♫ “Back to Gilwell O’Happy Land… I’m Going to work my Ticket if I can.” ♫
Wood Badge is the highest level of adult Scout leader training available in the World. The first Wood Badge training was organized by Francis “Skipper” Gidney and lectured by Robert Baden-Powell and others at Gilwell Park in the UK in September of 1919. The first course in America was held at Schiff Scout Reservation in 1948. Scouters wanting to take the course must be fully position trained with current YPT. All levels of Scouts BSA are encouraged to take this high-level training. Wood Badge is set up as a 6-day course. One full week or two full weekends of training. After completing the course members of Troop 1 start working their “ticket” to complete the training. On completion, the Scouter is awarded the Gilwell Wood beads, neckerchief, and woggle. Warning, this is high-level training. I have seen it change people’s point of view of the world. Your critter and patrol members will become a special part of your scouting life.
The Order of the Arrow (OA) is the Scouts BSA National Honor Society. The OA was founded by Urner Goodman and Carroll Edson in 1915. Founded on the principles of Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service. The OA is NOT a secret society. “Discreetness helps enhance the experience.” Youth Protection is always in effect. Everyone in the OA is referred to as “brothers” regardless of gender. The order is a Brotherhood of all honored scouts. The Order of the Arrow is youth lead. Adults fulfill an advisory, mentoring, and non-voting role. Depending on your location, elections are held with all scout troops and venture crews once a year. The adult leadership of each unit is contacted by the OA lodge or chapter youth to make election arrangements. Elected candidates go threw a voluntary “ordeal” to start the membership prosses. Later ordeal members can complete their membership by going threw brotherhood. Many unit leaders are concerned that the OA will distract the older scouts away from their unit. OA membership helps retain the interest of older scouts and keeps them involved in the unit leadership.
Today we recognize all of Americas who willingly sacrificed their lives, to save others. Firemen & First Responders, who bravely climbed up to save lives in doomed burning buildings. Police & Security, who gave themselves willing to evacuate survivors. Passengers on United Airlines flight 93 who fought the terrorists when they found out what was going on.
All of the selfless acts of theses honored Americas can never go without remembrance on this day. We all know that among them were many Scouters. The Scout Motto – “Be Prepared”. In Scouting we prepare our youth to do things we hope, they never need to do. We teach young scouts First Aid. Recognizing victims and what to do about it. We teach Youth Protection to Scouts and Scouters. Safety for ourselves and others. We teach about Emergency Preparedness. Disasters, fires, even water safety.
In the Scout Oath, we promise to use our scout skills “to help other people at all times”. In the Scout Law, we uphold that a scout is Helpful, Friendly and Brave. Pray today for the heroic Americans and their families. Please include our future Americans (our scouts) who are taking on tomorrow’s challenges. Let us pray that they may never need to use the skills we teach them. Let them be prepared to help other people at all times. God bless America.
Everyone should be encouraged to use the Scout Sign and recite the Scout Oath and Law. Often I see parents at meetings that just stand there, while their scouts are reciting the oath & law. Leaders should encourage parents and guests to join in. Parents should use the Scout Sign at home or anywhere. Scouting values are not exclusive to registered members at meetings and outings.