Wood Badge

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

Day 73 or 74?

Well I have officially lost count on the #100daysofscouting blog count.  I have been trying to get a good blog post daily, but we all know how that goes.  Life gets in the way and there is always a lot of Scouting to do.
So today I have been putting the final touches on my gear for Wood Badge W1-492-11.  My first shot at being on a Wood Badge Staff.  I must be honest and say that I am excited about the up coming course and hope that I can influence some Scout leaders as much as my Troop guide influenced me.
The printing is done, the supplies gathered, and the knowledge is locked away in the recess’ of my brain.
I worked on the blog today.. you may have noticed a new theme.  I am typically not a fan of the black backgrounds, but for some reason, this theme appealed to me… I still may toy with the background though.. not sure I am stuck on black.  let me know what you think.
Started a page to host the Podcast.. NO I AM NOT LEAVING PTCMedia.. I just wanted to have a place to put the shows that make it easy for those that read the blog to find… Let me know what you think.
So its either day 73 or 74 and the #100daysofscouting is still going strong with many great bloggers.
I was asked today if it was too late to get on the SMMPodcast Blog Roll.. NO!!  Keep them coming!  I want to feature a Blog every week on the podcast.. but I want you to help!  Just call the SMMVoice mail at 503-308-8297 and leave a message.. You will get your blog featured if you call!  We have a great Scouting online community here.. lets share it around.

Well, that’s about enough for now.. I will post more as we get closer to heading out to Wood Badge!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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

Been a few days

Once again, time has passed me by.. I suppose it is true what they say about time flying when you are having fun.
So here is a quick update, I am not to sure that anything inspirational or motivating will come of this, well maybe.
Let me begin with the weekend.
Wood Badge Staff Development #3 was this past weekend, and I think that while it may have not been the intention of the staff.. it seemed that we completely became a “High Performance Team” on Saturday.  Ironically, a guest presenter practiced the Stages of Team Development presentation immediately after the Troop Guides practiced our Course presentation.  It was all systems go after that, and without a doubt the team is heading to Gilwell ready and peaking.
After the training session we went to dinner at a local German restaurant called Der Rheinlander.  It was a fantastic time.  We relaxed over some nice food and awesome company, sang songs, and invited our spouses to join in the fun.
Sunday was dedicated to final Wood Badge prep for me as well as doing some things around the house.  It was nice to spend the day hanging out with the kids and wife.
Three new Scouts came to the troop Monday night.  One will not cross over to the Troop till October.  He has a few things left to wrap up for his AOL, but then he will join us.  The other two are ready to go and will be with us on the upcoming camp out this weekend.  It was nice to introduce them to their new patrol mates in the New Scout Patrol.  They met their Troop Guide last night and learned how to pitch a tent, get a menu planned, and how to adjust their backpacks.  So its right into it for them.  It’s nice to see the growth.  New guys coming, and older Scouts stepping up and leading…. isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?  Yeah.
Which leads me to I guess the motivational part of it.  I had to have a chat last night with the Patrol leaders.  It seemed that the edge is not there for the up coming camporee.  We talked about the three components of leadership.  That is to say that a Leader provides Purpose, Direction, and Motivation.  They needed to find that in themselves and in their patrols to be successful.  No one in the troop wants to come in second at Camporee.. they at least want to compete, but without the drive or purpose and direction, they will lack the motivation to accomplish the tasks that will lead them to the success they are looking for.
Well, they all agreed they need to get back on the horse and motivate their patrols.  PLC will meet next week and we will see what they come up with.
Like I said, time flys when you are having fun…
Hey tomorrows podcast features a great discussion about Youth Protection and how it effected Recharter this year.  Joining me are the District Commissioner and Program Vice Chair of the Thunderbird District.  I think you will enjoy it.

