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Should I attend an out of council WB course?

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My council offers WB every other year. 2018 was our year. I started a new job around the time the course was held and I was unable to attend because of a lack of PTO. I had to choose between WB in the fall or going to Summer Camp this coming summer.  I chose camp.

For some reason my employer has changed our PTO policy and I will have twice the amount of vacation time in 2019 than I normally would. Unfortunately, the “double your fun” policy is only for 2019 and in 2020 I will be back to normal.

My question is this: Since my council won’t be offering WB in 2019, should I attend a course in one of the neighboring councils? Will I loose something from the course if I rarely, if ever, see my patrol mates during the rest of my Scouting career? Or should I just wait until the next course is offered in my local council?

Thanks for the advice.

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Personally I waited till my next year my council offered it.  I felt I would connect better with people from my own council, and be able to use those relationships down the road better.

 

That and I am not in a huge hurry to take WB.  Its on my list, but nothing I can't live without.

 

Due to your extra PTO, it might be worth it to take it now, that way you don't have to make a hard choice next time on what to take off for.

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Rather than Woodbadge, lead a second summer camp or a longer term summer experience for the troop

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Naturally the material is the same regardless where you take WB.  And, of course, no two WB experiences are the same because they are run by different staff at different location etc.  The big benefit to attending in your own council is that you will meet and become friends with other Scouters in your own council - the people you will cross paths with at roundtable and at summer camp, on a district committee or an OA event.

 

 

 

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I think I will just wait until WB comes back to my council. I like the idea of building my Scout network at home.

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After college I moved out of state for 3 years, and while there took WB in 2015.  It was fantastic and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  After moving back, I have discovered how "cliquey" and odd the Woodbadgers are in my home Council.  There have been a number of "local traditions" that distract from the course and I have a number of friends my age (late 20s-early 30s) that are so turned off by WB that they have no interest in looking into it.  I was asked to be on staff for an upcoming course, and the SM is pretty serious about doing things "by the book" so I'm super excited!

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I bit the bullet and went out of council for a 5-day course, offered by National for the same reasons Miami Chief identified. I was well run and required less time than the local offerings. Do not underestimate the value of outside-council contacts. If you want to staff a local wood badge course this may not be the route take, as you'll have no personal history with the local WB junta … something often more valued than teaching skills or subject-matter expertise.

 

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I attended woodbadge out of council.  My council had no STEM program when I went to woodbadge, and in fact, I did not even know that STEM in scouts was a thing.  However, at woodbadge, they pushed STEM really hard.  It inspired me for one of my tickets to started up a STEM program in my council.  For the first year, STEM committee members from out of council came over helped me run successful council STEM events.  They also helped me recruit interested adults in my council to serve on our newly formed STEM committee.  Now 4 years later we are functioning completely on our own, holding several council wide STEM events each year, and have two dozen active super nova mentors.

If I attended woodbage within my own council, I probably still would not even know that STEM existed in scouts, and I certainly could have never accomplished my ticket without the support from experienced STEM scouters from out of council.

Edited by Tatung42
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3 hours ago, Tatung42 said:

If I attended woodbage within my own council, I probably still would not even know that STEM existed in scouts, and I certainly could have never accomplished my ticket without the support from experienced STEM scouters from out of council.

Interesting perspective.

I'm a big advocate of BSA STEM/NOVA program, but I wouldn't expect Woodbadge to be the place I'm learning about it.

Just curious about how that council operates their "STEM program". Do they actually put on events that help scouts earn Nova awards??

Our council doesn't. They have a STEM committee that holds meetings. And they put on a Nova counselor / Supernova mentor training class as part of a generic University of Scouting....but I really don't see them doing anything *for the scouts*. Lots of talk. Little do.

On the other hand, far smaller neighboring councils seem to be doing far more to actually hold events *for scouts*. Events that help them engage in STEM fields, earn STEM-related merit badges, and earn Nova awards.  All councils are not created equal.

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Yes, we hold a council event once a year at the local community college where offer scouts the chances to work on Nova awards or STEM related merit badges.

Also what really helped to promote the program was just having STEM committee members visit packs and troops in their local area.  They bring all sorts of fun STEM gadgets and demonstrations with them.  The packs especially really love this.

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Tatung42 said:

Yes, we hold a council event once a year at the local community college where offer scouts the chances to work on Nova awards or STEM related merit badges.

That sounds totally awesome!  I wish our council would do something like that.  The best I've seen locally is one (out of 27 districts) tacking on one of the Nova awards as an option in their district-sponsored Merit Badge Day program. 

On the other hand, BIG kudos to scouters in New York City. I wish them utter success on their upcoming Spring Break STEM Camp!!
Info:  https://www.bsa-gnyc.org/files/13316/Spring-Break-Stem-Camp-PDF 

 

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