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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Back to Gilwell

Last week I heard from the course director for our council's Wood Badge course for this year. Regional/national have approved the course going forward, even though we are not quite at 30 yet. (I hear we are close, and there is still a week left to register). Yes, you read that right. Our council, which covers everything in Nevada besides the Las Vegas area, plus a little of California, only has one Wood Badge course a year, and it needs special approval, because there is so much trouble getting the required minimum of 30 participants. This year, when I can finally go, they have been especially anxious about whether it would happen.

I received my packet of info and forms, and I am working on getting those filled out. In three weeks I will heading for a week of adventure and learning. Pretty exciting. I know the course director and several of the staff, and the DE tells me it looks like it's going to be a really good one, so I am looking forward to a great week.


Fishgutts said...

I think that this all has to do with the change in the membership standards - whether it is right or wrong. LDS Scouters are NOT signing up for the LDS Wood Badge Course in my Council. I have to say I am kind of sad that it appears (just my perception) that LDS Scouters still seem to have the "we will wait and see what the Church does" even though the Church has put out a letter stating the Church as a whole is STAYING in Scouting.

On a personal note you are about to have the best time of your life. When the training goes crazy (and it will) ask yourself "What are they trying to teach me here?" This will calm the storm!! Good luck. May you be a Fox!

Evenspor said...

Thanks, Chad. I can't wait.

As I was thinking about your comment, I realized I could write a whole post about it, but I think this is better left to the comment section.

On the surface: the controversy probably did not affect participation numbers in our area too much. At least, from what I hear the previous two years' wood badges had even lower numbers.

The big difference this year, from what I understand, was that those in charge of approving such things had said they would be more strict about getting enough participants in order to be approved. Apparently it is very expensive to run a wood badge with too few participants.

I don't know whether the fact that they were going to be more strict this year is related to the fact that our council was way below expected income for the first half of the year, which is related to what you were talking about. I found out at a district meeting last month, at which we had some visiting council dignitaries, that Friends of Scouting donations were way below usual this year, mostly because of people "waiting to see" before donating. I don't know whether those numbers have since recovered.

We do have a large number of LDS units in our area, and there is a tradition of apathy towards Scouting in many of those units, which we are working to overcome one small step at a time. The impression I have gotten is that those, at least here, who were just waiting to see were those who will always find an excuse to not give the program their best.

(Recently I have been tempted to start humming "Follow the Prophet" whenever I am around certain of these people. I keep trying to remind myself of Elder Holland's talk in the last conference: "Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it." As difficult as it is, I am trying to be patient with those around me and where they are at, and maybe one of these days help them see things from a new perspective. It's time for another round of "Trails to Testimony" loans.)

Fishgutts said...

I probably should can my absolute anger and disgust for LDS Scouters who, at best, just put on a uniform and claiming they know what they are doing (my favorite is "I am an Eagle Scout so I know how this program works....) I am so fed up so before I embarrass myself I will say I will take you up on your challenge and hand out more copies of Trails to Testimony before I erupt.

Allen said...

That makes one Wood Badge course for the entire state of Nevada in 2013. The LVAC's August 12-17 Wood Badge was cancelled.

Evenspor said...

Wow, really? That makes me even more thankful our course was not cancelled.

Anonymous said...

Wow, some fun comments. I am in Orange County, CA and we have a good turnout for Wood Badge. The good news, is you can get approval to do Wood Badge in another Council if you need to. It was like drinking from a fire-hose. What I got out of Wood Badge wasn't what I learned from the material, but what I learned from other participants, especially non-LDS. I gained Confidence that I could be a good Scouter, even just being in Cub Scouts (for now). For me, the biggest growth over the last 18 months came by completing some really challenging goals I set for myself. I saw a vision and went after it. I had 2 Unit goals and the rest were District/Stake Goals. I was lucky to have 5 other members of my stake there, a Stake Presidency Member, 2 Stake YM Leaders, a bishpric memebr in a ward, and the High Councilor over YM. We've all been working to improve the Scouting Program in our Stake and now we are working on getting our leaders to understand the importance of Training. Luckily there has been some great resources come out over the last year (LDS Scouting Handbook - Green One - 2012 Edition) as well as some good training through the Annual YM Worldwide Training. Then when they read and watch those paired with Trails to Testimony - it all starts to come together.

As for the "I'm and Eagle Scout" comment, I also remind them that a Scout is Obedient and Section 2.0 in the LDS Scout Handbooks says you should be trained. (Show them Basic Training - then ask if you want to magnify your calling, I recommend the training listed in Section 2.1)


Great to see a new post Evenspor (Arwen)!


Evenspor said...

Thanks. If that many of your stake leadership went to Wood Badge together, I think it's almost a sure thing Scouting will improve in your stake.

I find your comment about "just being in Cub Scouts" interesting. In fact, I think I will write post about it.

And I love your answer to, "I don't need training because I was a scout."