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Scoutmom1989

Advice for a new wood badger

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30 minutes ago, Scoutmom1989 said:

I heard im going to learn things about myself i didnt even know but im gonna make a whole bunch of life long friends and have the experience of a life time thats what everyone keeps telling me but I also hear theres a fire hose is that literal or metaphorical 

:)

I loved my Wood Badge experience and really took a lot away from it.  I think it's fair to say that I embraced the opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and challenge myself to grow as a Scouter.  I'd encourage you to do the same.  

And yes - it's a metaphorical fire hose.

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Ok because my best friend is like got gonna get wet and a few people i have v talked to were like literal hose so kinda freaked me out lol

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13 hours ago, Scoutmom1989 said:

I heard im going to learn things about myself i didnt even know but im gonna make a whole bunch of life long friends and have the experience of a life time thats what everyone keeps telling me but I also hear theres a fire hose is that literal or metaphorical 

Maybe you'll make life-long friends, maybe you won't. Don't try to force it.

Will you have a life-altering transformative experience? Probably not.

Will you learn something and have an enjoyable time? Most likely. Wood Badge is a good training course, especially for those who haven't experienced leadership/management courses elsewhere. Yet all too often, it gets oversold. 

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31 minutes ago, Saltface said:

Will you learn something and have an enjoyable time? Most likely. Wood Badge is a good training course, especially for those who haven't experienced leadership/management courses elsewhere. Yet all too often, it gets oversold. 

Good point - but one I'd add a little to this.  I attended once and have staffed a few times now.

In anything, if you go in with really high expectations - you are bound to be disappointed.  Wood Badge is leadership training course put on by volunteers.  The volunteers are typically some of the more experienced trainers in the council and have a wealth of Scouting experience.  In our council the volunteers work really hard to make it the absolute best course possible.  But at the end of the day, it's a Scouter training course put on by volunteers.  

On the flip slide - if you go in with a negative mindset, you are bound to find things to criticize.  i.e.- "that topic isn't that engaging", "I could learn much of this elsewhere", "The speaker was too monotone", or "The food isn't great".  etc...

if you go in with an open mind, I've found that you people generally have a very good experience.  Is that the 100% true?  Of course not.  There are always people who go in with the perfect mindset for who the course just doesn't click.  But again, on the whole I've found that people generally have very positive feedback and a great time.

Edited by ParkMan
clarified a thought
  • Upvote 2

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On 9/7/2019 at 2:53 PM, Scoutmom1989 said:

What kool aid

As others have noted,  reminder that while WB does pass along some management techniques, it is not the end all be all of the BSA nor does it make anyone who completes their ticket an expert at running a unit.  The training is more management and less specific to actually running a unit.  The nuts and bolts come from position specific training.

The kool aid comment is the reminder to take the course for what it is, and recognize it for what it is not.

For actual training on how to run a unit I would suggest position specific training, also reviewing some of the older (for now Scouts BSA) SM handbooks, and some of the older Fieldbooks that show woodcraft and outdoor items.  Remember that successful units have fun.  There is the mission of the Boy Scout - The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.  It is hard to prepare young people for all of that if you do not in fact have young people in your unit.  Main effort should be to have an engaging program as the first priority, then the mission etc comes as a by product.

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7 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Good point - but one I'd add a little to this.  I attended once and have staffed a few times now.

In anything, if you go in with really high expectations - you are bound to be disappointed.  Wood Badge is leadership training course put on by volunteers.  The volunteers are typically some of the more experienced trainers in the council and have a wealth of Scouting experience.  In our council the volunteers work really hard to make it the absolute best course possible.  But at the end of the day, it's a Scouter training course put on by volunteers.  

On the flip slide - if you go in with a negative mindset, you are bound to find things to criticize.  i.e.- "that topic isn't that engaging", "I could learn much of this elsewhere", "The speaker was too monotone", or "The food isn't great".  etc...

if you go in with an open mind, I've found that you people generally have a very good experience.  Is that the 100% true?  Of course not.  There are always people who go in with the perfect mindset for who the course just doesn't click.  But again, on the whole I've found that people generally have very positive feedback and a great time.

No expectations just curious cause eveyones course is different trying to paint a small picture in my head

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15 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

As others have noted,  reminder that while WB does pass along some management techniques, it is not the end all be all of the BSA nor does it make anyone who completes their ticket an expert at running a unit.  The training is more management and less specific to actually running a unit.  The nuts and bolts come from position specific training.

I'd propose that Wood Badge is not a management course - it's a leadership course.  To me a management course implies sessions on pack/troop operations - there is very little content to that effect.  There is a lot more content in Wood Badge about how to be a leader in a Scouting context.  How to develop a goal for your role in Scouting.  How to turn that goal into specific steps to take.   How to work with other Scouters to make that goal a reality.  Surrounding the material on leadership is lots of fun, camaraderie, opportunities to network, and plenty of exposure to Scouting in a larger context.  In addition, the course tries to provide an understanding of some of the Scouting fundamentals such as patrol method.  But, in the case of patrol method it's a lot more about concept than implementation details. 

The ticket portion is the practical application of the above.  What I've generally seen is that when people work through that process, they emerge as stronger, more effective leaders in their pack, troop, or crew. 

