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Is Wood Badge over as we know it?


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#21 MOMstable

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Posted 15 November 2001 - 06:17 PM

I just finished (October 6) our Woodbadge course WE3-55-01 for the South Coast Woodbadge Cluster (Monterey Council, Santa Clara Council, Peninsula-Skyline Council combined). This was a terrific program, with knowledgable staff. They even said they were surprised at how well various aspects of the new course worked. As a Cub Scout leader/District trainer, I was please at how inclusive they tried to be to all of the programs. Some of the staff needed to work on inclusive language and not using jargon, but mostly they were very good at making all of us feel welcome and important. As for the outdoor skills: One of the criteria that the Woodbadge course here will be using in the future is that all of the participants must pass the Outdoor Skill course for their level (Baloo Outdoor Skills, Webelos Outdoor Skills, Boy Scout Leader Outdoor Skills etc.) as a prerequisite to applying for Woodbadge (This didn't happen for our course as the Outdoor Skills classes had not been offered yet). Because some of us were less proficient with camping, etc. skill, we were teamed in patrols with more experienced leaders. My patrol of 5 had 2 Cubscout leaders, and 3 Boy Scout leaders, 2 with high adventure experiences, and ranged in age from 22 to 52, one who had limited English skills ( another challenge). The first weekend all the meals were provided, the second we were responsible for our meals and enough to share with some staff. As a champion car camper, I took Friday night dinner as we were in the regular campsites. Saturday morning we packed up our campsites into back packs and hiked to the backpacking overnight site. Those of us who were not experts at backpacking were tutored by those who were (I packed up, though I was driven to the site due to severe asthma. I also had to bring additional supplies (health and food related) because of diabetes.) We learned a lot. The Cub Scout leaders learned what our boys are going to be looking forward to, and the Boy Scout leaders received a reminder of how to help novice campers. All of us learned new outdoor cooking recipes for the 2 different types of camping experiences. No, I didn't learn 15 different knots, or pioneering skills. But I did learn how a patrol really works, and the dynamics of a group thrown upon its own resources. We learned about how our individual programs complement and support each other, or at least how they should. I also learned different leadership types and applications, communication skills and found, I hope, life long friends. Oh and this new song... "Back to Gilwell...", which is driving my husband crazy. When I first started as a Scouter one old timer said to my face, "Cub Scouts doesn't count, its for women and children. Boy Scouts are where we build men." Thankfully, the New Woodbadge Course is doing its best to eliminate this attitude and contribute to an overall "Seamless" Scouting.
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#22 Pocketknife

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Posted 18 November 2001 - 08:09 PM

jmcquillan, After several years of sending in interest forms (they do not hold applications over from year to year but insist that those interested re-submit), I was finally "invited" to attend Wood Badge training. I have been involved in Scouting for over 30 years having served in various youth and adult positions and units. I know I might get a lot of flak on this, but it is clear to me, that getting "invited" to attend Wood Badge is more who you know than who you are. The entire process, as far as I have been exposed to, is secretive and it is very difficult to uncover any information about it. At least in the Councils that I have been in. Inquiries to paid professional Scouters who should have the answers resulted in being directed to volunteer Scouters who gave inaccurate or incomplete information. I discovered that no records where kept as to who submitted "interest" forms - unless they were "invited". "Interest" forms where not date and time stamped on receipt at the Council office so that there was no possibility of tracking them. For several years I turned in interest forms and when I called to check up on them, I was told that they had no record of ever receiving them. My understanding, according to the volunteer Scouters I was directed to is that unit Scouters are supposed to have priority yet District and Council Scouters are routinely "invited". I don't know for sure if that policy is true as I have not seen a copy of the polciy/procedure. Applicants are not informed of the selection process and to date I have yet to receive a copy of the official procedures for selection (why is it secret?). Loyalty is a two way street. In some Councils, Wood Badge is viewed, especially by those with the beads, as a badge of honor, a status symbol, rather than the commitment and advanced training that it is supposed to be. Some Wood Badgers look down upon non-Wood Badgers. Sad but true. There will be those of you who disagree with my comments but there are those of you out there that know exactly what I refer to. Those of us that ask these hard questions are not appreciated at all. Why should we have to be "invited" when the program should be open to all that qualify? It is the only Scouter training that I have been exposed to that one is "invited". I have given and given and given as a volunteer Scouter, quietly, just doing what I can when I can. I virtually had to beg to attend Wood Badge. I want Wood Badge training so that I might be a better and more skilled Scouter, a better trained resource for the youth members. No other reason. I am pleased that I got "invited" but I am dismayed that it took so many years. I hope that my Wood Badge training experience will be good, that it will provide information that if I use it properly will make me a more vaulable resource to Scouting, and that if I get my beads, I will do what I can to promote Wood Badge for what it is.
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#23 sst3rd

