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5 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I don't know the mindset at the time as it predates me, but I can only guess it had something to do with making the course seem desirable by making it exclusive.  By creating something with status that can be seen as an award, it then makes it something to strive for.  The OA isn't all that different for youth.  By creating an honor, we make it more desirable.  There's probably some logic about human nature in that, but it seems to have created a bunch of issues amongst the volunteers by doing it.

 

No, it was exclusionary because they only wanted experienced scouters who were going to continue working with scouts. Why waist time teach advanced skills to someone going to leave scouting. Nothing sinister or self-serving. 

I have a feeling this royalty idea was pushed by jealous non WB scouters. Some folks don't want to work for the stature that makes them like themselves better. Oh of course there are always bad actors and some WoodBadgers probably pushed his stature too hard. But, I never met one like that from the old course in our area.

Barry

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26 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

No, it was exclusionary because they only wanted experienced scouters who were going to continue working with scouts. Why waist time teach advanced skills to someone going to leave scouting. Nothing sinister or self-serving. 

I have a feeling this royalty idea was pushed by jealous non WB scouters. Some folks don't want to work for the stature that makes them like themselves better. Oh of course there are always bad actors and some WoodBadgers probably pushed his stature too hard. But, I never met one like that from the old course in our area.

Barry

This is how I understood it, and is consistent with what I witnessed. I never did woodbadge myself (either old, new, or newest version).

It seems that the newest is a basic intro course as opposed to the advanced course of old. What is interesting is I see the newest WBers touting it as something special, and thus "they" are special more than the oldest version WBers who truly were something special.

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27 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

No, it was exclusionary because they only wanted experienced scouters who were going to continue working with scouts. Why waist time teach advanced skills to someone going to leave scouting. Nothing sinister or self-serving. 

I can imagine that - makes sense.  Why teach a class to those who are going to leave.

29 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I have a feeling this royalty idea was pushed by jealous non WB scouters. Some folks don't want to work for the stature that makes them like themselves better. Oh of course there are always bad actors and some WoodBadgers probably pushed his stature too hard. But, I never met one like that from the old course in our area.

Wherever it comes from, there is far too much criticism of and around a course that is intended to help leaders be better Scouters.  Whatever the course is - basic training, IOLS, Powder Horn, or Wood Badge - taking a course is a good thing.  I've said this before - but I get the sense that in the Scouter ranks we've created something of a culture where it's considered OK to be critical of those that are perceived to not be a "real Scouter".  Wood Badge, too many knots, silver tabs, whatever - we spend far too much energy knocking these folks.

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33 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I can imagine that - makes sense.  Why teach a class to those who are going to leave.

Wherever it comes from, there is far too much criticism of and around a course that is intended to help leaders be better Scouters.  Whatever the course is - basic training, IOLS, Powder Horn, or Wood Badge - taking a course is a good thing.  I've said this before - but I get the sense that in the Scouter ranks we've created something of a culture where it's considered OK to be critical of those that are perceived to not be a "real Scouter".  Wood Badge, too many knots, silver tabs, whatever - we spend far too much energy knocking these folks.

As I've said before, I believe the critique comes from the wrong expectation of what is being trained. I believe staffs are much of the problem with expectation as the participants. Until National markets the expectation better, the course will continue to disappoint a lot of folks.

Barry

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10 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I don't know the mindset at the time as it predates me, but I can only guess it had something to do with making the course seem desirable by making it exclusive.  By creating something with status that can be seen as an award, it then makes it something to strive for.  The OA isn't all that different for youth.  By creating an honor, we make it more desirable.  There's probably some logic about human nature in that, but it seems to have created a bunch of issues amongst the volunteers by doing it.

Today that fill the class mentality is an unfortunate by product of the process.  It makes sense that if you're going to have a course that you have a full course.  Unfortunately, instead of leveraging that as an opportunity to encourage those who could benefit to take it, you end up with the "gotta fill the class" byproduct.  I'm not sure how to resolve that one - maybe fewer classes?

Unless you get say 30, there is no course, and no extra beads for Staff.  Resolution - follow the rules.  No "participant" who has not completed basic training for his/her position.

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22 hours ago, ParkMan said:

...  I'm not sure how to resolve that one - maybe fewer classes?

12 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

Unless you get say 30, there is no course, and no extra beads for Staff.  Resolution - follow the rules.  No "participant" who has not completed basic training for his/her position.

