Wood Badge

The Wood Badge Difference

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!

Categories: Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Wood Badge | Tags: | 11 Comments

SMMPodcast # 96 The Scoutmaster Conference Live!

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

Categories: Advancement, blog, Character, Citizenship, comments, Ideals, podcast, Scoutmaster conference, training, Wood Badge | 1 Comment

Reflections SMMPodcast # 86

In this show I share some reflections on the past Wood Badge Course and of a young man that is being presented his Eagle Award.
This weeks Blog Roll is Bobwhites Blather.  I really enjoy this blog and encourage you to check it out!
This show is sponsored by ClassB.com

Have a Great Scouting Day!

SMMPodcast #86

Categories: blog, podcast, Wood Badge | Leave a comment

Getting what you want!

Values, Mission, Goals…. at the fore front of my mind right now as I assist a group of new Wood Badgers in the working of their tickets…
Tickets?  In Scouting, if you are not familiar with Wood Badge then this is a foreign concept.  Simply put.. it is working goals to fulfill your mission.
OK.. enough already, we just want to go camping and sell Popcorn!!!  What is it with this Values, Mission stuff?
Well, we are all heading somewhere, right?  We all have an idea of what we want our Scouting units to look like… right?  Well how do you get there?
Enough of the cryptic talk.. lets talk about your vision.
First.. what is it that you believe in?  What makes you tick?  Answer these two questions carefully.  A good personal assessment of your values is an important part in establishing your Vision en route to your mission.  You need to be honest and really know who you are before you can effect others.  So what is important to you?  Faith, Family, Values like those found in the Scout Oath and Law.
Figure this out and write it down.. not just words, but why its important to you?  Write it down.
Now that you have a better understanding of who you are and why its time to find out what you want.  What do you want out of life, your family, your work, Scouting, health, and hobbies?  In short, what do you want our of your life?  You may want to be financially independent, have a richer faith life, loose 10 lbs or become a teacher.  The sky is limit and you and you alone are the only one that can set the course to reach it.
So do you know what you want?  Write it down.  If you are like me, you will have a list of the things that you want.  Things that you want to change, do, get better at, and impact in your life.  Pick 1.. yep, just 1.  Write it down.
Now, lets go get it.  But first.. you need to throw away all obstacles, the first of which is your idea that you cant do it.  What ever you want.. you will have.. if you want it and are willing to work for it.  So write it down and lets go get it!
Make a list of 5 things that you MUST do to get what you wrote down.  Not 4, not 7.. 5 things that will lead you to your want.. Oh and by the way.. lets start calling “your want” “YOUR MISSION”.  Here is an example:
I want to develop a training program for Webelos Scout leaders and Troop Committee’s to increase crossover numbers in our District.  That is the mission.
So 5 things that I need to do to get what I want.
1.  Find out if there is a current plan in place and identify the short falls in the plan.
To do this I will talk with current District advancement chairman and Webelos to Scout transition volunteers to find plan or documentation.
I will do this in the next 30 days, this needs to be completed by June 20th.
2.  Knowing the short falls of the current plan (assuming there is one) I will rewrite the plan with the objective of increasing the crossover percentage by 30%.
To do this I will write a plan that will be distributed to all Packs and Troops in the District.  This plan will outline methods of contacting Packs and Troops within the District, obstacles to over come in the process, and ways to build relationships between units.
I will have the plan complete in the next 60 days.  This goal will be complete by July 20th.
3.  At the August Roundtable, I will present the plan at the Webelos Den Leader break out.  I will distribute copies of the plan at the time and field questions and concerns about the plan.
To ensure a good turn out at the break out I will make contact with Packs through the District emailing system.
This will be completed after the August Roundtable and the emails will go out in the Thundering News Flash in July.
4.  Make contact with Packs that have a low crossover rate and Troops that are not maintaining steady growth.
To complete this goal I will get last years data on troop new Scout registrations and Pack Cross overs.  I will call those units and set up a time to meet with unit leadership to offer assistance in increasing their crossover/ recruiting percentage. 
I will accomplish this by November 2011.
5.  Assess plan and make adjustments to the plan based on Troop and Pack receptive nature and amount of prospective Webelos Scouts that plan on crossing to a Troop.
To do this we will contact Webelos Dens and ask that they fill out Boy Scout applications at time of Troop Visits.  Once a Troop has been identified as the Troop that they are planning on going to, an application will be filled out and reported.
This will be completed by February 2012. 

This simple, measurable, specific outline of 5 goals to reach the mission of developing a training program for Webelos Scout leaders and Troop Committee’s to increase crossover numbers in our District can be accomplished if I work at it and not allow road blocks to stop my progress.  I must be willing to work it to the end.
This outline can be worked for anything in my life.  To lose weight, get healthy, find a deeper understanding of my faith, be a better husband and father, well.. anything.
This is what we Wood Badgers call a Ticket.
It is a great assessment tool and a way to ensure success in anything that you do.  Remember when you are setting your Goals to use the SMART tool.  Specific, measurable, Attainable, relevant, and Time based.  Use it and you will be and do whatever you want.
I promise.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Ideals, Leadership, Oath and Law, Patrol Method, Scout Law, Scouting, Skills, training, Values, Webelos to Scout Transition, Wood Badge | Tags: | Leave a comment

Gilwell a place in the heart

Home from the most emotionally charged Scouting event I have every seen.  Wood Badge course W1-492-11 has left Gilwell and are now working their tickets.  The ax has been pulled from the log and the staff is either home or on their way home.
I will write more later about this amazing chapter in my life, but for now, I need to relax and process the emotions, the joy, and the fact that now the Buffalo Patrol (and the 7 patrols of the course) are embarking on a journey to leave a Legacy that will profoundly impact their lives and the lives of many Scouts and Scouters around them.  They have dropped a pebble in their pond… who will the ripple hit?

