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41 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

OK, but I staffed a few courses myself. I counseled a lot of participants for their Tickets and I worked with a lot of adults in my units.

In general scouters are recruited from the day they join. Not like grabbing them and pulling them to a course, but telling them that WB is the final ultimate course. Oh, it doesn't hurt to get the woggle that all the other experienced leaders wear.

And, I can honestly to We will just have to agree to disagree. 

Barry

What keep striking me in many of these comments about Wood Badge is that I feel like I'm seeing a world painted that I just don't see.  I'm the first to admit that I could be wrong and perhaps that's what it is.

I have a suspicion that there's another possibility - we're seeing differences in how our councils operate. 

  • I only signed up for Wood Badge because I'd heard about it in my youth.  When the flyer came around, it rang a bell and so I said - hey, this was a big deal for the ASM of the troop I was in as a kid, I should look at it.  No one ever mentioned it to me.  I've been to enough roundtables and district committee meetings to know that Wood Badge gets mentioned maybe once or twice a year.  There is next to zero arm twisting in our council
  • The staff on our courses is very well prepared and work exceedingly hard.  They put in tons of hours and have a very high level of integrity in the course.
  • Selection for Wood Badge staff is almost entirely by merit and reputation. Good staffers then continue on to staff again.
  • I rarely see any kind of Wood Badge show.  I only see WB regalia at the occasional council recognition event, round table, or other large council function.  Wearing beads is hit or miss - even amongst staffers
  • I see almost no selection for district or council level positions because of Wood Badge experience.

I write all this out not to suggest that you are wrong - not at all.  But, I wonder how much of this goes back to the same, repeated topic here, of we've got "good" councils and "bad" councils in the BSA.  Some full of hard working Scouters and some full of cliques and politics.  In this dynamic, programs that otherwise are well meaning get caught up and then get blamed.  It's not that Wood Badge itself is fundamentally bad - but that "bad" Scouters have soured yet another Scouting experience.  Wood Badge is certainly not perfect.  It's a training course - it's got good parts and bad parts.  If done well, it can be an asset to Scouting.  Done poorly, it's detracts from Scouting.  This is no different from any program element in Scouting

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If they make IOLS virtual....

zOWspvR_d.webp?maxwidth=728&fidelity=grand

Do you want to trust your Scouts camping with someone who has had only virtual outdoor training? 

On a positive side, for those folks with the outdoor knowledge, skills, and abilities, this should make their life easier

As for most of my folks, well the internet service is lousy, and I see live  IOLS continuing for some time in my area

Edited by Eagle94-A1

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47 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

It's coming. It was announced in that group by someone on the National Committee the same time as virtual ILST/ILSC that virtual IOLS is coming soon/within a week.

I know several councils that did improper/unauthorized virtual IOLS and/or allowed for "testing out" of IOLS due to COVID in the spring. That pissed off the folks a Scouting U. (those left after the purge/layoffs) so this is now coming to allow or authorized virtual IOLS.

Is the virtual IOLS because of Covid?  That was the impression of the point of the virtual ILST/ILSC I saw on that facebook page.

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1 minute ago, ParkMan said:

Is the virtual IOLS because of Covid?  That was the impression of the point of the virtual ILST/ILSC I saw on that facebook page.

Once the camel's nose comes into the tent....

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1 minute ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Once the camel's nose comes into the tent....

This is where I sure hope that local training teams are showing the value of local training.  In-person training is usually better than online training.

The one time in-person training isn't better is when the in-person training is crappy.  

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Here's the first confirmed sighting of (National-sanctioned) virtual IOLS in the wild out of National Capital Council.

I am creating a thread dedicated to this (since it is NOT WB)

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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10 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

If they make IOLS virtual....

Do you want to trust your Scouts camping with someone who has had only virtual outdoor training? 
...

On the other hand, I don't want my scouts near anyone who has only had IOLS -- in-person or otherwise.

Our new SM is and Eagle scout and his two older boys are troop alumni ... he hauled my crew to Philmont ... and has a big heart. Life in general and the pandemic have interrupted his getting in-person training. Online IOLS would be better for him.

Edited by qwazse

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24 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

What keep striking me in many of these comments about Wood Badge is that I feel like I'm seeing a world painted that I just don't see. 

 

OK, your post makes sense.

My WB experiences are all good. Of course I'm the kind of person that makes my experience good.

Our courses are presented very well because our Council has a tradition of presenting good courses. I have observed that some courses are better than others as each tends toward the personality of the course director. But, even the worst course is good. 

As I said, I was excited with the new WB course because I felt it fit better for improving overall unit adult performance. 

All that being said, I talk to a lot of scouters and most of them couldn't really explain exactly what they learned on the whole. Which was OK, because my focus was always on ticket design.

Still, I believe folks struggled to explain the main objective of the course is because the material isn't presented well in the since that each subject or discussion is a piece of a larger picture. If the course director gets it, then the course presents each part as part of the whole. But, if they don't, then the presenters practices and presents each subject as described in the WB Syllabus without much thought to connecting all the presentations together. 

However, no mater how the course is presented, if the participants had a good experience, they believe they attended a good course. As you know, we have a lot of fun.

