FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WOOD BADGE
What Is Wood Badge?
Wood Badge is a six-day advanced leadership training course conducted by the Boy Scouts of America over two weekends or over one week. 
 
What will I learn in Wood Badge?
Wood Badge focuses on preparing adults to deliver the mission of Scouting. Topics include managing conflict, communicating, listening to learn, valuing people and leveraging diversity, stages of team development, team and individual leadership, coaching and mentoring and project planning.  If you attend Wood Badge, you will:
  • Learn contemporary leadership concepts and discover how these apply in our value-based program
  • Understand Scouting as a family of interrelated, value-based programs providing age appropriate activities for youth
  • Revitalize your commitment to Scouting, sharing in an inspirational experience
  • Have lots of fun in the company of interesting, like-minded individuals
  • Develop life-long friendships with other participants and staff
The skills of leadership that you learn in Wood Badge will help you not only in Scouting, but also in your professional and personal life. We all deal with people every day. Wood Badge will provide tools to help you deal with them more effectively.
 
Who should attend Wood Badge?
Wood Badge is for all Scouters: Cub Scout Den and Pack leaders, Boy Scout Troop leaders, Venture and Varsity leaders, District and Council Commissioners and Committee members and professional Scouters.
 
I thought Wood Badge was only for Scoutmasters. I'm not a Scoutmaster. Can I attend?
Yes! Wood Badge is for all scout leaders in all positions. Whether you work directly with the youth or support the program through committee work, the gained insight of the youth programs will help you in your current position.
 
Can youth take Wood Badge?
Wood Badge is adult leader training. Participants must be over 18 years old. Venturing youth over age 18 are permitted to attend.
 
I’m new to Scouting. Should I wait a year before I take Wood Badge?
We recommend that you take Wood Badge as early as possible in your scouting career. Wood Badge will help you understand what the scouting movement is all about, how the different scouting programs tie together, how you can make a real difference. As a result of understanding your role and your personal vision, you will be better at your scouting job, which means you will enjoy it more. The more you enjoy it the better your program will be. The better your program is the more scouts we serve. In the end, it becomes less of a job and more of a great adventure.  So, take Wood Badge as soon as you’re eligible.
 
Does Baltimore Area Council offer a Sabbath-observant Wood Badge course?
Yes.  In June of 2013, the Baltimore Area Council offered a Sabbath observant Wood Badge course. The program was structured to include one week day evening plus five consecutive weekdays beginning early Monday morning and finishing before sundown on Friday.  Several Shabbat Observant Jewish Scouters as well as Sunday-observant Christian (including LDS) Scouters were able to successfully complete the course without compromising their religious obligations.  Many other Scouters attended this course because they preferred the week-long course over the two weekend course.
 
If I attend a two-weekend course, can I leave to go to Mass?
While an Inter-Faith service or "Scout's Own" is part of the Wood Badge proram, the Staff will make arrangements so that you can attend services required by your faith.
 
I don’t know anyone taking the course. Is that a problem?
Most of the people who attend Wood Badge are there on their own. Don’t worry! You’re around fellow scout volunteers, and we have set things up so that you will be making new friends quickly. We also design the patrols to provide the best of all worlds in terms of experience, background, and skills.
 
I completed a previous Wood Badge Course. Why should I consider attending this Wood Badge?
Individuals who attended Wood Badge before 2001 may attend the new Wood Badge. There are a lot of reasons to do so. 
  • A second chance to experience scouting from a scout’s perspective. To be in a patrol again!  To work together as a team! 
  • The opportunity to upgrade and retrain. 
  • There have been many changes in the world and in Scouting since 2000. 
  • This version of Wood Badge is different, more suited to current Scouter needs.
  • You can set a wonderful example for new leaders.
  • You can reenergize your Scouting spirit!
You may want to read the reflection of former Council Commissioner Paul Madden on this topic.  Click HERE if you would like to read this reflection.
 
Why should I attend Wood Badge?
Our youth we serve deserve the best! Wood Badge teaches you many useful skills that can be applied as soon as you get back to your unit. Wood Badge is practical, it is hands-on and it is relevant to your Scouting program. By the way these same skills can be applied outside of Scouting with the same wonderful outcomes.
 
What are the course prerequisites?

