It is often said that “Every Scout deserves a Trained Leader”… well.. sure.. Every Scout certainly deserves a trained leader, but do you really think that the Scout cares?
The saying should say, “Every Parent deserves a Trained Leader”. Right? After all, the training is more for the parents right?
The Scout does not care that you know the rules of the safety sandwich. The Scout does not care that you have been to wilderness first aid. The Scout does not care that you are climb instructor certified or that you have completed Youth Protection.
Ahhh… But the parents do.
They come to a unit and want to know that as they drop off Tommy Tenderfoot on Friday night that the guy driving the car is insured, trained, and will bring back their son in the same condition that he climbed into the Suburban heading to the camp out in.
Parents care a lot about the training that the Scout leader has. I for one would not send my sons out with a Scout leader that was not trained. I would not let my son go out into the woods with a guy that got his training by watching Survivor man on TV once.
Nope. The parents deserve a trained leader. I would go further to insist that every leader that goes near a Scout is trained, and if I were King for the day.. any leader that did not get trained or refused to spend the time, energy and money to get trained would not be allowed to be a Scout leader.
Boy Jerry.. that’s harsh… Really? Like I said, I would not let my kid go off for the weekend with a guy I don’t trust.
Training builds that trust. At least it opens the door to trusting the leader.
I have talked a lot on this blog about leadership. It goes not just for our youth leaders, but the adults too.
Think back to the 4 “C”s I discussed.
Don’t you want your adult leaders to be Competent and have Courage? Compassionate and Candor?
Those are all things that come with training.
Our Troop goes climbing every year. We have 8 climbing instructors in the unit. Why? Because it is the right thing to do.
We have multiple Wilderness First Aid certified leaders and First responders. Why? Because we go looking for adventure and we are not near a parking lot. It’s the right thing to do.
We go winter camping at least 3 times a year. We have cold weather instructors and skilled leaders that know winter camping skills and stay up on gear and techniques. Why? Because we will never put a Scout in harm’s way.
The point here is that when a Scout crosses over into our Troop the parent knows that we care and are willing to do our very best for their son. They can rest assured that we are trained and will take care of their boy.
Every one of the Assistant Scoutmasters, the Committee Chair, and me are all Wood Badgers. Why is that important? We all believe in life long learning and are committed to being better. Wood Badge demonstrates to our Scouts and their parents that we are serious about training and taking care of their sons and more importantly, that we want to do Scouting right.
So every parent does deserve a trained leader. Get trained or get out. It’s that simple if I were King for the day.
On a side note. I have been doing this Scouting thing for some time now and have served at the District level also. Being the District Program Chairman and later the District Chairman, I had access to lots of reports that really don’t mean much. The one thing that did mean something to me was the amount of units that struggle in multiple areas. Membership, activities, etc.
The common thing that we saw in EVERY unit that struggles are UNTRAINED Adults. You do the math.
Get trained for your Scouts.. and your Parents.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
It is often said that “Every Scout deserves a Trained Leader”… well.. sure.. Every Scout certainly deserves a trained leader, but do you really think that the Scout cares?
Well, as promised.. there are going to be changes coming to the blog and the You Tube channel. Yes, I am going to fully launch the You Tube channel as an extension of the blog. Sort of like the podcast was. I am liking the format of video and it is going to allow me to express the spirit of the blog via video.
I am still working out the details, but the videos from the channel will be in the blog as well as subscriptions on You Tube. Yes, I am going to ask for everyone to subscribe.
Reason for the subscription. I have been doing some homework on this and looking at what one would consider a good You Tube channel. Read.. lots of subscriptions and good content. What happens is that they start bubbling up to the top of the You Tube world. I am not being narcissistic here.. My goal is to get Scouting and related topics on top. Just like when we had the podcast, the more downloads and subscriptions one had the closer to the top of the list the podcast got. In order for us to keep Scouting on top.. we need to promote it. I have said it many times, I think it is up to us to deliver the promise of Scouting and do it using multiple media.
The format for the channel will not just be me reading the blog. It will be an outdoor related channel. Gear, Tips, Trip reports etc. And thrown in there will be Scoutmaster musings and minutes. Character, Leadership, and tips on Scoutmastership.
The Blog will be enhanced with this addition and I am excited.
So why has there been a delay and gap in blog entries?
My computer crashed and crashed hard.. blue screen of death kind of crash. It was toast. A friend of mine rebuilt it adding a super huge hard drive and some computer things that make it go faster. I am not a computer guy.. a good user, but do not ask my how it works or whats inside. Anyway, now that I have everything reloaded and set up.. it’s time to get going again.. and here we go! No more delays and hopefully no more crashes.
If there is anyone that can recommend some cool video editing software.. please let me know. I am currently using Windows Movie Maker, but know that there is some neat stuff out there. Rule #1. It needs to be easy to use.
Drop me an email, or leave a message in the comments section.
Stay tuned.. the Re launch and all the details are coming soon.
Ready for RE LAUNCH.. in 10, 9, 8, 7….
Have a Great Scouting Day!
I just walked in the door from another fantastic Wood badge course. W1-492-13 is now in its application phase and as the participants walked out of camp yesterday I could not help but think about the impact that was about to hit the Scouting world.
53 Scouters took labored steps toward their cars yesterday heading back out into the Scouting world with a new set of tools, a renewed spirit in Scouting and new friendships made.
As the staff gathered to have a final staff meeting the comment was made that like a pebble thrown into a pond causing ripples, we have cast our pebbles into the pond of Scouting and the impact will be endless. Those 53 Scouters will make such a difference within their units, districts, and even the Council. Touching the lives or more Scouts and other Scouters than any single leader can. When we talk about making a difference, I believe that Scouters that have the Wood Badge experience make a the biggest splash!
I love Wood Badge and each time I participate, I learn more. Wood Badge compels me to take seriously the concept of life long learning. This was my second time on staff, and I hope not the last. The first time I staffed Wood Badge, I learned more than I think I learned as a participant. In fact, diving into the syllabus I know that I learned the material which allowed me to make a difference as a Troop Guide. This time I served the Wood Badge course as the Assistant Scoutmaster for Support and Physical Arrangements. Part of the Administrative staff I got to see “the other side” of Wood Badge. I got to see the nuts and bolts that it takes to hold a Wood Badge course together. And I must say that while the troop guides make a hands on impact on the learner, the admin staff set the enviroment for good learning. They coordinate speakers, materials, and facilities and most of all are the guardians of maintaining the standards of the Wood Badge course. Ensuring that the syllabus is followed and the learners have the best opportunity to succeed.
Ok, that’s all logical and expected. It was a great experience to be on the staff in this position.
Here is what I saw that has made a lasting impact on me. Yeah.. on me.
Our Course Director/ Scoutmaster is John Caputo, he is a Scouters Scouter. He is humble and knowledgeable. He is compassionate and strict, he is a great teacher.
Spending the the last 6 months on his staff was special. John’s greatest lesson was passion. John is passionate about Scouting, but more specifically, his passion lies in training. He has been a Trainer in Scouting for “a few years”. His knowledge and commitment to dropping rocks in the pond is not just visible, it’s contagious. I left the Wood Badge staff in 2011 with a renewed committment to my Scouts and the Scouting world as well as being a better father, husband, and friend. I left this years staff with a renewed passion for training, for making my troops leaders better, and with the first draft of my next ticket. A ticket the will focus on my wife.
This is the impact of Wood Badge and I love it. It is such a special part of my life and I am happy.
Have you found passion in your Scouting world?
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Bare with me while I try to collect my thoughts and try to share them in a coherent way…
We just wrapped up the first session of Wood Badge course W1-492-13 and as is the case in or of the Wood Badge experience, there are plenty of opportunities to do some reflection and looking inward at the person that you are.
Learning leadership is just part of the Wood Badge experience and can’t really be placed into action until the leader has made internal commitments to be a better person. Thank goodness we in Scouting have this wonderful set of values that we find in the Scout Law. Assessment tools that are learned and practiced in our quest to find knowledge and self-realization of our strengths and weakness’.
