By Darryl Alder
Aug 17, 2015

Myths and Truths About Wood Badge

If you are not sure about whether to sign up for Wood Badge training or if you’ve resisted registering because of myths you’ve heard about Wood Badge, here are some myths and the truths clarified, (and please consider this your invitation to join us this fall):

Red CoatMyth: Wood Badge is for lifelong, elite Scouters who have been around for years and have done everything in Scouting except Wood Badge.

Truth: Though my Scoutmaster waited six years to go to Wood Badge after taking the helm in our troop, he was far from elite. Anyone could go then and Wood Badge today is no different. This course is designed to provide both new and experienced Scouters skills they need to make the job easier and more fun. The only experience required is that you be considered “trained” for your registered position. In fact, the Boy Scouts of America has established a goal of having all new leaders attend Wood Badge within two years of becoming leaders.

Boy Scout Emil Suire Hiking with Tooth of Time in background

Myth: I’m too old or too young for Wood Badge.

Truth: Wood Badge is for any registered Scouter. Recent Wood Badge courses have included participants more than 70 years old and as young as 18, which is the youngest age of anyone that can attend (otherwise, you are a youth and belong at a Timberline–NYLT course).

Myth: Wood Badge is another camping and outdoor skills course.

WoodBadgePlanningTruth: The focus of Wood Badge is leadership skills. In fact, the leadership skills you learn in a Wood Badge course are the same skills that Fortune 500 companies send their executives to learn at multi-week seminars, costing as much as $5,000.

Further Truth: You will find yourself using your Wood Badge leadership skills not only in Scouting, but also at home, at work, and in your other community activities.

Myth: I will have to buy special uniforms and insignia just for the Wood Badge course.

Truth: Your “Wood Badge” uniform is whatever uniform and insignia you wear in your home Pack, Troop, Team or Crew. During the course you will wear a special neckerchief, but that will be provided as part of the course fees, so don’t worry.

Myth: I don’t have the camping equipment and outdoor skills to attend a Wood Badge course.

WoodBadgePhilmontCampTruth: You will need to be comfortable with staying in an outdoor environment for two weekends, which means a sleeping bag is a must and a cot will add to your rest.  During the two weekends, you might use some camping and outdoor skills if you have them, but those skills are not required. In fact, we will cook all of your meals the first weekend of the course so you can focus on the learning experience. Some Wood Badge participants come to the course with no prior camping experience and have a fantastic time and you can too.

roundtableMyth: You need to be in top physical condition to attend a Wood Badge course.

Truth: You will need an Adult Physical, but there are very few activities on a Wood Badge course that are strenuous. Scouters have attended Wood Badge in wheelchairs and on mobility-scooters, and walked with canes and crutches. You would not be expected to participate in any activity that is inappropriate for your physical condition. If you have any question about your ability to participate, please contact the Wood Badge Coordinator or the Course Director after signing up.

Wood BadgerMyth: Wood Badge will take time away from my already jam-packed Scouting schedule.

Truth: Like most Scout training, Wood Badge is designed to make your life easier. It will provide you with the skills you need to reduce the time it takes you to be a great leader.

Myth: The “ticket” is a series of arduous tasks assigned by the Wood Badge staff to benefit the Council and make it hard to earn your Wood Badge beads.

Truth: A Wood Badge ticket is a contract you make with yourself, with the aid of a member of the staff usually referred to as a Troop Guide. This contract is your commitment to practice using the leadership skills taught at Wood Badge in the performance of your Scouting job. The ticket contains 5 parts (goals) that you develop to advance toward your vision in Scouting. The Wood Badge staff provides you with a mentor or guide (Ticket Counselor) after you complete the second course weekend to aid you in completing your ticket.

Myth: I can’t afford the cost of Wood Badge.

DINUZULU_Wood_Badge_WoggleTruth: The cost of the 2015 Wood Badge course is $175, and covers all of your course materials, participant neckerchief, food, and the Wood Badge award you receive when you complete your “ticket” (Wood Badge neckerchief, leather woggle, beads and certificate). The value of Wood Badge training is many times the cost, and is a worthwhile investment in yourself.

  • Some employers recognize the value of Wood Badge and will pay or subsidize the cost; some will even give you paid time off to take the course.
  • Some unions will pay or subsidize the cost.
  • The American Legion offers Wood Badge scholarships for members.
  • Many units and chartering organizations will pay or subsidize the cost, since they will benefit from your Wood Badge training.

Myth: All the Wood Badge course are full and it’s too late in the year to register.

Truth:  Nine of our 11 courses are come and gone, or are full, but it’s not too late to register for one of two fall courses. The first covers two consecutive weekends (1st weekend Thursday through Saturday, 2nd weekend Thursday through Saturday) and the second is week long. This gives you two choices:

September 10-12 & 17-19 Tifie Scout Camp at Mt. Dell Scout Ranch Mike Terry /
Fillmore Stake / Nephi Stake /  Nephi North Stake /  Delta Stake /  Delta West Stake
W2-591-15-8 Google Map
September 21-26 Bacon Park Don DeCamp /
Vernal Maeser, Altamont Stakes
W2-591-15-10 Google Map

Though both of these courses are LDS Stake hosted, everyone of any faith or location may attend.

So with all these myths put to rest, what’s keeping you from signing up?  Register today!

Darryl head BW



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