In the midst of the Xmas preparation and rush by everyone, The Scout Association of Belize conducted an Advanced Wood Badge Leadership Course for adult volunteer Leaders from December 18 - 22, 2010.

 the belize flag historic trail

                                  The Belize Flag Historic Trail

The Course got underway on Saturday December 18 and was held at Camp Oakley, the national training grounds of the Association.  It had the participation of seven volunteer Leaders from Orange Walk, Corozal and Cayo districts.

This high-level Course is designed for Leaders who are actively involved at the Unit level and work directly with young persons.

teaching basic useful knots

  Trainer Roberto Harrison teaching basic useful knots

The aim of Advanced Wood Badge Leadership Training is to help the participant develop an insight into the adult Leader’s role and competence in leading the adult leadership team of The Scout Association effectively.  The Course provided a combination of theoretical knowledge, practical skills, methods, activities and program materials used in the different Scout Sections, so that the objectives of the Association are met.  Sessions included: Knowing and Using the Resources of the Group, Effective Communication, Understanding Characteristics and Needs of Young Persons, Relationships with Parents & Family, and Effective Teaching of Young Adults. 

map and compass instructions

      Trainer Vivianni Teul teaching map & compass

Wood Badge is, further, Scouting’s premier training Course.  Baden-Powell designed it so that Scout Leaders could learn, in as practical a way as possible, the skills and methods of Scouting.  It is first and foremost, learning by doing.  The members of the Course are formed into Patrols which make up a Scout Unit and the entire Unit lives in the out-of-doors for five days, camping, cooking their own meals, practicing Scout crafts and foremost, developing leadership skills based on the educational proposal of the Scout Movement.

The uniqueness of Scouting is the Patrol method.  The use of the natural gang of six or eight boys or girls or mixed who elect their own Leader and plan and carry out many of their own activities is a democracy in microcosm.  Here young men and women learn the give and take of working with people, as they must surely do all their lives.  Here, too, they are given leadership and learning opportunities, which prepare them for their future roles as citizens.  It is for this reason that it is so crucial that all adults understand thoroughly the Patrol method.

patrol in session

                    Patrol in session

In addition to a fine Course, all the traditions and heritage of Scouting are stressed and used to inspire those attending.  Wood Badge in one form or another is used throughout the Scouting world.  Tens of thousands of Scout Leaders proudly wear the Gilwell scarf, woggle, and beads of Wood Badge-trained Leaders.  Because it was begun by Baden-Powell in England in 1919, it is clearly backed by the finest thought and tradition of the Founder and thus carries with it great prestige.  Wood Badge is, then, a great force for world brotherhood, for though it uses the local traditions in each country, it emphasizes the international aspects of the Movement and the heritage of Baden-Powell and Gilwell Park.

course participants and trainers

        Participants and Trainers Advanced Wood Badge Leadership Course

Funding for this Course came from the Ministry of Education, the Belize Scout Endowment Foundation and a small registration fee paid by the participants.

The Course was directed by Scout Leader Everaldo Puck from the 19th Corozal Louisville RC Scout Unit and was assisted by a team of seven other qualified Trainers.