BSA Wood Badge
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Wood Badge 
for the 21st Century

Wood Badge, SR-430

Course Overview

Wood Badge for the 21st century may be delivered to all Scout leaders. It has been developed for Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, and Venturing leaders, as well as, council and district leaders. Its focus is on leadership, not out-of-door skills.

Learning Objectives

As a result of attending Wood Badge, participants 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.

The themes that follow encapsulate the course content.

Living the Values
Values, mission, and vision
Aims and methods
Bringing the Vision to Life
Listening to learn
Giving and receiving feedback
Valuing people and leveraging diversity
Coaching and mentoring
Models for Success
Team development model
Situational Leadership
Tools of the Trade
Project planning and problem solving
Managing conflict
Assessing team performance
Managing change
Celebrating team success
Leading to Make a Difference
Leaving a legacy
Learning the greatest leadership secret

Course Delivery

The first part of the new Wood Badge course reflects unit meetings, while the second part of the course uses a unit camping activity as its delivery model.

During Wood Badge, the model Boy Scout troop will serve as a laboratory for training purposes. This is done for several reasons:

The Boy Scout troop simulation provides a good framework in which to practice the 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.

The course content and leadership principles introduced apply to Scouters of all leadership positions and will provide a common foundation of leadership skills to be used throughout all program areas.

Staff Development

A staff development guide will be provided to help the course director prepare staff members for the new Wood Badge course. Staff development commences 120 days prior to the scheduled opening of the course. Pilot testing has already confirmed that three one-day staff development sessions are sufficient for adequate preparation. Staff members will no longer need to prepare visual aids, which will now be provided by the course.

Course Director Selection

The ideal course director for the first presentation of the new Wood Badge training should have previously staffed at least one existing course, experience with both Cub Scout Trainer Wood Badge and Boy Scout Leader Wood Badge, and be recommended by the Scout executive and approved by the region.

As an alternative, a Scout executive may recommend someone who has staffed only Boy Scout Leader Wood Badge or Cub Scout Trainer Wood Badge, provided this individual has had extensive experience in several Scouting programs as either a volunteer or professional Scouter. The Scout executive’s recommendation for course director must also be approved by the region.

The course director

Should be enthusiastic, open-minded, flexible, people-oriented, and committed to implementing the new course in a positive manner

Must be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America and a strong supporter of the local council

Must be a role model, well-respected by both volunteers and professionals, and must exemplify the Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack, Scout Oath, Scout Law, and Venturing Code

Staff Selection

To the greatest extent possible, the staff should be composed of volunteers from Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing, as well as, district and council volunteers. The staff should represent diversity with respect to ethnicity, males, and females. Ideally, two-thirds of the staff should have previous Boy Scout Leader Wood Badge or Cub Scout Trainer Wood Badge staff experience, and one-third of the staff should be first-time staff members.

The attributes of the ideal course director, outlined above, should also be reflected in the staff. Staff members must be approved by their Scout executive.

Facility Selection and Support Requirements

During the firs three days of the course:

A training center or conference facility (classroom setting) will provide the ideal location. The facility should be arranged to represent a troop meeting room. Limited outdoor activities conducted within an open field must also be supported.

Audiovisual equipment including a VCR, laptop personal computer, video projector, and screen are needed for all three days.

Meals will be prepared and served by support personnel.

Overnight accommodations will be provided (individual rooms, dormitories, or tents). Accommodations need not be organized by patrols. However, separate accommodations for male and female participants must be provided in accordance with BSA policy.

During the last three days of the course:

An outdoor facility that can support overnight patrol campsites near the training center or dining hall will provide the ideal location. Low-impact camping techniques will be practiced.

Audiovisual equipment including a VCR, laptop personal computer, video projector, and screen and are needed only on the final day.

Meals will be prepared by patrols in their campsites. The final luncheon will be either catered or prepared by the support staff.

Patrol members will camp out in tents. Separate accommodations for male and female participants must be provided in accordance with BSA policy.

Advance Planning Flexibility of Presentation Formats

Wood Badge for the 21st century allows presentation over either six consecutive days or two three-day weekends. The weekend format commences on either a Thursday or Friday at 8:00 a.m., and concludes the following Saturday or Sunday by 5:00 p.m. The weekend format requires two or more interim patrol meetings prior to commencement of the course for the final weekend. No precourse orientation is required.

Syllabus and Support Materials

A draft of the new Wood Badge syllabus will be available for distribution at all area and regional course director conferences conducted during the fall of 2000. The final version of the new syllabus and the support materials necessary to deliver the new course will become available in June 2001. As an option, local councils may present either the new course or the existing Wood Badge training between August 1 and December 31, 2001. After January 1, 2002, only the new course may be presented.

Wood Badge Ticket

The primary purpose of the Wood Badge experience is to strengthen Scouting in our units, districts, and local councils. The Wood Badge "ticket" represents the participant’s commitment to complete a set of personal goals relating to that individual’s Scouting position. These goals will significantly strengthen the program in which the participant is involved. In addition, the ticket gives participants an opportunity to practice and demonstrate a working knowledge of the leadership skills presented during the course. Participants should complete their Wood Badge ticket no later than 18 months after the course.


Upon completion of the Wood Badge ticket, as certified by a ticket counselor and the Scout executive, the participant will be presented with the Wood Badge certificate, neckerchief, woggle, and beads at an appropriate public ceremony.