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Posted 18 November 2001 - 10:41 PM

I took the old Woodbadge Course about 10 years ago. I too, simply wanted validation of my many years of experience in Scouting. I enjoyed the program, but other than the fellowship and making new friends, I learned little that was new. In our Council, Woodbadge is always promoted, particularly after our District Leader Trainings (I know the names have changed). Most Woodbadgers I know are great, fun, and dedicated Scouters, and draw little attention to themselves. However, the Woodbadge Staffers are always looking down at regular Scouters (Woodbadge or not). During my training, I felt that, and documented this attitude on my Woodbadge Ticket. My Advisor did NOT want me to turn in my ticket as such, but I insisted. Several years later, I ran into my advisor (a great friend and long time Scouter whose opinions I value). He mentioned that the following Woodbadge Course that was taught, he and all of the older Woodbadge Staffers were asked not to participate anymore, and that a group of young lions were taking over. This was a tremendous loss to say the least. I hate politics in Scouting, but it's everywhere. So, to answer your original question, if you have the Basic Leader Training, you were encouraged to take Woodbadge. They always wanted a good sized group. No one had to be "invited." Our Council has a Woodbadge Course every other year. An adjacent Council has a course during our "off" year. sst3rd
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#24 andrews

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Posted 19 November 2001 - 07:22 AM

In my current council (Longhorn Council, Fort Worth, Texas), you get "selected" by filling out an app and being the first to pay you full registration fee. I don't know how it works elsewhere. Brad
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#25 Apatschin75

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Posted 12 December 2001 - 09:28 AM

In our council, Wood Badge is still done by invitation only. You send in a request for an invitation, certifying that you have met the prerequisites and an invitation is sent. The only thing "exclusive" about it is that you meet the prerequisites, which usually involve preparatory training and sometimes tenure.
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#26 wbbearsr452

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Posted 03 April 2002 - 11:06 PM

BEAR RULE THE WOOD SR 452 I am a bear in SR 452 the first new WoodBadge course tought in the USA. There are 48 people in the course and for you old badgres don't worry the course is AWSOME!!!!!!:) On to the outdoor portion and I'm going to work my ticket if I can :)
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#27 Rescue Guy

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Posted 04 April 2002 - 08:09 PM

Ok, I have read through all of this and I am new to this forum, but I am currently attending the new Woodbadge program here in SC, in fact, I am back on Gilwell Feild at 7 am in the morning. The first weekend was last month and yes, we had classroom setting, but we also camped and completed outdoor experences. The first weekend (3 FULL Days) the staff ran the activities and taught outdoor and leadership principles. The past month was spent in "off-site" patrol meetings where we planned meals, planned and completed a patrol project, and planned a conservation project. Tomorrow we begin another 3 full days of campng, cooking and the patrols doing the activities, leading the groups, in other words, developing leadership skills in a Patrol Method of Scouting. As a Cub Scout leader and a Scout as a youth, it was great to network with the others there, the BS leaders, and Venturing, not just the CS leaders. Never attending the "old" WB, I can not comment on the differences, but I feel as a leader in a emegency occupation, this has been one the best experences in leader development I have ever attended but with the Scouting slant.. Hope my comments contribute and hope if you are considering taking WB but is disapointed at the talk of the new format, remember some of the same comments were made about Henry Ford. Rick Pack 316 SC
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#28 wrhatfield

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 06:28 AM

Rick, it looks like you went to a course that used the "old" school. The "new" one is more classroom then outdoor.
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#29 jmcquillan

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 09:54 AM

Our Council has been rather unsuccessful to date in getting one of the new WB courses off the ground. It would seem that the 3-day (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) issue is the problem. Getting that Friday time off from work is pretty much a no-go for many, and the courses aren't filling up to the minimum. Anyone else seeing that?
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#30 evmori