Gilwell will never leave my heart… that is where Gilwell lives.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Wood Badge | 4 Comments

Getting the Hammock Ready

Here is a quick video on me getting the Hammock ready for my week up in the Oregon Coast Range for the 2nd session of Wood Badge.
I removed the stock Hennessy suspension from the hammock and replaced them with Whoopie Slings.  This has reduced the weight and the packed room for the entire hammock, I am really happy with this modification.
Check out the video, its just me hanging in the garage.  Took a great nap out there too… ahhh… I love the hammock.

Have a Great Scouting Day!
#100daysofscouting
Reviewed Tickets for the Patrol I am Troop Guide for.
Got gear together for Wood Badge
Did some last minute prep for Camporee this weekend.

Categories: Backpacking, blog, Camping, gear, Just fun, planning, Wood Badge | Tags: | 3 Comments

Buffalo Patrol meeting

Tonight I was invited by the Patrol that I am the Troop Guide for in W1-492-11 for their Patrol meeting between sessions.
They held their meeting at one of the Patrol members place of employment, Coffee Bean International.  It was a neat meeting as they embodied the Scouting Spirit of learning something new.  They acted like Tiger Cubs on a “Go See it”.  It was a lot of fun and informative to learn how coffee goes from raw beans to a wonderful cup of Joe.
They held their meeting in the companies Coffee bar and the coffee was fantastic.
The Buffalo Patrol worked on their menu’s and Patrol presentation and then we held a short “Ticket Work shop” working out some of the kinks in their tickets and getting them focused in the right direction.
I am real happy with the progress the Patrol is making.  They are quickly moving in the direction of a high performance team.
This is a great model for them to take back to their units.  They are seeing first hand (assuming they have not before) what right looks like and how they can make their units better.  I am certain that no matter what level they are coming from, this Wood Badge experience will make them better in their units and as a result they will all leave a lasting impact on Scouting.  It makes me proud to be a part of this legacy building.
I can’t wait for their upcoming second session and assisting in the working of their tickets as a faithful Troop Guide.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Wood Badge | Tags: | 2 Comments

SMMPodcast #84 – Chattin’ with Adam

Many of you that follow the Scouter gang on Twitter and at PTCMedia know my good buddy Scouter Adam.  Well, Adam got stuck in the F150 recording studio with me on our way home from Wood Badge.  This is our chat on the way home.  We were tired and loopy.. and opened up the curtain for a peak in on us.
The sound quality is not the greatest, but I think you will enjoy a sitting in on our conversation.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

 Chattin’ with Adam [76:18m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Categories: Just fun, Wood Badge | Leave a comment

Failure.. Learn from it!

Here is a great video that is inspiring and leads you to that next level of finding your High Performance life!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Leadership, Risk Management, teamwork, Values, Wood Badge | Leave a comment

Back on the Grid.. Back from Gilwell

Well its been about a week since the last post.. Gilwell called, and I answered!  I got back last night from a week out on the Oregon Coast for Wood Badge W1-492-11.  It was the first session of the course and my first shot at staffing Scouting’s best training course.
The Staff arrived early on Wednesday morning to set up the site and make preparations for the learners to arrive.  Some great staff bonding time as well as plenty of work.  It is always nice to start off a High performance team.. by passing the forming and storming phases makes getting tasks completed so much easier.
The course participants arrived on Thursday evening and were placed into their respective Dens.  I am proud to note that three of the ASMs from my Troop are on the course and are now fully living the Wood Badge life!
The Troop Guides greeted the arriving participants and took them to registration and then on to their camp sites.  The mood was energetic and everyone seemed ready to jump into the course!  A fantastic cracker barrel followed and then it was off to their tents for a wet night on the Coast.
I don’t remember falling asleep Thursday night.. I think I just past out.  I must have walked 18 miles Thursday night going back and forth from the parking lot to Gilwell Hall and then to camp sites over and over again.. but we kept a smile on the face and sang as much as I could. 
The rest of the session went very well and the weather improved the closer we got to Sunday.  I am the Troop Guide for the Buffalo Patrol.  A great group of dedicated Scouters and some super people.  I am pleased to know them and now count them as friends.  They went through the staged of team development just like they should and by the time they departed on Sunday evening.. they looked and acted like a Patrol that was reaching for the stars!
Wood Badge is a Mountain top experience and many of the participants will find that in the second session!  Many leave Gilwell after the first session happy and motivated to learn more.  We leave them with the skills to move in the direction of the high performance team and skills that will make them better Scouters for their units, husbands and wives, and employees.
For me it was back to Gilwell.  Even though I have gone through the course and worked through staff development, as I tought the Buffalo Patrol, listened to the presentations, and watched the Patrol grow and develop, I reflected on my own Wood Badge experience.  I learned so much more this time, it is incredible. 
This staff experience has solidified in me a true love for the Wood Badge program.
Well I am back on the grid for a week and then its back to Gilwell for the second session of W1-492-11! 

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Wood Badge | Tags: | 1 Comment

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