Wood Badge FAQ 2023

Q. What is Wood Badge?

A. Wood Badge is the premier adult leadership-training program for the Boy Scouts of America. It teaches contemporary leadership and team development skills in an outdoor setting.

Q. Why should I go to Wood Badge, and how will I benefit from this training?

A. Wood Badge helps you become a better leader. It’s fun, rewarding, and enables you to meet new friends. Here are some comments from recent Wood Badge participants:

• “I learned a great deal about myself . . .”

• “I feel the program has given me the tools to make positive changes at my Pack.” .”

• “The leadership information presented . . . was priceless.”

• “I learned how important my role is and how much influence I have on the youth and their families.”

• “It challenged me to give my best to the Scouting program.”

• “I am reminded of the importance of group dynamics in the attempt to work as a team.”

Q. Who can attend?

A. Wood Badge is open to ALL adult leaders who have completed the basic training requirements for their position.  Scouters from Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouts, Explorers, Committee chairs/members and district and council Scouters will benefit equally from attendance.

Q. What is the basic training requirement for my position?

A. In general, the basic training requirement is met when a leader takes the Position-Specific Training for their position. In addition, Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters require Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills For further information, please get in touch with your District Training Team.

Q. When should I attend Wood Badge?

A. You should attend Wood Badge as soon as possible after completing your basic training. The sooner you attend Wood Badge, the sooner you can begin applying leadership skills and techniques in your unit, district, or council.

Q. I am new to Scouting, and my unit leader says that it is best to wait a couple of years before going to Wood Badge. Why should I go now?

A. Wood Badge helps new leaders build a framework for their future growth in Scouting. Leaders who take advanced training early in their Scouting careers are better prepared to serve the youth in their units.

Q. I have been a Scoutmaster for years and have a very successful program. Why should I go to Wood Badge?

A. There are two primary reasons. The first is that everyone can learn new skills and improve upon existing ones. Wood Badge offers the latest training on contemporary leadership and team development models. The second reason is that experienced leaders help enrich the Wood Badge experience for newer leaders by sharing their expertise and passion for the program.

Q. Are the leadership skills taught specific to Scouting?

A. Although taught in a Scouting framework, the skills taught in Wood Badge can be applied universally. Participants have found their Wood Badge training to help them at work, at home, and other non-Scouting volunteer activities.

Q. How much time is required?

A. The practical portion of Wood Badge requires five full days of instruction consisting of three full days on one weekend and two full days on another. The weekend course also requires one or two Patrol meetings between the weekend sessions.  Attendance at both weekends is required.  You will have 18 months to complete the application phase.

Q. Is overnight camping required?

A. Yes. Participants and staff spend nights in tents during each of the two weekends. The second weekend is Patrol-style camping, for which you will need to provide an individual tent.

 Q. Do I need special Outdoor Skills?

 A. Even though Wood Badge is taught in an outdoor setting and some camping is a part of the program, the need for extensive outdoor skills has been minimized. There will be experienced campers on staff and among the participants, which creates an excellent learning environment for leaders unfamiliar with Scout camping. If possible, leaders are encouraged to attend an outdoor skills program (Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills or BALOO) before attending Wood Badge.

Q. What exactly do you teach in Wood Badge?

A. Wood Badge focuses on contemporary leadership skills and issues and integrates Scouting’s value-based philosophy. A variety of learning opportunities, including lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, and hands-on exercises, offer participants insight into contemporary leadership theory while providing them with specific skills that will enable them to put what they learn to use immediately in their Units. Many participants have found they can effectively apply what they’ve learned in their personal and professional lives. And while learning is the focus of Wood Badge, fun is an essential component!

Q. What is the Wood Badge Ticket?

A. The “Ticket” is one of the great traditions of Wood Badge and is key to applying what you have learned on the course.  It is a set of five goals related to your primary scouting role which will help strengthen the scouting program at the unit, district, and council level.  You use the leadership skills learned in the practical (outdoor) phase of the course to complete your goals and have 18 months in which to do so.  

Q. How much does it cost to attend Wood Badge?

A. The course fee for NST15-414-23 is $250.00. For that fee, participants receive all instructional material, food for the first and second weekend, and a course T-shirt. Photos and other course memorabilia are available for purchase on a strictly optional basis. You’ll need to make a $50.00 deposit with your acceptance of an invitation to attend the course and be paid in full no later than 30 days before the course begins.

Q. Do I need a uniform for Wood Badge?

A. Yes!  Uniforms are one of the Scouting Methods. All participants will wear a complete field uniform (Class A) which consists of scout pants, shirt, socks, and belt (participant’s usual uniform worn as a volunteer).  There will be times during the course when you will wear an activity uniform that consists of the course T-shirt and uniform pants or shorts.

Q. Where will the course be held?

A. The primary Wood Badge training area is in Camp Daniel Boone, 3647 Little East Fork Road Canton, North Carolina 28716.

Q. When are the course dates in 2023?

A. The dates for course NST15-414-23 are Friday, April 14 – Sunday, April16, 2023, and Saturday, April 29- Sunday, April 30, 2023. The first day of each weekend begins promptly at 7:00AM and ends at 6:00PM on Sunday.

Q. Is there assistance for registration fees?

A.  Many Scout units as well as employers and local organizations may be able to  assist or fully pay for the training.  You may want to let your company know what you are doing as the skills you will learn will serve you in scouting and in life.

Wood Badge has had participants whose company helped pay for the course because the skills you will learn if taken in “corporate” environment, would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars more.  

Q. Who do I contact for more information?

A. You may reach the NST15-414-23 Course Director Peggy Jones aDBC2023WoodBadge@gmail.com or 210-836-6561.  You can also reach out to Melinda Kuehn at the Daniel Boone Council Service Center 828-254-6189 x121 or Melinda.Kuehn@scouting.org