Wood Badge is the Boy Scouts of America's ultimate leadership training designed to meet the advanced leadership needs of Scouters in all aspects of the BSA, whether unit, district, or council level – from assistant den leaders to Scoutmasters, from Cubmasters to Venturing Advisors, from committee members to commissioners. It is a fun, energetic, and inspiring course guaranteed to infuse your unit with fun and meaning – all designed to fulfill the mission of the BSA, and ensure our youth are getting everything they are promised from the program.

Reflecting the best of nearly a century of Scouting experience, Wood Badge draws upon the most current leadership models used by corporate America, academic circles, and successful organizations throughout the country. Participants can expect to develop skills in many areas, including leadership theory, team building, problem-solving, communication, project planning, and more.  These skills can be taken back to packs, troops, crews, and ships to help leaders guide youth in dynamic Scouting programs.  Scouters will find these skills invaluable in their business and personal lives as well.

Wood Badge consists of two parts: 

  • The course begins with five full days of group training usually held over two weekends - the first weekend is Friday through Sunday, and the second is Saturday and Sunday. 
  • The second part of the course requires participants to apply the skills they learned by completing a five-part plan (aka., ticket) over the following 18 months, leading towards the individual participant’s vision of a better Scouting future.

Requirements for attending Wood Badge:

  1. Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America and age 18 or older.
  2. Have completed the basic position-specific training courses for your Scouting role.
  3. Be capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment. All participants are required to complete the Annual Health and Medical Record. Parts A, B, and C are required including the physical.

Individuals who have attended Wood Badge, a different version of Wood Badge training, or who did not complete the course may attend Wood Badge provided that (1) they agree to write and work a Wood Badge ticket; and (2) they agree not to wear Wood Badge beads while they are attending the course.

Registration

The registration fee is $300 and covers meals and training materials. A minimum (non-refundable) deposit (25%) is due with registration, and then full payment is due 45 days before the start of the course. Wood Badge courses are limited to 48 participants. Per national guidelines, any course not having 30 fully paid participants 30 days prior to the start of the course is subject to cancellation. Payment is made online with a credit card or electronic check. (Finance Assistance Request; Council Refund Policy)

Course

Dates

Registration Link

Jacket Order Link

23-1 Weekend 1: March 24-26, 2023 (begins Friday at 7 am, ends Sunday at 5:15 pm), and 
Weekend 2: April 15-16, 2023 (begins Saturday at 7:30 am, ends Sunday at 4:20 pm)
Register for Wood Badge Order Jacket
23-2 Weekend 1: October 13-15, 2023 (begins Friday at 7 am, ends Sunday at 5:15 pm), and 
Weekend 2: October 28-29, 2023 (begins Saturday at 7:30 am, ends Sunday at 4:20 pm)
Register for Wood Badge Order Jacket

Course Format

The course is held over two weekends at Camp Strake (2020 Camp Strake Rd., Coldspring, TX 77331). Both weekends are camping activities where the participants provide their own tent and other personal camping equipment. During the first weekend, all meals are provided. During the second weekend, participants cook their own meals with food and cooking gear provided by the Wood Badge patrols (participants). 

Wood Badge Fleece Jacket 

Purchase a special keepsake to preserve the amazing Wood Badge experience and wear it proudly! Current and past participants of Wood Badge may order a jacket. Jackets are black, 100% spun soft polyester fleece (non-pill finish surface) with front-zip pockets. The lightweight jacket is comfortable and highly breathable. The Wood Badge logo is embroidered on the left-front side of the jacket; the logo is not course-specific. Jackets ordered by participants and staff members on an upcoming course (prior to the deadline) will pick up their jacket during the course. Jackets ordered by customers who are not participating in an upcoming course (e.g., previous course participants) will receive their jacket through the mail (for an additional charge). 

Jacket orders are placed twice per year, prior to the spring and fall courses. The next jacket order will be placed on January 1, 2023.

Order a Jacket

Wood Badge Staff  

The Wood Badge course staff members contribute to the growth of each participant, the strength of all the participants' units, and the improvement of all those units' communities. The staff members, therefore, make a big difference in the lives of many people. Staff members also benefit directly by growing in leadership and in an understanding of Scouting. Staffers make new friends -- serving together on Wood Badge creates a deep bond. Moreover, the Wood Badge program is very rich, so every time you staff, you learn more about what it offers. If you are interested in serving on Wood Badge staff, please complete an application.

 Wood Badge Staff Application

General Information  

Photographs    

Notice!  Please be advised that promotional videotaping/photography may be in progress at any time at an event. Your entrance constitutes your agreement that the council has the right to reproduce your likeness in videography/photography for promotion (e.g., publications, internet, newspaper).

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the central themes of Wood Badge?
Course participants begin their Wood Badge experience by modeling the Cub Scout program, then bridge to Scouts BSA and form patrols for the remainder of the course.  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. Growing
2. Connecting
3. Guiding
4. Empowering
5. Living the Values 

The first weekend of the course parallels three weeks of a Scout units meetings and activities with 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?
During the Wood Badge course the participants will learn through presentations, campfire, games, song, camping and working together as a patrol on presentations of their own.  Each of these activities are tied to the themes of Wood Badge (see above) and model activities that you can take back to your units.
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:

• Den Leader - Den 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 
• 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: Youth Protection Training and Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC) for Venturers or Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships (ILSS) for Sea Scouts 

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.

What is the history of Wood Badge?

Wood Badge training was begun by Baden Powell in 1919 as a way to ensure that the leaders of Scout troops were properly trained.  Since then Wood Badge has been held worldwide, providing advanced leadership training to thousands of Scout leaders. 

Wood badge builds upon the best traditions and experiences of the Boy Scouts of America and also draws from a wide range of courses within and beyond the bounds of Scouting to present the latest in leadership theory and team development.

Is financial assistance available?

A limited number of partial-fee financial assistance requests are available to apply toward the course fee.  This financial assistance is granted based on need.  Financial assistance can be requested from the Leadership Training Financial Assistance Fund.  Financial assistance is awarded in amounts up to 50% of the fee, and cannot come in the form of a refund from the council office.

Because Wood Badge is a premier leadership course; units, chartered organizations and a number of employers may also partially underwrite necessary fees for a Scouter to attend.  Please inquire prior to applying for council financial assistance.

Leadership Training Financial Assistance Request Form

Leadership Training Financial Assistance Fund

Partial-fee financial assistance is available for Scouts and Scouters to help offset the course fees (up to 50%) for Wood Badge. Gifts to the leadership training financial assistance fund enable Scouts and Scouters to receive leadership training so they can in turn help develop character, citizenship, personal fitness and leadership in lives of hundreds of young people. Financial assistance 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 financial assistance fund go toward the registration fees of the programs. The financial assistance requests are granted based on need. Applications for financial assistance can be found here.

Donate to the Financial Assistance Fund

Contacts

 
Council Training Registrar
 (713) 756-3305
 
Julie Spier
Wood Badge Coordinator
shacwbcoordinator@gmail.com

 

Brendan Cronin
Professional Staff Advisor for Wood Badge
 (713) 756-3308
brendan.cronin@scouting.org

 

 

https://www.samhoustonbsa.org/wood-badge