One of my Wood Badge ticket items is to attend a training course for Cubmasters that goes beyond what is covered in the Position-specific training. The second part of that ticket item is to bring back something I learned and implement it in my pack. It was part of the same quest that brought me to Wood Badge in the first place, I knew there was a lot more to learn.
Previously I had looked through the courses offered within our council, and within the council to our north, but nothing really jumped out at me. So I started looking through the Philmont Training Center website. I knew I wanted to go someday, and my Wood Badge Ticked gave me the perfect excuse. It turns out that Philmont is only a 4 1/2 hour drive from my house, so there really wasn’t any excuse not to go.
The Philmont Training Center was created in 1950 to provide training to the BSA’s volunteers. As the only national training center (at least for now) it has the best staff and faculty the BSA has to offer. Everyone was friendly and knowlegeable, and the energy level was topped out. Every day I was amazed, especially with the staff that worked with the kids. That takes a lot of energy!
Philmont is one of those places that evokes strong memories for those that have been, and most of those memories are made during 10 day treks. Between 300-500 Scouts arrive every day to go on the backcountry treks that have made Philmont famous. I did not ever make it to Philmont when I was a Scout, so this trip seemed like a perfect opportunity to see what it was all about.
After researching the course for a while, I realized this might be a good experience for the whole family. PTC seemed to have an extensive family program, both for spouses and any kids that came along. The more I researched it and asked around, the more I was convinced. After talking to my wife (and she took some convincing) we agreed that it would be a good trip to take. Family time, learning skills to be a better Cubmaster, and cover a Wood Badge Ticket item? Sold.
Strictly for Cubmasters Course
This conference offers everything Cubmasters and prospective Cubmasters ever wanted to know about their responsibilities, including delivering a quality pack program, the charter renewal process, Webelos-to-Scout transition, conducting the pack meeting, practical ideas for ceremonies and keeping the pack program energized.
Our time at the Philmont Training Center did not disappoint. The week is a great combination of spending time together and also letting the everyone try out activities with their peer group. The course I took was exactly what I was looking for, the faculty and classmates became friends that I will share with even now that we have returned to our home units.
The class was taught by Debbie Spohn and Jim Hau, and there were 9 Cubmasters in the class. Some had been in the position for weeks, some for many years. The size of the Packs ranged from 20 to 120. Debbie and Jim covered recruiting, meetings, campfires, outdoor activities, and how to add pizazz to your Pack. We had great group discussions, spent time outside playing the games we were learning, and laughed. We laughed a lot!
There’s way too much to cover, so I’m going break this up into a couple of posts. One on the Strictly for Cubmasters course and what we covered and one on the family program. I’ll link to them here when they post.