What I am saying is that once again, I have had an opportunity to reflect and take that critical look inside. Couple that with the rest of the fun of Wood Badge and we are on that emotional roller coaster that comes with the experience.
What I am always amazed about is the people. The 53 Scouters that paid, took time off, drove out to the coast, and make the choice to attend Wood Badge are dedicated Scouters in their respective programs. They are enthusiastic about learning how to be better Scouters, husbands and wives, Fathers, Mothers, and employees or employers. The Wood Badge program makes all of those aspects of our lives better.
The amazing part is the dedication that they demonstrate. They are great people.
Last night when I got home the news was filled with the Boston Marathon bombing. Thank God that the damage was relatively small. I am not going to rant and rave about the scum bags that would do something like this. You all know how I feel. Here is what I saw when watching the never-ending coverage. The reactions of the people. You see as the first bomb exploded we saw three groups of people. The first group was those that were injured. The second group was those that ran away from the danger. And the third group were the people who ran to the explosion. What makes people do this?
I saw this over and over again in my Southwest Asian vacation in Iraq. When the shots starts soldiers face the fire and move toward the danger. Yesterday, we saw runners, members of the National Guard, First responders, all heading to the danger. They selflessly give, forgoing their own safety and comfort. They put other people ahead of themselves. They are living the values that we promise in the Oath and Law.
I am proud of these people and thank them.
Now this is going to sound like a stretch… but it is how I feel, so please bare with me here.
I have served on two Wood Badge course’s now as a staff member. The number one thing that I have learned on those two staff’s is that there are terrific people who care so much about Scouting and Scouts that they give and give and yes.. run to the sound of the drum. They are like the first responder that runs to danger. They are dedicated and motivated to help. They take the Oath and Law and apply it in their daily lives and it makes a difference.
Our Course Director is a Scouter that I have looked up to for many years. He has a love for Scouting that shows in everything he does. His passion is contagious. On Thursday night at our staff dinner, he shared something with us just hours before the participants arrived. He shared with us that it had been a long time since he served as a Scoutmaster in a unit. For many years now he has been serving at the District and Council level primarily in a training capacity. We all agree that where the runner meets the road is at the unit level where Scouters and Scouts interact and we teach, train, coach and mentor our youth to achieve the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. John, our Course Director shared this with us. While he has not served at the unit level in a long time do the math on the impact that we make as Staffers at Wood badge. 53 participants, mostly from Packs, Troops, and Crews will be learning from us. By myself I can only impact say 40 boys that are in my unit. Over 10 years or so, I may have a direct impact on a couple hundred Scouts. Imagine though the impact of a Wood Badge staffer. 53 participants will go back to their units and apply what we teach them. Lets go low and say that each of those 53 have 25 Scouts in their unit. That is about average. Over the next 10 years this one Wood Badge class will impact thousands of Scouts. That is far more reaching than I can do myself. Over the next few years, these Scouters will run toward the target… they will run toward the Scouts that need help, coaching, and mentoring. They will put hours upon hours into making Scouting and Scouts better. They will dedicate time, money, energy, and love to our program. This makes me proud to a part of it.
John inspired me to give my best when it was my turn to present course material, lead a song, and participate in a skit. He made me want to give so that others would follow my lead. John runs to the help needed as a trainer. Most of all, he made Scouting better by leading us.
A lot is going on in our world. We need Scouting and we need Scout leaders that run to the boys!
Thank you all that do what you do to make our world just that much better.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Yesterday I stumbled upon a great You Tube Channel. It;s called Scouting lighter. From what I gather, this Scouter put this together as part of his Wood Badge Ticket. So +2 for this fella! A backpacker and Wood Badger!! WhooHoo!
Anyway.. I found his You Tube channel full of really great information. I picked out this one video in particular because it really explains what we are trying to do in our Troop and more to the point what I am doing with my gear.
Enjoy, and I highly encourage you… Nay Demand.. .that you subscribe to his channel!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
It’s that time of the year when we all take a look back at our year and take stock in what we have learned, what we accomplished, and what we look forward to in the coming year. It is also that time of the year that all the “Lists” come out and WordPress sends us bloggers our report card.