Is Wood Badge the only way to become a strong leader in your unit?  Of course not.  It would be silly for anyone to suggest that.  Many of the best leaders I know never took Wood Badge.  But, on balance, I find that volunteers who have completed Wood Badge have a pretty significant impact on the units I've been involved with.

15 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

For actual training on how to run a unit I would suggest position specific training, also reviewing some of the older (for now Scouts BSA) SM handbooks, and some of the older Fieldbooks that show woodcraft and outdoor items.  Remember that successful units have fun.  There is the mission of the Boy Scout - The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.  It is hard to prepare young people for all of that if you do not in fact have young people in your unit.  Main effort should be to have an engaging program as the first priority, then the mission etc comes as a by product.

Fully agree - if someone wants to learn mechanics there are much better courses for this.

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I tell people about Woodbadge as what I tell everyone about Scouting:  You get out of it what you put in to it. 

Go in with an open mind.   Depending what you do in Scouting now also will shape your journey.  I was only a Cub Scout leader when I went.  I had no idea on the patrol method and other things that were for the troops.  It taught me a lot. 

You will see that the bond between some patrols is stronger than others and that could be due to a variety of reasons.   Sometimes life gets in the way.  But its fun to see each person in your patrol complete their tickets and support them in their efforts. 

I found Woodbadge fun and a good way of networking with other Scouters.   It gave me people for training courses when I was the District Training Chair.   I have also made a lot of friends along the way. 

As for the Kool Aid/Bug Juice line, my husband who is not involved in Scouting, came to my beading and they served bug juice with dinner and once the beading was over the fun started (song) and he wanted to know what was in the juice.   He thought we were all nuts. LOL

I used to be an owl...  :D

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2 hours ago, Jackdaws said:

I tell people about Woodbadge as what I tell everyone about Scouting:  You get out of it what you put in to it. 

Go in with an open mind.   Depending what you do in Scouting now also will shape your journey.  I was only a Cub Scout leader when I went.  I had no idea on the patrol method and other things that were for the troops.  It taught me a lot. 

You will see that the bond between some patrols is stronger than others and that could be due to a variety of reasons.   Sometimes life gets in the way.  But its fun to see each person in your patrol complete their tickets and support them in their efforts. 

I found Woodbadge fun and a good way of networking with other Scouters.   It gave me people for training courses when I was the District Training Chair.   I have also made a lot of friends along the way. 

As for the Kool Aid/Bug Juice line, my husband who is not involved in Scouting, came to my beading and they served bug juice with dinner and once the beading was over the fun started (song) and he wanted to know what was in the juice.   He thought we were all nuts. LOL

I used to be an owl...  :D

 

2 hours ago, Jackdaws said:

I tell people about Woodbadge as what I tell everyone about Scouting:  You get out of it what you put in to it. 

Go in with an open mind.   Depending what you do in Scouting now also will shape your journey.  I was only a Cub Scout leader when I went.  I had no idea on the patrol method and other things that were for the troops.  It taught me a lot. 

You will see that the bond between some patrols is stronger than others and that could be due to a variety of reasons.   Sometimes life gets in the way.  But its fun to see each person in your patrol complete their tickets and support them in their efforts. 

I found Woodbadge fun and a good way of networking with other Scouters.   It gave me people for training courses when I was the District Training Chair.   I have also made a lot of friends along the way. 

As for the Kool Aid/Bug Juice line, my husband who is not involved in Scouting, came to my beading and they served bug juice with dinner and once the beading was over the fun started (song) and he wanted to know what was in the juice.   He thought we were all nuts. LOL

I used to be an owl...  :D

I am coming into this as a assistant cubmaster my pack is brand new and my cubmaster who is my best friend encouraged me to go because he went this year also im not new to scouting but im new to the training ideas its interesting to see how how different counsils do things but the ideas are the same from my understanding til next year when the course changes how ever u are right u get out of what u put into it.. that i totally get im just nervous being the only one from my counsil going to the course i know its gonna be great and life changing and im gonna make tons of friends and connections... the problem i have is im an overthinker and i keep trying to picture this perfect idea of what its going to be like in my head and im driving myself nuts as well as everyone else

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16 hours ago, Scoutmom1989 said:

 

I am coming into this as a assistant cubmaster my pack is brand new and my cubmaster who is my best friend encouraged me to go because he went this year also im not new to scouting but im new to the training ideas its interesting to see how how different counsils do things but the ideas are the same from my understanding til next year when the course changes how ever u are right u get out of what u put into it.. that i totally get im just nervous being the only one from my counsil going to the course i know its gonna be great and life changing and im gonna make tons of friends and connections... the problem i have is im an overthinker and i keep trying to picture this perfect idea of what its going to be like in my head and im driving myself nuts as well as everyone else

Our council was one of the few allowed to do the new course this past February.   I went in 2016 so I did the old course.

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I took WB what, about 3 years ago now.

The leadership stuff was mostly what i had heard before from my corporate job. But a refresher is always good and getting the Scouting perspective is good as well.

I found the best benefits were meeting other scouters in the council and hearing of others experiences. And getting a broader view of the Scouting program as a whole. We mostly have our heads down working in our respective roles in our respective units. But reviewing the patrol method again, reviewing how a good committee works to support the unit, allows you to see opportunities to improve that you didn't see before. I think that perspective is the real takeway.

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