Re: WB for non-Scouters
Tim Hewitt (thewitt@FAIRCHILDSEMI.COM)
Tue, 15 Sep 1998 07:41:08 -0500
Dan O'Canna <ocanna@ALPHA.CAER.UKY.EDU> wrote:
>Tim Hewitt <thewitt@FAIRCHILDSEMI.COM> said (in part):
>>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
>A very different question from, "Should a GSUSA leader be allowed in a Wood
OK. What about a YMCA leader? We share common values. What about a private
group that works with underprivileged inner-city youth? Aren't we all in it
for the kids?
The problem with this path is simple. Once you start allowing non-BSA leaders
into the course, they become paying participants - customers if yuo will - and
since the course is BSA focused, they are not getting their money's worth.
Soon they complain that the course needs more "fill-in-the-blank" focus. We
acquiesce, since after all, we agreed to let non-BSA folks take the course, so
we obviously meant that they should get the most out of it they can.
The slippery slope begins with good intentions, and pretty soon we are
teaching something called Wood Badge that is no longer tailored to Boy Scouts,
but to the 50% of other youth leaders paying the bills. Decide not to let them
in any more? OK. Assumed you have still that choice then. But why go there in
the first place. Change is difficult, and doors once opened are very difficult
I'm in favor of teaching other groups how to put on a Wood Badge-like training
class for their program, just not of opening up our program training to other
groups. I would favor a train-the-trainer approach, and let the other
organizations, should they want to do something similar to Wood Badge, learn
from our experience and our mistakes. This is more valuable to them in the
long run, as their training course can directly reflect their leadership
goals, and not ours.
If you use the argument that the GSUSA leader or the corporate manager joins a
troop, signs up for a leadership position, takes SM Fundamentals, and then
takes Wood Badge, you are not arguing the point. This person is no longer a
GSUSA leader or a corporate manager asking to participate in Wood Badge, they
are a Scout Leader that also happens to be registered with the GSUSA, or works
in management at a corporation. Big difference here, and way outside of the
basic argument of opening up Wood Badge, or any other BSA training for that
matter, to people outside of the Program.
This latter argument actually makes my case. Say no to letting outsiders take
Wood Badge, so we can sign them us as Scout Leaders, advance our cause of
bringing more quality leaders into the program, and put them to work for the
boys as well. Win-Win. But it's forced into being by not allowing non-Scouters
into the program in the first place.
Tim Hewitt, Scoutmaster
Troop 350, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City