There are three requirements for attending Wood Badge:

  • You must be registered with BSA.
  • You must have completed Basic Training for your registered Scouting position.
  • You must have a current medical examination on a BSA form.?
Do I need special outdoor skills?
Since overnight tent camping and outdoor cooking will be part of the course, some basic camping skills will be helpful. But outdoor skills are not essential. The staff and experienced participants will help those new to the outdoors have a safe and enjoyable experience. However, we do recommend that if you have not taken any outdoor training, this would be a good time to consider Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills. We pay careful attention to the makeup of the patrols to assure that everyone has the best access to the help, diversity, and experience needed to make this the best program possible.
 
What equipment do I need?
You provide your own personal gear such as a tent, sleeping bag, daypack, and full scout uniform. Once enrolled, a detailed personal equipment list will be sent to you. If you don’t have some of the necessary equipment, our staff can help.
 
Will we be walking? Camping? Sitting in a classroom?
Yes. Yes. And, yes! We will be doing some of each. Plus, you’ll experience campfires, singing, cracker barrels, firing rockets, watching a movie, eating popcorn, taking part in game shows … you know – fun stuff – and lots of it!
 
How are health and safety issues addressed?
The Wood Badge training team adheres to the Guide to Safe Scouting. Each person must have a current BSA medical form before they can attend the course. Each participant must be capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment.
 
There will be a staff medical officer present who will administer first aid and assist with any health issues that may arise.
If you have any physical limitations, please make certain that we are aware of it, so that we may assist as needed. We will also be asking about your dietary restrictions. All medical information supplied is kept confidential and is available only to the staff medical officer who will advise the course director.
 
I have a medical condition. Will you work with me?
As part of your enrollment we will be asking for any restrictions or limitations that you may have–physical, diet, or other. This will help us provide you the best possible experience. We want everyone to have the chance to be a part of Wood Badge. We can and will work with you.
 
How much does it cost?
The cost for the course is $250. Your “tuition” includes six days of training, all meals, all instructional materials, a neckerchief, and a notebook. The fee also includes your Wood Badge training award which is presented following the completion of the application phase of the course.
 
We guarantee that what you get out this program, the fun you will have and the friendships that you will make, will be … priceless. But in case you’re curious, a three-day teamwork course would cost more than $2,400 in the corporate world.
 
Is financial assistance available?
Financial assistance is available from units, employers and Wood Badge scholarship funds:
  • Many units will assist or fully pay for the tuition because your participation in Wood Badge benefits your unit.
  • There is a good chance your company will let you attend without burning vacation days and pay your expenses. All you have to do is ask. Wood Badge teaches principles and skills that are taught in modern business leadership courses. At your request, the Council Executive or the Wood Badge Coordinator will write a letter to your employer to explain the benefits of the program and its benefits in leadership development.  Click on the links below if you would like to read this letter:  Employer Letter - Word format or Employer Letter - fillable PDF format.
  • Wood Badge Scholarships are available. The money comes from donations from Wood Badge participants and staff from previous courses. Scholarships are based upon availability and need. All requests for financial assistance are kept confidential between you and the Course Director.  Please contact the Course Director for further details.
  • Assistance is also available from the AFL-CIO, VFW, American Legion and similar organizations.
I have heard people talking about a ticket.  What is it?
The purpose of the Wood Badge experience is to strengthen Scouting in our units, our District and our Council. The Wood Badge "ticket" represents each Participant’s self-directed 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.  There will be a lot of discussion about tickets during the course.
 
If I send in an application, does that guarantee me a spot in the course?
We may only have a maximum of 48 people in the course. The first 48 with a deposit paid are registered. Scouters with no deposit, or who apply when we are over the 48 person limit are placed on a waiting list. We want you to be able to take Wood Badge and will let you know if you have a spot. We will do our best to ensure no surprises and no disappointments.   So, register early.
 
What’s the most important thing I should know about Wood Badge?
Wood Badge is a mountaintop experience. Many previous participants describe Wood Badge as one of the most enjoyable and meaningful scouting experiences of their lives. Quite likely, you will grow as a human being.  People who have completed Wood Badge make friendships that last a lifetime. They experience personal growth and expand their understanding of Scouting and what it can offer youth. And, let's not forget, they have a tremendous amount of fun!