This was the ultimate experience for a life-long scouter, the highest training available for volunteer adult scouters. Adding to the specialness was that it’s located in a secret wilderness location never revealed to us. 🙂
Why Was I Invited to this Special Scoutmaster Training?
The state office scouter, “Vic” Vickory, who hired me for the summer job at Camp Quapaw saw in me a potential professional scouter like himself and I showed interest, thus he included both the National Camping School at beginning of summer, which others on the camp staff sometimes attended, but also added this Woodbadge training at the end of the summer as an extra to help me decide about professional scouting. And I was considering his offer until I learned of the major fundraising role which did not interest me. 🙂 I wanted to go camping all the time! 🙂
Woodbadge came after my two personally planned hikes, DeSoto and Shiloh, and finished out my scouting summer just in time for Seminary in Fort Worth. Here’s a description of the 10 days as I remember them many years later . . .
The Eagle Patrol
For our 10 days together in the wilderness we were to function as a Boy Scout Troop, organized into two patrols with all the officers of a patrol and troop, setting up a troop campsite where we would prepare all our meals together, creating patrol sub-camps with latrines and even an outdoor shower of sorts that the newspaper article pictured me showering in! 🙂
When not taking care of necessary camp functions we were either in classes or working on patrol or troop projects as assigned. The idea was to create “the perfect troop” in organization, functions and in a “perfect campsite.” Most of these men were scoutmasters back home and this was to be the model their troops when they returned.
It was also the kind of things I had been teaching the troop Senior Patrol Leaders in my SPL Classes each week at Quapaw to prepare them in leading their troops at Quapaw the following week. Scouting is as much a leadership training as it is skills training and fun.
I really believed in what Scouting taught and loved seeing a well-functioning troop!
And all of this later became helpful background for my roles in the Southern Baptist Royal Ambassador program for boys. See a separate menu item on that!
In Two Newspapers
As the very first Woodbadge Training Class to be conducted in Arkansas, we were featured in the Arkansas Gazette with photos and the Arkansas Democrat in an article. CLICK an image to enlarge:
The Other Scrapbook Pages on Woodbadge
All of these pictures came from my two galleries for the summer of 1962 where the full-sized digital photos are located: