Thursday, August 25, 2011

Who Shoud Go To Wood Badge?

The Church teaches, "Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence" (D&C 107:99). Carried out, this suggests that members serving in Church assignments—including Scouting—will learn the responsibilities of their calling and then fulfill them to the best of their ability.  Scouting teaches that "Every boy deserves a trained leader." All Scouting leaders are required to complete specific basic training for their position.1
Wood Badge EmblemWood Badge is far and away beyond the basic training mentioned above.  It is the BSA's premier adult leadership training course. It rivals any similar program the corporate world can offer, and the food, company and reason for going are so much better.  Take a week and sing some silly songs, do some silly skits, play some silly games and learn a lot about leadership, what Scouting is all about and why we use it, and then take it all home to better serve the boys (and the girls and even the grown-ups) in your charge. Yes, it's a sacrifice to go. I blew through several days of vacation time this last May, just so I could spend the next 18 months working on difficult, self-imposed goals. Why? I heard it was worthwhile.

If we're to magnify our callings, and if we really want to receive the inspiration we need to carry out an effective program, we gotta know what we're doing in the first place. That means education and training.  And by the way, being a Scout when you were 13 and being a Scoutmaster at 35 are two very different animals. I have discussed before why I believe people are reluctant to get trained; I can think of a dozen excuses not to learn something new, too.  But, I learned in Cub Scouts 27 years ago that I'm supposed to Do My Best. In my mind, that means finding ways to better carry out my responsibilities.

Here's a starting list of those for whom Wood Badge is intended:
  • Stake Presidencies
  • Stake YM Presidencies
  • Stake Primary Presidencies
  • Bishoprics
  • Ward YM Presidencies
  • Ward Primary Presidencies
  • Scoutmasters
  • Assistant Scoutmasters
  • Merit Badge Counselors
  • Cubmasters
  • Den Leaders
  • Committee Members
  • (I would even venture (Ha! Venture, Get it?) to say that ward/stake YW presidencies ought to go)

Charles W. Dahlquist, former member of the General Young Men's Presidency and current president of the Great Salt Lake Council, had this to say about Wood Badge training:
If we are really intent in touching the lives of our young men, in building, as Elder Ballard has challenged, “the greatest generation of missionaries this world has ever seen,” then we will do whatever is necessary to help us to accomplish that – including getting trained. For most of us, Wood Badge is life-changing because it has to do more with vision and understanding this great tool for strengthening young men of the Aaronic Priesthood than anything else.
Go to Wood Badge. It will change your life.

1.Church Scout Leader Training Philosophy


Pale-winged Trumpeter said...

Do you mean me? I guess the better question is, "what is the proper order of things?" I'd like to go to Wood Badge, I guess, but always that that Wood Badge was something to go to once I figured out everything else. I mean, I haven't even read the whole scoutmasters handbook yet! I feel pretty overwhelmed with all this stuff, and feel like I'd be jumping in even deeper by going to Wood Badge - whereas, maybe in a year or two I might be better prepared? What do you think?

Eric the Half-bee said...

It really can be overwhelming. I went after I'd been in the job for about six months. I'd already been reading quite a bit of stuff. Get your basic training done, then sign up. You won't be sorry. Most people who go later say that they wish they'd gone sooner. If you're thinking seriously about it, it's not too early.