Wood Badge is the premier adult leadership course offered by the National Council Boy Scouts of America and is open to any volunteer involved in Scouting (Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Exploring, Sea Scouts, Council or Board positions).
Wood Badge is, first and foremost, learning by doing. Participants in the course are grouped first into a Pack, then into a Troop, and finally are inducted into a Venturing Crew, just as Scouts move up through the Scouting program. Industry training professionals have applauded it as an effective development tool and its positive influence is unparalleled.
Wood Badge graduates often find that they are energized with renewed passion for the Scouting program and motivated to make a lasting impact. Any original concern for the time commitment required soon dissipates once participants discover the fun and camaraderie that they develop over the 6 days’ experience.
During the course, participants share concepts that identify new approaches and add insight and program improvements, even for the most experienced leaders. Upon completion of this training, graduates will join thousands of other leaders around the world who are dedicating themselves to passing on the ideals of Scouting.
Wood Badge Training Program
What is Wood Badge?
– Wood Badge is Scouting’s PREMIER LEADERSHIP training program for all adult leaders.
– Wood Badge is applicable to all scouting positions.
– Wood Badge is comprised of two parts. The first part is a six day (two 3-day weekends) residential experience at a local Scout Camp where you learn and practice leadership skills and techniques in small and large groups. There are practical applications, it is taught in a hands-on manner and it is a lot of fun.
– In the second part each person uses leadership skills to complete five personal goals that they created which will help their local Scout unit. There is an 18-month deadline to complete the goals, but most finish in about a year.
– Wood Badge was started by Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, who recognized the need for trained leaders.
What leadership skills are taught?
Presentations address a variety of leadership skills and techniques including:
– How to Create a Vision for an Organization or Group
– Mission Statements
– Setting SMART Goals
– Listening Skills
– Effective Communication Techniques
– Managing Conflict
– Valuing People and Diversity
– Stages of Team Development
– Leadership Styles
– Teaching Techniques
– Coaching and Mentoring
– Project Planning and Servant Leadership.
The leadership skills taught at Wood Badge are universal. In addition to making you a happier, more efficient and more effective Scout leader, the skills and techniques are also likely to improve your personal and professional life.
Due to scheduling conflicts, I won’t be able to attend all six days of both course weekends. Can I still take Wood Badge?
No. All of the material in the course is important and to get the full benefit of the course and material it is important that you attend all six days of the course.
Why Should I Take Wood Badge?
– You will learn and put into practice leadership skills that will make you a happier, more efficient and more effective Scout Leader.
– You will create and accomplish achievable goals that will improve your Scout unit, which will result in a more effective program for youth.
– You will gain a better understanding of Scouting’s values, vision, mission and programs.
– Since the leadership skills you learn are universal and can be applied to your personal, professional and other volunteer roles, you will most likely become more effective and more satisfied in all aspects of your life.
– Wood Badge is fun! The course is designed to be fun, the volunteer staff makes sure it is fun and the participants and staff are all volunteers who share the values of Scouting, which makes it easy for all of us to support each other and be on the same page.
– You will make new friends and discover new ideas.
– Many previous participants have described Wood Badge as one of the most enjoyable and meaningful Scouting experiences of their lives.
Who may attend Wood Badge?
You can attend this Awesome Wood Badge course if:
– You are currently registered as an adult Scouter in a Cub Scout, Scout BSA, Explorer, Venturer or Sea Scout unit, or if you hold a district or council position.
– You are at least 18 years old
– You have completed Youth Protection Training
– You have completed the basic training for your primary Scouting position (eg. Leader Specific Training for Den Leaders, Cubmasters, Scoutmasters etc.)
– You and your doctor complete, within one year of the course date, Parts A, B and C of the current BSA Medical Form
– You are capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment; and
– You complete an application form and pay your fee in full by August 6, 2019.
If I send in an application, does that guarantee me a spot in the course?
The first 48 Scouters who submit an application, pay their fee in full and who have completed all of the basic training for their primary Scouting position will be guaranteed a space in the course, on a first come, first serve, basis. If the course fills, a wait list will be maintained.
The North Coast Cluster course has registered more than 40 participants in the past, but has never had 48 participants and has never needed to create a wait list. However, this is a fantastic course and the staff is actively and enthusiastically recruiting, so if you are interested, don’t wait to send in an application and pay your fee, as our goal this year is to get 48 participants, and we wouldn’t want you to be the first name on our wait list.
I’m only in my second year as a Scout Leader and did not do Scouts as a youth, so I am concerned about having a lack of experience as compared with the other people who would be taking the course. Is that a problem?
If you are an adult with one year of experience as an adult Scouter then you are ready for Wood Badge. Many very effective Scout leaders were not Scouts as youth. Wood Badge is leadership training. It is not a Scout skills or outdoor skills course.
Wood Badge will help you understand the values, vision and mission of the Scouting movement, how the different Scouting programs are designed, how they are similar and different, and how the programs and adult and youth interactions are designed to be age-appropriate. Wood Badge will help you understand your Scouting role better and provide you with leadership skills that will make you more effective in performing that position, which will make a real difference to your unit and the youth it serves. Accordingly, the earlier in your Scouting career that you take Wood Badge, the sooner that you, your Scout unit and the youth that it serves, will benefit from the leadership skills that you learn. If you are reading this sentence, you have enough experience and interest to take and benefit from Wood Badge.
I thought Wood Badge was only for Scoutmasters. I’m not a Scoutmaster. Can I attend?
Wood Badge is for all Scout leaders in all positions and is not just for Scoutmasters.
I’m a Committee Member and don’t have camping skills and don’t have camping equipment. Is that a problem?
You don’t need to own any camping equipment or have camping skills to take Wood Badge. While the participants sleep in sleeping bags on pads in tents, if you don’t own this equipment the staff or other people from your Scout Council or Unit will help you borrow these items. Bring your own pillow, folding chair and flashlight, or borrow some of these items too. All food, plates and utensils are provided for the first weekend.
The second weekend you cook in small groups (patrols). The majority of Scouters who take Wood Badge know how to plan meals and prepare food in a camp setting. If you don’t know how to do this, don’t worry, others in your patrol will help you and everyone else in your patrol plan and prepare meals.
What is a Ticket?
Participants in the course will be asked to write a Ticket. A Ticket consists of a personal Vision related to each participant’s primary Scouting role in their primary Scouting unit and a set of five goals. The goals are designed to require the participant to use leadership skills to accomplish and to help make the participant’s Vision of their Scouting unit become real.
More specifically, during the course, each participant will create a personal Vision of what their Scouting Unit might be like in the future. How might their unit be different and better? They will then create five goals that they can accomplish which, upon their completion, will improve their Scouting unit and make it more like their Vision of what it could be.
Wood Badge participants must complete their goals within 18 months after the second course weekend to successfully complete Wood Badge. Goals can be changed if necessary, it is not uncommon. Most Scouters complete their goals in about one year. The Ticket is a practical application of the leadership skills that are taught during the course weekends and it provides tangible benefits to Scouting units and youth.
Additional background on Wood Badge Training from the national BSA website can be found here.