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Wood Badge

Leadership Experience...Learning by Doing

Wood Badge is Scouting's premier training course and leadership experience designed 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 possible, the skills and methods of Scouting.  The Wood Badge course focuses on strengthening every volunteer's ability to work with and lead groups of youth and adults.

Learn more about Wood Badge at Link or contact the Wood Badge team by email at

Wood Badge Committee

The Wood Badge Committee is the "Council of Scoutmasters" that support a successful Wood Badge Course.

Visit the Wood Badge/NYLT Committee page at Link.

Upcoming Wood Badge courses:

  • Fall 2019 Wood Badge I   (Oct 4-6, 2019)
  • Fall Wood Badge II 2019   (Oct 25-27, 2019)
  • Spring Wood Badge 2020 Weekend I   (Mar 20-22, 2020)
  • Spring 2020 Wood Badge Weekend II   (Apr 18-19, 2020)

    Important Wood Badge Staff Dates:

  • WB Work Day Fall 2019   (Sep 29, 2019)
  • Wood Badge Day Zero Fall 2019   (Oct 3-4, 2019)
  • Fall 2019 Wood Badge I   (Oct 4-6, 2019)
  • Wood Badge Set Up for Weekend II Fall 2019   (Oct 24-25, 2019)
  • Fall Wood Badge II 2019   (Oct 25-27, 2019)

    History of Wood Badge

    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 Dini-zulu, 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. From 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.

    Learning Objectives

    As a result of attending Wood Badge training, particpants will be able to

    • View Scouting globally, as a family of interrelated, values-based programs that provide age-appropriate activities for youth.
    • Recognize the contemporary leadership concepts utilized in corporate America and leading government organizations that are relevant to our values-based movement.
    • Apply the skills they learn from their participation as a member of a successful working team.
    • Revitalize their commitment by sharing in an overall inspirational experience that helps provide Scouting with the leadership it needs to accomplish its mission on an ongoing basis.

    Curriculum and Leadership Skills

    Wood Badge training consists of two parts - a practical phase and an application phase. The practical phase is conducted modeling a Boy Scout 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 covering a period of not more than 18 months during which goals are accomplished toward an overall vision for the participant's Scouting position. During both phases of the Wood Badge course five central themes are developed:

    • Living the Values
    • Bringing the Vision to Life
    • Models for Success
    • Tools of the Trade
    • Leading to Make a Difference

    Course Delivery

    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.

    • The Boy Scout troop simulation provides a good framework in which to practice leadership skills introduced in the course.
    • Boy Scouting provides a natural bridge between the various programs in Scouting and leaders should understand the importance of transition.
    • It would be difficult, and most likely confusing, to simultaneously model Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Venturing in one course.

    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.

    Who May Attend Wood Badge?

    Wood Badge is advanced leadership training for adult leaders in all of 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 even parents in all areas.

    There is no minimum tenure requirement.  Since it is advanced training, though, there are some important requirements. You must

    1. Be a registered as an adult leader of the Boy Scouts of America, and active in a Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout troop, Varsity team, Venturing crew, or a District or Council position.
    2. Have completed basic training for the position you currently hold.
    3. Have completed the outdoor skills training programs if appropriate to your Scouting position.
    4. Be capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment and have a BSA physical valid through the beginning of the course.

    Basic Leader Training Prerequisites

    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.

    • If you took basic training before September, 2001, and have not changed positions since that time, you are qualified for Wood Badge. These courses fulfill the basic training requirements:
      • Cub Scouters - Cub Scout Basic Training
      • Boy Scouters - Scoutmaster Fundamentals
      • Varsity Scouters - Varsity Basic Training or Scoutmaster Fundamentals
      • Venturing Scouters - Venturing Basic Training
      • District or Council Committee - District Committee Training Workshop
      • Unit or District Commissioners - Commissioner Basic Training
    • If you took basic training after September, 2001, or have changed positions after that time, you must take New Leader Essentials plus the Leader Specific Training for your position. Assistant leaders take the same course as the leader. These are the required courses:

    • Tiger Cub Den Leader - Tiger Cub Leader Specific Training
    • Wolf/Bear Den Leader - Den Leader Specific Training
    • Webelos Den Leader - Webelos Leader Specific Training
    • Pack Committee Chair or Member - Pack Committee Leader Specific Training
    • Cubmaster - Cubmaster Leader Specific Training
    • Scoutmaster - Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training
    • Troop Committee Chair or Member - Troop Committee Challenge
    • Varsity Coach - Varsity Leader Specific Training
    • Venturing Advisor - Venturing Leader Specific Training
    • District or Council Committee - District Committee Training Workshop
    • Unit or District Commissioners - Commissioner Basic Training

    Outdoor Skills Training

    If you are a Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Varsity Coach, Assistant Varsity Coach or Webelos Den leader you must also complete the following training.

    • Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills
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