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 10:08 AM

In my district (Consetoga Greater Pgh Council) woodbadge is promoted constantly. I attended the NE-V-120 course in 1995 and loved every minute! I learned a lot & came home a better Scouter. I understand the new woodbadge is more classroom intensive. I just hope the outdoor portion isn't watered down. Ed Mori Scoutmaster Troop 1 "I use to be an Eagle, a good old Eagle too....."
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#31 Bob White

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 10:36 AM

It's not that the oudoor program is watered down it. You still camp outdoors at least one weekend. What has changed is that the emphasis is all on the leadership training. Rather than just have highly trained Boy Scout leaders, it's been realized that we all benefit from highly trained Scouting volunteers. That includes troop leaders, pack leaders, den leaders, district committee volunteers, commissioner staffs, unit committee members etc.. The Outdoor skills have been largely removed because they are not relevant to all leaders. Instead the Tenderfoot to First Class skills that used to be in Wood Badge are now in Introduction to Outdoor Skills, a required course for all Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters, prior to attending Wood Badge. These skills are not relevant to other volunteers and so they are not required to take them and they are not exposed to them in Wood Badge. Why make them learn something they do not use in the job? If their job Changes and they become a SM or ASM then they will get the outdoor skills as they train for that job. Advanced outdoor skills are now in a course called Powder Horn.
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#32 sm164

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 10:48 AM

This problem isn't unique to the 3 day weekend courses. I just heard yesterday from the SPL at my experimental course in 2000. He is now the course director for a 5 day course planned for August 2002 in the PA Dutch area. As of now his course is only half full and he is concerned that he'll have to cancel it if he doesn't meet the minimum enrollment. If you're interested in attending I'm sure that they would love to have you join.
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#33 Rescue Guy

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Posted 07 April 2002 - 10:19 PM

I just returned this evening from the second weekend of the course. The 2 weekends and the time between were fantastic. We did camp the first weekend, but that is because we were doing the program at the BS camp. The only sleeping arrangments we had were tents, but, the complete program is great!!!!! Its ticket time, but after the experence of the course, I am so charged up now, I feel beter prepared and able to do anything. Kudos to the developers and the staff of SR-456!!! If you havent considered WB, you are missing out, even the "senior" woodbadgers should look at the new one.. either staff or as a patrol member. Rick Pack 316 SC I used to be a buffalo......a good ole...
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#34 Bob White

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Posted 07 April 2002 - 10:33 PM

Thanks Rick, I can't tell you how glad I am to hear you found it a rewarding exprerience. I've only met a couple of the others who were involved but I'll pass along your good words. Bob White (We may be the lowest on the Wood Badge food chain but we're wirey.)(This message has been edited by Bob White)
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#35 evmori

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Posted 08 April 2002 - 08:20 AM

Bob, I have heard a that bobwhites are chickens in white tights? Is that true? When I took woodbadge, the bobwhite patrol yell was "Yo, bird". I loved it! Ed Mori Scoutmaster Troop 1 "Eagle soar above all"
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#36 wbbearsr452

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Posted 08 April 2002 - 12:13 PM

Hello, Fellow WB Well just got back from the second part of the new WB course.the outdoors protion and it was awsome. The bears led the way and a good time was had by all the critters, yes including the Bob whites "the Big Bad Bob whites". The staff of SR 452 well up to the dask and very well trained in the new WB syllabus. This Bear did get cought in the QM area @ 2:00 am on Saturday by the Scoutmaster wife a wb herself (bear). Fear not old WB the course is in very good hands and this bear will return one day to Gill Well Hall to pass on the lessons learned. Manny Bear - SR 452
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#37 edmarks

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Posted 30 April 2002 - 11:03 PM

