What Is Wood Badge?
There are two parts to Wood Badge in the Boy Scouts of America: the practical phase and the application phase. Both must be completed to receive the Wood Badge – two wooden beads to be worn around the neck on a leather thong.
The practical phase is a two-weekend experience to demonstrate as practically as possible the aims and methods of Scouting. The course is a multifaceted presentation of leadership skills, organizational tools, and participatory activities based on the best Scouting traditions and the latest in team development theory. In addition, participants will enjoy the fellowship of learning along side many other Scouters, and along the way will have a great deal of fun.
The application phase of Wood Badge is a period of up to 18 months during which the participants practice and demonstrate a working knowledge of the leadership principles presented during the course. This is accomplished by the use of the Wood Badge “ticket”, which represents the participant’s commitment to complete a set of personal goals related to their Scouting position. These goals will significantly strengthen the program in which the participant is involved.
Throughout the period of application, each participant is assigned a counselor who serves as a resource, an evaluator, and a Scouting friend. When the counselor and the participant determine that the new skills are understood and can be applied to their Scouting position, a recommendation is made for the Wood Badge to be awarded.
Why Should I Attend?
Lord Baden-Powell said, “every scout deserves a trained leader.” While very true, some people need something more. After asking other Scouters why they attended it became clear. Here are three reasons why you should attend a Wood Badge Course.
SCOUT LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Not everyone was a scout growing up and a lot of these parents have been thrown into leadership roles. They may not understand how a unit is supposed to work. Reading the manual only goes so far.
Not everyone is a natural leader. They want the best for their children and they take on the job as leader of the unit. They have been thrown into the fire and they need leadership skills.
During Wood Badge you are placed in patrols that simulate the patrol experience in a scout unit. You work as a team to accomplish tasks. You will learn very quickly what the expectations are for scouts in a boy-led unit.
This training is very important for Cub Scout leaders. You may be a Wolf or Bear leader now but in a year or two, the boys become Webelos. Or as I like to think of it, Intermediate School. This is training ground to learn the skills they will need to be a Boy Scout. When they cross over they will hit the ground running. The skills you learned at Wood Badge will give them a head start.
SCOUT PARENT SKILLS
A scout mother told me this, “ I guess the main thing I can say, being a parent of a scout, is that being a part of Wood Badge enabled me to help my son advance because I learned what would be expected of him as a scout.” That’s what I tell the moms in our troop. If you want to help your son to be a better scout, you need to learn what he will be expected to do and accomplish, and Wood Badge definitely will teach you that.”
You can’t really say it any better than that. Sure you may be a leader and you go to the meetings and you sit on the committee but have you asked yourself, what is it that my son needs to help him advance and get the most out of the program.
BUSINESS LEADERSHIP SKILLS
The syllabus for Wood Badge was written by industry leaders and if you were to attend one of their weekend seminars you would probably pay thousands of dollars plus travel expenses. Wood Badge gives you the best of industry leader training at a seriously reduced cost.
Your unit is much the same as any small business. Good business skills are necessary to make everything go smoothly. I’ve come to find that scouts and co-workers are very similar. You love being with them and working with them but sometimes they make you want to pull your hair out. The skills you will learn will go a long way to managing volunteers, scouts, and expectations.
This is business training. There is a good chance your company will let you attend without burning vacation days. There is a chance they may pay your expenses. All you have to do is ask.
This is your chance to experience scouting from a Scouts perspective. To be in a patrol and have to work together as a team. I’ll never forget the first time I met the people in my patrol. I looked them over and thought “what do I have in common with these folks?” It didn’t take the full day before I knew we would work well together. To this day I enjoy catching up with them and I can call them if I need them.
You will form bonds with the other participants and staffers who come from all areas around the council. Men and women you can call on at a moment’s notice if you need help or advice. It’s the ultimate support group.
You will become more in touch with the traditions of scouting going all the way back to Lord Baden-Powell. He created Wood Badge over 90 years ago.
Who May Attend
All registered adult Scouters from Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing, Sea Scouts and Explorers, over age 18, as well as counsel and district leaders, who meet the following eligibility requirements, may attend Wood Badge:
- Be registered adults of the Boy Scouts of America (there are no minimum tenure requirements).
- Have completed the basic training courses for their Scouting position.
- Be capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment.
- A BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (Parts A, B, C) is required for all participants.
- Attend all sessions. There are no make-up opportunities. If an attendee has to miss any of the sessions they will be dropped from the course and will be asked to return to another course to attend the entire program. This includes attendance at any patrol meetings during the intervening weeks between the two weekends.
NEED TO KNOW
The cost for the course is $250.
Limited partial scholarships are available. Contact the Course Director, Doug Burdett if you have a need. Many units will also pay for or supplement the cost of the course.
The course takes place over a period of 5 days. The first weekend is all day Friday thru Sunday, February 19-21, 2021. The second weekend is all day on Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7, 2021.
Wood Badge will take place at Camp Karankawa in Sweeney, TX. Get ready for a good time in both the beautiful outdoors and the climate controlled Health and Education Center.
The staff is working diligently to keep everyone safe in today’s environment. The number of participants will be limited to help with social distancing requirements. In addition, beyond good sanitizing proceedures, everyone will sleep in a tent by themselves and some of the activities are being modified appropriately.
What Drives Us
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
This course will have limited registrations available in order to comply with social distancing requirments.
The Course Dates
Feb 19-21, 2021 - First Weekend
All Day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
March 6-7, 2021 - Second Weekend
All Day Saturday and Sunday