Monday, September 23, 2013

Wood Badge, Week Two

The Mighty Owl Patrol

So I have completed Wood Badge.

Well, the part of Wood Badge that involves cheers and skits and flag ceremonies and other pageantry squeezed between a lot of fast little learning bits on leadership. Now the hard part – synthesis of what’s been learned and application of it to daily life – must begin.
First, my ticket items. We have to complete these five items – customized to each Wood Badge participant – within 18 months. Our patrol has the goal of doing so in six.
  1. Meet with scouts and their parents to find out what they want out of scouting and determine what we can do, via scheduling and leadership opportunities, to get them there.
  2. Divide the troop of eight scouts into two patrols, provide leadership training, have scouts elect leaders, put together flags, etc.
  3. Meet with current adult Scout troop leadership to get a picture of what’s going on in the troop now, and incorporate what is learned into future planning.
  4. Create a blog/Facebook page/newsletter for the troop, driven by the scouts, to offer reminders on upcoming events, trips, merit badge and advancement work, etc.
  5. Create quarterly calendars for the troop.
Those are the goals synthesized, in brief, and done from memory. They all appear doable within the next six months.
This is, of course, contingent on a few things that have not yet come to pass but are heavily hinted throughout this post. No matter. Those who need to know know already and those smart enough to figure it out are also smart enough to keep their mouths shut, at least when they’re visiting the Ammon 11th Ward.
Second, further application of what was learned. I can tell already I’m going to drive my fellow instructors at BYU-Idaho nuts when it comes to Wood Badge application. Just over the weekend, I used some of what I learned to defend a group assignment we do in Foundations English, urging myself (and the rest of them) to look for ways to form the groups for those assignments earlier on in the semester and put the teams to work before the big assignment so they can get through the less productive stages of team-building and on to production once the big assignment is there. I’ve also been asked to summarize my Wood Badge takeaways and provide a post for our online instructors community. I’ll start work on that as soon as I’m done with this post.
I’m most excited about the leadership opportunities for the boys. I know they need it – I know my son needs it. Having that kind of responsibility and follow-up through a senior patrol leader to the scoutmasters will be valuable learning for him.
If you haven’t gone to Wood Badge, you should. It’s excellent, introspective leadership training – by far the most valuable training I’ve received on a church calling outside of the Missionary Training Center. It’s excellent for non-scouters. Hopefully, in the post I share next, I’ll grab you with the reasons why.

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