Our Reasons

People come to Wood Badge for different reasons. They are in different places in life, come from different places in Scouting and have kids that run the gamut of ages. Leading up to course S9-1-12-1 I reached out to friends I knew that had attended Wood Badge. I asked each one of them:

“Why did you attend Wood Badge?”

I went to Wood Badge mainly because I wanted to experience what my father had with his ticket and further staff work.

My Wood Badge journey led me to introduce youth to chance of a lifetime environmental conservation projects, an historic Civil Rights Hike with legendary Scouter Harold McNair, a Smokey Mountains excursion with a family-oriented bluegrass festival as a bonus, a bittersweet work day at the Big Oak Ranch for Girls, fundraising for a special classroom at Camp Comer, and the workup for Philmont 2018. There are many, many more “connections” to speak of; however, it would suffice it to say, the journey continues as QM Staff for S9-118.

For me, I had a few reasons to take Wood Badge.

First, there was my Dad.  Dad was in the middle of his ticket completion in 1979 when he died. He never had the chance to complete it.  I saw in him the belief that the course was very worthwhile and necessary.  And that was over 30 years ago.

I decided that it was something I should follow through and complete—not only for Dad, but for myself.  So much has changed in the world of Scouting since I first joined in 1971.  I feel that the lessons I learned and the people I met during the course are going to last me forever.  You cannot trade that in for anything.

It is a learning experience that continues to amaze me.  Just what you learn from others is so helpful and supportive.  I recommend the course to everyone.  It will change the way you think and the way you look at things.  It will help you become a better person all around.

For me it wasn’t about the camping or all the scouting stuff. For me it was the chance to experience challenges, to wrap myself up in a legacy of great leaders, by whose example I could learn how to become a better leader for a program that means the world to me, So then maybe just maybe I could be a legacy for someone else.

When I decided to go, it was because there was something missing in my unit, and I found it at Wood Badge.  That ~thing~ that was missing was “youth leadership.”  Wood Badge may help that leader find what they are looking for!

To give you some background, our son was a Tiger Scout, and is now a Life Scout. While I worked with him off and on as a cub scout, I really had no idea of what boy scouting was all about. Our older two girls were girl scouts, but the programs are pretty different. Not to mention that girl scouting has changed quite a bit since I was a girl.

Anyway, to answer your question, I was tired of not knowing what was going on in my son’s scouting program. Not that anyone was trying to keep anything from me, it was just different from what the girls were going through. And I was so tired of hearing things ‘second hand’ from other parents. So when my husband said he wanted to go to this training called Wood Badge I said ‘sign me up too’.  And we both went.

We were both probably different from most, being Troop Committee, but we were accepted, and attended SR-865. For me, it was like drinking from a fire-hose. My husband was an eagle scout as a youth, so for him it was a different experience.  But I don’t regret it one bit.  I guess the main thing I can say, being a parent of a scout, is that being a part of Wood Badge enabled me to help my son advance, because I learned what would be expected of him as a scout. That’s what I tell the Mom’s in our troop. If you want to help your son to be a better scout, you need to learn what he will be expected to do and accomplish, and Wood Badge definitely will teach you that.

Sometimes the best reason to sign up for Wood Badge is because you see what others have done and are doing because of their Wood Badge course.

Let me first say that one big reason I never went to Wood Badge until S9-1047 is because of a misconception. I am an Eagle Scout class of 1996. I thought Wood Badge was for teaching adults how the program works and I knew better than most ( I thought) lol. I didn’t realize it was so much more than that. I did attend however because like most other leaders who truly care I hit that wall of frustration dealing with kids and the lack of kids and parents and the lack of parents and our charter and summer camp, etc.. So I went where all good Eagle Scouts go for these types of answers and went running back to my Scoutmaster.

His response to me was that I wasn’t using my resources. Like that really helped right? lol. Anyway, he proceeded to tell me about his experiences in Wood Badge and how it helped him to Be Prepared for all of these problems. He said ‘you will really come out of this as a new man.’ I thought yeah, ok, but what the heck, I would try anything. Then I saw the price (WOW) where in the heck am I (a single income dad raising 4 kids and a wife) going to come up with that kind of money. So, yup back to my Scoutmaster and again he hit me with that same ole thing about resources. I know right now its funny but it wasn’t at the moment.

So I did as he suggested. If you are trying to get something done tell everyone you know and every one you meet and something will turn up. two weeks later it happened all at once. I didn’t realize how many people had been touched by Wood Badge in some way or another.

Well, that is it in a nut shell (a big one) and my Scoutmaster was so right. The Wood Badge experiance has been a real roller coaster, one that I will always be thankful for. To the whole staff of SR-1047, you have changed my life and I am forever in your debt. and to the Beaver (slap that tail) and to the Bobwhites (I’ve got some cream for that). And lastly to Momma Beaver, much love and deap thankfulness for you and what you do. I am so glad our paths crossed.

I decided to take the plunge because I have to really work at being a leader, it’s not something that comes naturally to me.  Besides the obvious joy of seeing the boys from my den grow, scouting has helped me grow as a person, more than I ever imagined it would, just a few years ago.  I owe it to the boys to keep improving wherever I can.

I almost didn’t attend SR-1047.  The thought of the 18 months was a bit daunting, and to be honest, I was almost even swayed by someone who had NOT been through the course themselves.  I’d only been a cub scout leader for a year and a half, and the perception I felt was that “only people who had done scouting for years and years and years” went to Wood Badge.  About that time, a good friend of mine from our district finished her tickets, and I was able to attend her beading, which was held after our district-specific training day that year.  A short time later, I talked with this person and a few others I knew about who the course was really for.  It was then that I realized, “If the training is going to help you improve what you do for the boys, why would you put it off?”  It turned out that one of the people I spoke with had gone as a first-year leader himself.  So, I wrote my letter and dove in.  The course was far beyond what I expected it to be, and it was absolutely the right decision to go.

So why did I attend Wood Badge?  I had only been in the program a little over a year when I started hearing about it and seeing fellow pack leaders start wearing their beads and started putting references to critters at the bottom on their email.  I as began preparing for Webelos, I realized I didn’t know enough about the Boy Scout program to properly prepare my boys, as my two troop meeting Boy Scout career defined how NOT to transition a Webelos to a Scout.  So I signed up for SR-1047 for the Fall 2010 course.  Webelos to Scout transition became the cornerstone of my Wood Badge vision.  When I signed up, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but Wood Badge seemed like a good place to start, even though I was worried that as a Cub Scout leader that I was taking it too early.

So what did I learn, and why should other Scouters take Wood Badge?  I learned that a Boy-led troop is the Boy Scout Program that Baden Powell created and was imported to the United States 100 years ago, and while times have changed in unimaginable ways, it remains as relevant today – and perhaps it’s even more important because today’s youth have so many electronic interests that limits peer interaction unlike ever before.  I learned how a troop is supposed to operate, and figured out how to begin that transition with my boys.  I met a lot of wonderful people that are dedicated to helping boys grow into great young men, and I was motivated by what they’ve already accomplished.  I met people that I have drawn upon for help, and found them willing to always do so.  I was reintroduced to a number of leadership lessons that I’ve encountered during my military and civil service career, but this time they were in the context of dealing with youth and parents.  During my ticket I explored how scouting influenced the life of some men I’ve worked with that I have terrific respect for, then learned how some of our nation’s greatest leaders were influenced by their time in Boy Scouts.  I learned that it wasn’t too early in my Scouter career to take the course, but rather it was the perfect timing for me.

I had two somewhat selfish reasons for going. One was that I wanted a deeper scouting experience that I had not had since I was a youth and second I wanted the “business/leadership skills” that I knew I would get at the program.

I decided to go to Wood Badge for a few reasons.

  • I thought I could give my scouts a better scouting experience, that they would have more fun, better memories, and have a better chance to develop lifelong skills and habits.
  • I thought it might be kinda fun
  • I liked the idea of connecting with the ancient traditions of scouting, the traditions that go directly back to Lord Baden Powell
  • I thought that it would have a positive influence on my professional and career life, even outside of scouting.

I went to Wood Badge because I had (reluctantly) accepted the job as Scoutmaster for a large troop. I decided if I was going to do this I needed all the help I could get. Wood Badge seemed like the training I needed.

I attended Wood badge because I was new in Scouting pretty much and wanted to learn more.

I felt honored to be asked to attend Wood Badge. I was in Andrew Jackson Council, Jackson, MS area at the time (1995).  Was very active with several different Cub Scouting positions, Den Leader, Assistant Cubmaster, Webelos Leader and them Cubmaster of a large pack of 40 or so kids. When I started I did not know much about what I was doing. I soon learned that Roundtable was the info center of what is going on in the District. I also knew the DE which is still a good friend of mine for getting me into Scouting via School Night program and he helped me a lot in a failing small pack. He pushed me to do the needed basic training and day camps which I enjoyed. The Roundtable trainers were very active in training events and wanted me to go to Wood Badge which was Cub Scout Wood Badge and you had to be invited to go to it so I felt special as a result this was the last one of these and they don’t do them anymore. I found out a few weeks later I was being transferred to Alabama and could not go do it and my Ticket Etc. I felt really bad number one for not being able to do Wood Badge but I was the Cubmaster of a very active unit and this was after the failed one that almost burned me out!  It Certainly burned my wife out for sure! I wanted my Pack to be in capable hands and they really relied on me and we had a very good program.

So I moved to Decatur, AL not knowing anyone or any Scouters and visited a few Troops since my son just bridged right before we moved and attend Summer camp at Camp Hood in MS that year while I was still Cubmaster. We had to opportunity to attend Summer camp again but did not do it with a Troop in Decatur that we joined and are still on their Charter today and my son is 26 years old now. As luck would have it there was a Boy Scout version Wood Badge being promoted in the Tennessee Valley Council ( Huntsville, AL). I told every Troop we visited that one point of me joining a Troop is that I am going to Wood Badge so tell me it that is a problem! Most of the Scoutmasters did not have a problem with that overall. So I attended SR-157 at Camp Jackson which was a three-weekend course with Steve Chapman as the Course Director in the fall of 1996. This is now called an old course or legacy course but it was Awesome! This will be my 9th time to Staff a Wood Badge course and SR-400 was also an old course.

If somebody asks why they should attend Wood Badge tell them it’s the right thing to do in Scouting and the best way to “ Touch the Future”!

The legacy lives on!

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