I recently completed the second weekend of of a WB21, SR-496, camping both weekends at Camp Flaming Arrow in Lake Wales, Florida. This February/March course was publicized at the Trainer Developement Conference in August 2001. WB staff were both students as well as staff at the trainer course. The Gulf Ridge Council also promoted the WB course at our district's Roundtable. The course roster filled up in the last week before the course started. Two students who attended were on standby. It appeared that if you had BLT for your position in Scouting and paid the fee, it was first-come, first served. Flyers and applications for the Gulf Ridge Council's second WB21 course in August 2002 were handed out at the end of our course. Gulf Ridge Council's stated long range goal is to have ALL adult leaders WB21 trained by the end of their second year. By the way, I recently completed an MBA degree. The leadership and management techniques taught in WB21 compare to those I learned in business school, only applied directly to the needs of Scouting. An executive level six day training course for $150? While camping with the Scouts? Highly recommended. And ... the Antelopes were the best patrol!
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#38 George505

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Posted 05 June 2002 - 10:17 AM

Perhaps it should be. If Wood Badge remained as we knew it it would be stuck in the 20th century. I'm a Eagle from Course 305, way back when Wood Badge courses had 3 digit numbers. (1967) One of my rememberances from this course is one member recalling a meeting with a Scout Master from India. Their conversation turned to the subject of becoming a Scout Master. The Indian gentleman described a course similar to Wood Badge which was a requirement for becoming a Scout Master in India. He then asked the US leader what were the requirements in the US. The US leader responded "Say Yes". Perhaps the introducton of Wood Badge earler in the leader's life will be good for the program. I've been back to Gillwell
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#39 thwatson

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Posted 05 June 2002 - 11:46 AM

I would like to enter some observations on Woodbadge for the 21st Century, which I recently took at Camp Chief Little Turtle in the Anthony Wayne Area Council in Indiana. Course C3802 was conducted by Jay Herbrand and staff, and was the best leadership / project management training course I have taken in my 30 years in engineering management. The staff did an excellent job of not only following the curriculum, but of presenting it in an inspirational and informational manner. It easily exceeded my MBA courses in quality of instruction and content. I would highly recommend it to all. Many, if not all, of the unit leaders in our area need and would benefit from the principals and techniques taught in the course. With the broad spectrum of backgrounds in Scouters, many of us could be much more successful in our scouting leadership and in our non-scouting careers by using the techniques taught in the course. It is a tremendous bargan in training. With that said, it was not what I was looking for, nor what I feel I need most. As others have commented, it focuses on leadership, team building, and project management. What I need to know, and what Scoutmaster Fundamentals (at least the old course I took five years ago) did not cover, was the METHODS of Scouting that I need to teach our scouts so that they can run the troop. I am not talking about the basic structure of the troop like patrols, PLC, etc., nor outdoor skills like backpacking and firebuilding. But things like how best to train Scouts to be a Senior Patrol Leader, Scibe, or Quartermaster. What their job is, and how to do it. How to conduct Junior Leader Training (which like Woodbadge, now focuses on leadership, not what the job is.) How to train the scouts to run an annual planning conference (rather than adults doing it for them). The scouts need be trained not only in leadership theory, but also in what tasks they need to do. I was a scoutmaster for two years before I found out that the scouts should be doing most of these things. Now I am scurrying to get our unit back on track with the program of being Boy Lead. The necessary tasks and how to teach them is what I was looking for, but which was not covered well by the new Wood Badge. I guess what I am trying to say is that the Method of Scouting, by its nature, teaches leadership if it is followed. With its new emphasis on leadership directly, the BSA may be ignoring the very thing that has been so successful, the Method of Scouting. If it doesn't teach the scouting program, then it leaves the program more and more up to the individual interpretation of the unit leaders. I am always impressed by the sincerity and integrety of my peers in scouting, but their perspectives on what the program should be very widely. I had expected Wood Badge to bring the program or method much more tightly into focus for our group, but that was the one thing that didn't happen. Our ticket items showed a broad diversity of how to implement the scouting program. So in one way, I was greatly disappointed in Woodbadge for the 21st Century. What I don't know is whether the old Wood Badge Course covered those topics.
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#40 Bob White

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Posted 05 June 2002 - 01:53 PM

The goal of wood badge is to help you develop as a leader, not just as a scout leader. For it to focus on some of the subjects you suggest would make the course irrelavent to other program leaders in the course. Good leaderskills can be used in any program, in or out of scouting. Wood Badge is designed to give you that strong structure which you can then use in a variety of settings. Many of the topics you mention are alreday a part of Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training which was a prerequesite to attending Wood Badge, and in the The Scoutmaster Handbook and the various levels of Junior Leader Training. Bob White
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