By Darryl Alder
Aug 12, 2015

Reset Your Life with Wood Badge

Recently an employee at the Council’s Orem Service Center asked for some time for a reset; for her it just took a lunch. In June, it took me two weeks on a vacation to the UK. But this weekend at Wood Badge Staff Development, I thought back to my own Wood Badge Course and recalled the total reset it gave my life. I came out of the week fully resolved to get married, change my work direction and dedicate myself to lifelong service to youth.

Your Purpose Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

Attending Wood Badge and working your goals afterward will add great purpose to your life

Is Wood Badge a stress-free vacation? No, far from it, but the six days you’ll spend in the woods will renew you by testing your limits, improving your personal relationship skills and adding meaning to your volunteer efforts (church, Scouting or elsewhere).

After serving on staff, Bryan Wendell wrote:

Your deluxe six-day, all-inclusive Wood Badge experience comes with decades of Scouting knowledge, a skilled and helpful staff and a guided tour through the entire Scouting program from Tiger Cubs to Venturing. And the price? Less than a single night’s cost at that fancy resort with the pool.

The Wood Badge story has two chapters.

Chapter 1: The experiential course, which takes place over one six-day week or two three-day weekends and includes leadership classes, games, activities and plenty of meaningful conversations.

Chapter 2: The Wood Badge ticket, a series of five projects (completed after Chapter 1) that benefit a Scouter’s home unit and local community. These ticket items extend the reach of Wood Badge well beyond the six-day course. Fifty participants completing five ticket items each means 250 improvements to Scouting. And that’s just from one course.

Bryan Wendell | Editor, Scouting Magazine

In other words, you might not leave Wood Badge feeling relaxed, but you’re guaranteed to be recharged and ready to tackle any problem your Scouts throw your way. And it just might be the most fun you’ll ever have as a Scout leader (or grown-up).

WoodBadgeRopesCourseUsed worldwide since B-P introduced it in 1919, Wood Badge is Scouting’s pre-eminent training course for adults. In fact, the leadership skills you learn at Wood Badge include many of the same skills that Fortune 500 companies send their executives to learn at week-long seminars costing as much as $5,000. And guess what, when anyone of those companies want to send someone to one of our courses, all the participant has to do is register as a Scouting volunteer and pay a mere $175, which includes all food and materials.

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 wards and stakes will pay or subsidize the cost, since they will benefit from your Wood Badge training.

WoodBadgeTeamworkNine 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.

Training centers on five central themes, each delivered as experiential training.  Those themes and the presentations are as follows:

Wood Badge Coin■ Living the Values. Values, Mission, and Vision
■ Bringing the Vision to Life. Listening to Learn; Communication; Leveraging Diversity Through Inclusiveness; Generations in Scouting; Coaching and Mentoring
■ Models for Success. Stages of Team Development; The Leading EDGE™/ The Teaching EDGE™
■ Tools of the Trade. Project Planning; Leading Change; Decision Making and Problem Solving; Managing Conflict; Self-Assessment
■ Leading to Make a Difference. Servant Leadership; Leaving a Legacy

The fact is, you can find most of the leadership lessons taught at Wood Badge in the self-help section of your local bookstore. But those books lack the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law and they don’t include Scouting-specific connections that convert abstract leadership lessons into something you can actually use.

So what is holding you back? Register today!

Darryl head BW


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5 thoughts on “Reset Your Life with Wood Badge

  1. AvatarJay

    Thanks Darryl! Excellent article, and a good reminder of what Wood Badge did for me. My Senior Patrol Leader took Timberline at the same time that I took WB. We were a well oiled machine after the completion. It’s one thing to talk about the Patrol Method and Youth Leadership, but it’s quite another to learn it first hand in the way that WB does. There’s is no better place than WB to ‘reset’ a person’s scouting service. I’ll be forever grateful for the experience. In addition, there are bonds built at WB that are unbreakable. My Troop Guide from my WB course has become my very best friend! I used to be a Beaver…

    1. AvatarBrent

      Great article, Darryl! Too bad it was published after this year’s other courses began. Your article articulately spells out the benefits of participating in Wood Badge, which can be a life-changing experience not only for adult leaders, but also for the Scouts because the program offered afterward is greatly enhanced. Our unit made a concerted effort to Wood Badge train its adult leaders and at the same time offer National Youth Leadership Training (Timberline) to the Scouts. By doing so, the Scouting experience in our unit reached great heights and made a world of difference in the lives of the boys.

      As good as your article is, Scout leaders cannot really understand the true benefit of Wood Badge until they experience it for themselves. I hope anyone contemplating attending Wood Badge will make arrangements to go. I have never regretted attending Wood Badge. It made me a better Scout leader and person in ways I could have never imagined.

  2. AvatarRandy A. Wardwell

    Thanks, Darryl. Well said and a great text summary of what Wood Badge is and what it does to and for each of us that throw ourselves into it.

    This will be my 4th Wood Badge, and although as a staff we started very slowly and got behind the curve, but I believe we are going to recover nicely and create a wonderful experience for ourselves and for our participants.

    Getting excited about the experience again.

    “Life Reset” is a great way to describe what it does for us. It is awesome, and a perspective alignment to be sure.

  3. AvatarSandra Smith

    I’ll be on Staff for the Wood Badge that begins Sept 10 at Tifie! Scouting isn’t just for boys! I attended Wood Badge last year up at Camp Maple and there were several other women on the course who were in positions with Cubs, Pack, and Troop Committees. I learned so much about the purpose of the Scouting Program and how I can use my skills and leadership build the next generation of future missionaries, leaders, and fathers. I challenge the women out there serving in Cub Scouts, Primary Presidencies, Pack Committees and Troop Committee to sign up for a Wood Badge Course. It is worth the sacrifice away from your family to participant in a life-changing experience. To the women who have been to Wood Badge- Please come back as Wood Badge Staff! The sacrifice is worth the reward to help other learn what you did!

  4. AvatarFrancis

    Super article Darryl. About 5 years ago I signed up for Wood Badge and learned how Scouting really works. I came away with a full appreciation of the program and an understanding of how, when it’s run properly, boys can become the leaders of tomorrow. Wood Badge was a turning point in my life because up until then, based on my experience as a Scout, I wanted nothing to do with Scouting. Now I’m all for it.


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