Wood Badge is Scouting's premier training course. It's the ultimate leadership training experience, designed to meet the leadership needs for all Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, and Venturing leaders as well as Council and District leaders and Scouting professionals.
Lord Baden-Powell originally designed it so that Scouters could learn, in as practical a way as possible, the skills and methods of Scouting. It is, first and foremost, learning by doing.
Wood Badge has evolved into the core leadership skills training course for the BSA. The Wood Badge For The 21st Century course focuses on strengthening every volunteer's ability to work with and lead groups of youth and adults, and it is less focused on outdoor skills, which are more effectively addressed in other courses.
Baden-Powell took the first steps in the training of Scouters by organizing a series of lectures for Scouters in 1911. He made great strides by devising and instituting Wood Badge Training in 1919. Wood Badge recipients now number more than 100,000 throughout the world.
The object of the Wood Badge course is to demonstrate, as practically as possible, the aims and methods of Scouting. Upon successful completion of the course the participant receives a certificate and the Wood Badge - two wooden beads worn on a leather thong around the neck. These beads replicate the beads found by Baden-Powell during a campaign in Africa in 1888. They belonged to Dinizulu, an African chieftain. In searching for a suitable recognition for those who completed the first course in 1919, Baden-Powell remembered the beads and decided to present a bead to each participant. At that time, the course was called Wood Badge.
The Wood Badge may be worn only with the official field uniform of the BSA. The Scouter to whom it has been awarded may also wear the tan neckerchief with its patch of MacLaren tartan at the back. The Wood Badge neckerchief may only be worn with the accompanying leather neckerchief slide or woggle.
As a result of attending Wood Badge training, particpants will be able to
Wood Badge training consists of two parts - a practical phase and an application phase. The practical phase is conducted as a troop in a camping setting. Here leadership skills can be learned and practiced as part of life in a troop. The application phase happens at the conclusion of the practical phase for a period of not more than 18 months. During both phases of the Wood Badge course five central themes are focused on and developed:
The practical phase of the Wood Badge course reflects unit meetings and also uses a unit camping activity as its delivery model. During the course the model Boy Scout Troop will serve as the foundation for training purposes. This is done for several reasons.
It should be noted that although this foundation is utilized, the course content and leadership principles introduced apply to Scouters in all leadership positions and will provide a common foundation of leadership skills to be used throughout all program areas.
Wood Badge is advanced leadership training for adult leaders in all of Boy Scouting’s program areas - Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting and Venturing - as well as Council and District leaders. This includes assistant leaders, committee members, and “just parents” in all areas.
All leaders are encouraged to attend Wood Badge, there is no minimum tenure requirements.
Since it is advanced training, though, there are some important requirements. You must
One of the requirements for taking Wood Badge is to complete the basic training requirements for your primary position prior to attending. BSA Basic Training was completely revamped in 2001, read below to see which basic training requirements apply to you.
Outdoor Skills Training
If you are a Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Varsity Coach or Assistant Varsity Coach you must also complete the following training.
All participants are encouraged to complete the Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills training before attending Wood Badge, but it is not required.