The 2017 Night of Wood Badge was held on Feb 11th 2017 at the Tigard Christian Church. 123 Scouters and family members attended this now annual event. It is put on by the Wood Badge Association in the Cascade Pacific Council out of Portland Oregon.
This event is for several reasons. It is here to promote Wood Badge courses for the year, help those who want more information about Wood Badge, recognize those who have completed their tickets and finally to enjoy fellowship with Scouters.
Before the main event, the Wood Badge Association held it’s annual Board Meeting along with a meeting to the general members meeting. The main purpose of this Association to to promote and sustain Wood Badge and it’s infrastructure year over year. Helping those who put on Wood Badge, and also help those attend who cannot afford the cost.
This year we had six participants complete their tickets and were able to be beaded at the event. They were from the 2015 and 2016 courses. The participants and some of their Troop Guides showing off their certificates of completion!
This was my fourth time being the Master of Ceremony. Last year was also a lot of fun. I felt like Bob Hope or Billy Crystal hosting the Academy Awards. Though, not as funny. I enlisted several people to help put on the event. We sang songs, told jokes, explained what the Wood Badge Association is, invited those who have been beaded to join an enjoyed a great meal together.
The meal was again put on by Lacey Carroll and company. 60 pounds of pork loin and roast beef. Salad, rice and rolls. The pre-cracker barrel was filled with great amount of goodies as well. Her Wood Badge Brownies covered in chocolate and filled with goodness sent many of us into food comas. Yes, it was the best Scout Food ever served.
My short Cubmaster’s minute dealt with looking out and paying attention to that one Scout. Last year it was about making The Ask. This Scout is the type of scout that does show up, goes to summer camp and participates in a lot of the activities of the unit. However, advancement while he attains several Merit Badges is not his bag. He is there to have fun. But, for some reason he slips away. While on the radar for his actions there is not that person or persons whether adult or youth that helps him within the journey of Scouting. I am not worried about the Scouts who become Eagle, since they have a support system. Nor I am I worried about those who putter along and advance and have a good time without much nudging.
The Goal of the BSA is to build Character, Citizenship and Fitness within each Scout. There are the methods of Scouting that help with this journey, but not all are utilized. Even if a Scout does not attain First Class, they can learn Character, Citizenship and Fitness that will carry with them their entire life. These are not ranks, but life lessons.
Without proper training and practice of what is learned for both the youth and adults within the Unit, failure will happen. This is something that cannot be tracked within Journey to Excellence nor a Unit Commissioner’s Report. It will only be noted on re-charter that there is one less Scout in Scouting. Please, look for that one Scout. Become that Scout’s friend and/or Mentor.
During the evening, it was realized that there were 11 past Course Directors in attendance. From 1985 to 2016. It was a joy to have them step forward to be recognized. A lot of time spent at Gilwell and helping affect Scouting through the decades.
Finally, we said good bye to a Scouter who has Gone Home. Jim Holstrom who was the 2005 Course Director passed on earlier this year. Earlier in the day was his funeral that several Scouters attended. He is a Silver Beaver, Campmaster at Meriwether, Scoutmaster and a great friend to many within the Sunset and Sunrise Districts. He will be missed.
At the end of the night, we did all gather round to see that song once again. 123 people singing, albeit badly was a ending to a great time. See you in 2018!
*Not all photos were taken by me, but from fellow Wood Badgers who attended. Thank you for use of these photos.