Wood Badge FAQ

What is the purpose of Wood Badge? 

The ultimate purpose of Wood Badge is to help adult leaders deliver the highest quality Scouting program to young people to help them to achieve their highest potential.  It models the best techniques for developing teamwork among both young people and adults.  In doing this, Wood Badge also supports Scouters who are active on adult committees, including District and Council committees.  Nationally famous training professionals and volunteers have updated the Wood Badge syllabus to provide the best methods to adult Scouters to model and teach leadership skills to others.  Wood Badge's effectiveness as a leadership development experience has been applauded by industry training professionals.

Do I need an invitation to attend Wood Badge?

No. All adult leaders who meet the qualifications (see below) are eligible to attend the course.  We wish that we could personally meet and encourage every Scouter in the Council to take Wood Badge. Since this is unlikely, we're trying to reach out in as many ways as possible to promote the course.  Talk with a fellow leader and take it together!

How much time will Wood Badge take?

Wood Badge is conducted over two full three-day weekends. The first weekend begins at 8:00 AM on Friday morning and finishes around 6:00 PM on Sunday. The second weekend begins at 8:00 AM on Saturday and ends at 6:00 PM on Monday (Columbus Day).  Attendance at both weekends is required. In addition, your working group (Patrol) will plan one or two meetings between the two weekend sessions, scheduled at your Patrol's convenience and choice of location. 

The curriculum has been developed as a series of building blocks with each session relating to another or building and expanding on a previous topic. Our days and nights are very full of presentations and activities and it's extremely important that participants be available to participate for all six days. There really is no way to break this experience up separately. Consequently, we make time for personal and business phone calls during the course schedule.   There will not be time for a participant to leave the camp during the course.  Please contact the Course Director if you have any questions on this issue.


When and where is the course being held?

The 2019 course is being held at the Moses Scout Reservation over the weekends of Sept 6 – 8 and October 12 – 14. Both weekends begin 8:00 AM and conclude at 6:00 PM (see question above for times.)

How will Wood Badge help me?

Wood Badge will teach you about leadership techniques in a "living," hands-on environment, and you'll be able to apply all you learn to any Scouting role you currently have or may have in the future.  It will also be very useful in your personal and business life.  Since these skills can be practiced in a variety of situations, Wood Badge is beneficial for all adults involved in Scouting, including Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing, Commissioner Service, as well as on District and Council committees. 

You will develop a "Ticket", which is a written agreement outlining how you will apply your newly learned skills as you continue your involvement in Scouting.  Developing your Ticket is an exercise in goal-setting and includes creating a personal vision and mission statement and outlining your individual steps to personal success.  You'll work with a member of the Wood Badge course staff who will assist you in developing your Ticket and will be available to you until your Ticket is completed.

How do I earn my beads?

After participating in all three days of each weekend, you will have completed the "practical" phase of Wood Badge training.  During these two weekends, and the interim time between them, you will create your own Wood Badge Ticket as mentioned above. 

You've probably seen other Scouters wearing their Wood Badge beads. When you successfully complete your Ticket (the application phase of Wood Badge), members of your Wood Badge staff will present you with your Wood Badge beads, tan neckerchief with the MacLaren tartan "patch", a leather woggle (neckerchief slide) and a special Wood Badge certificate. These are worldwide symbols that a Scouter has completed Wood Badge training.  

Will I have fun?

Absolutely!  At Wood Badge, fun and learning go hand-in hand!

What are the qualifications to attend Wood Badge?

Wood Badge is NOT just for Scoutmasters.  It's for adult Scouters at all levels: Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity and Venturing, as well as District and Council members.  Here are the qualifications:

What and where will I eat?

You'll enjoy delicious meals prepared for you by the Wood Badge staff on the first weekend and served in the Dining Hall.  During the second weekend, your Patrol will prepare some meals in your campsite and return the favor by hosting Wood Badge staff members at mealtime. 

If you have any dietary restrictions for religious or medical reasons, please advise the Course Director or Staff Adviser before the first weekend and we'll do our best to accommodate your needs.

What should I wear?

You are expected to wear a full Scouting uniform including shirt, trousers or shorts, socks and belt during most of the course.  You should arrive in full uniform on our first Friday morning as you will have little time to change into it after you arrive.  You'll be provided a Wood Badge hat or cap to wear as a part of your uniform for the course as well as a course neckerchief.  There will be limited opportunity to change into an Activity uniform during the course.  Please be mindful to bring only Scouting appropriate activity clothing.

What other things will I need to bring?

You will need to bring a desire to learn, an ability to have fun and get along with others who share your belief in Scouting, and a commitment to taking what you learn back to apply to your Scouting role and into your everyday life. 

You'll need to bring whatever gear and clothing you'd normally bring on an outdoor weekend event.  We'll be sleeping in cabins the first weekend, and tents during the second weekend.  A detailed gear list will be provided after you've registered for the course.

How do I register?

Visit the "Cost & Registration" section on the Course page to register on-line. You can also register at the Council Service Centers.

When is the deadline for registration?

In order for the Staff to be reasonably prepared for the appropriate number of participants, we ask you to register as early as possible.  The Early Bird price of $295 increases after July 1.

Is financial assistance available?

Yes.  We want Wood Badge training to be available to all Scouters.  The Council has limited funds available for financial assistance, and there’s a form on the Wood Badge page of the website. In addition, your unit may be able to assist. Often, course fees are partially or fully funded by the unit that you serve, or its chartered organization. We strongly recommend contacting your Unit Committee for help with funding.


I'm only in my second year as a Scout Leader and I wasn't a Scout as a youth.  Is my lack of experience a concern?

Absolutely not! Wood Badge is about leadership training - not a course in Scout skills. Wood Badge will help you understand what Scouting is about and how you can make a real difference by providing you with many important and useful leadership tools. These tools will help you to be more effective as a leader and as a team member. 

I don't have strong outdoor or camping skills as they are not required for my Scouting position.  Will this be a problem?

No. While outdoor skills are helpful, there will be others who can share their knowledge with you.


I know what my Wood Badge Ticket will be.  Can I start now?

Respectfully, you won't know what your Ticket will be until you attend the course.  You'll be guided to write a meaningful, effective Ticket which is a major element of the Wood Badge course because it will be greatly affected by what you hear, learn and experience while you are attending the two weekends.  Depending on what you plan to do as a result of what you learn, you may need to coordinate your plans with other Scouters, whether they are in your units or on committees that you serve.  Until your Wood Badge Ticket is written (during the course) and agreed to with your ticket counselor, you can take no credit for work "towards your Ticket" prior to the practical phase being completed.


Can I miss any of the scheduled Wood Badge training dates or times?

No. Because there is so much information being presented in such a short period of time and because each session and topic builds on previous material presented, attendance at each session during each of the six days over the two weekends is mandatory.  There are no exceptions.

I took Wood Badge prior to 2001.  Can I take it again?

Yes! The current version of the course contains new and updated material and activities that can enrich your role in Scouting.  It may give you new perspectives and skills that you may use.  If you're interested, please contact the Wood Badge Course Director.

Should I prepare anything before the course?

In addition to the application and payment, please have a BSA Annual Health and Medical Record completed by your physician. 

You need to have a clear understanding of your role(s) in Scouting so that you can identify goals where your newly learned skills (and the ones you already have) can be best utilized. 

You also need to complete a Pre-Course Questionnaire which will help to make the materials that you learn more meaningful to you. We will also provide a Personal Resource Questionnaire that you should complete as well.  Both items will be sent to everyone who has registered for the course about 30-45 days before the course begins.