Re: wood badge beading ceremony
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Mon, 1 Dec 1997 21:51:18 -0600
>I have been asked by a friend to ask the group a question. Without >going
into a lot of detail, can the award be given without a formal >ceremony?
Sure. You can have a simple ceremony presenting the beads and certificate
to the Scouter at just about any event.
But, as a person on both sides of this (as awardee and awarder), why would
you want "here it is...congrats!" (shake hands and applause)
It's hard to present the Wood Badge without explaining *what it is*
and *what the significance* of the Wood Badge and the experience that
the Scouter took part in. That along would take up five or so minutes in
ANY kind of environment except "here it is..." and now go sit down.
Second, the act of presenting the Wood Badge, while "traditional", also
serves a more useful purpose: you are actually *instructing* the person
how to WEAR the things. If you just give him the neckerchief, still in the
plastic wrap, along with the Woggle and place them on top of a framed
certificate, how is he or she going to know how to *wear them* when there's
NOT another Wood Badger around to show him or her???
Third, the Wood Badge presentation ceremony reminds Scouts and Scouters that
Scouting is a GAME, and those "coaches" that took the time to learn how to
PLAY THE GAME AND MAKE THE GAME EXCITING should be recognized in a public
venue, especially with Scouts and parents present. While the Wood Badge
program is NOT a "adult advancement program", it serves to remind parents
and Scouts (and those awaiting Wood Badge themselves!) that there's a "goal
to be met" by taking those additional courses and by attending the
course...and this...the ceremony...is that goal.
Finally, where *else* would we all be able to stand and sing "The Gilwell
Song" together?? *heheheheehee*
Seriously, Drew, the Wood Badge ceremony is not just a "symbolic gesture"
aimed with the potential of embarrassing someone. It is part of actually
*learning how to play the game of Scouting*. Imagine some Scout coming up
to you after a Troop meeting and telling you "Mr. Mrenna, I've just earned
Life but I don't want it presented at the Court of Honor. Can you just give
it to me in my hands and I'll go home and ask my Mom to sew it on my
Of course, you would honor the Scout's request...but not before you do some
SERIOUS EXPLAINING that first, part of the Scout program is advancement and
from what I was taught, all advancements should be made in front of all of
the Scouts and also in front of their parents, if possible. It's "part of
playing the game". You would also, I'm sure, explain to him that I and the
rest of the Troop are really proud of you and we want others to know how
proud we are of you and your progress. We don't hide things in this Troop,
and that's what you're asking me to do in a large sense. Finally, I want
him to know that I'm proud of his advancement and I want to "use him" to
spur others onward toward doing the same thing.
That's what you need to tell this person, Drew:
*Scouting is played by the rules, and part of those rules is that
recognitions are made in public, and when all possible in front of Scouts
and fellow Scouters and parents.
*We, those of us in your Wood Badge Troop or Pack are very proud of you and
your progress toward completing your "ticket"....many of us have had the
honor of working with you, and what you are asking us to do is to "cheat
ourselves" and to "hide the fact" that you have completed this special
personal program. We can't do that, because Scouting is not about "keeping
* *I* am very proud of you and I want others to be equally proud of you and
your participation and completion. I also want to "use you", a terrible
term but it's the truth, to spur others out there into participating in a
future Wood Badge Troop or Pack or as a staffer. I can't do that
effectively if you're not there....and you need to be there because we're
*asking you* to be there.
To answer your question, yes, the Wood Badge can be presented just like any
other training award during a Troop meeting, a Court of Honor, a District or
Council function or meeting or even as part of a board meeting with the
person's regular employer. But a significant part of why we do the beading
ceremony is lost and so is the potential for encourging others to
participate in the Wood Badge program; not to mention the loss of youth
pride in an adult as well as the loss of another opportunity to strike out
with "Back to Gilwell, Happy Land...I'm going to work my ticket if I can!"
Hope this helps! Please let us all know what he or she decides!
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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