Re: Wood Badge concerns
Rodger Morris (rlm@SUNED1.NSWSES.NAVY.MIL)
Tue, 20 Jun 1995 10:15:37 PDT
>I would like to reply to the concerns about Wood Badge expressed by Robert
>Sharek and echoed by John Pannell, that it will take time away from service
>to their troop.
>As a Wood Badge staffer for two previous courses and preparing for another in
>August, let me say that completing a Wood Badge ticket should enhance service
>to the troop, not take away from it. In fact, National has recently
>rewritten the ticket guidelines to emphasize serving the troop.
I concur with Carol Breuer. When I went through Wood Badge in 1973, I wrote
my ticket as an Assistant Scoutmaster. The only time away from my troop was
the week at Wood Badge in Philmont plus the two days travel time each way.
Total, 11 days.
Over the next year, I was working with my troop and with my Scouts to improve
the troop program. Although increasing the quality of the troop's program was
what was addressed in my ticket, this led directly to more boys wanting to be
Scouts as the word got around that we had a dynamite program. About half of our
Scouts over the next four years came in with either broken service in Scouting
or with no prior Scouting background.
Over that 4 year span of time, we went from about 20 Scouts to 63 active Scouts.
The number of Scouts in a troop is not important in and of itself, but it
can be indicative of a high quality troop program being offered, and whether
there is high retention in the troop.
I respectfully submit that one must invest time away from the troop obtaining
advanced training in order for the Scouts of one's troop to obtain the benefits
of that training. Furthermore, in the context of the 22 years I have been active
in Scouting since then, the length of my time away from my troop for Wood Badge
and other training was absolutely trivial and inconsequential when compared to
the benefits thereby derived by the Scouts in my troop.
As always, "your mileage may vary". Summary: Wood Badge was a wise investment of
my time, effort and energy that greatly benefitted the boys in my troop. These
men are now in their thirties. I still hear from many of them from time to
time. Two recurrent themes are:
1) How much they enjoyed the activities we did
2) How much the experience of being a junior leader in the troop has helped them
in adult life when situations arose that required leadership.
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris, email@example.com
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 852, Ventura County Council (CA), BSA
National Woodbadge 416, Philmont, 1973
"I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City