For fear of repeating myself, my "master plan for scouter training"  beyond youth protection would include no "basic" training should be considered complete until 1st Class Skills are signed off by an SPL/JASM. There are lots of reasons for this -- the simplest being that a scouter should be "all that" to scouts first and foremost. It's irrelevant what some district/council trainer says. But I digress.

Yes, cubmasters, committee members, and crew advisors should master those skills. Some will need a district training weekend, others will need to visit a troop, or invite a skilled youth to their troop to help train them. The one-size-fits-all IOLS will be tossed aside. Position-specific instruction will come to the fore.

Second, only open Woodbadge to "1st Class Scouts." This means that everyone goes through the trail to 1st class before the course starts. That's the starting point. Sitting with your patrol and reviewing what went well (or not) about your journey to 1st class rank. What kind of leadership did you experience along the way? Who along that trail would you like to emulate? Whose example would you want to avoid?

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58 minutes ago, qwazse said:

For fear of repeating myself, my "master plan for scouter training"  beyond youth protection would include no "basic" training should be considered complete until 1st Class Skills are signed off by an SPL/JASM. There are lots of reasons for this -- the simplest being that a scouter should be "all that" to scouts first and foremost. It's irrelevant what some district/council trainer says. But I digress.

Yes, cubmasters, committee members, and crew advisors should master those skills. Some will need a district training weekend, others will need to visit a troop, or invite a skilled youth to their troop to help train them. The one-size-fits-all IOLS will be tossed aside. Position-specific instruction will come to the fore.

Second, only open Woodbadge to "1st Class Scouts." This means that everyone goes through the trail to 1st class before the course starts. That's the starting point. Sitting with your patrol and reviewing what went well (or not) about your journey to 1st class rank. What kind of leadership did you experience along the way? Who along that trail would you like to emulate? Whose example would you want to avoid?

I think we're mixing a couple of things.

First, and my primary point - regardless of whether Wood Badge is the best designed course or not, it doesn't justify the level of negativity that the course receives.  It's a course designed to help us be better Scouters.  On the averages, Wood Badge courses are better organized and better put on than probably any other training course in the BSA.  Yes, it's easy to find things that could be done better.  Yes, there have been jerks that have take the course.  But, it doesn't justify the open hostility that the course receives.  

On your suggestion of Wood Badge only being open to "1st Class Scouts.'" - why?  Wood Badge isn't an outdoor skills course.  I think an advanced outdoor skills course is a great idea, but it's not this course.  What does it benefit a den leader to get to 1st class.  What does it benefit a Cubmaster to get to 1st class.  A Troop Committee Chair, etc.?  I'd tihnk you could accomplish much the same by having a roundtable discussion on what leadership is and how the various leaders have seen it illustrated in their Scouting roles.   So instead of jumping quickly to skills and techniques around leadership, spend more time defining it first.

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35 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

..  What does it benefit a den leader to get to 1st class.  What does it benefit a Cubmaster to get to 1st class.  A Troop Committee Chair, etc.? ...

Every now and then I've seen CM, DLs, and MCs swimming, tying gear down, taking care of injuries, saying oath and law, etc ... one or two could stand to get on a fitness program ... a few of them have forgotten their rights and responsibilities. But, the issue is not about particular skills, it is about joining a community that inculcates in youth a vision of the pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with their mates.

This forum complains about pack leaders who aren't ready for the troop program, but we give them zero scenarios where they are accountable to a local SPL/JASM. Prior to advanced training, they don't uniformly experience youth leadership because there is no formal scenario where they are required to experience it. They haven't all seen a near-finished product. The expectation that in two weekends you could get every course participant to norm successfully when they all have different baselines is absurd on its face. Even more absurd is that some "roundtable discussion on what leadership is and how the various leaders have seen it" would serve as an adequate simulation of the leadership modalities that the seasoned scout can deliver.

This is about getting more people to and through advanced leadership training. And, IMHO, the impediment is that our scouters lack holistic basic leadership training.

Someone like @5thGenTexan could have benefited from first being accountable to some seasoned scouts. He wanted to pick up a book. Forget all of those cheerleaders with their knots and tartans. This guy wants to know the material before diving in. So ... give him the Handbook. Let him decide if it's worth the effort to master trail to 1st class. If not, he won't waste time applying for the course. If yes, then he will have spent some time showing what he could learn on his own to SPL/JASM. (You know ... those older youth who are bored with troop life and want a challenge. One or two of them might stick around if they knew scouting's future depended on them training the next class of adult leaders.) They could in turn help him fill in any gaps. If that was a negative experience, then stopping there will save him the time, money and discouragement of a course that opens with "let's all put ourselves in a den ...."

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

Every now and then I've seen CM, DLs, and MCs swimming, tying gear down, taking care of injuries, saying oath and law, etc ... one or two could stand to get on a fitness program ... a few of them have forgotten their rights and responsibilities. But, the issue is not about particular skills, it is about joining a community that inculcates in youth a vision of the pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with their mates.

This forum complains about pack leaders who aren't ready for the troop program, but we give them zero scenarios where they are accountable to a local SPL/JASM. Prior to advanced training, they don't uniformly experience youth leadership because there is no formal scenario where they are required to experience it. They haven't all seen a near-finished product. The expectation that in two weekends you could get every course participant to norm successfully when they all have different baselines is absurd on its face. Even more absurd is that some "roundtable discussion on what leadership is and how the various leaders have seen it" would serve as an adequate simulation of the leadership modalities that the seasoned scout can deliver.

This is about getting more people to and through advanced leadership training. And, IMHO, the impediment is that our scouters lack holistic basic leadership training.

Someone like @5thGenTexan could have benefited from first being accountable to some seasoned scouts. He wanted to pick up a book. Forget all of those cheerleaders with their knots and tartans. This guy wants to know the material before diving in. So ... give him the Handbook. Let him decide if it's worth the effort to master trail to 1st class. If not, he won't waste time applying for the course. If yes, then he will have spent some time showing what he could learn on his own to SPL/JASM. (You know ... those older youth who are bored with troop life and want a challenge. One or two of them might stick around if they knew scouting's future depended on them training the next class of adult leaders.) They could in turn help him fill in any gaps. If that was a negative experience, then stopping there will save him the time, money and discouragement of a course that opens with "let's all put ourselves in a den ...."

Seems like this could be solved by having the SM and ASMs invite DLs on an annual adult one night camp out for Intro to Troop fun. You don't need WB for that or First Class either. Rather than a whole weekend of training, a late Sat afternoon, dinner, and early Sunday a.m. scoot in time for church would work for a lot of schedules especially if local. 

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5 hours ago, qwazse said:

Every now and then I've seen CM, DLs, and MCs swimming, tying gear down, taking care of injuries, saying oath and law, etc ... one or two could stand to get on a fitness program ... a few of them have forgotten their rights and responsibilities. But, the issue is not about particular skills, it is about joining a community that inculcates in youth a vision of the pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with their mates.

This forum complains about pack leaders who aren't ready for the troop program, but we give them zero scenarios where they are accountable to a local SPL/JASM. Prior to advanced training, they don't uniformly experience youth leadership because there is no formal scenario where they are required to experience it. They haven't all seen a near-finished product. The expectation that in two weekends you could get every course participant to norm successfully when they all have different baselines is absurd on its face. Even more absurd is that some "roundtable discussion on what leadership is and how the various leaders have seen it" would serve as an adequate simulation of the leadership modalities that the seasoned scout can deliver.

This is about getting more people to and through advanced leadership training. And, IMHO, the impediment is that our scouters lack holistic basic leadership training.

Someone like @5thGenTexan could have benefited from first being accountable to some seasoned scouts. He wanted to pick up a book. Forget all of those cheerleaders with their knots and tartans. This guy wants to know the material before diving in. So ... give him the Handbook. Let him decide if it's worth the effort to master trail to 1st class. If not, he won't waste time applying for the course. If yes, then he will have spent some time showing what he could learn on his own to SPL/JASM. (You know ... those older youth who are bored with troop life and want a challenge. One or two of them might stick around if they knew scouting's future depended on them training the next class of adult leaders.) They could in turn help him fill in any gaps. If that was a negative experience, then stopping there will save him the time, money and discouragement of a course that opens with "let's all put ourselves in a den ...."

If the issue is lack of basic leadership training, then lets augment Wood Badge to cover that.  I don't think creating more obstacles to attending is going to resolve that issue.  That, and I think you'll find that youth signing off adults is inherently not practical.  

I'm all for focusing on youth leadership, but I don't think Wood Badge is the place for that.  Put that in an advanced Scoutmaster course.

