50 for 50 #22 – Wood Badge

First Wood Badge training at Gilwell Park

First Wood Badge training at Gilwell Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From start to finish Wood Badge was an amazing experience. There was lots of great information. The staff worked really hard to make it interesting and to help us understand. There is no way to explain what Wood Badge is all about. It has to be experienced to understand. The short version is Wood Badge is a leadership course taught in the context of the scouting organization. The principles are the same as many corporate leadership trainings but with the energy of the boy scouts instead of the often boring style of the business world. If you ever take Wood Badge you won’t regret it.

I want to put together something to celebrate this experience. They had a photographer there and I think that we will have access to all the photos he took. I’m pretty sure I want to do a book with all or most of the photos and maybe a video with mostly photos from my patrol, the owls. I also have lots of little trinkets they call totems that I want to save in some organized and meaningful way.

Have any of you ever been to Wood Badge?

50 for 50 #21 – My Birthday

This week was my real 50th birthday! It was a wild and crazy week too. On Tuesday, I went to lunch with my mom and sister to Kneaders. I love their Key Lime Tart, not to sweet and light and refreshing.

Thursday through Saturday we were in Park City for Wood Badge training with the Boy Scouts of America. They sang a happy birthday to me twice and my troop (the Owls) got cup cakes from the quartermaster. I got to (or maybe had to) wear a pink stuffed birthday cake hat for the second rendering of happy birthday. The first time most of the group thought of me as Suzy. Let me try to explain. One of the traditions at Wood Badge is to circulate a Susan B. Anthony dollar among the participants by slipping it into someones pocket. Then when the Senior Patrol Leader starts singing “Where is Suzy” everyone looks in their pocket. Knowing that today was my birthday they planted the coin my pocket. I felt it go in but didn’t know what it was until they started talking about the “where is Suzy” thing. Then it all made sense and I wasn’t at all surprised to find it in my pocket. Who ever has the coin in their pocket gets to go up to the front and sing a song. They let me off the hook a bit by everyone singing happy birthday to me. It turns out that you can also lead the group in a song or you troop can join you in singing a song.

I don’t have photos from Wood Badge yet. But they have two people taking lots of photos and I’ll have access to them after the course is over. So I’ll add some photos of my birthday experience then. It was the most unusual birthday and birthday week I’ve ever had. But if you ever get theĀ  chance to take Wood Badge you really should take advantage of the opportunity.

Have any of you been to Wood Badge?