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Wood Badge

Wood Badge is an advanced national leadership training course open to all BSA adult volunteers and professionals.  Everyone is welcome to attend from any BSA program: Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring. This is for every Scouter whether you are new to your adult role or you have been Scouting for decades.  Everyone is welcome to learn and to sharpen your leadership tools to enable our youth to enjoy and deliver the best Scouting program.   We all belong at Wood Badge to train ourselves to be the best leaders for our youth in our units.


Tell me more

Over two weekends (5 days), the course presents over a dozen leadership tools to help you deepen your understanding of leadership and yourself. The quality and content of Wood Badge rival professional leadership courses that many of us participate in through work, however we are definitely having more fun and making real connections with other Scouters taking and delivering the course. Through hands-on activities, dynamic presentations, relevant games, and engaging discussions you will experience topics such as:

  • Listening

  • Managing conflict

  • Leading change

  • Project planning

  • Stages of team development

  • Coaching and mentoring

  • Leadership for different stages

  • Servant leadership

  • And more!

Why would I want to try this?

By participating in Wood Badge, you will learn and apply leadership skills to benefit the youth of your community.  Nearly every Wood Badge graduate says they didn’t go soon enough and that the course is worth the time..

The benefits of your participation include:

  • Creating stronger units – successful units have Wood Badge trained leaders

  • Developing a deeper understanding of Scouting’s purpose – the why, what and how of Scouting

  • Learning how to implement a “Mountain Top Experience” for your Scouts

  • Gaining the training experience of a lifetime – the lessons, tools, and experiences will stay with you

  • Enjoying the company of other Scouters – enjoy learning and networking with other leaders who believe in Scouting

  • Applying your skills to other areas: family, community, work, and other groups


What is the purpose of Wood Badge?

Officially the purpose of Wood Badge according to BSA is:

 “To develop skilled leaders who can strengthen Scouting units in achieving the mission of the Boy Scouts of America.”

This means that Wood Badge is here to help all Scouters to strengthen all units for all our youth. By embracing the tools and lessons of Wood Badge, you will learn to enable youth in packs, troops, crews, ships, and posts to experience the Scouting program to their fullest.

While the curriculum has been updated many times over the decades, the purpose is timeless from Baden-Powell’s original conception of Wood Badge over 100 years ago:

     “One of the purposes of Wood Badge training is to get Scouters to think about the practice of Scouting, to meet together, to exchange     

       experiences, and to live together in the spirit of the Scout Oath.

Advice from our 2023 Wood Badge Course Graduates:

  • “Do it!  It’s worth it! Don’t wait!”

  • “Come with an open mind and open heart.”

  • “It has re-lit a fire and passion that I have for Scouting.”

  • “Seeing what the youth go through in a patrol has opened my eyes to the strength and intelligence they have to make things happen in their patrols. I will not take that for granted when I see them working/running a meeting or event. “

  • “Builds a Scouting network which broadens ideas of how to run a program in a unit.”

  • “Do it!  Go with an idea, but let the course guide you.”

  • “The most important takeaway for me was how to become a better listener and in turn a better teammate.  We are all here because Scouting impacted our lives in some way, along the way.  We can now use the tools to impact others.”


Why should you take Wood Badge? Our 2023 Course Directors share their thoughts:


What else do I need to know?

The framework of the 5-day training is based on a Scout’s experience: start by living a day in the life of an older Cub Scout and then move on to experience a month in a Scouts BSA troop. You will be welcomed into the Wood Badge family. During the course you will explore your Scouting passion and sharpen your vision for future success which will help you lay a strong Scouting foundation for your youth to enjoy the best possible Scout opportunities and be prepared for life. During the course, your Ticket is developed by you with the guidance of staff members. It includes your big picture outlook for yourself and those you serve in Scouting with steps (goals) to fulfill that vision. After the course experience, you have 18 months to complete your Ticket by applying your knowledge and skills to your goals.

2024 Fall Course

  • September 29, 2-4 pm – participant orientation at the Frank Fickett Scout Service and Training Center in Austin

  • November  1-3 and November 16-17 (must attend both weekends) at Lost Pines Scout Reservation in Bastrop

Questions? Contact Heather Spencer, 2024 Course Director,


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