Is Scouting Worth It?

A Letter From the Course Director of NE-IV-214

Scouters are an unusual breed. Someone who has not experienced Scouting might ask, "What on earth could lead a person to give up all those uncounted hours of time, money, and other resources to help a bunch of kids go camping?"

Of course the answer is complicated because the question is too simple. As a Scouter, I've lost little; and the rewards vastly outweigh any costs. I bet you can say the same. More importantly, Scouters know the importance of providing as many youth as possible the opportunities and experiences that are the bedrock of the skills and, more importantly, values they will need as adults. The game of Scouting (things like camping, hiking, learning knots, building fires, sharing chores and responsibilities) underlies the purpose of Scouting; helping youth develop the values and capacity to make good decisions, to be good citizens, and to give back to their communities.

Probably everyone reading this is a volunteer or professional in Scouting; so ask yourself, "Is it worth it?"

If the answer is "Yes!" (and I sure hope it is), then please consider signing up for Wood Badge. If your responsibilities in Scouting are important to you, then you want to carry them out to the very best of your ability. Wood Badge is an opportunity to develop, hone, and polish your Scouting leadership skills, to meet and work alongside other people with the same interests and values, and to have a whole lot of fun! You will meet people who may become lifelong friends, you will share experiences with other people who know what it means to be a Scouter, and you will have the opportunity to find out how others have managed the same challenges you face every day. In addition, the skills of leadership you learn and practice in Wood Badge and then use in your home units become your gift to the youth in Scouting.

This year the Greater Pittsburgh Council is offering Wood Badge course number NE-IV-214 on two weekends in September (you must attend both weekends); September 5-7 and 26-27 (note that these are three-day weekends starting bright-and-early Friday morning; "A Scout is Cheerful!"). There is a maximum of 48 participants for the course and registrations are already coming in. Please don't delay even if you are just considering attending the course. A $50 deposit will hold you a place on the course.

You can get a registration form here on this site, just click on "Register" at the top.

You can also get more information and a registration form at the GPC website: http://www.gpc-bsa.org/programs/training/woodbadge.asp

Finally, to find out more about Wood Badge, look around your unit and your district; if you see people with some small wooden beads on a leather string around their necks, ask them about Wood Badge. And watch them smile. They will be glad to tell you about it.

Best,

--Karl

Course Director, NE-IV-214