Wood Badge FAQ

Q. What is Wood Badge?
A. Wood Badge is the premier adult leadership-training program for the Boy Scouts of America. It teaches contemporary leadership and team development skills in an outdoor setting.


Q. Why Wood Badge for the 21st Century?

A. Times have changed since Lord Robert Baden Powell assembled the first Wood Badge course in 1919. Over the years, the teaching methods and instructional tools have been updated to meet the needs of contemporary leaders. What has not changed is the primary focus of Wood Badge, which is Leadership Training.


Q. Why should I go to Wood Badge and how will I benefit from this training?

A. Wood Badge helps you become a better leader, it's fun, it's rewarding and it helps you meet new friends. Here are some comments from recent Wood Badge participants:

"I learned a great deal about myself . . ."

"I feel the program has given me the tools to make positive changes at my pack."

"The experience was beyond words."

"The leadership information presented . . . was priceless."

"I learned how important my role is and how much influence I have on the boys and their families."

"It challenged me to give my best to the Scouting program."

"I am reminded of the importance of group dynamics in the attempt to work as a team."


Q. Who may attend?

A. While once designed to meet the needs of specific groups of BSA leaders, Wood Badge for the 21st Century is open to ALL adult leaders who have completed the basic training requirement for their position. Boy Scout, Cub Scout, Varsity, and Venturing leaders will benefit equally from attendance.


Q. What is the basic training requirement for my position?
A. In general, the basic training requirement is met when a leader attends Fast Start, New Leader Essentials and the Position Specific Training for their position. In addition, Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters and certain other positions require Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills. For further information, please contact your District Training Team.


Q. When should I attend Wood Badge?
A. You should attend Wood Badge as soon as possible after completing your basic training. The sooner you attend Wood Badge the sooner you can begin to apply the leadership skills and techniques in your unit, district or council.


Q. I'm a new to Scouting and my unit leader says that it's best for me to wait a couple of years before I go to Wood Badge. Why should I go now?
A. Wood Badge helps new leaders build a framework for their future growth in Scouting. Leaders who take advanced training early in their Scouting careers are better prepared to serve the youth in their units.


Q. I?ve been a Scoutmaster for years and have a very successful program, why should I go to Wood Badge?
A. There are two primary reasons. The first is that everyone has the capacity to learn new skills and improve upon existing ones. Wood Badge offers the latest training on contemporary leadership and team development models. The second reason is that experienced leaders help enrich the Wood Badge experience for newer leaders by sharing their expertise and passion for the program.


Q. Are the leadership skills taught specific to Scouting?
A. Although taught in a Scouting framework, the skills taught in Wood Badge can be applied universally. Participants have found their Wood Badge training to help them at work and in other non-Scouting volunteer activities.


Q. I received my Wood Badge Training Award through an earlier Wood Badge program; may I attend Wood Badge for the 21st Century?
A. In general the answer is no, but exceptions are possible.


Q. How much time is required?
A. The practical portion of Wood Badge requires six full days of instruction. This is accomplished through two three-day weekends. The weekend course also requires a patrol meetings between the weekend sessions.


Q. Is overnight camping required?
A. Yes, during the second weekend, course participants will sleep in tents. A total of two nights will be spent in tents during the second weekend. Participants will be assisted in getting the necessary gear if necessary.


Q. What about outdoor skills?
A. Even though Wood Badge is taught in an outdoor setting and some camping is a part of the program, the need for extensive outdoor skills has been minimized. There will be experienced campers on staff and among the participants, which creates an excellent learning environment for leaders unfamiliar with Scout camping. Often, leaders attend an outdoor skills program (Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills, BALOO or Webelos Outdoor Leader Training) prior to attending Wood Badge.


Q. What exactly do you teach in Wood Badge?
A. While not exactly a secret, the impact of many sessions will be lessened if a participant has too much advance information. Wood Badge has always taught leadership skills. 21st Century Wood Badge focuses on contemporary leadership skills and issues and integrates scouting?s value-based philosophy. A variety of learning opportunities, including lecture, demonstration, group discussion and hands-on exercises offer participants insight into contemporary leadership theory while providing them with specific skills that will enable them to put what they learn to use immediately in their units. Many participants have found they can apply what they've learned in their personal and professional lives equally effectively. And while learning is the focus of Wood Badge, fun is an important component!


Q. What is the Wood Badge Ticket?
A. The Ticket is a series of projects or activities that each Wood Badge participant works on after they complete the practical (or outdoor) portion of the course. Typically a Ticket consists of several goals that are directed towards the participants? primary scouting role. "Working the Ticket" helps the leader apply the skills they just learned and it helps strengthen the program in the unit, district and council. Participants will develop their tickets during the practical portion of the course, but will have up to 18 months to complete it.


Q. How much does it cost to attend Wood Badge?
A. The course fee for a weekend course has been running about $185. For that fee the participant receives all instructional material, all food for the first weekend, a course shirt and a course cap. Other "out of pocket" expenses will include food for the second weekend and a small expense for patrol project materials. Photos and other course memorabilia are available for purchase on a strictly optional basis.


Q. Do I need a uniform for Wood Badge?
A. Yes!


Q. What is the proper uniform for Wood Badge?
A. Participants will wear a combination of their field uniform or a course activity uniform. The field (or Class-A) uniform is the uniform that the participant would normally wear as a volunteer. The activity uniform consists of the course shirt and uniform pants or shorts. Further details will be provided with the welcome letter. It will not be necessary to wear a "stripped shirt" as was the requirement in earlier programs.


Q. Who should I contact?
A. You should contact the Pushmataha Area Council at 662-328-7228.