23 March 2019

What is Wood Badge and Seabadge?

The Boy Scouts of America offers two high-level leadership and management courses for BSA leaders that are internationally recognized so much that many companies will give time off and/or pay for Scouters to attend the courses, as it makes them not only a better Scout Leader, but a better employee, spouse, and parent. Generally, it is suggested that you attend Wood Badge Basic Leadership Training before you attend Seabadge Advanced Leadership Training, as Seabadge will take the skills you learned in Wood Badge to an all new level. The American version of Wood Badge is celebrating it's 70th anniversary this year and Seabadge will celebrate it's 50th anniversary in 2020.

The purpose of Wood Badge Basic Leadership Training is to develop skilled leaders who can strengthen Scouting units in achieving the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. Open to adults, including Scouters in any BSA program and Venturers and Sea Scouts ages 18 and older. The Wood Badge course is either held as a 6-day course or two 3-day courses and is run by the local council.

Wood Badge serves as the basic leadership training program for all branches of Scouting, including the Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Sea Scouting, and Venturing programs. Wood Badge allows an in-depth exploration of leadership skills as well as a supervised implementation of the skills through a multi-part, post-course delivery plan referred to as a “ticket.”

Besides position specific training, Leaders of each Scouting program have other preresiquites before they can take Wood Badge.
  • Cub Scout leaders are recommended to have taken BALOO: Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation
  • Boy Scout, Venturing, and Sea Scout Leaders are recommended to have taken IOLS: Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills
  • Venturing participants must have completed ILSC: Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews
  • Sea Scouts participants must have completed ILSS: Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships
Wood Badge teaches participants the basics of listening, managing conflict, leading change, stages of team development, coaching & mentoring, leadership for different stages, servant leadership, project planning, communicating, valuing people, and more. Once the skill is learned, each member is given the opportunity to use the skill as a member of a successful working team. At the conclusion of the course, each participant develops a set of personal goals related to his or her Scouting role known as "the Ticket." Working toward these goals allows each participant to practice and demonstrate new skills.

Seabadge Advanced Leadership Training teaches leadership skills for unit, district, and council Scout leaders. Seabadge is intense leadership and management training focused on the “how-to” aspects of managing a successful youth led Scout program. While Seabadge was originally developed as an advanced leadership training program for experienced Sea Scout adult leaders the course is open to all adult Scout leaders. The driving theme for the training is to “Focus on Youth”, which makes the course especially valuable for any Scout leader dealing with older youth. Seabadge does not cover topics like boating, knots, or other program-related materials found in the Sea Scout Manual.

Seabadge is an intensive 3-day course. Course participants and staff function as a model ship to help participants understand how a ship or youth-led unit should function. The curriculum includes twenty sessions, with established objectives, that are presented in a motivating and informative forum. After the course, participants have 18 months to complete their Praxis, (previously known as the Rutter) similar to the Wood Badge Ticket.

The objectives of Seabadge are to:
  • Improve the understanding of leadership, management, and motivational skills among adult leaders.
  • Provide management, leadership, and presentation skills and tools to adult leaders so that they may use and share them with others in their day-to-day Scout activities.
  • Use the skills and tools acquired at Seabadge to improve the quality of their Scouting program.
  • Encourage the development of lifelong contacts and sharing of resources by and between course participants and staff.
Course applicants must meet the following minimum standard requirements prior to consideration for participation in a Seabadge course:
  1. Is a registered adult member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  2. Has completed the basic training courses for their Specific Scouting  position(s) and Leader Specific: Sea Scout Adult Leader Basic Training.
To find your next local Wood Badge course, check the website if your council and/or that of surrounding councils. For the next regional Seabadge check https://seascout.org/adult-training/seabadge/

19 March 2019

Orthodox Christian Saints that were Scouts and Scouters

While it is somewhat common knowledge to many Scouts that Saint George the Trophy-Bearer of Cappadocia is the patron saint of Scouting, and that Sea Scouts share the same patron along with Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia, Saint Brendan the Navigator of Ireland, and Saint Cormac of the Sea, many may not know that some modern Orthodox Christian Saints were involved in Scouting.

I only list a few more prominent saints, but I am sure there are many more Orthodox Christian Saints that were involved in Scouting as well.

