I would like to start off by thanking Scoutmaster Robin, Senior Patrol Leader James, Troop Guide Dean, the members of my patrol, and all the other staff and participants for making Wood Badge a memorable experience for me.
For those of you who don’t know what Wood Badge is, it is an adult leadership training course by the Boy Scouts of America. It consisted of two three-day weekends. One in September and another in October. The first weekend was modeled after troop meetings, while the second week was modeled after camping trips.
On the first day, each patrol went through the simulation of being a Cub Scout pack. By lunch, we reached our Blue and Gold ceremony (The bridging ceremony between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts), and we went from being a Cub Scout pack to being a Boy Scout troop. At the campfire on the second night, One of the youth on staff gave a wonderful performance where he was dressed as Sir Robert Baden-Powell (the founder of scouting as it’s known in the US) and gave a wonderful performance on the life of Sir Robert Baden-Powell. We partook in many group activities and had many lessons lead by our troop guide. My favorite of the lessons was on the EDGE method. At the end of the first weekend, we saw a particularly interesting movie called October Sky.
During the second weekend, we had to cook all our meals in our campsite, unlike the first weekend where all our meals were provided to us. This was because the second weekend was modeled after camping trips where troops would normally cook in their campsite. Also during the second week, we had more lessons, group presentations, and a conservation project.
As part of the second week, each patrol was required to put on a group presentation. Each presentation had a firm time limit of fifteen to twenty minutes, and any group that went overtime was cut off. My groups presentation was on Scoutreach (Scoutreach is scoutings attempt to reach urban areas. More information to come in a later post). Most of the people in attendance that weekend, plus several members of my patrol (myself included), had never heard of Scoutreach before. Our presentation began with a brief history of the Scoutreach program. After that, one of our patrol members talked about his first-hand experience with Scoutreach in his town. Because Scoutreach is still widely unknown, I talked about several ways to effectively market Scoutreach.
While at Wood Badge, we had to come up with several items for our ticket. A ticket consists of one central goal and five projects related to your central goal that give back to scouting. While I had some difficulty coming up with a suitable goal and suitable projects, everyone was nice enough to give me more than enough help with my ticket goal and projects.
Overall, I am extremely grateful for the chance to attend a Wood Badge course. While I was much younger than the other attendees, I never once felt out of place. I learned many skills that are not only useful as an adult leader in scouting, but also useful throughout life. This is an experience I will remember forever as I use all the skills we were taught. My advice to anyone considering attending a Wood Badge training course is to go for it. Wood Badge is extremely useful as an adult leader in scouting.