So lets start with that. The blog is doing very well and it is all because of you the reader/viewer. Now I don’t claim to understand how blogs are rated and ranked, and I don’t know where the Scoutmasterminute.net rates among the really big blogs out there. I guess deep down inside I wish the blog was massive and only because then the world would see our Scouting world in the light in which we want it to be seen. I surf around at some of the blogs out there that are truly about nothing and see that they have thousands of followers, get millions of hits, and have what I consider sub par content. Scouting blogs seem to not get the views it should.
Resolve this coming year to tell a friend about a Scouting blog. It doesn’t have to be this one, but pick one. There are great Scouting blogs out there.
You can start with Bryan on Scouting. The official Blog of the BSA (Scouting Magazine). In typical well produced fashion the BSA has a nice product in this blog. I like that it is pretty interactive and does a nice job of telling Scouting’s story.
Then you need to check out the blogs of my Scouting friends. Scouter Adam for the Cub Scout folks out there, mixes up his personal touch as well as telling a great Scouting story. A stop in at the Boy Scout Trial is a nice site for resources, stories, and fun stuff. No list of Scouting blogs could be complete without Clarke Green’s Blog. That is a site that every Scouter should have bookmarked and visit often. Doug Metz has a nice blog out there also. I wish he would put more out there. He has a great story and I love to hear about his journey. Bobwhites Blather is another good site. I like blogs that stay current, are on topic, have fun, and speak to not only their Scouting world, but the writers other interests also.
I could list site after site that I am sure do not get enough visits and would love to see more. You can get a great idea of the Scouting blogs that are out there by visiting my friend Gregg’s Half Eagle.com. I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out to the guy that pretty much got me interested and encouraged me to keep it going. Steve. His Blog has been out there for a long time. Steve has a unique take on Scouting from the perspective of a small town and small troop that has been there and done that. Steve was a Scoutmaster for 30 years and just can’t walk away. And for that we are all better.
If I left you off the list it is not intended to slight you or say that you do not have a great story. The list I just named was pretty much in the order they appear on my favorites list.. which is pretty random at best. There are great blogs out there.. but google Scouting blogs and see what you get. We need to be up on the top of that list.
The point is we need to get better at supporting one another. We need to tell Scouting’s story and get Scouting out front in a positive light.
Today I did receive my “Year in review” from WordPress. They give an option to share, but the numbers really do not mean anything unless they are placed in context. So I thought I would share, but in the context of you the great reader.
This blog was visited 52,000 times this last year. That to me is pretty darn good. But once again, I think it is to the Choir that we preach. And yep, the Choir needs to hear the sermon, but telling Scouting’s story and sharing tips and tricks for the trail is something that I want more to see. Believe me when I say that my ego does not this blog. I do it cause I like it and it is helping I am sure. In some small way 52,000 views lended a hand in someones Scouting life or life as a camper.
I was surprised to see that I only posted (as of yesterday) 133 new posts to the blog. And then upon further review I noticed that there were some real thin months for blogging out there.
So for 2013 I resolve to write more and post more to the blog.
2013 saw a major increase in feedback to the blog also and I want to thank everyone that made a contribution to the conversation. I especially want to thank Allan Green. Allan was the top contributor to the blog, lending his comments and feedback more than anyone else. Thanks Allan. Send me your address and I have something for you.
This year in Scouting for me took me to Philmont. Scouting’s paradise and I fell in love with the trails, the mountains, the canyon country that is the Sange de Christo range. The trip to Philmont for me was extremely special in many ways. Taking 2 crews from our Troop on an adventure of that magnitude was a challenge and an experience of a life time. It was not a once in a life time adventure, but a mountain top experience that touched me spiritually, physically, and mentally. I got to see the very best in Scouts and Scouting while watching our crew grow and develop and have a lot of fun. Philmont was the Scouting high light of the year for me.
Our grew again this year, and we lost some boys along the way. But in the end, the program got stronger and the Scouts got better. Youth leadership met many challenges this year and came out better for it. With a great plan going into 2013 I look forward to the many adventures that lay ahead.
