Re: Woodbadge Training
Scott Begin (sbegin@MCS.NET)
Sun, 13 Sep 1998 19:20:27 -0500
At 10:32 AM 9/13/98 -0500, Tim Hewitt wrote:
>I have one other caution about Wood Badge training for non-Scouters.
>If we start letting people outside of Scouting take Wood Badge, are we ready
>for the time when some Council decides to open up a course to Corporate
I've somewhat followed this discussion, but I feel I can give you an answer
to this one (I am not a wood badge trained scouter. I will be some day. I
do have 11 years as an adult leader plus 10 as a scout youth experience).
I doubt this will happen, or if it does, it won't catch on. The reason I
believe it won't is how Wood Badge training is run. In each Council where
the course is offered, you have a volunteer staff producing the course,
often with little more than oversight from the Council Professional Staff.
These staff are some of the most experienced scouters in the council. They
volunteer their time to help share their experience with others in the
council (usually in addition to doing their "regular" scouting job and
their regular income producing job). What I have seen is A LOT of time is
put in by the staff to make an outstanding course.
If some Scout executive decided to open up the final course positions to
non scouters (doing so just before the course started to fill the course),
that would probably be tolerated by the staff, as it gets a full course,
doesn't deprive scouters needing/wanting the course, and helps the course
However, I believe that if a Scout Executive (or whatever Professional)
tried to get the same volunteer staff to put on a course exclusively for
non scouters, a majority of the staff would find "conflicts" that prevented
them from joining the staff (there might be a few staffers who would still
do it for additional experience staffing a course, or for the chance to
move up the ladder of staff positions quicker). Some scouters plan their
work/vacation/family life around when they will staff a wood badge course,
so adding an additional course would probably throw some of that off some
staffers planning (some people work jobs that they have to plan to be able
to participate in things like wood badge, even if it is a weekend course).
Without the staff (or without experience in the staff), the participants
may not get as much out of the course. Anyone can follow a syllabus. You
need experience to have participants get the most out of the syllabus.
If the SE tried to fill a regularly scheduled course with non scouters
(without telling the staff), and could pull this off, would probably have a
much harder time recruiting staff the next time (especially since I see
heavy recruitment of current course participants for the next course, but
also when some scouters feel used by the process).
I feel this is a system of checks and balances that keeps the BSA from
trying to export this training outside the BSA.
Yours in Scouting,
Scott A. Begin Troop 348, Oak Forest, IL, Calumet Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City