What Is Wood Badge?

Wood Badge is the premier leadership training course offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Simply stated, Wood Badge is advanced leadership training.

Baden-Powell took the first steps in training Scouting's adult leaders by organizing a series of lectures. The first Wood Badge training was held in 1919 at Gilwell Park, near London. Since then, Wood Badge has continued to evolve to meet Scouting's needs. Wood Badge focuses on preparing adults to deliver the mission of Scouting. As a result of attending Wood Badge training you will:

  • Learn contemporary leadership concepts and discover how these apply to our value-based program
  • Understand Scouting as a family of interrelated, values-based programs providing age appropriate activities for youth
  • Revitalize your commitment to Scouting, sharing in an inspirational experience

What are the Themes of Wood Badge?

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

How is Wood Badge Presented?

Wood Badge is presented in two phases. The first part of the program is the practical phase. This consists of six days over two full weekends (all day Friday, Saturday & Sunday) at camp plus two patrol meetings between the weekends. The second part of the program, the application phase, occurs after the weekends and consists of applying the skills you learn at Wood Badge to your position in Scouting. This phase is also referred to as “working your ticket.”

Who Should Participate?

Wood Badge is designed for Cub Scout, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scout, and Varsity Leaders at the unit level, as well as district and council leaders. The course content and leadership principles introduced apply to Scouters in all leadership positions. These skills provide common a leadership foundation that is beneficial for all program areas. To attend a Wood Badge course, you must:

  • Be a registered adult member of the Boy Scouts of America. (There is no minimum tenure requirement.)
  • All adult leaders must complete This Is Scouting and Leader Specific Training for their primary registered position. Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills is required for Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, and Varsity coaches and assistants.
  • Successful completion of the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record is required for all participants (parts A, B and C only). No exceptions. 

Why Should I Attend Wood Badge?

During this six-day course, you will learn — and practice — all of the skills you need to be the best Scouting volunteer you can be.

During Wood Badge, you will:

  • Explore the mission, aims, methods, and values of Scouting
  • Learn how to develop high-performing teams of youth and adults
  • Practice leadership skills including assessing performance, managing conflict, and giving feedback
  • Develop problem-solving, communication, and project management skills to better support your Scouting unit.
  • Create a personal plan to serve your Scouting unit and leave a legacy.

Taking Wood Badge will help you to:

  • Understand Scouting as a family of interrelated, values-based programs providing age-appropriate activities for youth.
  • Recognize contemporary leadership concepts used in America and discover how those concepts are relevant to our values-based movement.
  • Apply the skills you learn from your participation as a member of a successful working team.
  • Revitalize your commitment to Scouting by sharing in an inspirational experience that helps to provide Scouting with renewed leadership to accomplish its mission.

Additionally, the skills of leadership that you learn in Wood Badge will help you not only in Scouting, but also in your professional and personal life. We all deal with people every day. Wood Badge will help you to deal with them more effectively.

Am I Eligible to Attend Wood Badge?

If you are a registered leader active in a Cub Scout Pack, Scout Troop, Varsity Scout Team, or Venturing Crew, or serving in a Service Area or Council role, you are invited to attend Wood Badge!

You should have completed the basic training for your Scouting position.

A significant portion of the course is spent outside, so you should be comfortable with overnight camping. Of course, if you have any special needs, we will work with you to accommodate them.

What is a Ticket?

The primary purpose of the Wood Badge experience is to strengthen Scouting in our units, districts, and local councils.  During the course, the Wood Badge Staff will help you set some personal goals, things you would like to accomplish in your unit or district. These goals are referred to as the Wood Badge “Ticket”. The ticket represents your commitment to complete a set of five personal goals, which you establish, related to your Scouting position. These goals should be designed to significantly strengthen the Scouting program in which you are involved. In addition, the ticket gives you an opportunity to practice and demonstrate the leadership skills presented during the Wood Badge course. Many participants complete their tickets in 6 to 12 months, but you must complete your Wood Badge ticket no later than 18 months after the course ends. All tickets are developed with this time limit in mind.

How are Scouters Recognized?

Upon completion of your Wood Badge Ticket (your five goals), as certified by your Troop Guide, you will be presented with the Wood Badge: neckerchief, woggle, beads, and Wood Badge certificate at an appropriate ceremony. Many Scouters consider Wood Badge to be one of the highlights of their Scouting careers. It has served as a source of training and inspiration to thousands of Scout leaders. In return, Wood Badge participants have positively influenced the lives of millions of America's youth.

Where and when is the next course in Narragansett Council?

Woodbadge Weekend 1 - April 23 - 25, 2021 at Yawgoog Scout Reservation. 
The second weekend of the course will be on May 15 - May 16 (just 2 days) and will be held at Camp Norse. 

Leave your information here so we can help you stay informed about our upcoming courses!

Throughout Wood Badge, you’ll master leadership skills, meet new friends, develop a network of resources, challenge yourself in new ways, and have fun!

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