Re: Woodbadger's LONG question?
John Pannell (PANNELLJ@DELPHI.COM)
Tue, 10 Oct 1995 01:46:56 -0400
Gary Lee Calvert asked several questions concerning Wood Badge and
As someone who has recently completed the practical portion of a Wood Badge
course I will attempt to answer your questions. Since it is now past 1am
and I fly to the Windy City in the morning, my responses will be briefer
than they probably should be.
It is made clear at the beginning of Wood Badge, at least in my course, that
we were NOT playing Boy Scout. Although we were placed into patrols like
boys, this was a forced arrangement when it is encouraged to let Scouts form
their own patrols. Also we are adults, not children. Conversely, Scout
leaders should not force the boys into a Wood Badge type experience.
As a result of the skills gained in Wood Badge, it is hoped they will be
trainers and leaders of boys and young men, but they are not Wood Badge
There is something to be said for letting the Scouts "struggle" along to an
extent in an effort to let them use their own resources to solve the problem
themselves. In Wood Badge this is referred to as a "discovery" and as
such is frequently allowed to happen. Such initiative is what we should be
trying to instill in our Scouts. However, we should be there to help guide
and counsel the Scouts when such is needed and not let them struggle without
hope or possibility of resolving the issue at hand.
You should help the boys to function as a patrol however do it discretely so
that you are helping them to solve their own problems. Don't give them the
answers all time, encourage them to learn for themselves as much as
Wood Badge definitely teaches tolerance of others and that skills and
knowledge should be shared with others! However, it does teach that we
should be coaxing these skills from the boys and have other boys (the junior
leaders) instruct, train, and inform as much as possible.
I sometimes have found myself excluded since I was not a member of the
"priestly caste" *g*. This depends upon the people and is not a consistent
trait amongst Wood Badgers.
Some adults never get their patrol into a fully functional mode. I know,
mine was sort of like that. IMO, it would most likely be the result of
personality conflicts than lack of skill in the patrol method and camping.
The patrols are carefully formed so that each member complements the other
in the various skill areas. When this happens, it is not fun.
IMO, a lot of the information in Wood Badge should be shared with all who
work with youth. Anyone can use these skills. It does not require beads
to properly do your job. As one of my patrol members said, there are no
secret organizations in the BSA. This includes Wood Badge as well as the OA!
Old North State Council, North Carolina -- soon to be in Chicagoland
Tsoiotsi Tsogalii 70
I used to be a buffalo... (SR-92, working ticket)
...but I will always be an Eagle (1981)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City