Personally I grew this year. My relationships and my friendships are stronger.
And then there is the obsession with my backpack.
I have set a goal to reduce volume and weight from my pack. This is going to be a lengthy project and one that I will have fun doing. Playing with gear, testing new items and ideas and developing a lighter philosophy when it comes to hitting the trail. I look forward to that and sharing that with you here on the blog.
2012 was a good year. 2013 is going to be better.
Resolve to make changes in your life. Resolve to make your world better, your self better, and those around you better.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
More Scouting Blogs that I failed to add to the post:
Scouter Mom’s Blog
Scoutmaster Shawn’s Blog
Phil Pecks blog
Nick from across the pond
Bryan Spellman’s blog
Kevin Devin’s Blog of his interest!
And there are a bunch more.. make sure you visit them. Hit the like button and share them!
For those of you that have been to Wood Badge you understand the great training, the lasting friendships, and the spirit of Scouting that comes in every Wood Badge course. You get idea that every Scout deserves a trained leader and that in Wood Badge you are participating in the Advanced Leadership Course of the Boy Scouts of America. You understand the committment that it takes in time and money to seek out the best training and then follow-up that training by spending up to a year and half working a ticket designed to make Scouting better for the youth we serve. You get all of that.
So why should a Scouter go to Wood Badge. Yes, it’s all of the stuff previously stated but it’s a lot more than that.
Why Wood Badge? Well for starters it is the best Scout leader training the BSA has. No matter at which level you serve in Scouting, Wood Badge has something for you. Whether you are the Chief Scout Executive or a Den Leader, Wood Badge will teach you how to provide a great program for our Scouts starting with why we do this thing called Scouting. The Wood Badge experience gives you insight to the World of Scouting, not just your little piece. It reinforces methods and Aims and gets all Scouters on the same sheet of music, and yep, you will be singing a lot!
Wood Badge allows you the much-needed opportunity to step back into the hiking boots of a Scout and be that Scout as he experiences Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and is introduced to Venture Scouts. You get to learn like a Scout learns and in doing so you become a better communicator and teacher. You learn to train and lead using the EDGE method. I think you will find that this method satisfies every learning style and will assist you in sharpening your leadership skills.
Wood Badge sends you back to you unit with a song in your heart, a smile on your face, and a mission to make Scouting better.
The training at Wood Badge will make you a better Scouter, a better Spouse, a better employee when you use the tools taught in the course. It gives you perspective on everything in your life and a method to work you future plans in and out of Scouting. The Wood Badge training is world-class and is used in corporate America and in organizations big and small.
So why Wood Badge? Well, for one thing, it is our direct link to Baden Powell’s training of Scouters. The methods may have been refined, the uniforms certainly are different, and Scouting has changed with the times, but the Wood Badge is the Wood Badge and our history and tradition in Scouting is brought full circle in the Wood Badge experience.
When Baden Powell held the first Scoutmaster Training at Gilwell, he organized the participants into Patrols. This is the foundation of a Boy Scout Troop and BP understood that we learn by doing and do it with our Patrol. During the Wood Badge course the instruction all leads to doing. Within the Patrol, the participants work together to become a high performance team. Once this is realized, the experience can be taken back and applied in the Scouters unit.
Wood Badge has four specific objectives and as a result of attending Wood Badge, participants will be able to:
First, View Scouting globally, as a family of interrelated, values-based programs that provide age-appropriate activities for youth.
Second. Recognize the contemporary leadership concepts utilized in corporate America and leading government organizations that are relevant to our values-based movement.
Third, Apply the skills they learn from their participation as a member of a successful working team.
And finally, Revitalize their commitment by sharing in an overall inspirational experience that helps provide Scouting with the leadership it needs to accomplish its mission on an ongoing basis.
