We all have those, "what I wish I'd said" moments. Mine last week happened when I was doing my unit commissioner duty, visiting another pack's committee meeting.
This summer's Wood Badge course came up. I did not expect anyone would be jumping at the chance to go, all of them being women and Cub Scouters, but when one of them started giving those same excuses, I had to counter her arguments.
"But that's not for us; it's for the men. I mean, we just do Cub Scouts. They don't go camping."
"Nope, it's for us too," I told her. "I'm going."
The conversation went on, but later, as I thought it over, that is where I think I could have said more. It occurs to me now that she was probably thinking, since this training is a week long camping experience, that it is all about learning camping skills. I wish I had mentioned that outdoor skills may be part of it (having not been, I do not know for sure, but I am assuming that since that is what IOLS, OWLS, and BALOO are for, that is not the main point of Wood Badge), but the focus is leadership and cooperation.
I forget sometimes that most people think of Scouting as learning scoutcraft skills, and that is it. I wish I had taken this as an opportunity to point out that what Scouting is really about is teaching leadership and self-reliance. It is about spirituality and citizenship as much as it is about life skills. I cannot think of any better way to teach all those things to young men than sticking them out in the wilderness for a week, where they have to eat the meals that they planned, prepared, cooked and cleaned up after themselves. They have to rely on themselves and each other for many things; food is just one example.
It is not my impression that Wood Badge is a survival course, but I can see where someome might think that. Hopefully, next time I can do a better job dispelling the notion.