By Darryl Alder
Nov 13, 2015

Two Tiny Beads

I spent Tuesday evening with a few dozen Scouters debriefing our Wood Badge Courses for 2015, eleven in all; more than 400 Scouters attended courses in our Council this year and there is much to learn about how to do it right.

All fifteen course directors for 2016 were there to learn about how things went; what they should Start, Stop and Continue doing for thier courses. These course directors have already each been to an overnight Course Directors Conference, and even though snow is just beginning to fall, preparations for the first spring courses are well underway.Wood Badge Beads Woggle Neckerchief

It always makes me stop and wonder why? Why would grown adults camp for a week, learning leadership skills, and return home to work on goals for six to eighteen months that serve youth, just for two tiny beads.

Perhaps these five paragraphs offer some insight:

Two tiny wooden beads on a leather thong. Doesn’t sound like an outstanding badge and mark of distinction, but it is known and respected as such around the globe. It is symbolic of the interest and efforts of one man on behalf of others that created and launched the largest movement for boys that the world has ever known.

It is the mark of those who have demonstrated that they are people of character who are devoted to a cause: folks who strive for perfection well knowing that even the best is not enough; people that hold the welfare of others above self; Scouters who live up to all that name implies.

Awarded to Scouters on the basis of what they think and are, rather than on what they know. Each person must demonstrate that they have know-how. For good intentions count for little until by the application of ability and determination they produce results that count. Striving for perfection in themselves that they might train others better. To this end Wood Badge exists.

It is doubtful that the thought ever entered the mind of Robert Baden-Powell, that his efforts on Brownsea Island would grow to influence the youth of the world, and that in the days ahead thousands upon thousands of Scouters would carry his efforts forward to an ever increasing number of youth world-wide.

Who knows but that this effort, this crusade, may flourish to the end that two tiny wooden beads on a leather thong may yet become the symbol of a succeeding effort to bring about a World Brotherhood of Mankind under a Fatherhood of God. To that end may Wood Badge serve and never falter or fail.

Two tiny wooden beads on a leather thong. They could symbolize the hope of the world. It’s up to you.

Though all our 2105 courses are LDS Stake hosted, everyone of any faith or location may attend. Register today!

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Author:  Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. He has served on several Wood Badge Staffs and is an Assistant Scoutmaster for the Pleasant Grove North Field Stake at Maple Dell Scout Camp in April and May 2016.

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