Let me know what you think.. leave a comment or feedback.. or drop an email.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Camping, Leadership, Webelos to Scout Transition, Wood Badge, Youth Protection | Leave a comment

Weekend update

This weekend I participated with our District Training team for Scoutmaster Outdoor skills and ITOLS.    We had a great group of students (learners) this weekend, the split was about half and half, Cub Scout leaders to Boy Scout leaders.  I am a big fan of Training.  I think that training makes Scouting better, whether that is Youth Protection or Climb instructor, training is a key element to making a great program for the youth of Scouting.
Boy Scout outdoor skills training is a lot of fun for me.  I love to share ideas, tips, and of course the Scouting way of doing things.
I had a chat with one of the participants this weekend, a guy that I have known for sometime and a guy that is very familiar with the Boy Scout program.  He is a new Assistant Scoutmaster and so he had to be trained.   I asked him if he was learning a lot in the training.  He replied, “not really, but it is always a nice refresher.”  We went on to talk about the training that the BSA offers and that it is, by and large, geared to the lowest common denominator.  We train to the person that is not familiar with the program, camping, what ever the course may be.  I know that I have sat through many classes that I thought I could have done without, but the point is that the BSA wants all of us on the same sheet of music and to accomplish this, training has to be standard and kept to the level of the vast majority of new participants.  I agree with this approach.    There are also plenty of Scouting training courses for the advanced participant.  Powder Horn, Wood Badge, Climb instructor, just to name a few.  Once a Scouter is in the program and expressing interest, there are many opportunities for them to advance their training.  We always encourage the participants of our training to keep getting trained, using the BSA course and out side classes too.  Wilderness First Aid, Advanced Map and Compass, CPR etc.  These are all ways that a Scouter can make a greater contribution to the unit.
So this weekend was all about Training…. and a great night in the Hennessy Hammock.  Yes, I am now fully a Hammock Camper.. I had the greatest nights sleep in it, worked out some bugs, and it is now an item in my pack.
This weekend I also sat down with our District Commissioner, Vice Chair for Program, and Boy Scout Training Chairman for some great conversation.  The next couple weeks worth the podcast will feature those conversations.  So if you are interested in Youth Protection and some of the issues that training has raised lately, and if you are interested in the process of conducting a 50 miler.. well then, listen in to the next two weeks of podcasts, they are sure to inform you and even entertain.
Let me also remind you of a few ways that you can contribute and add to our online Scouting community.  You can email me at tbirdironchef@gmail.com.  Leave feedback or comments here on the blog, or be the first to leave a voice mail at the SMMVoice mail box 503- 308-8297.  And of course follow me on twitter @smjerry.
Ok.. there’s the Weekend update.  I will have a hammock review video hitting the blog here real soon.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Camping, Skills, training, Wood Badge, Youth Protection | Tags: | Leave a comment

Gilwell Park… Home of Wood Badge

There is a website that is starting up from the Scout Association (SA) in the United Kingdom (England). My friend in England, Nick posted about this on his blog, so I thought I would get the word out to more of our American readers.
That is where it all began, Scouting and then Wood Badge. If you are a Wood Badge graduate then you are a member of the worlds largest Troop. Troop 1 Gilwell.
In late 2008, the SA will be launching an exciting new website for members of 1st Gilwell Park Scout Group (Troop).
The website will include all the latest information about Gilwell Park including any future plans and building work, an array of Gilwell photos, a message board for members, web cams and many other things.
Sign up for their email list and stay in touch with Gilwell. Use this link to get to the site. LINK

I had the pleasure of camping at Gilwell when I was a young Scout. What an experience to be connected to the essentially the birthplace of Scouting.

Check out a cool image from Google Maps of Gilwell.

If you are a member of Gilwell Troop 1, Wood Badge recipient.. Check it out.
Read more about Wood Badge from the Pine Tree Web.

I used to be a Beaver,
And a good old Beaver too.
But now I’ve finished beavering, And I don’t know what to do.
I’m growing old and feeble, And I can Beaver no more.
So I’m going to work my ticket while I can.
Back to Gilwell, happy land, I’m going to work my ticket while I can.

(The Gilwell Song)

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Wood Badge | 4 Comments

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