So Why Wood Badge? Back when I became a new Scouter helping out with my oldest son’s Pack I was invited to go to Wood Badge. I did not give it too much thought, after all, I was just a Cub Scout Den Leader, why do I need more training? Then I became a Cubmaster, and again, an invitation to Wood Badge was extended. A group of Scouters that were (and still are) super active in the District kept encouraging me to go to Wood Badge. They kept telling me that this “Mountain Top” Scouting experience was something that I really needed to attend. And again, I blew it off thinking that everything was going great in the Pack and I really didn’t need more leadership training. In 2004 I became a Scoutmaster, and again the same group of Scouters encouraged me to get to Wood Badge. I went to a Wood Badge dinner in January of 2005. It was a gathering to recognize Wood Badge participants that had completed their tickets and introduce Wood Badge to prospective participants. My wife and I went and enjoyed the evening. The room was filled with the most enthusiastic Scouters I have ever seen. They were from every corner of the council and represented every level of Scouting. Toward the end of the program a Scouter stood in front of the crowd and asked if “There were any Beavers in the house?” At first I thought he was referring to the Oregon State Beavers.. but what happened next sealed the deal for me. About a dozen Scouters stood up and broke out in song, when they were finished, the whole room (well those Scouters with beads on) stood and sang. They all sat down and about another dozen different Scouters stood and sang a verse about Bobwhites.. and so it went till the whole room was singing. The staffers closed out the song and everyone began hugging and shaking hands and there was nothing but smiles and laughter in the room. I sat there with my wife with a big grin on my face. My wife looked at me and said.. “Well… go sign up.” And that night I registered for the next course.
I participated in WE1-492-1-05 and was placed in the Beaver Patrol. I did have a “Mountain Top” experience and took all I learned back to my Troop. In 2009 I was asked to be on Staff. I had to turn it down because I was over extended as not only the Scoutmaster of my Troop, but the Scoutmaster of a Troop heading to the National Jamboree. In late 2010, I was asked again to be on staff for the 2011 course and I immediately said yes. I served as a Troop guide for W1-492-11 and as I have shared with my fellow Troop guides and the mighty Buffalo Patrol, “I had a great experience when I went to Wood Badge, I fell in love with Wood Badge on staff.” Early this year I was asked again to staff a Wood Badge course. And again, I said yes.
The people who attend Wood Badge and those that staff Wood Badge are the greatest Scouters out there. Their dedication to Scouting and the youth we serve is second to none. Their committment to training and making the Scouting organization better is beyond compare.
So Why Wood Badge? Why Not?
If you have been invited to attend Wood Badge, please consider it. You will not regret it. If you are concerned about time and money. Contact your local Wood Badge staff, ask at your next roundtable, there are ways to get you into the next course. The benefits of Wood Badge outweigh the excuses not to go. You are a dedicated Scouter, I know this, because you waste you time reading my blog. SO if you have not been to Wood Badge.. GO! And you will have a great experience. I promise.
If you are a Wood Badger… What’s your Critter? Leave a comment and share your Wood Badge story.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Yesterday I participated in a great Scouting Day. Our Annual Program and Training Conference was held yesterday at the Scouthridge high School. I am not sure how many Scouters participated, but there where many. I got the feeling that there were more than last year. There were classes ranging in topic from Songs and Skits to High Adventure. There was a nice midway that hosted a booths from the Scout Shop to Pampered Chef. For you Dutch Oven cooks out there, Pampered Chef has some real nice stuff. Anyway, there was a lot to see and do and I was happy to see that Boy Scout leader participation was up.
You see we used to have a couple of opportunities for Scouters in the Council to gather and get some training and program ideas. We used to have an Advancement extravaganza, this was primarily for the Boy Scout Program. And we used to have a fun event called Pow Wow. It was geared for Cub Scouters, but a real fun day of training and gathering of ideas. Last year the two programs were combined into the Program and Training Conference. I believe it was an idea borrowed from the Chief Seattle Council. So last year was the first time that I was asked to teach and so I did. I was invited back this year. Scouter Adam and I held a couple of sessions on using Social media for your unit and I taught Scouters about the Scoutmaster Conference, one of my most favorite subjects in Scouting.
