Wood Badge

Wood Badge is the premier adult leader training program in Scouting. The program highlights personal and unit level leadership development with courses in team building, problem-solving, communication, conflict resolution, and many other useful skills. These skills can be taken directly back to packs, troops, ships, and crews to help leaders guide youth in dynamic Scouting programs. Wood Badge is a fun, challenging and inspirational Scouting experience for all leaders who wish to improve their leadership skills.

Wood Badge is a six-day advanced training program which gives participants a greater understanding of Scouting aims and methods while developing true Scout spirit. It is anticipated that all people who complete Wood Badge training will continue to work actively in the Scouting program to further the aims and methods of Scouting.

Wood Badge provides participants with firsthand knowledge regarding how teams develop and achieve excellence. Participants take part in an active learning process through involvement in planning, development, presentation, and assessment. Participants will enjoy a world-class learning experience that will strengthen their long-term commitment to Scouting.

Wood Badge Flier

Who may attend?

All registered adult Scouters from Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing and Sea Scouts, and Venturers and Sea Scouts over age 18, who meet the following eligibility requirements may attend Wood Badge:

  1. Be registered adults of the Boy Scouts of America (there are no minimum tenure requirements).
  2. Have not previously attended a Wood Badge course.
  3. Have completed the basic training courses for their Scouting position. (see FAQs)
  4. Have completed the outdoor skills training programs appropriate for their Scouting positions. (see FAQs)
  5. Be capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment. A BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (Parts A, B, C) is required for all participants.
  6. Attend all sessions. There are no make-up opportunities. If an attendee has to miss any of the sessions they will be dropped from the course and will be asked to return another course to attend the entire program. This includes attendance at any patrol meetings during the intervening week between the two weekends.

Wood Badge Registration

Click on the course number below to register:

• SR-576-18-1 March 16-18 and April 6-8, 2018 (begins Friday at 7:30 am, ends Sunday at 5:00 pm)
• SR-576-18-2 September 14-16 and October 5-7, 2018 (begins Friday at 7:30 am, ends Sunday at 5:00 pm)
• SR 576-19-1 March 8-10 and March 29-31, 2019 (begins Friday at 7:30 am, ends Sunday at 5:00 pm)

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.

Wood Badge Español

Un curso de Wood Badge realizado en español se llevará a cabo del 4 al 6 de octubre y del 25 al 27 de octubre en el Consejo de Río Grande (Harligen, TX).

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Course Format

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. Both weekends are held at Bovay Scout Ranch; participants camp both weekends.

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 may be limited within a given course, depending on housing available.

During the second weekend, participants cook their own meals. Participants must attend at least one interim patrol meeting between the first and second weekends of the course. The date and location of the patrol meeting is determined by patrol members.        

General Information  

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the central themes of Wood Badge?
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 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.

What are the some of the Wood Badge activities?
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.
What trainings are required before Wood Badge?

One of the requirements for taking Wood Badge is to complete the basic training requirements for your primary position prior to attending. 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 and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS)
• Troop Committee Chair or Member - Troop Committee Challenge
• Venturing Advisor - Venturing Leader Specific Training
• District or Council Committee - District Committee Training Workshop Unit 
• District Commissioners - Commissioner Basic Training

Outdoor Skills Training:  All participants are encouraged to complete the Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) training before attending Wood Badge, but it is not required.

Venturing and Sea Scouts Youth (18-20 years of age).  For the purpose of writing a ticket, the applicant should be an officer at the crew, ship, council, regional, or national level. 
Youth prerequisites: Venturing Youth Protection Training and Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC) for Venturers and Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships (ILSS) for Sea Scouts 

Note:  If you took basic training before September, 2001, and have not changed positions since that time, previous versions of leader training courses completed prior to June 1, 2001, will be accepted.

What is the "ticket"?
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.
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.

Are scholarships available?

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, Nathan Doherty (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. Scholarships are awarded in amounts up to 50% of the fee. The balance of the course fee is expected with the scholarship application.

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:
AFL-CIO Wood Badge Scholarship Program - The AFL-CIO offers a Wood Badge scholarship to assist selected union members in acquiring skills that will better equip them to serve the youth of their communities.
VFW Wood Badge Scholarship Program - The VFW National headquarters offers Wood Badge scholarships to assist selected chapter members in acquiring skills that will better equip them to serve the youth of their communities.
Council Wood Badge Scholarship Program

Leadership Training Scholarship

Partial-fee scholarships are available for Scouts and Scouters to help offset the course fees (up to 50%) for National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and Wood Badge. Gifts to the leadership training scholarship enable Scouts and Scouters to receive leadership training so they can in turn help develop character, citizenship, and fitness in lives of hundreds of young people. Scholarships for Scouts and Scouters who are currently unable to attend training because of financial circumstances are only available because of the generous donations from people like you. One hundred percent of the funds collected through this scholarship go into the scholarship fund. The scholarships are granted based on need. Applications for scholarships can be found at National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and Wood Badge.

Donate to the Scholarship Fund


Jeanne Gebo
Wood Badge Registration
 (713) 756-3305
Marcy Brown
Wood Badge Coordinator
 (713) 664-5206


Nathan Doherty
Professional Staff Adviser for Wood Badge
 (713) 756-3308