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Re: Wood Badge Beadings (was "Digest Number 494")

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  • Scouter Chuck
    Sean Scott wrote... [A bunch of snipped stuff] ... I guess it s time I chipped in. ;) As an associate RT Commissioner, I have seen Beadings done a
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 7, 2002
      Sean Scott wrote...

      [A bunch of snipped stuff]
      > As for receiving beads at a troop level, we had three people
      > receive theirs at our troop COH last February, and it got their
      > color picture on the front page of the local section of the
      > paper! I also know of people who've had their beads presented
      > more than once--at the district RT as well as their unit level.

      I guess it's time I "chipped" in. ;)

      As an "associate" RT Commissioner, I have seen "Beadings" done a
      number of different ways. Most of them are good, although a few
      "raise my hackles". All of my comments relate to things that I
      have personally witnessed, here in my own council.

      For one thing, I really don't see a problem with calling the event
      a "Beading". Wood Badge Beading Ceremonies (Beadings) are very
      honorable hereabouts, so the term is not considered to be
      cheapening the event at all.

      Now, as to how:

      Most frequently out here, they are done at the District RT. The
      presentation usually consists of a short telling of the "legend",
      followed by the actual presentation. We _almost_ always sing "Back
      to Gillwell". I've also seen 10 critters, although the big black
      bird is called a "Crow" around here, and one fellow in the council
      is even a Wolf. But that was from a different Council.

      The whole thing takes about 10 minutes. Add about half a minute
      for each additional participant. Not a big deal, IMHO, as WB is
      _training_, and RT is there to promote and provide -- TRAINING.

      Presenting the beads is usually done by the Coach Counselor, or
      someone else from the staff of that course. Rarely is that not the
      case. I did see it once, when a friend invited me to his Beading,
      at a Troop CoH. His Coach-Counselor had set it all up, and didn't

      Rather than disappoint those of us who had come, he decided to go
      ahead with it anyway. We all loaned him parts of the regalia, and
      his Beading was done by one who had been a CC in the past. It was
      a good ceremony. (His embarrassed CC called him the next day and
      apologized profusely. She hadn't been feeling well, and decided to
      take a short nap. We never did figure out if she slept thru the
      alarm, or didn't set it (or right). But she was quite upset, in
      any case.

      I have seen one ceremony done as a separate event, and was involved
      only as a guest. As it turned out, there were 13 Scouters there,
      and only 8 of us had Beads. Even as a guest, I was tapped to read
      a portion of the legend. And I was glad to do so.

      Personally, _I_ had _my_ Beads presented twice. Once with my
      Patrol at RT where I and the other "last hanger on" got ours at the
      same time. My whole Patrol was there -- something that I have to
      sadly say is the exception, not the rule. (To me, the saddest
      thing is to see one person up there getting their beads from one
      person -- no one else around.)

      I had a second presentation at a Troop Court of Honor. The MC (a
      boy) placed it at the end. By my turn at the end of the CoH, the
      boys and their parents were tired, restless, and bored. The song
      didn't go over well at all. (And we only sang one verse.) I don't
      think that many of them understood -- or cared to understand --
      what was going on or what WB was all about. I had it done there
      because the Troop was to be the beneficiary of my training, but I
      felt it wasn't appreciated or understood.

      So, my recommendation: Do it at RT, or at its own function. Don't
      try to ride the boys coattails at a regular Troop CoH.

      Now, I have a couple of peeves that I think need to be considered.

      First, the beads:
      I have heard a number of tellings of the legend of how B-P got
      Deni-Zulu's necklace. For instance, I have heard that he found it
      in an abandoned hut. (If that were the Chief's badge of office, I
      really don't think he would have abandoned it.) I have also heard
      that Deni-Zulu gave him the necklace. I don't know enough of that
      story to comment. I have also heard that he "captured" the
      necklace. War trophies were common up until Vietnam, so I have an
      easier time believing that one than most of the others.

      But my peeve is: Get the story straight. Tell the truth, and
      don't embellish the story. The fact that he cut some small beads
      from the necklace and strung them on a thong to give to the
      original participants as a sign of their training is embellishment
      enough. I think the lack of consistency in the telling is a bit
      confusing. At least, IMHO.

      Second, the Song:
      If the time isn't sufficient to sing the whole song, then either
      sing the chorus alone, sing only the verse with the candidate's
      critter, or don't sing the song at all. But _don't_, please, sing
      one verse with all the Wood Badgers singing their own critter, all
      at the same time. To me, it's disrespectful. Not to mention more

      Well, this has been a bit long winded, but I hope it helps.


      Chuck Bramlet -- Phoenix, Az. ----- mailto:antelope95@...
      I "used to be" an Antelope! WEM-10-95 Member DNRC
      Firebird District Committee Member at Large -- Grand Canyon Council
      "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing"
      -- Stephen R. Covey
    • Sean Scott
      Chuck wrote: I ve also seen 10 critters, although the big black bird is called a Crow around here, and one fellow in the council is even a Wolf. But that was
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 8, 2002
        Chuck wrote: I've also seen 10 critters, although the big black bird is
        called a "Crow" around here, and one fellow in the council is even a Wolf.
        But that was from a different Council.

        Besides a couple of Ravens, we have a Monkey. If I recall, he did his course
        in either Malaysia or the Phillipines. Anyway, when it comes his turn to
        sing, the song stops after everyone shouts "I used to be a Monkey???" at
        which point he does some odd thing where he leaps onto the table and sings a
        very unusual chorus. Sorry that I can't remember it, but it is hilarious!

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