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3 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

If the issue is lack of basic leadership training, then lets augment Wood Badge to cover that.  I don't think creating more obstacles to attending is going to resolve that issue.  That, and I think you'll find that youth signing off adults is inherently not practical.  

I'm all for focusing on youth leadership, but I don't think Wood Badge is the place for that.  Put that in an advanced Scoutmaster course.

I thought woodbadge was (not currently) an advanced scoutmaster course? Is that not the point many are trying to make? The problem I see is is that ALL the trainings are Intro level and there is nothing offered which is advanced. Pre-requisites are not obstacles, they are an acknowledgement that skills and knowledge increase on a continuum. Unfortunately this idea has spread throughout all of BSA even for the scouts. This is what created and perpetuates the one and done issue.

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4 hours ago, yknot said:

Seems like this could be solved by having the SM and ASMs invite DLs on an annual adult one night camp out for Intro to Troop fun. You don't need WB for that or First Class either. Rather than a whole weekend of training, a late Sat afternoon, dinner, and early Sunday a.m. scoot in time for church would work for a lot of schedules especially if local. 

A one night camping trip is not nearly enough. I had an ASM (who had a youth scouting experience) struggle for two years going on trips, and having late night conversations before he "finally got it." (his words).

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6 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

I thought woodbadge was (not currently) an advanced scoutmaster course? Is that not the point many are trying to make? The problem I see is is that ALL the trainings are Intro level and there is nothing offered which is advanced. Pre-requisites are not obstacles, they are an acknowledgement that skills and knowledge increase on a continuum. Unfortunately this idea has spread throughout all of BSA even for the scouts. This is what created and perpetuates the one and done issue.

The BSA needs both courses - a leadership development course and a Scoutmaster course.  What problem does making Wood Badge into an advanced Scoutmaster class really solve?  

I'd argue that our most underprepared position in Scouting today is that of our Committee Chairs.  These are the people who need to be building strong packs, troops, and crews and in many instances are simply not prepared to do that.  As such, you've got overloaded Scoutmasters and Cubmasters who simply don't have enough adult help to make the programs work.  You have unit organizations that don't know how to onboard new leaders or how to develop succession plans.  You have units that have no idea of how to recruit or market themselves.  You don't fix that problem with a course for Scoutmasters.

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56 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

A one night camping trip is not nearly enough. I had an ASM (who had a youth scouting experience) struggle for two years going on trips, and having late night conversations before he "finally got it." (his words).

Of course not. But it's better than nothing.  Gotta start looking at how to do better at something rather than doing better at nothing. 

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13 hours ago, ParkMan said:

The BSA needs both courses - a leadership development course and a Scoutmaster course.  What problem does making Wood Badge into an advanced Scoutmaster class really solve?  ...  You don't fix that problem with a course for Scoutmasters.

I get the impression that calling WB an "advanced scoutmaster" course comes off as niche and exclusionary. Not in my mind. Growing up, my Webelos DL could have used some advanced scoutmaster training. He was a good guy, but we were a lot to handle. Same for a lot of moms. They need a lot of resourcefulness training (i.e. 1st Class Skills), and they'll hopefully get that one way or another. Then they need to face down a world of doctors, teachers, and (sometimes) law enforcement -- in addition to their children and spouse.

But I know that moms in my area (and that includes quite a few progressive thinkers) shrink away from any thought of being scoutmaster-ish. So, we play this little game of "Sure, we'll miss you on the camping with us, but while we're out enduring the elements for your boys, can you line up a fundraiser or two?" So, we call WB "advanced leadership" so DLs, CMs, MCs, and CCs feel inclined to take it. But, honestly, the course does not have a lot of specifics on how to run committees or dens. It teaches everyone how to be better scoutmasters. Even if you aren't in that particular position, knowing the thoughts and disciplines of your local SM/ASM makes you excel at your position.

Along those lines, I'm not thinking that a "1st Class Skills" per-requisite isn't the barrier one would think it to be -- even for the disabled scouter who would have to go through the hoops of getting a medical waiver like some of our scouts do. It's a way of giving adults the feeling that, as far as the troop in their neighborhood is concerned, they've arrived. Such scouters would walk into WB with the confidence and experience that they passed muster with the people they care about. I think it would narrow your pool of "eligible" scouters only slightly, but those scouters might be more enthusiastic about the course.

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