efforts and I'd be a much lesser man today if I didn't do it. Happy to talk more about it! Keep after it! 

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I am also a relatively young leader who has been in Scouting since I was a Cub Scout. I got my Eagle when I was 14 and have read more manuals, guidebooks and articles on Scouting that you could shake a stick at - but I still value any opportunity I have to learn more and hear from other leaders' experiences to broaden my perspectives. That's why I come to this site - to learn more and gain from the wisdom of as many people as I can. I would never be so bold as to presume that I "have Scouting down," that I know everything or that I "don't need" more training. That would be arrogant and false on my part; everybody has a lot to learn.

That said, it has to be done within the parameters of your personal schedule and availability. Woodbadge is a big time commitment. I haven't taken it, but I have read the course materials and tried to learn from those who have. You could do similarly. And yes, you will likely be attending more trainings throughout your Scouting career, but you should go with an open mind and ready to learn. If you do, you always will. If you go assuming you know everything, then you'll just end up frustrated and missing out on chances for you to grow. And who knows? Maybe they'll start asking you to teach at a future training meeting. That happened to me, and now I'm teaching Cub Leaders all over the county, and using the things I have learned to help others. 

Keep your mind open and your heart willing, and you'll gain something from every course you take.

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1) WELCOME TO DA FORUMS CODY AND SHINGOBEEK! (And yes, I'm yelling my welcome at the topof my lungs! ;) )

2) Regarding  basic training, yes it's a hoop we who have been through the program needs to jump through. After coming up through the program, and going through Brownsea 22, my period's NYLT, I only learned one new thing: the paperwork side of Scouting. How a troop operates, camping, etc was all old hat. BUT one benefit was meeting people allover my council.That was a very big benefit as I had more resources I could talk to.

3) 

27 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

As a scout and young scouter, the very best training I received was sitting with old scouters, drinking coffee around the campfire, listening to their stories.  And as an old scouter now, I still learn a great deal from these informal sessions, from old and young scouters alike.

CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH!! ( caps for emphasis) I learned more about being a Scouter sitting around campfires, drinking coffee, hot cocoa, or bug juice, and listening to the older Scouters than I did in all my adult training combined. I still come to the virtual campfire to vent and get ideas. As well as help others.

4) Regarding WB,

43 minutes ago, shingobeek said:

That said, the training is easy - and doing it isn't going to be that difficult - do it now and be done with it - before you don't have the luxury of free time!

Part of me regrets not doing WB when I was in college. there were times and locations where the attitude was " if you don't wear beads, you don't know squat." Kinda like how some Scouters may still view you as a kid. frustrating is an understatement.

But another part of me is glad I did not do WB. I staffed JLTC, the immediate predecessor to NYLT, and it was "Wood Badge Lite:" only differnce was the Scouts did not have to do a ticket. One of my fellow staffers commented WB was a waste of time for him since everything we covered in JLTC was covered in WB.

 

Good luck

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I have seen with my own eyes a group of Wood Badge people telling another Wood Badge person that they needed to take Wood Badge again because they took wood badge before the year 2004 and that old version of Wood Badge is no longer valid.

I also have seen a group of Wood Badge people telling another Wood Badge person that they really need to retake Wood Badge, because the first time they took it their tickets were way too easy and should not really count and they should take it again and be serious about it this time and there is a Wood Badge person on staff that will help them write a REAL ticket.

I have seen a Wood Badge person berated for taking a Wood Badge course outside of our council and being told they need to take it again in our council to be considered a valid Wood Badge person in our council.

I have seen Wood Badge scouters told that because they have taken Wood Badge before 2004 they can not be part of Wood Badge staff or NYLT staff.

I have seen Wood Badge people completely enraged because a certain Wood Badge person that they can not stand was wearing 6 beads. These scouters were acting very un-scout like.

I know many Wood Badge people that are my good friends that are so done with current state of Wood Badge that they do not wear their beads anymore  and keep the fact they took Wood Badge a secret.  They are embarrassed to be associated Wood Badge in its current state in my council.

 

 

 

 

Edited by cocomax
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I really want to take, Wilderness First Aid,  I plan on taking it this year if possible.

