Wood Badge is leadership training for all Scout Leaders who are involved in the programs of the Boy Scouts of America – Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing, as well as council and district leaders, and professionals.
This new contemporary training program focuses on leadership and “people” skills, and not Scoutcraft or outdoor skills. Participants will learn techniques to make them better leaders, and also how to lead groups to achieve objectives. The 21st Century Wood Badge incorporates the best of over a century of Scouting experience in addition to drawing upon the most current leadership models used by corporate America, academic circles, and successful outdoor leadership organizations throughout the country. Skills developed from Wood Badge training will help a volunteer leader do a better job in any BSA program or at any level of involvement.
- Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America. There are no minimum tenure requirements.
- Be capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment. Successful completion of the Annual Health & Medical Form is required for all participants.
- If you previously completed a Wood Badge course, agree not to wear your regalia until your new ticket is complete.
- Have completed the basic training courses for their registered Scouting positions.
- Have completed the outdoor skills training programs required for their Scouting positions. (This would be Introduction to Outdoor Leaders Skills for Scoutmasters, assistant Scoutmasters, Varsity coaches, and assistant coaches.)
: Beginning summer 2010, older Venturing youth are now eligible to attend Wood Badge.
- 18-20 years of age. For the purpose of writing a ticket, the applicant should be a Venturing officer at the crew, council, regional, or National level.
- Have completed these training pre-requisites:
- Venturing Leadership Skills Course, Crew Leadership Training (soon to be released) or Sea Scout equivalent.
- Venturing Youth Protection Training
The format for the Wood Badge Course is two 3-day weekends; two Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays or two Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, separated by three to four weeks. In the Sam Houston Area Council, the first weekend is scheduled at the Camp Strake Conference Center. All meals will be served in the Dining Hall and participants will be housed in Conference Center Dorms.
Per Youth Protection Guidelines, separate housing and shower facilities must be maintained for youth participants. As a result, the number of male/ female/ youth/ adults could be limited within a given course, depending on housing available.
For the second weekend the course will move to the Kuester Training Area of Camp Strake where they will cook their own meals and sleep in wall tents. Youth Protection Guidelines will be in place. Participants will also be required to attend two interim patrol meetings during the time between the first and second weekends of the course (specific time and location to be determined by patrol members).
Map to Camp Strake
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 theme’s of the 21st Century 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 week’s of a Scout units meetings and activities with the three day’s 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.
One of the great traditions of Wood Badge is the “ticket.” During the course each participant will be asked to develop a 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 assist participants in writing their tickets and approve them when complete. The Troop Guide and the participant will mutually agree when all the items of the ticket have been fulfilled.
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.
Registration for each specific course is through the link below.
All fees are due with registration. Each Wood Badge course is limited to 48 participants. Male/ female/ youth/ adult participation may be further limited by housing requirements. Per National guidelines, any course not having 30 fully paid participants 30 days prior to the start of the course is subject to cancellation.
A limited number of partial-fee scholarships are available to apply toward the course fee. These scholarships are granted based on need. Scholarship applications are available through the council Program Director, Michelle Phillips
(apply confidentially at 713-756-3308). Scholarships must be applied for and approved prior to applying for a course. A copy of the letter confirming the awarding of a scholarship must be attached to the application, along with the balance of the fee.
With Wood Badge being a premiere leadership course, units, chartered organizations and a number of employers may also partially or completely underwrite necessary fees for a Scouter to attend. Please inquire prior to applying for council scholarships.
Qualified Scouters may also apply for these national Wood Badge scholarships: