Wood Badge is the highest level of adult Scout leader training available. It is open to all Scout Leaders who are involved in the programs of the Boy Scouts of America – Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing, as well as council and district leaders, and professionals.
What Is Wood Badge? Wood Badge is advanced training for adult leaders in Scouting designed to enhance contemporary leadership skill and develop more effective Scouters. The Wood Badge program gives participants a greater understanding of Scouting aims and methods, while developing true Scout Spirit. It is anticipated that all people who complete Wood Badge training will continue to work actively in the Scouting program to further the aims and methods of Scouting.
- Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America. There are no minimum tenure requirements.
- Be capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment. Successful completion of the Annual Health & Medical Record is required for all participants.
It is advised that Adults:
- Complete the basic training courses for their registered Scouting positions.
- Complete the outdoor skills training programs required for their Scouting positions (Introduction to Outdoor Leaders Skills for Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, Varsity Coaches, and Assistant Coaches).
The format for the Wood Badge Course is two 3-day
weekends; two Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays or two Thursdays, Fridays,
and Saturdays, separated by three to four weeks.
Course participants begin their Wood Badge experience as Cub Scouts, then bridge into Boy Scouting and form patrols for the remainder of the program. Selected staff members interact with participants in the role of a Venturing crew. Representing a month in the life of a Scout unit, Wood Badge participants assume leadership roles to plan and carry out an extended outdoor experience.
Within this framework, participants take part in numerous presentations, discussions, and activities that explore and advance a wide range of leadership philosophies and tools. A key area is the process of team development, where participants learn to apply appropriate leadership strategies at varying stages of team development. There are five central theme’s of the 21st Century Wood Badge course:
- Living the Values
- Bringing the Vision to Life
- Models for Success
- Tools of the Trade
- Leading to Make a Difference
The first weekend of the course parallels three week’s of a Scout units meetings and activities with the three day’s of the second weekend paralleling the experiences of a Scout unit setting out on the fourth week of a month for an exciting and challenging outdoor experience.
Recognition for the successful completion of Wood Badge consists of the distinctive Wood Badge neckerchief, woggle, the Wood Badge – two wooden beads worn on a leather thong around the neck, and the certificate. This “regalia” is recognized around the world as a symbol of training and leadership experience.