I'm not asking for the demise of the WB course, it think it's the best they have presently for the goals of team building. If I were king of the world, I would put a Harley in every garage and then I would scrap all the training materials today and start over. Actually I would go back to the pre 2000 courses because I thought they were much better, but I would adjust them to fit today. I would push WB back to an advance SM Course and create an advanced Adult Leaders course that would resemble todays WB a lot in content, but not the troop presentation. I would call it, Flaming Arrow. FA for short. 

I think units today are missing senior scouters who are respected for not only their experience, but their extensive Scouting knowledge and Education. That sounds like you ParkMan. And that is exactly what the WB course did for participants before it got hijacked in the 80s as a king of the hill type program. Woodbadgers where supposed to be respected teachers. Simple, but we are talking the Google Search of Scouting. Respect comes from hard work and humble application. Those people want to improve scouting without taking any credit. It's hard to imagine that kind of respect for even WB Course Directors today. There are a few, but that respect isn't necessary to direct the course.

What the BSA needs right now is an advanced scouter course with the intention of the WB goals. But in a format that a Scouter from a Pack would feel at home as much as the Venturing Scouter. Or the the Committee Chair want of education as the SM. I believe the format would be more on a business professional spending two or three days at a conference center. I ran our council Junior Leadership course that way and the scouts loved it because the new format set all the participants equal at the very beginning. Doesn't matter whether the participant comes from the pack, troop, Venturing Crew, District Committee, or Council Committee, they all start at the same place. 

Most here probably didn't know that the early Wood Badge course was so respected by it's format and content that several businesses would send employees to the course. Others would accept the experience as credit for hiring. Interesting considering the course was intended for Scoutmasters. A lot of it had to do with how the top level staffers worked with the lower level staffers (Team dynamics). But, also once the participant understands how the format leads to  gaining knowledge, the experience can be applied in the business world. That is what I would try get back with the Advance Scouter course. 

As for presenting a course online, I would design courses that would give the scouters more knowledge for their responsibilities in their units, but also wet their appetite for attending the rest of the course together for full respect for being a Flaming Arrow. Still haven't thought through wearing a Flaming Arrow around the neck. Needs more time for that.. 

Barry

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2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

 In-person training is usually better than online training.

Sure was in my experience.  I took the online scoutmaster position specific training quickly (since I was coming back to Scouting from a long absence) and there were parts of it that were the worst virtual training I had ever experienced.  Our leadership in our troop still jokes about the module on the structure of a troop committee meeting.

Long time scouter suggested I do the in person if I had the time because the person teaching it was awesome.  I did and am really glad I did.  Definitely validates that in person can be much much better than the online “(not really) equivalent.”

 

With respect to the recruiting for Woodbadge, there wasn’t much in my council that I experienced.  A couple people mentioned I might like it, particularly since I’d gotten position specific trained quickly.  I remembered that my SM from years ago wore WB beads and I’d never had much of an idea what they were for, but it seemed fitting for me to do it now that I was in a similar role...

 

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5 hours ago, qwazse said:

On the other hand, I don't want my scouts near anyone who has only had IOLS -- in-person or otherwise.

I don't know how to comment on this in the other thread, but absolutely agree. 

Growing problem with scouting today. BSA online training or a couple of weekends of in person training cannot turn people into competent outdoors leaders. In 20 years our adult leader corps has morphed from mostly farmers and outdoors people with a lifetime of experience in the elements to more corporate or suburban type people who are well intentioned but don't know what they don't know. We're making weather calls on phone apps that show red blobs 30 minutes away but if you look up at the sky weather is already over your head. 

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Many Scouters taking WB in my council have not completed Scoutmaster Specific or IOLS.  This is supposedly not allowed, but "filling the course" rules over all else.  Naturally,  when you say to them "Knowing as you do the Aims of Scouting, let us now discuss how the Methods of Scouting meet those Aims," you get some strange looks. " But since you have a totally inadequate five minutes for Methods, there is no time to go back and reprise the inadequate fifteen minute session on Aims and Methods from Scoutmaster Specific.  Pretend training  completed on time is more important to some, like our Wood Badge Coordinator,  than  trustworthy training.  It is not that way in all councils, as I know from staffing elsewhere.

 

(My solution was to offer my time off schedule and to supply disks or flash drives with the material- and other cool stuff, like an actual, coherent  explanation of the Patrol Method, and outdoor program information long gone from BSA literature.)

 

 

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On 10/12/2020 at 4:33 PM, yknot said:

I've never done WB and any interest in it died the first time I watched a bunch of grown adults sing that kooky song at a COH that led to two of our newly crossed over scout families immediately pulling their scouts out, lol

Interesting.  I have to wonder how and why what sounds like a beading ceremony at a CoH would cause someone to pull their scout out of your unit.  Was it particularly obnoxious, and if so, how bad could it have been to make someone say they no longer wanted their child to be involved in scouting???

I will agree that many times beading ceremonies can be a little off putting to those who have to sit through them.  I have seen several done at roundtables that seemed to go on for ever (mostly due to presenters who assume no one in the room has any idea of the history of scouting and WB and needs a nice long lecture on said history).  Unless you have an entire patrol being beaded at the same time, five minutes should be more than enough.  I am not sure when some councils decided that elaborate beading ceremonies were necessary, a simple congratulations for completing your ticket should suffice.

As one who took the course back when it was that weeklong advanced skills program prior to the changes @Eagledad mentioned in 2000, I can say that we never considered the need for a public beading.  My beads and regalia arrived in a plain manila envelope, courtesy of USPS.  The closest to a 'beading ceremony' I had was all of about 2 minutes 2 years later when our course director took off my 2 bead thong and put on my third bead, shook my hand, and on we went with course prep.  This was 48 years ago, and yes, we did sing Back to Gilwell frequently, but did so the same way we would sing any camp song; there was no dancing around in circles as if we were still first year Cubs.

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12 hours ago, yknot said:

I don't know how to comment on this in the other thread, but absolutely agree. 

Growing problem with scouting today. BSA online training or a couple of weekends of in person training cannot turn people into competent outdoors leaders. In 20 years our adult leader corps has morphed from mostly farmers and outdoors people with a lifetime of experience in the elements to more corporate or suburban type people who are well intentioned but don't know what they don't know. We're making weather calls on phone apps that show red blobs 30 minutes away but if you look up at the sky weather is already over your head. 

We commented on this forum 20 years ago of the shift from a majority of new leaders having a youth scouting experience to now a majority of new leaders without a youth scouting experience. It's a huge thing. Scouters without a youth experience required three times more hands-on experience. The BSA noticed the problem after admitting women as troop leaders. I met and coached several female Scoutmasters. I remember be left speechless after listing to one female SM  brag that she introduced more of the Webelos style arts and crafts to her scouts and they love it. I was told by someone in her district that she was loosing scouts right and left.

Not having a youth scouting experience doesn't make the adult bad, but it does challenge a 100 year old program that relied on roles models setting the standard for program quality. Its a shift that needs to be understood so the program can be fixed to deal with the situation.

I brought up this issue again when the forum got hot and heavy on the BSA admitting girls. Admitting girls will bring in more adults with no scouting experience. It's just the way it is. When the majority of scouters don't have a scouting experience, the culture is going to change. There will certainly be less opportunities for new scouters to observe experienced scouters in action. 

I remember one forum member proposing that districts round up their experienced scouters so they can work with the new scouters. But, it's like using Troop Guides to role model patrol method in New Scout Patrols, it's not the same. Add  that National has not be very welcoming to age experienced scouters. 

The culture has to change for the new influx of scouters just like National changed the training curriculum in 2000. My personal fear of the new culture's lack-of, and misunderstanding-of, Patrol Method. Training can teach the definitions Mission, Aims, Methods, Scout Oath and Scout Law until scouters are mumbling in their sleep. But, if they don't "trust" how patrol method changes a scouts character, it will get lost in the future program. 

I enjoyed reading MikeS72's post of his WB experience. It took me back to time when being a mentor for adult leaders was a fun experience. There was a humble pride that your skills could make a difference for making scouting a better place for boys. WB Participants in the old days had to be invited into the course. It wasn't about levels of training, the honor of being invited by the best of the best was acknowledgement of your dedication in the field with the boys. And it usually required many years of experience. Arrogance wasn't a trait of a Wood Badgers back then, in fact you likely didn't know many of the adults who were WoodBadgers. I also got my regalia in the mail, but I never wore it around scouts. In fact, I don't remember ever wearing it except during the WB courses. 

Barry

 

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46 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I brought up this issue again when the forum got hot and heavy on the BSA admitting girls. Admitting girls will bring in more adults with no scouting experience. It's just the way it is. When the majority of scouters don't have a scouting experience, the culture is going to change. There will certainly be less opportunities for new scouters to observe experienced scouters in action. 

The plus side is that it also will bring some former-scout girl dads back into the fold.  As an old Eagle with only daughters, I wouldn't have been involved prior to admitting girls.  Now I'm a Lion Guide with a daughter who says "I like Scouts!" or "can we do that again?" after every activity.

Edited by BlueandSilverBear
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8 minutes ago, BlueandSilverBear said:

The plus side is that it also will bring some former-scout girl dads back into the fold.  As an old Eagle with only daughters, I wouldn't have been involved prior to admitting girls.  Now I'm a Lion Guide with a daughter who says "I like Scouts!" or "can we do that again?" after every activity.

Yes, but admitting girls also gives more  opportunities for dads without a scouting experience to join.  So, it's a wash.

Scouting has always had inexperienced adults join the program, but before membership changes to admit female troop leaders and female scouts, the number of inexperienced adult leaders wasn't large enough to upset the balance of using experienced leaders to maintain a quality program.

Eventually the ratio of new leaders with a scouting experience will rise enough to bring a balance back. Then training will not be the priority it is requiring now. But, the changes to the program in the next few years to accommodate the present lack of experienced leaders are what I fear could gut the real mission of developing ethical and moral decision makers.

It's just one of many challenges my adult kids are dealing with right now.

Barry 

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