What are the Central Themes of Wood Badge?

Wood Badge takes place over two full weekends (six days). 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 themes of the Wood Badge course:

1. Living the Values
2. Bringing the Vision to Life
3. Models for Success
4. Tools of the Trade
5. Leading to Make a Difference.

The first weekend of the course parallels three weeks of a Scout unit's meetings and activities with the three days 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.

What Are the Prerequisites for Wood Badge?

Wood Badge is for adult Scouters in all programs: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, Venturing, Sea Scouts, and District and Council volunteers and professionals. It's NOT just for Scoutmasters. The prerequisites include:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America
  • Complete basic training courses for your primary registered Scouting position
  • Complete the outdoor skills training program appropriate to your Scouting position, if required
  • Be capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment
  • Complete the Annual Health and Medical Form Parts A, B, and C

Click here to view the training prerequisites that must be completed prior to Weekend 1.

What is the Wood Badge Ticket?

One of the great traditions of Wood Badge is the "ticket." During the course each participant will be asked to develop a personal contract or ticket – a list of goals that will allow them to use their newly learned leadership skills in ways to strengthen Scouting in their home units, districts and councils. The ticket will include the participant’s personal values, roles in Scouting, vision of success, and a mission of five significant goals that can be attained within 18 months. Overall, the ticket will be meaningful and enable the participant to practice the skills learned in the course. Troop Guides (ticket counselors) will provide guidance to participants in writing the ticket and will approve them when written. The Troop Guide and the participant will mutually agree when all the items of the ticket have been fulfilled.

What is the Wood Badge Recognition?

Recognition for the successful completion of Wood Badge (including the ticket) 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. It is the responsibility of the partcipant to schedule a beading ceremony.

During the course, all participants and staff will wear the full uniform (field uniform) of their primary registered Scouting position. If you serve in more than one capacity, you may wear each uniform as you wish. A full uniform includes an official BSA uniform shirt, official BSA shorts or pants, official leather or web belt, official socks, and shoulder loops for your Scouting program. Please inspect your uniform prior to the course and make any corrections. You may wear either the new or older versions of the shirt or pants in any combination but the insignia must be accurate for the shirt you wear.

In addition to your official field uniform, at times during the course you will wear an activity uniform consisting of uniform pants (short or long) with official belt, official socks and a Wood Badge t-shirt that will be provided. Non-Scouting shirts and hats are not acceptable. Bring any outer-wear you need to be comfortable.

Interfaith Worship Services
Both weekends will include an interfaith worship service modelling how members of all faiths can worship together in a Scouting setting. During the services we will collect voluntary donations to the World Friendship Fund (Weekend 1) and the council Wood Badge Scholarship Fund (Weekend 2).

Please turn off or mute mobile phones and other devices during program sessions. You will be able to make calls during break times, but cell coverage may be limited at our locations. Do not use any devices that will interrupt sessions or disturb others. Laptops and tablets are not to be used during presentations.