Debunked Myths About Wood Badge
Myth #12: Wood Badge is only for Scouts BSA leaders.
Truth: Wood Badge is for all Scout leaders in BSA, including Cub Scout, Scouts BSA and Venturing leaders, as well as district and Council leaders.
Myth #11: Attending Wood Badge training won’t make a difference in my unit.
Truth: Every Scout deserves a well-trained leader. Why? Research has shown that trained leaders have a more positive impact on the quality of programs, leader tenure, youth tenure, safety and so much more in their units. Wood Badge trained leaders have an even greater impact!
Myth #10: Wood Badge is for lifelong, elite Scouters who have done everything else.
Truth: Wood Badge is designed to provide both new and experienced Scouters skills they need to make their job easier and more fun. The only experience required is that you be considered “trained” for your registered position. In fact, BSA has established a goal of having all new leaders attend Wood Badge within two years of becoming leaders.
Myth #9: 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 minimum age for Wood Badge.
Myth #8: Wood Badge is another camping and outdoor skills course.
Truth: 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. You will find yourself using your Wood Badge leadership skills not only in Scouting, but also at home and work and in your other community activities.
Myth #7: 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 or Crew. During the course, you will wear a special neckerchief that will be provided for you.
Myth #6: I don’t have the camping equipment or outdoor skills for Wood Badge.
Truth: You will need to be comfortable with staying in a cabin for the first weekend and an outdoor environment for the second weekend, which means a sleeping bag and other personal gear for both weekends. During the second weekend, you might use some camping and outdoor skills, and 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. Many Wood Badge participants come to the course with no prior camping experience and have a fantastic time…and you can, too!
Myth #5: 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 in a Wood Badge course that are strenuous. Scouters have attended Wood Badge in wheelchairs and mobility scooters and have 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 course director.
Myth #4: 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 #3: The “ticket” is a series of arduous tasks that only benefit the Council.
Truth: A Wood Badge ticket is a contract you make with yourself, with the aid of a member of the staff 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 five parts (goals) that you develop to advance toward your vision in Scouting. Your Troop Guide will serve as your Ticket Counselor after you complete the second course weekend to aid you in completing your ticket.
Myth #2: I can’t afford the cost of Wood Badge.
Truth: The current cost of the Wood Badge course is $275 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. We also offer scholarships.
Myth #1: All the Wood Badge courses are full, and it’s too late in the year to register.
Truth: We offer space to waitlisted registrants, so even if the course appears full you may still be able to participate. Wood Badge courses are run every year, so please check back often and choose the date that works best for you.