Charlie Thorpe (charlie2@RO.COM)
Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:46:13 -0600
Hello All -
Hooboy...I keep reading the messages with the "Wood Badge Ticket help!"
subject, hoping all the while that they might contain some Wood Badge
Ticket help! Just wishful thinking I guess...<g>
I certainly didn't mean to start the discussion going again about Wood
Badge "secrecy" (pro's or con's). I am NOT a fan of the "secret society"
or the "gotta wait til you are good enough to be invited" school of thought
on WB. I am well aware that some few Wood Badge courses in some few areas
drifted into traditions that became such an "end unto themselves" that they
started to get in the way of participants having an effective training
The "discovery method" of training can be a very powerful and exciting way
to learn many subject areas. One of my favorite educators of all time
(Maria Montessori) convinced me of two things: we learn best what we come
to understand with all of our senses AND this very practical down-to-earth
approach works very well even when it provides the basis for extrapolating
out into complex abstractions. The "discovery method" is a dadgum good way
to teach adults such complex topics as "how to organize/run a Troop" and
"how you develop teamwork and team spirit in a Patrol." It is used in
Wood Badge because it works very well for high level training for sharp
Even more important...the "discovery method" is how Scouts learn best in a
fully functional Troop environment! For over eight decades, the grand game
of Scouting has been "hands on"...it never was intended to be done by tidy
rows of quiet little boys (hands folded in their laps) being lectured at by
adults. If the Troop environment is rich in opportunities for the boys to
learn the skills and facts needed to succeed in Scouting, they will soak it
up like sponges and have huge fun in the process. Lessons learned via this
"discovery method" (sort of a Scouting version of "ON the Job Training"!)
will stick with them all their lives and provide the springboard for more
abstract learning topics (values, etc.) later on. All we Scouters gotta do
is help it get started and nudge it back on track every now and then.
Adults leaders don't have much of a chance to make good use of the
"discovery method" in the unit unless they are somehow taught how to get
the most out of it. Living it and using it while learning important
Scouting theory in Wood Badge becomes a win-win situation for
everybody...especially the Scouts <g>.
BUT, a couple of conditions have to be met for it to work at Wood Badge:
the Wood Badge staff has to understand how to put the "discovery method"
into use without allowing healthy confusion to become an unhealthy "put
down" (with possible growth into VERY unhealthy feelings of resentment
the participants need to start out (and remain) willing to "play the game."
BOTH the staff and the participants can honk up the "discovery method"
something fierce. Both groups of Scouters have to firmly believe in BOTH
the value of the organization they belong to AND the value of learning how
to serve it better.
With the above preamble being said, I would like to ask a few questions.
Jim Kelland said:
>...I just couldn't handle being talked to like I was eleven. In fact I
>couldn't stand it when I was eleven! (grin)...
Steve in Newark said:
>...The question I asked them is 'why did you allow yourself to be treated
>that way?' Mine was not that many years ago and the same method was
>attempted with our groups. A couple of us had a major row with the staff
>and explained to them in no uncertain terms that we were all adults, that
>we expected to be treated like adults...
Jason Cruse said:
>My entire patrol just about went home on Sunday evening of Wood Badge
>this past summer because of being talked down to...
Bob Myers said:
>...and got the answer you would normally get from a Woodbadge
>staffer, I would have to have a serious talk with him. The staff attitude
>that is encouraged by the design of the course in its greatest liability.
I wonder if you guys could be talked into giving us an example of what you
are talking about? It might help us understand your comments if you could
describe some of the context of the situations. I am very curious as to
whether these situations might be a "natural" fallout of the "discovery
method" or if somebody on staff just stubbed their toe <g>.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City