Re: Wood Badge Beads in reply to Mary Lee
(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 16 May 1991 17:36:00 EDT
I would like to add to Chris Haggerty's discussion on Wood Badge...
but first, I have to admit that I was laughing out loud at your comment. I am
sorry, but that was temporary insanity and insensitivity on my part (and those
others out there reading her comment...GIVE THE LADY A BREAK!)
Wood Badge is the ONLY Scouting leadership training common to ALL members of the
World Association of Scouting. ALL countries use the same format and
all countries use the premise that "in order to understand the program's worth,
you must be a part of the program literally and physically".
The Wood Badge experience...for Boy Scouting Leaders, Cub Scouting leaders and
Trainers, and Exploring Leaders and Trainers (it is called the "Exploring
Advanced Seminar" in the east; the West call it "ELI", or the Exploring
Leadership Institute) all have the same components:
ONE: a period of pretraining (for Boy Scout leaders it is the completion of
at least two years of service in a position directly related to Troop operation
(ie, Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Varsity Team Coach, Assistant Coach,
members and Chairs of Troop or Team Committees, Unit and District Commissioners
and Roundtable Commissioners) and completion of either Boy Scout Leader or
Commissioner Basic (in some Councils, it is BS Leader Basic REGARDLESS of
position). In Cub Scouting, at least three years in a Pack as a leader
(excluding Pack Committee members and Chairs which are NOT eligible unless they
are also serving as a Den or Pack leader), Commissioner, or as part of the
District or Council's Cub Training Team. All must also participate in a Pow
Wow and a Train-the-Trainers Course prior to attendance (since the course is
a trainer's course as well as a course of Pack and district leaders). Explorers
(including youth members of Explorer Posts or Ships 18 years of age or older)
must have completed the Explorer Leader Basic Course and the Exploring
Service Team (read that Commmissioner, gang) Course as well as the Train-the
Trainer Course prior to attending.
TWO: Selection and attendance at the Course. The Courses are held in most Counci
s yearly or biyearly (depending on the caliber of the Course Staffs which
come for the most part from the local Council). Some Councils work out a
deal with neighboring councils where Council "A" hosts the course during the
first year, inviting participants from Council "B", which hosts the next course
and invites Council "A" and so on. The courses are VERY expensive for a local
Council to put on (the budget for a Boy Scout Leader's Woodbadge Course, total
runs about $75-8500!!!) EVERYONE....staff and participants--pay the same price
for the course. (yes, staff must pay to attend....there is no "free ride here"
just because you went through the course before!) You receive an invitation to
attend from your Council Training Chairman and the Scout Executive of your
Council. Once you accept there are a few alterations that must be done to your
uniform to participate. EVERYTHING except your Council Strip and maybe (depend
ing on course director) your awards goes off your shirt. You are given a
"1" (for troop or team or pack 1) to wear instead of your pack or troop number.
Boy Scout WB gives you and assigns you to a Patrol. Cub Scout WB assigns you to
a Den and give you a den number. Exploring courses assign you to a "crew" or
assigns you a Post number corresponding to the Course number.
(the Boy Scout WB course gives you a Patrol Medallalion. I do try and correct
myself as I go along!)
Now, Mary Lee, I think you understand now what happens. During the entire
7days of the "long courses" or three weekends for the short courses (the Explori
ng Seminar is four days while the ELI is 10 days over three weekends and a
"finishing day"), you and five, six or seven other once starangers are learning
about Scouting by doing Scouting. You do the things that kids do in a typical
Scout Troop. you learn how to manage fourty or sixty guys at the same time.
You learn crafts and tools and "tricks of the trade" that stimulates their
interest in the program further. You learn from the best Scouters and Exploring
leaders there are out there...all selected to serve on staff because of their
excellence in running successful Scout units and coaching others. At the end
of the course, you sit down with your fellow Patrol, Den or Crew/Post and
literally the tears come. You have jelled togethter as a group. Worked together
as a team and you understand that Scouting is more than a outdoors club or
even a educational tool. It is also a growth tool. You grow as well.
THREE: During the last day of the course, you sit with your Patrol, Den or
Crew/Post advisor and plan a personal strategy as to how you will use this
training back in your unit in your present job. This is a detailed "management
by objectives" evaluation of yourself. You will use this to meet the second
phase of all Woodbadge courses....the application period. During this period
(which must last at least 6 months and not later than 2 years), you DO the
things that your described on your strategy (called a "ticket"). During thjis
time, you will be coached by your fellow Den/Patrol/Crew/Post members, by
your Advisor, and by other Woodbadge trained Scouters. If you change Scouting
jobs, you have to develop and implement a new ticket unless you get special
permission from the course director not to do so.
At the end, just like Peter found out, there is a "pot of gold", a reward. This
comes in the form of a special ceremony held ideally during the Troop or
Pack or Post meeting or at a major Council event. At that time, you receive
the Woodbadge (as chris explained earlier...two small wooden beads on a leather
thong), a parhement certificate attesting to this honor, and a special
neckerchief with a woggle (slide) to be worn in lieu of a unit's neckerchief.
Exploring leaders receive a specially engraved gavel and a lapel pin during
the ceremony and is handed the neckerchief and woggle (the reason is that
most Explorer Posts do not have a uniform for the Beads to go on...)
Two Beads (browze gavel band) symbolize a "learner" (participant) of a
Course; three beads (gold band) symbolize a staff member (which also, Mary Lee,
must complete a "ticket" just like each participant) and four beads is for
the Course Directors (silver bands). There is only ONE person I know of
that holds five beads..Bill Hillcourt as the National Director of Training
for Scouting and the one responsible for "americanizing" the Woodbadge program
in the U.S.
Finally, Mary Lee, some Woodbdge manners:
* if you are holder, you are obligated to wear the beads at all times while
in uniform. They are worn UNDER the neckerchief (either the tan one if you
do not belong to a unit or your troop's neckerchief) in back and in FRONT of
any hanging awards or the ends of the neckerchief.
* don't refer to them as "two chips on a string" or nothing like that. It takes
the average person four year to earn the award, including the pretraining part.
It is a very highly sought award.
*Eagle and Foxes are slow and upstarts, but the Beavers are the best!
(you develop a kids' "my patrol's better than yours" mentallity during the
* talk to Scouters in your Council about "that course you take to get the
wooden badge" and you might get a longer (I doubt it, but you could) explain-
ation of the course than I just did!
Seriously, take Chris's advice and talk with your Council there about attending
a Cub Scout Woodbadge course.
And tell then that Den 2 is the BEST!!
Mike Walton (a proud Blue Beaver and a Crafty Frontiersman)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City