What the Heck is Wood Badge?

woodbadge“Hey RJ, where are your beads?”

That was the question Harry Moyer asked me many years ago in the stairwell of Shawnee Mission West High School, our previous Roundtable location. I felt a little embarrassed. I didn’t have any beads, and in the Heart of America Council, beads are sort of a big deal. 

In following months, Harry softened me up by telling me about all the great things I would take away from Wood Badge. But I didn’t need any more training. I’m already a highly trained youth leadership development specialist. What could I possible learn in six days of Wood Badge?

Well let me tell you…I learned plenty. I learned about conflict management, how to communicate better and how to listen more effectively, I learned about getting and giving feedback, setting goals and having a vision to achieve a mission, and I learned more about camping and preparing our youth for their outdoor experiences. I learned how to form a team of adults into a performing group with a mission. I learned the secrets that are held at Camp Naish, and I learned that you can have outstanding food on your camping adventures.

You will learn these things too, and much more. I was the fortunate recipient of the generosity of the Troop 428 Committee, who pitched in and paid for my training. I am learning daily about more and more Troops, Packs and Crews that pay for Wood Badge training for their interested leaders. What a deal! You get a many thousands of dollars training for just over $300 put on by people who are perfecting a 100 year old, time tested and proven, recipe of leadership for youth.

I am still working my ticket. I will probably always be working my ticket, given my passion for Scouting. Delivering on the Promise of Scouting to our youth would be much easier if you would sign up for Wood Badge and help me.

If I see you out and about in coming months expect me to ask you the same question Harry asked me so many years ago.

Interested yet? Get in touch with Mark Ford, the Shawnee Trails District Wood Badge Advocate and he can share his personal enthusiasm for Wood Badge. Can’t get a hold of Mark, find anyone wearing the taupe neckerchief and a couple beads and their passion will come shining through.

I look forward to seeing you at Gilwell Field on an upcoming course.

RJW, Troop 1, Bear Patrol, C5-307-16-1

PS: For the record, this BLOG exists because of Wood Badge and the ticket process.

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