As for Wood Badge, two weekends at camp taking wood badge would be fun for me,  being around other scouters and learning from them would be fun.  It is all the hazing, fighting, belittling and bulling between Wood Badge folks that follows for years to come that I do not want to be a part of. I do not want to ever be a part of any 45 minute beading ceremony that disrupts a camp fire program for the scouts.  If I were one of the ones getting the beads I would feel like garbage. Do I want to spend 18 months working hard on tickets only to be rewarded with the feeling that I am part of something that disrupts the scouts fun and sets bad example after bad example for the scouts? No thank you.  

It might just be my council is broken and Wood Badge is fantastic in other councils.  

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@CodyMiller351, thank you for serving in the role of Assistant Scoutmaster. You have chosen to give back to a younger ones what Scouting gave you. I think you are a rare breed, a fresh ASM who just came out of the youth end of things. @Eagle94-A1 and @Sentinel947 are two of the ones I know best on these forums. They have loads to tell you about serving a Troop as a young ASM and seeing what their Troop was doing incorrectly, from the point of view of Scouters interfering with the Patrol Method, for example. 

@MattR hits the nail on the head when he recommends reading anything by William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt. Personally, I'd start with the the Patrol Leader's Handbook (1929) and then reading over his 9th edition Official Boy Scout Handbook (1979). Those two volumes are readily accessible on eBay and are well worth the time to pore over at your leisure. 

As for Wood Badge, I echo what others have said. You choose when you want to take it. Please don't let anyone coerce you or bully you into taking that or any other course. As a Wood Badge Scoutmaster myself, I know what I tried to steer our learners to glean from the course--building heart connections, leading by example, and treating others as you would like to be treated. Wood Badge isn't a club, as @cocomax many have said it has become in their locale. Rather, Wood Badge is an experience living in the Troop setting, as a Patrol, learning leadership skills such as listening, communicating, and managing conflict. It's a time commitment and will make you a better leader but only when you are ready to truly commit to it. 

Lastly, adult leader training is only as good as you let it be. If you only boil it down to the PowerPoint presentation on the screen you'll likely walk away disappointed. However, if you listen to the Scouters training you, as @desertrat77 says, you'll learn so much more. Find those veteran Scouters and sit down with them over a cup of coffee, tea, bug juice, or whatever. THAT'S what will make all the difference. 

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Thanks in advance for all of your service to the youth!

Courses an ASM your age should take:

  • Powderhorn
  • Kodiak and/or Kodiak course directors course
  • Crew officer training and the specialty award of your choice
  • Seascout quartermaster
  • BSA Guard
  • Any young adult instruction your religion offers.
  • Any volunteer first responder/search and rescue training that your community offers
  • Range safety officer training
  • Next-level training on whatever your favorite merit badge was

So the next time your fellow adults harp on Woodbadge, tell them that you have a list of other courses that are taking priority.

(You might not tell them that you're getting that list from a stranger on the Internet.)

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I don't think you need Wood Badge. I just became SM and it's really not something I feel the need to do.

If you plan on doing a high adventure trip in the next 2 years, get WFA certified. Even if you're not sure, it's a good course to take.

Decide later if Wood Badge is for you.

Most important, thank you for giving back to scouting. I hope you enjoy it and make scouting enjoyable for your troop.

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6 hours ago, CodyMiller351 said:

I am a 19 year old Assistant Scoutmaster and some of the leaders in my Troop are trying to convince me to sign up for Wood Badge.  Personally, I don't think it's necessary.  I believe that since I went through the entire Cub and Boy Scout program that I should be the leader I need to be.  I earned my Eagle Scout award when I was 17.  After that I became a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.  Once I turned 18 I became an Assistant Scoutmaster and I have been for a little over a year.  A couple weeks ago I went to a day-long program my district was holding.  They had a a couple classes adult leaders could sign up for.  The main reason I went was for the Scoutmaster training.  It must be stated that I also did not think I needed to attend this training but a few leaders believe it would be a good idea.  During that training, I learned nothing that I didn't learn throughout my Scouting career.  I was very disappointed but it was what I expected.  It only proves my point that this "adult leader training" the BSA offers is for people who have no prior experience in Scouting and need to learn the basics.  I love expanding my knowledge and becoming a better leader but I do not enjoy wasting my time and money.  

 

SM training would be good, if nothing else, it would reassure you that you know what is needed--I took it after being an ASM for two years, and didn't learn anything but it reassured me that what we were doing was correct.  I do agree IOLS training would probably be useless, but the SM training would probably help you see things as an adult.    Also, as a 19 year old, you need to make sure that you understand YPT better than anybody else in the room. 

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