I did two sessions of the SM Conference and they seemed to be received well. What I find interesting is the different views on BSA policy and the way in which Scouters interpret the BSA training. You see this in the way people ask questions and share their opinion on one issue or another. Now I am not saying this is always a bad thing, especially when they are looking for the right answer or the right way to do something, but it still drives home the point that Training and doing training right is important.
Mike Walton from the USSSP was a guest presenter this year. He flew out from Minnesota to share some thoughts of up coming changes in the BSA and did a joint session with our Councils CFO. It was an interesting session to say the least. I say that in a real good way because Jason and Mike both told it straight yesterday, and for those of you that have read this blog for anytime, you know that’s what I like and that’s how I do it. They shared thoughts of current issues, you know the homosexual thing, and they talked a lot about money in Scouting. I loved the comments about how people tend to blame “Council” for many of the problems, issues with their units, and financial woes. Jason asked “who is the council?” You see the majority of Scouting volunteers equate the “Council” with the support desk, the DE’s, and the people who never seem to stop asking for money. But, the answer is that WE Volunteers are “THE COUNCIL”. Too many units, Scouters, and other volunteers fail to take matters into their own hands when problem solving for their units, yes there are times when we need the support of the DE or the support desk, but to blame Council for every problem we have in our Scouting world is laughable. It was refreshing to hear it out loud yesterday by both the volunteer and the professional.
I spent a fair amount of time hanging out with the Wood Badge crowd yesterday. Recruiting for the upcoming course and spreading the word about great Scouting training. Again it was nice to see how many Scouters showed interest in Wood Badge and it looks like we are going to have another full class, just based on interest. Registration opened yesterday too, so we will see how quick the class fill up.
Yesterday was a fun day of hanging out with Scouting friends, sharing ideas, and helping Scouters deliver the promise.
Like yesterday was for me, and bid you Have a Great Scouting Day!
I attended Wood Badge in 2005. I was in my 2nd year as a Scoutmaster and the troop was growing. I had a real strong group of Scouting friends that all encouraged me to get to Wood Badge as soon as possible. These friends of mine were all Wood Badge recipients and what I would call “movers and shakers” in our District. They all were (and are) active participants in their units as well as taking on additional commitments within the District and Council. They are Scouters Scouters. So when the encouragement led to the annual Wood Badge dinner that year, I had to go and see what this was all about.
My wife and I went to the Wood Badge dinner. It was a function where they presented an overview of Wood badge and concluded with a massive beading ceremony. The air was thick with Scouting and I loved it. The people were enthusiastic, friendly, and super active. Needless to say, I was impressed. I told my wife that I think I wanted to go to Wood Badge.. and then they got me. They started the Wood Badge song.
So I went to Wood Badge. WE1-492-1-05 and was fortunate enough to be a Beaver. And a Good ‘ol Beaver too…
We showed up to Camp Clarke on the Oregon coast for our first weekend and I met my patrol mates. We had a Cubmaster, a Committee Chair, an Assistant Scoutmaster, a Sea Scout Skipper, and me. We were supposed to have a 6th member of the patrol, but the other guy did not show up. Either way, the Beavers of our class became a high performance team rather quickly and we became close. I think that if you measure high performance in laughter then we blew the measurement off the chart. We had a great time, learned a lot together, and created a bond of Scouters that to this day maintain an enthusiastic attitude towards Scouting and our units.
Since I attended the course I have been a huge cheerleader for Wood Badge. I promote Wood Badge every chance I get and proudly boast the benefits of attending the course. I now have become one of those friends that encourage Scouters to get to Wood Badge. All of the Assistant Scoutmasters in my Troop are Wood Badgers. All of them.
Going to Wood Badge was a life changing experience for me and then in 2010 I was asked to be on the Staff for the 2011 course. I immediately jumped at the chance to staff and I am glad that I did. As much as I liked the Wood Badge course as a participant, I fell in love with Wood Badge as a member of staff. Maybe it was because on staff I actually learned the material in order to teach it. Maybe it was the increased depth of knowledge in really understanding the flow and progression of the course, something that, hind sight being what it is, I seemed to have missed when I was on course. Maybe it was my fellow staff members, the Troop Guides that I got to become friends with and develop those strong bonds with. The rest of the staff that had been there before that really made the experience a wonderful one. I think as long as I live our staff night or “Night 5″ experience is a moment in time that I will cherish for ever.
