Re: Woodbadger's LONG question?
Marc Solomon (msolomon@TEK1.TEKNIQ.COM)
Mon, 9 Oct 1995 17:32:10 -0500
At 01:11 PM 10/9/95 -0500, Gary Calvert wrote:
> * Does the Woodbadge training leave the trained Leaders with the
> goal of setting up Scout Units by simulating the training that
> they themselves just went through by essentially placing the
> Scout Leaders as the Woodbadge trainers and having the Scouts
> meld into cohesive patrol units simply by having been placed
> into the roll of Woodbadger?
NO. The Wood Badge course uses the patrol method to teach Scouters how
patrols SHOULD work. It also teaches a set of leadership principles that,
if applied appropriately, SHOULD allow Scouters to teach the patrol method
to their Scouts. To expect Scouts to learn the same way as adults is
ridiculous and not the point of Wood Badge. Wood Badge goes at a hectic
pace due to the short amount of time a Wood Badge course is given to
complete its sylabus. We would never expect Scouts to have to cover that
amount of information in that amount of time. Some of the methods used in
Wood Badge are appropriate for teaching Scouts, some are meant to teach
> * The impression I have of the Woodbadger's who were trained and
> the Woodbadge trainers on the campout was that the effort was
> to leave the Scouts to struggle at each task as a group and
> through some "miracle" or "awakening" they would after a few
> days become a functioning unit. Is this true?
NO. While Scouts should be allowed to make mistakes and taught to learn
from there mistakes, Wood Badge teaches that Scouting should be FUN! A
campout where the Scouts did not have any fun is not a successful campout.
If they spent the whole time struggling, they probably had no fun. A
successful troop is one where the Scouts are running the program. To have
that, the boy leaders must be trained on how to run a program and the rest
of the Scouts need to be taught how to work as a group.
Chances are that the group of Scouters you are talking about did struggle at
each task until they had an "awakening". My Wood Badge patrol understood
most things quickly and were able to gel into a working patrol by the end
(if not the middle) of the first weekend.
> * Should I have went ahead and given one on one assistance to the
> boys to get them on there way to working as a patrol? (group
YES and NO. When it comes to organization, other than explaining to the
patrol that they have to work together to accomplish their goals, you should
only be talking to their patrol leader. To go further with this, in
actuality, you should only be talking with the SPL and have him talk to the
patrol leader in question. It is his responsibility and you are just their
to assist him. When it comes to Scouting skills, if it is one that no
Scouts in the Troop are proficient in, then you should teach the skill. If
any Scout is proficient, you should have the SPL recruit that Scout into
teaching the skill. It will be a learning lesson then, not only for those
who have to learn it, but for him who has to teach it.
> * As good as Woodbadge appears to be, don't they teach tolerance and
> sharing skills and information with others?
Tolerance is something that is hard to teach and I do not recall it be
covered in Wood Badge. As for sharing skills and information, that is a
primary principle taught in Wood Badge. If the Scouters you are talking
about missed this in Wood Badge, blame them and not the course!
> * Do other non-Woodbadge Scouter's find themselves in an excluded
> atmosphere, where information is shared only among Woodbadger's?
Before I took Wood badge, I do not recall being left out of any information
I needed to know to do my job as a Scouter. What I have noticed, not only
with Wood Badge, but with other courses as well, is that those who have
graduated from a particular course share a lingo learned from that course.
You may feel left out because they speak the lingo and you don't.
> * I have been told that some adults taking Woodbadge never become
> a working patrol. Do these people fail because they lack the
> collective camping, Scouting skills, and foresight to see how a
> patrol system is to work?
There is no passing or failing Wood Badge. There is only completing your
ticket or not completing your ticket. All those that attend all the
sessions complete the learning phase of Wood Badge. After the learning
phase comes the pratical phase where they have to complete their ticket.
The ticket is a list of goals the participant has set and has to complete
within 6 to 24 months from the time the learning phase is completed.
Those that lack the collective camping, Scouting Skills, and foresight to
see how a patrol system is to work can still complete the learning phase of
Wood Badge, but it will not be as enjoyable as if they did have the
collective skills to do such. I know that my Wood Badge staff tried (and I
feel succeeded) to form patrols with a mix of both experienced and green
Scouters. This gave each patrol some members with camping and Scouting
skills and the chance to teach each other something. I learned as much from
the more experienced Scouters as the less experienced Scouters. Having the
chance to share my knowledge reminded me how to do such with Scouts without
talking down to them!
> * I can understand the camaraderie between Woodbadger's and a certain
> amount of "insider" activity, but should that include what should
> be shared for the better good of the Boy Scouts?
The whole reason for Wood Badge is to train Scouters in how to be good
leaders and to have them practice what they learned, first within the
confines of the Wood badge troop, and, secondly, back with their own units.
The whole reason for the pratical phase of Wood badge (working the ticket)
is to have the participants take what they learned at Wood badge and
practice it with their unit.
>I decided not to quit the troop, (Scouting volunteers seldom quit serving)
>but I need to have some of these questions answered so I can put the
>summer camp in prospective.
It sounds to me like the leaders you have mentioned haven't understood the
lessons of Wood Badge. Do not blame the course for the shortcomings of some
of its graduates. That would be like blaming Scouting because some boys who
have been through it grew up to become murderers.
Yours in Scouting,
| Marc W. Solomon | Unit Commissioner |
| firstname.lastname@example.org | Sycamore District |
| email@example.com | Blackhawk Council, IL |
I use to be a wise old owl . . . Now I am just old
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City