Saint Nicholas the Tsar Martyr - Had Scouting bought to Russia by Lord Robert Baden-Powell (pictured left)

Saint Basil the Hieromartyr of Kineshma - Scoutmaster and Bishop (pictured top left)

Saint Alexei the Royal Martyr and Passion Bearer - The First Scout of Russia (pictured right)


Saint John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco - Scout Camp Chaplain in Europe and America (pictured top right)

You can see more about the founding of Scouting in America, in Russia, and in many traditional Orthodox Christian countries at https://orthodoxscouter.blogspot.com/2016/09/orthodoxy-and-scouting-in-america-and.html

I will post more about the lives of these holy saints of Scouting in the upcoming months. Holy Orthodox Scouts and Scouters, Pray unto God for us!

12 March 2019

Servant Leadership: The Corps of Discovery

Founded in 1999 by a Venturing Crew, the purpose of the Corps of Discovery (COD) is to promote a stand alone servant leadership and service program within our home communities or religious institutions that youth groups, especially Venturing Crews, Sea Scout Ships, Scout Troops, and Exploring Posts can use to enhance their program and to service regardless of the endorsement of any national organization. The mission is to provide servant leadership to youth and adult members of youth groups through leadership training, program development, and service projects.

The COD is not an honor society so much as it is a unit-based co-educational Service organization. To be a member, one must simply be willing to commit to doing service, and ask to join the Corps of Discovery. The COD takes its name and symbolism from Lewis and Clark's historic Voyage of Discovery.

The Corps of Discovery is a Service Society for the youth and adults who have shown a willingness to promote service within their Scouting organizations, communities or within their religious institutions. It is intended for youth and adults who have gone beyond what would normally be expected by a unit member or unit leader; ones that provide widespread service. It should not be thought of as an inclusive precursor to the (newly made Co-Ed) Order of the Arrow (OA). It is a totally different animal. One must not choose between membership in one or the other. In fact, many CoD members are also OA members.

The Order of the Arrow is an optional Honor Society whose purpose is to promote camping in Boy Scouting. It is structured into a Lodges like Freemasonry. It's theme is based in American Indian culture, and its ceremonies involved dressing up as Native Americans.

The Corps of Discovery is a Service Society whose purpose is to provide service to Venturing, Scouting, Exploring, and our communities. It's theme is Servant Leadership and it is based on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The moment depicted on the current pocket flap is when Sacagawea recognized her brother, Cameawhait, upon her return to Western Montana. She had been kidnapped by a rival tribe as a young girl and was returning to her home territory for the first time — as a member of the Corps of Discovery. The reason this moment is so important is because the Corps was in danger of failing at that moment, as they needed horses and directions in order to cross the Bitterroot Mountains into Idaho and Eastern Washington State before winter, which her brother provided.

The first pocket flap was a depiction of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark at the white bluffs of the Missouri Breaks at the moment they (thought they) could see the Continental Divide. It turned out they were seeing the Bearpaw Mountains and were a week or so away from the Rockies.

The next pocket flap, designed for the 20th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery, will show the leaders of the Corps voting on whether to spend the winter on the Washington State side of the Columbia River or to cross over to Oregon to winter near the present site of Astoria. Everyone in the Corps got a vote, including Sacagawea and York, Clark's slave. This was almost certainly the first time in American history that a woman and a black man got to vote in a major decision. The Corps voted to move to the southern shore of the Columbia and wintered at Fort Clatsop, a small log compound which they built themselves. That flap can be ordered in a variety a of shapes. Click here for more information on this special flap.

Here is the elevator speech version:
"The Corps of Discovery is a Service Society based on one of the greatest adventures in American history. The Order of the Arrow is an Honor Society based loosely on American Indian culture and Masonry."
The COD is not an official part of the Boy Scouts of America (although some BSA districts, councils, areas, and regions recognize it as an important part of their program) many units, including Venturing Crews, Sea Scout Ships, Scout Troops, and Exploring Posts are embracing the program for several reasons. Some of those reasons include:
  • The fact that the COD takes its name and symbolism from Lewis and Clark's historic Voyage of Discovery.
  • It is a service organization and not an honor society of lodges.
  • Both males and females have always been able to belong to the Corps.
  • To become a member, one must simply be willing to commit to doing service (a pay it forward concept).
For more information on the Corps of Discovery and how to join, please see https://www.TheCorpsOfDiscovery.org & https://www.SageThinking.org/COD.shtml as well as on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/16213695514/ and https://facebook.com/vcorpsofdiscovery

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