I was asked a few weeks ago to once again staff a Wood Badge course, not as a Troop Guide this time, but as a member of the Admin staff. What do you suppose the answer was…
So what is the Wood Badge Difference?
As I see it the Wood Badge difference is dedication.
Every Wood badger that I have ever met is dedicated to Scouting. Wood Badge is a direct link to Baden Powell’s training of Scoutmaster’s. I think that this link establishes a Scouting bond in the participant that is lasting. Kind of like being handed down a piece of Scouting history as well as training that not only promotes the original purposes of the Scouting movement, but also current methods to achieve those aims.
Everyone that I have ever met that attended Wood Badge is dedicated to Scouting in one way or the other. Whether they are currently active in Scouting or a Scouting Alumni, the Wood Badge experience is in their heart and they continue to support Scouting. The values, traditions, and impact that Scouting has on our world can be seen in Wood Badgers.
Since I attended Wood Badge I have been able to participate in some cool Wood Badge activities. At the National Meetings in San Diego, I attended a Wood Badge reception. At the reception they held a Beading ceremony for those that attended the course at the Sea Base. It was cool because at the end of the reception and beading ceremony with 100′s of people in the room they started the Wood Badge song. I jumped right up and joined fellow Beavers from around our Scouting world in singing the song. When I looked around the room I saw Scouters that were dedicated to Scouting. They were at the National Meetings of the BSA and they were Wood Badgers.
Last week I attended a meeting for the up coming Program and Training Conference.. used to be Pow Wow or Scouting University.. now it’s all combined to a Super Saturday of training and classes on every subject that Scouting has to offer. The common thread.. the instructors. Wood Badgers. They are all dedicated to making Scouting better, not just in their units, but helping other Scouters make their programs better, offer training to make the Scouter better and make Scouting better. As I sat in the meeting the other night I looked around the room. Beads hanging from a leather thong around every Scouters neck in the room.
The Wood Badge difference is example after example of Wood Badgers that make Scouting what it is. It does not take but a few minutes at your next Round table to see the Wood badge difference. Look at the Scouters that make an impact in their units, in their Districts and of course at the Council level. This dedication to making Scouting better, stronger, and more relevant in our world today is because of Wood Badgers. Understanding that link to today’s Scouter and Baden-Powell. Promoting our mission and dedicated to achieving the aims of Scouting to make the world a better place.. one Scout at a time.
It’s that time of the year where many Wood badgers are being presented their beads. Attending these beading ceremonies reinforces this idea of dedicated leaders. As you watch the Wood Badger with his or her unit, among their friends and families and see the interaction with their Scouts it does not take long to see how dedicated they are to making Scouting the very best it can be for these young men in our program. To see them with their new beads around their necks, sporting the Wood Badge regalia they have become a part of the dedicated link that has lasted since the first Wood badge course in 1912. That is the Wood Badge difference and it will continue to be the difference for ever.
If you have been to Wood Badge… Thank you. If you have not been yet.. go. Make a difference.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Welcome Back! In this show you will listen in on a class I taught at our Councils Program and Training Conference. This class is on the Scoutmaster Conference. I used the National Supplemental training on the subject and if you would like to follow along with the slides from the class you can download them HERE.
The Program and Training Conference in our Council is a great event to improve your leadership skills, find new ways to provide a Quality program and learn more about our Scouting world.
I was asked to teach this year, as were most of the folks on Wood Badge Staff. It was a great experience and I hope to be asked again next year. It was a great opportunity to meet more Scouters from within our Council and expand our network.
Thanks for all the feedback and comments lately! I really appreciate it. As we get closer to show #100 I can feel the excitement growing in me to get more out and keep up the work of both the blog and the podcast!
Thanks for listening. Leave us some feedback and enjoy the show.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
SMMPodcast # 96 Download
Scoutmaster Conference PowerPoint Download